New Motive In Tate Case To Be Told
Sunday, December 7th, 1969
LOS ANGELES, Dec. 7 – A new motive in the up-to-now senseless slaughter of pregnant actress Sharon Tate and four others in her Benedict Canyon home will be revealed Monday, reliable sources said Saturday.
The motive — “a big surprise to a lot of people” — is expected to emerge as the Los Angeles County Grand Jury begins its second day of deliberations in the mass killings that have shocked the nation.
Meanwhile, attorneys confirmed that members of the marauding hate-oriented hippie cult who descended on the secluded hilltop home of the actress were “high on LSD and other stuff.”
Twenty-one year old Susan Atkins, who spent two-and-a-half hours Friday unfolding the story of the Tate slayings and that of market owner Leno LaBianca and his wife, Rosemary, the following day, admitted to her attorney and a cellmate that the gang that invaded the homes were “high.”
“She (Miss Atkins) said they had all been taking LSD and other narcotics when they went up there (to the Tate home) so they were pretty much up when they finally got there,” Attorney Wesley Russell said Saturday.
Russell’s client, Shelley Nadell, 31, of North Hollywood, shared a cell with the girl, who was being held in the murder of 34-year-old musician Gary Hinman. She told details of the Tate and LaBianca murders to Miss Nadell, who, in turn, reported it to police.
The girl’s attorney, Richard Cabello, also confirmed that the girl — and the clan — had been using narcotics and had been high on drugs the night of the killings. The raids to the Tate and LaBianca homes, the girls said, had been directed by the hypnotic-eyed leader of the clan, 25-year-old Charles Manson.
Dressed in black clothes, labeled “our creepy crawler” by the girl, and wearing hoods over their heads, at least five members of the Manson “family” drove to the Tate home late Friday night, the girl told her cellmate.
“One of the guys climbed the telephone pole and cut the wires, then crept around to this side of the house, opened a window and then the front door to let us in,” the girl said.
Eighteen-year-old Steven Parent apparently came on the scene, got into his car and attempted to drive away. He was stopped with five bullets to the head and chest by one of the male members of the female-oriented cult.
It was then, with the precision of paid killers but “Sloppier” than their leader wished them to be, the clan members systematically killed all inside the house.
Manson, the girl told her attorney, was “upset” with the haphazard way the job had been performed and returned with them the next night to the LaBianca home “to show how it should be done.”
Motive for the killing at the Tate home, the girl said, was the fact that the previous owner of the home, Terry Melcher, son of entertainer Doris Day, had promised the guitar-playing hippie leader a record date and had reneged.
Manson wanted his “kinsmen” to kill anyone and everyone in the house, the girl related, because it was his “symbol of rejection”.
Up to this point, the girl’s story of a “motive” has been the only one released.
Monday, beginning at 9:30 a.m., the seven-man, 14-woman jury is expected to hear another possible motive.
Key witness Monday will be Danny DeCarlo, the leatherjacketed motorcycle club member and former cult member whose information led to the arrest of Miss Atkins in the murder of the Topanga Canyon musician.
Also scheduled to testify at the Los Angeles Hall of Records is the father of Linda Kasabian, one of the cult members arrested thus far in the murders, and Greg Jakobson, a friend of Melcher. At least 12 police officers, including fingerprint, firearm and scientific investigation experts, also will appear before the jury.
By MARY NEISWENDER