Monday, July 1, 2019

What did mystery witness Jon Hayden Marsh know?

US Marine Jon Hayden Marsh shows up at the main TLB trial on Aug 14, 1970, to give a deposition/testimony away from the jury.  Apparently Irving Kanarek summoned him, to impeach the testimony of Linda Kadabian, who claimed to have only had only one psychedelic trip while at Spahns. Curiously, he is then arrested by MPs(military police) at the courthouse afterwards.

August 16th, 1970

A young Marine brought into the Tate-LaBianca murder case by defense attorneys was arrested Friday on suspicion of being AWOL as he walked out of the courtroom.  ...Marsh had been brought into the court house by Irving A. Kanarek, Manson’s lawyer, in an apparent attempt to discredit testimony by star prosecution witness Linda Kasabian.   In a special hearing outside the presence of the trial jury, Marsh gave the court a deposition which the defense hopes to introduce into testimony at a later date.   ...Marsh, meanwhile, testified he had seen the 22-year-old Mrs. Kasabian take the hallucinogenic drug Psilocybin at West Topanga Beach in Mid-July('69) a year ago.   He also said he saw Mrs. Kasabian at a Topanga shopping center about a week later and she was “overly happy.” He testified that the second time he saw the young woman, whom he said had long blonde hair at the time, she was dancing.

     “I’m sure you know what a jumping jack is…That’s what it looked like to me,” said Marsh.
Kanarek introduced the testimony because Mrs. Kasabian, during her three weeks on the witness stand, said she only took drugs once in July and that was at the Spahn movie ranch...
And although Marsh identified her(Kasabian), she said she did not know the young Marine.
Marsh also identified Miss Atkins as “Sadie.” The dark-haired young woman stood and gave him a snappy salute.

     The young Marine said he had gone to the beach with a friend, whom he knew only as “Piccolo.” “Piccolo,” he said, gave the psilocybin to Mrs. Kasabian.  He admitted he had been AWOL from the Marine Corps from March 1969 until the following October('69) and it was during this time that he saw the young woman.  ...Marsh also said co-defendant Susan Atkins, 22, whom he knew only as “Sadie,” was with Mrs. Kasabian both times he saw her last summer.

August 15th, 1970

The 23-year-old Marsh, on emergency leave, claimed he was absent without leave from the Marine Corps and was working in the Topanga Canyon area when he became acquainted with Mrs. Kasabian and Susan Atkins...

On a list of people who testified at trial, Jon Hayden Marsh is described thusly:
"March(sic), Jon Hyden(sic)
Lance Corp, Marine Corps and Friend of Atkins, Susan"

Various versions were given as to why he was dragged away in cuffs:

 Photo caption:
Military police arrest Jon Marsh outside Tate court hearing. He was a marine held for being AWOL
and having an improper identification card although this is probably the only connection he had
with the Tate/La Bianca murders.

 How did the MPs know he was going to be there?  Why is he wearing his uniform if he's AWOL?    1977 appeal

Manson further complains that respondent interfered with the production of certain purported witnesses for the defense. Specifically, he claims the prosecuting attorneys were responsible for the failure of John Haden Marsh ... to appear as witnesses for appellants. With respect to Marsh, Manson's attorney advised the court that the witness was a United States Marine and that Los Angeles law enforcement agencies caused him to be harassed by the shore patrol. The insinuation of the charge is that this was done to deter him from testifying. We are not told the nature of Marsh's potential testimony.

Los Angeles Free Press  Manson gossip column by Ed Sanders   Aug 21, 1970

"You all recall the appearance in court last week of Lance Corporal Marsh, a marine on the way to Vietnam who came to testify that he had last seen Mrs. Kasabian scarf up some psilo-cyban at Topanga Beach last July('69). The issue was that Linda claimed to have taken only one dope voyage while living at the Spahn Ranch. This seemed to call into doubt her testimony on this point. After his testimony was taken, she resumed the witness stand and ridiculed the quality of the alleged psilo-cyban, saying that it was weak and ineffectual.*  (Marsh was arrested outside the courtroom after testifying by the Shore Patrol. Supposedly he was on emergency leave and his papers allowed him to be in San Francisco, but not Los Angeles.)"

*So did Kasabian admit to using the drug, thus impeaching her own testimony that she only took one 'trip?'

It gets weirder.  A 'John Hayden Marsh,' address at the 29 Palms Marine Corps base, is listed on Lt. Deemer's list with the comment "lived with HINMAN, Gary," though it doesn't say when(presumably that would have been in the summer of '69 when Marsh was AWOL).  Was Hinman the source of the Psilocybin given to Linda Kasabian as described above?  A 'piccolo' is a wind instrument that is similar to a flute.  We know Hinman was a musician.  Did he play or own a flute/piccolo?  From the Hinman Homicide Report:

"Beneath the table was found the checkbook of V/Hinman and a brown wooden musical instrument, flut(e)-like in appearance..."

So did Bugs get the LAPD to make sure this witness didn't testify? But Marsh had already testified when they grabbed him.  Possibly they didn't want Marsh talking to reporters and bringing up the Hinman connection. IF Marsh was interviewed by the Hinman Homicide detectives, he may have mentioned those grungy friends of Gary as possible suspects, which would have have put the LASO in the awkward position of having to explain why they didn't follow up on this investigative lead, and thus prevent TLB from happening.

A man claiming to have been a friend of Hinman posted this on his website:

(from January 30, 2014)

"Gary informed me... This (Manson)gang had been extorting things – food, cars, money – from his isolated neighborhood in the name of “peace and love”. These freeloading “flower children” were especially interested in his VW minibus, and had somehow concluded that he “owed” it to them. That’s what the heated discussion was all about. ....

"Gary waged a campaign in the neighborhood to end the commune’s constant panhandling, going through garbage cans, expecting handouts and outright gifts of things like cars and clothes, and otherwise demanding that the community accept their “everything belongs to everyone” attitude. According to Gary, they were quite criminal in their behavior, and he was trying to get people to stop supporting them with extorted guilty gifts. ...

"Gary and his neighbor were discussing the ongoing problem of the commune at the Spahn ranch, and the neighbor let me know that Charlie’s “family” had threatened to burn Gary’s house down and destroy him as part of their apocalyptic fantasy."

This of course completely overturns both the "bad mescaline" and the "inheritance" theories of Hinman's death.  Did Marsh tell the investigating officers much the same thing regarding the Family's relations with Hinman?

Other questions:

--Why didn't Kanarek try to enter Marsh's deposition to the jury?  We are told he was desperate to find hole's in Kasabian's testimony, but he didn't use this?

--How did Kanarek get the name of  'Marsh' to begin with?

--Why, out of all the other witness testimony, did this witness take the stand with the jury absent?

--As a friend of Atkins, and someone who lived with Gary Hinman, what else did Marsh know about Gary's history with the Family that caused him to become a target?


Mon Durphy said...

That's an awfully Hitler Youth haircut for someone hanging around Topanga in 69

cielodrivecom said...

Jon Hyden testimony

starviego said...

Thanks Cielo. Jon Hyden Marsh it is.

I see by reading the testimony presented to us by Cielo, that "Piccolo" was about 20 at the time, and still alive after Hinman was killed, so this rules out Gary as being with Marsh that day.

Doug said...

Could "Piccolo" refer to "Pic" Dawson?
Hinman and Dawson were both the subject of drug dealing innuendo...

David said...

"Why, out of all the other witness testimony, did this witness take the stand with the jury absent?"

While I have never seen it done during a trial this was a perpetuation deposition because the witness would be unavailable later. So, you perpetuate his testimony. Marsh apparently came to the courthouse that morning and approached Kanarek to testify if I am reading his testimony correctly. He was leaving for Okinawa that night. That is why it happened.

"Why didn't Kanarek try to enter Marsh's deposition to the jury?"

It is rather clear at the end that the court thinks Marsh lied and also that the evidence is inadmissible because it is hearsay (what Piccolo told him) or irrelevant (Kasabian dancing). So the answer why it was never offered to the jury could very well be that it was and the court denied the request. That may be in the next volume or somewhere else.

"How did Kanarek get the name of 'Marsh' to begin with?"

Marsh claims he came to Kanarek at the courthouse.

Kerouac said...

Off topic - has anyone read this book?

DebS said...

June Emmer was another witness called by Kanarek that was heard in court out of the jury's presence. She was there to basically say that Kasabian was a known liar. Emmer and her husband owned the bar in Florida where Kasabain's father worked and Linda stayed with her for close to a month after the TLB murders.

Emmer, too, was not heard by the jury.

Mon Durphy said...

Linda supposedly told her that she'd been in a 200 thousand dollar in Beverly Hills, there's more to the story in Denise Noes book on the case called the Manson Myth

Mon Durphy said...

200 thousand dollar HOME, sorry for the typo

Jeff Harper said...

Reading it now. So far it's excellent.

Ajerseydevil said...

Almost finished Tom O'Neill's book he seems to lay a lot of blame on Roger Smith & The Haight Ashbury free clinic

starviego said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
beauders said...

I'm wondering I heard a lot of bad about O'Neill's ARC is the published book much different?

starviego said...


The Surf Bat said...

Saw Linda at Topanga mall. Interesting. I live within walking distance of there. I wonder what store he saw her at. I recall the 70s mall layout very clearly

starviego said...

In his court testimony Jon Hyden Marsh names 'David Sawyer Ewing' as the man he came to court with.

Tom O'Neill names a "Dave Ewing" on pg456 of his book "Chaos":

"7-26-69: Dave Ewing knocks on front door of Gary Hinman's home, Susan Atkins answers door carrying candle, said Hinman in Colorado. (He was beimg tortured at the time.)
In addition, according to documents in the LASO files, Ewing was a biker known as "preacher" who lived with Hinman in 1968 and knew the Family well. Ewing could have provided a physical identification of Atkins at the Hinman home during the period he was being tortured and murdered, but for reasons unknown he never testified in any of the Hinman murder trials. He refused to be interviewed for this book."

starviego said...

So if Ewing was questioned by the LASO homicide detectives, and since he knew the Family "well," he should have ID'ed the female who answered the door as one "Sadie" who lived up at the Spahn Ranch. Which would have quickly solved the crime. But that of course would have stopped Helter Skelter in it's tracks with the arrest of Manson, and that could not be allowed to happen. Once again, Charlie used his 'get of jail' card.