Linda Says Manson Sent Her To Murder A Friend
Thursday, July 30th, 1970
LOS ANGELES, Jul. 30 – Hippie leader Charles Manson instructed Linda Kasabian, chief prosecution witness against him, on how to murder a casual friend, she testified today as the hippie leader sat staring at her in Los Angeles Superior Court.
Manson asked, the girl testified, if the “friend” she knew in Venice would allow her into his apartment. They had walked close to the Venice apartment where the unidentified actor lived.
“When I answered yes, he asked if he would let my friend in, too. I said he would. Then Charlie said, ‘OK, we’ll go there and you’ll kill him.’
“Charlie gave me a pocket knife and I said, ‘Charlie, I’m not you. I can’t kill anyone.’ I was very much afraid.
“Then he started going about telling me how to do it. I said, ‘with this?’ showing him the knife. And he said ‘yes.’
“Charlie said, ‘as soon as you see him slit his throat right away.’ He told Clem (Clem Tufts, a “family” member not held for the crimes) to shoot him, but if anything went wrong not to do it.”
The girl said she intentionally knocked on the wrong door, thereby averting the murder.
“A man said, ‘Who is it?’ I said, ‘Linda.’
“He opened the door…I said, ‘oops, wrong door’ and that was it,” she testified.
She said the intended victim was a man who had picked her up while she was hitchhiking with Sandra Good, another “family” member.
“We went to his apartment, had something to eat, took a shower and I made love with him.”
She testified Manson went with her to the apartment house first, where she pointed out a door, but then the cult leader went back to the car and apparently returned to the Spahn Ranch where they lived, telling her, Tufts and Susan Atkins, who were all to participate in the murder to hitchhike home.
Before leaving, Manson had given Tufts a gun which the family member later hid in a Venice beach sand when the murder was foiled.
Mrs. Kasabian, who later admitted she had taken LSD 50 times since 1965, claimed she intentionally knocked on the wrong door because she “didn’t want to kill anybody.”
Mrs. Kasabian earlier told how she walked “hand in hand” with accused murder mastermind Charles Manson as three other members of their “family” were murdering Rosemary and Leno LaBianca.
Mrs. Kasabian, on the stand for the fourth straight day, claimed that it was during this lull in the murder spree that she told Manson she was pregnant.
“Was it Manson’s baby?” Deputy Dist. Atty. Vincent Bugliosi asked.
The girl answered, “no,” but before she could continue, Manson’s attorney, Irvin Kanarek, who had spent a night in jail because he repeatedly interrupted the witness Wednesday, jumped to his feet.
“I object, your honor,” he said almost meekly. “It’s an impossible conclusion by this witness.”
The entire courtroom, including Older, broke into laughter.
Mrs. Kasabian testified that after dropping off “family” members Susan Atkins, Leslie Van Houten and Charles “Tex” Watson to kill the LaBiancas, she drove to a beach at Manson’s direction for a “walk.”
“Charlie told Sadie (Atkins) and Clem to stay behind us. We were talking and walking hand in hand on the beach. It was sort of nice. He made me feel good — made me forget temporarily what had happened.
“I told him I was pregnant. I don’t remember the words Charlie said. I just remember the feeling that came through his words. That impressed me.”
The girl said that when they reached a street corner a police car came by and the officers asked what they were doing.
“Don’t you know who I am? Don’t you remember who I am?” Mrs. Kasabian quoted Manson as saying. “It was a friendly conversation, but Charlie seemed to think the officers knew him. They didn’t.”
Meanwhile, Manson’s attorney, and Miss Van Houten’s attorney, Ronald Hughes, were taken to court this morning from county jail, where they had spent the night on contempt charges.
Hughes’ comments in an at-the-bench conference referring to a statement made by Bugliosi brought about a fine of $75 or a night in jail. Hughes said he was a pauper, unable is pay the fine, and was immediately taken away by deputies.
His use of an obscene word in replying to Bugliosi led Judge Charles Older to cite him for being “disorderly, disruptive, vulgar and unprofessional,” despite his apology to the court.
Ernest Graves, attorney for Kanarek and Hughes, argued that the jail term, even though just overnight, would impair their ability to defend their clients. Judge Older refused to listen to Graves’ arguments and walked out of court in the middle of the attorney’s statements. Graves’ asked both the court stenographer and the court clerk to take down his statements for the record, but was told to “shut up” by the stenographer who picked up his steno machine and walked from the courtroom.
Before the confrontation between attorneys and judge began, the courtroom drama between the Manson “family” members and their chief accuser heightened, as Mrs. Kasabian continued to implicate the four defendants in both the Tate and La Bianca murders.
At one point, the girl’s attorneys contend Manson actually threatened her with the statement: “You really blew it, Linda. You’d better start saying your prayers.” The threat, they said, was made as Mrs. Kasabian stood near Manson pointing out specifies at a layout of the home of actress Sharon Tate in Benedict Canyon.
The girl, however, apparently paid little heed as she told of Manson’s frantic hunt for someone to murder the night after the slaughter at the Tate home.
The night (Aug. 9) of the killing of Leno and Rosemary La Bianca in their Los Feliz home, the pale-faced prosecution witness said, she had expected to “go to the waterfall and eat zoo-zoos (candy) that Gypsy (Catherine Share, a family member) had brought from town.”
“But Charlie called Leslie (Van Houten), Katie (Patricia Krenwinkel) and I outside and told us to get a change of clothing and meet him in the house. He told me to get my driver’s license too.”
The orders by Manson had been the same the night before when the prosecution charges he sent four of his “family” out to kill those at the Tate home.
“Charlie said we were going to go out again tonight…that last night was too messy and he would go out and show us how to do it,” the girl testified, “Tex said we needed better weapons though…the ones we took last night weren’t effective enough.”
With Manson driving, and Mrs. Kasabian sitting next to him, with Tufts beside her, and Atkins, Krenwinkle, Charles Watson (now fighting extradition in Texas) and Miss Van Houten in the back seat they began their trip.
“I didn’t want to go along with them the second night,” the 21-year-old mother of two said. “I knew what was going to happen. I went along because Charlie asked me and I was afraid to say no.
“Charlie told as we were going to two different houses in two groups. He would go to one house and the other group would go to another.”
When Manson shipped for gas to continue his foray, Mrs. Kasabian said, she took over the driver’s duties following Manson’s directions.
“We turned off at Fair Oaks in Pasadena, and about a half hour later Charlie asked me to stop in front of a house — a one story, small house away from the road.
“Charlie got out of the car and told me to drive around the block, when I got back Charlie was standing in the same spot. He got into the car and we sat for a few minutes because we saw a man and woman get out of a car up the street. Charlie said something about the man being too big, so we drove off.”
Later, she said, Manson told them when he walked up to the house and looked in a window, he saw pictures of children on the wall, and couldn’t kill them. Manson soon relented however, “Children shouldn’t stop us – it’s for the good of children of the future,” the girl quoted him as saying.
After considering and rejecting four other targets, she said, Manson directed her to the home of Harold True, a friend at whose home she had attended a party the year before. The LaBiancas lived next door.
“I really flashed. I said ‘Charlie you’re not going into that house, are you?’ He said, ‘No, I’m going next door’ and got out of the car, and disappeared up the driveway.”
Before she and her five “family” members could smoke “three-fourths of a Pall Mall cigarette,” Manson was back.
“He called Leslie, Katie and Tex (Watson) out of the car and I heard Charlie say there was a man and woman up in the house. That he had tied their hands and told them not to be afraid that he wouldn’t hurt them.
“I’m not positive,” she said calmly, “but it keeps ringing in my head that he said ‘don’t let them know you’re going to kill them.’
“But I heard him say not to cause fear and panic in these people.”
Eventually, she said, Manson got back into the car and handed her a wallet as they drove off, leaving the others to hitch-hike back to the the Spahn Ranch when they completed their job.
Following Manson’s orders, she hid the wallet in gas station rest room.
Manson’s theory, she said, was that some black person would pick it up and use the credit cards and police would figure them as part of a marauding band of Black Panthers.
Earlier, Mrs. Kasabian, apparently calm in direct contrast to her sobbing testimony Tuesday, said that Manson was waiting for them when they arrived home from the five killings at the Tate Benedict Canyon estate.
Manson, she testified, then asked if they had any remorse, and they all said no.
The hippie leader then ordered them not to discuss the killings with anyone at the ranch and to get some sleep.
“I went to sleep, but I can’t remember where, and I slept most of the day.”
Although the names of the victims had never been mentioned she said she heard them the following day on television. It was that evening, after dinner, that Manson told them they were “going to go out again, tonight,” she testified.
The dead at the Tate home were the 37-year-old actress, Polish playboy Voityek Frykowski, coffee heiress Abigail Folger, 26, hair stylist Jay Sebring, 35, and Stephen Parent, 18, of El Monte.
By MARY NEISWENDER