Star witness not so bright
By Bill Nelson
Linda Kasabian was the state’s star witness during the Manson family murder trials for the Tate/LaBianca murders. She had only been with theManson family a brief time and had arrived from a commune in New Mexico with her husband Bob. None other than Tex Watson seduced Linda the first day shearrived and upon learning that Linda had some $5,000 in her truck,Watson conned her out of it. Watson believed this act of theft would endear him even more tohis quasi-Jesus Christ figure, Charles Manson.
was then seduced by Manson and gained her entrance into the nomadic band of musical hippies. It all seemed so right. Well, right until husband Bobfound out that his wife stole the money from the truck. He left without benefit of the money that had been saved for their worldwide travels.
had the only valid driver’s license in the Manson family and that has always been the reason given as why she was chosen to go along with the killers. Donot think for one moment that other Mansonites ceased driving just because there was no legal license in their wallet or purse. The Manson family lived off stolencredit cards, charges on the credit cards of parents of Krenwinkel and other female members, theft of stores, creepy crawling innocent people's houses in thedarkness of night, and any other scam that came to their criminal minds.
did not stay at the car as instructed by Tex, and she walked back up the long drive to the Tate property. She witnessed the murder of Voytek and askedSusan to make it stop. Kasabian said she would never forget the eyes of the pained victim as he slumped on the porch and then on the front lawn. Atkins reportedlyresponded that it was too late.
drove the car the second night of murder. She left with Manson, Grogan, and Atkins before the murders of Leno and Rosemary and she deposited the wallet of
Rosemary LaBianca in the bathroom of a gas station at the instructions of Manson. It was stated that Kasabian knocked on the wrong door of a friend in Venice and this
action saved his life when Atkins was ready to kill him for Charlie. Thus, Kasabian became an eyewitness to both nights and could testify for the prosecution. The
prosecution would rather have her in prison with the rest of them but they granted her immunity when indecisive Sadie backed out of her Grand Jury agreement to turn star
has maintained that she backed out of the agreement when she was forced to be confronted by Manson.
Desert Speaks has told me that Sadie actuallydemanded to see Manson. She threw a fit and screamed, yelled and refused to leave the courtroom until she and Manson was allowed to meet alone! Manson wasrepresenting himself in court so they could not deny him meeting with Sadie.
of Linda Kasabian was compelling, honest and truthful. She impressed the jury and the conviction was taking shape. That is, taking shape but still in needof one more thing. Someone other than Kasabian had to corroborate the words of Kasabian. Enter-- Paul Watkins, Dianne Lake, Juan Flynn, Danny DeCarlo, Brook Poston, Barbara Hoyt and other prosecution witnesses. Bugliosi waxed eloquent in his flawless presentation.
I learned in 1993 when I did the investigation for Channel 2 Los Angeles that Kasabian had been married before. It was another failure. She was well
known by law enforcement in her hometown and she was not well thought of by them! There were several brushes with cops, mostly for disorderly conduct, hard partying,drinking and the like. After the trials Kasabian returned to her hometown and gained a waitress job at a converted barn called the White House/ or White Horse. It was
really quaint. I dinned there several times during my brief stay in the small town doing research in 1993. Just before departing New Hampshire, Kasabian committedseveral driving infractions. She had so many traffic violations that she voluntarily surrendered her driver’s license when she left to the police. She told the authorities that shewould disappear and they would have no trace of her.
When I was in New Hampshire, I learned of a strange occurrence involving Kasabian. Responding to a disturbing the peace situation, the officers rolled up on a bazaar