Blame Manson Racial Hatred
Wednesday, July 21st, 1971
LOS ANGELES, Jul. 21 — Prosecutors contend Charles Manson sanctioned the decapitation of a Hollywood stuntman because the white man married a black woman.
“Manson hated Negroes,” Dep. Dist Atty. Burton Katz told jurors Tuesday. “He believed they are inferior people put on earth to serve the whites.”
Steve Grogan, 20, former member of Manson’s hippie-style clan, is charged with murdering Donald “Shorty” Shea, 35. Manson, 35, convicted and sentenced to the gas chamber for the murders of actress Sharon Tate and six other persons, also is on trial in Shea’s death, but in another courtroom.
Katz, in his opening statement to the Superior Court jury hearing Grogan’s case, said Manson did not approve of interracial marriage. The Manson “family” also hated Shea, Katz said, because Shea was hired to evict the family from a ranch in the San Fernando Valley.
The prosecutor said Grogan bragged about the killing, saying It was “really groovy.” He said Grogan and others took turns stabbing Shea and then Manson ordered Shea’s head chopped off with a machete.
“This is the most incredible opening statement I’ve ever heard,” said Grogan’s attorney, Charles Weedman. He frequently objected to the state’s reference to blacks, saying it would prejudice the jury, which includes five Negroes.
Shea’s body never was found. Police say he was killed between Aug. 16 and Sept. 1, 1969.