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Charles Manson Trial

Charles Manson's Testimony
Linda Kasabian's Testimony
Virginia Graham's Testimony
Paul Watkins Testimony
Possible Murder Motives
Closing Argument
Parole Hearings
Victims & Photos
Map of the Area
The Defendants
Manson Quotes
Manson Forums

Charlie Manson Story



The Closing Argument...

Closing Argument
The State of California v. Charles Manson)
by Vincent Bugliosi
Los Angeles, California, January 15, 1971

Your honor, defense counsel, ladies, and gentlemen:

As you know, the defendants Charles Manson, Susan Atkins, and Patricia Krenwinkel are charged with the five Tate murders occurring on August the ninth, 1969, and they are charged with the murders of Leno and Rosemary LaBianca, on August 10, 1969. They are also charged with the crime of conspiracy to commit murder.

The defendant Leslie Van Houten is not charged with the five Tate murders. She is charged with the murder ofLeno and Rosemary LaBianca, and with the crime of conspiracy to commit murder.

When the prosecution finally called its last witness to the stand a few weeks ago and rested, the defense also rested.

DEFENDANT MANSON: The defense never rested. The lawyers, the judge's lawyers, rested.

MR. BUGLIOSI: I am sure all of you heaved a sigh of relief. It has been an incredibly long, grueling trial and an enormous imposition on all of you. Before I discuss the evidence and the testimony in this case, I would like to briefly go over the law that you are going to be dealing with during your deliberations. . . .

Although the evidence at this trial shows that Charles Manson was the leader of the conspiracy to commit these murders, there is no evidence that he actually personally killed any of the seven victims in this case. However, the joint responsibility rule of conspiracy makes him guilty of all seven murders.

DEFENDANT MANSON: Even if I have never been in the Gotham Bank!

MR. BUGLIOSI: Now that you have had a little legal background, I would like to discuss with you the evidence and the facts of this case.

In a very general fashion I am going to start out summarizing the testimony of the witnesses on the Tate murders; then summarize the testimony of witnesses on the LaBianca murders, and then finally the testimony of witnesses who testified to both the Tate and the LaBianca murders.

Ruby Pearl testified that she has worked at Spahn Ranch for twenty years, and in recent years had been the manager of the ranch working for Mr. Spahn who is some eighty-three years old.

more on the closing argument

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