Testifies In Defense of Cult Leader
Saturday, October 9th, 1971
LOS ANGELES, Oct. 9 — Linda Kasabian, the star prosecution witness in the Tate-LaBianca murder trial, yesterday spent a full day on the stand as a defense witness in Charles Manson’s second murder trial.
Her testimony appeared to add nothing to Manson’s defense against charges of murdering movie stuntman Donald “Shorty” Shea and Topanga musician Gary Hinman.
Mrs. Kasabian 23, under questioning by Manson’s attorney Irving Kanarek, testified she never spoke to Hinman and never met Shea.
The young woman lived with the Manson cult at the Spahn Ranch in Chatsworth between July and August 1969.
Hinman was murdered in July and the prosecution contends Shea, whose body has never been found, was killed sometime in August or September.
Mrs. Kasabian also claimed that Robert Kenneth Beausoleil 23, already convicted and condemned to death for Hinman’s murder, never admitted to her he killed the musician.
The witness said two other Manson followers, Susan Atkins 22, and Mary Brunner 27, spoke to her about Hinman, but Kanarek did not question Mrs. Kasabian about the specifics of the conversations.
Miss Atkins was convicted along with Manson and two others in connection with the Tate-LaBianca murders. Prior to Manson’s second murder trial, she pleaded guilty to Hinman’s slaying and was sentenced to life.
However, she, Manson and the two co-defendants are under sentence of death for the Tate-LaBianca killings.
Miss Brunner is currently awaiting trial for Hinman’s slaying.
Mrs. Kasabian, who flew here to testify from Massachusetts, was excused from further testimony by Superior Court Judge Raymond Choate.
Kanarek, who claims he’s under a gag order, refused to tell newsmen if she is his last witness.
The plump blonde witness, dressed in a long granny gown, testified she has not been given immunity from prosecution for her testimony in the Shea-Hinman trial.
She was granted immunity for her testimony in the Tate-LaBianca case. Mrs. Kasabian claimed to be an eyewitness to some of the seven murders.
Manson 36, who has refused to behave in the current trial was in an adjacent courtroom lockup while Mrs. Kasabian testified.