Audio Archives: Harold True Interviewed by Deputy District Attorney Aaron Stovitz, January 27, 1970 – Tape One

Monday, November 26th, 2012

“I thought it was vacant”

Nov. 26 – For this installment of the Audio Archives, we will travel back to Tuesday, January 27, 1970 and listen to Deputy District Attorney Aaron Stovitz interview Harold True, in Stovitz’s office at the Hall of Justice.

In this interview, True discusses his impressions of, and relationship with Charlie, the girls, and their visits to his Waverly address.

Harold True

Harold True, 29 years-old at the time of this interview, was a college student that had met Charlie Manson in the spring of 1968, while picking up a friend in Topanga Canyon.

At the time, True was finishing up his masters at L.A. State, and living with a group of friends in a house right next door, to what would become the LaBianca house.

Deputy District Attorney Aaron Stovitz

Deputy District Attorney Aaron Stovitz, 45 years-old at the time of this interview, had been with the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office for 16 years.

Stovitz enlisted in the Air Force and flew 34 combat missions during World War II and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross. He attended Brooklyn College, and then moved to California, where he attended law school at Southwestern University, graduating Magna Cum Laude.

At the age of 28, Stovitz became a Deputy District Attorney with Los Angele County in 1952, trying his first murder case 2 years later. Stovitz eventually headed the Trials Division, and supervised 30 deputy district attorneys.

He was the chief prosecutor in the Tate/LaBianca case until September of 1970, when District Attorney Evelle Younger removed him after some of Stovitz’s off the record comments about Susan Atkins made it to print.

Stovitz was a D.A. with Los Angeles County for 30 years, leaving in 1981. He then worked as a special prosecutor for Santa Clara County on a murder case that was relocated and tried in Los Angeles. Stovitz then worked as a trial attorney in Ventura County for 2 years. Followed up by almost a decade of defense work, and then consulting.

Aaron died of Leukemia on January 25, 2010. The 85 year-old attorney was survived by this wife, daughter, two sons, and seven grandchildren.

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10 Responses to Audio Archives: Harold True Interviewed by Deputy District Attorney Aaron Stovitz, January 27, 1970 – Tape One

  1. Xfirehurricane says:

    Brilliant!!! can’t wait for this one ,Harold is such a funny guy and a plain speaker to boot.

    The Short Telephone Interview that is out there is one of the best and funniest I’ve heard concerning the so called Family and Manson.

    Any further ” Pearls of Wisdom” from HT should be fascinating and fun.

    Cheers CD

  2. Revatron says:

    Can’t wait! This stuff is incredible.

  3. johnnyseattle says:

    This should be pretty damn good.
    I wonder if Harold True is going to give it a listen himself…

  4. cielodrive.com says:

    Yeah, Harold was very funny in that old phone interview. He hit several nails on the head. I think it’s safe to say he had enough of all of this several decades ago.

  5. Silentseason says:

    Harold was very astute when he stated that Manson was nothing but a con artist. I think he was very annoyed that he was even connected with the whole mess.

  6. Gina says:

    I find it interesting how in these interviews references have been made to the line of questioning and the style of interviewing the police and DA are allowed to use. The Miranda warning police are required to give was put into law by the Supreme Court in 1966. Not long before these interviews were taken. The Miranda warning is the only amendment right that the police are required to inform people about. They usually only do that after they have collected the required amount of evidence out of the suspects mouth to place them under arrest. God gave us tongues, and the choice to wag them or not. You don’t have to wait to hear the Miranda warning to stop talking.

    It makes me wonder what police interrogations were like before Miranda.

    Sorry to get off track.

    I’m really enjoying these audio tapes. Thanks.

  7. Johnnyseattle says:

    Very good tape. Wonderful sound quality.

  8. Johnnyseattle says:

    I like Aaron’s east coast accent which isn’t pronounced but it is still there. Aaron has a wonderful way of keeping one off track. In that first part he starts to develop some rapport with Harold but then makes the side crack ‘you look older.’ But he mixes some humor as he gauges and measures Harold True.

    One thing that people shouldn’t sleep on is that those 34 combat missions that he flew shows Aaron Stovitz isn’t a man to mess with. The odds of making it through 34 combat missions were not good and he is a man accustomed to seeing death and delivering death to others. Read ‘The Wild Blue’ by Stephen Ambrose to get a taste of what men like Stovitz went through.

    Compare him to say a Vince Bugliosi who had a relatively sheltered life and was playing tennis on a scholarship to get through college.

  9. Gina says:

    Interesting: Harold True was busted again on the 15th of July in Sunland Park at Footland and Sherman Grove. He used 113 S. Clark Drive as his residence (grandparents). He spent a night in jail. DA asks him how long after did he have his preliminary hearing. There is low crosstalk between True and attorney and he can’t remember and the attorney states he did not represent him in that case and does not know. After that he had an arraignment out in Van Nuys and a public defender represented him in that case and that the case has been continued from time to time.

    So at the time of this interview Harold True had an ongoing court case going? When he writes to Charlie, Charlie at first doesn’t remember who he is? I wonder if the DA was going to give him a deal for his testimony. The other tape Alan Springer, he also states he has ongoing criminal cases. I wouldn’t think they’d make very credible witnesses. It’s lucky Charlie never got to put on a defense because if he had, I’d think even a inexperienced public defender could have shown reasonable doubt in the statements of the people I’ve heard so far in these tapes.

  10. LENNON says:

    this beind the scenes stuff is great . Thanks for sharing these tapes !

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