Another Manson Indictment Asked
Monday, December 14th, 1970
LOS ANGELES, Dec. 14 – While hippie leader Charles Manson awaits resumption of his trial on seven murders, the district attorney today asked the grand jury to indict the long-haired ex-convict of another count of killing.
Manson and three others — all members of his “family” — were expected to be indicted by the county grand jury for the death of a ranch hand, Donald “Shorty” Shea. The hearing, in the Los Angeles Hall of Administration, is expected to last three days.
Forty-three witnesses were expected at the hearing.
Newly appointed Dist. Atty. Joseph Busch refused to make any comment on a possible second indictment against “family” members.
The request for a second indictment on apparent conspiracy charges centers around the LSD overdose in Honolulu of a prosecution witness in the Tate-LaBianca trial.
The prosecutor in the case charged several female “family” members had attempted to murder Barbara Hoyt, who testified to overhearing a “confession” by one of the defendants.
She disappeared from the ranch where Manson and his followers lived in August 1969, about the same time that the murders at the home of actress Sharon Tate and market owner Leno LaBianca took place.
District attorney’s investigators have said that Shea’s murder and disappearance was told by former Manson “family” members and appeared in a book subsequently written with their cooperation.
According to the book, Shea was waylaid as he came back to the ranch after a drinking session in nearby Chatsworth. The killers dragged the lanky unconscious victim to a remote area apparently behind the movie ranch and stabbed him “at least 50 times.”
As they marveled at his stamina, remaining alive despite the numerous wounds, Shea reportedly pleaded for his life asking, “Why?”
“You know why,” the killers reportedly answered.
Shea was married to a black woman, which Manson allegedly bitterly resented. Shea also had had numerous arguments with the cult chieftain.
According to family members, one of the four killers cut off Shea’s head with a machete and the body was cut into pieces before being buried.
Sheriff’s investigators who have hunted repeatedly throughout the 40-acre movie ranch and the surrounding hills have been unable to find even a clue as to the ranch hand’s fate.
None of Shea’s friends, including his wife, whom he married a month before his disappearance, has reported seeing him since mid-August 1969.
Shea’s car, however, bearing palm prints of at least one of the suspects, was found abandoned in the San Fernando Valley.
The disappearance of Shea was likened by the chief prosecutor in the Tate-LaBianca trial to the disappearance of attorney Ronald Hughes.
Hughes disappeared in the Sespe Hot Springs area of the Los Padres National Forest the day after Thanksgiving and has not been heard from since. Despite intensive ground and air searches, no trace of the missing attorney has been found. Some personal possessions were found in a car abandoned near the area.
Meanwhile, the trial of Manson and his three girl followers is expected to resume Wednesday, after an in-chambers session between attorneys and Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Charles Older Tuesday afternoon.
Maxwell Keith, appointed by the judge to replace the missing Hughes, is expected to report to Judge Older Tuesday on whether he has had sufficient time to read the more than 18,000 page trial transcript and prepare closing arguments for his client, Leslie Van Houten.
By MARY NEISWENDER