Linda Kasabian: Manson family member who drove car during 1969 killing spree in LA dies at 73

Linda Kasabian: Manson family member who drove car during 1969 killing spree in LA dies at 73
Linda Kasabian was the key witness in the arraignment of Charles Manson (Grunge/YouTube)

TACOMA, WASHINGTON: Linda Kasabian, a member of Charles Manson's infamous 'Manson family' criminal gang who was the getaway driver in the two-day rampage that led to seven killings across Los Angeles in August 1969, died at 73 on 21 January at a hospital in Tacoma, Washington. While her body has since been cremated, the cause of death is yet to be revealed. 


Kasabian was granted immunity after serving as a key witness in the arraignment of Manson and his followers after nine murders that took place at four locations in Los Angeles between July and August 1969. According to the death certificate ascertained by TMZ, Kasabian got rid of her surname and changed it to 'Chiochios' after Manson's 1970 trial in order to protect her identity after she suffered adverse publicity due to her association with the cult. Kasabian, who was on the lookout during the notorious killings, claimed she was under Manson's spell and was willing to do everything he demanded of her, just like everyone who was part of the cult. She also testified against Manson's cult members Charles “Tex” Watson, Patricia Krenwinkel, and Susan Atkins who executed the murder of Sharon Tate, the pregnant actress wife of the Polish film director Roman Polanski. 


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Kasabian testified against the Manson family

Over the course of 18 days, Kasabian provided detailed testimony about the murders that took place on the “two nights of mayhem” in 1969, carried out under the instruction of cult leader Manson. She admitted that she drove Watson, Krenwinkel, and Atkins to filmmaker Roman Polanski's Cielo Drive home in Benedict Canyon. She testified that the trio fatally shot and stabbed five people, including Tate who was pregnant at the time. While she denied taking part in the murders, Kasabian admitted that she drove the group on the second night of the murders as well, in which Leno and Rosemary LaBianca were killed. Polanski was filming in Europe at the time of the murders. 


What happened to Kasabian after escaping jail?

Kasabian was the only member of the murderous cult who escaped jail while the other members were sent to prison with life sentences. After the conviction, the mother of four disappeared and changed her name to avoid attention. In 2017, according to the Daily Mail, Kasabian appeared to be living alone in an apartment complex in Tacoma, Washington. The same year, Manson died at the age of 83 after suffering a cardiac arrest arising from colon cancer behind the bars. 

'A mission of healing and rehabilitation'

While appearing on Larry King in 2009, Kasabian said that she was "trying to live as normal a life as possible" before admitting that she had been on "a mission of healing and rehabilitation" for the last 12 years. She admitted she still hears the screams of the victims 'if I let myself go there' while also adding that she had “learned to put it in its proper perspective over the years. And deal with my own feelings of shame and guilt.”

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 Linda Kasabian: Manson family member who drove car during 1969 killing spree in LA dies at 73