Manson Sought A Racial War
Saturday, July 25th, 1970
LOS ANGELES, Jul. 25 – Cultist Charles Manson tried to start a race war with mass murder on two bloody nights last summer when his followers killed seven persons, the prosecution charged yesterday in the Tate-La Bianca trial.
Los Angeles Deputy Dist. Atty. Vincent T. Bugliosi offered the “bizarre” motive for the savage killings of actress Sharon Tate and six others in a 20-minute opening statement outlining the case. He also declared that:
— The prosecution’s chief witness, Linda Kasabian, 20, a petite, sandy-haired former Manson “family” member, saw three of the five murders committed at the Tate residence.
— Another planned Manson-directed murder was avoided the next night — when Leno and Rosemary La Bianca were killed — because Mrs. Kasabian intentionally knocked on the wrong door in Venice, Calif.
After the opening statement the state called Miss Tate’s father, Paul J. Tate, a goateed, mustachioed retired Army colonel, as the first witness in the six-week-old trial.
Tate identified pictures of his daughter with her husband, producer Roman Polanski, and three of Miss Tate’s guests who were killed early last Aug. 9 — coffee heiress Abigail Folger, 28; Polish playboy Voityck Frykowski, 37; and hair stylist Jay Sebring, 35,
The fifth victim, Steven Parent, 18, of El Monte, Calif., was identified through photos shown to his father, Wilfred E. Parent, a construction superintendent, the second witness.
Mrs. Winifred Chapman, a maid who ran from the Tate house screaming, “There’s bodies and blood all over the place,” identified the residence and described living arrangements.
Manson, an X scratched or marked on his forehead between his eyes, and three of his “girls” listened impassively as the parents testified.
Earlier Manson had smiled broadly and the young women had looked scornful, giggled and whispered among themselves as Bugliosi spoke.
“The evidence at this trial will show list these seven incredible murders were perhaps the most bizarre, savage, nightmarish murders in the recorded annals of crime,” he said. “I am of course excluding wartime atrocities.”
“What kind of a diabolical, satanic mind would contemplate or conceive of these mass murders? What kind of mind would want to have seven human beings brutally murdered?
“We expect the evidence at this trial to show that defendant Charles Manson owned that diabolical mind. Charles Manson, who, the evidence will show, at times has had the infinite humility, if you will, to call himself Jesus Christ.”
The prosecutor described Manson as a frustrated singer-guitarist, a vagrant wanderer, a pseudophilosopher and a megalomaniac who coupled delusions of greatness with a thirst for power and intense obsession for violent death.
“But most of all,” Bugliosi said, “the evidence will show him to be a killer who cleverly masqueraded behind the common image of a hippie — that of being peace-loving.”
He said Manson was a follower of the Beatles and thought the English singing group was speaking to him from across the sea through their lyrics.
When the Beatles sang a song called “Helter Skelter,” Bugliosi said, Manson told his followers they were forecasting the rise of the black man against the whites, an event he predicted was at hand.
But, the prosecutor said, when racial conflict failed to develop the clan leader said, “I’m going to have to show Blackie how to do it.”
Manson’s plan, according to Bugliosi, was to blame the seven killings on black people, then hide with his “family” in California’s Death Valley to await victory by the blacks, whom he hated along with “pigs” of the white establishment.
The attorney said Manson thought the reins of power would fall to him and his followers when blacks discovered they were too inexperienced to lead.
“In Manson’s mind,” Bugliosi said, “his family, and particularly he, would be the ultimate beneficiaries of the black-white civil war.”
He admitted the motive was “bizarre as the murders themselves” but he told the jury of seven men and five women that evidence to support it would be presented to help them understand why seven persons died.
Also, he said, several witnesses would be called to testify about Manson is “strange” and “bizarre” philosophies because perhaps the jurors would not believe so incredible a story from only one witness.
However, Bugliosi said, the principal witness of “who” committed the murders will be Mrs. Kasabian, who is also charged with seven counts of murder. However, immunity will be sought for her by the prosecution.
As briefly outlined yesterday, the young woman will tell of her involvement as a driver in two murderous forays from the Spahn Movie Ranch in Chatsworth, Calif.
Bugliosi said she will testify that:
— On Manson’s orders she accompanied Susan Atkins, Patricia Krenwinkel and Charles Watson, a male member of the “family” who still is fighting extradition from Texas, to the Tate home late in the evening of Aug. 8 without being told what was planned.
— Although she did not enter the home or commit any murders, she saw Watson shoot Parent in a car in the driveway and watched Watson and Patricia Krenwinkel kill Miss Folger and Frykowski on the lawn.
— She did not actually see the murders of the beauteous, honeyblonde Miss Tate or Sebring, who died inside the house, but did see Susan Atkins come out and say she had lost her knife inside.
— On Watson’s instructions she threw the killers’ knives and blood-splattered clothing over the side of a hill near the scene of the slayings.
— When the group returned to the Spahn ranch and Watson had reported what happened, Manson told them they had been “too messy” and he was going to show them how to do it.
— On the next evening, Aug. 9, Manson, Watson, Miss Atkins, Miss Krenwinkel, Leslie Van Houten and a man named Steve Grogan, 24, drove into Los Angeles on a mission of murder.
— Ultimately, Manson directed her to drive to a home he had visited a year before and then walked next door to the home of wealthy grocer Leno La Bianca, 44, and his wife, Rosemary, 38.
— When Manson returned he reported the hands of the victims had been tied and instructed Watson, Miss Van Houten and Miss Krenwinkel how to murder the couple without causing “panic and fear.”
— Later that same night Manson ordered the murder of a man who Mrs. Kasabian knew lived in a Venice apartment, but she deliberately went to the wrong door to thwart it.
Bugliosi said the “overkill” tactics of Manson’s followers showed that they were willing participants in the killings.