Born In: Biddeford, Maine, United States
Linda Kasabian is a former member of the Manson family, a desert commune led by the infamous cult leader Charles Manson. She later became the prosecution’s chief witness against Charles Manson and his followers after the 1969 Tate-LaBianca murders. Her testimony eventually led to their conviction. Linda grew up in a broken home where her parents separated and remarried while she was still young. At the age of sixteen, she married but it ended in a divorce. She later remarried and had a daughter; however, the marriage was not stable again. It was at this point of time that she got associated with the Manson family and became a part of their horrific crimes. She has been portrayed a number of times in films. In a 2009 docu-drama by Cineflex, she elaborated her story for the first time in detail.
Also Known As: Linda Darlene Kasabian, Linda Darlene Drouin
Spouse/Ex-: Robert Peasley (m. 1965 – div.. 1966)
father: Rosaire Drouin
mother: Joyce Taylor
children: Angel Kasabian, Tanya Kasabian
Born Country: United States
U.S. State: Maine
Linda Darlene Drouin was born on 21 June 1949, in Biddeford, Maine, US as the eldest child of Rosaire Drouin and Joyce Taylor.
Her father, Rosaire, was a construction worker and the family faced financial difficulties. Her parents separated while she was still young with Rosaire remarrying and moving to Miami, Florida.
Her mother, Joyce, remarried too; however, Linda did not get along well with her stepfather Jake Byrd, who according to her treated her mother and herself badly.
A young Linda, as per her friends, neighbours and teachers, was intelligent, kind and shy but starry-eyed romantic.
Her contentious relationship with her stepfather eventually led to her dropping out of her high school and running away from her home.
At the age of sixteen, she married Robert Peasley; however, the marriage did not last long and ended just after a few months.
Post this, she moved in with her father who was working as a bartender in Miami. Their efforts to improve their relationship proved futile.
A second marriage to an Armenian-American hippie named Robert Kasabian, who she met in Boston, followed in 1967. In 1968, the couple’s first daughter Tanya was born.
This marriage too did not prove to be stable and Linda Kasabian returned to stay with her mother in New Hampshire.
Later, in an effort to give their marriage another chance, she joined Robert Kasabian in Hippie Hangouts of Topanga Canyon, Los Angeles, California where he was friends with Charles Blackbeard Melton.
She was expecting their second child when Robert left her behind once again to go on a South American sailing trip.
It was through Charles Melton that she came into contact with Catherine Gypsy Share, a member of Manson family. With her marriage falling apart, she decided to move in with the family on their dilapidated Spahn's Ranch. She was in search of love, freedom and God.
In 1969, the 20 year old Linda Kasabian met Charles Manson at the ranch and immediately fell under his spell. She felt that he understood her when he said that she had a father hang-up.
She readily joined the Manson family who supported themselves by indulging in petty crimes like stealing money from homes and selling drugs.
Charles Manson was in complete control of the ranch and its people and instructed everyone on what to do. He was a talented musician and her initial days at the ranch were filled with LSD, music, stories, dancing around and orgies.
What appeared peaceful at first to Linda Kasabian turned violent. Manson announced that it was time for Helter Skelter, the inevitable race war after which he and his followers would take control of America. The term Helter Skelter was taken from the Beatles’ White Album song of the same name.
In August 1969, she was instructed by Charles Manson to carry a knife, a change of clothing, and her driver’s license and drive the family members – Charles Tex Watson, Susan Atkins, and Patricia Krenwinkel – to 10050 Cielo Drive, the residence of famous director Roman Polanski and his eight-months-pregnant wife, Sharon Tate.
Linda Kasabian thought they were on another burglary attempt; however, she soon saw Charles Watson shoot and kill a teenager, Steven Parent, who had come to meet the housekeeper.
She was instructed to wait outside and stand guard, while the rest went inside and killed Sharon Tate, Jay Sebring, Wojciech Frykowski and Abigail Folger.
Hearing screams, she ran towards the house and witnessed the killing of Wojciech Frykowski by Watson. Scared she wanted to drive away, but could not as her child was at the Spahn Ranch.
The next night, she again drove the family – including the previous night members as well as Charles Manson, Leslie Van Houten and Steve Grogan – to the house of Leno and Rosemary LaBianca, rich owners of a grocery store chain. Manson himself went inside and tied the victims and then left – along with her and few others – instructing the rest of the family members to kill them.
The same night, Manson instructed Linda Kasabian to take part in killing of actor Saladin Nader herself. However, she purposely knocked on the wrong door due to which the mission was aborted.
A couple of days later, she escaped and later returned to her mother’s home in New Hampshire along with her daughter.
Meanwhile, the ranch was raided and everyone was arrested on auto theft charges. Their involvement in the murders was soon discovered.
She eventually turned herself in and agreed to become the lead witness for the prosecution in exchange for her own immunity.
Her testimony eventually led to the convictions of Manson, Watson, Atkins, Krenwinkel, and Van Houten.
During her eighteen days testimony, she was under immense pressure. The Manson family threatened to kill her if she testified. Also, the defence lawyer attempted to discredit her testimony by calling her a drug addict, a psychopath, a liar and even the mastermind of all the murders that took place. Linda Kasabian; however, stuck to her testimony.
The trial was covered extensively by the media and after it ended, she returned to New Hampshire to be with her husband and children in peace and away from media attention. Her marriage later fell apart. She had four children.
She worked as a cook and returned to Los Angeles a number of times to testify against Tex Watson and Leslie Van Houten in their separate trials.
She was guilty of several traffic violation and was became partially disabled after a car accident. In 1996, along with her daughter, she was arrested for drugs and gun possession. The charges against her were dropped when she agreed to attend a drug counselling session.
She kept away from media attention except for once when she agreed to do an interview for an American television program A Current Affair in 1988.
Later in 2009, Cineflix Production Company tracked her down and in their docu-drama titled Manson she elaborated on what happened during her four week time with the Manson family.
She later agreed to give an interview, in disguise, on CNN’s programme Larry King Live.
Over time, she has been depicted by numerous actresses in different movies. A British rock band is named after her too.
How To Cite
People Also Viewed