Manson Carried Sword or Gun at LaBiancas’: Linda
Friday, August 14th, 1970
LOS ANGELES, Aug. 14 – Hippie leader Charles Manson took a sword or a gun with him when he entered the home of market owner Leno LaBianca, the star prosecution witness against the cultist testified today.
Linda Kasabian wound up her third week on the witness stand today, testifying as a witness rather than as a defendant, after her first night as a free woman.
Under redirect examination by Deputy District Atty. Aaron Stovitz, the young hippie said her former leader went into the Los Feliz home the night after the killings at the home of actress Sharon Tate.
The girl said she saw Manson with a sword with a 16-inch blade which he frequently carried at the Spahn Ranch in Chatsworth where the “family” made its home.
She said she was not sure, however, whether he took the sword or shoved a gun in his trousers as he entered the home.
She testified she thought the LaBiancas would be killed when Manson returned to the car and told her and five other “family” members with her that, he had tied up the LaBiancas.
Under questioning in Los Angeles Superior Court, she said she saw Manson enter the home with a leather thong around his neck. A few hours later, as she walked on beach with the long-haired, hippie chief, she said she “didn’t remember seeing the thong around his neck.” Two leather thongs had been used to tie the LaBiancas before they were brutally murdered.
Manson, she said, has attempted to communicate with her while she testified, but much of the conversation was ruled out by Judge Charles Older.
Mrs. Kasabian, whose testimony could doom her former leader, Thursday became the second of “Charlie’s girls” to walk away from murder charges.
The 21-year-old mother of two joined Mary Brunner, the mother of Manson’s child and an admitted participant in the murder of musician Gary Hinman, as a free woman despite her testimony that she “participated” in the murders at the Benedict Canyon home of actress Sharon Tate and knew about the killings at the LaBianca home the next day.
The two girls, however, didn’t spend the night together. Miss Brunner was ordered back to jail for 90 days Thursday for violating her probation on a forgery conviction.
Miss Brunner, the Wisconsin University librarian and the first, member of Manson’s “family,” had rejoined the remainder of the clan at the Spahn Ranch in Chatsworth. Her testimony was credited with sending Robert Beausoleil, another family member, to the gas chamber for Hinman’s murder, but the remnants of the hippie, colony apparently hold no ill feelings toward her.
Los Angeles Superior Judge William J. Rea said Miss Brunner’s return to the Spahn Ranch and her failure to get a job violated the terms of her probation. Miss Brunner argued that she had nowhere else to live and did not have enough money to return to Wisconsin.
Mrs. Kasabian has received both verbal and written threats on her life from family members, according to her attorneys and spent her time as a free woman in Los Angeles in an undisclosed apartment in the company of a female deputy sheriff.
When ask under cross-examination, what she thought about the dismissal of charges against her granted before court began Thursday, she commented:
“Everybody says I’m a free woman, but I don’t feel any different.”
By MARY NEISWENDER