LOS ANGELES -- A San Jose man who confessed to the murder of Laurence Merrick, who produced a film documentary on Charles Manson, Friday was charged with the 4-year-old slaying.
San Jose police said Dennis Mignano, 34, telephoned them Wednesday and said he wanted to confess to shooting the producer as he was leaving his workshop in Hollywood Jan. 26, 1977.
'It's really a simple thing,' said San Jose Police Department spokesman Jim Smith. 'We are dealing with someone who still has a conscience.'
Los Angeles Police detective Jim McMurray said the information supplied by San Jose police was enough for LAPD detectives to bring Mignano to Los Angeles.
Both departments said Mignano had tried to confess to the murder before but no one would listen to him.
Smith said Mignano had a 'dealing of a personal nature' with Merrick, but he said the murder had nothing to do with Manson or his followers, who were convicted of the 1969 slayings of actress Sharon Tate and six other other people.
Smith said Mignano told police a rambling story of how an 'interview' he had with Merrick changed his life and drove him to murder the director.
'Things built up inside of him and he shot him (Merrick),' Smith said. He did not elaborate.
Because the murder complaint filed by the Los Angeles District Attorney's Office against Mignano did not include special circumstances, bail was set at $150,000.