Tate Jury in Deliberation Sifts Mass of Evidence
Monday, January 18th, 1971
LOS ANGELES, Jan. 18 – The Tate-LaBianca jury, in its second full day of deliberations, today asked for a record player to hear the Beatles album on which the prosecution claims the Manson “family” based its “helter-skelter” motive for murder.
The seven-man, five-woman Los Angeles Superior Court jury deliberating the fate of Charles Manson and his three girl “followers” also requested a descriptive list of the prosecution’s 297 pieces of evidence, and asked that persons in several photographs be identified.
The Beatles album, issued in late 1968, was referred to by the prosecution throughout the marathon trial. Manson, Dep. Dist. Atty. Vincent Bugliosi has charged, interpreted the song “Helter-Skelter” from the album as the group’s backing of his theory of a black-white race war.
The prosecution said Manson also interpreted “Revolution IX,” another Beatles song with no lyrics, and the lyrics of “Black Birds and Piggies” as going along with his theory that the blacks would rise, slaughter the white race and take over the government.
During the prosecution summation of the case, Bugliosi pointed out to the jurors that should they care to hear the record, a record player would be brought to the deliberations room. The jury today took him up on his suggestion.
Meanwhile, crowds jammed the two entrances to the Hall of Justice in Los Angeles as tight security measures continued in force. Dist. Atty. Joseph Busch together with Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Raymond Choate were searched, along with several attorneys and all persons except law enforcement officials entering the building.
Busch, who presented his driver’s license as identification instead of his district attorney’s card, seemed amused with the procedures. He later said he was pleased that the security precautions were so effective.
Despite additional sheriff’s personnel, search procedures moved slowly, causing delays in courts and offices.
The jurors, apparently in another security measure, were brought into the building early to avoid newsmen. They were taken directly from the Ambassador Hotel, where they have been sequestered for more than six months, to a basement entry and whisked directly to the ninth floor deliberating room.
Although they remained inside the building Saturday for lunch, the panel indicated today that it would leave the tight-security building for lunch in a nearby restaurant.
Besides Manson, three of his female followers are on trial: Susan Atkins, Patricia Krenwinkel and Leslie Van Houten.
They are charged in connection with the deaths of actress Sharon Tate; hair stylist Jay Sebring; Abigail Folger, a San Francisco coffee heiress; Polish photographer Voityck Frykowski; Steven Parent, and supermarket owner Leno LaBianca and his wife, Rosemary.
The seven persons were killed on two successive nights in the summer of 1969.
By MARY NEISWENDER