Smashed, Yes, Not Drunk, Manson Witness Explains
Tuesday, September 22nd, 1970
LOS ANGELES, Sept. 22 – A former motorcycle gang leader ended four days of testimony as a state witness at the Sharon Tate murder trial yesterday by defining the distinction between being “smashed” and drunk.
DeCarlo, 26, has linked Charles M. Manson to a gun, knife and other physical evidence that the state says figured in the case. The defense has made much of his statement that he was “smashed” 99 per cent of the time while living as a member of Manson’s hippie – style family in 1969, contending it makes his statements suspect.
A defense attorney asked if DeCarlo’s “principal avocation” was being drunk.
“I smoke weed, too,” DeCarlo answered.
He was asked if he recalled a conversation with a woman called Gypsy while he lived at the Manson commune at a movie ranch.
“One night Gypsy got mad at me because I wouldn’t take my boots off when I made love to her,” DeCarlo said.
“Isn’t it true that the only thing pinpointed in your mind about the time you spent at the ranch were the times you had sex?” he was asked.
“Even some of that I can’t remember,” DeCarlo said.
Manson, 35, is on trial with three women followers charged with murder – conspiracy in the killings of Miss Tate and six other persons in August 1969.
DeCarlo also testified that Manson “liked knives better than guns” and was indeed the owner of a .22 revolver the state says figured in three of the deaths.
DeCarlo, a Medford, Ore., gunsmith, said after being excused that he has been ordered to return Oct. 21 to testify for the defense. He said he wouldn’t have testified for the state if he hadn’t been subpoenaed.
He told a corridor news conference he still likes Manson: “We had a good time. He showed me a good time. He’s a good guy…Those are times I’ll never forget as long as I live.”
Referring to the ranch, he told one newsman: If you’d been up there with me, you’d be 10 years younger.”