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Linda "Yana the Witch" Kasabian

Linda Kasabian first arrived at Spahn Ranch only 2 weeks prior to the Tate-Labianca murders.  She participated in both nights of killing, yet she was the prosecution's star witness, receiving total immunity on seven counts of first degree murder in exchange for her testimony against Charles Manson.  As you will learn, Kasabian was unstable, a drug addict, a liar, and was certainly not a credible witness.


Irving Kanarek: Directing your attention, Mrs. Kasabian, to the second night and your state of mind, your thinking as you left Spahn Ranch on the second night, did you know what you and three other people done the night before, causing the death of five people?

Linda Kasabian: I don’t understand the question.

Irving Kanarek: You don’t understand that question?

Linda Kasabian: Right.

Irving Kanarek: What about the question do you not understand?

Linda Kasabian: Well, I don’t know what the answer is.

Irving Kanarek: You mean you don’t know the answer that Mr. Bugliosi wants you to say?

Obviously now, Kasabian realizes that the question if answered truthfully makes her guilty of conspiracy— that she was not an innocent bystander, but she knew the murders were going to take place. If she lies, it proves Bugliosi’s theory that Manson ordered the LaBianca murders false. She’s trying to back-pedal.

Here’s what she testified earlier:

Vincent Bugliosi: The second night, did you know what was going to happen?

Linda Kasabian: Yes.

Of course she knew what was going to happen. And it’s no coincidence that the LaBiancas lived next door to the home where she used to live.

(Source: Trial Transcripts)


Here is an interesting cross-examine by Paul Fitzgerald on Linda Kasabian. I say it is interesting because here you get an idea what kind of grip Charles “Tex” Watson had on Kasabian and how he manipulated her— something that was later associated with Charles Manson. This is from July 31, 1970.

  • Fitzgerald: Do you remember who you slept with, if anyone, on the 8th?
  • Kasabian: No.
  • Fitzgerald: The 10th?
  • Kasabian: No. But eventually I slept with all the men. So, I don’t know the dates.


[Attorneys approached the bench due to Manson loudly telling Fitzgerald to ask Kasabian about the theft of the $5,000.] Editor’s note: This too was associated with Manson.

  • Kasabian: Okay. I met Tex, and Tex took me into a dark shed, shack, whatever you want to call it, and he made love to me, which was an experience that I had never had before.
  • Fitzgerald: You had never had sexual intercourse before?
  • Kasabian: No. I am saying that the experience I had in making love with Tex was a total experience, it was different.
  • Fitzgerald: In what respect?
  • Kasabian: That my hands were clenched when it was all over and I had absolutely no will power to open my own hands, and I was very much afraid, I didn’t understand it. And I questioned Gypsy about it later and she told me it was my ego that was dying. And I told him that I was on my way to South America, and we had all this money, and we were going to do these things.
  • Fitzgerald: You had all what money?
  • Kasabian: We had some money that Charlie Melton had inherited.
  • Bugliosi: The way it developed is that apparently Tex told her to go steal $5,000, whereupon she did go and steal the $5,000, and gave it to Leslie, I believe. She didn’t keep it for herself. She is about to testify to this. And I think the defense is now bringing in through the back door what the court indicated it could not do.
  • Judge Older: I don’t see it that way. She is now relating a conversation that she had with Tex, one of the defendants in this case. I think it is permissible.
  • Fitzgerald: Would you continue with the conversation you had with Tex Watson?
  • Kasabian: Yes. I told him that we and these people were going to go to South America by boat and sail around the world. And we had this money, and it seemed to me as soon as I mentioned money he started going on this trip, and telling me that it wasn’t their money; that it was everybody’s money and it was just there to take, and that there was no right and wrong.   It was just theirs, ours. I said, “Hey…” He told me, you know, that I should go and take this money. I said, “Hey, I can’t do that, he’s my brother.” He said, “But there is no wrong.” And he just kept going on and on. And I accepted it and that was about the conversation. - Editor’s note: Sound like something that was later put on Manson? Odd, that this too was something Tex said, not Manson.
  • Fitzgerald: Didn’t you have a philosophy or organized set of thoughts that time was irrelevant, made no sense?


  • Fitzgerald: Were you interested in those philosophies?
  • Kasabian: I remember the first-up in the cave, the first thing he said, he started to talk to me and I said that I already knew the truth, because I didn’t know what he was going to say. And he said “Don’t you want to hear it?” So he started talking to me about it.


Charles “Tex” Watson loves to blame everything on Charles Manson and cry like he was a victim who could not think for himself. However, this sounds a lot like he was in great control— perhaps the “control” that everyone said Charles Manson had?

Speaking of lies, here’s what Kasabian said on August 5, 1970.

  • Fitzgerald: Mrs. Kasabian, on the night, on the second night that you left the Spahn Ranch, did you know that you had participated with three other people who, all together, you and the three other people together, had killed five people?
  • Kasabian: No.

How did she not know that they killed anyone the night prior, when she stated that she witnessed the murders of Parent, Frykowski and Folger?




Another excerpt from Kasabian’s testimony on August 3, 1970. Here she again states she thought that Tex was after money, again discrediting her later words that Manson told her what to do and she was following orders. This makes it fairly obvious that Tex was telling her what to do.  Even Susan Atkins has said she was there when they were preparing the knives hours prior.

Linda Kasabian: I did not ask Tex why the people at the Tate estate were killed. Tex said they had some money.
Paul Fitzgerald: Was it your state of mind that others were to be killed?
Linda Kasabian: I didn’t know. […] I said, ‘no,’ with my eyes and my heart, but not with my voice.
Paul Fitzgerald: You abandoned your child with the very people you considered to be a band of murderers?
Linda Kasabian: Yes, just something inside myself told me she would be all right.
Paul Fitzgerald: Do you remember disposing of the gun?
Linda Kasabian: I don’t recall throwing it away. […]
Daye Shinn: Which drug is your favorite.
Linda Kasabian: I don’t particularly care for any drugs, I used to like peyote best of all.
Daye Shinn: Do you believe LSD and other drugs affected your thinking power.
Linda Kasabian: I’m sure it did. […] The first hallucinogenic I took was morning glory seeds, but followed that with LSD, peyote, mescaline, tsilocycin, and methedrine. I passed up STP. […] I only dropping acid at the Spahn Ranch only once. My last trip was on mescaline in September, a month after the killings.


So, she admits only using LSD once at Spahn Ranch? Must have been potent if, according to the prosecution’s theory, that Manson used LSD to control their minds.

  • (Source: Trial Testimony)



Part of Linda Kasabian’s testimony on August 5, 1970. She lets it slip that they were doing a robbery. If she knew the motive, if Charles Manson told her what to do, she would have known that Watson did not kill them over $70, right? Irving Kanarek, Manson’s attorney, cross-examines her and when she can’t answer she indirectly asks for a recess. She did this three times that I know of. Clever.

Linda Kasabian: I didn’t know Miss Tate was pregnant and that really upset me. I said, ‘Wow, they killed those people for $70,’ because Tex had the money. […] I’ve never seen anyone shot in the head before — it shocked me. There were four shots — I counted four shots — it left an impression in my mind.
Irving Kanarek: When did your shock stop? When you helped Tex off with his clothes…when you threw the bloody clothing out of the car…or the weapons?
Linda Kasabian: I don’t know if it ever stopped.
Irving Kanarek: Why didn’t you help the man (Stephen Parent) in the car?
Linda Kasabian: I don’t know.
Irving Kanarek: Because you didn’t, give a damn, did you?
Linda Kasabian: I’m sure I did.
Irving Kanarek: You were in front of a judicial officer, your child was far removed from the Spahn Ranch, you had an attorney with you, there were deputies — why didn’t you tell about these murders then?
Linda Kasabian: I just couldn’t do it.
Irving Kanarek: Because you were afraid of your own welfare?
Linda Kasabian: Possibly.
Irving Kanarek: Is it the same fear you have now if you don’t testify correctly you’ll go to the gas chamber?
Linda Kasabian: I don’t know. I’m very exhausted.  It’s hard for me to listen to you.
Judge Older: […] Court is in recess.


  •  (Source: Trial Testimony)


August 14, 1970 - Witness Says Manson Speaks to Her With ‘Vibrations’

“It’s sort of like when you get down on your knees and pray and you wait for an answer,” said Mrs. Kasabian.

The “vibrations,” she said, told her: “That to be here now testifying is the will of God.”

The green-eyed, Mrs Kasabian, her sandy-colored hair falling softly to her shoulders sighed frequently during recross-examination. She appeared disappointed when her 17th day on the stand ended Tuesday with more questions to come.

Irving Kanarek, third of four defense attorneys to reopen recross, hammered away at Mrs.Kasabian’s use of the term “vibrations.”

Mrs. Kasabian had testified that shaggy-haired clad clan leader Charles M. Manson was communicating with her in ‘the courtroom through “vibrations.” She said she received them from others as well.

“Have you used these vibrations to obtain any of the information you told us here in court?” Kanarek asked.

“Yes,” said Mrs. Kasabian.

“Did you first send off vibrations to the universe?” asked Kanarek.”

“Yes, I did,” she replied.


Totally credible witness.

  • (Source: New York Times)




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