Tate Murder Suspect Returned To California
Wednesday, December 3rd, 1969
CONCORD, N.H., Dec. 3 — Linda D. Kasabian, arraigned here yesterday as a fugitive from justice, was to be returned to California before noon to face charges in connection with the killings of actress Sharon Tate and six other persons in Los Angeles Aug 9.
Mrs. Kasabian, 20, is being held at the city jail to be picked up later in the day by Los Angeles detectives.
The girl waived extradition in Concord District Court yesterday and pleaded guilty to being a fugitive from justice after surrendering to two state troopers in the southern part of the state shortly before noon
The attractive, diminutive girl, who said her maiden name is Drouin, is the mother of one small child, and according to police is five months pregnant with another.
Arriving at the coathouse at approximately 4 p.m., and dwarfed by two state troopers, Mrs. Kasabian, shielded her face with her coat from photographers as she was horridly rushed into the court.
Inside the courtroom, the sandy-haired girl, and mother of one child sat pensively in the front row of the theatrically shaped room, and stared out of a window, awaiting the appearance of Judge Matson.
She was calm and occasionally exchanged remarks with two state police lieutenants who flanked her on each side and who had brought her to court. She also conversed with Merrimack Sheriff Clyde Parker, to whose custody she was remanded.
The tiny 20-year-old girl was awaiting arraignment on a California fugitive warrant.
Judge Matson, a distinguished looking man, entered the courtroom and requested that the defendant stand. He thoroughly advised her of her rights and asked her if she had contacted a lawyer. She indicated to the judge that she had been in touch with her attorney in California, and that she was advised not to obtain a local attorney.
Judge Matson, throughout the session, although he had appointed Robert D. Branch as her counsel, repeatedly asked the girl if she understood the proceedings and was aware of what she was doing. She nodded each time.
District court Judge Matson then asked her for her plea to the fugitive charges. “I’m guilty,” the petite girl said, twisting a ring on her left hand.
Judge Matson then showed the waiver documents to her; she examined them, smiled at Atty. Branch and signed them. She had waived extradition rights and had agreed to be returned to California to face the murder charges.
Judge Matson ordered her held pending the arrival of detectives to take her back to California.
Following the arraignment, Mrs. Kasabian was escorted to a basement cell block to await the arrival of California authorities. Photographers and television men anxiously waited outside, in sub-freezing cold for her departure from court; it never materialized.
Col. Joseph Regan, director of the Concord State Police, declined to discuss the circumstances of the arrest. He would only say it was uneventful and she arranged for a friend to call and give herself up.
State police said that she was staying with relatives in southern New Hampshire, by what was described by State Police Lieutenant Paul Leary, as a “small town.” According to Lt. Leary, she was identified as the fugitive from justice by a body mark which would not be disclosed.
Col. Regan said he received a call from an unidentified man who said that Mrs. Kasabian would give herself up if police would not reveal where the town or family where she was staying. Police also refused to disclose her husband’s identity.
She was born Linda Darlene Drouin, June 21, 1949, in Biddeford, Me. An uncle who still lives there, Oscar Bergeron, said she visited him last summer for a weekend. “I understand she had been going around with some of those hippies,” he said.
Mrs. Kasabian is said to be a member of “the Manson family,” a group of young people who drifted about the southwest living in caves and abandoned miner’s shacks.
Other members of the group arrested and charged with the murder of Sharon Tate are Charles D. Watson, 24, who was arrested in McKinney Texas and Patricia Krenwinkel, 21, of Los Angeles, who was arrested Monday in Mobile, Ala., near the home of her aunt.
Police in Los Angeles charge that several members of a nomadic band of hippies killed the group in the Tate home and the following day killed the wealthy owners of a Hollywood market chain Leno and Rosemary LaBianca.
By NICK CARAGANIS