LOS ANGELES, Apr. 4 – Robert Beausoleil, acting under instructions of “family” leader Charles Manson, stabbed to death a musician because he failed to produce $20,000 in an extortion plot, the state charged Friday.
Prosecutor Burton Katz, in his opening statement at the trial of Beausoleil for the murder of Gary Hinman, told a Superior Court jury that as the musician lay bleeding to death, the defendant told him:
“Society doesn’t need you. You’re a pig. You don’t deserve to live. You should thank me. I’m doing you a favor.”
Katz told the jury the state expected to prove that Beausoleil, 21, and two female members of the Manson Family — Susan Atkins and Marie Therese Breuner — went to Hinman’s home in Topanga Canyon on July 25, 1969 under instructions from Manson to extort $20,000 and also to get title to two automobiles the musician owned.
Manson was called to the Topanga Canyon place by Beausoleil when Hinman proved uncooperative, and during a discussion he took a sword and slashed the left side of the musician’s face, severing his ear, the prosecutor told the jury.
Manson was said to have told Hinman:
“Give us everything you got and you ain’t going to get hurt. If you don’t, you’re going to get killed.”
After this incident, Manson returned to the Spahn Ranch where he was living and Beausoleil renewed his efforts to get money from Hinman.
Beausoleil telephoned Manson saying, “Gary ain’t cooperating,” and Katz said witnesses would testify that Manson told him:
“You know what to do. Kill him. He knows too much.”
Katz said Hinman was stabbed twice in the chest by Beausoleil who then intoned his vindictive epitaph. The murder weapon was a hunting knife with a handle in the form of a thunderbird or Mexican eagle, Katz said.
This is the second trial for Beausoleil, the first ended in a mistrial.
Manson is awaiting trial for the murder of actress Sharon Tate and five other persons last August. He has not been accused in the Hinman case.