Tate Joint Defense Splits; Cult Chief’s Attorney Blamed
Tuesday, August 11th, 1970
LOS ANGELES, Aug. 11 – Defense attorney Irving Kanarek pounded away today with more cross examination of key state witness Linda Kasabian despite the objection of other defense attorneys to his tactics.
The lawyer for 35-year-old hippie cult leader Charles Manson handed another bloody photograph of one of the victims of the Tate-LaBianca slayings to Mrs. Kasabian on the witness stand as he sought to force her to admit she had gone into the Tate residence also.
Mrs. Kasabian averted her eyes from the photograph.
The “united defense” put forth by Manson and the three young women codefendants was disintegrating and other defense attorneys said Kanarek might be doing a good job for Manson but he was implicating the girls.
Kanarek showed Mrs. Kasabian a photograph of a window of the Tate home and asked
her if she had not looked into the house. She replied she had been standing by Charles “Tex” Watson and did glance through the window.
She said all she saw was a table and a bookcase in the room.
Objections by the prosecution squelched many of Kanarek’s questions, including one about why she had lived in communes all over the United States.
The 21-year-old witness was in her 12th day of testimony in the case. She was granted immunity Monday in the seven slayings.
Defense counsels Paul Fitzgerald and Ronald Hughes both strongly objected to questioning of Mrs. Kasabian by Kanarek.
And Manson interjected himself into the controversy by calling out suddenly in the courtroom: “You’re getting me locked into this guy.”
The long-haired, bearded defendant was objecting to Kanarek’s asking questions over and over again and showing pictures which could tie him into the case.
Fitzgerald charged that Kanarek was “acting more like a third prosecutor” in his questioning of Mrs. Kasabian. He said Kanarek was doing a good job for Manson but that he was implicating the other defendants — Susan Atkins, Leslie Van Houten and Patricia Krenwinkel.
Fitzgerald said it was understandable because Manson never had been linked directly to the slayings but that Kanarek had no hesitation in pointing the finger at the other defendants.
Ronald Hughes, attorney for Miss Atkins, said he thought the rift, if it continued, “is going to do us irreparable harm.”
“I don’t see us far apart,” Hughes said, “but I feel we’ve got to get Kanarek back in line.”
Manson, who for a short time acted as his own attorney, has attempted since before the trial began to bring himself and the three codefendants under one defense.
Mrs. Kasabian’s immunity came when Superior Court Judge Charles Older signed prosecution, petitions insuring the 21-year-old blonde would never be tried for the killings, although she admitted being present at both homes during the slayings last August.
She technically was free to walk out of jail whenever her attorneys asked for her release. Ronald Goldman, one of her attorneys, said he expected the young woman would leave jail within the next few days and that she would do so secretly and be placed under heavy guard. He said there was concern about her safety “in view of letters we have received recently.”
The prosecution said extreme precautions would be taken for her safety once she was released.
Before the rift appeared in the defense team, Kanarek made a motion that the trial be moved to the Tate estate so the witness could point out at the scene just what happened. Older summarily denied it.
The judge also rejected a motion by Kanarek for a mistrial on grounds that Mrs. Kasabian was lying and that her testimony was tainted because she feels she has to carry favor with the prosecution.
When Kanarek also objected to her being granted immunity, deputy district attorney Aaron Stovitz said it was the defense itself which last week asked that she be given immunity so that she would no longer be under obligation to the prosecution.
At one point during her testimony, Mrs. Kasabian stood at a diagram of the Tate residence. Her shoulder was less than two feet from Manson who sat at the counsel table.
He whispered to her once and she glanced down at him and smiled faintly but his words could not be heard. Then he turned his back as she went on with her testimony.
At another point during the session, both defense lawyers and the prosecution objected to the judge about Kanarek’s actions.
He had placed a picture of the bloody body of Voityck Frykowski, one of the victim’s at the Tate home, in front of Mrs.Kasabian and she shut her eyes.
“Open your eyes,” Kanarek demanded.
Deputy district attorney Vincent Bugliosi almost slapped down Kanarek’s fingers and said, “you can’t tell her to open her eyes.”
Fitzgerald objected at this point to the picture being introduced into evidence.