Linda Kasabian: Manson family member dies at 73
Linda Kasabian, a member of Charles Manson’s notorious “Manson Family” criminal gang, has died at the age of 73.
Kasabian passed away on 21 January at a hospital in Tacoma, Washington. Her body has reportedly since been cremated but her precise cause of death has not been revealed.
A death certificate, obtained by TMZ, recorded that Kasabian had changed her surname in later life to “Chiochios” in order to protect her identity after she ended her association with the cult.
After participating in the “two nights of mayhem” in which the gang killed seven people in Los Angeles, California, in August 1969, Kasabian agreed to serve as a key prosecution witness at Manson’s trial in 1970-71 in exchange for immunity.
Over the course of 18 days of testimony, Kasabian described the murder of Sharon Tate, the pregnant actress wife of the Polish film director Roman Polanski after gang members Charles “Tex” Watson, Patricia Krenwinkel, Susan Atkins and herself entered the couple’s Cielo Drive home in Benedict Canyon.
She testified that Watson, Krenwinkel and Atkins fatally shot and stabbed five victims at the scene – Tate and her unborn child Paul, hairdresser Jay Sebring, coffee heiress Abigail Folger, her boyfriend Wojciech Frykowski and Steven Parent, a friend of Tate’s groundskeeper – while Mr Polanski was away in Europe shooting a movie.
Kasabian denied taking part in that atrocity but admitted to being the driver on the second night of the attacks, when Leno and Rosemary LaBianca were also murdered inside their home.
Kasabian’s testimony helped secure murder convictions for Manson and the other members of the “Family” who carried out his orders and were subsequently handed life sentences.
Their leader passed away in 2017 behind bars after suffering a cardiac arrest arising from colon cancer.
Born in Biddeford, Maine, on 21 June 1949, Kasabian had reportedly lived in Tacoma with her daughter since the late 1980s, with Rolling Stone writing in 2016 that had existed in a state of “near poverty”.
Interviewed by CNN’s Larry King in 2009, while wearing a disguise to protect her identity, Kasabian said she had been “on a path of healing and rehabilitation” in the intervening decades and claimed she bore a guilt over the killings that none of her former co-conspirators felt.
The British indie band Kasabian took their name from her and she was most recently played by Maya Hawke in Quentin Tarantino’s revisionist take on the murders Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (2019), the character rechristened “Flowerchild”.