Manson, Girl in Court on 2 Other Murders
Tuesday, January 19th, 1971
LOS ANGELES, Jan. 19 – As the jury began its fourth day of deliberating the fate of Charles Manson and three of his girl followers for the Tate-LaBianca massacre murders, the hippie leader and one of the girls appeared in another courtroom on two additional murder charges.
Manson and Susan Atkins, both charged in the seven murders currently in the hands of the jury, are also charged with the murders of Spahn ranch hand Donald “Shorty” Shea and Topanga Canyon musician Gary Hinman.
The hearing on the two murders was an attempt by prosecutors to consolidate the cases.
Meanwhile, the Tate-LaBianca jury, deliberating on the ninth floor of the Los Angeles Hall of Justice, listened for 90 minutes this morning to the music of the Beatles. The prosecution charged Manson had an idea that the Beatles — especially their song, “Helter-Skelter,” — were backing his theory of a race war.
Attorneys defending Manson and his three girls — Miss Atkins, Patricia Krenwinkel and Leslie Van Houten — began conferring with prosecutors on how to describe certain exhibits which apparently have confused jurors.
The Tate-LaBianca jurors Monday were denied one of their first requests — a nighttime visit to the scenes of the Tate and LaBianca murders.
The bizarre request was accompanied by another equally strange request, but one which was granted by Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Charles Older — to hear the Beatles’ album in which “Helter-Skelter” is featured.
Two other requests — identification of some of the 297 prosecution pieces of evidence and identification of some photos — were also allowed by the judge.
A visit to actress Sharon Tate’s Benedict Canyon home and the Los Feliz home of market owner Leno LaBianca, however was denied by Judge Older when he called the panel into open court for three minutes Monday. Although he gave the jury no reason for his refusal to allow them to visit the murder scenes, defense and prosecution attorneys indicated later that the denial was made because of “problems” involved.
By visiting the sites, the jury, would be, in effect, receiving evidence after the evidentiary portion of the trial has been completed. The defense, in an inchambers session before the arrival of the jury, made a motion to re-open the case to allow the panel to visit the homes, but the motion was denied.
Other problems involved, according to attorneys, is that the homes and the surroundings have changed since the murders occurred, and the security problem in transporting the jurors, attorneys, and defendants — with the press in close pursuit — would be monumental.
Early in the trial itself, the defense made a motion that the jury visit the murder sites, and, in fact, the trial be conducted there. The motion was denied by Older.
By MARY NEISWENDER