Tate Death Gun Called ‘Favorite’ Manson Weapon
Thursday, September 17th, 1970
LOS ANGELES, Sept. 17 – The gun used to kill five persons at the home of actress Sharon Tate was described today as “the favorite gun” of hippie leader Charles Manson.
Former Manson “family” member Danny DeCarlo, on the stand in Los Angeles Superior Court for the third day, said the 22-caliber revolver used in the murders was one of several guns at the Spahn ranch, headquarters for the family at the time of the Tate-LaBianca murders.
DeCarlo, who was a weapons instructor in the Coast Guard for four years and who now owns his own gun shop, said he took care of the “family” weapons while he was a member of the hippie cult from March to August 1969.
He listed the guns at the ranch as a .303 British Enfield rifle, a .22 rifle, a 20-gauge shotgun, a 30-caliber carbine, a 12-gauge riot gun, an M-l carbine, a submachine gun, and the .22 revolver.
The revolver, DeCarlo said, was the one Manson carried with him and fired most often. Manson got the gun, DeCarlo said, by “trading my truck for it.” He said the gun disappeared in early August and he didn’t know what happened to it.
DeCarlo said he target practiced at birds at the Spahn ranch but Manson didn’t approve.
“Charlie didn’t like me shooting at the birds,” DeCarlo testified. “He said he’d rather shoot people than birds.”
DeCarlo said that although he was “drunk every day at the ranch” he took care of the guns. He added that Charles “Tex” Watson, also charged in the murders, was the auto mechanic but Manson “didn’t do nothing.”
The mustachioed motorcycle club member said Manson, however, would talk to his hippie group about the term “helter skelter,” which he said meant “trouble comin’ down fast,” and the Bible’s Revelations IX which Manson described to his group as “the destiny of the world.”
“But,” DeCarlo said, “Charlie said you shouldn’t be afraid to die, death meant nothing.”
Along with the guns, DeCarlo said one of the 13 girls at the ranch bought a “bunch of buck knives” which the family members wore in sheaths on their belts.
The trial, in which Manson and his three girl disciples — Susan Atkins, Patricia Krenwinkel and Leslie Van Houten— are charged with murder and conspiracy, resumed today after a three-day recess to allow Superior Court Judge Charles Older to attend a Bar Association meeting. DeCarlo is the 43rd of what is expected to be 70 prosecution witnesses.
By MARY NEISWENDER
do you know the specimen number for the gun used in the first murder in the Charles Manson case.
What about the pair of .45 caliber colt revolvers the “family” stole from the Spahn Ranch?