Linda Tells Of Screams In Darkness As Death Struck Tate Mansion
Wednesday, July 29th, 1970
LOS ANGELES, Jul. 29 – Screams pierced the darkness, Linda Kasabian said, as a man, blood streaming from his wounds, stumbled from actress Sharon Tate’s hilltop mansion across the lawn.
“We looked into each other’s eyes for a moment, and I said, ‘I’m sorry. I’m sorry. Oh, God, make it stop.’”
Sobbing into her hands, the petite, green-eyed Mrs. Kasabian testified Tuesday that she saw two persons stain at Miss Tate’s home Aug. 9 and heard the screams of three other victims pleading for their lives.
“I heard a man scream out ‘No, No’ and then I just heard screams, I don’t have any words to describe how these screams were. It was just unbelievably, horribly terrible,” Mrs. Kasabian cried.
The sandy-haired 21-year-old mother of two told her version of the bloodbath as she testified at the murder-conspiracy trial of shaggy-haired cult leader Charles M. Manson, 35, and three women followers.
Mrs. Kasabian said Manson instructed her to follow the orders of his lieutenant, Charles “Tex” Watson. Then he sent Watson, Mrs. Kasabian and two other girl followers on a midnight mission which ended at the home of Miss Tate, 26, a blonde, pregnant movie star.
Mrs. Kasabian testified that she saw Watson shoot to death the first victim, Steven Parent, 18, a visitor driving away from the house, and stab and beat to death Wojciech Frykowski, 37, a Polish-born guest whose body was found later on the lawn.
Mrs. Kasabian said it was Frykowski she encountered on the lawn, and at one point, after he had fallen, he tried to get up and “Tex hit him on the head and was stabbing him in the back…I don’t know how many times. Be just kept doing it and doing it and doing it.”
Still weeping, Mrs. Kasabian told of seeing one of Manson’s codefendants, Patricia “Katie” Krenwinkel, 22, knife raised, chasing nightgown-clad Abigail Folger, 26, across the lawn. Miss Folger, a coffee company heiress, also died outside the house.
Mrs. Kasabian said another defendant, Susan “Sadie” Atkins, 21, approached her in the midst of the killing.
“I said, ‘Sadie, make it stop,’ but she said, ‘It’s too late,’” Mrs. Kasabian continued.
Mrs. Kasabian said she didn’t see Miss Folger slain. And apparently she didn’t witness the killings of Miss Tate and hair stylist Jay Sebring, 35, who died in the house.
Mrs. Kasabian’s testimony was interrupted by a rapid-fire volley of objections by Manson’s attorney, Irving Kanarek, who vainly challenged virtually every prosecution question.
The state’s star witness, who has been promised immunity from prosecution, said she was unaware of the purpose of the mission when Manson sent her with the others into the night.
“Charlie told me to go with Tex and do whatever Tex told me to do,” said Mrs. Kasabian. Watson has been indicted in the case and is fighting extradition from Texas.
As Watson started the car, Mrs. Kasabian said “Charlie came to my side of the car and told us to leave a sign. He said, ”You girls know what I mean — something witchy.” She said Manson referred to girls in his mostly female clan as witches.
Bloody scrawlings were found at the death scene.
After Parent was killed Mrs. Kasabian said, she went with Watson to the house where he cut a window screen, but she was sent back to Parent’s car to act as lookout.
“I waited a few minutes and then I heard people screaming and saying, ‘No, please, no.’ It was horrible. I can’t tell you how horrible it was.”
She was asked how long the screams continued. “It seemed like forever, infinite,” she replied.
Later, she said, “I saw Katie in the background with an upraised knife, chasing a girl…I turned and ran.”
The four defendants, all in jail denims, sat impassively, staring straight ahead as Mrs. Kasabian testified. At one point, the girls mouthed a message to the witness and she silently mouthed an answer.
Her attorney said later the message from the girls was, “You’re killing us,” and that Mrs. Kasabian replied, “I’m not killing you. You’ve killed yourselves.”
Earlier Tuesday, Mrs. Kasabian gave an account of the Manson “family’s” unconventional sex rituals, including group sex gatherings in which “everybody made love to everybody.’
Manson, she said came to her in a cave the night after she joined the Manson family at the isolated Spahn ranch.
“He made love to me and we had a slight conversation,” she said.
Smiling nervously, the witness told of a family gathering at which. Manson had sexual intercourse with a 16-year-old girl while 20 “family” members watched.
Mrs. Kasabian said that after he took the girl, Manson “told everybody to make love to everybody.”
Q. What followed thereafter?
A. Everybody made love to everybody. We shed our clothes and were lying on the floor and it didn’t matter if a man or a woman was beside you. You touched everybody and made love to everybody.
By LINDA DEUTSCH