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Saturday, March 30, 2013

LAPD can have Manson-related tapes, judge rules

LA TimesA federal judge has ruled that the Los Angeles Police Department can have 40-year-old taped conversations between one of Charles Manson's most fervent followers and his late attorney to see if they can help solve more murders.

U.S. District Court Judge Richard A. Schell ruled Sunday that Charles "Tex" Watson waived his right to attorney-client privilege when he allowed the lawyer to sell the tapes to an author who wrote a book about Watson, who was convicted of several murders.

LAPD robbery-homicide detectives are seeking the tapes because they believe that during the several hours of conversations, Watson "may have discussed additional unsolved murders committed by followers of Charles Manson."

Investigators believe the so-called Manson family may have been responsible for more than the nine murders they were convicted of four decades ago. Over the years, everyone from Manson himself to his prosecutors have said his followers were connected to more killings.

The judge's ruling affirms a bankruptcy judge's decision last year that the LAPD can have the tapes of Watson and attorney Bill Boyd, who died in 2009. The tapes were found when Boyd's old law firm filed for bankruptcy. Watson, however, appealed that ruling, claiming they were privileged.

Schell, however, said Watson's decision to sell the tapes to Chaplain Ray, Watson's coauthor of the 1978 book "Will You Die for Me? The Man Who Killed for Charles Manson Tells His Own Story" waived his attorney-client privilege. The judge also noted that Watson was by his own motion willing to allow police to hear the tapes but not take them. continue reading...

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