• Manson Prosecutor Asserts Defendants Are ‘Guilty as Sin’ 

Manson Prosecutor Asserts Defendants Are ‘Guilty as Sin’ 

LOS ANGELES, Jan. 14 – Prosecutor Vincent T. Bugliosi charged Wednesday that the defense in the Tate-LaBianca murder trial tried to conceal the guilt of Charles Manson and three women defendants behind a smokescreen.

He told the jurors at the beginning of his final summation of the case that the defendants are “guilty as sin,” but, like the octopus, their attorneys had tried to let them escape in a cloud of ink.

He contends there is “so much evidence” of the defendants’ guilt that he has to fight against becoming complacent. He suggested that not even the late, great attorney Clarence Darrow could have helped the defendants.

Bugliosi, an articulate prosecutor who favors colorful phrases and vivid examples, promised jurors he would “clear up the waters.”

His manner was forceful and confident as he dealt in rebuttal with the arguments of the defense attorneys. He argued that:

— The defense tried to create the impression that the prosecution’s case in the seven killings was based solely on circumstantial evidence, when, in fact, it rests on eyewitness testimony of Linda Kasabian and such physical evidence as fingerprints at the Tate residence and a .22-caliber revolver used in the killings.

— His opponents tried to create the impression that the defense, which called no witnesses, had somehow been prohibited from doing so, when, in fact, their mouths had not been gagged or their feet or hands bound when they walked into the courtroom.

— The defense had disclosed the “desperation of its case” when defense attorneys “hung their hat” on Bugliosi’s description of Manson’s followers as “robots,” when, in fact, they knew he did not mean a clanking machine but used the word to describe people who are “slavishly obedient.”

— Manson’s attorney, Irving A. Kanarek, tried to shift the blame for the murders from his client to Charles (Tex) Watson, when, in fact, that “hat” fit Charles Milles Manson, who, he said, is sometimes known to his followers as “Jesus Christ.”

Starting with Patricia Krenwinkel’s attorney, Paul Fitzgerald, Bugliosi declared the lawyer had “misstated evidence so many times I couldn’t believe it.”

The prosecutor cited 20 instances in which he said Fitzgerald had been wrong, including such matters as how many times Voltyck Frykowski had been stabbed and how many knives were used in the Tate murders.

Bugliosi said he could only conclude that Fitzgerald had not been listening to the testimony or had not checked the facts in the transcript.

He said that Fitzgerald had asked during his final argument why Manson was supposed to have sent three girls and a man out to kill.

Bugliosi declared that the killers of actress Sharon Tate and four others were “more than adequate.” He reminded jurors that the seven Tate-La Bianca victims had been stabbed a total of 169 times and asked if the “overkill” didn’t show “willing participation.”

Bugliosi argued that while “Sadie” Atkins, “Katie” Krenwinkel, Leslie Van Houten and “Tex” Watson were “slavishly obedient” to Manson, they were not suffering from diminished mental capacity.

“They were suffering from a diminished heart, a diminished soul,” he said.

Bugliosi sometimes employed sarcasm and ridicule in talking about Kanarek and the attorney’s lengthy final argument.

He described the short, chunky lawyer as a “Toscanini of tedium.” He said Kanarek had described the trial as a Roman circus and reminded the attorney that every circus has a “clown.”

Bugliosi claimed Kanarek had “misstated” and “manufactured” evidence while saying that none of the prosecution’s evidence —confession, fingerprints — means anything.

Bugliosi accused Kanarek and the other defense attorneys of “incredible sophistry” in suggesting that the prosecution had not asked certain witnesses questions when the defense could have, but did not, call any witnesses.

He charged that Kanarek’s “entire thrust” had been to suggest that the police, prosecution and prosecution witnesses had gotten together to frame Manson.

Kanarek interrupted Bugliosi’s summation more than a half dozen times in 17 minutes.

The trial was disrupted at one point when Bugliosi described Manson as a “vicious, diabolical murderer.” Manson peered through the grille of a holding room and growled, “Grrhh.”

Manson and the three women defendants were removed from the courtroom Dec. 22 to listen to proceedings through loudspeakers because they repeatedly disrupted the hearing.

Bugliosi expects to take all of today and part of Friday for argument.


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One Response to Manson Prosecutor Asserts Defendants Are ‘Guilty as Sin’ 

  1. Kim says:

    Bruce Davis has a parole hearing on Thursday

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