Sept. 13 – Judge William C. Ryan has denied Leslie Van Houten’s request that the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office be ordered to turn over copies of the Tex Watson tapes.
Ryan concurred with Deputy District Attorney Donna Lebowitz’s argument that Van Houten wasn’t entitled to the tapes because the penal code limits discovery to only cases with sentences of life without parole or death.
“But even if Van Houten was entitled to the Tex Watson Interview Tapes, they would add nothing not already well known,” wrote Ryan. “In the first 77 pages, there are eight references to a “Leslie,” all made in passing as to who was present at certain events.”
“The most substantive one is that the ‘Leslie’ was present at the LaBianca murders and stabbed Mrs. LaBianca,” continued Ryan.
“Watson does talk about in several places how Charles Manson had a powerful influence over him and other members of the Manson family, but that information is also very well know, and to which Van Houten can testify,” wrote Ryan. “Releasing the transcript would therefore add nothing to the record that is not already well know.”
Ryan’s ruling also disputed arguments made by the District Attorney’s office, that releasing the tapes would compromise ongoing investigations. According to Ryan, the LAPD detective in custody of the tapes told him that there are no investigations.