Linda Kasabian Testimony

The State of California v. Charles Manson; Los Angeles, California, November 19, 1970

Linda Kasabian, AKA: Linda Christian, Yana the Witch, Linda Chiochios, was given immunity from prosecution in exchange for her testimony in the Charles Manson Trial.

On the influence of Charles Manson over the Manson Family members; Direct examination by Vincent Bugliosi:

BUGLIOSI: “Did you ever see or observe any members of the Family refuse to do anything that Manson told him or her to do?”

LINDA: “No, nobody did. We always wanted to do anything and everything for him.”

On the Tate Murders: Direct examination by Vincent Bugliosi: [Departure from Spahn ranch:]

BUGLIOSI: “The night of the afternoon that Mr. Manson said ‘Now is the time for Helter Skelter,’ were you still at the ranch that night?”

LINDA: “Yes.”

BUGLIOSI: “Was this the evening of August the eighth, 1969?”

LINDA: “I believe so.”

BUGLIOSI: “What took place that evening, Linda, at the ranch?”

LINDA: “I remember I was standing out front at this one point and Charlie came up to me and pulled me off the porch, and I was standing at the very end of the porch, closest to George Spahn’s house, and he told me that”

BUGLIOSI: “He told you what?”

LINDA: “He told me to get a change of clothing, a knife, and my driver’s license.”

BUGLIOSI: “Did Mr. Manson tell you to change the clothing you already had on or to bring an additional change of clothing?”

LINDA: “To bring an additional.”

BUGLIOSI: “To bring an additional change of clothing?”

LINDA: “Yes.”

BUGLIOSI: “Now, when you walked up to the car, you say Katie and Sadie that is Patricia and Susan – were inside the car. Where was Tex?”

LINDA: “He was standing over by the driver’s side.”

BUGLIOSI: “Was he talking to anyone?”

LINDA: “I think he was talking to Charlie.”

BUGLIOSI: “What is the next thing that happened?”

LINDA: “Tex got in the car, and we started…”

BUGLIOSI: “What happened at that point?”

LINDA: “We got about to the middle of the driveway, you know, and Charlie called us and told us to stop, and he came to the car, to my side of the window, stuck his head in, and told us to leave a sign. He said, ‘You girls know what I mean, something witchy,’ and that was it.”

[Description of the murders]

LINDA: “We climbed over a fence and then a light started coming toward us and Tex told us to get back and sit down…. A car pulled up, in front of us and Tex leaped forward with a gun in his hand and stuck his hand with the gun at this man’s head. And the man said, ‘Please don’t hurt me, I won’t say anything.’ And Tex shot him four times.”

BUGLIOSI: “Did you actually see Tex point the gun inside the window of the car and shoot the man?”

LINDA: “Yes, I saw it clearly”

BUGLIOSI: “About how far away were you from Tex at the time that he shot the driver of the car?”

LINDA: “Just a few feet.”

BUGLIOSI: “After Tex shot the driver four times what happened next?”

LINDA: “The man just slumped over. I saw that, and then Tex put his head in the car and turned the ignition off. He may have taken the keys out, I don’t know, and then he pushed the car back a few feet and then we all proceeded toward the house and Tex told me to go in back of the house and see if there were open windows and doors, which I did.”

BUGLIOSI: “Did you find any open doors or windows in the back of the house?”

LINDA: “No, there was no open windows or doors.”

BUGLIOSI: “What is the next thing that happened, Linda?”

LINDA: “I came around from the back, and Tex was standing at a window, cutting the screen, and he told me to go back and wait at the car, and he may have told me to listen for sounds, but I don’t remember him saying it.”

BUGLIOSI: “While you were down by the car do you know where Tex, Sadie, and Katie were?” “No, I didn’t see them.”

BUGLIOSI: “Did either of those three come down to the car?”

LINDA: “Yes, Katie came down at one point.”

BUGLIOSI: “Did Katie say anything to you?”

LINDA: “Yes, she asked for my knife, and I gave it to her, and she told me to stay there and listen for sounds, and I did, and she left.”

BUGLIOSI: “When she left, did she walk in the direction of the residence?”

LINDA: “Yes.”

BUGLIOSI: “Did you see either Patricia Krenwinkel or Susan Atkins or Tex walk into the residence?”

LINDA: “No, I didn’t.”

BUGLIOSI: “Were you all alone by the car?”

LINDA: “Yes.” ….”I heard a man scream out ‘No. No.’ Then I just heard screams. I just heard screams at that point. I don’t have any words to describe how a scream is. I never heard it before.”

BUGLIOSI: “How long did the screaming continue?”

LINDA: “Oh, it seemed like forever, infinite. I don’t know.”

BUGLIOSI: “Was the screaming constant or was it in intervals?”

LINDA: “It seemed constant, I don’t know.”

BUGLIOSI: “Now, what did you do when you heard these screams?”

LINDA: “I started to run toward the house.”

BUGLIOSI: “Why did you do that?”

LINDA: “Because I wanted them to stop.”

BUGLIOSI: “What happened after you ran toward the house?”

LINDA: “There was a man just coming out of the door and he had blood all over his face and he was standing by a post, and we looked into each other’s eyes for a minute, and I said, ‘Oh, God, I am so sorry. Please make it stop.’ And then he just fell to the ground into the bushes. And then Sadie came running out of the house, and I said, ‘Sadie, please make it stop.’ And then I said, ‘I hear people coming.’ And she said, ‘It is too late.’ And then she told me that she left her knife and she couldn’t find it, and I believe she started to run back into the house. While this was going on the man had gotten up, and I saw Tex on top of him, hitting him on the head and stabbing him, and the man was struggling, and then I saw Katie in the background with the girl, chasing after her with an upraised knife, and I just turned and ran to the car down at the bottom of the hill.”

BUGLIOSI: “Now, when you told Sadie that people were coming, was that the truth?”

LINDA: “No.”

BUGLIOSI: “Why did you tell her that?”

LINDA: “Because I just wanted them to stop.”

BUGLIOSI: “You said you saw Katie. That is Patricia Krenwinkel?”

LINDA: “Yes.”

BUGLIOSI: “Was she chasing someone?”

LINDA: “Yes.”

BUGLIOSI: “Was it a man or a woman?”

LINDA: “It was a woman in a white gown.”

[After the Tate murders]

BUGLIOSI: “Did Katie and Sadie say anything as you were driving off from the residence?”

LINDA: “Yes.”

BUGLIOSI: “What did they say?”

LINDA: “They complained about their heads, that the people were pulling their hair, and that their heads hurt. And Sadie even came out and said that when she was struggling with a big man, that he hit her in the head. And also Katie complained of her hand, that it hurt.”

BUGLIOSI: “Did she say why her hand hurt?”

LINDA: “Yes.”

BUGLIOSI: “What did she say?”

LINDA: “She said when she stabbed, that there were bones in the way, and she couldn’t get the knife through all the way, and that it took too much energy or whatever, I don’t know her exact words, but it hurt her hand.”

BUGLIOSI: “Did Tex eventually stop the car?”

LINDA: “Yes, he did.”

BUGLIOSI: “Do you know where he stopped the car?”

LINDA: “I don’t know the names or anything, but it was a street – we had spotted a hose coming out from a house, and we went up the hill and turned around and parked and walked up to the house.”

BUGLIOSI: “Would you relate what happened, Linda?”

LINDA: “An older woman came running out of the house.”

BUGLIOSI: “This is the house where the hose was?”

LINDA: “Yes.”

BUGLIOSI: “All right, what happened next?”

LINDA: “And I don’t remember her exact words, but she said, Who is there?’ or Who is that, what are you doing?’ And Tex said, ‘We are getting a drink of water.’ Then she got sort of hysterical and she said, ‘My husband is a policeman; he is a deputy,’ or something like that. And then her husband came out and he said, ‘Is that your car?’ And Tex said, ‘No, we are walking.’ ”

BUGLIOSI: “What is the next thing that happened?”

LINDA: “And we started to walk toward the car.”

BUGLIOSI: “All four of you?”

LINDA: “Yes. And the man was behind us.”

BUGLIOSI: “Did the man follow you all the way to the car?”

LINDA: “Yes, he did.”

BUGLIOSI: “Do you recall what the man looked like?”

LINDA: “I just remember he was old and he had white hair, that is all I remember.”

BUGLIOSI:”What is the next thing that happened?”

LINDA: “The man was right behind us and he came to the driver’s seat and he started to put his hand in the car to reach for the keys and Tex blocked him, grabbed his hand and just jammed, you know.”

BUGLIOSI: “What is the next thing that happened?”

LINDA: “I remember we came to sort of a level part of the road and through a dirt shoulder, and he pulled off and handed me the clothing and told me to throw them out, which I did.”

BUGLIOSI: “What clothing are you talking about?”

LINDA: “The clothing that the three, Tex, Katie, and Sadie had changed from.”

[Return to Spahn ranch]

BUGLIOSI: “Was there anyone in the parking area at Spahn Ranch as you drove in the Spahn Ranch area?”

LINDA: “Yes.”

BUGLIOSI: “Who was there?”

LINDA: “Charlie.”

BUGLIOSI: “Was there anyone there other than Charlie?”

LINDA: “Not that I know of”

BUGLIOSI: “Where was Charlie when you arrived at the premises?”

LINDA: “About the same spot he was in when he first drove away.”

BUGLIOSI: “What happened after you pulled the car onto the parking area and parked the car?”

LINDA: “Sadie said she saw a spot of blood on the outside of the car when we were at the gas station.”

BUGLIOSI: “Who was present at that time when she said that?”

LINDA: “The four of us and Charlie.”

BUGLIOSI: “What is the next thing that happened?”

LINDA: “Well, Charlie told us to go into the kitchen, get a sponge, wipe the blood off, and he also instructed Katie and I to go all through the car and wipe off the blood spots.”

BUGLIOSI: “What is the next thing that happened after Mr. Manson told you and Katie to check out the car and remove the blood?”

LINDA: “He told us to go into the bunk room and wait, which we did.”

BUGLIOSI: “When was the first time you learned the identity of those five people [killed at the Tate residence]?”

LINDA: “The following day on the news.”

BUGLIOSI: “On television?”

LINDA: “Yes.”

BUGLIOSI: “In Mr. Spahn’s trailer?”

LINDA: “Yes.”

BUGLIOSI: “Did you see Tex, Sadie, and Katie during the day following these killings, other than when you were watching television with them?”

LINDA: “Well, I saw Sadie and Katie in the trailer. I cannot remember seeing Tex on that day.”

[On the LaBianca murders]

BUGLIOSI: “After dinner what did you do, if you recall?”

LINDA: “Charlie came in and called Katie and Leslie and myself aside and told us to get a change of clothes and meet him at the bunk room, which we did.”

BUGLIOSI: “Did Mr. Manson say anything to you and the others, once you were all together in the bunk house?”

LINDA: “Yes, he did.”

BUGLIOSI: “What did he say?”

LINDA: “He said we were going to go out again tonight. Last night was too messy and that he was going to show us how to do it.”

BUGLIOSI: “Now, Linda, you testified that the first night you had the idea that you were going on a creepy-crawly mission; you did not know there was going to be any killing, is that correct?”

LINDA: “Yes, that’s right.”

BUGLIOSI: “The second night did you know what was going to happen?”

LINDA: “Yes.”

BUGLIOSI: “Did you want to go along with Mr. Manson and the others on the second night?”

LINDA: “No.”

BUGLIOSI: “Why did you go along if you didn’t want to?”

LINDA: “Because Charlie asked me and I was afraid to say no.”

[In search of victims]

BUGLIOSI: “Did anything unusual happen while you were driving east on Sunset Boulevard in the residential area?”

LINDA: “Yes, after I had been driving for a few minutes there was a small white sports car in front of us and there [were] stoplights here and there, and Charlie”

BUGLIOSI: “Do you know who was in the car?”

LINDA: “I believe it was a man, one person.”

BUGLIOSI: “No one else was in the car with him?”

LINDA: “No, I don’t think so.”

BUGLIOSI: “Did Mr. Manson say anything to you with respect to that car?”

LINDA: “Yes, he did.”

BUGLIOSI: “What did he say to you?”

LINDA: “He told me to follow it and at the next stoplight when it was green to pull up beside it.”

BUGLIOSI: “When the stop light was green?”

LINDA: “I mean, excuse me, red, I get my colors mixed up. So that we were stopped. It would have been red, excuse me. Charlie wanted me to pull up beside the car, and Charlie was going to get out and kill the man, shoot the man, whatever.”

BUGLIOSI: “Did you in fact pull up next to this white sports car at a red light?”

LINDA: “Yes, I did.”

BUGLIOSI: “Did Mr. Manson get out of the car or start to get out of the car?”

LINDA: “He proceeded to get out of the car, yes.”

BUGLIOSI: “And what happened at that point?”

LINDA: “The light turned green, so the car left.”

[At the LaBianca home]

BUGLIOSI: “What happened after you stopped in front of this house?”

LINDA: “Charlie got out of the car and told me to drive around the block.”

BUGLIOSI: “Did he get out of the car by himself?”

LINDA: “Yes, he did.”

BUGLIOSI: “Did you in fact drive around the block?”

LINDA: “Yes, I did.”

BUGLIOSI: “With the other people?”

LINDA: “Yes.”

BUGLIOSI: “Did you come back to the front of the house?”

LINDA: “Yes. Charlie was standing in approximately the same spot I left him, and he got back in the car. Charlie told us that when he had walked up to the house and looked into the window that he saw pictures of children on the wall, and he said he couldn’t do it, he couldn’t go in, but he said later on that we shouldn’t let children stop us for the sake of the children of the future.”

BUGLIOSI: “Was Mr. Manson continuing to give you directions?”

LINDA: “Yes, he was.”

BUGLIOSI: “Where did he direct you to drive at that point?”

LINDA: “I don’t know the district or the areas, but residential areas, houses, and we came to one point, I remember I was really tired, I just could not drive anymore, so he just took over the driving and then I remember we started driving up a hill with lots of houses, nice houses, rich houses, and trees. We got to the top of the hill and turned around and stopped in front of a certain house and we all looked at the house.”

BUGLIOSI: “When had you been parked in front of that home prior to this occasion?”

LINDA: “A year before, approximately, in July of 1968.”

BUGLIOSI: “What was the occasion for your being in that particular location a year earlier?”

LINDA: “My husband and I and friends were on our way down from Seattle, Washington, to New Mexico and we stopped off in Los Angeles, and this one particular person knew Harold True, so we went to his house and had a party.”

BUGLIOSI: “Is this the house in front of which Manson told you to stop the car?”

LINDA: “Yes, it is.”

BUGLIOSI: “Now, when Manson directed you to stop in front of Harold True’s place, did you recognize the spot?”

LINDA: “Yes, I did right away.”

BUGLIOSI: “Did you say anything to Manson with respect to this?”

LINDA: “Yes.”

BUGLIOSI: “What did you say to him?”

LINDA: “Charlie, you are not going into that house, are you?”

BUGLIOSI: “Did he say anything to you when you said that to him?”

LINDA: “Yes, he did, he said, ‘No, I’m going next door.’ ”

BUGLIOSI: “What was the next thing that happened?”

LINDA: “He got out of the car alone.”

BUGLIOSI: “Did all of you remain in the car?”

LINDA: “Yes, we did.”

BUGLIOSI: “What is the next thing that happened?”

LINDA: “I saw him put something in his pants, an object, I don’t know what it was.”

BUGLIOSI: “What is the next thing that he did?”

LINDA: “He disappeared up the walkway, the driveway leading toward Harold’s house, and I could not follow him any longer. He just disappeared.”

BUGLIOSI: “Several minutes?”

LINDA: “Yes.”

BUGLIOSI: “What happened after Mr. Manson returned to the car?”

LINDA: “He called Leslie and Katie and Tex out of the car.”

BUGLIOSI: “Was he out of the car at that point, too?”

LINDA: “Yes.”

BUGLIOSI: “What happened next?”

LINDA: “Sadie, excuse me-Clem [Tufts] jumped in the backseat with Sadie and I pushed over on the passenger side, and I heard bits and pieces of the conversation that he had with Tex and Katie.”

BUGLIOSI: “What did you hear him say?”

LINDA: “I heard him say that there was a man and a woman up in the house, and that he had tied their hands and that he had told them not to be afraid; that he was not going to hurt them.”

BUGLIOSI: “Did he say anything else to Leslie, Katie, and Tex?”

LINDA: “Yes, at one point he instructed them, for Leslie and Tex, to hitchhike back to the ranch, and for Katie to go to the waterfall.”

[After the LaBianca murders]

BUGLIOSI: “Did he tell you to do anything with respect to this wallet after he handed it to you?”

LINDA: “Yes, he did.”

BUGLIOSI: “What did he tell you?”

LINDA: “He told me to take the change out of the wallet and to wipe off the fingerprints, and then – this is while we were driving off – and we drove a few blocks, and he told me that he would stop, and he wanted me to throw it out on the sidewalk.”

BUGLIOSI: “Well, when he gave you those instructions about wiping the fingerprints off the wallet, did you do that?”

LINDA: “Yes, I did.”

BUGLIOSI: “Did you remove the change from the wallet?”

LINDA: “Yes, I did.”

BUGLIOSI: “What did you do with the change?”

LINDA: “I believe I put it in the glove compartment.” .

BUGLIOSI: “Did he tell you why he wanted you to throw the wallet out of the window?”

LINDA: “Yes, he did. He said he wanted a black person to pick it up and use the credit cards so that the people, the establishment, would think it was some sort of an organized group that killed these people.”

BUGLIOSI: “What happened after you stopped the car?”

LINDA: “We all got out of the car, started walking toward the beach, we got down to the beach, walked on the sand, and Charlie told Clem and Sadie to stay a little bit behind us. And Charlie and I started walking hand in hand on the beach, and it was sort of nice, you know, we were just talking, and I gave him some peanuts, and he just made me forget about everything, just made me feel good…. I told him I was pregnant and started walking. We got to a side street, a corner, and a police car came by and stopped and asked what we were doing. And Charlie said, ‘We are just going for a walk.’ Charlie said something like, ‘Don’t you know who I am?’ or ‘Don’t you remember my name?’ They just said no. It was a friendly conversation. It just lasted for a minute. Then they walked back to the car.”

BUGLIOSI: “With respect to this conversation with the policemen, did they write your names down?”

LINDA: “Not that I saw, no.”

[Searching for still more victims]

LINDA: “Then he looked at me and he said, ‘What about that man you and Sandy met?’ He said, ‘Isn’t he a piggy?’ I said, ‘Yes, he is an actor.’ And then he further questioned me and he asked me if the man would let him in. And I said, ‘Yes.’ And he asked me if the man would let my friends in, Sadie and Clem. And I said, ‘Yes.’ And he said, ‘Okay. I want you to kill him,’ and he gave me a small pocket knife. And at this point I said, ‘Charlie, I am not you, I cannot kill anybody.’ And I don’t know what took place at that moment, but I was very much afraid. And then he started to tell me how to go about doing it, and I remember I had the knife in my hand, and I asked him, With this? ‘And he said, ‘Yes,’ and he showed me how to do it. He said, ‘As soon as you enter the residence, the house, as soon as you see the man, slit his throat right away.’ And he told Clem to shoot him. And then, also, he said if anything went wrong, you know, not to do it.”

BUGLIOSI: “What happened after you arrived at this man’s apartment?”

LINDA: “Charlie wanted me to show him where he lived.”

BUGLIOSI: “Did you do that?”

LINDA: “Yes, I did.”

BUGLIOSI: “Did you get out of the car with Charlie?”

LINDA: “Yes.”

BUGLIOSI: “What about Sadie and Clem?”

LINDA: “No, they stayed behind.”

BUGLIOSI: “What is the next thing that happened?”

LINDA: “We entered the building and we walked up the stairs. I am not sure in took him to the top floor – I am not sure exactly what floor I took him to. Then I pointed out a door which was not his door.”

BUGLIOSI: “Which was not the actor’s door?”

LINDA: “Yes.”

BUGLIOSI: “What is the next thing that happened?”

LINDA: “Then we walked back downstairs to the car, and he gave Clem a gun.”

BUGLIOSI: “Charlie Manson gave him a gun?”

LINDA: “Yes. At this point he said something –”

BUGLIOSI: “When you say ‘he,’ you are talking about Charles Manson?”

LINDA: “Yes. He said that if anything went wrong, you know, don’t do it; and of course, to hitchhike back to the ranch, and for Sadie to go to the waterfall.”

BUGLIOSI: “Did either Clem or Sadie say anything to Mr. Manson at this point?”

LINDA: “No, not that I know of”

BUGLIOSI: “Then you say Charlie drove off?”

LINDA: “Yes.”

BUGLIOSI: “What is the next thing that happened?”

LINDA: “Clem, Sadie, and myself walked up – I believe I took them to the fourth floor, because I know I didn’t go all the way to the top, and I went – as I entered the hallway, whatever it is, where all the doors are, I went straight to-to the first door, and I knocked. They hid behind the corner.”

BUGLIOSI: “When you say ‘they,’ you are referring to whom?”

LINDA: “Sadie and Clem. And I knocked on the door, which I knew wasn’t the door, and a man said, ‘Who is it?’ And I said, ‘Linda.’ And he sort of opened the door and peeked around the corner, and I just said, ‘Oh, excuse me. Wrong door.’ ”

BUGLIOSI: “And that was it? How long did you look at this man who opened the door?”

LINDA: “Just for a split second.”

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