Jail Pal Airs Angry Manson Statement
Sunday, March 8th, 1970
LOS ANGELES, Mar. 8 – Charles Manson, charged with masterminding the Sharon Tate and Leno LaBianca mass murders, spoke to the press by proxy Saturday and lashed out at the courts for barring him from acting as his own attorney.
Meanwhile, a purported member of Manson’s “family” claimed Superior Court Judge William Keene took the action against the cult leader because the judge “is frightened.”
In a statement read to this newspaper in Men’s Central Jail in Los Angeles by prisoner Larry Hamlin, 30, whose cell is across an aisle from Manson’s, one-time cult leader had this to say:
“As you all know, I am no longer afforded my constitutional rights to represent myself in the charges now against me in the State of California.
“Now I am being held incommunicado, not even allowed regular visits or to see the attorney representing me in a civil suit. These people (the courts, district attorney’s office and sheriff’s department) are chasing everybody away from me.
“Every time I get to court, the judge runs right over me with what he has to say, and then when I start to talk he runs off and don’t give me a chance to have my say…
“They put me in the hole, they beat on my head”…and they have taken away “all of my stuff that I write and have even tore stuff up that was (sic) legal motions for the court.
“They listened in on all my witness interviews; they are trying to run off all my witnesses. They have a couple in the nut house, they (ran) a couple of them out of the country (and they) keep looking for more…
“…The whole damn system is set up for the court (and not for the defendant) … “He (the defendant) hasn’t got a chance ‘cause they do him just like they’re doing me.
“People don’t believe it can happen ’cause they don’t see it. When I try to talk, then they read it in the papers, and the papers put it in the way they want it — not the way I said it.
“Well, this is the way it is. The young people have the old ones scared to death ’cause they know the old ones ain’t right and want things changed. So the old ones — out of their fear — try to put down what the young people are trying to do for themselves.
“The old ones still try to force on the youngsters the things that their daddies and grand-daddies forced on them, and the youngsters don’t want it ’cause they see that it ain’t the way things should be.
“I want to show the world and expose the system for what it is. This system don’t even go by the constitution that made it free.
“The courts make up rules and laws as they go along. Nobody can really have their say in court ’cause the judge will tie ’em up and gag ’em if they try and have their say. You call that freedom of speech?
“How about freedom of the press! I can’t even see people from the newspapers, but the district attorney talks to them right outside the courtroom.
“They fix it so I can’t do nuthin’. When one of the guys helps me they throw him in the hole, take all of his supposed privileges away from him and then railroad him for helping me. And they say, after doing something like that to someone just trying to help me, that the system’s fair?”
That was all of Manson’s statement that Hamlin had time to read to reporters before visiting time was up. He predicted his pro-per (self defense) privileges would be taken away from him as soon as Manson’s statement was published.
Hamlin, in jail on burglary charges, said Manson prepared the statement Friday night.
Judge Keene ruled Friday Manson is incapable of representing himself and appointed attorney Charles Hollopeter to defend him.
Paul Watkins, who claims to be a member of Manson’s hippie cult, said the judge took this action because he was frightened, and charged Judge Keene had already made up his mind about Manson being his own lawyer before Friday’s ruling.
Watkins said the court session “was like a play written ahead of time.”
By BILL HOMER