Monday, February 13, 2017

Is Linda Kasabian’s Account of the Second Night Credible?

A 1969 Chevron/Standard road map of greater Los Angeles. Spahn’s Ranch was just off the map, slightly northwest of the intersection of Topanga Canyon Blvd. and Devonshire Street at the upper center/left-hand side of the map. 

One of the most horrifying aspects of the Tate-LaBianca case is the randomness of the murders. These murders were not committed because of personal animosity or for any hope of material gain from the victims. They were committed simply out of the need for them to be committed in order to establish a copy-cat pattern that would cause the police to believe that Bobby Beausoleil had not committed the earlier murder of Gary Hinman and thereby release him from jail. The identities of the victims were irrelevant to their fates. 

The randomness and scope of the atrociousness of the Tate-LaBianca murders have been reinforced by claims of a city-wide "murder search" that allegedly occurred on the night of August 9 before and after Manson et al. arrived at 3301 Waverly Drive. The importance of establishing the bona fides of this supposed random search for murder victims was important to the prosecution, for, as Vincent Bugliosi later said of the search in his bestselling book Helter Skelter, "Thus far [before the group's arrival at the LaBianca residence], their wanderings appeared totally at random, Manson seemingly having no particular victims in mind. As I’d later argue to the jury, up to this time no one in the vast, sprawling metropolis of seven million people, whether in a home, a church, or even a car, was safe from Manson’s insatiable lust for death, blood, and murder.” (Helter Skelter, page 357) 


Since Charles Manson's "insatiable lust for death, blood, and murder" is what this case is all about, it is worth questioning the validity of the story of this city-wide search for random murder victims.

The earliest public account of what happened on the night of August 9-10 that gave any inkling of  nefarious doings beyond the murders of Leno and Rosemary LaBianca was given by Susan Atkins during her testimony to the Los Angeles County grand jury on December 5, 1969, just days after news of the arrests in the case broke.  In that testimony Atkins recalled stopping in Pasadena at a house with pictures of children on the walls inside, a house that Manson supposedly vetoed as murder target because he didn't want to harm children. But Atkins mentioned nothing else (including the post-Waverley trip to Venice after stopping to get gas and ditch Rosemary LaBianca's wallet in the restroom of the Standard Station at Sylmar. She said she fell asleep and woke up back at the ranch. She also remembered that Charles Manson had a gun when he left the car at Waverly Drive and that he returned to the car and told everybody that he had the LaBiancas tied up inside the house. This alleged gun has never been accounted for before or since the evening of August 9, and Charles "Tex" Watson claims in his book Will You Die For Me? that he tied up the LaBiancas.).

A second and much more extensive account of the murder search came from star prosecution witness Linda Kasabian, beginning with the trips she made around Los Angeles with Bugliosi and other law enforcement officials in March of 1970 when the district attorney's office was preparing her to be a witness at the trial. 

Linda Kasabian in a car

On a March 15, 1970 trip around L.A. with Bugliosi and other investigators she told of the following alleged murder attempts. (All in all she was taken out three times to try to find murder attempt locales. This was in March 1970, a full three months after the publication of Susan Atkins' grand jury testimony with its mention of the murder attempt with the kid pics.) In addition to the house with the pictures of children Kasabian also remembered one house that was considered for murder but rejected because it was too close to neighboring houses; a church where Manson supposedly tried the back door in an effort to gain entry and kill the presumed priest or minister inside. (This plan was scuttled only because the church door was locked.); a couple getting out of their car (an idea also abandoned due to the proximity of potential witnesses); and an individual in a white sports car at at stop light on Sunset Boulevard (spared only because he sped away when the light turned green before Manson could get over to his car and shoot him).  

Susan Atkins, as we have seen, only recalled the incident at the house with pictures of children on the walls in her grand jury testimony. In her 1977 memoir Child Of Satan, Child Of God, after perhaps having time for her memory to have returned -- or to have become familiar with the "official" account of August 9 as recited by Linda Kasabian into the court record, the record that law enforcement accepts as being "true" -- she remembered the church, the house with pictures of children, and said that Manson asked Kasabian about an actor in Venice as a possible victim and that they then went to Venice in a futile attempt to murder him.

In her final testament, The Myth Of Helter Skelter, Atkins vaguely alludes to the attempt to kill the actor in Venice but mentions no other murder attempts. 

In Will You Die For Me? Charles "Tex" Watson not only remembered the stop at the house with the pictures of children, he also remembered going up the house and peering into the window with Manson and seeing the pictures himself. He remembered the house too close to the neighbors, the church, the couple getting out of their car, the incident on Sunset Boulevard with the sports car, and then the group's arrival at Waverly Drive. (Interestingly, Watson's memory coincides almost precisely with Kasabian's testimony at his murder trial, where she recounted the house with the pictures of children, the couple by their car, the "too close" house and the church -- but not the incident with the white sports car.)

Steve Grogan is not talking and has never, to my knowledge, given any account of his or the others’ activities on the night of August 9-10. I would say the same for Patricia Krenwinkel and Leslie Van Houten. (If any reader could direct me to any material to the contrary I would appreciate it very much!)

I once asked Manson about the city-wide search for murder victims before and after the group arrived at Waverly Drive. He declined to go into any detail but contended that he didn’t think there was enough time to have done all the driving that was alleged to have happened. Kasabian says that the group left Spahn's Ranch after dinner on the 9th. Earlier examinations of "the Family's" eating schedule have concluded that they usually ate "after dark." It has been previously established on this site that on August 9 it got dark just before 9:30 p.m. Kasabian later estimated that the group arrived at the LaBianca residence just after 2:00 a.m., jibing with the testimony of the newspaper vendor who sold the the doomed couple a newspaper shortly before that time. If the carload of people left Spahn's Ranch in Chatsworth at 9:30 p.m. and drove to Pasadena, around Pasadena, and then far enough west to then be heading back up Sunset Boulevard from the ocean (Helter Skelter, page 357), could it have arrived at Waverly Drive at just after 2:00 a.m.? Probably, and especially so since Kasabian's estimated time of arrival is just that -- an estimate. The car could have easily arrived later than two. 

Still, what really happened during all of that driving? Aside from Kasabian's trial testimony (and other reminiscences that are possibly based on that testimony) there is no accounting. But if we examine Kasabian's version of events it quickly becomes apparent that there is absolutely no corroborating evidence to support the conclusion that the "murder search" ever even happened. 

In an effort to corroborate Kasabian's account Bugliosi had her try to locate the places where the alleged murder attempts occurred. The results of her efforts are telling. According to Bugliosi she could find all of the locations except one. But did she really?

She said she found the house that was supposedly too close to other houses to commit a mass murder. But realistically she could have pointed out any house that matched her vague description. So her "identification" of that house proves nothing.  

Ditto for the church. 

She couldn't find the house with pictures of children on the wall. This is especially interesting and convenient, for if she had pointed out such a house it would have been a simple matter for a competent defense attorney or investigator to question the residents of the house and determine whether such pictures were ever visible. Unfortunately, she could not locate this house, and thus no one would ever be able to determine whether pictures of children had hung on the walls or not to either prove or disprove her allegation.

As for the incident with the sports car, I don't know whether Kasabian ever pinpointed the exact location on Sunset Boulevard where this is supposed to have occurred, but one wonders why Manson, who allegedly nixed an earlier murder scenario at a house because it was too close to the neighbors, would suddenly decide to stop the car and get out to fire an extremely loud .45 caliber pistol (this according to Charles Watson's description of the weapon) at an intersection on Sunset Boulevard on a Saturday night.

The same goes for the couple getting out of their car. This supposedly occurred just down the street from where the house with the pictures of children was -- another location that Kasabian couldn't find. Were the couple supposed to be murdered right in the street in front of any number of potential witnesses, or were they to be followed to an unknown location (which could have been a residence full of other people) to be dispatched?

Regarding the encounter with the resident of the Venice apartment one floor below that of intended murder victim Saladin Nadar, police investigators were never able to locate anyone in this precisely placed location who had been awakened early in the morning of August 10 by an attractive young blonde who said, "Sorry, I have the wrong apartment." Now I'll grant that if you wake me up at three in the morning for thirty seconds it's very likely that I won't later remember anything that happened. But one could wonder exactly how much of a chore it would have been for someone in the apartment to be awakened and get to the door. Was there a doorbell? Did Linda knock loudly and persistently? How far was the apartment's bedroom from its front door? How much ruckus would have accompanied the brief "Sorry, wrong apartment" encounter at the doorway? 

Most puzzling, perhaps, is an alleged encounter described by Kasabian between her and Manson with the two law enforcement officers on the beach in Venice. Despite the fact that it should have been relatively easy to determine which pair of officers was on duty in that area at the time, none could be found to corroborate the encounter. Is this believable? Police officers are especially trained to be observant and recall everything that happens while they are on duty. Is it likely that not one but two police officers would fail to remember questioning a suspicious couple at three-thirty or so during a graveyard shift, especially on such a memorable night as the one after the slaughter on Cielo Drive? To me this is highly unlikely. 

Aside from the grand jury testimony of Susan Atkins, given at a time when she was providing other spectacular and attention getting (but since denied) lurid murder details such as drinking Sharon Tate's blood and personally stabbing Tate to death, the only corroboration of Linda Kasabian's testimonial claims of a city-wide "murder search" comes from…. Linda Kasabian herself. (And from a legal point of view it's worth noting that normally testimony from a crime partner against their accomplices in a crime is not admissible without corroboration -- but this inconvenience was eliminated here by having Kasabian granted immunity and removed from the indictment before the trial started, thus eliminating her "accomplice" status and allowing her uncorroborated testimony against her fellow participants in the night of August 9 to be admissible into the trial record as "evidence.")

 So, what is the answer to the answer to the question, is Linda Kasabian’s account of the second night credible? Well, I would have to admit that it’s credible if one is determined to believe that what Kasabian says is the truth. On the other hand, if a person takes into account the total lack of corroboration, Kasabian’s character, and the fact that she had been promised immunity for seven counts of first degree murder and one count of conspiracy to commit murder for her “truthful testimony” at the Manson/Girls trial and all future M-related trials, then it wouldn’t be at all unreasonable to suspect that the account could be largely exaggerated or even totally false.


The "murder search" route?

99 comments:

Robert C said...

On the second map that's a lot of theoretical territory to cover in one night. LA is 'Big' as many here know.

But I can imagine a scenario where members in the Family vehicle were likely just talking about targets of opportunity half-heartedly in those situations mentioned although some of them like the church thing could have become more deadly. I'd guess some of the details like the pictures, the church, the sports car and any other targets of opportunity are 'normally' the kind of things she would not make up without some degree of validity whether it's the whole story or not. More likely just nervous idle chat as they cruised (?) that, for some reason, she and others remembered in particular, especially whenever they actually stopped and checked out some place.

I also wonder how familiar she and others were with that part of greater LA and since it was at night, how aware many of them were as to exactly where they were geographically at any given time ? This may account for her later confusion about the location of some place(s).

Overall my take is Kasabian at that time was a frightened, edgy person with some creditability as long as it didn't deeply incriminate herself. From all I know about her I get the sense she was not really into the 'killing' thing but was just going with the flow until they all hit the big time, then she really got scared.

I'm just guessing here ....

Mr. Humphrat said...

thanks George. I like your second map with possible route. Would you tell me what possible order that route went in? Would it have been taking the Ventura Freeway toward Pasadena? And did they come at the Silver Lake District from the west? The lowest east-west line would that have been the way from Pasadena going west? Thanks

Cielodrive.com said...


Seems odd to drive all the way back down to Venice from Sylmar after you’ve driven around all night and Sylmar is so close to Spahn Ranch.

Although Susan doesn’t mention going to Venice to the Grand Jury, she doe say they were going to be two groups and two locations

Q: While you were driving around, Susan, was there any discussion as to what you were going to do?
A: The only discussion that I can recall, sticks in my mind, is that the same thing we had done last night only two different houses, there was to be two sets of -- two groups consisting of one man and two girls to go to two different houses. That is why there were two men and six women -- and four women.

Susan does mention a second house in South Pasadena to the Grand Jury

Q: Did Charlie stop at any other house after that?
A: We stopped at one house and then --
Q: Do you know where that was?
A: Somewhere in the same neighborhood.
Q: Did Charlie get out of the car at that time?
A: No.
Q: He stayed in the car?
A: Yes.
Q: What took place in front of that house?
A: Nothing, we just watched.
Q: For how long?
A: About two, three minutes.
Q: Was anything said at that time?
A: No.
Q: What happened next?
A: We drove on and then we just continued driving around and I fell asleep, I was thoroughly exhausted, and when I woke up we were in front of another house and I seemed to recognize the house -- not the house, but the particular area.

Both Atkins and Leslie Van Houten claim to have slept through portions of the driving. Ever seen the back seat of that car? Looked like a dumpster.

Although Kasabian never gave specific addresses for the places she identified, I was able to find the locations from a few photos LAPD took. Thankfully, the second house looks exactly the same as it did in 1969, otherwise I would never have found it. Incidentally, the person who lived there in 1969, still lived there up until a few years ago.

1909 Illinois Dr, South Pasadena

and then the church....

Oneonta Congregational Church at 1515 Garfield Ave, South Pasadena


George Stimson said...

Mr Humphrat,

Let’s see, starting at Spahn’s in the upper left you go down Topanga Canyon Boulevard, then east on Devonshire to the 405 south to the Ventura Freeway east to the Fair Oaks exit in Pasadena, driving around in Pasadena for a while, then somehow heading far enough west (here I speculate going south on Arroyo Parkway to the Pasadena Freeway south to the Santa Monica Freeway west and then up the 405 to Sunset Boulevard) in order to be heading “back up Sunset from the ocean” when the sports car incident allegedly occurred, then up Sunset to Los Feliz and the LaBianca residence, then up the Golden State Freeway north to Sylmar for gas and milk shakes, then south again on the 405 to Venice Boulevard and into Venice to Saladin Nadar’s apartment on Ocean Front. (I think that's right.)

Cielo,

Actually, it was your skepticism about the drive from Slymar to Venice that inspired this post .

Cielodrive.com said...

George, that trip is hard to swallow. Maybe a dog was driving

St Circumstance said...

Great post as usual George... very interesting.

About the Copy Cat motive though lol- I actually agree that the three crime scenes were eerily similar and should have alerted the authorities much sooner as to the connections. But, I am not sure I am convinced of a copy cat motive though. Maybe- but still think if that's the case, Charlie instigated it and who and where and when.

Also,I think it is a stretch to say the murders were randomly selected. Charlie and others had been to both locations in the past. No?

And most importantly. Linda was a traitor and is a piece of garbage. Totally self serving. But there are enough other people who verified or collaborated enough pieces that we have a "general" idea of what happened that night- if not exact specifics.

Linda may have been wrong or lied about a few details for whatever reason. That reason was not because she ordered the killings and Charlie was completely innocent, or that she had some deeper hidden involvement that takes away from Charlie's culpability. I hope that is not an implication? That I do not buy personally.

George I think you would have made a fine attorney yourself...

I also wonder how the cops had so much trouble tying those crimes scenes together? that always bothered me. And if George is right and it was supposed to look like a copy cat- that means they were trying to make the crime scenes look similar and the cops still didn't catch on???

So much is so hard to believe about this case. You sort of still cant rule almost anything out I guess. But Linda being a mastermind or having a deeper role is very hard for me to wrap my mind around....

Manson Mythos said...

In Ed Sander's The Family, he wrote that while in Venice, "somebody" went to a "Biker's house" to borrow a gun. As far as I can recall, this is something that was never mentioned anywhere else. Given the fairly recently discovered revelation of the extremely close proximity of the Straight Satans HQ to the apartment that Kasabian was allegedly sent to carry out a murder, I believe 100% that a visit was made to the Straight Satans that night and the entire trip to Venice was not without purpose and connected to them.

As for the testimony of Kasabian, needless to say, I think it appears tailor made. It's just too conveniently perfect for Bugliosi's case. While it leaves many of us with questions, it answered too many that beneficial for Bugliosi in regards to a jury.

Of course, with Kasabian, the biggest issue was if she was credible. According to his case, all except her were "heartless, bloodthirsty robots". But how did the jury and public know she wasn't capable of murder if asked? Bugliosi had too perfect of a scenario in which that question is not only answered, but also one in which she defied the command and actually comes out a hero by thwarting the plan.

I don't think that situation happened at all.

St Circumstance said...

George as a person who would like to consider you a friend I would like you to consider your very own words...


"Well, I would have to admit that it’s credible if one is determined to believe that what Kasabian says is the truth."


Are you able to consider the same sentence could be true if you substitute Charlie for Kasabian?


Critical thinking means you cant go into something researching it if you already have your mind made up. To me anyway....

I really do not know what the true motive is. I am vexed at how many people are not willing to say the same?

St Circumstance said...

In this community people form an opinion and then go out and find only facts that support it, or find things to cast doubt on any facts that do not...

I am pretty practiced at that if anything lol So I know.

But I am willing to accept this fact and admit I don't really know at the end of the day. Putting out motives as if they are fact- unquestioned and as an absolute is not the best of ideas....

Nobody knows for sure what it it is or isn't except the ruthless bastards who did it- and as long as they tell the same consistent story (over many years)- backed up by multiple independent testimonies and various evidence, of a motive that was not Copy- Cat (That never comes up in any parole hearings- ever- over all these years, by the way , by anyone who was involved on those two nights- Albeit Tex mentions it in one of his books as 1/3 the reason)

Why do you think that is???

I honestly feel that some go into this not objectively looking for the real answer. I think some have already made up their minds and instead spend their time researching ways to try and convince others it is so.

That is ok with me. People can spend their time any way they wish lol

:)

St Circumstance said...

In Fact- I will leave you with this...

Stone Cold

Most of us have no access nor ever will. Here is an honest, serious plea to those who do

:)


Charlie has not much time left at all. Enough of the bullshit. You are not getting him out, or changing the public perception of who he is. We can argue all day, but that is as sure as the sun will rise tomorrow somewhere on Earth. It no longer matters. He just aint going back to the desert or to hang out with you when he is free...

even if he really would have had he gotten free. I wonder how many of you would have a relationship with him at all if you weren't giving him something?

I know you wont be honest with me, but how about yourself?

Does Charlie give you anything at all in return for what he tales from you to get close? An affiliation with a guy like that is rationale enough?


There are many more important people, with much more invested than I- who deserve the truth.

Why did he take that group of people in such a dark direction?

Why did he instigate the murders of those people?

Why?


Linda Kasabian- COME ON MAN!!!!!

Dreath said...

I am no fan of Linda Kasabian. To me when I compare Atkins and Kasabian, Atkins' recollection, nearest to the events, seems to be the most accurate if you compare both to the objective evidence. Bugliosi ‘leads’ her on far too many answers. She minimizes her role when she can. And Bugliosi’s ‘interview style’ and tactic of leaving facts dangling so wrong conclusions can be drawn occurs again and again. In fact, but for one fact, I might even argue that after Watson slit the screen Kasabian saw nothing else. She was not ‘going to testify anyway’ without immunity, she was ‘all in’ with Manson when she got back to LA and was never ‘innocent’ and I don’t mean legally.

Of course why Atkins never mentioned the actor incident is a very good question.

But to reach the conclusion the drive was made up you have to go further than I can go. Saint is right. You have to put aside proving your view for a moment.

What is corroborated? We know from LVH that they drove and drove and drove. We know from Atkins they drove a lot and stopped at the ‘pictures on the wall’ house. Then, as Cielodrive pointed out above, they both fell asleep. [Aside: they all knew night number 2 was murder….could you crash knowing that? Tells you a bit about them, doesn’t it?]

So either Bugliosi made it up and drilled it into Kasabian or she made it up herself.

If its Bugliosi the cost benefit analysis is too skewed against it. He risks everything else his star witness says on a lie he doesn’t need. His conspiracy exists without it. He must then stage the drive around to look for the locations- a move that will never help him in court. He puts his entire career and his case on the line to prove, what. Manson drove to Venice? There are no charges here related to any of that. No attempted murder, no brandishing a firearm. The indictment sets out his ‘overt acts’. That is what he needs to prove. Risk everything on this lie? Someone tell me why.

Now add Gary Fleischman, Kasabian’s attorney. He’s in every interview between Bugliosi and Kasabian, folks. He’s somehow willing to sit there and listen to Bugliosi say ‘now Linda, on that second night you drove down to Venice and here’s what happened’. Risk his career for this? For what? Because as a defense lawyer he was ‘all in’ on getting Manson? Sorry, this is for me the break down on Kasabian was told to lie by Bugliosi. There is no money, no fame, nothing for Fleischman.

Ok, Kasabian made it up. Now tell me why? She doesn’t need it to pin the murders on Manson and skip the noose. She doesn’t need this lie to walk free. She just hates Charlie? But she already gave him both barrels. He didn’t draw his finger across his throat during this stuff. She already threw him under the bus.

But maybe it’s just me.

Mr. Humphrat said...

Thanks George. That does surprise me too that you don't think Sylmar was the last stop-that's what I had pictured.
And thanks Cielo for those addresses and links.

St Circumstance said...

I just don't get the obsession with trying to change who Charlie was. It's like people want to have it both ways. They want to support a bad guy but don't want to have to accept he was bad...

Linda was bad too lol it doesn't have to
Be exclusive.

Own who you dig. Take responsibility for your choices.

Do not create an alternative reality so you can feel more comfortable in your own skin and please please please ..

Stop trying to blame Bugs, Linda , or amyome else. They were all rotten. No Angels in this group.

But Charlie was the boss and he called the shots and he ordered those murders because???

That is how some of you should be talking to him who can. Stop trying to help him and help the rest of us figure it out so maybe we can prevent it from happening again.

But we need to really know why to begin to do that.

Manson Mythos said...

I believe that Gary Fleischman would have had Linda testify in favor of Charlie unless that deal was struck. Early articles had Fleischman discussing what a strong case Manson had over the prosecution and that there was little to no evidence against him (yet his own client turned out to be the most damaging). I'm not sure if he was just commenting on the lack of evidence, but it sounded as if he was on the side of Manson in the early stages.

This was at the time Linda wasn't talking. Bugliosi said she wanted to, but Fleischman wasn't letting her. I think that is bunk.

If Linda, the only one who did not commit any physical violence testified in favor of Manson, he might have walked.

BTW: doesn't anyone else find it odd that Bugliosi never recorded or documented any conversations with Kasabian?

St Circumstance said...

Is it possible Linda didn't testify in favor of Manson because Charlie was the leader and the bulk of her story - if not every detail- was mostly correct ?

Dreath said...

MM sais,

"This was at the time Linda wasn't talking. Bugliosi said she wanted to, but Fleischman wasn't letting her. I think that is bunk."

and,

"BTW: doesn't anyone else find it odd that Bugliosi never recorded or documented any conversations with Kasabian?"

It is 'bunk'. From the horses mouth:

GARY FLEISCHMAN, Kasabian’s lawyer. Now 75, he practices in Northern California. "Linda had seen them committing mayhem at the Tate house. She had driven the killers to the LaBianca residence, but she hadn’t done anything. Still, she was technically guilty of first-degree murder. I told her that a deal was the only way out. She initially didn’t want to do that. These were her soul mates, no matter what they’d done. But I told her, “You’re broke, you’re pregnant, and you were there. You must become a prosecution witness.”

Taping her- no, I don't. If he did he would have to produce it to the defense and he had Fleischman running interference on their access to Kasabian. Everyone worried she would turn around. That is why they held her immunity as long as they did.

But, again, to say Bugliosi coached/created Kasabian's testimony you have to answer how that could happen with Fleischman in the room. He was at every interview. Bugliosi wants him there for precisely the reason being raised- that he coached her and he wants to be there so his client doesn't say something that implicates her in some other offense- like perjury. I'm sure VB and GF discussed the Melton money before he let her talk about that, for example.

ColScott said...

Everyone is missing out the more obvious answer- all of this happened just at different dates. These assholes were high/sleepy/dumb all the fucking time. Maybe the drive to Pasadena was another night. Doesn't matter.

grimtraveller said...

Cielodrive.com said...

Seems odd to drive all the way back down to Venice from Sylmar after you’ve driven around all night and Sylmar is so close to Spahn Ranch

On the other hand, having finally got what had been, up until then, a rather stillborn night in terms of objective and action, underway, maybe Charlie now had the bit between his teeth.
I'm just curious what Charlie was doing in the car in the first place.....

George Stimson said...

These murders were not committed because of personal animosity or for any hope of material gain from the victims. They were committed simply out of the need for them to be committed in order to establish a copy-cat pattern that would cause the police to believe that Bobby Beausoleil had not committed the earlier murder of Gary Hinman and thereby release him from jail

Why didn't they just alibi Bobby ? Get one of the women to say she was with him from the 25th to 29th July ? Come the penalty phase, there was a major league effort to alibi Charlie. And it was obvious that Bobby hadn't talked even up to his first trial.

The identities of the victims were irrelevant to their fates

Try telling Nicholas Shreck that !

grimtraveller said...

George Stimson said...

But Atkins mentioned nothing else (including the post-Waverley trip to Venice)

True. But nothing actually happened. Does going to Nader's apartment block {even with Clem having a gun} qualify as attempted murder ?
If Susan really did have a crap on the landing, I reckon it was genuine relief at not having to kill. She liked to play the tough girl but she turned out to be, as we used to say back in the 70s, all mouth and trousers.

Steve Grogan is not talking and has never, to my knowledge, given any account of his or the others’ activities on the night of August 9-10

It's a real shame that the Wayback machine hasn't captured all of the stuff that was on Catscradle77's site because Steve Grogan's testimony in the penalty phase was interesting. He bore out some of what Linda said, just that he took the hat off Charlie and put it on Linda instead. He also revealed that the penalty phase is what the defence would have been although he doesn't state it directly. When I first read it, I remember thinking that the overall result would have been the same.

I once asked Manson about the city-wide search for murder victims before and after the group arrived at Waverly Drive. He declined to go into any detail but contended that he didn’t think there was enough time to have done all the driving that was alleged to have happened

His contention of not enough time would tend to be cancelled out by his not going into detail. It makes little sense to say that there wouldn't have been enough time for all that driving if you refuse to say anything about the time that was filled.....

Aside from the grand jury testimony of Susan Atkins, given at a time when she was providing other spectacular and attention getting (but since denied) lurid murder details such as drinking Sharon Tate's blood and personally stabbing Tate to death,

What she told Ronnie Howard and Virginia Graham is actually markedly different to what she told Richard Caballero, Paul Caruso and the Grand Jury. I think she tried to big up her role in the murders when telling the 2 cellmates {and another one called Nancy Jordon} because she never expected it to go any further. She didn't envisage them telling on her. One of them even had said to her to keep her voice down because she knew someone that had gotten in trouble due to something she told a fellow inmate. She possibly felt they were looking out for her. So fellating her baby, stabbing Gary Hinman and Sharon Tate and tasting Tate's blood would be stuff that flows freely from her imago. She had a captive audience that she was keen to impress and show how together she was in her uninhibited "freedom." Once the law enforcement agencies, lawyers and a grand jury were involved, she had a keen audience of a different kind that listened with different ears and weren't there to be impressed by tales of sucking a baby's penis, tasting a dying woman's blood and murdering a pregnant woman.

grimtraveller said...

Or to put it another way, finding that Graham and Howard weren't impressed and shopped her, maybe Atkins thought "that went down like a lead balloon ! I'd better just come clean."

St Circumstance said...

I think that no truer words were spoken than what The Col said...

not to kiss ass- but really it just goes along with my earlier comments. It is trying to tie minor discrepancies together in such a manner to make a bigger leap

Dreath said...

Grim said,

"Does going to Nader's apartment block {even with Clem having a gun} qualify as attempted murder ?"

Attempted murder in California requires:

1. Some direct action towards killing another person
2. The act was intended to kill a person

So an easy one is firing a gun at someone and missing. But it can also be hiring someone to kill someone or luring someone into an alley to kill them. Could they be charged? Yes. Convicted? Eh...I personally don't think so.

Grim said,

"I'm just curious what Charlie was doing in the car in the first place....."

See, Col Scott: "These assholes were high/sleepy/dumb all the fucking time."

ColScott said...

Clem is 100% guilty of murder by being at the LaBianca house. Just being there and never doing anything. No fucking idea why he didn't go down for that. But then Zero committed Russian Roulette to this day

Dreath said...

You know, Col, I have said that too but looking at it Clem is only guilty by conspiracy. That needs an 'overt act'. That act must lead to a murder. I'm not sure Clem has one now that I look at it.

That might be why he skated on TLB.

'In the car' is the agreement but there may not be an 'overt act'.

Robert C said...

The circumstances surrounding Zero still remain an enigma to me.
One of the few remaining that receive very little attention.
But back to this thread ....

St Circumstance said...

Looking at Linda's entire life you see a very bad person who does a lot of very bad things but to give her the tiniest credit - she has been something of a survivor. She had gone through her life criss crossing the country getting into trouble from one place to the next. She never lets herself get into too big a hole she can't worm her way out of. Even going so far in one instance as to leave her own child behind when she ran..

But she never crosses the line of smdoimg herself permanent damage.

She barely knew the Family and I'm sure it was in her nature to self preserve. So if Bugs was going to be the guy to offer her the way out of this mess- and she cooperated- it's understandable to me. As long as she didn't change or distort what really happened...

I get why she would go along with a few adjustments to things like timelines.

I don't believe anything she testified to gave anyone a false idea of what went down or who was involved.

I will never believe she flat out lies to cover up her own under-reported involvement and I think that is what some imply when they start to go down this road....

ColScott said...

Dreath- He was present during a so called murder scout that ended in murder- this per the star witness testimony. He is an uncharged co-conspirator.

Robert C- Iwhen I do immerse myself in the case it boggles my mind how little the cops care about the murder of hippies.

St- Linda flat out lies (that's three lies you've told already) to increase Charlie's culpability. That is what BUG bought from her. The actual killers he has hard evidence against.

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

I'm not sure we disagree. I only said she didn't lie to cover up her own culpibility. I didn't say why she did lie. So not sure how I lied ...

But whatever you say lol

Cielodrive.com said...

In chambers Older asks Bugliosi about Grogan.

THE COURT: As a matter of curiosity, why wasn’t Tufts prosecuted?

MR. BUGLIOSI: I can explain.

THE COURT: It is of moment in this case but I am just curious.

MR. BUGLIOSI: There are several reasons, and I can’t give the Court all the reasons.

One reason was that all we had at the time of the Grand Jury was Susan Atkins, and what she told me, her story was identical to Linda Kasabian’s with one substantial departure. She said that after the LaBianca incident they drove straight back to the ranch instead of going to Venice where these other things occurred. In the Grand Jury the testimony was that he was with them at the LaBianca residence and they drove back to the ranch.

We didn’t have him doing anything affirmative that night, not even disposing of anything.

There were other problems. He is a mental case.

Also, I had to put this Grand Jury thing together in about three days, and I hadn’t spoken to Tufts.

I was hopeful that maybe we could use him as a witnesses for us at that time. Maybe he would have testified for us at the trial.

There are several other reasons which I won’t go into now, but I am just giving the Court some idea.

THE COURT: You don’t have to tell me.

grimtraveller said...

ColScott said...

St- Linda flat out lies (that's three lies you've told already) to increase Charlie's culpability. That is what BUG bought from her

Which lies does Linda actually tell ? I don't mean discrepancies or those daft time type estimates. I mean actual lies, knowing untruths. It'd be an interesting exercise examining those and trying to work out how she got away with them.

The actual killers he has hard evidence against

Yes and three of them {Susan, Leslie and Tex} stated that Charlie was behind the killings. And not only that, evidence coming in from a surprising variety of sources were either placing or repeating talk of Charlie being behind them.
Sometimes, I wonder what people expected the prosecution to do.
If one personalizes it for a moment, imagine your wife, girlfriend, Mum or sister had been gang raped by 4 guys and there was evidence against them but it also transpired that the reason they raped was because the leader of their gang who wasn't present at the rapes put them up to it, a kind of "getting your bones" and proving yourself to the gang type scenario. Would you simply hold up your hands and accept that the leader gets away with it, especially when it becomes clear that, while totally guilty, the rapists would never have committed those particular crimes had it not been for the leader ?

St Circumstance said...

So not sure how I lied...

ColScott isn't saying that you lied. He's quoting Charlie during Linda's testimony, taking as evidence from Charlie that Linda lied.
On a side note, when Charlie shouted out to Linda in everyone's hearing that she'd told 3 lies "already," her reaction is interesting. Unlike Susan, Pat and Leslie who had all previously earmarked Charlie as being behind the murders {and crucial to understanding the mindset of at least Susan & Leslie, is seeing that they regarded these as killings that had to be done in the service of a greater scheme as opposed to how everyone else saw them ~ murders} but who all backed down once Charlie got to them with messages, Linda stared him down and didn't buckle. She said something like "it's the truth Charlie ~ and you know it."

Dreath said...

Great stuff, Cielo!

grimtraveller said...

Dreath said...

Attempted murder in California requires:

Quick question; has the law in California changed much in these areas since 1970 ? Some of the legal clarity you bring, would these have been the case even back then ?
For example, with Steve Grogan, back then, I understood that the words of one perp in a crime couldn't be used against an accomplice without independent corroboration of some kind. If that's true, it partly explains why no action was taken against Clem ~ there was nothing other than Susan and Linda's words to prove he was there. Same sort of thing with Tex, Bill Vance and Larry Jones in regards to Shorty's murder. None of them ever copped to it to anyone that was prepared to repeat it in court and Bruce and Clem years later doing so in relation to Tex was fairly worthless. Whereas Diane Lake could tie Leslie to the LaBiancas and Paul Watkins could tie Clem & Charlie to Shorty.

See, Col Scott: "These assholes were high/sleepy/dumb all the fucking time."

None of that would account for why, having admitted to knowing what had happened the night before and supposedly believing in the copycat, he would get into a car with them, go into someone's house {by his own admission}, leave Tex there and see Leslie and Pat enter the house and then drive off.....

GARY FLEISCHMAN: "Linda had seen them committing mayhem at the Tate house. She had driven the killers to the LaBianca residence, but she hadn’t done anything. Still, she was technically guilty of first-degree murder. I told her that a deal was the only way out. She initially didn’t want to do that. These were her soul mates, no matter what they’d done. But I told her, “You’re broke, you’re pregnant, and you were there. You must become a prosecution witness.”

The problem with that story as fait accompli and explanation is that the prosecution didn't want her. They had Atkins. So for the story to have any legs at all, one is forced to concede that Fleischmann was some kind of Paul Crockett style mystic force that could so successfully penetrate the mind of Susan Atkins by putting into motion a daring plan to have Linda write her lots of Charlie speak style messages to destabilize her mental framework and make her recant and toss her own immunity from the death sentence.
It could have happened that way, but I don't believe it. Far more likely, is that Susan crumbled under Charlie's presence. She says he threatened her with the safety of her son. But what happened with her is consistent with what happened with Pat. She runs off to "Alabammy" and tells Dr Brown that she was scared of Charlie finding her and killing her and fights extradition to LA. He gets to her with messages and not only does she end her extradition fight, she joins a joint defence and talks herself into the gas chamber.
Or Leslie, who never sold Charlie out. In her Mike McGann interview, she goes to the ends of the earth and back to keep him out of any trouble. One month later after the gig is up and Susan has spoken to the GJ, she comes clean and tells Marvin Part all. And at Charlie's behest, goes rogue and pitches in her lot with the joint defence and no psycho examinations and talks herself into the gas chamber too.
As calculating as Linda may have been, as Atkins pointed out not long before she died, she was no mastermind. I think Mr Fleischmann, a bit like Joe Sage, takes a little too much credit for the way the events bent Linda's way.

Dreath said...

Grim,

The law of 'attempt' has bene the same for over 100 years. This is the current statute:

"California Penal Code Section 21(a)

An attempt to commit a crime consists of two elements:  a specific intent to commit the crime, and a direct but ineffectual act done toward its commission."

Likely, that number has changed but that concept has not changed.

Grim, Cielo's comment there provides you with the answer regarding Clem.

simon davis said...

This post about Kasabian requires attention. I have not read the comments, but on the post the following needs to be said:

1. For reasons I will set out in due course, at another time, the Copycat theory of the Hinman murder is not to be believed. It was discredited in the penalty phase of Tate/LaBianca. In any event was implausible for many reasons.

2. Atkins' failure to testify to as many details as Kasabian does not discredit Kasabian's evidence. It does not mean much more than that Atkins did not recall as much or was not prepared to testify to as much.

3. Van Houten did give a near contemporaneous account of the driving around in her interview with Marvin Part on 29 December 1969. She said inter alia "we drove and we drove and we drove".

4. Doubt is cast upon Watson's corroboration of Kasabian on the basis that his account followed her account. The allegation seems to be that he merely copied her. This is wrong. The account contained in his book was almost certainly the account he supplied to his lawyers in late 1969 (see his e-book). Therefore, it could not have been copied from her. There are other reasons it was not copied, which are unnecessary to go into here and now. All of that being so, the result is Kasabian got very powerful corroboration from Watson.

5. The stuff about Bugliosi driving her around is of no consequence. She could not corroborate herself.

6. Manson contemplated firing a loud weapon on public street because that was the sort of guy he quite often was - quite mad, capricious and temperamental. Only someone quite volatile and crazy would do things like, e.g. the throat slitting gesture to Kasabian while she was in the witness box (stand I believe it is called in USA). I could write a book about the crazy unpredictable things Charlie did, in particular the vile bashings he inflicted upon the female Family members, some as young as 16 yo.

7. About the removal of Kasabian from the indictment, you must be talking about a different Tate/LaBianca case to the one that I've read about. By all means, correct me if I'm wrong but the the court decided after much argument that Kasabian was in law an accomplice, and therefore her evidence did require corroboration. That is the very reason so much effort was put into corroborating her, and the jury was instructed her evidence required corroboration. Yes, uncorroborated evidence went in too, but teh jury was carefully instructed that it ought to treat that type of evidence with caution and indeed, prima facie, distrust. This is very standard fare in a criminal trial.

8. I find Kasabian's evidence absolutely credible without having any pre-determined desire to accept it. She was cross examined at ridiculous length by four different trial attorneys and not a glove was laid on her. That was quite amazing. You'll struggle long and hard to find in the annals of jurisprudence an example of such a good witness as Ms Kasabian. Why would anyone find that other than totally credible.

That said, I've seen people raise eyebrows about things she has said. That's fair enough but I have yet to see anything which remotely calls into question her credibility. I will be quiet willing to stand corrected if and when someone comes up with something.

Kind Regards to you all in USA.

simon davis said...

Hello in USA, I'm new and just wanted to test, simon

simon davis said...

I'd like to say the following in response to the post about LK's credibility re the 2nd night.

1. Watson's account in his book was almost certainly the version he gave to his lawyers in 1969 (see his e-book). That means it was unlikely to have been copied from LK. That being so, it was very powerful corroboration of LK.

2. Van Houten gave a version to her lawyer Marvin Part. She said inter alia something to the effect of driving and driving and driving, which tends to corroborate LK.

3. Bugliosi's car trips with LK are of little or no consequence. She couldn't corroborate herself.

4. Manson would have used the gun in public because he was the sort of guy who did many inexplicable crazy things e.g. the throat slitting gesture at LK during her testimony, the vile bashings of the girls, some as young as 16, maybe even younger. He was capricious, moody and unpredictable in the extreme.

5. Police are trained to be observant and recall everything that happens on duty - not quite. For the very reason that they can't be expected to remember everything that happens on duty, they are trained to record events in notebooks. If they do not make a notebook entry, they are apt to not be able to testify about events. I have interviewed, examined and cross examined 100's of police officers. It would not surprise me in the least that a police officer, when first asked some seven months later, had no independent recollection of the type of fleeting encounter on a beach that LK described. It would surprise me even less that the police officer made no record of such an encounter.

6. The court decided that LK's evidence did require corroboration because in law she was an accomplice. The jury was directed that her evidence ought to be treated with caution (indeed I recall "distrust" was the term) unless it was corroborated. None of this meant that uncorroborated evidence was precluded from admission, and none of it necessarily meant that the jury could not make use of such evidence. All it meant was that that type of evidence (uncorroborated) ought to be viewed prima facie with distrust.

7. The removal of LK from the indictment did not have the result that uncorroborated evidence could go in.

Kind Regards to all in USA (and elsewhere too!)

St Circumstance said...

Simon... Very well said :)

Thank you Sir !

simon davis said...

Thank u very much for your kind comment. I rather apprehend that all will not be so kind, but that's fair enough. Everyone has a point of view.

I had forgotten one thing. The fact that Atkins did not fully corroborate LK is neither here nor there. The fact is that, if anything, Atkins' GJ testimony did have a tendency to corroborate LK. Apart from that, it only meant that Atkins did not recall as much as LK, or was not prepared to testify to as much as LK. The significance either way is very limited.

starviego said...

They went straight down to where Bernard Crowe was to get him.

They went straight down to where Gary Hinman was to get him.

They went straight down to the Tate house to get them.

But they chose the LaBianca house more or less at random? Hmmm...

I am looking at all that driving around as a psychological tactic on Charlie's part to get the kids frustrated and pissed off, so that by the time they got to the LaBianca house they are rarin' to go and there won't be any hesitation. Also Charlie was deliberately trying to hide the fact that he had picked the target before they even got in the car, IMO.

George Stimson said...

"Everyone has a point of view."

Yes, indeed!

Mr. Humphrat said...

Grim said: ' Charlie shouted out to Linda in everyone's hearing that she'd told 3 lies "already,"'
I was just wondering if Charlie wasn't throwing out a quick bible allusion for fun. (Peter denying Jesus 3 times)

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

Mr. H,

Very interesting observation. 'For fun"? Or on purpose- cue Manson's crucifixion pose.

grimtraveller said...

Mr. Humphrat said...

I was just wondering if Charlie wasn't throwing out a quick bible allusion for fun. (Peter denying Jesus 3 times)

Hey, I like that one Mr H !

starviego said...

I am looking at all that driving around as a psychological tactic on Charlie's part to get the kids frustrated and pissed off, so that by the time they got to the LaBianca house they are rarin' to go and there won't be any hesitation

Yet, if one looks at what went on to happen later in the night, there was hesitation~a~plenty and I think it's a fair argument that Clem and Susan were anything but raring to go....or they might well have said to Linda "oi, girly, if that's the wrong door, which one is the right one because you've just 5 minutes ago pointed out a door to Charlie and he's expecting results...."
If the accounts of the killers are true, the evening began with Charlie saying that he was going out with them to show them how 'it' should be done. After 4 or 5 of his attempts to select the right victim, nothing had been done. The pressure was on.
As an aside, I have to say that the photos Cielo included are incredible. In my mind's eye over the years, I have never and would never picture the church building and particularly the house looking like that. The house is so isolated.....

Dreath said...

The law of 'attempt' has bene the same for over 100 years

I was thinking more of the "words of an accomplice without corroboration" thing, although that's useful to know. Sometimes we can think that the law was kind of deficient in the 'old days' but I reckon there were some very forward thinkers even 100 years ago.

St Circumstance said...

And most importantly. Linda was a traitor and is a piece of garbage

Without whom all may have walked.
That they all pleaded 'not guilty' continues to fascinate me. But even hard evidence like prints don't actually prove anything.

Manson Mythos said...

As for the testimony of Kasabian, needless to say, I think it appears tailor made. It's just too conveniently perfect for Bugliosi's case

Actually, I think it's rather bumpy. Any good lawyer will take the raw material of someone's story and make it fit the case they are presenting.
That's what lawyers do.

St Circumstance said...

I honestly feel that some go into this not objectively looking for the real answer. I think some have already made up their minds and instead spend their time researching ways to try and convince others it is so

The problem with being objective is that sooner or later you may well find that you can weigh up the very elements that you've been so objective about and reach a conclusion. And when you have reached a conclusion, you naturally defend that conclusion or try to illuminate the reasons for your belief in that conclusion. Being permanently objective about a particular matter could make one eternally wishy washy on it.
Part of the joy of human discourse is being able to discuss with those who come from opposing camps, those from your own camp, those of no camp and it's simply the way we are that we will try to pitch our view and get others to see it, even if they don't agree with it.
When it comes down to it, we rarely have the real answer to much. But we are able to weigh up the fragments we do have and make a decision based on them.

George Stimson said...

Is Linda Kasabian’s Account of the Second Night Credible?

In "Goodbye Helter Skelter" is Charlie's account of the second night credible ?

George Stimson said...

George Stimson said...

Is Linda Kasabian’s Account of the Second Night Credible?

In "Goodbye Helter Skelter" is Charlie's account of the second night credible ?


If Charlie was going to lie about what happened on the second night, why would he admit going into the house and speaking with Leno LaBianca? Wouldn't it have been easier for him to deny going into the house altogether? Why admit to partial (seeming) culpability?

Mr. Humphrat said...

I don't see a problem driving all those miles George mapped out between say 10pm and 3 or 4 am. I would think if they'd made parts of the claimed trip on separate nights one of them would have said so by now.

Dreath said...

Grim said: "I was thinking more of the "words of an accomplice without corroboration" thing...."

Ah, then here you go- a bit of history: http://scholarship.law.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=3035&context=lawreview

and California Penal Code Section 1111:

A conviction can not be had upon the testimony of an accomplice unless it be corroborated by such other evidence as shall tend to connect the defendant with the commission of the offense; and the corroboration is not sufficient if it merely shows the commission of the offense or the circumstances thereof.

An accomplice is hereby defined as one who is liable to prosecution for the identical offense charged against the defendant on trial in the cause in which the testimony of the accomplice is given.
(Amended by Stats. 1915, Ch. 457.)

Note the date there at the bottom.

Dreath said...

Grim said: "Actually, I think it's rather bumpy. Any good lawyer will take the raw material of someone's story and make it fit the case they are presenting. That's what lawyers do."

Example we all know: take two truths and spin them- racist cop (truth) + bloody glove (truth)= racist cop planted bloody glove.

grimtraveller said...

Dreath said...

they both fell asleep. [Aside: they all knew night number 2 was murder….could you crash knowing that? Tells you a bit about them, doesn’t it?]

On the other hand, being under such stress could cause one to crash out for a while, especially Atkins, infected to the max and later to show possible relief from stress by laying a loaf on the landing at Ocean Walk.

St Circumstance said...

if George is right and it was supposed to look like a copy cat- that means they were trying to make the crime scenes look similar and the cops still didn't catch on???

That's debatable because as has been said a few times recently, some did. One even used the words "copycat". Actually, the word "copycat" came up a few times. Also, with the preponderance of drug related stuff with the Cielo crime and none whatsoever with the LaBianca crime, one can forgive the cops for treating them as two separate incidents.
In his book, George pointed out that murders in which bloody messages {or messages scrawled in lipstick} were left were apparently not unusual in California in 1969. Whether true or not one can make a case either way on behalf of or against the Police that they should have spotted the link straight away or that given other things that came up in their investigation {that years later Shreck would use to present his thesis of what was really going on}, it wasn't surprising that it took a while to get there.

He just ain't going back to the desert or to hang out with you when he is free.....even if he really would have had he gotten free. I wonder how many of you would have a relationship with him at all if you weren't giving him something?

Who can tell ?
But the fact remains that because of the way in which anyone after Oct '69 came to hear of Charles Manson, any relationship would proceed on the basis of one person in jail and one out. There are lots of prison ministries run by churches and social groups in which relationships are formed and both parties engage in them for their own reasons. One could say that both sides of the equation have their own selfish agendas and to be honest, is that really different from any relationship ?

grimtraveller said...

Dreath said...

but for one fact, I might even argue that after Watson slit the screen Kasabian saw nothing else

That's what Bugliosi and Stovitz originally thought. That's kind of why they thought she'd be no good as a witness as long as they had Atkins. I think her story genuinely caught them by surprise and one can see why Bugliosi started hoping that Susan would recant. Better a drug sodden rent~a~puss hippie that never killed than one he suspected killed Sharon Tate and fellated her own son and tasted her blood. One thinking of a jury sees there is no contest between the two.

She was not ‘going to testify anyway’ without immunity

It is interesting that Bugliosi didn't share that view. It came up during the trial and he reiterated it later in his book. She gives a noble speech on it during her testimony.

she was ‘all in’ with Manson when she got back to LA

I asked this a while ago but there was no answer forthcoming. Do we have any evidence of this ? Has anyone said that she tried to contact the Family at all ? It seems to me a little odd, given that her fleeing was in response to Cielo. She hadn't known that the LaBiancas were killed until October.
But, hey.

grimtraveller said...

George Stimson said...

But if we examine Kasabian's version of events it quickly becomes apparent that there is absolutely no corroborating evidence to support the conclusion that the "murder search" ever even happened

If one examines Kasabian's version of events there is corroborating evidence from Atkins and Van Houten although none of it showed up in the trial. It also crosses my mind that with 7 people in a car, with 4 of them in the back and there were no seats in the back and Kasabian was up at the front, there were things that some of the guys in the back just may not have been privy to, especially if some were asleep, some were tripping and some were scared about the nights events to come. And Clem up front can't talk or he implicates himself.....

Well, I would have to admit that it’s credible if one is determined to believe that what Kasabian says is the truth

That's kind of unfair. Determination to believe Linda is telling the truth has little to do with anything. It's a matter of weighing up a whole lot of other stuff and deciding what one thinks. Given everything said about her from her Dad to the Family, given her liking for drugs and her willingness to give herself to blokes she barely knew, her penchant for theft etc, one has to ask if she comes across as the kind of duplicitous Ventress that fooled Bugliosi, Stovitz, the prosecution, the defence, Charlie, the Family, the Police, Judge Older and all the jail officials she had to deal with.
I've yet to be convinced and unlike with Charlie on his recollections of LaBianca night, there's nothing that Linda has yet come out with that makes me clench my backside and say "naw...."

On the other hand, if a person takes into account the total lack of corroboration, Kasabian’s character, and the fact that she had been promised immunity for seven counts of first degree murder and one count of conspiracy to commit murder for her “truthful testimony” at the Manson/Girls trial and all future M-related trials

And therein lies the key. This wasn't a question of spinning a few yarns to get Charles Manson into the gas chamber. It went on for a number of years, was an intrusion into her life just when she'd want to be laying low and that immunity could be stripped away at any time if it was felt that she had not truthfully testified. She'd seen it happen to Susan and I wouldn't be surprised if she was aware that LE was trying at one point to do it to Mary in regards her Bobby trial shenanigans. While she testified for the prosecution in the original trial, she hadn't received the immunity. It was quite a way into her testimony that the DA's office petitioned for her to receive it and the Judge said yes.
It really isn't the fait accompli that it is often presented as.

then it wouldn’t be at all unreasonable to suspect that the account could be largely exaggerated or even totally false

That's true. It wouldn't be unreasonable to suspect. It wasn't unreasonable to suspect Ronald Hughes was killed by the Family. It wasn't unreasonable to suspect some family involvement in the death of Joel Pugh. It wasn't unreasonable to suspect Squeaky was involved in the murder of Lauren Willets.
None of the suspicions were borne out though.

Trilby said...

Dreath, can you give a few examples of what might constitute an overt act in furtherance of a conspiracy? Please and Thanks.

Trilby said...

I've always felt the narrative that says they stopped the car pulling out of the Spahn driveway, & Bruce Davis and Manson talked for a bit, before Manson returned to car & they left Spahn; is of significance. Then Manson disappeared from view at the church, & again at the Denny's when he came back to the car with milkshakes. Could he have been using a payphone to call Bruce or another pre-arranged number? I still think Susan/Suzan was involved & that the timing was co-ordinated, as was Frank Struthers staying at the lake an extra day. I'd love to ask him who suggested he stay an extra night, & if anyone (Susan) tried to dissuade him.

Dreath said...

Grim said,

"I asked this a while ago but there was no answer forthcoming. Do we have any evidence of this ? It seems to me a little odd, given that her fleeing was in response to Cielo."

Why: Krenwinkel fled and so did Watson. His trip to Texas wasn't to link up with his high school prom date.

That said I think I did answer you:

1. Fleichman (above: "I told her that a deal was the only way out. She initially didn’t want to do that. These were her soul mates, no matter what they’d done.")- I know you think he's lying. I don't. I can't think of better evidence then the lawyer who spoke with her on December 5, 1969.

2. The first post I ever did. "Accused Milford Girl Says She Won't Talk" http://www.mansonblog.com/2016/08/the-unhappy-odyssey-of-linda-kasabian.html

I believe back there you rationalized her statement likely because it doesn't fit your viewpoint.

Dreath said...

Trilby said: "Dreath, can you give a few examples of what might constitute an overt act in furtherance of a conspiracy? Please and Thanks."

From this case and others I came across when writing that post:

Driving the car to the crime scene- or simply riding along

Entering the homes

Tying up the victims

Had Nader been murdered- let's say Kasabian knocked on the door he opened and she left- knocking on his door to lure him to open it.

Renting a car for a crime.

Buying guns for a crime or a rope.

Diagraming the surveillance cameras

Staking out the armored car drop at a bank

Buying the explosives for someone to make a bomb

An overt act is any action that moves the conspiracy forward. The real defense to conspiracy is 'lack of intent'. That's the argument made that even though Manson drove the car night #2 he didn't know/think anyone would be killed.

grimtraveller said...

George Stimson said...

If Charlie was going to lie about what happened on the second night, why would he admit going into the house and speaking with Leno LaBianca? Wouldn't it have been easier for him to deny going into the house altogether? Why admit to partial (seeming) culpability?

What evidence was there that Linda Kasabian had ever been anywhere near Cielo or Waverley Drive ? Whatever Susan Atkins testified before the Grand Jury could not, under the terms of her deal {we call it immunity but it wasn't really. But it was immunity from the death penalty}, be used against her or any of her accomplices. And the stuff they had on Kasabian was inadmissible hearsay unlike physical stuff that tied Tex and Pat to Cielo, Bobby to Hinman and Bruce to Shea. So one could ask exactly the same question of her. Why testify ? She wasn't really gaining anything. As Bugliosi himself pointed out, it was more to her advantage to say nothing, let the trial happen and be acquitted than incur the ire of the Family. Bugliosi says he'd only have gone for 2nd degree murder as a charge against her but he wouldn't have gotten a conviction on that, with or especially without Atkins. All Linda had to say was "I wasn't there. I drove no car. I didn't dispose of weapons or bloody clothes."
This tends to weigh heavily when considering whether she exaggerated or made stuff up. It was totally unnecessary for her to do so.
And actually Charlie could hardly lie about going into the LaBianca house since Atkins, Watson, Kasabian and Van Houten all placed him there. But he could spin any number of yarns about what took place in the house. The only person that could challenge anything he said was Tex and any time he's spoken about the murders he's nearly always {other than on the 'Tex tapes' which haven't been publicly aired yet} repeated what already exists in the public record which indicates to me that he has little recollection. His version of what happened is nothing like Charlie's although it is very similar to the controversial Emmons account.

George Stimson said...

Only Watson places Manson inside the house. All Atkins, Kasabian, and Van Houten can say is that he walked up the driveway towards Harold True's house and then came back to the car.

grimtraveller said...

Dreath said...

Why: Krenwinkel fled and so did Watson. His trip to Texas wasn't to link up with his high school prom date

You've kind of lost me there. The question I was saying I asked but got no answer to was whether or not Charlie tried to contact Linda in the period before she turned state's evidence. And whether or not she was back in the Family fold or trying to get there ~ having run away from them because of some of their murderous inclinations.

That said I think I did answer you:

1. Fleichman - I know you think he's lying. I don't


I didn't say I thought he was lying and I don't think he was. If I was her lawyer it's advice I may well have given, though I'd also be aware that they had no case against her.
What I said I didn't believe him on was his master plan for Linda to keep sending "Manson~ speak" letters to Susan to destabilize her and cause her to recant. I do not believe that. It makes a great soundbitey story but there are other statements by various participants that round out that picture so much more or at least in addition to it, that are worthy of consideration.
I conflated that story with the quote that you brought because to me, for the purposes of balance, one has to consider both. So again, the question has to be put, what evidence is there that Linda, having run away from the Family because of murder, now was all for them and considered them as soul mates ? I think it's a valid question. Fleischmann's statement has competition.

I can't think of better evidence then the lawyer who spoke with her on December 5, 1969

I agree. Except that he's recalling events from 40 years previous. The article you quote from is from a 2009 LA Times oral history. He says other things like Linda's husband and Charles Melton slept on his doorstep and smoked his drugs. You've sometimes said that you don't give much credence to statements made so long after the event whereas I tend to be one that will.
In the same article, the reporter quotes Mike McGann as saying "Manson and Susan Atkins started communicating, and she completely changed. She became very belligerent. She didn’t want anything more to do with us. She decided she wouldn’t testify.."

The first post I ever did. "Accused Milford Girl Says She Won't Talk".....I believe back there you rationalized her statement likely because it doesn't fit your viewpoint

I guess you could say that. Paradoxically, you could also say that a spontaneous answer given to a hurriedly shouted question by a reporter just after you've been arrested for a heinous murder and given yourself in is difficult to use as a demonstration of long term intent, particularly as it wasn't exactly an interview.
I'll often look at the different ways that people behave in situations, all the while mindful that people change, sometimes from day to day.
We both have viewpoints of Kasabian that we can find "evidence" in support of, whether it's to show that she was naive or highly duplicitous.

ziggyosterberg said...


Manson Guilty, Trump Declares

grimtraveller said...

George Stimson said...

Only Watson places Manson inside the house. All Atkins, Kasabian, and Van Houten can say is that he walked up the driveway towards Harold True's house and then came back to the car

In her 29/12/69 interview with Marvin Part, Van Houten says:
"I heard Charlie talking to Sadie — or, no, Tex; that’s who he was talking to, Tex. And he said, 'Everything’s — I got everything okay. And they think it’s a robbery. And just to tie it up, just go on in. I got their wallet. They’re sure it’s a robbery.'"
She places him in the house.
To the Grand Jury, Susan Atkins said:
"Then he came back and he said, 'Tex, Katie' and he looked at me and he could see that I didn't want to go into the house, and he said, 'Leslie, go into the house. I have got the people tied up. They are very calm.'
He said something to the effect last night that Tex let the people know they were going to be killed which caused panic and Charlie said that he reassured the people with smiles in a very quiet manner that they were not to be harmed and -- just that they were not to be harmed."
She places him in the house.
Kasabian, when interviewed by Bugliosi in March 1970, she says that she never heard Charlie give an order to kill the LaBiancas. But she did say that he said that they were tied up and that he'd told them that they shouldn't be afraid, that everything was going to be alright. I will take a risk and presume she testified to this in court although I honestly can't recall her exact words. Without Cats' transcripts to refresh my memory, I can't say. But she certainly said it to Bugliosi before the trial began.
She places him in the house.
All three and Watson could be lying. My point wasn't whether what they said was true or not, rather, that all of them having placed Charlie in the house, it would be damaging for him to deny it ~ unless he really had not gone in there.

grimtraveller said...

ziggyosterberg said...

Manson Guilty, Trump Declares

Charlie says that's fake news....

Dreath said...

Grim, said:

"We both have viewpoints of Kasabian that we can find "evidence" in support of, whether it's to show that she was naive or highly duplicitous."

and

"So again, the question has to be put, what evidence is there that Linda, having run away from the Family because of murder, now was all for them and considered them as soul mates ?"

Do you find these two comments inconsistent? Just curious.

and

" I think it's a valid question. Fleischmann's statement has competition."

Ah, that's why trials occur- competing facts- that doesn't mean its not evidence and it doesn't mean he's wrong unless you have some proof he's not telling the truth.

You are right, I do find statements by witnesses closer to the events regarding those events more reliable then 40 years later. That's why I believe Kasabian.






Trilby said...

Thanks, Dreath.

So because Grogan was said to be in the car the second night, would intent hinge on whether he thought there would be murder committed?

IIRC Juan Flynn was the one Grogan had made the comment to about "We got five piggies the other night", but I can't recall the timing of that off the top of my head. Might have been after the second night. If it had been said on Saturday afternoon, it could be used to show intent?

It's been speculated that Grogan went back to Cielo with Manson the night before. I wonder if Bugliosi wanted to avoid opening that can of worms? (In other words, if Grogan knew there had been killing on Fri/Sat, he could reasonably assume they weren't going out joyriding on Sat/Sun. But then again, as far as we know, they had no rope or knives with them, only allegedly a gun of which he might not have been aware.)

I've always been curious as to why Grogan was never charged w/LaBianca conspiracy/counts but yet, Atkins was. I read the explanation above - Bugliosi's dialogue - but I wonder if it was really because proving intent might have been difficult.

It's always stuck with me what Bugliosi wrote re: Krenwinkel & the LaBianca counts: that had she printed the handwriting exemplar, by law she'd have had to be acquitted. Aaron Stovitz had been quoted as saying the case against them for the LaBianca murders was not that strong.

From the vantage point of hindsight we always see this case as a slam dunk, but in reality this must have been a legal mess and a half.

Dreath said...

Trilby said: "It's always stuck with me what Bugliosi wrote re: Krenwinkel & the LaBianca counts: that had she printed the handwriting exemplar, by law she'd have had to be acquitted."

You made me look that up- it's the corroboration issue- everything Kasabian says about another 'accomplice' must have independent corroboration. VB had Kasabian but needs something besides her. It would have been a problem for VB if she wrote it and they couldn't match the handwriting. If she wrote 'healter' it would have been corroboration.

"Might have been after the second night. If it had been said on Saturday afternoon, it could be used to show intent?"

Yes, his statement is evidence of intent even days later.

I go back and forth on Clem and conspiracy. The Col. very well could be right and my comment was wrong.

simon davis said...

Wow! So many possibilities ! Circles of possibilities. Anything is possible. I say this ever so respectfully, seeing as I'm the new kid on the block, but isn't it more productive to talk about probabilities and likelihoods? It is sterile to speculate about possibilities. It is hard work to work out probabilities.

Would anyone mind if I was to be so outrageously bold as to pontificate to you about my take on this most interesting saga in American criminal law ? Good ! Here we go ! Of all the criminal and civil cases I have seen in several decades of legal practice, I have never seen such an overwhelming case as the prosecution's case against C. Manson ("CM"). From about March 1970 onwards, VB must have thought all of his Xmas's had come at once. If only all cases were so easy. The witness Kasabian was xx'd at ridiculous length by no less than four attorneys, admittedly not the most effective I've ever seen, and came through untouched. And the same seems to go for almost every single prosecution witness.

As for VB, I have read 1000's of pages of transcript and struggled to come up with a single significant instance of impropriety or unfairness. There are things I would not have done, or would have done differently, but no impropriety that I can see. Amusingly, he nearly blew the whole thing by making some dangerous assumptions about the ease with which he could get in the evidence about CM's leadership of the group, probably the most important circumstance he had to get to the jury (forget about motive gang, normally doesn't have to be proved and certainly didn't have to be proved in this case LOL!).

I've also read hundreds of pages of allegations of bad things done by LK and VB at various times. But I can't see any of it in the TLB trials. Maybe they just had a good run in those trials. Maybe it was just Charlie's bad day/s. I'm not being facetious. For all I know or care, VB and LK may have been the most despicable people that ever walked the earth. But what does it matter?

Anyway, that's what blew me away, what a charmed life VB led in the trial. I mean imagine having the principal defendant, CM, doing the throat cutting gesture at the chief prosecution witness and in open court and before the jury !! And the forehead decorations - think about that one - here's VB sweating his furrowed little brow about proving leadership and association and out marches CM with his cross, and the next day the girls have got the same cross. And then VB's thinking how can I prove CM had a propensity for violence, and little ol' CM, bless his heart, tries to attack the judge!, in open court ! What a riot. the only thing of any real stress in the case for VB was when to open the celebratory champagne bottles back in the office. Mind you, he doesn't strike me as a party animal. But you never know. Some of the most serious dudes I have opposed have turned out to be kick arse party goers. Wonder what music the ol' VB went in for. Probably not the White Album. Certainly the jurors didn't like it - see Zamora's account.

And how much they must have laughed back at the office about the girls' testimony in the penalty phase. One great exchange was where VB asked Sadie something, and as she was about to answer he cut in with "I know Sadie, you did it because you did it, because it was there to be done". And Sandra The Good'd description about PK "Ohhhhhhhh her long her hair flowed I remember her making coffee, always laughing, always flowing". What a hoot. And then VB makes a f........ fortune out of his book. Oh well, some people are just in the right place at the right time I guess.

Have a great day in USA. Don't worry about ol' Donny Trump, he'll get his come-uppence I'm sure !

simon davis said...

Oh I clean forgot. Get this. It is 25 June 1970, ten days into empanelling the jury. VB is doing his darndest to promote the Helter Skelter thing. Fitzy and Irv and the boys are saying things to the media like HS is "preposterous". Anyway, CM gets an interview with Rolling Stone. You'd expect him to completely renounce, or dissociate himself from, HS. But the little fella can't help himself. He gives Rolling Stone a wonderful expose about HS and he sets out chapter and verse the whole HS/Beatles/revelations thing. And then Clem follows suit. Rolling Stone publishes the interview. VB must have p..... himself laughing. No wonder ol' Charlie never went into the witness box. Imagine the fun VB would have had with him just about that interview. Same goes for Clem. Then again, maybe VB had lost interest by this stage, I mean he had ten witnesses lined up on HS, and no less than 27 people in total spoke of it in terms consistent with it being the central plank of CM's philosophy/ies.

What's funny is what a snow job VB did in persuading everyone it was a hard case. And HS was critical ('cos he put it together despite everything). What a joke ! Laughing all the way to the bank. What was it? Best selling true crime book ever ? Mind you it was b..... good read. Loved it. Gave me hours of laughter. Except for the poor victims of the whole thing, unimaginable what they went through, and all for a joker. Oh well, so very sad.

Vera Dreiser said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Dreath said...

Simon,

You and I have. Even around elsewhere on HS. Not sure I want to bring it back here. VB doesn't need a motive. He needs a conspiracy and as you know the framework of that for me is HS.

But Kassbian lie? No. She was very good. Suffered the same inaccuracies any witness to that might suffer. Bugliosi improper/ lie. Ah.... no but he did use every trick he could, effectively. I too am impressed by him. Of course the defense was no Dream Team. I'd have separated the trials (I know some tried), hammered her deal shut up and attacked the forensics to point out her errors. That's if I could shut Manson up. Then again I've pondered who I could get off or a better deal and came to no one. Night #2 just messes up any defense. IMO.

Half way through btw.

Dreath said...

That should be 'gone around' phone

DebS said...

Blogger grimtraveller said...


What evidence was there that Linda Kasabian had ever been anywhere near Cielo or Waverley Drive ?
-------------------------

Grim there is evidence that Linda had been to Waverley before she ever hooked up with the Family. Harold True says as much in an interview he did with Judy Hansen, a woman who worked with Bill Nelson for a while.

https://youtu.be/8-miVt25AB4

It's at about 2:15 in the interview.

simon davis said...

Dreath,

Pretty early on, certainly before the trial, I'd have advised him in no uncertain terms to plead guilty (if I could get a word in) and then in mitigation go to the unfortunate circumstances of his childhood, always the strongest point in his case.

Geez, I'd have given him the rounds of the kitchen about that Rolling Stone interview. And then the Sgt Maupin bribe attempt at the end of day 1 (day 1 !). I'd have laid into him like you wouldn't believe for wasting my time and the court's time. And then if he asked me to "prepare" him for the witness box (sorry, "stand"), I'd have said "listen son, all you need to know is I ask the questions, and you answer them directly and honestly. Save the BS speeches for the media or someone who cares". And a lot of barristers I know would have chided me for being too soft with him.

Always been fascinated by his Indian motion language thing. I recall he expressed a desire to testify in Indian motions (??). Imagine the transcript:

Q. Mr Manson, where were you on 8 August 1969?

A. Witness sways to his right, pivots on left foot . . . etc etc

Re LK and 3301 Waverley, Linda herself said she'd been to True's place. She also said (in evidence?) that she said to Charlie when they pulled up outside something to effect of "You're not going in there are you?", apparently in reference to True's place. Charlie said no he was going next door.

Interesting little case. Extremely easy one for the Crown (sorry, prosecution), but interesting nonetheless.

Mr. Humphrat said...

there is a committee somewhere in England that meets every week to think up new phrases specifically to amuse me. :)

DebS said...

simon davis said...

Re LK and 3301 Waverley, Linda herself said she'd been to True's place. She also said (in evidence?) that she said to Charlie when they pulled up outside something to effect of "You're not going in there are you?", apparently in reference to True's place. Charlie said no he was going next door.
-----------------------

Yes, she did, I was presenting corroboration because her veracity has been questioned.

grimtraveller said...

DebS said...

there is evidence that Linda had been to Waverley before she ever hooked up with the Family

I meant on the night of the murders. There's no independent corroboration of her being there or Cielo....if she decided not to talk.
Susan's statement could not be used to place her at either venue under the terms of Susan's deal. Part of the reason why Bugliosi had to do so much investigating himself was that he felt Atkins would never testify against Charlie {Caballero had said this a few times} so he had to dig deep. Fortunately, he was dealing with a lot of people that either had reason to make deals or couldn't keep their mouths closed and loved to chat.
Linda said she'd been to Harold True's 14 months before the murders in June of '68. Her and Bob the hubby had stopped off there.

Dreath said...

Do you find these two comments inconsistent? Just curious

No. How so ? If I could glean where you were coming from I might be able to give a more meaningful response.

that's why trials occur- competing facts- that doesn't mean its not evidence and it doesn't mean he's wrong unless you have some proof he's not telling the truth

I wasn't saying Fleischmann was wrong and I can't prove it one way or the other even if I was saying that. I am however, saying that I don't believe he got Linda to do a number on Susan. Is it possible ? Absolutely. Is it likely ? Maybe.
But I still don't believe it !

Trilby said...

IIRC Juan Flynn was the one Grogan had made the comment to about "We got five piggies the other night", but I can't recall the timing of that off the top of my head

Two different statements are being conflated here. Charlie said to Al Springer "we knocked off 5 of them just the other night" the first time he met him and Clem said to Danny DeCarlo "we got 5 piggies," when DeCarlo asked him what he did the night before.

I've always been curious as to why Grogan was never charged w/LaBianca conspiracy/counts but yet, Atkins was

I used to wonder that. It was either Diligaf or Dreath that explained that the two nights counted as one conspiracy and implicating herself in the first night automatically included Atkins in whatever went on to happen as part of the second night as it was one "event." There was nothing to put Grogan there that was outside of the accomplices' statements that he was there.

grimtraveller said...

simon davis said...

It is 25 June 1970

Those interviews were done in the March of that year and contain some really amazing things, such as the stuff you've mentioned. I suspect that many that try to rubbish the Bible and Beatles connection aren't aware of the contents of that 25 page article by Rolling stone. Had I been on the prosecution team, I would have tried to see if there was any way it could be introduced into evidence.
There were other bits in it that blow the mind, such as Gregg Jacobson {using an alias} talking about Charlie shooting Lotsapoppa and Aaron Stovitz {going by the alias 'Porfiry'} thinking out loud about a copycat theory that he's worked out {which no member of the Family ever came forward with until well into 1971}.
It really is an explosive article.


By the way Simon, do you still have the trial transcripts ?



simon davis said...

If LK decided not to talk, then there's no need to corroborate her. If she talks, then VB needs to corroborate her in order for her testimony to be useful (because the law says so). But the law doesn't say VB necessarily needs to corroborate everything she says. And he doesn't need it to be corroborated to get the evidence "to the jury", ie be "admissible". So everything "goes in" whether corroborated or uncorroborated. But what turns on that distinction is what use the jury can make of the evidence. For uncorrob. evidence, there is a neon light flashing road block sign in front of the jury which says: "Warning. This piece of evidence is uncorroborated. You cannot use this evidence unless you firstly view it with distrust. If, after viewing it with distrust, you nevertheless come to the view that it is sufficiently probative of an issue then you may act on it". There are many ways VB can dim that flashing road block. One way is to seek to convince the jury that the evidence in question is so inherently plausible that the jury can afford to relax the road block. Another way is VB can present so much corroborated evidence that the jury finds the witness so believable that it accepts even the uncorroborated. The latter is exactly what happened in this case. Put simply, the more corroboration the better. The jury is allowed to act on uncorroborated evidence, so long as it is relatively minimal or there is some other good reason for it to be acted on.

On a more important topic, yes I will forgive the nice gentleman who mistook me for an Englishman. Now I want you to have a go at this. Which country is the only US ally that has marched behind the boys with the Star Spangled Banner to every single major conflict for the last hundred years or so ? (even Vietnam, which the Poms and the Canadians failed to show up for - no offence, I think your countries were wise !). I know you can do this.

Robert C said...

Australia ? ^^^

simon davis said...

You got it mate !

simon davis said...

Grim Traveller I have most of them, and much interesting stuff, from LADA. I suggest you try contacting Denise Fox of that office. They have it on four DVD's and will run it off for you free of charge (well they did for me). For some reason, the second Beausoleil trial has some sort of confidentiality order over it, so you need a court order to get it. If LADA don't help, I have been told that LA County appeals court has it all in bound vols. The superior court probably has it too, although they wouldn't tell me exactly what they had.

Good luck !

Oh and it is pretty hard going because of Irv's relentless objections and extreme filibustering. Irv tried his hardest to hit VB below the belt and just went on and on and on and ........

Cheers

simon davis said...

PS - you obviously recognise the importance of the RS article. I daresay VB would have been interested in getting it in, although he would at least have to call the authors of the article, Dalton and Felton. Maybe they were unprepared to testify. There would have been other problems too. I think in USA the case is called Miranda whereby you have to warn someone that what they say may be used against them. I doubt the journos did that LOL!

It may have been available for use in xx if CM ever took the stand, but again Miranda might interfere. Who knows, but certainly by the time the article came out, VB had so many witnesses on HS that he could afford to pick and choose. No need to worry about the RS article, don't waste time or energy on trying to get it in. VB was a good operator in this regard, made a lot of good judgment calls about how to allocate his fairly meagre resources (some not so good too - trying to get Irv sacked was a complete waste of time).

The fascinating thing, as you identify, was that it was actually Stovitz who first came up with copycat. So at a a time when VB is receiving mountains of evidence for HS, amazingly Stovitz comes out and says "look I've got no evidence for this but I reckon it was copycat". No evidence whatsoever. Stovitz would later concede the error of his ways - see Ivor Davis' book. VB must have been apoplectic. And then Stovitz says "i'll level with you on LaBianca we have no case". This was despite having LK's evidence. And by June there was evidence of admissions by PK and LVH - admissions are the most powerful type of evidence. And they had tons of evidence about HS and they had it written on the LaBiancas' fridge door. And HS words on the walls. The effect of all of this evidence was that VB had CM at the LaBianca scene. He also was able to place CM at Tate in the same way. Unbelievably strong. What a dream case for a prosecutor. Complete junket. Made himself famous. Made a fortune out of book. And never had to xx anyone in the guilt phase. I'm so jealous. My cases were hard !

Lapinot said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lapinot said...

George Stimson said...

If Charlie was going to lie about what happened on the second night, why would he admit going into the house and speaking with Leno LaBianca? Wouldn't it have been easier for him to deny going into the house altogether? Why admit to partial (seeming) culpability?

I don't know if it's the case here, but partial confessions are known to be psychologically attractive:

http://web.colby.edu/socialpsychology/2016/03/11/i-cheated-but-only-a-little-partial-confessions-to-unethical-behavior/

http://diaryofacommunicator.com/2014/05/06/psychological-benefits-of-confessing-all-revealed-but-what-implications-for-pr/

George Stimson said...

For those interested, http://www.rollingstone.com/culture/news/charles-manson-the-incredible-story-of-the-most-dangerous-man-alive-19700625

Mr. Humphrat said...

Simon Davis said: "I will forgive the nice gentleman who mistook me for an Englishman."
oops that was me! And your forgiveness is appreciated.

I have been working up a timeline/drive time off George Stimson's proposed route for August 9-10 off mapquest-does anyone know if mapquest's times are based on the actual time of day and condition of traffic at the time you're doing your search? Or is there a better way than mapquest?

Dreath said...

Me H,

You might check if LA has a 'Trip Advisor'. We do from ODOT. It uses actual travel conditions.

To be clear Felton and Dalton did not need to 'Mirandize' Manson.

Dreath said...

That would be 'Mr H' damn phone.

Mr. Humphrat said...

thanks Dreath

St Circumstance said...

All due respect to Dreath and Hump. You two are good eggs whom I like....

But there should only be 1 Mr. H lol

:)

simon davis said...

Thanks Dreath about Miranda. That does make it more interesting as to why VB apparently did not use the RS article. But before we get to that, do we know for sure he didn't use it? My transcript is deficient in terms of clarifying exactly what exhibits were tendered. I think VB put in 300 or so exhibits. And defence put in a large no. (70?). There should have been a formal exhibit list somewhere. It would be in the appeal books for sure. I'm just wondering if the article actually did go in. It is conceivable, though a bit odd, that it went in and the defence decided not to xx the authors, other oddities about that as well. Also, of course, VB may have not wanted it in because he felt that Stovitz' stupid comments were embarrassing for the prosecution (which they were). VB did not need any more evidence about HS, he had truckloads of it without the RS article. So putting in the article only created potential problems in a case which was otherwise powering along like a well oiled machine. Difficult judgment call. He would have been sorely tempted to put it in because the RS article absolutely cooked CM on the HS issue. It effectively foreclosed him and Grogan from testifying against HS.

PS be careful about the internet extract of the article. The one I sourced from Rolling Stone's web site was not exactly the same as the one that actually appeared in the magazine in 1970. This would presumably be a result of the fairly serious litigation that unfolded around the article. My memory is very hazy here, but Stovitz was summonsed for contempt and he tried to fob the blame off on to Dalton and Felton, and so on and so on. Appeal court was not impressed with Stovitz and found he was in contempt of Judge Keene's publicity order, rightly so I'm sure. Stovitz did not cover himself with glory in this case. He came up with the idea of serving subpoenas on the Family members to keep them out of court. Without coming to a concluded view about it, I would have thought this was an improper use of a subpoena. Nor did it reflect that well upon VB that he apparently endorsed this strategy. I would happily stand to be corrected on this in the event there is a local legal or procedural peculiarity which explains the strategy. I have frankly not seen the need to spend too much time on it because it was insignificant in the scheme of things.

PS trivia - there are several mistakes in VB's book. Can anyone spot the part where he mistakenly cites Aranda instead of Miranda ? Understandable typo I suppose.

Mr. Humphrat said...

agreed :)

grimtraveller said...

St Circumstance said...

You two are good eggs

A good egg is not a bad egg.

simon davis said...

If LK decided not to talk, then there's no need to corroborate her

What I meant was, in the event that either Susan Atkins didn't testify for the prosecution or she did but nothing she said either at the GJ or at trial {Aranda} could be used against Linda, then if Linda said nothing and just styled it out, there was no case against her really.
Gary Fleischmann's idea that Linda had to become a prosecution witness or she was in deadly trouble doesn't seem that plausible to me, admittedly in my ignorance of the law. I don't see what case they had against her. There was nothing to tie her to either venue and no corroboration from anyone else, the way there was, say, with Diane Lake in regards to Leslie or Barbara Hoyt in regards to Charlie re: Shorty, and Paul Watkins doing Clem re: Shorty. Even Bugliosi recognized that it was better for Linda to risk being tried and acquitted.
The only reason I bring this up is that she often gets a bad press for testifying and even Charlie brought up her immunity in his trial testimony as the reason she turned state's evidence but it seems to me that aside from the fact that the deals were done between Fleischman and Stovitz, she doesn't seem to be the one that pushed for immunity. Therefore I think one can at least stand up without being shot down in saying that she genuinely felt she was doing the right thing. Which in turn shines a more positive light on what she did actually testify.

So everything "goes in" whether corroborated or uncorroborated

That was a fascinating explanation and cleared up a lot for me. It explains why so much of LK's uncorroborated stuff of the second night got through and weighed heavily.

LADA. I suggest you try contacting Denise Fox of that office

Thanks for that, I'll try them. I really want to read up on the rest of Kasabian's testimony but I really want to read the penalty phase. I read the first 11 days of Linda's stuff on another site before it was taken down. I must admit, Kanarek's objections and the frequent conferences at the bench were a bit much to wade through, especially when you've just got in from work and want a relaxing read.
When I first saw LADA I wondered what cars had to do with it. Then good sense asserted itself !

grimtraveller said...

simon davis said...

The fascinating thing, as you identify, was that it was actually Stovitz who first came up with copycat

It's just something that I've noticed with the Family back in the day and with supporters of Charlie in the more modern day, that the ideas/theories that have been adopted were all things that some other agency came up with first. During the penalty phase, the Family came up with the copycat and the drug angle {Linda getting burned for a grand on MDA} but both were old, recycled ideas by then, the cops and Stovitz having come up with it first. According to writers like Shreck that had Charlie's ear for years, there's a Mafia element to the crimes ~ but the LaBianca detectives came up with that, there's the theory of the drug robbery but the Cielo detectives came up with that, and even the idea of being in some kind of war is only a countercultural spin that leaves helter skelter looking cool rather than kooky.
It's indeed ironic that the only thing that emerged from the Family members that actually stuck from the early days, before they were looking for every other reason under the sun was.............Helter Skelter.

And never had to xx anyone in the guilt phase

As glad as he was to have gained convictions, I think his one regret in life was not duelling swords with Charlie on the one place that both were free to give full vent to their unique modes of expression ~ the witness stand. Which, for me, makes the little snippets of conversation that they did have, as recorded in his & Gentry's book, all the more interesting. Steven Kay says he had some deep conversations with Leslie about the death penalty in that first trial, but somehow, they just don't carry the same gravitas as those of the two mastodons.

Mr. Humphrat said...

If all the info Grim needed was on books on tape he could work it all out in his delivery truck/van during his shift, hopefully not missing his stops! :)

simon davis said...

Thanks Grimm, that's a nice thing to say, as a lawyer I'm not used to compliments but I'll take 'em whenever I can get 'em.

Re LK, I've just never thought much about what VB had on her. The thing is these people weren't professional crims (except CM). They were novices. It was always on the cards that one of them would spill their guts. The house of cards started tumbling in about late Jan 1970, then completely collapsed when LK arrived in VB's office on about 28 Feb 1970. And then VB got more with Watkins, Poston etc etc. LK had an apparently competent lawyer who would have said "get in now and be the first one to get an immunity". He probably gained the impression from talking to her that she would be a good witness, and was telling the truth.

Re copycat, yes Stovitz invented it. The RS article is notable for, if nothing else, being the first public airing of copycat (well, a version of it - there ended up being several versions). Copycat was nonsense for many reasons, not least of which was that its proponents in the penalty phase (including Share and the female defendants) were hopelessly caught out in cross examination. It was like a turkey shoot. Again I so envy VB. What cross exam he had to do was so easy, and great fun. I am a bit harsh on VB though, whilst the case was forensically a doddle, logistically it was a nightmare. And VB didn't get much assistance by the looks of it.

I'm sure he was eager to cross examine CM. He had so much ammunition that it would have been hard to know where to start. And the house of cards was still tumbling during the trial - Flynn only turned in August I think (?).

The "raps" between CM and VB (Kay and LVH) were unusual. Most attorneys would consider it very risky to be conversing with an opposing litigant. It became a point in the appeal, and the Cal. App. Ct. thought there was nothing improper done by VB, but he was inviting trouble, something I wholly agree with. It is worthwhile noting that VB was actually not a highly experienced lawyer at the time, only five years out of college. He was a baby. Fitzy was the same vintage, very inexperienced. But VB was far more talented and skilful than Fitzy. Nevertheless there are things which I think betray VB's inexperience - rapping with CM was one such thing. The other one was the trouble he got into early on with getting in his case about association between the defendants and CM's leadership. He could have blown the case there and then. Nothing much worked in the prosecution case without proving leadership.

Lapinot said...

Grimtraveller said

It's indeed ironic that the only thing that emerged from the Family members that actually stuck from the early days, before they were looking for every other reason under the sun was.............Helter Skelter.

I'm a newcomer so I must defer to others but, while reading this and other sites, I've been wondering what I was missing since Helter Skelter still seems the best explanation.

Not the only explanantion (I wouldn't expect there to be just one motivation) but the best. I'm sure belief in it varied from person to person (Leslie thought Susan was unconvinced, I think) and from each person's mental state to mental state but as a loose framework for all the rage and fear that went into the crimes it seems reasonable.

Lapinot said...

Some might not even have thought of it as Helter Skelter but that sort of apocalyptic thinking seems to have been shared.

simon davis said...

Lapinot I think you articulate it very well, if I may say so. It is indeed difficult to get HS into perspective. I think it was a motive, maybe not the motive, but certainly part of the motive equation.

But what slightly frustrates me about the narrative on these murders (as a lawyer) is that motive is blown out of all proportion. It is puzzling that so much is written about something the prosecution never had to prove (as a motive that is, the prosecution had to have HS in their case for other reasons). The law is clear that in some types of cases motive is important. The law is equally clear that in this type of case (where there is so much other circumstantial evidence) motive was not important.

VB's book tends to play up HS, partly because VB himself successfully worked up that part of the case. So its kind of "hey look at what I came up with". Also, the book sells because HS is an inherently interesting subject, not your usual dry legal stuff. But if you look closely at the book, whilst he ruminates heavily about motive and HS in the early parts, by the time the forensic floodgates open in March 1970 (he has interviewed LK on 28 Feb for several days), there is not much more ruminating about HS anywhere in the book. Unsurprisingly, that is exactly as the law would have it - you only need motive when you have little or nothing else.

I do not mean to be overly-critical of VB. Sometimes I may come across that way. I daresay his co-writer and/or publisher had influence in beefing up the book in this way for commercial reasons. (Has anyone seen the recent story about publishers rejecting Mick Jagger's autobiography in the early 80's because there wasn't enough sex and drugs in it ?!?). I want to make it clear I have very high regard for VB. I thought he was an exemplary legal practitioner in terms of both skill and integrity throughout the TLB trials.

Sorry to bang on at such length. I'm actually assembling a book on the murders and trials and I joined the blog to test the theses of my book. So I use you guys to bounce my ideas off. And it is great for me. I'm learning heaps from everyone. And I'm very lucky to have dreath shepherding me in the right legal direction when I go astray - seriously ! It was great running a trial and having a capable co-counsel, too often I had to run things on my own.

Cheers, I hope all will be patient with me, I highly value being able to post comments on your site, you're very nice people, and its great talking to people who are not Australian for a change !!!

grimtraveller said...

simon davis said...

Sorry to bang on at such length

I wouldn't worry too much about that. There's one guy on here whose banging on makes "War & Peace" look like a Mills & Boon novel !

Mr. Humphrat said...

If all the info Grim needed was on books on tape he could work it all out in his delivery truck/van during his shift

I was talking about this with my little brother a couple of weeks ago; he travels all over the globe and he's really into talking books. I'm the opposite. I just would not be able to concentrate on them. I love reading. Even as a kid, I never wanted anyone to read me bedtime stories. My mum made me learn to read long before I started school but it was a great thing she did there because it opened up a whole new world for me ~ and I hadn't even got to grips with the one I was in ! Even while I was being told verbal tales or read to by the teacher in class, my imagination was roaming elsewhere. I guess I just like to be in control of the information coming into my sphere, how it gets there and at what pace.

simon davis said...

VB's book tends to play up HS

I see that as kind of paradoxical because it does and it doesn't. It's almost as though it gave HS an importance that those that believed in it hadn't given it. Though I have no evidence to support this, I get the feeling that it really shocked certain of the Family that it went on to gain such prominence. I've long felt Charles Manson is embarrassed by HS for a number of reasons, not least because he was rumbled relatively quickly and because men's prison is not the place you want to be known for something like that. It's one thing to enthrall those with countercultural leanings who actually have time to listen and who look up to you and want to hear what you have to say and count you as experienced and wise and have seen the benefits of your presence. It's another thing altogether to be among violent dissenters that don't give a shit and where any spiritual disciplines are already well established without some "untested nonsense" trying to poke its head in.

Also, the book sells because HS is an inherently interesting subject, not your usual dry legal stuff

I think it is. The overall saga however, is so multifaceted that there's so much ongoing stuff to keep people interested. This blog and the various angles that books have taken down the years show this again and again. I've simply not come across a murder case that puts together so many aspects like this one. It's anything but straightforward.

Lapinot said...

Leslie thought Susan was unconvinced, I think

She did. Although the women put on a seemingly united front during the trial, Leslie and Pat really stuck it to Susan behind closed doors. I kind of think that that may be because they didn't see her as a true believer while it's pretty clear that they were.
But Susan is perhaps the most inconsistent person in the whole saga. She veered from one persona and story to another not just between '69 and '71, but right up to her death 40 years later. Even as a Christian it's hard to make head or tail of where she was ever coming from.