We are going to start a new feature here, which is reprinting older news stories from back in the day for your analysis and discussion. Here is a classic... thanks to the interns who retyped it and to the original authors.
MANSON CAN GO FREE: Distinguished attorney maps out Manson’s defense strategy
Charlie Manson has stated that he intends to sit as his own attorney when he goes to trial for the Tate and La Bianca murders. The following article was written by a noted attorney practicing before Federal Courts and various state bars. He is also a prize winning author on laws relating to corporate and government practices, and of several books on international affairs. The following is his commentary on the Manson affair…which outlines the method by which Charles Manson should conduct the defense in his trial. The author prefers to remain anonymous for obvious reasons.
The forthcoming trial of Charles Manson and his alleged band of “hippies” for the alleged murders of Sharon Tate and her companions will be an interesting demonstration of how the law operates in a system administered by and for the members of the establishment.
As one world famous author has said: “Far too many lawyers have the morals of a whore and the soul of a pimp.” And it was probably with knowledge of this fact that Charles Manson stated in his very first appearance in the Los Angeles court: “As far as I am concerned, I consider myself dead.”
How the law – and the legal profession – operated can be seen by observing the conduct of the Los Angeles District Attorney’s office and the two attorneys representing Miss Susan Atkins. From the details slowly emerging from the case, it has become clear that Susan’s “confession” is not the true story of the murders at the Tate home, but that parts of it were concocted by her attorneys with the connivance of a member of the staff of the Los Angeles District Attorney.
The published Atkins “confession” is legally a fake!
Lawrence Schiller, whose background is discussed later in this article, concluded an agreement between Susan’s attorneys and the Assistant District Attorney for the sole and exclusive purpose of exploiting her false confession for the most base purpose: to make a fast back out of the misery and degradation of another human being.
This is how it happened: On Dec. 1 and Dec. 4, 1969, Susan Atkins was released from jail in custody of her two attorneys and the Assistant District Attorney. She was taken to her attorney’s Beverly Hills office on both days and in the presence of an Assistant District Attorney spoke into a tape recorder with a legal stenographer taking notes.
Lawrence Schiller was not in the office on those two days, but on Dec. 13, 1969, the Atkins “confession” broke in the European press. This confession had been sold to the European press by Larry Schiller for a considerable sum of money – thousands of dollars.
Since Schiller could have obtained the “confession” only through Susan’s attorneys, it can definitely be stated that Schiller, the two attorneys, and the assistant district attorney were involved!
It is incredible – by every rule of principle by American law – that two ethical lawyers would permit an assistant district attorney to sit in on their consultations with the client they were supposed to defend – unless all three had an understanding that Susan Atkins was to be used for the purpose of exploiting her alleged “confession” to produce money for themselves, to be split with a public relations man who turns out to be Larry Schiller.
There is no doubt in this attorney’s opinion that no Supreme Court in any state, nor the United States Supreme Court will permit the use of that confession if Manson knows how to use the legal tools he says he knows how to use!
Furthermore, the presence of an assistant district attorney, plus his involvement, directly or indirectly in this nefarious plot to use and exploit Atkins, is gross misconduct and abuse of office! Because the assistant district attorney, in law, in these circumstances, is an agent of the D.A.’s office, and as such, he knew that under the law, his knowledge of the Atkins “confession” would be published, and once published, could and probably will make any guilty verdict reversible in Supreme Court. (This does not in any way implicate District Attorney Younger or other members of his staff, since they could have been totally unaware of what was happening.)
The conclusive evidence that Susan’s attorneys planned the entire “confession” is seen by their statement that up to now they had not received any money from the Schiller activities. But, as seen later, Schiller said he entered into a trust agreement on behalf of Susan. If that be the case, then the two attorneys have no right to that money – especially under those circumstances. Schiller stated that he has given them money; they deny receiving any of the “confession” money. Someone is lying.
Finally, there is no proof that Schiller has even met Susan Atkins, but in any case, how did he arrange a trust agreement with her unless her attorneys were present?
What will the California Bar Ethics Committee do in this case? You can be fairly certain that they will do nothing. The “moral and ethical” leaders of the legal profession will sit on their collective asses and privately applaud this “coup” by two of their colleagues.
Manson instinctively knew that he could not get a fair trial “under the basic principles of American justice.” But if Manson had worn a uniform and had committed murder for his superiors in Vietnam he would have been hailed as a hero. For example, witness the pious outpouring of sympathy for Lt. Calley when he was charged with the multiple murder, the slaughter of thirteen armed men, women and children. In spite of the overwhelming proof that a massacre had occurred, in spite of the fact that the pro-American South Vietnamese Congressional Committee signed a written statement that a massacre of several hundreds of human beings had occurred (N.Y. Times, Jan. 5, 1970), the American press warned that all the publicity that they themselves had released and published in their own newspapers was damaging the case against Lt. Calley because of “undue publicity in violation of the Constitutional guarantee of a free and impartial trial.” And with every publication of the news of the massacre, Lt. Calleys chance for freedom grow geometrically.
But notice also that Sgt. Mitchell, who was subsequently indicted for participating in the same massacre, has not received the same publicity as Lt. Calley. Why? Sgt. Mitchell is a black man. The chances are 100 to 1 that Lt. Calley will go free and Sgt. Mitchell will be found guilty and sentenced to hard labor for life. Yet Sgt. Mitchell was obeying the orders of his superior, Lt. Calley. This is another example of how the double standard of the law operates.
It should be remembered that neither Charles Manson nor Lt. Calley made a confession. Calley was at the scene of the alleged crime and gave direct orders to the enlisted GI’s there to commit the alleged murders. Charles Manson was not at the scene of the murders for which he is to be tried.
Both alleged crimes were revealed by persons long after the alleged criminal acts were committed. However, in the Calley case, his activities were concealed by his superior officers in the U.S. Army until an ex-GI, without seeking or receiving any compensation, wrote many letters to the U.S. Defense Department and members of Congress.
After many persons had received his letters – and ignored them – the story came out into the open, and was confirmed by eye witnesses and by official photographers of the U.S. Army in Saigon!
But in the Manson case, there are no photographs showing Manson at the scene of the alleged crimes. The person who implicated Manson was one Susan Atkins – for money in excess of $150,000. Who is Susan, and how did she earn her money?
She claims that she was a member of the Manson “family”, which had semi-religious overtones. Manson, according to Susan, had such formidable hypnotic powers that she, and four other tribal members, committed four or five murders at the Tate residence, and on the following day committed the murders of two other innocent persons. The press, although there is absolutely no proof that Manson was at either of the murder sites, has now connected him to both murders. Susan Atkins has also connected him as the “ringleader” whom she and her companions obeyed under a “hypnotic trance”.
Regularly, at least once a week, the L.A. press keeps hinting that more bodies will be found, which were the work of Manson and his much-publicized “occult powers”. But no more bodies have been found. But the constant reiterations that the police are seeking more bodies influences and molds public opinion. The LAPD now has the opportunity to “solve” every unsolved murder of their books. Thus, the public, and the prospective jurors who will try Manson, will have been brainwashed. And while the Manson affair is trumpeted from every one of the news media, the Lt. Calley trial slowly recedes into obscurity – which is where the American people would like it to stay, according to Gallop Poll of Jan. 1970.
And who is Lawrence Schiller, the man who promoted Susan Atkins for thousands of dollars? He is a man who, according to a national weekly news magazine, “…would do anything for a buck.” A self-styled writer and PR man, Schiller became a public figure by making a fast buck on the controversy surrounding the assassination of President Kennedy.
Since Schiller is now a public figure, his activities can be legally commented upon, and so, with no malice in practice or thought, some of his activities are hereby enumerated:
In Jan. 1967, Capitol Records, a pretty big recording company in these United States, decided that one way of showing an extra profit on their balance sheet would be to bring forth an LP record dealing with the proponents and critics of the Warren Commission. To induce the critics to speak on this record, Schiller, acting as Producer of the record, informed these critics that part of the proceeds of the record would be given to the John F. Kennedy Memorial Society. Based upon that representation, many critics did speak, and waived their fee on behalf of the society.
But no sooner had the record been released than the Secretary of the Memorial Society issued a public statement that they had never been informed of the Schiller proposal. It has been estimated that more than 35,000 copies of the record have been sold, and not one penny of the proceeds have been offered to the Kennedy Memorial Society.
The next caper pulled by the promoter, Schiller, was a Jack Ruby deathbed “confession”. In this grotesque number Schiller decided to go for more then just a buck – he went for TWO bucks. Not only did he collect as the producer of the Ruby “confession” record, but he also collected as the “business agent” for the dying Ruby. But before you could say “pay me”, Schiller was receiving some very nasty words from Ruby’s family.
Schiller also co-authored a book defending the Warren Commission. The book revealed that it was written as fast as Schiller and his co-author could write. The “facts” stated in the book are of highly questionable authenticity, but the establishment press gave the book reviews which helped its sales. Not really good reviews, but it made a fast buck.
With these accomplishments behind him, Schiller really came into his own when he took on Susan Atkins as a “client”. According to Schiller, he obtained a “confession” from his client because he was touched by the fact that Susan was
pregnant, since Susan, by admitting her guilt, would face a long term in prison. With tears in his eyes, filled with compassion for the young mother and her unborn child, he would show Susan how to provide for the child’s college education – not with Schiller’s money, but with the money Susan would receive by confessing to being a member of the “hippie tribe” that murdered Sharon Tate and her companions.
Speaking like a “sob sister” of the old Hearst press, Schiller spoke his feeling on a local Los Angeles TV station. During this interview, Schiller, reclining comfortably, whined out his distress for the unborn Atkins child.
However, when questioned by the television “M.C.” concerning the distribution of funds obtained from the “confession,” Schiller became coy, and then became evasive. The interviewer did not press him too hard. Schiller admitted that the money received would probably run into six figures; he admitted that his share would run between eight and nine percent; he admitted that the money received up to the time of the interview was approximately $50,000 and going up.
He would not discuss the alleged “trust” fund agreement between himself and Susan Atkins. He stated that there was enough money for the unborn child to go through four years of college. But strangely, he would not say who had the trust fund, who was the trustee, and who was the administrator. We only have his word that a trust fund exists.
What he omitted to say is of more importance than what he did say: He did not inform us what would happen to the “trust” if: (1) the baby should not be born? (2) if the baby is born, who receives the interest on the money which accumulates up to the time the child enters college (3) if the baby refuses to go to college or does not have the intelligence or desire to go to college, who receives the money from the trust fund? (4) from the time the child is born until he begins his college studies, how does the child live, and who supports him? (5) who is the administrator of the confession money? Schiller? If so, he has another ace in the hole, because as administrator he could receive money from the trust!
In fact, if the trust fund is, say, $200,000, and the money is invested in non-taxable state or municipal bonds, at nine percent per annum, that would come to about $18,000. Mr. Schiller could have bread on his table for a long time and could indeed send his own children – and grandchildren to college.
Now Schiller has another moneymaking scheme going for himself. During the same TV interview, Schiller inadvertently exposed another method of making a fast buck out of the Manson-Atkins affair. He informed the TV interviewer that he was contemplating a lawsuit against the L.A. Times for “bootlegging” the “confession” of his client, Susan.
However, he assured the listener that he believed that the L.A. Times and he could arrive at an amicable settlement out of court. He did not say that Susan or her unborn child would receive any of the money he might get from the L.A. Times or that any of such monies would be placed in the alleged trust fund.
With all this going on, the chickens came home to roost with the announcement that Susan’s attorneys were not satisfied with Schiller’s benevolent arrangement of their client’s financial affairs. After all, when a couple of hundred thousand dollars are involved, some of it has got to stick to the real, honest attorneys, not just some public relations man.
But enough of the sobbing Mr. Lawrence Schiller, whose tears of compassion for Miss Atkins and her unborn child would water the Sahara Desert. The important fact is that this “confession” was used by the press to pronounce Manson “guilty”. The trial will be used by the media to create an overwhelming popular belief that hippies, long-haired youths in general, are murderers. The question of Manson’s guilt is not important to them at all.
But to Manson it is very important because his very life is in jeopardy. And what this all comes down to is: how does the law really operate for a person in Manson’s circumstances? What happens before, during, and after his brief appearances before the judge and jury?
gn:Unless Manson understands the
establishment’s rules in Los Angeles, he is dead. From his statements in open court, there is no doubt that Manson does comprehend that his chances of receiving a trial under the basic principles of American justice are as fleeting as a snowflake on a hot summer day. Several examples of California justice, as practiced by the local legal establishment, are hereby set forth to illustrate my point:
One interesting example of corruption of legal practices in California can be seen in a case that occurred some four years ago. In that classic miscarriage of justice, a citizen signed a divorce complaint accusing his wife of committing adultery with a judge of Los Angeles County. In fact, the complaining husband included another attorney as being a partner with the judge.
The outcome of this case is most interesting. The cuck-holded husband was declared insane by a judge who was a friend of the third judge. The husband remains, to this day, imprisoned in an asylum. The wife, who never denied committing adultery with the judge and the attorney, has vanished, but the strange thing is that the estate of the framed husband is being administered by the wife and the attorney he named in the husband’s adultery complaint. The attorney was appointed by the judge, also named in the husband’s complaint! This is what might be called having your cake and eating it!
What is not so surprising is that the members of the Ethics Committee of the California Bar found nothing unethical in the conduct of the judge and his co-adulterer.
This is the kind of “justice” Manson will face when he enters the courtroom.
A final example of the kind of justice given to a member of the establishment – as contrasted to the “common-herd” – is the case of a judge who presided over the Palm Springs area. One would suppose that a judge would have a greater moral stature than a mere attorney, like, for example, Cooper, but a judge always has opportunities which are difficult to dismiss.
In Palm Springs, the judge in charge of the estates of the American Indians systematically swindled the Indians out of monies placed there by the U.S. government. The money had been given to the Indians by a treaty, but the judge, seeing all that money in the hands of “savages” decided to have a picnic looting the estates.
How much he stole the Federal Government never decided, but it was in six figures. When he was caught with his hands up to the elbows in the theft, the Federal Government and the district attorney decided he should be warned to “go forth and sin no more.”
But the judge was permitted to retain the money he had embezzled. After all, what could those savages do with it anyway? Buy a home? Have a little food on the table? Send their children to college? The judge, of course, received only a small salary. Only $28,000 a year. And with taxes and everything, he was entitled to have a little.
And in this case, the California Bar Association did nothing!
Thus, the greatest problem Manson will face will be this corruption of justice by the judges and attorneys who are its administrators. Manson was absolutely correct in his statement that he does not trust any attorney, or the law.
But he may have some hope if he follows a proper legal strategy.
If Manson were properly advised, by his newly appointed advisor, he would, at the very commencement of his trial, do the following: