Judge Ousts Manson, Girls Again
Friday, October 2nd, 1970
LOS ANGELES, Oct. 2 – Hippie cult chieftain Charles Manson and his three girl disciples were thrown out of their Los Angeles Superior Court murder trial today for the second time when they refused to remain silent.
The trial, which began an hour late while attorneys and the judge attempted to iron out difficulties, resumed without the defendants’ presence — a “first” in California jurisprudence.
As Judge Charles Older took the bench — Susan Atkins, Patricia Krenwinkel, and Leslie Van Houten, the three girl defendants — jumped to their feet, gave the Nazi salute and shouted, “Hail Caesar!”
Before Judge Older regained his composure, Manson stood up.
“May I suggest that the court continue to try itself. It’s done a poor job of showing the public justice,” the bearded sex guru said.
He was admonished by the judge that if he didn’t sit down, he would be taken back to a holding cell where he had been kept during court recesses.
“I’d like to go back to my room,” Manson countered. “I find it natural to do what I’m told. All my life I’ve done what I’ve been told. You’ve been ordering me forever. You’ve ordered me all my life.”
The exchange between Judge Older and Manson continued, with the jurist attempting to get the cult leader to sit down and keep quiet, but Manson refused to be silent.
Manson finally shouted over the judge’s remarks, “You’ve charged me with murder and said I have rights but you don’t give me any rights.”
“Be quiet,” the judge ordered sternly. “Or I’ll have you removed.”
“I’m not here anyway. You can put a picture up here and prosecute it.”
Ignoring Manson’s statements, Judge Older commented, “We’re going ahead.”
“We’re going ahead to where?” Manson shouted. Then turning to the awed spectator section of the courtroom he said, “Look at all of you. You’ll end up being judged. It’s your judgment day, not mine.”
As he walked quietly from the courtroom, his three “girls” took up where he left off, shouting taunts at the judge.
At one point Judge Older turned to the court reporter asking if she was able to record what the girls were saying.
“You don’t hear it, anyway,” the three shouted in unison. “This is the destruction of yourself.”
As they walked from the courtroom, escorted by female deputies, Miss Atkins turned to the judge, saying with a smile, “have a nice day.”
Judge Older ordered the jury to disregard the comments of the defendants and asked that the trial resume.
Using microphones which led to the room above the courtroom and to a holding cell where Manson was being kept, attorneys began questioning Juan Flynn, the Manson “family” member who has been on the stand the past five days.
Thursday, Manson and his three codefendants were ejected shortly after their leader left the room, screeching taunts at the startled judge.
The chaos came on the heels of the chief prosecutor’s citation for contempt following a shouting match between attorneys.
Manson’s antics began following a hearing on the competency of a prosecution witness, former “family” member Michael Hendricks. Judge Older, despite psychiatric testimony that the youth was mentally ill, ruled he was “competent to testify.”
As the judge resumed the bench following a short recess to allow the jury to be brought into court, Manson began to sing a few bars of “The Old Gray Mare.”
Singing in a voice that echoed through the courtroom, Manson improvised on the words by adding, “…she ain’t what she used to be, she’s now on the bench…”
“I admonish you,” the judge said as soon as he regained his composure, “to keep quiet.”
“But you’re a woman, judge,” the hippie leader interrupted. “You’re acting just like a woman.”
“I order you to stop talking — right now,” Judge Older said as attorneys, jurors, spectators and press froze in silence.
“You ordered me to stop living,” the long-haired cultist shouted, still sitting in his place at the counsel table.
Then before the judge could answer, Manson continued: “You’ve deprived me of the right to counsel. I’m only allowed to talk to my attorney for five minutes a day while you’re on the bench. You won’t let me receive mail. You’ve limited my visitors to five minutes. How do you expect me to get a fair trial like this?”
When Manson paused in his statement, Judge Older got a few words in: “All right, remove Mr. Manson from the courtroom.” Manson rose to his feet and calmly led deputies to the door leading to the holding cell where he is kept during courtroom recesses.
Meanwhile, Manson’s girl disciples, apparently shocked at his actions, remained silent.
Following a short , hurriedly called recess, Judge Older ordered Manson back into the courtroom, apparently for an “instant replay” which was quick to come.
As court resumed, Manson’s voice again started press pencils moving: “I would like everyone to know that I am not represented in this trial. I do not have a lawyer.”
“I admonish you, Mr. Manson,” Judge Older repeated, “to remain silent, or be removed from the courtroom.”
“But I’m not allowed to speak.”
“All right,” the judge said sternly, “have Mr. Manson removed.”
But before his words were finished, the three long-haired Manson “girls” began chanting in shrill sing-song tones, “The judge is just a woman…the judge is a joke…we’re women, you’re not…I’ll judge me, you judge you…”
The taunts and the manner in which they were intoned in high-pitched voices brought visible shudders from spectators as the three were led from the courtroom.
Judge Older, obviously unnerved by the “uncourtly” behavior, recessed the trial early.
Earlier the courtroom decorum was also strained when the chief prosecutor, Deputy District Attorney Vincent Bugliosi, was cited for contempt following a shouting match with a defense attorney.
Well known for his trigger-temper, Bugliosi was ordered to pay a $50 fine or spend a night in the county jail. He elected to pay the fine.
Three of the four defense attorneys thus far have spent time in jail on comtempt charges in the 16-week-old trial.
The uproar began after defense attorney Irving Kanarek asked former Manson family member Flynn, “When you are asked a question which you think may hurt the prosecution case…” The end of the question was interrupted when the young deputy jumped to his feet shouting. “Hey, stop arguing and be quiet.”
By MARY NEISWENDER