Manson Says He Slashed But Did Not Kill Hinman
Sunday, August 15th, 1971
LOS ANGELES, Aug. 15 — Charles Manson, in a surprise move today had admitted slashing musician Gary Hinman with a sword, but indicated he did not kill him.
The 36-year-old condemned murderer testified Friday outside the presence of the jury which is trying him for the 1969 killing of Hinman and the alleged slaying the same year of movie stuntman Donald “Shorty” Shea.
Manson was called to the witness stand by his attorney, Irving A. Kanarek, in an attempt to refute earlier testimony, also outside the jury’s presence by sheriff’s homicide detective Sgt. Paul J. Whiteley and Herald-Examiner reporter Clifford Blackburn.
Whiteley’s and Blackburn’s testimony concerned whispered remarks Manson made to the detective during an open court session last Tuesday.
Manson testified he talked to Whiteley “about my being at Hinman’s house.”
“I told him I had to go over there because Bobby (Beausoleil) wouldn’t stand up,” he said.
“I took the gun away from the guy (Hinman) and had to cut him and I felt bad about it,” Manson claimed he told Whiteley.
Manson was referring to Robert Beausoleil 23, already convicted and condemned to the gas chamber for Hinman’s murder.
The cult leader said he told Whiteley that he had done this two days before Hinman’s murder.
“I said I couldn’t understand why I should be held responsible for something somebody else did,” Manson testified.
Concerning Beausoleil, Manson declared, “Bobby does what Bobby does. I don’t direct Bobby in any direction.”
Manson claimed he told Whiteley, “I had to show Bobby with a motion how to stand up and be his own father.”
Manson said he also told Whiteley, “Gary Hinman being dead is no loss to the world because he had bad dope anyway.”
Manson, who said he talked to Whiteley every chance he could, claimed he told the detective in another conversation:
“Wouldn’t it be funny if I got a telephone call from Shorty Shea and I said it seems doubtful that that would happen.”
Although the prosecution claims Manson killed Shea, the body has never been found.
Manson explained that he was “programming” Whiteley and said, “I drop a lot of information into his head that would be useful to me later on.”
After hearing testimony from all three men, trial Judge Raymond Choate said Whiteley’s and Blackburn’s testimony would be admissible before the jury.
It was not known whether Manson would testify before the jury about the statements or whether Judge Choate would allow him to do so.
The conversation last Tuesday with Whiteley occurred while attorneys for both sides were at Judge Choate’s bench talking over legal matters.
Whiteley said Manson told him.
“I went to Hinman’s house, I got the gun and sliced his ear and I don’t deny it.
“I told Bobby how to stand up. He had a woman’s thought. I told him how to do it. Hinman deserved to die. He was greasy.”
Whiteley said Manson initiated the conversation by saying that one of the state’s witnesses had lied.
The sergeant said he then told Manson, “I didn’t put you at the Hinman house — Mary Brunner did.”
Miss Brunner, 27, one of Manson’s followers was a key witness against Beausoleil in that trial. However, she has changed her story about Hinman’s murder numerous times.
Whiteley said it was at this point in the conversation that Manson explained to him about going to Hinman’s house.
The detective also testified that during the same talk, Manson said, “I have never killed anyone.”
While Kanarek was cross-examining Whiteley and before Manson took the stand, the cult leader was in an adjacent courtroom lockup.
Manson was in the lockup on Judge Choate’s orders because the defendant refuses to behave himself in the courtroom.
During Kanarek’s questioning of Whiteley, Manson yelled from the lockup, “I said that. If he’ll finish the statement and complete the damn thing and not leave it hanging. State what else I said.”
Whiteley also testified that Manson spoke to him again last Monday and told him, “wouldn’t it be funny if he got a telephone call from Shorty Shea.”
The sergeant said Manson concluded with, ‘”Don’t worry, I won’t get one.”
Blackburn testified that he overheard the Tuesday statement by Manson to Whiteley.
He said Manson told the detective:
“I went to his (Hinman’s) house and I hit him in the head with a sword. I held a gun on him.
“I told Bobby Beausoleil to kill him and I even showed him how to do it.”
The newsman said Manson asked Whiteley, “What’s all the fuss? He (Hinman) was dealing in dirty dope.”
Blackburn admitted under Kanarek’s questioning that he thinks Manson is guilty and should be sentenced to the gas chamber.
Kanarek argued the statements Manson made Tuesday are inadmissible because Whiteley solicited them, knowing they could be used against Manson in court.
Judge Choate, however, ruled Manson’s comments were “free and voluntary.”
During Whiteley’s testimony, Kanarek asked to see the detectives notes about Tuesday’s conversation.
Whiteley was reticent to hand them over to the attorney and Kanarek squealed, “He’s attempting to cover something up.”
The detective explained to Judge Choate that he did not wish Kanarek to see an address written on a page of the notes
The judge agreed with Whiteley and although he admitted the notes into evidence, he sealed the page containing the address with a stapler.