Linda Kasabian, Free, To Go to Wilderness
Thursday, August 20th, 1970
LOS ANGELES, Aug. 20 – Linda Kasabian ended 18 days as the star state witness at the Sharon Tate murder trial Wednesday and then said of the four defendants: “I’d like to see them fall down on their knees and beg forgiveness.”
The petite blonde mother of two made the remark at a news conference an hour after she left the stand when she was asked what she thinks now of Charles M. Manson and his three women followers.
Asked about her future, she said she plans “to go into the wilderness with my children and get down to nature and closer to God.”
Mrs. Kasabian, 21, was charged with murder-conspiracy in the killings of Miss Tate and six others but was granted immunity from prosecution for her testimony. She said Manson ordered members of his hippie-style family to do the killing, and said she went along on the two murder forays as lookout.
As long as she lives, she said, she’ll remember the murders: “It is deep within my heart what happened and I could never forget it.”
Now, she told a throng of newsmen in the police building auditorium, “I want to do my own thing.”
She said she does not plan to live with her husband Robert, although they’ll “always be together” spiritually. And she said she doesn’t plan to live with her mother, who is caring for her children in Milford, N.H.
She declined to say where she would go but said it will be to hippie communes, her home for four years after she turned 16. “I want to help people,” she said. “I’d like to help little children…and know people and myself a lot better.”
On the witness stand, she had told of taking drugs of many kinds frequently. She said she would discourage young people from trying hallucinogenic drugs and instead urge them to “get on a spiritual trip.”
Mrs. Kasabian, her hair in pigtails and wearing an orange print dress said she still considers herself a hippie, which she defined as “a person who is down to the earth and wants to get down to the land.”
She wants to work, she said, so she can repay $5000 she testified she stole from a friend, Charles Melton, before she left her husband in July of 1969 to join the Manson clan.
Would she ever again try LSD or marijuana? “No!”
During her final questioning on the witness stand she said she fled to New Mexico to see her husband after the killings in August of 1969 and told him: “Charlie flipped out and had a whole bunch of people killed.” She added that she also told a friend in Taos, N. M., Joe Sage, and he said, “Linda, I don’t want to believe that’s true.”
Asked at another point if she now dislikes Manson, she said: “Charles Manson…I love as I do all mankind, but the principles behind Charles Manson that make him do what he does, I don’t like.”