Lawyer: Susan ‘Liked’ Execution
Monday, March 8th, 1971
LOS ANGELES, Mar. 8 — Susan Atkins, one of the four Manson “family” members convicted of the Tate-LaBianca murders and now fighting for their lives, admitted a year ago that she was not afraid of the gas chamber and “in fact, I’d like it.”
Miss Atkins’ former attorney, Richard Caballero, on the witness stand the third day, continued to explain the “deal” made with the District Attorney’s office in which his former client was promised a jail sentence instead of death if she testified before the Los Angeles County Grand Jury. Her testimony led to the indictment of not only herself but five other clan members for the brutal killings in August 1969.
Caballero said he made the arrangements with the district attorney’s office before his client talked to Manson. He said he feared that if Manson talked to Miss Atkins, she would not testify.
Over his objections, Manson met with Miss Atkins at Sybil Brand Institute.
“They talked about general things…they talked about Linda Kasabian and decided that one or the other should see her and talk to her,” the attorney testified.
(Mrs. Kasabian later turned state’s evidence and was granted immunity for her testimony.)
Caballero said he tried to take notes during the meeting between his former client and Manson but that the cult chieftain objected. He said during a portion of the meeting they talked “double talk” which he couldn’t understand.
“Mr. Manson didn’t want her to see a psychiatrist because it would put her in a position that only her lawyer could speak for her,” the attorney said.
Caballero said that at one point Manson asked her if she was afraid of the gas chamber: “No…in fact I’d like it,” the attorney quoted Miss Atkins as saying.
Although Caballero admitted that Manson told Miss Atkins to “make up your mind,” two days later she got a different attorney.
Manson at one point in Caballero’s testimony interrupted.
“He got the money and that’s all he was after and everybody known it,” the cult chieftain said, apparently referring to Caballero’s contract with Miss Atkins in which he shared royalties from a book.
The trial, which entered its 10th month today, is expected to conclude some time this week with summations possibly next week.
By MARY NEISWENDER