Tate Trial Witness Says Manson Admitted Killings
Monday, September 28th, 1970
LOS ANGELES, Sept. 28 – A few days after the Sharon Tate murders, a witness testified today, Charles Manson pulled a knife and told him: “Don’t you know I’m the one that’s doing all these killings?”
The witness at the Tate murder trial was Juan Flynn, 25, a Panamanian immigrant who said he was a member of Manson’s hippie-style family at the time of the slayings.
He said he was eating in the kitchen at the clan’s movie ranch commune when Manson came in, made a gesture for others to leave, then started a conversation.
At one point, Flynn said, “he grabbed me by the hair and put a knife on my throat and then he” made the remark about the killings. Flynn did not immediately explain why Manson allegedly pulled the knife or made the comment.
“I thought he was just boasting,” Flynn said, adding that Manson then put the knife on the table and said, “You kill me.”
Defense objections interrupted his testimony at that point.
The state says Manson conceived the killings and had followers perform them.
Earlier Flynn said he saw Manson and six followers get into a car at the commune after one said. “We’re gonna get us some pigs.” He identified them as the same seven the state says went on a murder foray the night after the Tate killings.
Flynn, testifying for the state, said he was sitting with others in a trailer at the commune when defendant Susan Atkins, 21, made the remark about getting some pigs.
She sent outside, Flynn said, and got into a car with Manson, 35; Patricia Krenwinkel, 22; Leslie Van Houten, 20; Linda Kasabian, 21; Clem Tufts, 22; and Charles Watson, 24.
Manson, Miss Atkins, Miss Krenwinkel and Miss Van Houten are on trial in the slayings of Miss Tate and six others. Miss Kasabian won immunity from prosecution for testimony for the state. Watson is to be tried separately. Tufts was not charged.
Flynn couldn’t remember the date of the incident, but said it was in August 1969. It was that month, the state says, that members of the group killed Mr. and Mrs. Leno LaBianca. A night earlier, Miss Tate and four others were slain at her home.
Flynn was asked who the pigs were, according to Manson.
“The pigs were anything that carried or gave the consent to support the system — the establishment,” he said. “They were the white people.”
Manson often played a record called “Helter Skelter” by the Beatles, and discussed racial war, Flynn said, saying it described things to come. He quoted Manson as saying “the black people were to overcome the white people because their love had been kicked so much….and a revolution was in order.” Manson “wanted to show the niggers…he had to show the niggers how to do it, and so he had to go down and kill a whole bunch of pigs.”