Grand Jury To Conclude Tate Probe
Monday, December 8th, 1969
LOS ANGELES, Dec. 8 – A grand jury is expected to conclude its investigation Monday into a district attorney’s request that Charles M. Manson and several members of his communal “family” he charged with murder in the Sharon Tate slayings.
But it is not certain when the grand jury’s decision will be announced.
Deputy Dist. Atty. Aaron H. Stovitz says the grand jury is being asked to indict Manson for murder and conspiracy even though he apparently did not go in the actress’ home the night of the five murders last August. He says that under the rule of vicarious liability, Manson is criminally responsible for any crimes in which he conspired.
Besides the 35-year-old Manson, murder indictments are being sought against at least five other persons from Manson’s clan.
Because of the case’s complexity, a trial is not expected to start for at least three months. The matter could be affected by the fact that two of the three persons already served with murder warrants are fighting extradition in other states.
It could mean several or even separate trials, an attorney noted Sunday.
“My client’s here,” observed Gary Fleischman, representing Linda Kasabian, 19, who waived extradition after she was arrested in Concord, N.H., and since has been arraigned here on a murder charge.
“If they indict her, they’ll have to try her within 60 days as required by state law. There could be more than one trial.”
Fleischman said he may ask that any trial for his client be transferred to another jurisdiction because of pretrial publicity.
During the weekend lull following the first day of the grand jury investigation, Manson — central figure in the case — was in jail in the mountain community of Independence on charges of possessing stolen cars.
Friends who knew him when his nomadic band was unknown were stepping forward to shed new light on the mysterious leader of a quasi-religious cult.
“He simply overpowered you,” said a youth who knew him from an encampment near Los Angeles before he moved his headquarters near Death Valley.
“It was the way he looked at you, His eyes did strange things. When Charley talked, people listened.”
One who says she listened was Susan Denise Atkins, 21. Through her attorney she admitted going in the Tate home the night of the murders.
The attorney says she did not take part in the Tate slayings but she is charged with another, unrelated murder.
Miss Atkins’ father, a resident of San Jose, Calif., said over the weekend he blamed himself for his daughter’s plight.
“I should have been more firm; demanded more,” he said …”I loved her — I still do…she needed help.”
The father, who did not want to be identified, said Manson and several followers stayed at his home 10 days in September, 1968
“I thought they were just a slap-happy bunch of kooks — dumb hippies,” he said.