LOS ANGELES, Dec. 6 – Twenty-one Los Angeles County citizens got the first legal insight yesterday into the multiple murder case against hippie pied piper Charles Manson, 35, and six young members of his allegedly slavish cult.
They are members of the grand jury being asked by Deputy Dist. Attys. Aaron Stovitz and Vincent Bugliosi to indict Manson and his followers for the Sharon Tate and La Bianca slayings.
First witness at the closed-door session was Richard Caballero, attorney for the attractive young woman who provided police with the first major break in the August slayings.
Caballero, it is understood, merely advised Susan Denise Atkins, his 21-year-old client, that by telling her story to jurors she was waiving immunity to indictment for the killings herself.
Then Miss Atkins, known to the Manson “family” as Sadie Glutz. took the stand and reportedly poured out her chilling story, despite the personal risk her testimony involved.
Stovitz and Bugliosi are asking that she be indicted along with the bushy-haired Manson and the other five members of his clan.
Miss Atkins testified for one hour and 40 minutes yesterday morning, then took the stand again after lunch in the Los Angeles County Hall of Justice.
She emerged from the morning session, composed and dry-eyed.
She wore a rose-colored micro-miniskirt with puff Sleeves and a scoop neck which Caballero had purchased for her Thursday. She also had on white stockings and white sandals.
When newsmen sought to question Miss Atkins, Caballero reminded reporters that the grand jury had enjoined her and all other participants in the secret session from talking about the case.
However, when she was asked how she had been treated by authorities, she replied softly: “The same as other inmates have been treated.”
She delivered her testimony, Bugliosi said, with no sign of fear or hysteria.
Statements made by Miss Atkins to a cellmate, after she was jailed for a related murder, are what led to a full-scale investigation of the Manson tribe, arrests and Friday’s grand jury session.
When she emerged from the grand jury hearing room, Miss Atkins was asked by a reporter, “How do you feel now that you have gotten it all off your chest’?”
She replied tersely, “Dead.”
Jurors are expected to meet again Monday on the case. Two male members of the 23 – person jury were absent from yesterday’s session, Seven men and 14 women heard testimony.
Caballero said his young client had cooperated fully with jurors, telling them “whatever they asked her about.”
About 20 other witnesses remained to be heard after her testimony, including Terrence Melcher, son of Actress Doris Day.
Melcher previously rented the secluded estate where actress Sharon Tate and four others were found slain Aug. 9.
He was expected to testify that Manson knew its layout because he was acquainted with Melcher when the latter rented the residence before Miss Tate and her director-husband Roman Polanski moved in.
Also scheduled to testify was Winifred Chapman, the maid who found the bodies.
Most of the other grand jury witnesses were policemen and coroner’s office personnel who have worked on both the Tate slayings and the murders a day later of supermarket chain owner Leno La Bianca and his wife Rosemary in their home.
Before the session, Stovitz and Bugliosi showed newsmen pictures of a .22 caliber revolver and a several-foot length of nylon cord.
They held up the photographs without comment.
But it is known that three of the Tate murder victims were shot with a .22 caliber weapon and that a nylon cord was looped around the necks of the two who were stabbed only, the the actress and hairstylist Jay Sebring.
The photo of the gun showed one side of its handle-guard missing, but the missing piece alongside it.
Bugliosi said there was significance to the fact that the two parts were separated, but he declined to say what it was.
Besides Manson, now in jail in Inyo County, Calif., on auto theft charges, and Miss Atkins, a shapely brunette with shoulder length hair, Bugliosi and Stovitz are asking indictments against:
— Charles D. Watson, 24, held in McKinney, Tex., on a fugitive warrant from Los Angeles.
— Patricia Krewinkel, 21, under arrest in Mobile, Ala., and resisting extradition to Los Angeles.
— Linda Kasabian, 20, five months pregnant, who returned here voluntarily from New Hampshire and is under arraignment on murder charges.
— Steve Grogan, 23, also known as either Clem Garth, or Gary Tufts, arrested in October when Manson and others of his clan were seized on auto theft charges in Death Valley. Grogan, tall and thin, was arrested along-side a sawed-off shotgun.
Miss Leslie Sankston, about 20, one of the many young women under Manson’s spell.