Tate Defendant Termed Mentally Ill
Tuesday, March 2nd, 1971
LOS ANGELES, Mar. 2 – Convicted murderess Patricia Krenwinkel shows signs of mental illness, a defense psychiatrist testified yesterday in the Tate-LaBianca trial.
Dr. Andre R. Tweed offered his opinion under examination by the 23-year-old defendant’s attorney, Paul Fitzgerald, in the penalty phase of the trial.
Tweed said he interviewed Miss Krenwinkel in jail Feb. 21 and found that:
— Her responses were inappropriate.
— She lacks concern for her situation.
— She demonstrates bizarre ideas about love, life and death and right and wrong.
— She thinks she can communicate with the other defendants by extrasensory perception.
— She thinks she can commit murder out of love.
The psychiatrist said he would be talking seriously with Miss Krenwinkel when she would laugh and pass his words off as “pseudo-profundity.”
Reading at times from a transcript of his interview, Tweed said Miss Krenwinkel believes there is no right and no wrong.
“You can’t kill anything,” he quoted her as saying. “It’s impossible to take life because life and death are one.”
Tweed said he nicknamed her “Alice,” for “Alice In Wonderland,” and portrayed himself as a “square” who was trying to understand what she was talking about.
He felt, Tweed said, that Miss Krenwinkel was in earnest when she tried to convince him there is nothing wrong or evil in the universe and that smiling and screaming and pain are the same.
“There is no such thing as justice,” Tweed reported she said. “You are your own justice.”
Tweed said Miss Krenwinkel told him he should know that because he is black.
The defense called the psychiatrist in an apparent attempt to demonstrate the effect LSD may have had on the defendants.
Tweed said he had examined more than 12,000 persons for Los Angeles County to determine whether they were addicts or were about to become addicts. Several hundred of these were LSD users, he said.
His examinations, the psychiatrist said, have convinced him chronic use of LSD can open a Pandora’s box of mental illness in some people.
Tweed said the drug can impair judgment, upset a user’s value system, change personalities and result in philosophical naivete, impractical detachment and impulsive behavior.
Miss Krenwinkel and the other defendants, Susan Atkins, 22, Leslie Van Houten, 21, and Charles Manson, 36, sat quietly and occasionally chatted as Tweed spoke about LSD and its effects.
Earlier, another member of the Manson “family,” Charles “Tex” Watson, 25, was arraigned before Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Malcolm M. Lucas on seven counts of murder and a charge of conspiracy to murder in the seven Tate-LaBianca killings.
It was Watson’s first court appearance since he was removed last October to Atascadero (Calif.) State Hospital after doctors reported he was “virtually vegetative” and rapidly reverting to a fetal state.
The day after he arrived at the hospital, however, attendants reported the lanky Texan was eating and talking.