Manson Girl’s Acid Trips Detailed
Thursday, February 4th, 1971
LOS ANGELES, Feb. 4 – A teenage Manson “family” member, who Wednesday told the story of the “miracle-worker” Charles Manson, today told of the acid-dropper Linda Kasabian, the star prosecution witness whose testimony was responsible for the conviction of the hippie leader and three of his girl followers.
The girl is the second Manson disciple to take the stand in Los Angeles Superior Court in the penalty phase of the Tate-LaBianca murder trial in an attempt to save her former leader from death in San Quentin’s gas chamber.
Nineteen-year-old Brenda McCann, whose real name is Nancy Pittman, told a story which was diametrically opposite to the one told by Mrs. Kasabian during her 18 days on the stand. Mrs. Kasabian claimed she did not use drugs while at the Spahn Ranch and did not tell police of the murders because of concern for her child.
Miss McCann claimed that Mrs. Kasabian not only took LSD every day but chased after Charles “Tex” Watson, also charged with the murders, and neglected her daughter, Tanya.
“When Linda first came to the ranch she wanted to hide so we went to live in a cave above the ranch with her baby. She took LSD every day for the week we were there. She didn’t do much else. She’d lie around and look at birds.”
Miss McCann said Mrs. Kasabian brought the LSD with her to the ranch along with $5,000 she had stolen from her husband.
“She was mad at her husband for some reason and she asked if we’d hide her because he would come looking for her. She talked a lot, never about anything that made sense. She just talked insane jabber.”
Miss McCann said the woman brought her baby with her to the ranch but “didn’t want to have anything to do with it.” Miss McCann added that she ended up having to take care of it.
“She left the cave for a couple of days to get baby food and diapers but she didn’t come back. After a couple of days I went down to look for her. She said she’d forgotten.” Mrs. Kasabian spent a lot of time with Watson, the girl testified, and “followed him around everywhere.”
“She was with him all the time. They’d go everywhere together. They were hugging all the time, taking acid trips together and going horseback riding together.”
Manson’s mystical powers — how he breathed life back into a dead bird, talked to animals and read people’s minds — held courtroom spectators spellbound Wednesday as Miss McCann testified.
The girl, a long-haired high school dropout, admitted she has been “living on the corner” in downtown Los Angeles since the trial of Manson and his three girls began. She followed Lynette Fromme to the stand to tell of her love for Manson.
She also told the obviously interested jury of five women and seven men who only last week found the four clan members guilty of seven counts of first degree murder, of the hippie leaders “powers.”
“I never considered Charlie as God,” she said with a smile, “until the police came saying ‘Where’s Jesus Christ, we want to crucify him’.”
She was forcibly taken from the witness stand during her testimony when she refused to confine her answers to the questions.
Although she resumed after a short conference with defense attorneys, she continued to give detailed answers to questions.
Asked about any miracles that Manson may have performed, the girl thought for several minutes then answered:
“I remember once we were in the desert and this bird had died. He picked it up in his hand and breathed on it and the bird just up and flew away.
“And, other animals — coyotes, burros, mountain goats — they’d just come around when Charlie was there. They wouldn’t come if anyone else was around. “He’d find a horse that had a bad sore, and he’d put a lot of attention on it, and the sore would heal up — in a day.”
Whenever Manson would sit down in the desert, she said, all the animals would gather around him…”even snakes.” “One time he reached down and petted a rattlesnake,” she said smiling.
Charlie also read minds, she said.
“Charlie used to walk up to me and start telling me what I was thinking about. He’d read people’s minds. A lot of people feared him because they thought he had strange powers. But his power is love. Little kids believe it … they believe when you wish, concentrate, it comes to you. That’s Charlie’s power.”
The girl, whose father she said, “designs guidance control for missiles in the Pentagon” joined Charlie when she was 16 years old. She said she had been asked to “get out” by her parents. She met Manson on a “dirt road in Topanga Canyon,” listened to his music, talked and “stayed with him forever.”
“He’s the only man I’ve ever met who loved. My father taught me it was wrong to love and made me hide my body. Charlie was the one who taught me that love was beautiful.
Manson’s belief that a revolution was coming, she admitted, was talked about at the Ranch.
“We talked about the revolution that was coming. He said the black people and the brown people had been oppressed for so long that they were going to rise to the top and anybody who doesn’t get on his knees to these people is going to die.”
By MARY NEISWENDER