Tex Watson Shows Jurors How He Stabbed Victims
Friday, September 3rd, 1971
LOS ANGELES, Sept. 3 — Accused murderer Charles (Tex) Watson yesterday showed the jury in his trial how he stabbed the victims at the Tate-LaBianca slayings.
“I raised my hand up and I stabbed them like that,” Watson said as he brought his hand down in an arc.
He made the gesture at the request of prosecutor Vincent Bugliosi.
The prosecutor also showed Watson clothing allegedly discarded by the Tate murderers, but he said he could not identify the clothing he wore because members of the Charles Manson family did not own any clothing personally.
All the family’s clothing was heaped in a large pile and “anyone could take what they wanted to wear,” Watson testified.
He also said he could not identify a rope found tied around Sharon Tate’s neck, although “we have rope like that at the ranch.”
He denied being the person to carry the rope into the Tate residence, however, as Linda Kasabian had previously testified.
Bugliosi asked if all the blood on the clothing belonged to the victims.
“No, I hurt myself during the killings,” Watson answered. “I cut my hand — it was a deep cut.”
Bugliosi asked what his feelings about Charles Manson are at the present time.
“At the present time I feel he was a false god, a false prophet,” Watson said.
“Do you think he was evil?”
“Yes, I do,” Watson replied.
Watson’s testimony was completed but defense attorneys plan to call a number of psychiatrists to the witness stand.
Bugliosi, in his cross-examination of Watson, attempted, among other things to cast doubt on the defense insanity plea.
Bugliosi: “do you think clearly now?”
“Sometimes I think clearly and sometimes I don’t,” answered Watson. At another point, this was the question and answer sentence.
Q. “Do you still feel Manson in Jesus Christ?”
A. “I’m totally away from Charlie now.”
Q. “But, do you still believe he is Jesus Christ?”
A. “No…well, sometimes his (Manson’s) world still pops into me and pops back out. I’ve stayed between the two worlds so much that I just don’t know.”
Q. “But, do you believe it…that he is Jesus Christ?”
A. “No, but sometimes I have my doubts. I try to stay away from him.”
Q. “On the night of the Tate murders, you knew your mission was murder?”
A. “Yes…but I had no thought.”
Q. “If 10 people were inside the house, would you have killed 10?”
A. “Yes, that’s what I was told to do.”
Q. “When you went to the LaBianca house, you knew you were going to kill?”
A. “Yes, but I had no thought in my mind. I was run by Mister Manson.”
The 25-year-old Texan earlier testified he joined in the stabbing of Leno and Rosemary LaBianca in Los Angeles in August 1969.
This was a change in the defense posture. Defense attorneys previously had argued there was no proof Watson was implicated in the LaBianca murders.
Speaking in a monotone, displaying almost no emotion, Watson gave a long and rambling account of the slayings, his flight to Death Valley, his break with Manson and his later efforts to reunite with the cult leader, who he said had a “magnetic pull” over him.
Watson, charged with seven counts of murder and one of conspiracy, is the remaining defendant in the Tate-LaBianca mass murder case.