Horror Piles On Horror As Linda Goes On
Wednesday, July 29th, 1970
LOS ANGELES, Jul. 29 – The dark, blood-stained clothing used in the murders of Actress Sharon Tate and four others in her Benedict Canyon home was introduced today as the grim story of the massacre murders continued to unfold in Los Angeles Superior Court.
Star prosecution witness Linda Kasabian, calm and unemotional as compared to her uncontrollable sobbing in court Tuesday, resumed the witness stand to detail specifics of how she claimed Charles (Tex) Watson, Susan Atkins and Patricia Krenwinkel killed the five occupants of the estate.
Watson is fighting extradition in Texas, but the other two, along with Leslie Van Houten and Charles Manson, are standing trial.
The 21-year-old mother of two, wearing pigtails — a style followed today by the three girl defendants — touched briefly on the murders she described Tuesday, admitting that she was in a “total state of shock” with her “first thought to call police.”
She didn’t, however, and told how she waited in the car for the three members of her “family” to return. She related that Watson pushed her out of the driver’s seat and seemed “up-tight because I had run to the car.”
The three brought with them to the car, she said, only two of the three knives they had taken with them and a gun with the handle now broken.
“Katie (Krenwinkel) and Sadie (Atkins) complained about their heads when they got back,” Mrs. Kasabian testified, “because the people had pulled their hair.
“Katie said her hand hurt because when she stabbed them there were bones in the way and it took too much energy or whatever, and it hurt her hand.
“Katie said, too,” she added unemotionally, “that one of the girls was crying for her mother and God.”
They all changed clothing and stopped at a home where they saw a garden hose and washed themselves off, she testified.
“An older woman came out and started yelling, ‘Who’s there? What are you doing?’
“Tex said we were getting a drink of water and she got kind of hysterical. She said, ‘My husband’s a policeman.’ And then her husband came out.”
The man asked if the car standing near the curb theirs, Mrs. Kasabian said, adding that Watson denied it.
“Tex did the talking. He was very polite. We started to walk toward the car and the man followed. The man put his arm in the car but Tex blocked him and just jammed — drove off fast. I thought the man’s arm would go with us.”
Mrs. Kasabian said they continued to drive until they reached a level portion of roadway with a dirt shoulder at which time Watson pulled over and handed her the bundle of bloody clothing they had changed out of.
“He told me to throw it out, so I got out of the car with this big bundle and threw it over the side of what looked like a steep hill.”
It was this bundle of clothing that a television crew found five months after the murders.
Tuesday, Mrs. Kasabian was calm as she took the witness stand and began to recount her part in the murderous assault at the actress’ home. But as her gory account continued her body shook with sobs which she attempted vainly to stifle in a handkerchief.
After describing how she arrived at the Tate residence with Watson, the Krenwinkel and Atkins girls and told of concealing the car, Mrs. Kasabian testified:
“We climbed over a fence and then the headlights started coming towards us and Tex said for us to get down.”
“The car (apparently carrying Steven Parent, the 19-year-old boy who had been visiting with the Tate caretaker) pulled up in front of us and Tex leaped forward and stuck the gun in the window at the man’s head.
“The man said, ‘Please don’t hurt me…I won’t say anything,’ but Tex stuck the gun in his face and shot him four times.”
Asked to identify a picture of the slain youth, the girl bid her eyes in her handkerchief pleading. “I don’t have to look at the picture — it’s in my head.”
Watson, she testified, told her to look for open doors and windows around the house, and when she returned, she saw him cutting a screen.
She said he ordered her to return to Parent’s car which had been left parked in the driveway. “I did,” she testified. Manson and his three codefendants stared at her solemnly, as Mrs. Kasabian unfolded her tale of horror.
One spectator, a woman sitting in a far corner of the room, burst into tears. The father of the stain actress, ex-Army officer Paul Tate, in constant attendance at the trial, showed no emotion, however.
As she waited beside the car of the Parent boy, whose body lay slumped inside. Mrs. Kasabian testified. “I heard people screaming and saying ‘No, no, please no’..It was horrible. Even my emotions can’t tell you how horrible it was.”
“I heard a man scream out ‘no, no’ then I just heard screams. I can’t describe the screams — I’ve never heard that before…It was unbelievably terrible — horrible,” she said shaking her head and sobbing.
She said she started running toward the house and as she reached it she said she saw a man coming out the door.
“He had blood all over him, and he was holding onto a post. We looked into each others eyes for a minute — however long — and I said ‘Oh, God. I’m so sorry. Please let it stop. Let it not happen.’ But he fell into the bushes.
(The man apparently was Voitych Frykowski, the Polish playboy-friend of Miss Tate’s husband, film director Roman Polanski. Frykowski was found dead on the lawn of the house.)
“Sadie came running up,” Mrs. Kasabian continued, “and I said ‘Sadie, make it stop, please, make it stop’ I told her people were coming, but she said, ‘It’s too late.’ Then she told me she left her knife inside the house and couldn’t find it.
“Then the man (Frykowski) got up and I saw Tex jump on top of him, hitting him on the head — stabbing him. He was struggling, but Tex kept stabbing him — just doing it and doing it, and doing it.
“I saw Katie in the background chasing a girl — a woman in a white gown (apparently coffee heiress Abigail Folger who was also found dead on the lawn) — with a raised knife.
“I couldn’t stand it — ran to the car at the bottom of the hill. There were just screams and ‘please.’ There were no words — it was beyond words.”
Earlier, Mrs. Kasabian had more calmly recounted details leading up to the murders and of her life as part of Manson’s “family” at the Spahn Ranch.
Manson, the girl had said earlier, bid them farewell as they started their murder foray, giving her only one instruction: “Leave a sign — you girls know what I mean — something witchy.”
“I didn’t know where we were going. I didn’t know what they were going to do,” she testified.
“I was told right at the beginning — when I first entered into these people — not to ask why.”
She testified that she thought the group was “going to go on a creepy crawly mission” which she described as “creepy crawling into someone’s house and taking things that really belong to you, because everything belongs to everybody.”
The group took three knives and a gun in the car with them when they started out for the Tate home. Mrs. Kasabian said, identifying one of the knives as her own and the .22 caliber revolver believed used in the murders.
At one point in the courtroom, one of the girl defendants whispered: “You’re killing us.”
Mrs. Kasabian stage whispered her answer: “I’m not killing you: you’ve killed yourself.”
Earlier, another member of the “family” had entered the ninth floor of the Hall of Justice where the prosecution witness is kept under guard when she is not on the stand and threw a note at the girl.
The note read: “What are you trying to do, kill us. We’re beautiful people. There are thousands of us. When you get into court, take a look at the cross on Charlie’s forehead. It means we all love you. Don’t do it.”
Mrs. Kasabian’s attorney, obviously angered that the note reached his client, said the bearer, a girl, was expected to be arrested for interfering with a witness.
Since her decision to testify for the prosecution in return for immunity. Mrs. Kasabian has been kept in isolation in the infirmary of the Sybil Brand Institute for Women. She has had no visitors.
By MARY NEISWENDER