• Bugliosi Says Manson’s Manner Lulled Victims

Bugliosi Says Manson’s Manner Lulled Victims

LOS ANGELES, Dec. 24 – Prosecutor Vincent T. Bugliosi said Wednesday that Leno and Rosemary LaBianca might have lived it they had not been fooled by Charles Manson’s false face and soft manner.

“To fool the LaBiancas, ladies and gentlemen,” Bugliosi told jurors in final arguments at the Tate-LaBianca murder trial, “Charles Manson wore the same mask he has here in court — that of a peace-loving individual.

“They had no way of knowing that Charles Manson, with his soft voice and soft demeanor, was preparing them for horrible deaths.”

LaBianca, 44, a wealthy grocer, and his 38-year-old wife were found murdered Aug. 10, 1969, in their Los Felix district home. He had been stabbed 26 times. She had been stabbed 41 times.

Both had pillow cases over their heads. Electrical cords were wrapped around their necks and LaBianca’s hands had been bound with a leather thong.

But their feet were not tied, and they could have walked.

If, as the prosecution claims, Manson tied up the couple, then left the house to send in Charles (Tex) Watson, Patricia Krenwinkel and Leslie Van Houten to kill them, why didn’t the LaBiancas try to escape while he was outside?

Bugliosi suggested that the LaBiancas would have called police or locked the door if they had not believed assurances that everything was going to be all right.

He quoted testimony of the state’s key witness, Linda Kasabian, that when Manson came back to the car that night he told “Tex,” “Katie” Krenwinkel and Leslie a couple had been tied up inside and not to panic them.

“This man (Manson) has to be one of the most considerate men in the world,” Bugliosi said sarcastically. “They should erect a monument to him at the United Nations.

“He wouldn’t harm a flea.

“The only problem is that he (Manson) thinks it’s grand to murder human beings. He does believe in murdering human beings,”

Bugliosi referred to testimony of Gregg Jakobson, 30, who said he had spent hours talking to Manson about their philosophies.

Jakobson quoted Manson as saying he had a mask for each person he met — a thousand faces.

During the Tate-LaBianca trial, except for once when he leaped at the judge, Bugliosi maintained, the 36-year-old defendant had posed as a “peace-loving guy” to try to convince the jury he is incapable of murder.

“Unfortunately for Mr. Manson,” the prosecutor said, “the evidence at this trial has removed the mask and shown him for what he is.

“He’s nothing but a cold-blooded murderer who places absolutely no value on another human being’s life.”

Bugliosi said Manson spoke of love, but the cultist “loved them in the cemetery” or “in a pine box six feet under the ground.”

“Sharon Tate, Abigail Folger, Voityck Frykowski, Jay Sebring, Steven Parent and Leno and Rosemary LaBianca could have lived very well without Charles Manson’s kind of love,” he said.

Bugliosi concentrated on Manson in the third day of his exhaustive argument, portraying the defendant as a man with a “crazed, frenzied” mind holding “bizarre, weird concepts.”

He described Manson’s followers as zombies, robots and automatons who did their chief’s bidding — including murder — without question.

He said that on the night the LaBiancas were murdered. Manson and his followers had conducted a random search for victims, from Pasadena to far out Sunset Blvd., near the beach.

“On that evening,” Bugliosi declared, no one in this community of 7 million persons was safe from Manson’s “insatiable lust for death, blood and murder.”

Bugliosi said the defense, in thousands of pages of cross-examination, had failed to budge Mrs. Kasabian’s story “one iota.” Rather, he said, the defense concentrated on portraying her as living a drug-oriented, sexually promiscuous life.

“So what?” he asked.

“What does that have to do with the fact that Linda was with these defendants on two nights of murder?”

“Although she is not an angel, she is not cut from the same cloth as these defendants,” Bugliosi said at another point.

Manson and the three women defendants, Susan Atkins, Patricia Krenwinkel and Leslie Van Houten, listened to proceedings through loudspeakers from adjoining rooms.

They were removed from the courtroom Tuesday when they created disturbances.

Two other members of the Manson “family” — Bruce Davis and Steve Grogan — appeared in Superior Judge Malcolm M. Lucas’ court down the hall for arraignment Wednesday on grand jury indictments accusing them of murdering Donald (Shorty) Shea, a 40-year-old ranch hand.

Lucas continued the hearing until 11 a.m. next Wednesday because the district attorney’s office plans to seek to combine the Shea and Gary Hinman murder cases.

The Tate-LaBianca trial resumes Monday, after a Christmas holiday, which the sequestered jurors will spend in the Ambassador.


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