Widow of Manson Case Figure Trial Witness
Thursday, July 22nd, 1971
LOS ANGELES, Jul. 22 — The widow of stuntman Donald (Shorty) Shea testified yesterday he would not have disappeared voluntarily at the time of his alleged decapitation murder in August, 1969.
Magdalene Shea, 27, was the leadoff witness for the prosecution in the trial of “Manson Family” member Steve Grogan, 20, for the slaying.
She said her husband had a good chance to land a speaking part in a western and was “very happy and excited about working in the picture.”
Mrs. Shea, a topless dancer and barmaid when she and Shea, 35, were married July 1, 1969, also testified Shea would not have vanished of his own accord because he had pawned two long-barreled .45-caliber revolvers for $45 a few days before.
“He told me he could have got much more money but that he took less so that he would be sure that he would be able to get them back,” she added.
The prosecution said it would prove that Shea, a hand at the Spahn Ranch, was killed because he figured in attempts to evict Charles Manson and his followers who were living there. Another reason, the prosecution said, was because the cult hated Negroes and Mrs. Shea is black.
Manson, 36, also is charged in the slaying of Shea, whose body has never been found.