Photo: Copy of drawing by Leslie Van Houten during Tate-LaBianca trial

"I Didn't Even Get To Put On A Defense. When It Came Time For Me To Put On A Defense, It Became A Political Thing" 

 Charles Manson to Ron Reagan Jr. 1991

February 6, 2015
Jason Slater - TLB Radio

Charles Manson has always claimed he never got a fair trial in the Tate-LaBianca murders.

Continuing a series in which we look at the issue of Manson receiving a fair 
trial, Manson was given his pro-per right or right to represent himself on Christmas Eve 1969.

Initially, Manson's rights were instated by the court so what happened? Where did it start to go wrong?

One could argue things started to go south about three weeks into acting as his own attorney when Manson appeared before the court on January 17, 1970:

MANSON: I have a motion here, it's a strange motion, probably never seen a motion like this before.

THE COURT: Try me.

After examining it, the judge had to agree: "It certainly is an interesting document"

"Charles Manson, also known as Jesus Christ, Prisoner," assisted by six other pro pers, who called themselves "The Family Of Infinite Soul, Inc had filed a habeas corpus motion on behalf of Manson-Christ, charging that the sheriff was depriving him of his spiritual, mental and physical liberty, in an unconstitutional manner not in harmony with man's or God's law, and asking that he be released forthwith." ***

No surprise, Judge Dell denied the motion.

Manson also requested a tape recorder and unlimited telephone privileges.

In trying to be objective, I can see where Manson's motion listing himself as "Manson Christ" and referring to themselves as "The Family Of Infinite Soul" would possibly offend any court but when you strip it down Manson is basically complaining about his treatment in jail.

Is that a legit complaint? An attorney would know that answer but I would think it might be if it hampers his ability to prepare his defense.

I don't see anything out of bounds about having a tape recorder or access to one and unlimited telephone calls in relation to his case. But I do see where the Court could start to interpret Manson's motions as disrespect, mockery and possibly an attempt to delay or stall for no valid reason.

Regardless, the Court allowed Manson to remain pro per and Manson would appear before the Court once again on January 28, 1970.

In addition to more complaints about his limitations as his own attorney, Manson also requested more preparation time.

Judge George M. Dell, who had been hearing these pretrial motions granted a continuance to Manson for February 9, 1970 and assigned the case and a date for trial to Judge William Keene.

Manson appeared in court 44 years ago Monday, February 9, 1970.

We continue on Monday, February 9, 2015

*** Source: Helter Skelter - Vince Bugliosi


Anonymous said...

Bugliosi and others have commented on how smart Manson was/is. Really? Who spent his life in prison? Who was once on death row? For sure Manson knew his way around a courtroom and, given this, he should have been able to beat the Cielo charges and maybe even the LaBianca indictments. The evidence against Manson for Cielo was thin at best and amounted to, by and large, testimony from those who got favorable treatment from the state.

Manson didn't get a fair trial, mostly because of Manson. One thread that ran through the whole criminal family, in addition to laziness, was arrogance. From Beausoleil to Fromme they all insisted on being their own lawyers, to their ultimate doom.

They actually seemed to think they were so much smarter than anyone tied to the establishment. They held themselves out as the great soothsayers and visionaries of the time. Too much damn Peyote I guess.

By his attention getting antics at trial, his control of the girls, his disregard for courtroom decorum, his violence toward the judge, and his outbursts, Manson proved to the jury what Bugliosi alleged: Manson controlled the family and masterminded the murders.

Manson has been consistent. He says that he "didn't tell nobody to do nothing." That is his defense. Had he played nice, dressed nice, and come across to the jury as meek as a field mouse, the story would be different.

Manson knew that the only way Bugliosi could bring him in on murder was to play the Helter Skelter card. Without that, what evidence is there of Charlie's involvement? The Bug would have had no race war to scare the jury with. If Helter Skelter is discredited, what is there against Manson? He had opportunity and means but no motive without HS.

Susan's book "Myth... "discounts HS and says in essence the crimes were committed for the old fashion reason, money. I wondered if by her book she was throwing a lifeline to her partners in crime. By taking away the race war element the crimes become more ordinary. Killing for money people understand as it happens all the time. Inciting a race war people want no part of. By removing that element and making the crimes more ordinary, was Susan throwing a bone to Manson (sorry about that)?

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