Hippie Leader Was Vague Says Atkins
Saturday, January 10th, 1970
LOS ANGELES, Jan. 10 – Hippie leader Charles Manson never directly ordered his “family” to murder actress Sharon Tate and her house guests or a supermarket owner and his wife, reliable sources said Friday night.
The sources, who have had access to testimony given to a grand jury here last month, said the 35-year-old Manson instead told one of his disciples, Susan Atkins, 21, only to “do your own thing” at the Tate mansion.
Miss Atkins was the chief witness for the district attorney’s office at the hearings into the murders of Miss Tate and four other persons Aug. 9 and the killings of supermarket owner Leno LaBianca and his wife the following day.
Manson was indicted by the Los Angeles County grand jury for the murders, and five other persons, including Miss Atkins, also were indicted in connection with the slayings. Miss Atkins has pleaded not guilty to the charges.
The sources also said that when asked if Manson had told her or any of his other followers to kill at the LaBianca house, Miss Atkins said no.