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LAPD seeks interview tape in hunt for new Manson murder clues

By Andrew Blankstein and Richard Winton, Los Angeles Times –

LOS ANGELES — Los Angeles Police Department detectives want to review some interviews between a Manson Family convicted murderer and his attorney to determine whether it might shed any more light on the infamous case.

NBC-TV in Los Angeles reported Thursday about the request for recordings between Manson Family member Tex Watson and his attorney. The station said police want to know if those recordings could contain unsolved homicides related the Manson family’s homicide spree.

Police sources stressed that it’s a preliminary inquiry and that they have no idea whether the recording will provide new evidence.

Two sources, speaking to the Los Angeles Times on the condition of anonymity, said the request is “routine due diligence” and is not tied to any larger investigation involving the Manson Family.

Watson is the self-described right-hand man of Manson. Last year, Watson was denied parole for the 14th time after decades behind bars. He will be considered for another parole review in five years.

Relatives of Watson’s victims requested that the panel again deny his parole for killing actress Sharon Tate, who was eight months pregnant, and four others at her Beverly Hills home on Aug. 9, 1969. The next night, Watson helped kill grocery owners Leno and Rosemary LaBianca.

Watson was given the death penalty for his role in the murders, but that sentence was later overturned.

While in prison, he married and divorced and fathered four children. He also started a prison ministry and became an author and ordained minister.

On Watson’s ministry website, he says he believed Manson “offered utopia, but in reality, he had a destructive world view, which Charles ended up believing in and acting upon. His participation in the 1969 Manson murders is a part of history that (Watson) deeply regrets.”

Officials also denied parole for Manson earlier this year.

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