Manson Denied Tate Case Venue Change
Wednesday, March 25th, 1970
LOS ANGELES, Mar. 25 – Charles M. Manson and co-defendant Patricia Krenwinkel yesterday were denied their motion for a change of venue in the Sharon Tate murder case on grounds pre-trial publicity had “been absolutely unparalleled in history.”
A defense attorney contended Manson and his followers had been accused by the news media of violating “every single one of the Ten Commandments” and had been linked to “every unsolved crime in the state of California.”
Superior Court Judge Malcolm Lucas ruled that a change of venue would be “ineffectual, because it would simply change the area of intense publicity.”
He agreed with Paul J. Fitzgerald, attorney for Miss Krenwinkel, that pre-trial publicity had been “very, very extensive,” but he added that “I find that it has been substantially equal throughout the entire state of California.”
Fitzgerald, who resigned from the public defender’s office because of differences of opinion over handling of the case and now represents Miss Krenwinkel as private counsel, told the court, “it would be almost absolutely impossible to put 12 persons in a jury box and not find someone of them who had read a newspaper article, seen a television report or listened to a radio commentary about the case. If you did find such a person you would probably find he couldn’t see, couldn’t hear, or couldn’t read.”
“Mr. Manson has been accused of violating every one of the Ten Commandments, from setting up false gods to theft, coveting other men’s wives and bearing false witness,” Fitzgerald continued.
Fitzgerald introduced into evidence stacks of newspaper clippings and television and radio news scripts concerning the case.
He contended that while the case has received nationwide attention, that news accounts outside of Southern California were primarily wire service stories, which he characterized as “more conservative. They don’t speculate.”
Prosecutor Vincent T. Bugliosi told the court that publicity concerning the case had been widespread because the “murders were perhaps the most savage in the annals of crime. Fear still exists in this community and this community had a right to know about these crimes. The press had a right to cover them.”
Anthem Drowns Out Manson Family Song
About a dozen of Charles Manson’s “family,” garbed in colorful, floor-length costumes, strolled out of court Tuesday singing one of Manson’s songs, “l’ll Never Say Never to Always.”
An elderly woman, dressed in a black dress and hat and waving a black umbrella marched up to them and drowned them out, with a spirited if somewhat off-key rendition of “The Star Spangled Banner.”