New ‘Cult Link’ in San Jose Slayings
Wednesday, December 17th, 1969
SAN JOSE, Dec. 17 – “Substantial leads” which may link the Tate murders in Los Angeles with the knife slayings of two teenaged girls here last summer are being followed up by local police.
Chief of Detectives Barton Collins said information collected by two members of his staff this week in Southern California indicates that the Charles Manson cult “may have been involved” in the deaths of Kathy Snoozy, 15, and Deborah Furlong. 14.
Collins did not disclose what new information he had. Earlier he said there were a number of reports that Manson and some of his hippie commune followers were seen in the San Jose area near the time of the killings.
Both girls were stabbed repeatedly with a narrow bladed knife and left on a hillside last Aug. 3.
This was five days before actress Sharon Tate and four friends were killed in Los Angeles. Manson, 35, is accused of having ordered members of his cult to kill those in the Tate household and participating himself in a double slaying the next day.
In these slayings, the weapons used included a knife.
Collins said a number of San Jose persons recognized Manson’s photo and one had cashed a check for Manson in San Jose about the same date as the two youngsters were murdered.
Yesterday in Los Angeles, Miss Atkins, 21, pleaded innocent to seven counts of murder. She appeared calm during the five minute court session. She wore a miniskirt and her shoulder length hair was combed back behind her ears.
Miss Atkins was not granted immunity from prosecution for her testimony before a grand jury about a “band in black” that invaded the Tate estate Aug. 9 and killed five persons.
The next day, she has said, members of the weird hippie commune called “the Manson family” killed Leno and Rosemary LaBianca because their leader, Manson, ordered the murders.
Superior Court Judge William B. Keene set Miss Atkins’ trial for Feb. 9 after she waived her right to be tried within 60 days.
Although there has never been a hint of a possible deal between the prosecution and Miss Atkins, the woman’s attorney, Richard Caballero, evidently hopes that she receive a light sentence, if convicted.
Caballero has said the woman was present at the Tate slayings but did not directly take part in the killings.
Following the setting of the trial date, Caballero said “in all probability” all six defendants named in the grand jury indictments will be tried together.
Three other suspects — Manson, Leslie Louise Van Houten, 19, and Linda Louise Kasabian, 20 — are scheduled to enter pleas next Monday.
In another development in the case: Police refused to discuss seven articles of clothing found in Benedict Canyon by a television news crew near the rented Tate mansion. Chemical tests were being run on the clothing, which appeared to be stained with blood.