Informer May Deny Tate Case Confession
Wednesday, March 11th, 1970
LOS ANGELES, Mar. 11 – Susan Atkins, the member of the “Manson family” who turned informer in the Sharon Tate murder case, will probably repudiate her confession, a lawyer seeking to represent her said yesterday.
Miss Atkins asked the court yesterday for permission to fire the lawyer who originally advised her to tell her story to the grand jury and hire Daye Shinn, who has advised Charles Manson, the leader of the hippie commune.
Shinn said he was “pretty sure” Miss Atkins would deny her earlier testimony which led to the indictments of her and five other persons for the Tate-Labianca murders. “She should deny everything,” he said.
Superior Court Judge William B. Keene set a hearing on the motion for this afternoon.
The 21-year-old Miss Atkins visited accused cult mastermind Charles Manson in county jail last week and listened to his views on how the defense should be conducted. She indicted then she was having second thoughts about repeating her accusations before a jury.
Her attorney, Richard Caballero, said then that he and Manson had sharp differences over the tactics of the way Miss Atkins should conduct her defense and that if she could not follow his recommendations he would have to withdraw as her lawyer.
Shinn told newsmen that he had talked briefly with Miss Atkins and that she wanted him to represent her because he had been in touch with Manson and was “closer to the case.”
“We haven’t gone into it that far yet. I want to have a lengthy conference with her before we make any decisions.”
Asked if he would advise Miss Atkins not to repeat at a jury trial her grand jury testimony that led to charges of seven murders against herself, Manson, three other young women and another man, Shinn said:
Judge Keene ordered that Manson appear in court with Miss Atkins today to ascertain if there would be any conflict of interest in Shinn representing the girl. Shinn reportedly helped Manson prepare several of his pre-trial motions when the hippie cult leader was acting as his own attorney.