Linda Only ‘Lied a Little,’ Miamian Says
Friday, August 7th, 1970
Miami, Aug. 7 – A Miami woman said today she had been “scared” into testifying for the defense in the Sharon Tate murder trial.
And, she said, she was never given a chance on the stand to explain her testimony that the state’s key witness was “a liar.”
“I didn’t want to be on the beatnik side,” Mrs. June Emmer told a Miami News reporter over a 4:30 a.m. breakfast meeting requested by her at an all-night drugstore on Flagler Street.
Mrs. Emmer had just returned from Los Angeles, and the trial of Charles Manson, accused of masterminding the murders of actress Sharon Tate and six other persons.
She had testified for the defense, and described the state’s key witness, Linda Kasabian, as “a liar.”
The defense was attacking the credibility of Mrs. Kasabian, whose testimony about Charles Manson and his “family,” of which she was a member, is a pillar of the state’s case against Manson.
Mrs. Emmer, 30, a widow who owns a Miami bar where Mrs. Kasabian’s father worked, said today that Mrs. Kasabian, who lived with her in Miami for a month last fall, “only lied about little things.”
Mrs. Kasabian was “a very sweet kid,” and would never lie under oath in a courtroom, Mrs. Emmer said today.
“I think the district attorney (in Los Angeles) was plain stupid for letting that defense attorney (Irving Kanarek) get to me first,” said Mrs. Emmer.
She said Kanarek visited her in Miami the day before Manson’s trial began. Mrs. Kasabian already had been granted immunity by the State of California and was expected to testify as she did about Manson and the slayings.
“I didn’t want to be on the beatnik side,” Mrs. Emmer emphasized. “But he (Kanarek) said if I didn’t go he was going to subpoena me, and I didn’t want to be taken there in — what do you call those things? — handcuffs. I was scared. So I went.
“I didn’t want to do her (Mrs. Kasabian) any harm,” Mrs. Emmer said.
“She only lied in trying to get a job…She called a couple of places (in Miami) and said she had lived in Florida all her life…She might have called three or four different people, that’s all.
“As far as lying under oath, she wouldn’t do that. And as far as being a murderer — never. Oh, no.”
Mrs. Emmer said Mrs. Kasabian had sought employment here as a housemaid. “But they wanted a woman in her 50s or 60s, not a kid.” Mrs. Kasabian is now 21.
Mrs. Emmer said today’s meeting with a Miami News reporter was her first interview about the case. Her testimony was in the form of a deposition taken during the jury’s absence from the courtroom. The testimony is to be read to the jury when the defense makes its presentation.
She said she is greatly concerned now that her testimony may be misunderstood and may convey a wrong impression. She said she would have preferred to testify for the prosecution, if at all.
In her testimony she did not mention specific lies. And she did not amplify her remarks. She said today it was because she was not asked to.
Mrs. Kasabian, the state’s key witness, who has admitted taking drugs since she was 16, came to Miami last October, about three months after the slayings. She visited her father, a bartender at Mrs. Emmer’s J & J Bar for the last 14 years, and she stayed for a month at Mrs. Emmer’s house in the southwest section. She gave no hint of trouble, Mrs. Emmer recalled.