Manson Family Member Linda Kasabian Dead at 73

Her testimony on 1969 murders earned her immunity, sent other members to prison
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 28, 2023 6:49 AM CST
Manson Family Member Linda Kasabian Dead at 73
In this Aug. 19, 1970, file photo, Linda Kasabian, center, speaks at a news conference she held at the end of her 18 days on the stand as a prosecution witness in the Manson family murder trials in Los Angeles.   (AP Photo/David F. Smith, File)

She was the lookout during the murders of pregnant actor Sharon Tate and four others in August 1969, then the driver on the second night of the Manson family's murder spree. Linda Kasabian's testimony on what happened over those two days ended up earning her immunity and sending away other members of the "family," who were all given life sentences in prison for their roles in the massacre. Now, TMZ has a death certificate stating that Kasabian died at a hospital in Tacoma, Washington, on Jan. 21, at the age of 73, and that her body has been cremated.

It's not clear what the cause of death was. Kasabian's new last name, ostensibly to shield her from gawkers, had been changed to "Chiochios" on the certificate. In her nearly three weeks of testimony during Charles Manson's 1970-71 trial, Kasabian insisted that while she saw the pregnant Tate and her companions murdered at the Hollywood Hills home of director Roman Polanski—Tate's husband, who was traveling at the time of the murders—she didn't harm anyone herself.

Instead, Kasabian said, it was Charles "Tex" Watson, Patricia Krenwinkel, and Susan Atkins who killed Tate and three others in the home, plus a friend of the property's caretaker, in the early morning hours of Aug. 9, 1969. Kasabian also drove the car the following night when Manson family members killed Leno and Rosemary LaBianca in their Los Angeles home. Read here for more on her later life, which included at least one other run-in with the law. (More Linda Kasabian stories.)

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