LOS ANGELES -- A jury which believed it was protecting society from a dangerous influence Monday decreed death for Charles Manson and his women, who were dragged shrieking from the courtroom before the verdicts were read.
None of the four ever expressed any remorse for two nights of death and carnage in August 1969, when pregnant actress Sharon Tate and six other persons were knifed and shot and their blood used to smear the words "Death to pigs" on the walls.
It took the seven men and five women on the jury 10 days to reach a verdict on the guilt of Manson, Susan Atkins, Patricia Krenwinkel and Leslie Van Houten, but only 10 hours to sentence them to death on all 27 counts of murder and conspiracy.
"We made our decision early," juror Marie Mesmer, a retired drama critic, told newsmen, "but we argued all the points so everyone would have a say-so.
"Charles Manson is a dangerous influence on society," she said. "I think I can go home with peace of mind now, knowing I have protected society."
The defendants, whose outbursts often caused them to be removed from the courtroom, came into court giggling and smirking.
Manson, whose forehead was carved with a swastika, had shaved his head, and the girls had shorn their waist-length tresses into close-cropped pixie cuts.
As the grim-faced jurors took their seats, Manson called out truculently, "I don't see how you can get away with not letting me put on a defense."
"You have no authority over me," he told the jurors.
"Half of you aren't as good as I am."
He was led out by bailiffs before even hearing the verdicts.
As death was decreed for the cult leader, the young women all began shouting.
"You've judged yourselves," Miss Atkins cried, lunging toward the jury box. She was restrained and led out.
Miss Krenwinkel echoed:
"You're removing yourselves from the face of the earth. You're all fools. There never has been any justice in this courtroom."
"Your system is just a game in which you all make money," Miss Van Houten shouted.
Superior Court Judge Charles H. Older told the jury if it were in his power he would award them a medal for serving on the jury, which was sequestered longer than any other panel in history. The stormy trial lasted more than nine months and cost nearly $1 million.
He was to formally pronounce sentence April 19, but it was not expected that Man-son and the women would be executed for at least three to five years, if -ever. An appeal to the California Supreme Court is automatic in all death penalty cases.
"This isn't the end, this is just the beginning, because of all the nonsense," Manson's lawyer, Irving Kanarek, said.
"The jury has perpetuated the very thing it sought to eradicate," defense attorney Paul Fitzgerald said.
"I fail to see how it solved anything. The society which kills its problem children denies itself," he added.
Deputy District Attorney Vincent Buliosi said he believed the mainly middle-aged jury was "shocked and outraged at the savagery which came in the dead of night."
The mutilated bodies of the honey blonde actress, hair stylist Jay Sebring, coffee heiress Abigail Folger, Polish playboy Voityck Frykowski and teen-ager Stephen Parent were strewn about the grounds of the Tate estate, all shot and knifed to death.
Grocer Leno Labianca and his brunette wife, Rosemary, were killed the following night in their home some! 20 miles away.