LAPD Says New Tapes Could Help Them Solve More Manson Family Murders
More than 40 years after the Manson Family killings, LAPD detectives said that they have new evidence that could help them link unsolved murders to the group's killing spree.
Detectives with the LAPD are reviewing tapes of conversations between Manson follower Charles "Tex" Watson and his attorney, according to the Los Angeles Times. Typically, conversations between a client and his attorney would be considered confidential, but a federal court ruled that Watson gave up that privilege when he allowed his attorney to sell the tapes to the author who wrote "Will You Die for Me? The Man Who Killed for Charles Manson Tells His Own Story."
Watson's attorney died in 2009 and his law firm filed for bankruptcy. There was a legal battle for the tapes that the LAPD ultimately won. Watson himself said there isn't any evidence of unsolved murders on the tapes, but detectives are hopeful.
Charles Manson himself bragged that his group was responsible for more killings. His group was suspected in several suspicious deaths, but there wasn't enough evidence.
Ronald Hughes, 35, was an attorney for the Manson family who used a legal strategy that reportedly angered Manson—he defended Manson follower Leslie Van Houten by suggesting that she was under Manson's control. He went missing during the trial, and his body was later found decomposed near where he had gone on a camping trip in Ventura County. Although Manson didn't like him, other experts say Hughes likely got caught and drowned in powerful rains.
There's an apparent suicide in England, two murders of Scientologists and the slaying of two women in the Hollywood Hills that also seem suspicious. Some experts in the case believe that there may be bodies buried at the ranches where the Manson Family lived.
The Manson family's most notorious murders occurred at the Hollywood Hills home of Roman Polanski and the Los Feliz home of Leno LaBianca. Donald Shea, a hand at the family's ranch in Chatsworth, was also a victim of the family killed and his body was hidden on the ranch for some time. Gary Hinman, 34, a musician was murdered after his run-in with the family