Ever wonder what it was like to be a juror for this case?Evidently, quite the experience, to say the least. The article is a bit lengthy... but, worth the read. We meet William Zamora, 45, the outcast of the group, who spends most of his time, locked in his room, writing a book on the experience. Then there's 25 year old, William McBride who loses his finace' throughout the ordeal. His biggest complaint is that "sequestering", is keeping him from getting laid. LOL Mrs. Jean Roseland, 41, an ash-blonde mother of three teenagers, lost her office job. Marie Mesmer, 45, a former Los Angeles drama critic and a divorcee, had no one to look after her house. It was burglarized twice, and her chimney collapsed during the February earthquake. A social clique formed around the jury's foreman, Herman Tubick, 58, an undertaker. Dubbed "Herman's kids," the group included Jean Roseland; Larry Sheely, 25, a telephone repairman; Anlee Sisto, 48, a school-district electronics technician; Bob Douglass, 35, an alternate juror; and Mrs. Hines, nicknamed "Giggle-bottom" because of her enthusiastic response to gags.
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Life Among the Manson Jurors - Monday, Apr. 12, 1971As the trial for the Tate-LaBianca killings convened in Los Angeles last June, Chief Defense Counsel Paul Fitzgerald admitted: "There is no way we are ever going to get a reasonable jury. So we decided to frustrate the prosecution attempts to select a good jury and try to keep every dingaling we could find, to get the worst possible jury."
The object was to get one or more mavericks who would contradict the majority and thereby hang the jury. The stratagem did not work. Last week, after nine months of endless testimony and agonized deliberations, the seven-man, five-woman panel that had convicted Charles Manson, Leslie Van Houten, Susan Atkins and Patricia Krenwinkel also recommended the death penalty for all four. Then Judge Charles Older did something unusual: he commended the jurors for service "above and beyond the call of duty." If it were within his power, he said, he would award each member a medal of honor. Concluded Older: "To my knowledge, no jury in history has been sequestered for so long a period or subjected to such an ordeal." He stepped down from the bench and gravely shook each juror's hand.
A generally staid, middle-class group, the jurors were unprepared for the grueling experience, which was enough to make ding-a-lings out of the most stable personalities. Yet their deliberations seemed unaffected. The impact on their personal lives was something else.
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A few took the trial with amazing aplomb. Alva Dawson, 74, a retired deputy sheriff and the oldest member of the panel, rode an exercising bicycle in his spare time to keep fit and observed that he missed only one thing—the new piano he had been learning to play before the trial. William Zamora, 45, a state employee and sometime actor, plans to write a book called Sequestered, and his announced intention made the others leary of him. He became something of an outcast, spending much of his time in his room typing notes. Zamora claimed last week that his forthcoming book will include seamy tales about jurors being "promiscuous" (other jurors quickly denied the charge).
William McBride, 25, a shaggy-haired Los Angeles bachelor, lost his fiancée during the lengthy separation. He thinks that they would have broken up eventually anyway, and that the trial merely hastened matters. In any event, intimate companionship was a problem for him. Spouses stayed overnight with married jurors on weekends. Mrs. John Baer, wife of the 61-year-old electrical technician who was considered the most dutiful juror, called her visits to the Ambassador Hotel a "second honeymoon." But unmarried jurors were not officially allowed any company, and McBride had the authorities peering over his shoulder. "One time down at the pool," he recalled, "I met this real cute, real friendly girl. I knew something was going to happen if I could get to know her a little, but this big female bailiff came up while we were talking and asked, 'Do you know this woman, Mr. McBride?' I said, 'No, but I will in a few minutes.' So the bailiff made me go upstairs, even though the girl said she wouldn't mention a thing about the case." McBride added, with a self-satisfied smile, that he later latched on to a pretty bank employee who paid him occasional visits.
There were a host of more serious problems. Mrs. Baer had to give up a $600-a-month night job to look after her teen-age daughter during her husband's absence. Mrs. Jean Roseland, 41, an ash-blonde mother of three teenagers, lost her office job. Marie Mesmer, 45, a former Los Angeles drama critic and a divorcee, had no one to look after her house. It was burglarized twice, and her chimney collapsed during the February earthquake.
Mrs. Evelyn Hines, 29, a Dictaphone operator, probably suffered the most embarrassing ordeal. After the jury was locked up, her husband was asked by a reporter if Mrs. Hines was developing any bad habits during the sequestration. Hines replied that she had taken to drinking a cocktail before dinner, which she had never done before. Several days later, Defense Attorney Irving Kanarek, who infuriated everyone during the trial with his obstructionist tactics and windy harangues, implied to reporters that Mrs. Hines was turning into an alcoholic and might not be fit for jury duty. The husband left town after Kanarek called for him to testify in court about his wife's "drinking." Not knowing what was going on, Mrs. Hines was mystified when she could not reach her husband by phone. The tension brought on an asthmatic attack.
A social clique formed around the jury's foreman, Herman Tubick, 58, an undertaker. Dubbed "Herman's kids," the group included Jean Roseland; Larry Sheely, 25, a telephone repairman; Anlee Sisto, 48, a school-district electronics technician; Bob Douglass, 35, an alternate juror; and Mrs. Hines, nicknamed "Giggle-bottom" because of her enthusiastic response to gags.
Particularly within the clique, the jurors sought release from the trial's strain through childish high jinks. Sheely and Sisto were first and second bananas. With unfettered glee, they short-sheeted beds, banged on walls, and placed a tape recording of reveille set to go off at 4 a.m. under a court deputy's bed (he slept through it). Their boffo running gag: a rubber chicken purchased as a complement to Sheely's chicken jokes. The chicken made regular appearances in beds and toilets around the jurors' hotel rooms at the Ambassador (cleverly dubbed the "Dambassador"). As a token of their esteem, the group at trial's end presented the chicken to Judge Older.
When practical jokes failed, there were a myriad of other diversions: canasta and cribbage, songfests with Sisto and Douglass on guitars, jigsaw puzzles, crossword puzzles, model building, knitting, reading and a discothèque. Baer, a devout Presbyterian, read his Bible a great deal when not poring over his notes on the testimony. A few, like Sisto, were genuinely enthralled by the enforced camaraderie. As he put it later: "I miss the friendship. I always felt like I could go knock on someone's door and talk any time of the day or night, just like when I was in the Navy."
Besides Zamora, the putative author, another member tried to capitalize on the trial's sensational appeal. At the close of deliberations, Sheely implored his fellow jurors to avoid reporters and hold out for a $200,000 magazine contract. Said Tubick: "Most of us were shocked. I didn't think it was right—I just walked out of the room."
Despite internecine pettiness, the jurors were serious and considerate of one another during their deliberations. In broad terms, there was little disagreement about the guilty verdict. The prosecution's case had been orderly, fact-filled, conclusive. The defense had been disorganized and virtually devoid of convincing evidence. Psychiatric testimony, the jurors said later, hurt the defense case rather than helped it. Attempts to depict Krenwinkel and Van Houten as good girls from wholesome backgrounds only indicated to the jury that they had less reason to rebel than Atkins, who had suffered through a troubled adolescence. The death sentences bothered some, like the pious John Baer, who had to do some delicate rationalizing: "In the trial the defense lawyers said that the Mosaic law of an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth had gone out of effect nearly 2,000 years ago. I believe that although Jesus Christ came to show the way of love, we cannot live without the civil authorities until all people learn to live by love instead of hate."
The shouted threats from the defendants seemed to confirm the fears of the jurors. "Lock your doors!" the Manson women cried. "Protect your kids!" Said Tubick after the verdict: "I'm scared witless." In Evelyn Hines' home, the police department's emergency number is clearly displayed these days by both of the Hineses' telephones. An M-l carbine lies beneath Mr. Hines' side of the bed. Each night as she prepares the family dinner, Mrs. Mines hears the police helicopter whirring overhead; helicopters patrol from time to time near each juror's home. When the telephone rings and the party hangs up just as Mr. Mines says hello, she coughs her nervous cough again.
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