Witness Reverts to Original Testimony
Saturday, June 13th, 1970
LOS ANGELES, Jun. 13 – A judge’s warning that she was being held in contempt of court caused a Wisconsin woman to revert to her original version of how musician Gary Hinman was killed last summer.
“On Sunday, July 27, Bobby killed Gary,” said Mary Brunner, 26, in Superior Court Friday.
Miss Brunner, a library worker from Madison, Wis., had been a key witness at the trial of Robert K. Beausoleil 22, convicted in the alleged torture death of Hinman in Hinman’s Topanga Canyon home.
Hinman assertedly was stabbed by Beausoleil repeatedly.
Both Miss Brunner and Beausoleil, members of the Charles M. Manson hippie-style cult, were present, investigators said.
She later repudiated her testimony against the youthful Beausoleil, saying she had perjured herself because of fear that she would lose custody of her 2-year-old son by Manson.
Miss Brunner spoke out Friday, returning to her original testimony, after advice from the court that if she failed to name the true slayer she would be in contempt. Manson and two other members of his nomadic cult are charged in Hinman’s death. But they have not come to trial.
Taking precedence is another trial — slated to commence Monday — in which followers are charged in the murders last August of actress Sharon Tate and six others.
Miss Brunner, meantime, expressed hope that Beausoleil will get a new trial and not be sentenced to death.
She was asked by the court why she signed an affidavit that her original testimony was wrong.
“Bobby got the gas chamber,” she replied, “You’re doing the same to him as he did to Gary and you’re making me a part of the second one too.”
The Wisconsin woman reiterated trial testimony that Beausoleil killed Hinman on Manson’s order and that the latter had, prior to the musician’s death, slashed off Hinman’s ear
She said she and Susan Atkins, 21, also accused in the case, put a pillow case over Hinman’s face to muffle his death cries.