15 Called in Tate Slaying Case
Monday, December 8th, 1969
LOS ANGELES, Dec. 8 – A fingerprint expert and the former leader of a band of motorcycle riders were among 15 witnesses called to testify today as a grand jury pressed its investigation into the slaying of actress Sharon Tate and six other persons.
The motorcyclist, Daniel DeCarlo, reportedly lived for a time with Charles M. Manson’s hippie-type desert clan, linked by police with the killing of the actress, two other women and four men.
The district attorney is seeking the indictment of Manson, 35, and other members of his group on murder and conspiracy charges.
Attorneys say no witness has accused Manson of being on the scene either when five died at Miss Tate’s rented estate Aug. 9 or the following night when a market owner and his wife were killed.
Authorities say they were seeking indictments against Charles D. Watson, 24, held in McKinney, Tex., Patricia Krenwinkel, 21, held in Mobile, Ala., and Linda Kasabian, 20, who was arrested in Concord, N.H., and has already been arraigned here on murder charges. All were members of Manson’s band.
Manson is in jail at Independence on a charge of possessing stolen cars.
Susan Denise Atkins, 21, another of the girls in the clan, gave the grand jury what officials described as key testimony when the inquiry opened Friday.
Miss Atkins, who has been accused of killing of a Malibu musician in a separate incident, has admitted, her lawyer said, that she went to the Tate house the night of the slayings at Manson’s orders.
Her father said his impression of the Manson clan when he met members in 1968 was that “they were just a slap-happy bunch of kooks — dumb hippies.”
Another man said Manson seemed harmless when he knew him a year ago.
“I found Charlie Manson to be a dedicated person, dedicated to taking care of the people camping with him,” said Emmett Harder, a geologist who works a mine in the desert near the area Manson ranged.
Harder said he saw Manson and his followers many times in 1968. The group impressed him as clean and hard-working. He said the followers — who hauled ore for him briefly — seemed to feel rejected and anxious to seek peace away from civilization’s pressures.