Linda Didn’t Know 5 Were Killed in Tate Home Raid
Thursday, August 6th, 1970
LOS ANGELES, Aug. 6 – Linda Kasabian, on the witness stand for the eighth straight day in the Tate-LaBianca murder case, testified today she was “really upset” when she eventually learned the next day that five persons had died in the slaughter at the Sharon Tate home in Benedict Canyon.
Under grueling and repetitious cross-examination by attorney Irving Kanarek, representing Charles Manson, the state’s star witness admitted several times that she felt responsible for the killings. Her words were ordered stricken by Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Charles Older as a “legal conclusion.”
“I didn’t know there were two other people in the house,” she said, referring to the Tate home.
“I didn’t know Miss Tate was pregnant and that really upset me. I said, ‘Wow, they killed those people for $70,’ because Tex had the money.”
She was referring to Charles “Tex” Watson, who is fighting extradition in Texas. The money reportedly was taken from coffee heiress Abigail Folger, one of the victims.
Although she admitted she was “extremely remorseful” because of the Tate killings, she said she went out again the next night on a similar mission.
“I knew it wasn’t a creepy-crawly mission,” she testified. “But my intent was to do what Charlie (Manson) told me to do.”
Clarifying the language used at the Spahn Ranch in Chatsworth where she lived with the Manson “family”, she said the word “piggies” was used in referring to “people who have a lot of bread and are part of the establishment.” Pig, she said, is a “cop”, and freaks are “far out people on far out trips — dope or sex or whatever.”
“Before I went to the Tate house, I thought they were piggies,” she said, “during (the killings) I thought that they were just human beings — innocent people. After (the killings) I didn’t think they were piggies any more.”
Mrs. Kasabian, whose composure has broken only when she talks of the killings themselves, still must undergo cross-examination by a fourth defense attorney, Ronald Hughes. The prosecution also indicated it would return her to the stand for rebuttal.
Wednesday, concentrating on her “state of shock” following the killing of Steven Parent, the 18-year-old casual visitor at the Tate home, defense attorney Kanarek pounded at Mrs. Kasabian’s inability to remember events preceding and following the killings.
“I’ve never seen anyone shot in the head before — it shocked me,” the pale faced girl said calmly. “There were four shots — I counted four shots — it left an impression in my mind.”
“When did your shock stop,” Kanarek kept asking.
“When you helped Tex (Charles Watson) off with his clothes…when you threw the bloody clothing out of the car…or the weapons…”
“I don’t know if it ever stopped,” she said, sighing loudly.
“Why didn’t you help the man (Parent) in the car?” Kanarek shouted.
“I don’t know.”
“Because you didn’t, give a damn, did you.”
“I’m sure I did.”
The former chemical engineer continued to emphasize the fact that Mrs. Kasabian did not notify police of the killings, even when she was in court seeking custody of the daughter she had left at the Spahn Ranch with the “family” when she fled to New Mexico.
“You were in front of a judicial officer, your child was far removed from the Spahn Ranch, you had an attorney with you, there were deputies — why didn’t you tell about these murders then?” Kanarek shouted, waving a color picture of Sharon Tale’s battered body.
“I just couldn’t do it,” she answered without emotion.
“Because you were afraid of your own welfare?”
“Possibly,” she answered.
“Is it the same fear you have now if you don’t testify correctly you’ll go to the gas chamber?”
“I don’t know.”
Before Kanarek could frame the next question, the girl for the first time registered weariness.
“I’m very exhausted,” she said, partly to Kanarek and partly to the judge. “It’s hard for me to listen to you.”
Court was recessed to allow time for the witness to recover.
Meanwhile, in the corridors outside the courtroom, a woman identifying herself as Mrs. Garvey, claimed she was Manson’s mother. Fencing with reporters, she refused to answer questions as to her background or that of Manson, claiming only she was “here to see my son as any mother would be.”
Manson mouthing words to reporters in the courtroom later, claimed it was not his mother.
Beside Manson, the other three defendants in the slayings are Susan Atkins, Patricia Krenwinkel and Leslie Van Houten.
By MARY NEISWENDER