Manson family follower Linda Kasabian, key trial witness, dies at 73 – NYT

Manson family follower Linda Kasabian, key trial witness, dies at 73 – NYT

(Reuters) – Linda Kasabian, a follower of Charles Manson who served as a star witness for the prosecution in the infamous Manson family murder trial in 1970, has died at the age of 73, the New York Times reported.

The Times, which cited a notice in the Tacoma News Tribune, said the cause of death was not released.

Kasabian, then 20, was waiting outside the Los Angeles home rented by pregnant movie star Sharon Tate on August 9, 1969 when members of the Manson family stabbed the actress and three others to death.

The next night he accompanied Manson and other cult members to the home of Leno and Rosemary LaBianca, where the couple was murdered.

Kasabian, who did not take part in the murders himself, was granted immunity by prosecutors to testify against Manson and four of his followers in the sensational 1970 trial in Los Angeles. All five were convicted.

Manson, a charismatic ex-convict, assembled a group of fugitives and outcasts, including Kasabian, and established a makeshift commune on a defunct movie ranch northwest of Los Angeles.

In the summer of 1969, Manson ordered his mostly young, female followers to kill seven people in what prosecutors said was part of a plan to incite a race war.

Manson was executed in 1969 for the Manson Family murders and the murder of acquaintance Gary Hinman.

He escaped the death penalty in 1976 when the California Supreme Court declared the death penalty unconstitutional. He died in prison in 2017.

(Reporting by Dan Whitcomb; Editing by Christopher Cushing)

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