Manson Just Liked Girls, Jurors Told
Saturday, March 20th, 1971
LOS ANGELES, Mar. 20 — “Mr. Manson is not a Svengali,” his attorney said Friday. “He may be an unusual type of person… But there is no reason in the world not to believe that Mr. Manson is just a guy of 140 pounds who likes girls…
“His troubles probably revolved around that old ancient feeling men have for girls.”
This was one of a variety of arguments attorney Irving Kanarek offered to jurors at the Sharon Tate murder trial, where he is trying to save Charles Manson from the gas chamber.
Manson, 36, head of a hippie-style clan has been convicted of murder, along with three women followers, in the 1969 deaths of Miss Tate and six others. Jurors are hearing final arguments in the trial’s penalty phase. They must decide between death and life imprisonment for the defendants.
Kanarek, in the second day of arguments he will resume on Monday, attacked state testimony that Manson had near hypnotic powers over his followers and ordered them to do the killings.
He said “there are indications here that what these girl are saying is the gospel truth,” referring to their confessions to the crimes and statements that Manson was not involved.
He asked why they should lie for him when they very likely never will see him after the trial.
“They exonerated him not for the sake of exonerating him but because the evidence exonerates him.” Kanark said.
Kanarek assailed testimony that Manson ordered the killing of Leno and Rosemary LaBianca because the first five slaying were “too messy.” He said evidence showed that the LaBiancas were killed with knives from their own home.
“Murderers bring weapons with them,” he said. “If Charles Manson was going to show them how to do it, they would have brought their own weapons. It’s a poor Svengali or Mafia head who depends on the victims to have their own weapons.”
Where was Manson at the time of the killings?
“It just so happens that Mr Manson was tied up with a girl on the nights they are speaking of here.”