Testifies Manson Boasted of Stuntman’s Decapitation
Friday, September 17th, 1971
LOS ANGELES, Sept. 17 — A college student testified yesterday that Charles Manson boasted that Donald “Shorty” Shea was decapitated, cut into pieces and buried because Manson thought he was a police informer.
The testimony came from Barbara Hoyt 20, who was also a prosecution witness in Manson’s first trial for the Tate-LaBianca murders.
Manson 36, is on trial for Shea’s alleged murder in 1969 and for the slaying the same year of Topanga musician Gary Hinman.
Shea’s body has never been found.
Miss Hoyt testified she joined Manson’s cult in 1969 and met Shea, a movie stuntman at the Spahn Ranch where the cult formerly lived.
The pretty young woman claimed Manson told her and others that Shea was a police informant after a raid by sheriff’s deputies on the ranch on Oct. 16, 1969.
She said Manson also claimed that Shea was attempting to get the cult ejected from the ranch.
Miss Hoyt told the jury in the court of Superior Judge Raymond Choate that on Aug. 26, 1969, when she was about to fall asleep, she heard “painful, loud…some long and some short screams.”
She claimed the screams came from “Shorty.”
The next day, according to the witness, she was present when Manson was talking to a motorcycle gang leader, Danny DeCarlo at the ranch.
“Charlie told Danny, ‘Shorty committed suicide with a little help from us,'” she said.
Miss Hoyt claimed Manson said Shea’s body was cut up into nine pieces and buried under leaves.
In a later conversation, Miss Hoyt said, Manson again mentioned Shea’s slaying. She said the cult leader contended that Shea “was very hard to kill,” until Manson ordered another cult member, “Clem” to cut off Shea’s head.
“Clem is the name used by Stephen Grogan 20, one of Manson’s lieutenants who is on trial in another courtroom for Shea’s slaying.
Manson was ousted from court again yesterday because of his refusal to behave.
During some of Miss Hoyt’s testimony, Manson sang loudly from a lockup leading into the courtroom.
Judge Choate was forced to call a recess until the bailiffs quietened Manson down.