As I was “labeling” this thread (for the index), I realized:
This is the first thread I’ve run regarding Linda Kasabian specifically (here on LSB3.COM).
My thoughts on Linda in a nutshell:
Linda was making bad decisions, before she ever arrived at the ranch. She was no Snow-White. She also made bad decisions after the trial… as this article demonstrates. Preventing firefighters from attending to a fire, is not exactly the work of a genius.
Linda was clearly a criminal in regards to the TLB murders. She was going to jail. How long was she going to jail? I don’t know for sure… I’m not a lawyer. But, considering the fact that “conspiring” to commit murder, carried the same sentence… as actually murdering someone (ie, Manson)… it doesn’t take a genius, to realize… Linda wasn’t on solid ground.
Linda was an opportunist… period… as was, Bugliosi. This was a marriage made in heaven. Linda was going to jail for an undetermined amount of time (maybe even the gas chamber)… and she wanted, no part of that. Linda’s cooperation with the prosecution, was an act of self-preservation… plain and simple. She was no heroine. Also consider: Kasabian hadn’t associated with “the family” for very long. She had no reason to look-out for anyone, other than number one.
As for Bugliosi:
He knew, the more “innocent“ he could paint Kasabian’s character… the more weight her testimony would carry with a jury. A “wholesome“, “mis-understood”, “victim of circumstance” Kasabian… would be more valuable to Bugliosi (as a witness)… than say… another murder conspirator on the stand. It’s quite simple. The more “Snow White” Bugliosi could paint Kasabian… the more effective her testimony would become… and hence… the more profitable she would be, to his case. This is obviously why, Bugliosi went lengths to separate Kasabian from the others, in terms of her image.
Like I said… a marriage made in heaven. Kasabian and Bugliosi were both opportunists.
And, there you have it, in an all too small nutshell.
Historically... I believe what "happened" (as I outlined above), is really quite straight forward.
I think the more interesting question here, is not what happened historically... but rather:
"What would we have done in Linda's shoes"?
Do the math:
You're very young. You're (possibly) facing the gas chamber... which is a fact, Bugliosi surely made abundantly clear to her (time and again), as leverage. You have a small baby. And... you've known this entire "family" for a few weeks. Would you have "fallen on the sword" for folks you had known roughly a month? You have to admit, Bugliosi's deal would have been very tempting. Anyone who doesn't (at least) admit that much... (that the deal would have been very tempting)... is lying to themselves... and probably giving themselves way too much credt. Just something to think about, for the sake of discussion...
Here's a few fabulous clips from the BackPorch Tapes Collection on this (Kasabian) subject.
It always amazes me, how much more coherent Paul Fitzgerald came across (spoke), back in the late 60's. In later years, he came across as a baffoon. But, he's quite sharp back then...