Manson Will Tell It All – In Song
Saturday, January 31st, 1970
LOS ANGELES, Jan. 31 – Charles Miles Manson, the long-haired hippie leader charged with masterminding the Tate and LaBianca murders, will tell his story to the world in song — not words — he said Friday in an exclusive interview with the Independent Press Telegram.
“They (the courts) have got me mired with so much to do, I haven’t had time to write anything down,” Manson said in a telephone interview from the jail library.
He said he had read Susan Atkins’ story, “The Killing of Sharon Tate” for which she and her co-authors reportedly received $200,000—but he declined to comment on the contents other than to say she “made a lot of money.”
“Oh, I’ve been offered the same thing,” he said. “They say for me not to talk to anyone else, because it depreciates the value of the book. Each time they come, they come with a little better offer.”
But the short, one-time guru of some 150 flower children living at the Spahn Ranch in Chatsworth, adds he “won’t do it (sell his life story) — ever.”
“Never…I’m not going to do it ever,” he repeated. “I’ve lived without money…I’ve always lived without money. If you get caught up in some thing like that..it’ll catch you up in it and keep you.”
The court order restricting Manson from talking to the press apparently doesn’t bother the freethinking hippie.
“I’m not afraid to violate the court order,” he said, “but when you write something down it’s gone. What you write today is gone tomorrow — something takes its place, or you change.
“A lot of people come to talk to me for five minutes, go out and say they know all about me and my personal views — that they had a personal interview with me, and all that.
“One guy even wrote a three-article story and got $100,000 for a 15-minute interview. Of course, it was everything he wanted to say and nothing that I said.
“But I always let other people do and feel the way they want — I feel that’s the best way.”
His way, he says, is music. And that’s the way his version of the Tate and LaBianca murders, as well as his life in various hippie communes up and down the state, will be told — without the written word.
How many records this will take, the 34-year-old Manson can’t estimate.
“I don’t know whether it’ll be single records, or an album. There are a bunch of tapes out already that they (record companies) are fooling with.”
How Manson got a tape recorder, a request that had been denied by the judge, and got the tapes out of his county jail cell, was not discussed.
“They not only haven’t given me a tape recorder,” the murder suspect said, “they haven’t given me anything. They’re taking things away, and now they won’t even let me talk to my witnesses — none of them.
“Sadie (Susan Atkins) wants to see me, but her attorney won’t let her. She’s gotten word to me that if I find her a good attorney, she’ll shut up.”
But, Charlie adds, she isn’t the only witness he’s not allowed to talk with.
“They say I’m my own attorney, so other attorneys can’t bring in witnesses. So I told them to just let the witnesses come in alone, but then they say they can’t because I’ve already seen some of them three times, and that’s the limit.
“But I say that’s not enough time to work out a case like this.
“Some of the people hitchhike to get here. There were 150 persons — off and on — that lived at that ranch…and like they’re strung all over the country.
“People are hitchhiking all over trying to find people that were there during that time. They come in and they talk (with me) for maybe five or 10 minutes, and go out looking for someone else.
“It’s a difficult situation for these people (the establishment) to understand, because they only understand living at the same address for 40 years and having the same phone number forever; they don’t understand the nomad sort of situation where people are moving.”
But as far as his case is concerned, he says he is not worried.
“They haven’t … they’ve never had a case,” he insists.
And he feels the same way about the kind of defense he is expected to put up:
“I’m supposed to be innocent until proven guilty. I’ll let them prove it.”
Although he charged in court he already has been “tried, convicted and executed in print” and wanted the court’s “gag” order lifted, so he could tell his side, he has not, as yet, talked about the case to newsmen.
“There is one thing I would say to the press, if I had a chance to say something to the press:
“If the press tells lies and the lies get bigger and bigger, then soon the people are not going to know what’s going on. Then any sort of government that would get in could do anything they want to do to the people, because they (the people) are not behind them (the press) .”
And, as an example, he cites his own case:
“Some atrocious murders were perpetrated. So they say, ‘Well, we’ve got to find somebody, so we’ll take these people here’ — meaning us.
“But the murders are still going on. You know the machine will not admit that it’s wrong…will not say ‘We have got the wrong people…the killers are still on the loose.’ They’re covering up the
thing as much as they can.
“I read a small article in the paper where same people were killed in San Francisco, and ‘pig’ was written on the wall. We’ve never heard any more about it. It was a very small article in the paper and it only ran one day.
“Then some friends of mine told me some people were killed in Santa Barbara — after I got in jail — and they’re still trying to blame it on me.
“Then some people back east were stabbed and ‘pig’ written on the wall.
“Then there’s this guy named Scott…this guy’s (my) supposed father was related to an uncle that was named Scott, so maybe I had something to do with that. So that’s being investigated back there.
“It’s really ridiculous because we’ve been known, as a society, to cover up on things.
“The whole thing’s so ridiculous to me . I tried to appear as outraged as I could (in court). But it’s hard for me to get angry. I had to work for an hour to get angry, because I can see it…It’s just madness.
“Let’s put it this way. It’s a negative force. If you can see it as a negative force, you’re in business. But why should I be a negative force just because I’m involved with a negative force? I’ve got to remain positive,
“I hate to fight…I’m not a fighter. I’m just not.
“But they’ve drawn the line and they’re making me fight.
“You know, I’d really divide if I could. I’d say, ‘I’m willing to give you my life because I love you enough to give you my life.’ But at the same time, first it’s my life, then it comes time that it’s somebody else’s and somebody else’s…and where does it stop?
“I’ve been in the proper tank(the part of the county jail reserved for prisoners serving as their own attorneys) with five or six different people who are appealing their cases an Death Row…there’s nothing these guys won’t do.
“But they (the establishment) haven’t applied their laws…they haven’ t gone by their books.
“But,” he adds, “nothing can hurt me…more than I’m already hurt.”
By MARY NEISWENDER