‘You Better Pray I Never Get Out,’ Manson Friend Tells Sanity Trial
Saturday, February 24th, 1973
LOS ANGELES, Feb. 24 – “You had better pray I never get out,” convicted murderer Bobby (Cupid) Beausoleil told a jammed courtroom Friday at a sanity hearing for four other members of the Charles Manson “family.”
The 25-year-old Beausoleil was called as a witness on behalf of Catherine (Gypsy) Share, 30, and Lawrence Bailey, 23, apparently to explain how they reached their present philosophy.
They have been convicted with Mary Brunner, 30, and Kenneth Como, 33, of holding up a Hawthorne surplus store and a Covina beer distributorship in August of 1971.
All four defendants have entered pleas of innocent by reason of insanity. The same seven-woman, five-man jury that found them guilty of committing the two holdups will now decide the question of their sanity.
The handsome Beausoleil came into the courtroom wearing aviator’s dark glasses and with his jail blue shirt open wide enough to allow a full view of the tattoo which flares across his entire chest.
Manacled and wearing leg chains while on the stand, Beausoleil assumed a casual, laughing attitude and punctuated almost every other sentence of his testimony with, “Ya know.”
Under questioning by Larry Hirsch, Miss Share’s attorney, Beausoleil was asked if he thought she could conform to society’s standards of sanity. He replied:
“No more than I could. I’m at war with everybody in this courtroom. It’s nothing personal but the world has been gattling at my brothers and sisters and as long as they are ripping off our world, our friends and our children, you better pray I never get out.”
When asked if he thought Bailey could tell the difference between right or wrong, Beausoleil answered, “I don’t even know right from wrong, man…I know I couldn’t conform to the morality of this society…I don’t think he could either.”
Beausoleil is serving a life sentence for the fatal stabbing of Malibu musician Gary Hinman in late July, 1969.
He testified about making a phone call after his arrest for the Hinman murder to the Spahn movie ranch near Chatsworth where the Manson family was then headquartered.
“I ran some things down to them at the Spahn ranch and within two days seven people were killed.”
Dep. Dist. Atty. Harland Braun subsequently questioned him about this remark and Beausoleil conceded he was talking about the Sharon Tate-Leno LaBianca murders which occurred Aug. 9 and 10 in 1969.
Beausoleil was preceded to the witness stand by Dennis Rice, 35, who pleaded guilty earlier to taking part in the robbery of the Hawthorne surplus store.
During his testimony, he confirmed Braun’s contention that the 143 guns and $630 in cash taken from the Hawthorne store and the $2,600 netted in the Covina robbery were to he used in a plan to help Manson break out of prison.
Like Beausoleil, Rice testified that the defendants developed much of their “anti-Establishment” philosophy because of “constant rousting” by law enforcement officers, starting back in 1968.
Steve Grogan, 21, who has been convicted of the August, 1969, slaying of Spahn ranch hand Donald (Shorty) Shea, also testified Friday. At one point, he complained about the tactics of law enforcement, particularly in taking children from the Manson family, and said:
“Sometimes I want to kill you all but then I think it’s not your fault because you were brought up that way.”
Manson himself is expected to testify when the sanity hearing resumes Monday on the 15th floor of the Monday Criminal Courts Building.
Superior Judge Arthur Alarcon had bailiffs escort another Manson follower, 24-year-old Lynette (Squeaky) Fromme, from the courtroom when she laughed at some testimony given by Rice.
Later, when Como complained about her expulsion, the judge said, “Miss Fromme is suspected of doing something much more serious than laughing and I don’t want her in this courtroom. I’ve asked the district attorney and the grand jury to investigate the possibility of her tampering with this case.”
Alarcon would not elaborate on his remark. However, sources close to the case said he was referring to the telephoned death threats which caused him to excuse two jurors last week.
Miss Fromme, informed by a reporter of the judge’s remarks, said, “I don’t know what he’s talking about. I did not make any threats. I thought someone made up that story.”
By WILLIAM FARR