Manson Accused of Saying He Cut Off Someone’s Ear
Thursday, April 23rd, 1970
LOS ANGELES, Apr. 23 – Hippie clan leader Charles Manson told two people he cut a man’s ear off, according to a County Grand Jury transcript released yesterday.
The transcript was a record of testimony taken during closed-door proceedings last week when Manson and two others were indicted for conspiracy and murder in the July 27 slaying of musician Gary Hinman.
During the recent trial of Robert Kenneth Beausoleil, 22, convicted and condemned to death for Hinam’s slaying, the prosecution presented evidence Manson struck the 34-year-old musician with a sword. Hinman’s ear was cut in half, evidence showed.
One of the witnesses, Alan Leroy Springer, former member of a motorcycle gang, told the Grand Jury he asked why Manson had cut the man’s ear off.
He claimed Manson answered him by saying:
“We take and beat the guy and make him sign his pink slip as personal property over to us and then we would kill the guy and put a date on the paperwork and whatever – say maybe a week or two back – back date it”
The prosecution at Beausoleil’s trial claimed Beausoleil forced Hinman to sign over the pink slips to two cars.
Springer said the conversation with Manson, 35, occurred last Aug. 13 at the Spahn Ranch near Chatsworth.
He testified he went to the ranch to get fellow motorcycle gang member Daniel T. “Danny” DeCarlo to leave there.
DeCarlo testified at Beausoleil’s trial that Beausoleil confessed Hinman’s murder to him.
Beausoleil later claimed Manson killed Hinman.
Springer said while he was at the ranch, he saw Manson throwing a sword at a bale of hay.
At Beausoleil’s trial, the prosecution claimed Manson became enraged at Hinman’s refusal to turn $20,000 over to the clan.
Because of this, Manson allegedly struck Hinman with the sword two days before the musician was stabbed to death.
Springer said Manson also tried to talk him into staying at the ranch and promised him a dune buggie, food and girls.
He quoted Manson as saying, “We have our ways,” when Springer asked where all the loot would come from.
He further claimed Manson said, “We go out at night and we find something we decide we want, break into a person’s home such as opening the door, and if we feel like it, we’ll just stick them with knife and go in and whatever is behind the door belongs to you.”
Springer also quoted Manson as saying, “A dead person can’t talk.”
The witness testified the conversation with Manson was in the presence of Bruce Davis, 27, indicted along with the hippie chieftain for the Hinman slaying, and Charles “Tex” Watson, 24.
Manson, Watson and four other clan members are charged with the murders last August of actress Sharon Tate and six others.
Springer said he thought Manson’s claims were made merely to try and impress him.
Another Grand Jury witness was movie stunt man Randy Starr, who lived at the Spahn Ranch in connection with his job.
He said he saw Manson in the latter part of July and the hippie leader was toying with a sword.
Starr claimed Manson told him, “see this knife…that will cut your ears off.”
He said Manson also told him, “I cut a guy’s ear off with this.”
Starr testified he didn’t believe Manson.
Also indicted in the Hinman murder was Susan Denise Atkins, 21, a defendant in the Tate slayings.
Other witnesses before the grand jury were DeCarlo and Mary Brunner, 26. Miss Brunner testified during Beausoleil’s trial that it was Beausoleil and not Manson who killed Hinman.