5 Indicted In Tate Murders
Tuesday, December 9th, 1969
LOS ANGELES, Dec. 9 – Five members of a weird hippie band, including the cults’ high priest, Charles M. Manson, have been indicted for murder in the slaying of Actress Sharon Tate and six other persons in August.
They each were indicted on seven counts of murder and one of conspiracy Monday by a Los Angeles County Grand Jury after It concluded a two-day hearing in which 22 witnesses, Including other cult members were heard.
A sixth person was indicted on two counts of murder and one of conspiracy.
The bearded, long-haired Manson was expected to he brought here today from Independence, Calif., where he was being held on receiving stolen property and auto theft charges.
The 21-member grand jury deliberated only 20 minutes after hearing testimony including that of Susan Atkins, 21, the prosecution’s star witness. She also was named in the indictment.
The indictments were issued specifically in connection with the killing of Miss Tate, who was eight months pregnant, and four other persons at her rented Benedict Canyon home; and the deaths of a wealthy couple, Leno and Rosemary LaBianca, a day later on Aug. 10. Although the indictments named only seven victims, the grand jury reportedly is investigating a possible link between the cult and four other senseless killings in the Los Angeles area this year.
The grand jury was told Manson, who reportedly did not participate in the Benedict Canyon massacre, later scolded his followers for their “messy” job and took them to the LaBianca home the following night.
Jury Foreman Joseph F. Bishop said “no one was granted any immunity for testifying.” He obviously was referring to Miss Atkins.
It was Miss Atkins who gave police their first real break in the case after four months of intensive investigation in which more than 600 persons were interviewed by officers.
Miss Atkins, who authorities say revealed the details of the murders to a cellmate while being held in Santa Monica, Calif., on another murder charge, testified before the secret jury for two hours and 20 minutes.
Through her attorney, Miss Atkins outlined the bloody details of the murders. The young girl told the jury of her relationship with Manson, 35, and the other suspects. Her attorney said she still regarded Manson “with a mixture of love, fear and hatred.”
The six members of a mystical hippie cult indicted Monday in connection with the slaying of actress Sharon Tate and six other persons were:
— Charles M. Manson, 35, the hypnotic-eyed leader of the cult who allegedly masterminded the slayings because the Tate home represented “a symbol of rejection” to him.
— Susan Denise Atkins, 21, a member of the cult who turned Informer and described how Manson allegedly ordered the killings.
— Patricia Krenwinkel, 22, in custody in Mobile, Ala., where she intends to fight extradition to California.
— Linda Kasabian, 20, arrested in New Hampshire and re-turned here last week.
— Charles D. “Tex” Watson, 24, in jail in McKinney, Tex. He also pledged to fight extradition.
— Leslie Sankston, 20, arrested in the Death Valley raid by a posse and brought here as a material witness. She was indicted on two counts of murder in the Labianca slayings.
By KEARNEY BOTHWELL