Officer Declines Comment on ‘Confession’ by Manson
Thursday, August 12th, 1971
LOS ANGELES, Aug. 12 — An investigating officer in the second murder trial of Charles Manson yesterday declined to confirm or deny the cult leader confessed to him that he ordered the slaying of Gary Hinman.
Manson reportedly told Sheriff’s Det. Sgt. Paul J. Whiteley yesterday morning that he ordered Robert Beausoleil 23, to kill the Topanga Canyon musician, who was stabbed to death July 27,1969.
Beausoleil, one of Manson’s followers, already has been convicted and condemned to the gas chamber for Hinman’s murder.
Manson’s alleged confession to Whiteley occurred during an open court session in the current trial, in which the hippie chief is accused of Hinman’s slaying and the alleged murder of movie stuntman Donald “Shorty” Shea, whose body never has been found.
The jury was sitting in the box, but prosecution and defense attorneys apparently did not hear Manson’s remarks.
Manson 36, and Whiteley were sitting across from each other at the counsel tables. Manson assertedly initiated the conversation, without any solicitation by Whiteley.
Whiteley said he could not comment on what Manson said because of a gag order placed on the case by Judge Choate.
Manson is believed also to have told Whiteley that he slashed Hinman across the face with a sword before the musician was killed.
Veteran attorneys said any admission to Whiteley by Manson would probably be admissible as evidence during the trial.
Manson was again ousted from the courtroom by Judge Choate during the afternoon session.
The judge ruled Manson was talking too loudly while court was in session.
The defendant was banished to an adjacent courtroom lockup, where he could hear the proceedings.
On Tuesday Mary Brunner, one of Manson’s girls, took the witness stand and denied she was present in the home of Hinman when he was murdered.
She claimed all her previous testimony at an earlier trial about Hinman’s death “was only the lies I had to tell to keep out of jail.”
Miss Brunner 27, the mother of a son reportedly fathered by Manson, testified in 1970 at the trial of Beausoleil, the first of Manson’s “family” to be convicted of murder.
Miss Brunner testified at the Beausoleil trial that it was Beausoleil who fatally stabbed Hinman.
Later, when Beausoleil sought a new trial, Miss Brunner recanted her testimony.
Judge Choate ordered Manson from the courtroom Tuesday when the defendant shouted at Deputy Dist. Atty. Anthony Manzella to stop intimidating Miss Brunner.
“He’s (Manzella) renewing his threat to indict her for murder if she doesn’t testify,” Manson shouted. “I’ve got a threat too. You better quit threatening the witnesses, buddy —
that’s not fair in any court of law.”
Miss Brunner, according to Manzella was granted immunity from prosecution if she testified against Beausoleil, Manson and another Manson follower, Bruce Davis 27.
Davis is scheduled to be tried for the Hinman-Shea murders Nov. 11