Mother Accepts Blame Over Linda
Monday, August 24th, 1970
MILFORD, N.H., Aug. 24 – Linda Kasabian’s mother accepts a large share of the blame for her daughter’s involvement in the Tate-LaBianca murders, according to a copyrighted story Sunday in the Boston Globe.
Mrs. Joyce Byrd, in an interview with Globe reporter James Stack, said Linda is “incapable of violence.”
“A lot of what has happened to Linda is my fault, and in a way this makes her story my story, too,” said Mrs. Byrd.
“Like all teen-agers, Linda had problems but, when she came to me to talk about them, I didn’t give her much time. I had five younger children to raise.”
She said Linda, left home at 16 to get married but the union quickly ended in divorce. She then lived in a “hippie pad” in Milford for a month.
“She told me she had stolen up to the house late at night on Christmas Eve to peek through the-living room window at the decorations and the gifts under the tree.
“I was sitting in a chair, wondering and worrying about her, and she was just outside the window, looking in at me and the rest of the family. Both of us were crying.” But Linda went back to the hippie pad.
She came shortly afterward, but Mrs. Byrd said she then was very independent. “I tried to protect her by regulating her life. I told her what to eat, what to wear, what friends she could have…It was just one argument after another.”
Linda, then a heavy-set girl of 17, left New Hampshire to visit her father, Rosaire Drouin, in Miami.
“She began taking diet pills to improve her looks,” her mother recalled. “She thought if she took three pills at a time, instead of just one, she’d lose weight three times as fast, I think it was in Florida she might have gotten hung up on drugs.”
Mrs. Byrd said Linda returned to New Hampshire a year later as a slim sophisticate but “couldn’t take Milford after Miami” and went to Boston.
“She made the drug scene in a big way in Boston. She got herself arrested in a narcotics raid…and I went down there. That’s when I met Bob Kasabian for the first time.”
Mrs. Byrd didn’t like Kasabian, but things seemed better after he and Linda were married. The pair moved to Venice, Calif, but Linda soon began corning home frequently, her mother said.
However, Kasabian would call and “propose a trip to Mexico or South America or some other exotic place” and Linda would go back. “The last time this happened…he left her in California.”
“Linda felt thoroughly rejected, as she had so often before, and she turned again to life in hippie communes. She was a setup for Charles Manson and his cultist movement.”