MANSON CONFESSION; Tells of Order To Kill Hinman
Wednesday, August 11th, 1971
LOS ANGELES, Aug. 11 – Cult leader Charles Manson today in court calmly admitted to a detective that he had struck musician Gary Hinman in the head with a sword, held a gun on him and then ordered his death.
On trial for the murders of Hinman, 34, and Donald (Shorty) Shea, 38, Manson was overheard making his startling confession while his attorney, Irving Kanarek, argued a point of law at the bench with prosecutor Anthony Manzella and Superior Court Judge Raymond Choate.
Sgt. Paul Whiteley, sheriff’s homicide investigator, sits a few feet from Manson at the Hinman-Shea trial and is the prosecution’s chief witness in the criminal aspects of the case.
During lulls in the trial in the last week, Manson, sentenced to death for the murders of actress Sharon Tate and six others, has started conversations with Sgt. Whiteley about the Hinman murder.
Whiteley has been the chief investigator in the slaying since Hinman’s body was found in his Malibu apartment July 31, 1969.
Whiteley does not elicit information from Manson but merely listens as the cult leader pours out details of the slaying for which he is now on trial. These comments are audible to newsmen seated a short distance from Manson and are made in open court before the eyes of the jurors.
“I went to his (Hinman’s) house and hit him in the head with a sword,” Manson was heard telling the officer today. “I held a gun on him, and then I told Bobby Beausoleil to kill him. I showed him (Beausoleil) how to kill him.
“What’s all the fuss about? He (Hinman) was dealing in dirty dope.”
A broken cutlass and gun have been displayed in evidence as the alleged weapons used to torture and finally slay Hinman in a vain effort to get him to turn over a $20,000 inheritance Manson believed the musician had.
Superior Court Judge Malcalm Lucas entered a plea of innocent for Manson in the Shea case, when the cult leader was arraigned and refused to make a statement. Manson’s lawyer has fought, since testimony began a week ago, to prove the cult leader had no knowledge of the murders and claims the weapons in court had nothing to do with the killing.
Prosecutor Manzella and Sgt. Whiteley did not comment, because of a judicial gag order, about Manson’s confession in court today. However, it was learned the district attorney’s office plans to have Whiteley take the witness stand during the trial and testify as to what Manson told him today in court.
Manson spent only a brief time in court today. Shortly after his conversation with Whiteley he was ordered by Judge Choate to a nearby detention cell when he would not remain silent.
By CLIFF BLACKBURN