Transcript of taperecording of Aaron Stovitz, Deputy District Attorney, being interviewed by David Felton and David Dalton, reporters and writers from Rolling Stone, on March 19, 1970, District Attorney's Office, 6th Floor, Hall of Justice, 211 West Temple Street, Los Angeles, California.
DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY AARON STOVITZ: Well, let's do it this way. Ah, I'll answer all your questions if you give me one, definite promise, don't quote me. And that you realize that I -- I believe that this court order, that the judge has issued, was made to protect the defendants, so they can get a fair trial. If all law enforcement officers made responsible comments, then there would be no necessity for a gag order. But some police officers go shooting off their mouths, and ah -- they use their ah, gun recklessly, they certainly use their words recklessly, and ah, the defendant may not get a fair trial. So the judge issued a gag order. Unfortunately, that curtails us from telling you what the evidence is gonna be. ‘Cause this is a direct violation of the court order. But, for instance, I'll give you Susan Atkins' article in the Times, if you don't have it already. And ah, there isn't anything in there that can't get out. You've read the article in the Herald and the Times about the about Linda Kasabian.
DAVID FELTON: I haven't read the one in the Herald yet.
DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY AARON STOVITZ: Well, there's yesterday's ah, Herald and today's Times.
DAVID FELTON: I haven't read the paper yet.
DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY AARON STOVITZ: Well, Linda's a true flower child. She came out here --
DAVID FELTON: Before we talk anymore, uh, can we, uh, can we, uh --
DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY AARON STOVITZ: Tape record it?
DAVID FELTON: Yeah.
DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY AARON STOVITZ: Then you'll have to wipe it off as soon as you use -- I don't want you -- I don't want my voice being reproduced on any radio station.
DAVID FELTON: Ok, no.
DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY AARON STOVITZ: I know you that you can't take shorthand.
DAVID FELTON: Right.
DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY AARON STOVITZ: If you use it and then wipe it off, ok, I don't care. Understand that, I don't know you from Adam.
DAVID FELTON: Right.
DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY AARON STOVITZ: Just by coincidence, uh, uh, Jerry Coen and this guy, Chuck Powers related that you were working for a regular newspaper at one time and that you were --
DAVID FELTON: The Daily Times.
DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY AARON STOVITZ: And this paper of yours, is a pretty good sheet, and that you're uh, not a square, but on the other hand, a square shooter. So, I'm gonna talk to you. Ordinarily, I tell people my name, rank and serial number.
DAVID FELTON: Mmm hmm
DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY AARON STOVITZ: So if you wanna use, with the understanding, you will erase it.
DAVID FELTON: That's fine with us -- And also, uh, the right thing -- can we -- if we use your words, do you want us not to use your name -- or, is that --
DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY AARON STOVITZ: Don't use my name. My words will be, the words of the media, by other people, or so.
DAVID FELTON: Then, if at any time you wanna tell us something, uh, for just for our own information, completely off the record, we'll shut the tape off and I won't take notes or anything like that. So uh, one reason why we're here, to be very honest, is just, to try and get a personal feeling -- I mean, we've talked to the people out at the ranch and everything. And from what we've seen in the paper and what we've talk with them and everything, even though they're not the ones directly involved, they, they said they were very interested in it all.
DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY AARON STOVITZ: Those people out at the ranch are amazing. Just amazing, that uh, they could keep on living, with this guy, and living with themselves.
Anyway, I was starting to tell you about Linda Kasabian. Now, she is a true flower child. She came out here from New Hampshire to meet her husband, Bob Kasabian, in uh, the first of July ‘69, and uh, when she and he had a falling out, she ended up at the ranch. She saw the way Manson beat these girls, she wanted out. But he, uh -- we got, uh -- I'll show you witnesses' statements of where he beat these girls. And uh, unfortunately, she didn't get out in time. She was in, uh, on the Tate job. But, she didn't go in the house. As a result of her not going in the house, we don't have her fingerprints like we do with Krenwinkel and Watson. Uh, she didn't kill anybody. She threw away the three sets of clothes, not her own.
We found the three sets of clothes, rather the newspaper, uh, Channel 7. Those three sets of clothes have been traced to the sets of clothes that Gypsy bought. Gypsy is the girl, Catherine Share, I think. They have blood samplings and blood on the clothes that fit the victims. Now, you say to yourself, if this is all phony, this is all phony, then how the hell did that clothes get there? I mean, we didn't find -- the police didn't find the clothes, so you can't say it was manufactured, you know.
Channel 7, in going back, over Susan Atkins' story, that was in the Times, said to themselves, "Well Jesus, if uh, I had done -- this is what the reporter told me -- If I had done committed this murder, I'd want to pull off the first wide space in the road and throw these bloody clothes away." And that's exactly what they did. So, about two miles up uh, Beverly Glen -- Benedict Canyon, I'm sorry -- two miles up Benedict Canyon, they found the clothes on the side of a hill.
Now, another thing. The night that the killings occurred, they stopped and washed their hands off at a man's hose, by a house on Portola Drive. Now, this man should have reported to the police the next day when he heard all about uh, the killings, Sharon Tate was just a mile from him. But, he says to his wife, he says, "Look," he says "they didn't steal anything from me, so they're just a bunch of hippies. Okay, so they lied; they said they were walking past, instead they were driving past," and he took the license number of the car.
Now, isn't it coincidental, that -- I mean, by the way, he also talked to his neighbors about it. So he just didn't make it up out of thin air after he heard Susan Atkins. So uh, and Susan Atkins testified to that at the Grand Jury about stopping off, and sure enough, the witness appears.
Now then, the most incriminating piece of evidence is, is the gun.
DAVID FELTON: We didn't talk about the licence.
DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY AARON STOVITZ: Hmm?
DAVID FELTON: You said something about the licence number? I remember --
DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY AARON STOVITZ: Yeah, they took the, the licence number down.
DAVID FELTON: That belonged to?
DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY AARON STOVITZ: That belonged to that particular car that they were using. See and, is uh, -- there were only two cars at the ranch that were operable. There was a bakery truck, that was Danny DeCarlo's bakery truck, that Manson drove. You see, Manson has an alibi right up until August 7th, 'cause he met this girl, and he, uh, drove with her from Big Sur all the way down to Oceanside. And they made gas purchases on these stolen credit cards all the way down the line.
And lo and behold, August 7th, he's given a traffic citation in Oceanside, driving this bakery truck. But, Mary Brunner got arrested in San Fernando on August 8th, and when she got arrested with these forged -- forging these credit cards, she was driving this bakery truck. If the bakery truck came back, we can therefore assume Manson came back.
Now, don't use Mary Brunner's full name, just say Mary, ‘cause this girl is trying to lead a normal life back in Wisconsin. You know, she's a college graduate, a librarian, Manson's first patsy, so to speak. He met her up in Haight-Ashbury and uh, turned her into nothing but uh, a thief. She wasn't a thief before. She used to get money from her parents, things like that, but he turned her into a thief.
She'd go out with these phony credit cards, which they'd steal, and sign other peoples' names and get things. So it's all that they went behind Safeway markets and other markets and get the food that was thrown out. They did do that. In fact, they once did that with a Rolls Royce, I understand.
DAVID FELTON: Yeah, it was Dennis Wilson's.
DAVID DALTON: Yeah.
DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY AARON STOVITZ: Huh?
DAVID FELTON: From the Beach Boys.
DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY AARON STOVITZ: Uh, anyway, let's see -- So, Linda Kasabian went along, and, if it was just Susan Atkins saying that this happened. Ok, you can say that Susan made up stories like this all the time. You know, she wanted the attention. That's what the girls out at the ranch tells us. See, some of these girls out at the ranch talk to us. Catherine Gillies, of course -- she's so involved, that she doesn't want to talk to us.
DAVID FELTON: We don't know who she is?
DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY AARON STOVITZ: Little blonde, scrawny kid, I'll show you a picture.
Now, Susan Good is Sandra Good, and Sandra Pugh. They're a strange pair. One of them, Sandra Good was along with Mary Brunner when she was arrested. She could've been easily been charged too, but she didn't so the actually signing of the credit cards, so she was let go after a few days. So we know that Good wasn't along on the Sharon Tate deal, and we know Mary wasn't along, nor on LaBianca, because they were in custody all this time.
Now this, uh --
DAVID FELTON: What was the dates, again, uh, of the Tate murders?
DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY AARON STOVITZ: August 8th.
DAVID FELTON: Yeah.
DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY AARON STOVITZ: Now, in order to fully understand the thing and give an accurate picture to your readers, you have to really start with Gary Hinman. Now -- Gary Hinman's murder took place around July 25th. Gary Hinman was a musician, you know.
DAVID FELTON: Yeah, that's one thing we don't know, what kind of a musician he was, or really --
DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY AARON STOVITZ: He played several instruments, I can tell you if I check, my records.
DAVID FELTON: Was he ever recorded?
DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY AARON STOVITZ: Well, he used to, uh, work, I mean. He was quite good. He had this pad out in Malibu. He had these two automobiles. A Toyota -- a Toyota and some other car. And uh, Manson had this crazy philosophy, that the world was coming to an end. At least there'd be a revolution and that, uh, he wanted a place in the desert, which he already picked out. You see, this Catherine Gillies, her grandmother is called Myers, and there was a ranch in Death Valley called Myers Ranch. They had already gone up there. They were already, uh, I'm pretty sure they brought the bus up there already. I know that they had been up there before August the 8th. And uh, they had this place all sealed off, it's a beautiful place - a beautiful place. Just nothing there but desert. And you can only get in there through two ways, through Golar Wash or Panamint Junction. And uh, in an effort to seal off the one through Panamint Junction, which is the easier way in, they attracted the attention -- they set a tractor on fire up there. And uh, this attracted the attention of the National Forest Service.
Anyway, going back to Gary Hinman. Now, Bobby Beausoleil is charged with this case, his death. He's already had a trial in Santa Monica and that trial ended in a hung jury. During that trial, Danny DeCarlo testifies, and Danny DeCarlo testified for us at the Grand Jury. Danny DeCarlo is a member of a motorcycle gang.
DAVID FELTON: You know which one?
DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY AARON STOVITZ: Uh, Straight Satans.
He used to live out at the ranch 'cause he used to get free pussy. Broke up with his wife. They used to take care of his baby. In fact, he'd say, this is the greatest thing next to mother's milk. They'd bring you food, make love to you any time you could. And he says this is the greatest thing -- he didn't dig this philosophy about the end of the world coming up. And Manson used to keep him around because, uh, DeCarlo was like a leader of this gang, and in case Manson ever needed some physical protection, there weren't enough men around there to give him any protection. Manson had all these guns up there at the Spahn Ranch, a machine gun and a lot of other guns, but he needed someone like DeCarlo who knew something about guns to keep them in good condition and also supply the manpower. So he let DeCarlo stay around there.
And DeCarlo testified at the first trial of Hinman -- uh, Beausoleil rather, that, uh, Manson who sent Hinman -- uh, who sent Beausoleil out to Hinman's house with these two girls, Mary and Susan Atkins. They got out there, they asked him for his money. He says, "I don't have any money. The only thing I have are these two cars. Here, I'll sign over my two cars."
See, this was another thing Manson used to use. If you ever talk to Dennis Wilson, who also will tell you that. What's yours is mine. Here you take my pen, I'll take your pen. You take my guitar, I'll take your guitar. Because ownership doesn't mean anything. He took a great deal of things, material things from Wilson, on the pretext: "That, uh, you know, what does it mean? It doesn't mean anything."
So when they went out to Hinman's house, they ask for his money and he doesn't have the money. So then, they uh, had one of the girls hold a gun on Hinman while this guy Beaus -- uh, Beausoleil was looking for the money. Somehow uh, Hinman was able to get up on the girls and they didn't shoot him. And they struggle for the gun and they come back in and Beausoleil pistol whips Hinman with this gun. During the pistol whipping, the gun goes off and the bullet was recovered. Now, at the first trial we didn't have that gun. Since this first trial, we have now found the gun. That gun has been traced to Manson.
DAVID FELTON: You mean, that he took out papers on it?
DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY AARON STOVITZ: Huh?
DAVID FELTON: And he took out papers on it?
DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY AARON STOVITZ: Uh, yeah. uh, unless the took out papers -- he -- they know who he purchased it from, and it says. So that's been traced.
Now, uh, we -- the fingerprint of Beausoleil was found at Hinman's residence. On August the 6th, Hinman was -- Beausoleil was arrested driving Hinman's Toyota up in San Jose.
When he's arrested, he gives a real cock and bull story about Black Panthers killing Hinman, and that he got there when Hinman was dying, and Hinman asked him to take his car and signed over his car to him. The knife that was used to kill Hinman is found in the back seat of the Toyota, that he was driving.
Now, knives are not like guns. All you can say is that a knife similar to this made the stab wounds. With a gun, you can say, ballistically, scientifically speaking, this gun fired this bullet, if there's no damage to the bullet. Scientifically with a knife, all you can do is say well, it's uh three centimeters long, it's got a sharp edge and a dull edge and so forth. You can only say it, it's, uh, similar.
Yeah -- have a new motion to change the venue and uh, the Public Defender's Office is subpoenaing the uh, radio and television scripts, locally, to show that Southern California is inundated with this.
So then we sent out a form letter to the three hundred radio stations up and down the state, outside of L.A. County. And the fifteen television studios outside of L.A. County, asking them to give us their scripts on the case. You know, they catalog them just like -- uh, newspapers have a library, they have a library too, so in case they have to use things for the past, they have their log.
Anyway, uh -- so anyway, I was saying that in order to understand the thing you have to go back to the Hinman case. Ok, Now, the timing is also very significant. August the 6th, his arrested in San Luis Obispo, I might've said San Jose, before, but it was San Luis Obispo where he was arrested. Wanna turn it over?
DAVID FELTON: I just want to make sure we get it, can we ?
DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY AARON STOVITZ: Yeah, sure.
DAVID DALTON: No, that's fine.
DAVID FELTON: Oh, ok, it's his machines
DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY AARON STOVITZ: Ok, alright, now, August 7th, Beausoleil is returned to L.A. County, he puts a phone call in at the ranch, telling them, uh, that he was arrested there and telling them he hasn't said anything.
Ok, now, this is only supposition on my part, I don't have any proof to support it. I, uh, suppose that, he, Manson, said, "How am I going to help my friend Beausoleil out? By showing that the actual murderer of Hinman is still at large. So I know that, Melcher used to live in this ranch -- this house up on Cielo Drive.
"Go out there, Watson, with these girls and commit robbery and kill anyone that you see there. "Don't forget to leave – " and this is very important because in the Hinman case they wrote POLITICAL PIG in blood. He said – "Don't forget to leave --
DAVID FELTON: In the actual words POLITICAL PIG?
DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY AARON STOVITZ: Uh, yeah. "Don't forget to leave a sign," he tells them.
So after the killings were all over, Susan Atkins goes back and writes the word PIG on the door. This is the same door where Watson's fingerprint was found. And on the same door -- on another door, the back door is where Krenwinkel's fingerprint was found. And that also has the blood of Frykow-- uh, Abigail Folger.
Now, uh --
DAVID FELTON: The print has his blood or uh?
DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY AARON STOVITZ: No, no, the mark is on the same -- the print is on the same door with the blood. Ok, now, uh, they get back to the ranch, they hear about it on TV and the radio the next day. And the same night, Manson goes out, and he wants to shock the world even more.
They were supposed to make two killings on the night of LaBianca; not two people, but two separate incidents. They only killed, the LaBiancas. And on LaBiancas, someone wrote the word WAR on his stomach, with either a knife or a fork.
Why did they pick out LaBianca, ok? There's a fella by the name of Harold True, and this fits in with your LSD acid bit. A year before this incident, in August of '68, Harold True lived in this house next door to LaBianca. They had gone over there and had pot parties and LSD parties, there at that house.
Harold True was supposed to go into the Peace Corps. Uh, he's a college boy at UCLA and so forth. Uh, they moved -- he moved out at the end of the year, his two friends continued living. These, uh, Manson family used to keep coming there all the time, but then finally everyone moved to, out of there, and the house was vacant, at the time the LaBiancas were killed -- the house where True lived. This is right next door to where, uh, the LaBiancas lived, is Harold True's house.
So they, after circling the city for a while, they go into the True, uh, to the True residence. No one is home, so they, go next door. Manson goes in himself, according to Susan Atkins' testimony.
Juan, how you doing?
And -- remember this guy?
UNIDENTIFIED PERSON: I just caught, I caught the profile. How are you doing David?
DAVID FELTON: Ok. This here is David Dalton.
UNIDENTIFIED PERSON: Hi, nice to meet you. He was just looking that way and geez, the sides, I didn't realize the back was so long.
DAVID FELTON: Oh it's a mess.
UNIDENTIFIED PERSON: That's what happens when the type of employers (indistinguishable)?
DAVID FELTON: Ha ha.
UNIDENTIFIED PERSON: Is that your deal?
DAVID FELTON: Yeah, that his deal.
UNIDENTIFIED PERSON: Uh, did you talk to Part?
DAVID FELTON: No, I haven't called him yet.
UNIDENTIFIED PERSON: Yeah, he called --
Well, the put out a variety show --
DAVID FELTON: Yeah,
UNIDENTIFIED PERSON: -- ya see. I had to play the part of a hippy. Well, what the hell did I know -- this was about three years ago, or something -- well, what I was gonna do, you know? so I went to (indistinguishable) and David gave me the hippy clothes and showed me pictures on how I should dress and what color clothes I should wear and uh, you gave me, you gave me some insight, I guess.
DAVID FELTON: Yeah I gave him a big rubber mouth and some big, shoes.
UNIDENTIFIED PERSON: Nah, nah, but he gave me all the stuff and I got a wig and it was very nifty.
DAVID FELTON: Well,
DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY AARON STOVITZ: David are you on or off?
DAVID FELTON: On
DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY AARON STOVITZ: On?
DAVID FELTON: Yes.
DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY AARON STOVITZ: Ok, so then, uh, they go out on LaBianca. Now, on LaBianca, the evidence, I mean I'll, rap with you on the level, it's not that strong. There are no fingerprints. No one saw them. No motion pictures. All we are depending upon is the testimony of our, uh, Susan Atkins, up till now. If she doesn't testify, which she says she's not going to, then Linda Kasabian corroborates it.
Uh, now, why do we believe Susan? Why do we believe Linda? Well, the point of this is, if she was gonna lie, she'd say that Manson actually killed these people. She'd say that Steve Grogan actually killed the people, that uh, they went inside and that uh, she says no, there were seven in this car. The uh, three went in, were Krenwinkel, Watson, and Van Houten. The next day Krenwinkel came back and told Susan Atkins what happened inside, and only someone who had been to that house could have said what happened, ‘cause it was never published in the papers, that they left the fork sticking in the fella's stomach. It was never published in the papers that they left the knife sticking in his neck. It was never published in the papers that pillowcases were put over their heads. Or that --
DAVID FELTON: The ones we're talking about is the LaBianca?
DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY AARON STOVITZ: LaBianca.
DAVID FELTON: Yeah.
DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY AARON STOVITZ: It was never published in the paper what they wrote on the walls.They wrote the words rise, r-i-s-e, helter skelter. They wrote uh, death to pigs. They wrote uh -- Patricia Krenwinkel just went, crazy writing all these things.
DAVID FELTON: She wrote the -- she was the one who wrote them?
DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY AARON STOVITZ: Uh, according to her statement to Susan, she wrote it.
Now, Manson's a very funny fellow. He lets these three people off, and then he lets them get back to the ranch by themselves. Now, we're trying to find the person who picked them up. There was one hitchhiker, I mean, there was one car who picked up these three hitchhikers, and it seems to me he should remember it because they were dressed in this black clothing and uh, it was, you know, late at night, so it was somebody that picked up two girls and this Charles Watson, in the vicinity of Griffith Park and drove them all the way out to the vicinity of Spahn ranch. They didn't want to tell him where they lived. But he was someone who lived in that vicinity, maybe Simi Valley or Santa Susana Pass, because he said to them, like as if he knew they were going to Spahn Ranch, "You're going to the Spahn ranch?" They says no. Like a girl who doesn't want to see, her parents see who she was going out with, they asked to be let off about a couple blocks, or uh, quarter of a mile from the ranch if you walk the rest of the way. And this guy has never come forward in spite of the fact that the story had been somewhat written up in the newspapers.
Alright now, they got back to the ranch, and they talk among themselves, not to these other girls or fellas. DeCarlo hears it, because he's living there at the ranch.
And uh, August the 15th, DeCarlo's men come up to the ranch to bring him back to them. He -- they think he's been kidnapped and held there against his will, and uh, they were going to bust the place up that night. They didn't give a shit about these girls or anything like that; they wanted Danny back. And uh, he talked them out of it. He says, "No," uh, he says, "I'll leave tomorrow."
August 16th, the sheriffs arrested everybody at the ranch on charges of grand theft of automobiles, because there were about six stolen cars out there including this Ford automobile --
DAVID FELTON: The one that they uh --
DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY AARON STOVITZ: The one they used for Tate and LaBianca. But because this man never reported the license number, nobody knew it.
Uh, this car, the reason they thought the car was stolen – the truth was it wasn't stolen, it belonged to one of the ranch hands – but it had a license plate on it from a later model car. In other words, just going out of memory, I think it was a '59 Ford. that they used. Well, they had a, uh, license plate from a '63 car, ya see, and uh, what happened was this fella said these license plates are stolen, and rather, right away get new plates, he used to just switch his plates back and forth. Whichever car was abvail-- that was in operable condition, he'd put the plates on, but he owned both cars and uh, he himself was arrested, this fella, uh, Swartz, and when they cleared up that that car wasn't stolen, they released him, but then, he never had enough money to go down to the impound garage to get that car out. Again, they never knew that it was the car that was used. They had cleaned up the car quite well, and uh, there is only one slight trace of blood in the front section of the car; and it's so slight they can't tell whether it's even human blood or not, and naturally they can't tell the type.
Uh, well after that, August the 16th -- by the way, in the meantime Linda Kasabian borrows another ranch hand's car and drives down to New Mexico, leaving her child Tanya there. Uh, also, Watson was not there on August 16th when the raid occurred. I think he had gone up to Death Valley in the meantime.
Uh, when you're arrested, uh, after you know, the police can only hold you for 48 hours and either charges have to be filed or the case dismissed. Well, seeing as they couldn't connect any of the defendants with any of the stolen cars, and they couldn't connect any of the defendants with the stolen -- uh, the uh, the submachine gun, everybody was released.
After they were released they all went up to Inyo County. And now it comes up to where we started to get some breaks. And if you wanna change your tape on the other side, I'll.
DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY AARON STOVITZ: Why don't you shut it off for a minute?
DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY AARON STOVITZ: They had checked out every darn theory under the sun, and they just didn't come up with anything.
But anyway, they then -- they get up to Inyo County, and they're living up
DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY AARON STOVITZ: Here they are. By the way, under our rules of discovery, the defendants get to see all of this uh, police reports, you know, we can't hide anything from them. They can make independent tests of the fingerprints if they want to, they can make independent tests of the blood. They don't have to take our word for it.
Ok, uh, the start of the incident up in Death Valley occurred on September 19th, 1969, when the National Park Rangers of the Death Valley National Monument became aware that persons unknown had set fire to a Michigan Loader. This is a great big tractor. Tire tracks from this area were the type used on a Toyota four-wheel drive. Near the cabin they found a '69 Ford automobile, uh, license plate SDZ976. Well, this had been rented from Hertz by one of the girls that are loose now, Nancy Pitman, and uh, she did it on a stolen credit card, a Mobil Oil credit card that had been taken in a burglary on September 7th. So we know that on September 7th, Nancy Pitman was here in Los Angeles, ‘cause that's when the burglary occurred. We also know that on that date Leslie Van Houten bought a knife with the same stolen credit card. This evidence has not come out or anything like that but uh, the defendants know all about it.
Ok, on September 22nd, Park Ranger Richard Powell entered the Hall Canyon area of Panamint range, while investigating the arson case and made contact with a red Toyota four-wheel drive and four female and one male subject. A conversation with these subjects disclosed very little. The Toyota was using California commercial license plates so and so, registered to Gail Beausoleil, wife of Robert Beausoleil, who's presently held on charge of murder in Los Angeles County. This is going back to September 19th, you see -- or uh, September 22nd.
So they found the Toyota. This Toyota was the one that was Hinman's Toyota, and they found it up there.
On September 24th the officer returned to the Hall Canyon with Deputy Dennis Cox. The vehicle and the subjects were gone. The miners in the area stated that uh, the subjects pulled out about four hours after Ranger Powell left. On September 29th C.H.P. Officer James Purcell accompanied Ranger Powell into the Golar Wash area to check out two dwellings. At one location, Barker Ranch, they discovered two females approximately 19 years of age. They were uncommunicative, but did state that the person who lived there had gone to Ballarat and would be back later.
Purcell and Powell contacted Paul Crockett and Poston in the Golar Wash. They were driving a truck loaded with automotive supplies. Uh, they advised the officers that members of a hippie-type group owned the supplies they were transporting, and that they were afraid for their lives if they failed to cooperate with this hippie group. They related to the officers tales of drug use, sex orgies and an attempted to recreate the days of Rommel and the desert corps by driving across the country night and day in numerous dune buggies. The leader of the cult, who called himself Jesus Christ, was attempting to set up a large group of hippies in the area.
Uh, the witness Poston, supposed to -- you know
Anyway, uh, after leaving the Barker ranch the officers located a group of seven females, between the ages of 18 and 20, all nude or partially so, hiding in the brush, in one of the small draws off the main road to the rear of the ranch. Going further up the same draw, they encountered one male individual and saw a second run from the area. In this camp was a red Toyota with a certain license number. The license plate noted earlier was no longer on this vehicle. With the Toyota was a dune buggy with a certain number. It was impossible to make contact with the radio, so when the officers returned back to Ballarat, uh they skipped all the way to, oh, uh, I'm sorry. Ten to 29 checks disclosed that the Toyota was a Los Angeles Police Department stolen.
On approximately, uh, September 29th uh, officer Leech and Chief Ranger of the Death Valley contacted the Sergeant of the Lone Pine Regiment Post and advised him of the circumstances. And then they went in made the arrest, I think. Uh, I'll try to skip through this. Later investigation traced the -- they found all of these stolen cars up there, anyway, they found a lot of stolen cars up there.
DAVID FELTON: Well, when you say stolen cars, in this and the other, also the raid on Spahn Ranch, were all of these cars reported stolen by the owner.
DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY AARON STOVITZ: Oh yeah. Oh yeah
DAVID FELTON: And then --
DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY AARON STOVITZ: In addition to the ones that were reported stolen, they found, like I told you before, which had uh, license plate on it different from uh, but turned out not to be stolen.
The officers converged on the Barker ranch, arrested five female subjects, located and arrested three female subjects from the dugout. All prisoners were escorted to the ranch and transported to Independence. A .22 pistol was found in the camp.
Prior to the officers entering this area it was established that this same group was arrested in Chatsworth by Los Angeles Sheriff's Department on August 16th 1969, and had been armed with a submachine gun. In an earlier conversation with the miners in the area it was disclosed that these people had talked of having machine guns. Armed with this knowledge, officers requested permission to carry high-powered rifles. No shots were fired. All but two or three of the female suspects were armed with belt type knives. No attempt was made on their part to use these weapons. Total arrests: ten females, three males. And then they also arrested Charlie Manson up there hiding in a little kitchen cabinet.
DAVID FELTON: Was he one of the three males?
DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY AARON STOVITZ: Uh, not yet.
While on route, two 17-year-old females stepped from the brush and surrendered to the officers. These two girls stated that they were in fear of their lives and trying to escape from the hippie group. Both stated that the leader, Charles Manson, not located and not in custody as of, as of, that time, would kill or seriously injure them if he caught them trying to leave. These two girls – one was Katie Lutesinger and the other girl was by the name of Jardin, J-a-r d-i-n – and they supplied the link to the sheriffs that Sadie Glutz – Susan Atkins – was involved in the Hinman murder, see. With the arrival of tow service, the officers continued to the Willow Springs area using a -- anyway, they recovered the cars, uh, contacted the parents of subject Lutesinger. He was advised that the Los Angeles County Sheriff's office was seeking this subject as a material witness to a murder that occurred earlier this year in the Topanga Canyon area. Contact was made with homicide detective Guenther, Whiteley, who left Los Angeles same morning on route to Independence for questioning. These two juveniles were held under section 601, welfare and institution code. Interrogation of the subject Lutesinger by the Los Angeles Sheriff's office disclosed that three of the female prisoners held at the Inyo County Jail were involved in Los Angeles Sheriff's office Topanga Canyon murder. All three were returned to the Los Angeles County jail by Los Angeles Sheriff's office. One of these girls, by the way, was Patricia Krenwinkel, but, she was the wrong girl, see, she used the name Mary Smith and Mary Reeves and the girl Lutesinger talked with Mary, but it was this Mary Brunner.
Ok, uh, on October 9, 1969, Officer Purcell and National Park service rangers re-entered Death Valley, made contact with additional witnesses, who advised them that a rental truck loaded with supplies had become stuck and abandoned on the road to Barker ranch. Officer Purcell made contact with Sgt. Haley at Lone Pine and attempted to locate and arrest the ring leader Charles Manson, who was still at large. Additional male suspects were there also, believed to be. A successful contact was made at the Barker Ranch, and the following were taken into custody: Charles Manson, uh, Kenneth Brown, David Hammock, Lawrence Bailey, Bruce Davis. Now Bruce Davis is, uh, still involved as a material witness in the Hinman murder; he could clear the whole damn thing up if he wanted to talk to us, but he doesn't want to talk to us.
DAVID FELTON: He was supposedly there at the time?
DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY AARON STOVITZ: Also arrested in the area was Beth Tracey, well there's no Beth Tracey, she was using, a girl's credit card that was stolen in a burglary. Diane Bluestein, Sherry Andrews, Patty Sue Jardin, Sue Bartel, all these girls were up there. And that October 12th, in other words, there had been one arrest earlier in September and then this is October 12th. Ok, on October 13th investigating officers received word from Los Angeles Sheriff's office that Kathleen Lutesinger, earlier arrested as a runaway, returned to Los Angeles as a material witness to a murder, had additional information regarding stolen vehicles and related crimes that she would be willing to discuss with the investigating officer. Then they found additional stolen vehicles that were hidden up there in uh, like cave areas, as a result --
DAVID DALTON: This guy Bruce Davis, is he still out at the ranch?
DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY AARON STOVITZ: No, he was arrested by Inyo County, uh, charged with receiving stolen property, apparently one of these cars. Now, I don't know what's happened to his case since then.
DAVID DALTON: Um, what has happened to the girl that Susan Atkins, gave, you know, told the story to?
DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY AARON STOVITZ: I'll find out.
DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY AARON STOVITZ: An interesting sidelight to this investigation in Inyo County. The C.H.P. recovered, at Crowley Point, in Death Valley --
Hiya doing Vince?
DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY VINCENT BUGLIOSI: Hi.
DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY AARON STOVITZ: Uh, anyway, these girls, uh, some of them do talk and what I was telling you about this interesting sidelight, this vehicle traced to a Philip Tenerelli, T-e-n-e-r-e-l-l-i. This guy had been listed as a missing person in the Culver City Police Department report. Then, Bishop Police Department had reported a suicide October 2nd, 1969. The first thing they know is the guy's name is John Doe. You know, Bishop is right up by Death Valley.
When they found Tenerelli's car, down this, this thing, this cliff, they went back and rechecked the identity of the fingerprints, and they found the suicide of October 2nd was in truth in fact this fella Tenerelli, who had been listed as a missing person in Culver City. Inyo County is not so sure that this suicide is not a murder. Because we have a case here in Venice where a guy by the name of, calls himself Christopher, uh, Jesus or Zero. He's one of the people that was arrested with Manson in up there.
DAVID FELTON: Death Valley?
DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY AARON STOVITZ: In Death Valley. He's one of the people that Manson confided in and everything like that.
Well, one day his girlfriend, Linda Baldwin, who's a girlfriend also of every other person of the group, reports to the Venice Police Department that Zero, Christopher, killed himself, that he was playing Russian Roulette right in front of her eyes, and the gun went off and killed himself. Now, it's very difficult to disprove that story, uh, the uh, if we could prove the gun belonged to someone else, ya see, so forth and so on, you might disprove it. You could also test with paraffin if he was holding the gun at the time. But anyway, we're not so sure that that so called suicide was not a murder to keep him quiet.
DAVID FELTON: What about this other suicide, what kind of suicide was it?
DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY AARON STOVITZ: I don't know. I don't know too much about it. But, we know that the Bishop Police Department are working into that a bit more. So oh uh, we're not, in our trial, we're not going to introduce any evidence about this thing or Christopher Zero or the missing body of Shorty Shea.
DAVID FELTON: That's --
DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY AARON STOVITZ: Huh?
DAVID FELTON: Which one is that?
DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY AARON STOVITZ: Well, He was a ranch hand who used to be a stuntman in Hollywood called Shea, uh, last name Shea. He used to go by the name Shorty Shea, although he wasn't short. Ok, now, he was trying to get Spahn - old man Spahn - to order these people off the ranch. After the, August 16th raid, uh, when they got out of jail, they came back to Spahn Ranch. And Shorty Shea has never been seen again since that time. Now there's several of the girls say that they heard that Shorty Shea is dead. That the, they don't know who it happened. He was supposedly cut up in eight or nine pieces and he's dead and buried on the ranch someplace. Every once and awhile the Sheriffs get some information and go out and start looking for Shorty Shea's body, they never found him. (indistinguishable) But we are not introducing evidence --
DAVID FELTON: (indistinguishable)
DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY AARON STOVITZ: No, but, obviously the fact he's never been heard from since, something's happened to him.
But anyway, as a result of this arrest up there, and as a result of this girl, uh, Lutesinger, talking, they go ahead and they arrest Susan Atkins, and uh, they put her in the county jail here. Once in the county jail, uh, she gets up a relationship with this girl, we'll call her Ronnie Howard. She used the name Nadell at times, but we'll use Ronnie Howard because that's the name she was booked in the jail under. Then Susan Atkins, to use the vernacular, cops out to Ronnie Howard, about how Sharon Tate was killed. Well, uh, the story is so shocking you say to yourself, "oh, this kid is making it up." Then Susan Atkins tells it to another girl, Virginia Graham. Virginia Graham is not so sure. (indistinguishable)
The two girls get together and say well, that's tell the police about it. So the police come out and interview the two girls separately. And they learn from the girls things that have never been told to anybody before, like the fact that a knife was left at the Tate residence. Y'all remember there was a knife that was left there.
Susan Atkins in her statement to one of these two girls said, "God damn, I think I even left my knife up there. If the police ever trace that knife to me, I'd be dead."
DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY AARON STOVITZ: I'm leaving in about 10 minutes. Now, got it?
DAVID DALTON: Mm Hmm
DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY AARON STOVITZ: Now the, uh, next thing that happens, of course, is the police hear this information. The newspapers reporters that have been following the case as close as could be, and uh, they see a great deal of activity occurring. They find out a police officer went to Barker ranch, and they find out another officer went to Inyo County, they find out that police officers went out to Spahn ranch to take pictures. So they see and gonna start breaking the story. We don't have everybody in custody, because after Patricia Krenwinkel was questioned by the sheriff's office in October, she was released and goes back to Alabama. During the arrest of all these people, Watson gets away -- he's not arrested. Another guy by the name of Vance, very important, gets away. I'm talking about the arrest up at Barker ranch. We don't know who all is involved. We didn't know anything about Linda Kasabian. ‘Cause Linda Kasabian's name was never mentioned by Susan Atkins. Uh, so anyway, to bring it to a conclusion, the press are going to release the story. The police are asking them to please hold off, for a certain amount of time, and we'll uh, try to get the suspects into custody. They come over to us, and they didn't even have, a good fingerprint on, uh, Krenwinkel. They had the fingerprint on Watson. They didn't have the gun at that time.
Now we've got the gun that killed Steve Parent and shot Frykowski and Sebring. This gun was identified not only by the bullet, when the gun was used to, uh, beat Frykowski on the head. The butt of the gun broke and the handle, was in three pieces. We recovered those three pieces, fits perfectly in the gun. This gun has been traced to one that Manson bought, and it's a unique-type gun. It's a long barrel, uh, .22 caliber, Wyatt Earp-type gun. You know Wyatt Earp. Several witnesses said this was Manson's private gun. He didn't kill anybody on Tate. But, when you have a conspiracy to commit a crime, and any one of the members of the conspiracy, do anything else, everyone is responsible for all of the actions of the other. Suppose we have a conspiracy to rob a bank. In the escape from the bank, you run somebody over. Now, I'm sitting here in my office, I didn't tell you to run anybody over. I'm responsible for that death. And, uh, this is the principle we're using against Manson, that he ordered these people killed. Whether he ordered one or five doesn't matter. The fact that they killed five was all within the contemplation of conspiracy (indistinguishable)
Now, at first we were thinking of the theory that he had revenge against Terry Melcher, because Melcher put him down. He had Melcher out to the Spahn Ranch a couple of times, to uh, see if Melcher could sell his music and Melcher thought it was nothing. So he resented that. Uh, he came to see Melcher at the house uh, several times, and uh, learned the layout of the house.
But then evidence developed that he knew that Manson moved out during the summer --
DAVID FELTON: Melcher moved out.
DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY AARON STOVITZ: Yeah, Melcher moved out of that Cielo address and that's when he was trying to find where Manson - Melcher lived, through Dennis Wilson. He asked Dennis Wilson several times. Manson goes, ‘Where's Melcher living now." I don't think Wilson told him. But uh, I don't think that, on the night of the killings that he thought Melcher lived there anymore. He just thought that rich people lived there, part of the Establishment, and that, he had this plan of setting in progress this revolution – of uh, blacks against whites. And he left the sign PIG on the door. Also he had in mind covering up for Beausoleil -- Beausoleil was in custody now. And they wanted to commit another murder similar to the Hinman murder to throw the police off the track of Beausoleil as the killer of Hinman. But the, unfortunate thing, although Malibu is not that far from Benedict Canyon -- because one is in the sheriff's territory and one is in the police's territory, they didn't associate the two, even though POLITICAL PIG was written at Hinman's, vicious stab wounds, pistol whipping on Hinman -- and uh, here because of -- see, the Tate case appears to be so senseless, because, although money was taken from one of the victims, money was not taken from all the victims. The house wasn't ransacked. Not that they had no valuable belongings there, but they could have taken fur coats and things - they didn't. On Hinman, they took his two cars. So uh, anyway, the motives appeared different to the police, so they thought different people committed it, and they didn't connect the word PIG with POLITICAL PIG as being the same group.
And the next night, when uh, LaBianca happens, although the killings were still stab wounds, and tying up with rope - with electrical cords instead of rope. They again said oh well, someones read in the papers, and uh, in order to cover up the real thing uh, which was a wipe out here, an execution. They used these things, the uh, reports we have from the witnesses, uh, show that there are other people that knew about these killings, but just kept quiet. I don't know why? Other than the fact they feel, Oh hell, there are friends of mine involved in uh, and I don't want to say anything.
This Manson, I don't say that he's got hypnotic power, but he's got some kind of strength, because he's able to get this girl from Alabama come out here, and she's not in jeopardy in Alabama, she could have stayed in Alabama another six months, just like Watson did down in Texas.
DAVID FELTON: You're talking uh-- you're talking about Krenwinkel?
DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY AARON STOVITZ: Krenwinkel, yeah. She could've stayed in Alabama.
DAVID DALTON: Do you think the girls that are now out at Spahn Ranch, I mean knew about these at the time? More or less?
DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY AARON STOVITZ: I think Catherine Gillies knew about it. I think that Susan Bartell knew about it. Uh, I think that uh, Gypsy, knew about it. Uh, I don't know about Lyn Fromme and Sandra Good. Now, uh people can believe anything they want to believe. Sometime you read in the headline, and you look at this say uh, (indistinguishable) and you might look at this quick. And uh, these people just uh, believe their leader can do no wrong because that's all - he just preached love, and the beatings that were inflicted on these girls, why, that's nothing. That was just another form of life, that's all.
Anyway, if you wanna wrap this up, by any questions that you have --
DAVID FELTON: Uh, first of all the, in the uh, raid, which everybody does talk about up there (indistinguishable). Anyway, they -- was there something that they could claim that uh, there were stolen cars there?
DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY AARON STOVITZ: Oh yeah, sure.
DAVID FELTON: And could that have been this Shaw?
DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY AARON STOVITZ: Shaw?
DAVID FELTON: The guy --
DAVID DALTON: Shea
DAVID FELTON: Shea, I mean.
DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY AARON STOVITZ: No, no, no. Uh, the way it happened was they were buying uh, parts for a Volkswagen, from a dealer in Chatsworth who happened to be a police officer on the side. And uh, he reported to the police department. He says, look I don't know what's going on there, maybe they have an automobile factory out there, but it seems to me that they're stealing cars and converting them. 'Cause no one could use so many parts, like this. And so they flew over with a helicopter out there and sure enough they spotted these cars. Some of them were hidden, some of them were not. They got a regular search warrant and uh, I can show you the search warrant that they got. They went out there with the search warrant and they found these stolen cars. Unfortunately, they cannot say who stole them. And so uh, the -- but they're also looking for runaway girls, there's a lot of girls there. They were also looking for this machine gun that was found, but after finding it, no one would cop out that it was there gun, so they had to release everybody.
DAVID FELTON: (indistinguishable) Was the machine gun reported missing or something?
DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY AARON STOVITZ: Not missing, but they knew that they had one out there because they had seen it.
DAVID FELTON: Uh, point of emphasis, one of the big things that you're going on is, is that the La -- the murder -- the Tate-LaBiancas were committed, were designed by Manson in order to bail -- get Beausoleil off the hook. And yet, uh, cause to me, I can say, isn't he jeopardizing other of his close friends by trying to get one friend off, I mean.
DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY AARON STOVITZ: No, uh, 'cause he's uh, having them wipe out all the fingerprints on LaBianca. He had the wallet -- he took the wallet from Mrs. LaBianca and he had that wallet put in a place where it would be found, in a negro neighborhood. He thought (indistinguishable) was a negro neighborhood, he thought it was primarily a negro neighborhood. Now, (indistinguishable) has a great many negros living there, but actually, it's a well balanced neighborhood. It's got more negros living in it than other section of the San Fernando Valley. He wanted this to be used as a symbol that a negro killed these LaBiancas.
DAVID FELTON: How do you know that?
DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY AARON STOVITZ: ‘Cause he told people.
DAVID FELTON: Manson?
DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY AARON STOVITZ: Yeah.
DAVID FELTON: And they told you?
DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY AARON STOVITZ: And they told us.
DAVID FELTON: So someone actually drove all the way out, out of their way, to drop this wallet off?
DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY AARON STOVITZ: That's right. Of course, it wasn't out of the way for them because, uh, they're going towards this Spahn Ranch, you go up the Golden State freeway.
DAVID FELTON: Oh, I see. But well, aside from that though, you see, it still seems like an extreme step to take. In other words, by putting your other friends in same jeopardy that you're first friend out.
DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY AARON STOVITZ: Well, you got to remember this. There's a difference between theory and proof. We won't be able to prove this in court. This is my theory. Just as it's my theory also that this killing was part of an overall uh, deal, to put into play Manson's philosophy.
DAVID FELTON: Yeah, Manson -- We talked to Manson girls, people at the ranch that, I mean, sounded to us like it wasn't -- it was a philosophy, it was like a fatalistic one. That this is predicted in the Bible in revelations and connected to Beatles songs and would happen anyway. But that, you feel that he was, sort of, using it a little bit.
DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY AARON STOVITZ: Yeah, absolutely, that's exactly the way I feel. And now, this is something that's completely confidential, I need you to turn that thing off.
DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY AARON STOVITZ: What I think is going to happen. This is again, only a theory. I think that we -- all the girls except for Susan Atkins are going to testify. Van Houten and Krenwinkel are going to testify, that yes, they went to these homes, but that Manson did not order them to go. In fact, Manson believed they'd just go in there to do their creepy crawl business, which is stealing credit cards and things like this. And all of a sudden Watson went berserk, and killed these people. And that they were afraid of Watson so they had to just go along with it. And uh, I think that this is what their tactic will be. Uh, it may also be they say that Manson just preached love, nothing but love and you see in yourself, whatever you want to see. You want to see evil in yourself, you'll see evil. You wanna say Manson did these things, then you're seeing evil in yourself because you see evil in your fellow man. So uh, there is, of course, even though they testify to that, if we have a trial, and later on Watson comes back, you can't use that testimony against Watson. These girls would have to get on the witness stand and testify all over again. You just can't reuse their testimony. The law protects the defendant, be he innocent or guilty, the same protection.
DAVID DALTON: Well, do you think it's possible, though, that -- you know, with people like that believing, like, that everything's an illusion and all that. You think that it's possible, that, someone, I mean, let's say Watson, uh, you know, like, just flipped out and he took it, like, absolutely literally. You know what I mean? And he -- and and
DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY AARON STOVITZ: You can believe anything you want to.
I personally think, that uh -- from what we have seen, they were not on LSD at the time of the killings.
DAVID DALTON: Mmm hmm.
DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY AARON STOVITZ: (indistinguishable) that, the -- you're going to say that, if I was a rational, logical young man like Watson, all of a sudden commits these crimes, that are so heinous and then be able to live with himself. Well, you just have to say to yourself that he was indoctrinated with this type of thinking.
Here, I show you another interesting fact. There was another kid from Texas living at the ranch at the same time. This kid joined the hippie movement, and uh, after about a month at the ranch, uh, Manson one day says to him, "That Melcher, he thinks he's pretty hot shit, but he isn't worth a damn. I can kill him just like that." He says, "in fact, it would be better if you do it." He says, "What do you mean, if I do it?" He says, "I'll give you $5,000 and a three wheel motorcycle and you leave the ranch right after you do it. Will you do it?" And the kid says, "Let me think about it."
A couple of days later, "Well, have you thought about it?" And he says, "Are you serious?" He says, "Yes, I'm serious." He says, "You give me $5,000 and a three wheel motorcycle and I should leave the ranch and never come back." Of course, you know, uh, uh, "All right," he says uh, "If that's what you're going to do," he says, "I'll do it." And so Manson says, "Fine, uh, meet me at such and such a time."
Well, this kid, his mind wasn't blown or anything, he had used LSD and marijuana. But he immediately called his mother. He says, "Mom, wire me money, I'm coming home." Because you know, he knew that he was up to his ears in something that he just couldn't get out of.
Now, Manson also had a funny way of testing people. Like uh, these girls went along with him on this particular night of LaBianca. Because he had to -- he tested to see if they really loved him. "If you really love me, you'll do these things. If you really love me, you don't love yourself -- if you love yourself, you'll do these things -- but if you really love me, you'll do these things." And then he could have a hold on them. Because all of this other creepy crawler business -- burglaries they committed, and of course we have proof because we have the credit cards they stole and the credit cards they used -- uh, there was also a buildup for him to get them in his grasp.
DAVID DALTON: Yeah. Well, what do you think about Manson himself? You know, he seems like uh, he thinks he's totally innocent, right? I mean --
DAVID FELTON: Being persecuted by the police.
DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY AARON STOVITZ: Manson, Manson, in court today, put on an act that you would not believe. Threw the Constitution in the trash can. Said to the judge, "I was going to throw it at you, but I didn't want to hit you and I was afraid I'd miss and might hit you by accident. But you don't know what the Constitution is. I wish I could throw it at you like you've been throwing things at me." And uh --
DAVID DALTON: That happened today?
DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY AARON STOVITZ: Yeah. And uh, the conduct in court the other day, when all he was asking for was a simple answer to whether or not he would agree to the substitution of attorneys for Susan Atkins. And uh, he just, played it crazy part. Today he played an angry part. A couple of weeks ago he played a docile part. He's a real good con man, and uh, he was able to get these people to believe in this goddamn philosophy of his.
DAVID FELTON: Do you -- do you really think its possible for a human being to create an all new experience, to have and control so many people.
DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY AARON STOVITZ: Uh, everything is possible. Everything is possible. There are primitive societies that are still existing today, that make human sacrifices. There are societies today, that, of course in the past, we know as a matter of fact that there were human sacrifices made. So everything's possible.
DAVID FELTON: (indistinguishable)
DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY AARON STOVITZ: Oh, it had to be a complete divorce of all morals, to uh, understand this thing. I mean, you know, we have hippies that will do everything just to be different, but they don't kill. You have hippies that go out, like to steal, bu they'll justify the stealing because they need it more than the next person. But they wouldn't hurt when stealing. They never used a gun and a knife.You have hippies that uh, will not seek shelter, that will move out in the open and to you and I who love our shelter and our comfort (indistinguishable). They don't -- they don't hurt anybody. Uh, they may move into a ranch with no trespassing signs all over the place, but uh, they look upon it differently.They look at the land as there for everyone. Well, I think that in all cultures, in any kind of culture you can think of, the value of human life is there -- self preservation. This is what Manson is doing now, self preservation. If he really wanted to go ahead and prove his philosophy, he would go up there and say, "Judge, this is what I did.' But he's smart enough to keep that mouth shut.
And if any officers that have tried to interview him or any press have tried to interview him, it's always the double talk. Steve Grogan for instance, I talked to Steve Grogan. And of course, he could've -- that's Clem, yeah -- he could've been indicted. I said, "You know, if Susan wanted to lie, Clem, she could have said you went into that house. But she didn't lie. She said you stayed in the car with her. Now, don't you believe Susan was telling the truth then?"
And he said to me in double talk, he says, "It's your truth, not my truth." I said, "Well, you tell me what did happen," and he said, "I don't know." I said, "Weren't you there?" He said, "I don't know."
DAVID FELTON: You have to go? Uh, can you just uh, quickly again, just, if you don't know the exact numbers, just estimate. How many stolen cars were involved?
DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY AARON STOVITZ: I'd be, uh, difficult to tell. I mean uh, a dozen or so.
DAVID FELTON: What about credit cards?
DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY AARON STOVITZ: Credit cards, uh, it would be running into the hundreds. Now, when I say hundreds, it's not individual credit cards, but the purchases that they made with stolen credit cards would run into the hundreds.
DAVID FELTON: You can prove that?
DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY AARON STOVITZ: Oh yeah.
DAVID FELTON: Yeah. Uh, and uh, let's see, weapons?
DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY AARON STOVITZ: They had, uh, all kinds of guns - .22's, uh, just all kinds of guns.
DAVID FELTON: Would you say score, uh?
DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY AARON STOVITZ: Score of guns. And of course, that machine gun.
DAVID FELTON: You don't know where that came from? And uh, plus knives?
DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY AARON STOVITZ: Oh yeah
DAVID FELTON: Did they tell you that the knives were used for hunting or cooking, or anything like that?
DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY AARON STOVITZ: Well, that's what they said. Uh, when they were arrested up in Inyo county, there were a dozen or so knives recovered. Uh, we know that they had at least four knives, although we haven't found them, at the Tate place. We know that Manson had a bayonet type of knife in addition to his big sword. Uh, we know that, uh --
DAVID FELTON: Is that the sword that Beausoleil cut the ear?
DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY AARON STOVITZ: Mmm hmm, Yeah.
DAVID FELTON: But that's not provable.
DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY AARON STOVITZ: Hmm?
DAVID FELTON: You can't prove that.
DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY AARON STOVITZ: Well, you can't prove that, the ear was cut by that sword.
DAVID FELTON: Yeah
DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY AARON STOVITZ: But that's the sword. And the pen is mightier than the sword, you know.
Now, would you do me a favor when you write this darn thing. Read it over very, very carefully, with the idea that you don't want to be publishing any of facts, of the case, other than what you can pick up from the general press. In other words, you, you should use a copy of the that Times article. Now, you should also, go down to the library --
And this is the -- made with the tape.
DAVID FELTON: That accurate -- is that accurate?
DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY AARON STOVITZ: Well, it's accurate in the sense -- immunity hasn't been granted as of yet.
Now, all of your-- look, this is an exhibit in the case for change of venue. And they have the whole, ‘Clothing in Tate Killing Found by Television Crew'. And you can get all of the facts I told you, in these, uh, stories, see.
DAVID FELTON: Yeah.
DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY AARON STOVITZ: And uh --
DAVID FELTON: (indistinguishable)
DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY AARON STOVITZ: You know, you can get them all from the library.
DAVID FELTON: Yeah. Well, here's uh -- what I really, you know -- one thing that really -- when we first started into this, then you know, we just -- we didn't really know how to attack it. Like like, what the angle is. (indistinguishable)
DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY AARON STOVITZ: Mmm hmm.
DAVID FELTON: But because of -- he did represent in some way, the culture that we write for, cause we are part of that culture, that uh, we had a responsibility to try to be honest about it.
DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY AARON STOVITZ: Well, what I would do if I were you, if you really feel you want to put his music angle to it, uh --
DAVID FELTON: That's not the only angle --
DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY AARON STOVITZ: Yeah, if you want to put in the music, then you must interview, uh, you must interview uh, Dennis Wilson.
DAVID FELTON: (indistinguishable)
DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY AARON STOVITZ: And uh, get from him all you can.
DAVID FELTON: Yeah.
DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY AARON STOVITZ: Ok.
DAVID FELTON: (indistinguishable)
DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY AARON STOVITZ: And interview the fellow Harold True.
DAVID FELTON: (indistinguishable)
DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY AARON STOVITZ: Why not? He'll talk to you. He talked to me. Now, look Harold True, you know, look I'm not saying they're innocent, I'm not saying they're guilty, I just tell you the way it is.
DAVID DALTON: Do you think you have a good case?
DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY AARON STOVITZ: Do I think I have a good case?
DAVID DALTON: No, I mean, really?
DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY AARON STOVITZ: I uh, I think this is one of the strongest cases that you'll find put together. Baring in mind, all of the victims that were killed with no eyewitnesses. You don't very often find fingerprints in a death scene. The person that was so meticulous about cutting the wires and stuff like that that they did, uh, should've been smart enough to wear gloves -- they didn't.
DAVID DALTON: But uh --
DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY AARON STOVITZ: But you gotta remember this, any case that deals primarily, we are relying upon human witnesses, you have the frailty, that comes with uh, human witnesses. They can forget. They can, go on about their business, you know and not know too much about it.
DAVID FELTON: (indistinguishable)
DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY AARON STOVITZ: Mm Hmm. But if you check through your local papers, you find everything I told you about in there.
DAVID FELTON: Also, like I said, (indistinguishable) I mean, if he is a con man, he's probably one of the best (indistinguishable)
DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY AARON STOVITZ: "Manson and Judge Trade Courtroom Pleasantries."
DAVID FELTON: Yeah.
DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY AARON STOVITZ: I mean this is the kind of con man he is.
DAVID FELTON: I mean, he's really more than that. He's really an act -- he's really fond of his supporters. Have you talked to him?
DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY AARON STOVITZ: The only time I talked to him was when I was showing him some exhibits in the case. And uh, he's not stupid, he doesn't have a good uh, formal education, naturally, but he's not stupid.
DAVID FELTON: But he's -- besides -- being a conman would be a fairly easy thing to accept if, I mean, by conventional cases and experience. Is it possible (indistinguishable) if he was a conman, then he'd be a different kind of con man, that he actually believes his philosophy and that philosophy can be twisted to the point that it justifies taking a life at the same time you are preaching love and uh --
DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY AARON STOVITZ: I uh, no way of answering that.
DAVID FELTON: (indistinguishable)
DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY AARON STOVITZ: This guy Donald O'Shea.
DAVID DALTON: Oh yeah.
DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY AARON STOVITZ: Now they searched that well, and they --
DAVID DALTON: Yeah.
DAVID FELTON: What's the latest on the -- Mr. Hughes? He was appointed --
DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY AARON STOVITZ: He was appointed today. He's never had a major criminal case before. Never had a murder case before. But Manson wants him as his attorney, so --
DAVID FELTON: So Hollopeter is out?
DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY AARON STOVITZ: Hollopeter's out.
DAVID FELTON: Does this mean, you think that Manson will, that in effect, Manson will be defending himself again.
DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY AARON STOVITZ: Well, he'll be defending himself with the help of uh, whatchamacallit, Hughes.
DAVID FELTON: Who we know already believes in Manson, or he's pro bono.
DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY AARON STOVITZ: Ok.