Monday, November 14, 2016

A Look At the Evidence: #2 Cutting the Wires (Who Told It Best?)

The official narrative of these crimes says when the murderers arrived at Cielo Drive the first thing that happened was that Watson climbed the power pole and cut the phone line. Atkins and Kasabian tell two versions of this tale. One is wrong. Which one? The answer is surprising.

The jury always determines the credibility of a witness. The judge ‘instructs’ the jury on the issue using the following instruction or one very similar in all cases.

You alone must judge the credibility or believability of the witnesses. In deciding whether testimony is true and accurate, use your common sense and experience. The testimony of each witness must be judged by the same standard. You must set aside any bias or prejudice you may have, including any based on the witness's gender, race, religion, or national origin [, or <insert any other impermissible bias as appropriate>].

You may believe all, part, or none of any witness's testimony. Consider the testimony of each witness and decide how much of it you believe.

In evaluating a witness's testimony, you may consider anything that reasonably tends to prove or disprove the truth or accuracy of that testimony. Among the factors that you may consider are:

How well could the witness see, hear, or otherwise perceive the things about which the witness testified?

How well was the witness able to remember and describe what happened?

What was the witness's behavior while testifying?

Did the witness understand the questions and answer them directly?

Was the witness's testimony influenced by a factor such as bias or prejudice, a personal relationship with someone involved in the case, or a personal interest in how the case is decided?

What was the witness's attitude about the case or about testifying?

Did the witness make a statement in the past that is consistent or inconsistent with his or her testimony?

How reasonable is the testimony when you consider all the other evidence in the case?

Did other evidence prove or disprove any fact about which the witness testified?

Did the witness admit to being untruthful?
What is the witness's character for truthfulness?

Has the witness been convicted of a felony?

Has the witness engaged in other conduct that reflects on his or her believability?

Was the witness promised immunity or leniency in exchange for his or her testimony?

Do not automatically reject testimony just because of inconsistencies or conflicts. Consider whether the differences are important or not. People sometimes honestly forget things or make mistakes about what they remember. Also, two people may witness the same event yet see or hear it differently.

 If you decide that a witness deliberately lied about something significant in this case, you should consider not believing anything that witness says. Or, if you think the witness lied about some things, but told the truth about others, you may simply accept the part that you think is true and ignore the rest.

Using this instruction is it possible to reach a conclusion regarding which witness told the more accurate tale regarding the phone line.

Atkins says this is what happened [the emphasis is mine]:

Q BY MR. BUGLIOSI: Susan, can you tell these members of the Grand Jury where Tex parked the car when you arrived at the residence?
A: Right here up this way [pointing to a diagram]. There would be another house over here. We parked between the power pole and the next door neighbor's house. 
Q: So the place where Tex parked the car would be north of this diagram here, not shown on this diagram; is that correct? 
*****
Q BY MR. BUGLIOSI: The place where Tex parked the car is not shown on this diagram; is that correct, Susan?
A: Correct. 
Cielodrive.com. Susan Atkins Grand Jury Testimony (Kindle Locations 360-362). Kindle Edition.

Q: What did Tex do when he approached the power pole?
A: He climbed up it and cut two lines.
Q: The wires?
A: Two wires that led to the house, to this house. 
Q: All right, what did Mr. -- or, what did Tex do after he cut the lines?
A: He climbed back down, told all of us to get into the car put the bolt cutters back in the car, and drove back down the hill and parked on a side street. 

Cielodrive.com. Susan Atkins Grand Jury Testimony (Kindle Location 377). Kindle Edition. 

Atkins places the car between to power pole and the neighbors. She offers that the neighbor’s house is not shown on the diagram. Atkins sees Watson climb up the pole with the bolt cutters and cut two wires. She sees Watson put the bolt cutters back in the car. She sees all this because she and apparently everyone else were outside the car when this occurred. She testifies that Watson told ‘all of us’ to get into the car.

Now look at what Kasabian has to say.

Kasabian at TLB [My comments]:

Q. What is the next thing that happened?
A. He [Watson] got out of the car; he walked around the back of the car. I don't know if he had wire cutters or what, I don't know, but I remember he climbed the pole, and I saw wires fall. Then he came back and got in the car. [Why does she offer up the bit about wire cutters? No one mentioned this to her at this point in her testimony.]
Q. All right, now, when he climbed the pole, where was the car in relation to the pole?
A. Right beside it.
Q. And you were in the passenger side of the car?
A. Yes.
Q. Was the pole next to the passenger side of the car or the driver's side?
A. The passenger side.
Q. It was on your side of the car?
A. Yes.
Q. Did you actually see Tex climb the pole?
A. I think so. I am not positive. I just remember seeing the wires fall.
Q. Did you hear him cut any wires?
A. No.
Q. But you saw some wires fall?
A. Yeah.
Q. Do you know how many?
A. No.
Q. Was it many or one or two or three or what?
A. There were a few.
Q. You heard them fall to the ground?
A. Yeah.
Q. What is the next thing that happened?
A. He got back in the car and we drove down the hill and parked the car on the right side of the road.

And at the Watson trial:

Q: While Tex was out of the car did you, Sadie and Katie stay in the car?
A: Yes.
*****
Q: Did you see Tex cut any telephone wires?
A: I didn't see him actually cut them, but I saw the wires fall.
Q: To the ground?
A: Yes.
Q: How many wires fell to the ground?
A: I didn't count them. A few.

Kasabian places the car right next to the pole. No one except Watson is outside the car. She does not know if Watson has wire cutters (but oddly mentions something- the wire cutters- she doesn’t know anything about, unsolicited) and does not see him cut the wires.

The image below is a good view of the gate at Cielo Drive. The gate is just behind and to the left of the power pole. It is not the dark ‘wall’ further up towards the garage. The pole is visible in the center of the image. The Knott house is the first house from left to right.



Notice the height of the pole compared to other objects. The phone line was 'at the top' of the pole. 



In the first image Atkins places the car to the right of the pole. That would place the car about where the car is located in the second image. The pole is there to the right.


Kasabian says the car was parked directly adjacent to the pole, which would place it next to the white fence in the second image.

If Kasabian is accurate neither she nor anyone in the car could have possibly seen Watson after he climbed the first four or five feet of the pole while sitting in the car. They would have no line of sight unless they stuck their heads out the window. At the same time if they parked adjacent to the pole and Kasabian was on the passenger side closest to the pole she could easily have seen him at least start to climb the pole. She could have reached out and touched him.

If Atkins is correct and the witnesses were outside the car Watson could easily have be seen perform the entire act.

Atkins and Kasabian cannot both be correct. One of them is mistaken, but which one? The physical evidence suggests that it is Ms. Kasabian, who is not accurate.

Did other evidence prove or disprove any fact about which the witness testified?

First Tate Homicide Investigation Progress Report:

“The first theory is that the killers climbed a telephone pole (Addendum 1 and 1A) located just north of the above-described electronic button which opens the gate to the Cielo property. The phone wire at the top of this pole had been cut in such a manner that it stopped phone service to the Cielo property; however, did not allow the phone wire that runs from the pole to the house to fall to the ground. The killer(s) also cut a small piece of two-strand wire which runs from the Cielo home to the telephone pole near the top and then down to where the button for the gate is located.

Atkins saw Watson at least a dozen feet above the ground specifically cut two wires. Unless we assume someone told her about this the logical explanation is she actually witnessed Watson cutting two wires and her testimony is supported by the physical evidence.

She identifies the number of wires that were actually cut and the only way she could see this event (Watson well above the car) is if she were outside the car.

Atkins also says ‘all of us’ were told to get back in the car after Watson climbed back down the pole. While Bugliosi fails to follow up on exactly who ‘all of us’ were the reference logically is to all three women. That places Kasabian outside the car watching the event with the rest.

It is possible that Atkins was outside the car and Kasabian was inside the car but when the story takes this route assumptions are made that are not supported by the evidence making both witnesses inaccurate.

Based on the physical evidence Atkins’ testimony is simply more accurate then Kasabian’s. 

If you decide that a witness deliberately lied about something significant in this case, you should consider not believing anything that witness says.


Did Kasabian deliberately lie about this incident? Nothing in the testimony or physical evidence indicates that she did. It is however, curious that she would tell a different story about this point. The answer to this question ultimately requires information that is not contained in the actual testimony, above, or physical evidence. 

We are left to speculate why her testimony wouldn't simply agree with Atkins' version of events. What begins to happen, however, as the story unfolds is we find Kasabian distancing herself from culpability and passing it to others. She becomes an unarmed, vulnerable and passive observer running all over the place powerless to stop the actions of others. In this instance it is a fairly minor point in the scheme of things but at nearly every turn going forward she avoids 'active participation' in the crime and especially any elements of the crime that suggest premeditation- cutting the phone line suggests just that. 

 Bugliosi surely wanted to portray her as the most innocent of the lot. Nothing in her responses suggests she was 'coached'. Volunteering the her lack of knowledge of any bolt cutters doesn't fit a coached witness because Bugliosi doesn't want that answer. He wants the opposite answer. But it does, again add some distance between her and the crime.







48 comments:

starviego said...

Normally the foot pegs going up the power pole start pretty high up--at least six or eight feet, imo--to keep people from climbing up just for kicks. How did Tex get up that high? He must have been standing on the roof of the car, or had a ladder or something. Cutting the right wire in darkness was a real feat--he's damn lucky he didn't cut through a power line by mistake and thereby electrocute himself.

starviego said...

Just checked the pole in the alley behind my residence--the first peg is a good 12 feet up. How the hell did Tex get up that pole? If he tried to shimmy up his arms and legs would have been stuck full of splinters. Was he a damn monkey?

Cielodrive.com said...

Starveigo, Tex would not have any difficulty getting up to the foot pegs, because there was a small tube that connected the poll to the top of the fence. Tex would’ve likely used that tube to pull himself up to the box and then up to the foot pegs.


Another thing about the poll, the wires that Tex cut were located less than half way up it. So if you have it in your mind he climbed to the top, he didn’t.


In Atkins’ earliest documented account, she stated they parked between the gate and the neighbor’s house, which would be where Kasabian had them parked in her version.


If they all got out of the car, as Atkins stated, I can’t think of a good reason why Kasabian would lie about it. I have real issues with a variety of things from Atkins’ account ( the order of the disposal of the clothes and Weber visit, for one ) so I have trouble putting great stock into anything she said that conflicts with other accounts.


Did they all get out of the car? Perhaps, but couldn't both Atkins and Kasabian see Watson climb the pole from in the car from both places they each said the car was parked? Is it fair to assume the windows would be down due to the heat wave? If so, Kasabian, sitting in the front passenger seat, could've easily moved her head out of the window a bit to see what he was doing. Atkins could do the same as she claimed she was seated in the passenger side of the back seat.

Dreath said...

Starviego,

At this link you can see another view of the pole (Thank you Deb!). Watson likely climbed the fence to reach the rungs on the pole.

http://jpg3.lapl.org/pics02/00020748.jpg

Dreath said...

Cielo said: "Perhaps, but couldn't both Atkins and Kasabian see Watson climb the pole from in the car from both places they each said the car was parked?"

Yes, certainly they could have stuck their heads out the window and seen him climb the pole. For me the question was why did Kasabian say they didn't and Atkins said they did. I have generally agreed with you regarding Atkins' veracity but here she offers more detail and she appears to be right on those other little points when compared to other evidence which for me bolsters her testimony.

I think Kasabian may have chosen to testify as she did for the reasons I said- she begins to distance herself from any active role in the murders. From here she becomes a walking video camera. It is s small point but going back and looking at it I was struck by how little she 'solidly' saw compared to Atkins.

starviego said...

Thanks Cielo and Dreath for the info!

grimtraveller said...

Do not automatically reject testimony just because of inconsistencies or conflicts. Consider whether the differences are important or not. People sometimes honestly forget things or make mistakes about what they remember. Also, two people may witness the same event yet see or hear it differently

Wise words.
I remember in 2001 a few months after 9/11 and in 2002 in the run up to and during the first "anniversary" of it, there were loads of documentaries from a variety of angles {the conspiracy theory, the building deficiencies, the escapees, the firemen, the blind guy with the dog, the unidentified jumpers etc}. I taped a whole load of them {for the last 14~15 years I've been meaning to transfer them to DVD !} and I remember being struck at the time how many different accounts there were of the same event and what was even more eye opening, these were events that were caught on film. But people did have differing visions/versions of the same event. One guy in two separate documentaries {one was to Channel 4, the other was to BBC 2's "Arena"} even gave different accounts of when the first tower fell, what he said, how he was positioned etc.
I remember the way I saw goals in football matches when I was a kid. Seeing them 20 years later when they started coming out on video was interesting because so many of them were very different to what I actively remembered. There were similarities but.....

Dreath said...

What begins to happen, however, as the story unfolds is we find Kasabian distancing herself from culpability and passing it to others. She becomes an unarmed, vulnerable and passive observer running all over the place powerless to stop the actions of others. In this instance it is a fairly minor point in the scheme of things but at nearly every turn going forward she avoids 'active participation' in the crime and especially any elements of the crime that suggest premeditation

But aside from the penalty phase debacle when Linda becomes the mastermind and Tex's hugely embarrassing testimony when he puts as much blame on the women as possible, Linda included {which is one in the eye for those that like to foster the idea of their 'special relationship'}, have any of the perps ever accorded any active participation showing premeditation to her ? In Jeff Guinn's book, he said that in 2012 Pat "dismisses Kasabian's description of her horrified reaction to the Cielo slayings, insisting that Kasabian was a fully supportive participant although she did not kill anyone. Krenwinkel says she is certain that Kasabian never asked anyone to stop." Yet that's contradicted by the evidence of her running away and hiding and of Tex having a go at her for doing so. Pat also intimates in the book {although there is no direct quote} that she hadn't wanted to kill {shown in her not checking out the guest house fully} which somewhat contradicts the point Guinn was making which had been according to her in the first place. As far as I'm aware no one has offered credible evidence that Kasabian was an active participant outside of things she was instructed to do like chucking the knives and clothes away.
Even Susan is not active or culpable in any way when it comes to cutting the wires. The paradox of these murders, especially Cielo, is that while operating on Charlie's basic and overall instructions, the actual moves of the night mainly and justifiably fall under the banner of the Charles Watson show.....

Dreath said...

Grim said: "As far as I'm aware no one has offered credible evidence that Kasabian was an active participant outside of things she was instructed to do like chucking the knives and clothes away."

You are correct, to the best of my knowledge (aside from a couple of references to her possibly having been in the house- I think Atkins' '78 parole hearing?) I am unaware of any evidence of greater participation. That said, there does appear to be a pattern going forward: when she could or might have been "more" involved its 'I don't see that' one of her favorite quotes.

IMO there is a difference being inside or outside the car. One, you might not really know whats going on ("Where's Tex going?") and then up he goes. The other you all got out to watch/help him climb the pole. That suggests to me a common plan or understanding or even a brief discussion.

Where I would have wanted be is present when Gary Fleischman 'discussed' her testimony with her. Now that would be a tape for the ages.

Even looking at the pictures I always have had a problem with how Watson climbed that first few feet (until his feet were on the rungs) with the bolt cutters. Wouldn't it have been a lot easier if someone handed them to him?

orwhut said...
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orwhut said...

Dreath said
If you decide that a witness deliberately lied about something significant in this case, you should consider not believing anything that witness says.

Years after the Manson trials Judge William Keen, formally of that case, was the Judge on TV's Divorce Court. Many times, he made comments in keeping with the above statement. I don't remember any other judge saying that. Maybe it's more common in California than my state.

St Circumstance said...

There exactly is the problem with this whole case... every one of the defendants was a documented liar. Every single one of them lied about something at least once.

So how then can you believe any of them about any specific thing?

Maybe you cant. But my own personal litmus test has been to try and sort out the details that have been recounted by more than one or two of them- and repeated consistently over time- and when it can be corroborated by some other neutral fact or witness.... To me that is as best as you can do.

That is why I believe the entire night happened the way Bugs said it did- with maybe a few discrepancies of time and who heard what whe. The defendants said what they did and where, as well as where they went after. All of their actions can be confirmed by physical evidence and testimony from Weber as well as the defendants themselves. Sprinkle in some confusion over specifics under duress, and a few small errors for self preservation and this isn't too far from what most likely went down that night...

in my opinion :)

Matt said...

I'll be damned, Orwhut. I never made the connection that that TLB Judge Keene and the Divorce Court Judge Keene were the same person.

Dreath said...

Saint said: “and when it can be corroborated by some other neutral fact or witness.... To me that is as best as you can do.”

Well, Saint, that’s what I have been trying to do- compare the testimony of the two original primary sources to other evidence, especially physical or objective (non-witness) evidence. I think when you rely upon witness #2 to corroborate witness #1 you have to take a peek at whether witness #2 was completely accurate. I for one do not believe, for example, that Weber ever looked at his watch/clock or had a clue what time it was until he had a little help with that.

Am I wasting my time? Could be, and maybe you are right, and it makes no difference whether the Titanic sank because of a hole in her side or because a bulkhead collpased- except to me.

Mr. Humphrat said...

I'm looking at the pic from the link above from Dreath and Deb: http://jpg3.lapl.org/pics02/00020748.jpg and not seeing the tube and box that CieloDrive mentions. And putting that pic and the other two posted pics together I'm guessing Tex would've climbed about half way up that pole, which looks to be a full size pole in the range of 45'.

St Circumstance said...

lol- well its attention to detail which makes you a success at your trade no doubt. I think you have caught on to something here to for sure....


Dreath said...

Mr. Humphrat, I didn't see a 'tube' either but he may mean the 'box' that is visible in the photo taken from the gate towards the car. The pole is there to the right and there is a box on the pole. In the photo you ID the gentleman in the white shirt screens the pole so I can't tell if the 'box' is there or not, although I believe it was.

I agree on the half way. If you zoom way in on the arial view you can make out some 'cross bars' about mid way up the pole.

Cielodrive.com said...

I called it a tube, however, looking at photographs again, it appears to be a piece of wood.

https://instagram.com/p/BM1rdL9gP7D/

Cielodrive.com said...

https://instagram.com/p/BM1rdL9gP7D/

Dreath said...

Great picture! Thanks.

St Circumstance said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
orwhut said...

Matt,

Here's a link to an article on Cielo's site calling the judge William B. Keene. http://www.cielodrive.com/archive/judge-again-denies-manson-move-to-represent-himself/

Here's a kink to Imdb for William B Keene. Note that in the trivia section it says he was portrayed by Bert Conway in the TV movie Helter Skelter. http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0444746/

If they're different people it's a common mistake and I hope someone will correct me.

Cielodrive.com said...

Judge Wapner also had a small tie to the case. Wapner was the one who ruled Susan didn't qualified for public funds, because of her book deal.

Wapner's bailiff on the People's Court, Rusty Burrell, also worked as a bailiff on the Manson trial

grimtraveller said...

Dreath said...

aside from a couple of references to her possibly having been in the house (I think Atkins' '78 parole hearing?) I am unaware of any evidence of greater participation

I've not come across her '78 parole hearing yet but she certainly says Linda was in the house in her first book, "Child of...." She also says it in her testimony during the penalty phase of the actual trial. The problems with the latter are obvious ~ it was during the part where the hat was being put on Linda. What's interesting there is that people like Brenda continued after the trial {in Robert's book for instance} to push the "Linda guilty" line with drug embellishments and participation in the discussions about copycat murders yet Susan, who did all that at trial, eventually disowned all of that. But in her first book she stuck to Linda being in the house which was part of the penalty phase fluff. What she said there was more or less the opposite of what she said to the Grand Jury ~ the same GJ testimony that in her latter days she insisted was actually the truth. When St says "there exactly is the problem with this whole case... every one of the defendants was a documented liar," he got that right !

That said, there does appear to be a pattern going forward: when she could or might have been "more" involved its 'I don't see that' one of her favorite quotes

When CieloDrive.com put up Linda's testimony in the Watson trial, it was while I was still reading her TLB testimony and one thing that was immediately apparent to me was that she was a lot more confident and assured and did a lot less talking. She was pretty "factual" {in the sense that she didn't allow herself to be sidetracked like in TLB} and she stuck to short~ish sentences and did little elaboration in comparison. There was quite a bit that she said she didn't see or hear. She tended not to fill in so much.

I always have had a problem with how Watson climbed that first few feet (until his feet were on the rungs) with the bolt cutters. Wouldn't it have been a lot easier if someone handed them to him?

It would have been.....
But it's more than possible to climb with weight in your hands. When I was a playworker in the 80s and 90s, I used to shinny up 20+ foot telegraph poles, either with 2 thick 3 strand ropes attached to a heavy eye bolt and shackles, or an electric drill with a long auger on the end. The pole would have blocks nailed in but they started way up the pole because with 5-15 year olds on the playground, one didn't want to encourage even the daring youngsters to climb the pole. There was always something nearby that you could put a foot on to start yourself up, be it a nail, a ledge or a bit that stuck out from the pole. Initially it wasn't easy but it was doable.
Many years later when I would do some maintenance on a playground my friend worked on, I could not believe I used to clamber up poles and lay on my stomach crawling across the centre pole to attach the ropes for the kids to swing on. I even used to let them sit on the rope and hoist them about 10 feet high. I must have been insane or something close ! If I didn't have the photos, I'd think it was a dream......

orwhut said...

Cielodrive.com said... Judge Wapner also had a small tie to the case.

That's interesting, Cielo. My wife said Judge Wapner filled in for Judge Milian fairly recently on The People's Court. I'm sorry I missed him.

Lynn said...

Another very thoughtful, interesting post. Have enjoyed getting caught up. It's interesting how it's a very old case but there is always a new insight, thought process etc.

On a somber note, my heartfelt sympathy to family/friends of Robert Hendrickson...I already miss his posts, his insight

Manson related but totally off topic- I recently went on a tour of Haunted Downtown LA for Halloween- they stopped at the Hall of Justice- it suffered severe earthquake damage but was rebuilt- they have kept the cell for Charles Manson and it was pointed out during the tour.

Apparently it will become a tourist attraction- they tried to imply it will rival Alcatraz, but I doubt that.

You can find some additional info here:http://www.nbclosangeles.com/news/local/Hall-of-Justice-Downtown-Reopens-278586531.html

Mr. Humphrat said...

thanks Cielo, I see what you're talking about now. Dreath, I see how the box must be behind the man in white.

ziggyosterberg said...


This was just put on YouTube :

RAW 1993 Charles Manson INTERVIEW With Diane Sawyer

This is the first time that I've seen an unedited version of that interview.

St Circumstance said...

Thanks Lynn. I was just about to ask if the court reopened yet. I want to go there in Spring on my next LA trip :)

Robert C said...

Good link to that interview, Ziggy. Thanks.

Matt said...

Thanks, ziggy. That was an incredible clip.

Dreath said...

Great stuff, Ziggy. Thanks.

Matt said...

I loved the end after the lights were turned on and they're just friendly chitchatting about their Kentucky roots. Cracked me up.


St Circumstance said...

When he talks about Pat it is about as coherent as I have heard him speak.

Marlene Ful said...

Patty on Novemeber 18th the show Fifth Esate is going to do the show Jane Doe number 59.Also there is a facebook page up now Jane Doe #59 they are asking for information about some things about time in California It should be interesting it is a good Candian investgation show.I would be great if you could put it on your blog you just never know someone might have some information.

St Circumstance said...

Also slightly off topic and not Manson enough for a full post, but there was an interesting story in LA times I saw this morning.

Apparently the government has been hiding a secret in Death Valley. An area ( Boneyard) where there are old dinosaur fossils they wanted to preserve....

http://www.latimes.com/local/california/la-me-death-valley-fossils-20161116-story.html


maybe Charlie was onto something being out there lol He just needed a hole that would take him back in time....

From the Article:

The prints tell stories, frozen in stone, of an adult camel with a newborn following close behind; of a horse slipping in soggy ground and landing on its backside; of mastodon herds following the scent of water before climate change and tectonic forces transformed the region into the hottest, driest place on Earth.

Between the footprints of mega-fauna are the thread-thin lines of bird tracks, and fossilized shoreline features including ripples and raindrop impressions.

Their prints were not created simultaneously. They were made in successive layers of mud that settled along the shores of a spring-fed lake that was a magnet for generations of migrating birds.



One must wonder if Charlie didnt hear of this place from a prospector or someone and use it as a basis for this legendary city he was seeking???

Mr. Humphrat said...

thanks for the video Ziggy. That's very creepy when he suggests to her that he knows about her black clothes and they go with black gloves and then he sort of ran out of ideas so he just went into gibberish. And when he does the dramatic pause and says 'my words are my life' (or my word is my life) I don't think he did a very good sales job although he probably thought he was blowing her mind.

St Circumstance said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Matt said...

Hump, I had a different read on the "speaking in tongues". Sawyer kept coming back to insisting he admit he told the kids what to do. He was just letting her know that if she kept it up, he'd continue to go off the reservation. I thought it was amusing.

Mr. Humphrat said...

Matt it's always amusing I agree. (they should give him some snakes to play with, now that would up the entertainment factor.) Actually now that I see the unedited version I think she did a very nice job of trying to stay on point while not being confrontational.

grimtraveller said...

St Circumstance said...

it is about as coherent as I have heard him speak

I thought he was very coherent throughout the whole interview. When he was ready, he was such a good public speaker and really funny. He just had this way of saying things that crack me up, whether it be in interviews on film, in parole hearings or when it's in print. Even in a scenario like Nuel Emmons book where he is neatened up and paraphrased to the max, he makes me laugh. In the footage of him leading up to and during the trial, some of the things he comes out with are hilarious and some of his outbursts during the trial that are contained in various transcripts are priceless. I think it may be when he's about to find out whether he's been sentenced to death or not {I wouldn't stake my life on it though !}, Judge Older says that if he stops his shouting out and disturbances, he can remain but he'll be removed if he starts again or words to that effect, to which he replies "I didn't ask to be here !"

When he talks about Pat

I love the way he talks about Pat and the way he calls her Patty. Again, whether in print or on film, I nearly always pick up a deep well of love from him towards her, possibly more than any of the others. He has, for a long while, left the impression that he really has been hurt by Pat. It really comes across strongly in George's book and in this interview. Whereas he's always seemed antagonistic towards Leslie {he says some awful things about her genitalia in his 2013 Rolling Stone interview} and just pissed off and frustrated with Susan. But there long seems in his mind to have been a connection with Pat that to him really meant something and it hurts that she broke that connection.
Thus endeth the psychoanalysis for today....

Matt said...

I agree, Grim. He seems to get slightly emotional when Pat is brought up.

St Circumstance said...

Me too and Grim as I know you have read Faith's book - you know Pat was the last one to let go of Charlie.

There was something real there it seems

grimtraveller said...

St Circumstance said...

every one of the defendants was a documented liar. Every single one of them lied about something at least once. So how then can you believe any of them about any specific thing?
Maybe you cant. But my own personal litmus test has been to try and sort out the details that have been recounted by more than one or two of them- and repeated consistently over time- and when it can be corroborated by some other neutral fact or witness.... To me that is as best as you can do


Dreath said...

IMO there is a difference being inside or outside the car. One, you might not really know whats going on ("Where's Tex going?") and then up he goes. The other you all got out to watch/help him climb the pole. That suggests to me a common plan or understanding or even a brief discussion

The one area where there is absolutely no convergence between the 4 Cielo participants is the exact point at which they discovered murder was on the agenda that night, regardless of whether they regarded it as murder or not. Tex's testimony about Charlie instructing him is shaky because it came to the fore during the period where he himself later claims he was lying and where self preservation had taken over.
Susan very much gives the impression that Tex told them what was to happen at some unspecified point on the way there {which is what he now says, adding they debated whether to do it, but I don't believe that}.
Pat in her 1978 parole hearing says that it was only when they were going up Cielo Drive that Tex said what was going to happen and that she had not known where she was going or what was to happen.
Linda, during the Watson trial says that the extent of Tex's chat regarding actual activity was that he had been to the house and knew it and they were to do what he said.
Incidentally, Susan's words militate against her later assertions of the murders being committed to free Bobby, as do Pat's.


Bugliosi surely wanted to portray her as the most innocent of the lot

Well that's true. A few months after the trial ended and he was talking with Robert, Laurence Merrick and Merrick's wife Joan, he said of Susan Atkins that she was a brutal murderer and he would've told the jury that. When discussing Kasabian though, he emphasized that on the second night she knew there would be killing and that she was guilty though he would have only gone for 2nd degree and therefore not the death penalty had Susan toughed it out and stayed state's evidence. His use of words regarding the first night are interesting ~ he says Linda possibly didn't know there was going to be killing. Ironically, she says she never found out about the LaBianca killings until October.
Innocence is an interesting word and in terms of degree, she was more innocent than the others when it came to actual murder. But innocence in general isn't a word that I'd apply to Mrs Kasabian.

St Circumstance said...
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St Circumstance said...
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Dreath said...

Saint, I certainly agree with you about sneaky Linda. In fact that's part of my point with this. Let's not forget about the story about her attorney knocking Susan out of the box or true or not the story about the guy picking her up in the desert or her comment: I'm never going to talk. That is until she discovered being 'sneaky' could get her out of prison. 'Devious' would be my term.

As an aside in HS Bugliosi refers to her, Weber and I believe one or two others as 'knowing they'd be good witnesses'. Ironically, to me every time he does I end up questioning their accuracy.

St Circumstance said...
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St Circumstance said...

Sorry. lol. Having all kinds of issues using my phone and not at home. I'm getting new one tomorrow. Thanks Dreath :) great series of posts!