Linda Tells Why She Didn’t Report Killings to Police
Wednesday, August 19th, 1970
LOS ANGELES, Aug. 19 – Linda Kasabian, an eyewitness to three of the seven Tate-LaBianca murders, testified today that she had “no thought of going to the police” when she fled from the Spahn Ranch home of the Charles Manson “family.”
The 22-year-old mother of two, on the witness stand in Los Angeles Superior Court for the past 18 days, said she had several reasons for not notifying police of the murders from the time they happened, Aug. 9-10, 1969, until she turned herself in to police four months later.
“I thought police were pigs. I didn’t know how to go to them. I thought they would say I was crazy and take my little girl away. I didn’t know where Charlie was. It was possible they (the “family”) would find me and kill me and my little girl. I was pregnant and wanted to go to my husband and tell him first,” she testified.
Admitting she did not tell her husband she didn’t want to go to the police, she said she told him, “I left Tanya back with the people at the ranch.”
“I remember my words were something like ‘Charlie flipped out and had a bunch of people killed.’ I told him. I saw a whole bunch of people get killed. It was an extremely emotional thing with me and I let it all out.”
Her husband’s reaction, she testified under cross-examination by Manson’s attorney, Irving Kanarek, was, “like he wasn’t seeing reality.”
His first reaction, she said, was for her to “hurry and get your little girl out of there.”
She next told Joe Sage, the head of a Zen Buddhist cult in New Mexico, and his reaction, she said, was disbelief.
“When I told him my story very briefly, he said, ‘Linda, I don’t want to believe that story. I just don’t believe it’s true’.”
Mrs. Kasabian, who tied her hair in pigtails again today, wore a new longsleeved orange dress and a pair of hippie-type mocassins. Her testimony is expected to conclude later today and her attorneys have set up a press conference for her at Parker Center, the police administration building.
The girl is being guarded by three Los Angeles police officers, one a woman, and is living in a downtown Los Angeles apartment.
Mrs. Kasabian’s silktype dress is in direct contrast to the drab jail uniform worn by the three female defendants; Susan Atkins, Patricia Krenwinkel and Leslie Van Houten.
Sitting in a front row of the jammed spectator section today was Paul Tate, father of slain actress Sharon Tate. The father, a retired army intelligence officer, had testified before Mrs. Kasabian’s appearance but has avoided coming to court for the past three weeks.
In her testimony Tuesday, Mrs. Kasabian claimed that although she “knew” her husband was the father of her last child, born in March while she was in jail, she said it was possible the father could be Manson, Charles “Tex” Watson, now fighting extradition in Texas, or Bruce Davis, now being sought on murder charges.
Admitting Manson and the three girl defendants had tried to talk to her in court, she said that she had tried to talk to them, also.
“I was putting out thought vibrations to the girls — trying to tell them to tear away their faces and come to the light. They put on invisible masks — the faces they put on in court,” she said.
Asked to elaborate, she said she “sometimes” put on a similar face in the courtroom, but “only when people talk to you and you don’t feel like talking or smiling or responding — so you just put on a face.”
By MARY NEISWENDER