Photographs May Be Shown at Manson Trial
Tuesday, November 17th, 1970
LOS ANGELES, Nov. 17 – Arguments begin today on whether photographs of bloody slaying victims will be exhibited to the jury in the Sharon Tate murder trial.
The photos – 8-by-10 and in color – show the blonde, pregnant actress and six others in death.
These pictures brought gasps of horror from the state’s key witness Linda Kasabian, who collapsed in tears when she saw them.
The pictures are among 297 pieces of evidence which the state seeks to admit before it rest its case against Charles Manson and three women codefendants.
But before evidence arguments begin, defendant Patricia Krenwinkel, 22, must indicate whether she will comply with a court order to hand print all the letters of the alphabet and words which were found scrawled in blood on the walls of one murder site. The words are “Rise,” “Death to Pigs,” and “Healter Skelter” – “Healter” an apparent misspelling of “Helter.”
She was ordered to do this previously and refused. Her attorney, Paul Fitzgerald said she would refuse again. Witnesses have linked Miss Krenwinkel to the slayings but not to the scrawlings.
Today marks the start of the trial’s 23rd week.
Prosecutor Vincent Bugliosi said, “The final word, ‘the state rests,’ will not be uttered until we have concluded arguments over admissibility of evidence.”
He said Friday he had called the last witness.
The defense says it will oppose introduction of some evidence – primarily the color photos which it says are inflammatory. Instead, it favors use of black and white pictures taken in autopsy rooms.
The evidence also includes a gun, knives, leather thongs used to tie up one murder victims, and dark clothing which the state says was worn by the Tate killers.
Miss Tate and four visitors were slain at her hilltop mansion in Benedict Canyon Aug. 9, 1969. The next night, a wealthy market owner and his wife, Leno and Rosemary LaBianca were found slain at their home about five miles away.
The state has called 84 witnesses, trying to prove that Manson, 36, leader of a hippies-styled family, sent his followers on the two murder missions.
Many witnesses said Manson was obsessed with a Beatle record, “Helter Skelter,” which he felt predicted a race war. The state sought to prove Manson ordered the killings to touch off such a war.
By LINDA DEUTSCH