Kasabian Accused As “The Leader”

LOS ANGELES, Oct. 5 — The real leader in the slayings of Sharon Tate and six others two years ago was a star prosecution witness, Linda Kasabian, a defense attorney says.

Sam Brubrick said that in contrast his client, Charles “Tex” Watson, the last to come to trial in the Tate case, was only a drugged “robot” who had accompanied the group.

“Charles Manson had a year to work on him (Watson) to convert him to a robot under the influence of drugs,” Brubrick said during Watson’s trial Monday. Watson as a member of a nomadic band led by Manson, who with three followers was convicted of the 1969 murders and sentenced to death.

Brubrick asserted that Miss Kasabian, allowed to go free after her testimony in the Manson trial, had proved herself that night (of the Tate murders) so well that the next night when Manson accompanied members of his company on a second murder mission, Charlie let Linda drive the car when he was in it.”

The second murder case alluded to the slayings of supermarket owner Leno LaBianca and his wife.

“Linda got her stripes in a month” of living with the Manson family, he said. “When Tex Watson was in high school back in Texas playing football, what was Linda doing? She was going from commune to commune, traveling from man to man, living off boyfriends, shooting speed, selling drugs, living by her wits if you please.”

Miss Kasabian had testified at the Manson trial that Watson was the leader on the murder nights.

Watson, whose case is expected to go to the jury in midweek, is being tried separately after being released from a mental institution.

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