Legal Arguments Delay Tate Trial
Wednesday, September 30th, 1970
LOS ANGELES, Sept. 30 – The trial of cult leader Charles Manson and three of his female followers for the Tate-LaBianca murders was delayed today as attorneys apparently argued legal points in chambers.
Although details of the secret session were not known, it apparently centered around testimony of two prospective witnesses — former cellmates of one of the defendants — who told police of a confession to the crime.
Still to undergo further cross-examination is cowboy-actor Juan Flynn who Tuesday became irritated with questions challenging his honesty and called one of the defense attorneys a “big catfish.”
Flynn, a curly-haired former follower of the cult chieftain and a “manure shoveler” at the family’s Spahn Ranch headquarters, became irritated when questioned by Manson’s attorney Irving Kanarek about his acting profession.
Asked if he wanted to further his movie career, Flynn paused, smiled, then answered yes. Kanarek pushed the questioning by claiming the publicity brought by Manson could help his career.
“It’s the type of publicity I wouldn’t want, you big catfish,” Flynn said rising from the witness stand.
Kanarek’s next question was halted by Superior Court Judge Charles Older, who called a recess on that high note.
Kanarek asked to be allowed just one more question, but Judge Older, obviously tired by Kanarek’s day and a half cross-examination of the witness, refused, answering: “I’m sure there will be more tomorrow.”
Flynn, who admitted taking LSD seven times while at the Spahn Ranch with the Manson “family,” earlier offered to demonstrate how, he “croaked” as Manson, held a knife to his throat. The suggestion brought laughs, from 11 of the 12 jurors.
By MARY NEISWENDER