From Time Magazine November 1970 Manson's Shattered Defense Monday, Nov. 30, 1970 Article For nearly four months, the prosecution methodically presented evidence in the bizarre Los Angeles murder trial of Charles Manson and his three codefendants. Last week the defense took overand began with the stunning announcement that the defense rested. Long buffeted by internal conflict, the four defense lawyers had finally agreed that the best defense was no defense. They had good reason. The three girls on trial with Manson had insisted that they were going to confess their part in the grisly Sharon Tate murder case. The lawyers wanted to stop them. Amid the confusion of legal argument, Manson himself won Judge Charles Older's permission to take the stand outside the jury's presence. "I've killed no one," he insisted. "I've ordered no one to be killed. These children who come at you with knives; they're your children. I didn't teach them; you did." Mismatched Lawyers. From the outset, Manson clearly intended to make the trial his own show. He wanted no lawyers at all. When a judge decided that Manson could not properly safeguard his own procedural rights, the defendant considered more than 60 hopeful attorneys and perversely put together a defense team as mismatched as the shards of his own personality. First, there was Ronald Hughes, 35, who had casually met Manson a year earlier. A onetime conservative turned hippie, Hughes had flunked the bar exam three times before passing, and had never tried a case. Manson took him on after he agreed to grow a beard. Now the amiable Hughes talks of quitting law and becoming a character actor. Manson brought in Irving Kanarek, 52, whom he regarded as the most obstructionist and time-consuming lawyer in Los Angeles, in hopes of badgering the judge into allowing him to defend himself. When the judge continued to refuse, Kanarek proceeded to exasperate even Manson with a blizzard of objections. The third member of the courtroom team was Daye Shinn, 53, a former used-car salesman of Korean descent, who specializes in immigration cases for wealthy clients seeking Mexican maids. Manson took him on mainly to handle movie, record and publishing rights. Arrayed alongside this unusual trio and occasionally against itwas Paul Fitzgerald, 33, assigned by the public defender's office and one of its best men. Although he was the unofficial leader of the umbrella defense, Fitzgerald was often undercut by his colleagues as well as the defendants. He usually cross-examined prosecution witnesses first, then had to watch in agony while Hughes and Kanarek clumsily plowed his points under. Kanarek in particular sometimes left a prosecution witness sounding more impressive than when he started. With bitter frustration, Fitzgerald said, "It's like living in a concentration camp." The toughest part was living with Manson. Enraged when the judge called him "incompetent" to run his defense, and well aware that the climate against him was overwhelming, Manson weeks ago devised a weird ploy that no lawyer, even a bad one, could abide. The guru determined that the girls from his "family" should take the stand, sweetly confess all and say that he had nothing to do with it. Then Manson would testify, both to confirm his innocence and tell the world his special truths. Fitzgerald vainly argued the obvious: not only would the girls be convicted, but Manson would damn himself by demonstrating the prosecution's contention that he has mesmerizing power. Nonetheless, the girls went along with obedient enthusiasm. But then Lawyers Hughes, Kanarek and Shinn surprised perhaps even themselves. They all agreed with Fitzgerald that their duty to their clients lay in keeping them off the stand. No Questions. Just like everything around Manson, their effort seemed doomed: the judge ruled that the girls had a right to testify. When the lawyers refused to ask questions, the jury was removed so that the girls could tell their stories, after which the inadmissible portions were to be edited out. The girls refused to testify without the jury. At that point, Manson sprang up, asked to take the stand and delivered 90 minutes of extraordinary sermonizing about himself and society in general (sec box). When he finally finished, he whispered to the girls that they now should not confess. Then, apparently satisfied he had reached the audience he cared about, Manson said he would not repeat any of his testimony for the jurors. So they will not hear any defense witnesses after all. The attorneys, if they can find any pieces to gather, will present final arguments next week.