But a core group were devoted to Charles Manson and hung on his every word, believing, as he had told them, that he was Christ.
He told them they were a reincarnation of the early Christians fighting the Roman establishment — and that they had to follow his bidding. Even prominent Hollywood celebs and music figures fell under Manson's spell, with Beach Boys drummer Dennis Wilson meeting him by chance and quickly allowing him and his followers to move into his Sunset Boulevard home. In November , Manson and his followers listened to The Beatles' White Album, which they became obsessed with and which somehow sparked their warped plan to start a race war and prepare for the apocalypse.
In July of that year, Gary Hinman, an acquaintance of Manson's, was held captive at his house by three Manson followers demanding money before one, Bobby Beausoleil, stabbed him to death and smeared blood over the walls. All the death penalties were commuted to life in prison in when the death penalty was abolished in California. Charles Manson was originally sentenced to death in but was spared execution and his sentence was converted to life in prison after the California Supreme Court declared the death penalty unconstitutional in that state.
She was sentenced to life in prison. On November 19, , the evil cult leader died aged 83 from natural causes in a hospital in California. A source said "it's just a matter of time" reporting that Manson is laying still, covered in blankets and guarded by five uniformed cops. Reports at the time suggested that he was "seriously ill", but too weak for surgery so he was returned to his cells.
She told the grand jury she was "in love with the reflection" of Charles Manson and that there was "no limit" to what she would do for him. In an emotionless voice, she described the horrific events in the early morning hours of August 9 at the Tate residence. She told of Tate pleading for her life: "Please let me go. All I want to do is have my baby. Atkins said that on returning to Spahn Ranch she "felt dead. When efforts to extradite Tex Watson from became bogged down in local Texas politics, the District Attorney's Office decided to proceed against the four persons indicted for the Tate-LaBianca murders who were in custody in California.
Manson's request to ask potential jurors "a few simple, childlike questions that are real to me in my reality" was denied. During the voir dire, Manson fixed his penetrating stare for hours, first on Judge Older and then one day on Prosecutor Bugliosi. After getting Manson's stare treatment, Bugliosi took advantage of a recess to slide his chair next to Manson and ask, "What are you trembling about Charlie? Are you afraid of me? The jury knew it would be sequestered for a long time, but it didn't know how long. As it turned out, their sequestration would last days, longer than any previous jury in history.
Creating the Manson Family
Opening statements began on July Manson entered the courtroom sporting a freshly cut, bloody "X" on his forehead--signifying, he said in a statement, that "I have X'd myself from your world. Bugliosi, in his opening statement for the prosecution, indicated that his "principal witness" would be Linda Kasabian, a Manson Family member who accompanied the killers to both the Tate and LaBianca residences.
The prosecution turned to Kasabian, with a promise of prosecutorial immunity for her testimony, when Susan Atkins--probably in response to threats from Manson--announced that she would not testify at the trial. Bugliosi promised the jury that the evidence would show Manson had a motive for the murders that was "perhaps even more bizarre than the murders themselves. She would remain on the stand for an astounding eighteen days, including seven days of cross-examination by Kanarek. Kasabian told the jury that no Family member ever refused an order from Charles Manson: "We always wanted to do anything and everything for him.
Manson told you and Katie to check out the car and remove the blood? Kasabian also offered her account of the night of the LaBianca murders. She testified that she didn't want to go, but went anyway "because Charlie asked me and I was afraid to say no. Kasabian proved a very credible witness, despite the best efforts during cross-examination of defense attorneys to make her appear a spaced-out hippie.
After admitting that she took LSD about fifty times, Kasabian was asked by Kanarek, "Describe what happened on trip number Testimony corroborating that of Kasabian came from several other prosecution witnesses, most notably the woman Atkins confided in at Dormitory , Virginia Graham. Other witnesses described receiving threats from Manson, evidence of Manson's total control over the lives of Family members, or conversations in which Manson had told of the coming Helter Skelter.
Nineteen-year-old Paul Watkins , Manson's foremost recruiter of young women, provided key testimony about the strange motive for the Tate-LaBianca murders--including its link to the Bible's Book of Revelation.
Your Guide To The Manson Family Members (And Where They Are Now): LAist
Watkins testified that Manson discussed Helter Skelter "constantly. So, in retaliation-this would scare; in other words, all the other white people would be afraid that this would happen to them, so out of their fear they would go into the ghetto and just start shooting black people like crazy. But all they would shoot would be the garbage man and Uncle Toms, and all the ones that were with Whitey in the first place. And underneath it all, the Black Muslims would-he would know that it was coming down. So, after Whitey goes in the ghettoes and shoots all the Uncle Toms, then the Black Muslims come out and appeal to the people by saying, 'Look what you have done to my people.
This would split them in the middle and a big civil war would start and really split them up in all these different factions, and they would just kill each other off in the meantime through their war. And after they killed each other off, then there would be a few of them left who supposedly won. Then the Black Muslims would come out of hiding and wipe them all out. By sneaking around and slitting their throats. When we was [sic] in the desert the first time, Charlie used to walk around in the desert and say-you see, there are places where water would come up to the top of the ground and then it would go down and there wouldn't be no more water, and then it would come up again and go down again.
He would look at that and say, 'There has got to be a hole somewhere, somewhere here, a big old lake.
Then we started from the 'Revolution 9' song on the Beatles album which was interpreted by Charlie to mean the Revelation 9. Then later on, I believe it is in It talks about there will be a city where there will be no sun and there will be no moon.
That there would be a city of gold, but there would be no life, and there would be a tree there that bears twelve different kinds of fruit that changed every month. And this was interpreted to mean-this was the hole down under Death Valley. That was in there, too. It was supposed to get back to the , people. The Family was to grow to this number. See, it was all happening simultaneously. In other words, as we are making the music and it is drawing all the young love to the desert, the Family increases in ranks, and at the same time this sets off Helter Skelter.
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So then the Family finds the hole in the meantime and gets down in the hole and lives there until the whole thing comes down. He is supposed to be the servant, see. He will clean up the mess that he made, that the white man made, and build the world back up a little bit, build the cities back up, but then he wouldn't know what to do with it, he couldn't handle it. It is all over. When the trial resumed three days later, the defense startled courtroom spectators and the prosecution by announcing, without calling a single witness, "The defense rests.
In chambers, attorneys for the women explained that although their clients wanted to testify, they were strongly opposed, believing that they would--still under the powerful influence of Manson--testify that they planned and committed the murders without Manson's help.
They Committed The Most Infamous Murders Of The 1960s — So Where Are The Manson Family Members Now?
Returning to the courtroom, Judge Older declared that the right to testify took precedence and said that the defendants could testify over the objections of their counsel. Atkins was then sworn as a witness, but her attorney, Daye Shinn, refused to question her. Returning to chambers, one defense attorney complained that questioning their clients on the stand would be like "aiding and abetting a suicide. The next day came another surprise.
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Charles Manson announced that he, too, wished to testify--before his co-defendants did. He testified first without the jury being present, so that potentially excludable testimony relating to evidence incriminating co-defendants might be identified before it prejudiced the jury. His over one-hour of testimony , full of digressions, fascinated observers:.
You made your children what they are. You taught them. I didn't teach them. I just tried to help them stand up. So I did the best I could and I took them up on my garbage dump and I told them this: that in love there is no wrong. I don't try to judge nobody. I know that the only person I can judge is me. But I know this: that in your hearts and your own souls, you are as much responsible for the Vietnam war as I am for killing these people.
I have no malice against you and no ribbons for you. But I think that it is high time that you all start looking at yourselves, and judging the lie that you live in. And you can project it back at me. My father is your system. I am only what you made me. I am only a reflection of you. I have wore your second-hand clothes. I have done my best to get along in your world and now you want to kill me, and I look at you, and then I say to myself, You want to kill me?
I'm already dead, have been all my life. I've spent twenty-three years in tombs that you built. If I could, I would jerk this microphone off and beat your brains out with it, because that is what you deserve, that is what you deserve. What they did, if they did whatever they did, is up to them. They will have to explain that to you. You broke me years ago.
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