Manson Linked in Follower’s Murder Trial
Thursday, April 9th, 1970
LOS ANGELES, Apr. 9 – Cult leader Charles Manson offered to give away two vehicles owned by a man one of his followers is accused of murdering, a witness testified Wednesday.
Marcus J. Arneson, testifying in the murder trial of Robert K. Beausoleil, said Manson offered to give him a Volkswagen bus and Fiat station wagon that belonged to slain musician Gary Hinman.
The prosecution contends Beausoleil, 22, fatally knifed Hinman last July under orders from Manson. Arneson said the two vehicles ultimately disappeared.
Manson is awaiting trial on seven murder-conspiracy counts involved with the killings of actress Sharon Tate and six other persons last August.
In another development, the district attorney’s office sent an investigator to Madison, Wis., to interview Mary Brunner, 26, a onetime Manson clan member who assertedly was present at Hinman’s Topanga Canyon home earlier on the day the musician was slain. Sources in Wisconsin said, however, they understood she was in jail on suspicion of possessing a stolen credit card the day Hinman died. They said she later was paroled.
Miss Brunner, presently working as a librarian in Madison, was identified as a native of Eau Claire, Wis.
Wisconsin officials said they understood she had agreed to testify in the Beausoleil trial and had flown to Los Angeles for that purpose. But authorities in Los Angeles were unavailable to confirm her arrival.
Witnesses have said that Manson also was present at the Hinman residence prior to Hinman’s death and that the cult leader slashed Hinman about the face with a sword in an effort to obtain money.
The witnesses also said Manson then returned to the Spahn Ranch and left Beausoleil in command at Hinman’s house. A telephone call from Beausoleil, the witnesses said, resulted in an order from Manson: “You know what to do…kill him.”
Beausoleil’s first trial ended in a hung jury.