‘Sadie and Mary’ Hunt Unlocked Tate Case
Saturday, December 13th, 1969
LOS ANGELES, Dec. 13 – A retrial date has been set for Feb.16 for a handsome young transient accused of a murder which has been linked to the Tate-LaBianca killings.
Robert E. Beausoleil, 21, is one of two persons charged in the murder of musician Gary Hinman last July.
The other suspect, Susan Denise Atkins, 21, is a member of the roving Charles Manson “family,” and was indicted with five other cult members this week for the Tate-LaBianca killings last August.
Beausoleil was ordered by Superior Court Judge Harold J. Ackerman Friday to appear Jan. 15 for arguments to dismiss the Hinman murder charge. Miss Atkins is scheduled to go on trial for the killing Jan, 14.
The two are accused of murdering Hinman, 34, at his Topanga Canyon home.
At the grand jury probe of the Tate killings, Daniel T. DeCarlo, 29, former leader of a motorcycle gang who lived briefly with the cult at the Spahn Movie Ranch near Chatsworth, claimed that Manson had ordered the Hinman murder.
DeCarlo also testified in Beausoleil’s first trial, which ended in a jury deadlock.
In other developments, it was learned Friday that a young runaway, the pregnant girl friend of a defendant in still another that apparently had its inception at the Spahn ranch, is the one who led investigators to Susan Denise Atkins, central witness in the Tate murders.
A preliminary hearing was held in the Hinman case Nov. 12 and a transcript of the proceedings reveals just how Miss Atkins – also known as Sadie Mae Glutz – fell into the hands of the law.
Sheriff’s homicide detectives Charles C. Guenther and Paut J. Whiteley had arrested Beausoleil and were attempting to track down a “Sadie” and a “Mary” he told them were in his company when he went to Hinman’s home.
The detectives had no luck, at first, he testified at the hearing, then, he said:
“While checking on Robert Beausoliel, we were informed by a Mrs. Mary Lutsinger that a Robert Beausoliel had stayed with her for quite sometime and that she in fact had a daughter by the name of Catherine who has pregnant by Robert Beausoliel.
“Catherine disappeared from her home and wasn’t seen,” Guenther continued, “and it was our hope that – we had put out an all points bulletin for Catherine, hoping once we found her she would be able to give us more information as to Sadie and Mary.”
Question: You did receive some information as to where Catherine Lutsinger was?
Answer: That’s correct.
Q: From whom did you receive that information?
A: From the lnyo County Sheriff’s office.
Guenther explained that Catherine’s parents had reported her to the Devonshire division of the Los Angeles police department as a runaway.
Guenther and his partner notified Devonshire that if they heard about her to let them know because they wanted her for questioning. Sometime later, he said, the lnyo County Sheriff’s office notified Devonshire they had the girl and Devonshire notified Guenther.
They drove to Independence, took Miss Lutsinger into custody and returned her to the San Dimas Sheriff’s Station.
The hearing record continues:
Q: In substance or essence sir, what did she tell you?
A: That she kmew that Bobby and the girl that called – that was booked at Inyo County, or Sadie, had gone to the Hinman home and she had been present when a phone call came back to Spahn Ranch, where they were all staying, indicating that Bobby and Susie had screwed up, that they had killed Hinman and she said Sadie continued – or told her and the other girls at the Spahn Ranch area that she had gotten in a fight with a man who pulled her hair and she had slabbed him three or four times.
Q: Then as a result of that conversation with Catherine you went back to speak to Sadie?
A: That’s true.
Q: Whom we now know as Susan.
Miss Atkins – booked as Sadie Glutz – was also in the Inyo County jail in Independence and he and Whiteley returned there to question her.
The jail was so crowded, he said, there was no place to conduct an interrogation. A California Highway patrolman drove them to the Sheriff’s station in Lone Pine where the questioning finally took place.
He and Whiteley advised her of her rights, Guenther said, and continued:
“She sat for a few moments in the chair and said, ‘We went to the house. Me and Bobby Beausoliel under orders to get money. We went there to get money.
“When she knocked at the door, the door was opened by Gary Hinman and Gary asked them in the house. Miss Atkins, along with Robert Beausoliel and Gary Hinman, sat at the kitchen table at the Hinman residence, where they asked Gary to give him some money. Gary refused.
“He said he had no money and Robert Beausoliel became violent. He started a fight with the defendant, or with the victim, Hinman, at which time Miss Atkins said she held the victim, Hinman, while the defendant struck the victim in the face with a knife, slashing his face.
“Miss Atkins said she then used his (Hinman’s) sweat shirt and a sheet found in the house to clean up the blood. She then went back into the kitchen and tried to make some soup, or made soup for the victim.
“She then told us that she and Bobby remained in the house for two days and one stayed awake all the time so that Gary couldn’t leave the home.
“She added that at one point Gary attempted to leave the house and made it to the front door where she, herself, restrained him until she could be assisted by Robert.
“The defendant then said they left the location after trying to clean up Mr. Hinman, or before leaving she said that they – she was ordered by Mr. Beausoliel to wipe everything up with rags; fingerprints and everything.
“They left the home and locked the door after them. As they were walking from the patio to the steps, Miss Atkins said she heard a noise from inside and she remarked to Bobby, ‘I don’t think he is dead,’ to which Bobby put on a pair of gloves and walked back to the front kitchen window.
“He climbed through the window and Miss Atkins heard a voice that she thought was Gary say, ‘No, Bobby, don’t, please,’ and she thought she heard gurgling sounds, like when a person dies.”
“Bobby then came out the door. He locked the door behind him and they both walked to Gary Hinman’s Volkswagen bus, where Bobby Beausoliel hot wired the bus and they left the residence.
“She also told me that while at the location, the home of Hinman, that she had phone calls and during those phone calls she spoke in an English accent and told the callers that Gary Hinman, the victim, had gone to Colorado to see his parents as they were sick.
“I asked Miss Atkins if she would talk to me in that manner and she did speak to me with a very cockney English accent for approximately one minute.”
There is testimony in the transcript from Miss Atkins also, notable simply because it’s the only statement of any length made by her so far in open court.
The record reads this way:
Q: Susan, can you hear me?
Q: You know officer Guenther?
A: Yes, I do.
Q: You spoke to him in Lone Pine?
Q: Officer Guenther stated to you, or read to you, certain constitutional rights.
Q: Did he ask you whether or not – as part of those constitutional rights, did he ask you, or did he say to you, that you had the right to have an attorney?
Q: What did you say to that?
A: The first time he read me my constitutional rights when we first walked in the room, I said, ‘I want to talk to an attorney,’ and he replied in answer to me. ‘If you get an attorney now then we’ll never really know what happened that night, now will we?”
Another significant word in Miss Atkins testimony came when she said she and Beausoliel had been “ordered” to go Hinman’s for money. The possibilities it opened, however, were not considered at the hearing.
By CHARLES HINCH