• Key Witness Recounts Night Of Tate Murders

Key Witness Recounts Night Of Tate Murders

LOS ANGELES, Jul. 29 – “I ran toward the house. There was a man who entered out of the door. He had blood all over his face. We looked into each other’s eyes for a minute and I said ‘Oh God please make it stop’ but he just fell over.”

Mrs. Linda Kasabian, the state’s key witness at the trial of Charles Manson and three of his young women followers, shocked a middle-aged jury with a day of testimony about sex orgies among the hippie commune culminating in a frenzied knife and gun massacre, at the home of actress Sharon Tate.

Mrs. Kasabian was to continue her testimony today with an account of the slaying the next night at the home of grocer Leno LaBianca and his wife.

The 35-year-old Manson stared Straight ahead as she spoke. The three young women — Susan Atkins, Patricia Krenwinkel and Leslie Van Houten — looked sullen as they stared fixedly at the witness.

Mrs. Kasabian said that Charles “Tex” Watson, who so far has resisted extradition from Texas, led the bloody foray to the Tate home. She said that when she started out she had no idea what they were to do but that Manson told her to “do whatever Tex tells you.”

She said that Miss Atkins and Miss Krenwinkel accompanied her and Watson and that they had three knives and a .22 caliber revolver with a foot-long barrel.

As soon as they climbed over the fence, she said, the lights of a car came toward them and then the automobile stopped. She said Watson stuck the gun through the car window, and while the man inside pleaded “don’t hurt me,” Watson shot him four times.

The body of Steven Parent was found in car in the driveway the next day.

Mrs. Kasabian said they then crept up to the house where the eight-month pregnant actress, wife of film director Roman Polanski, was living with two house guests, Polish writer Voityck Frokowsky and coffee heiress Abigail Folger. Hair stylist Jay Sebring was visiting them.

Mrs. Kasabian said Watson told her to go back to the car in the driveway and to wait there.

“What happened then?” asked Deputy District Attorney Vincent Bugliosi.

“Then I heard people screaming and it was just horrible.”

The young woman began to sob and her shoulders shook.

In the morning session, when questioned about what occurred after she joined the commune, she told the court she met Manson her second night at the Spahn Ranch.

“We went to a cave and he made love to me and we had a brief conversation,” she said.

Manson’s attorney, Irving Kanarek, jumped up and shouted that her statement “impugns the moral integrity of Mr. Manson.” Superior Court Judge Charles H. Older overruled the objections.

She also said Manson told his girls they were witches and ordered them to make love to men who came to the ranch in order to inveigle them into joining the family.


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