The Law: Manson's Shattered Defense

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 over—and 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...

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