Judge OKs Tex Watson Audio for LAPD

Police will have to wait at least 14 days to possibly hear decades-old interviews, thanks to a request from Charles "Tex" Watson's attorney, according to the LAPD

Thanks to a judge's ruling Tuesday, Los Angeles police were on the brink of listening to newly discovered audio that may link the Manson Family to unsolved murders.

Now they'll have to wait.

At a hearing Tuesday in Plano, Texas, over the phoned-in objections of a lawyer for Charles "Tex" Watson, the judge granted a motion to transfer the approximately eight hours of interviews to the Los Angeles Police Department, but not right away. Police must now wait 14 days.

Earlier in the day, police said Charles Manson's attorney had filed the request. They later clarified that it was Watson's attorney.

The audio was recorded decades ago between attorney Bill Boyd and his then-client Watson, who is currently serving a life sentence for his involvement in the 1969 Manson Family murders. The audio is currently in the hands of a federal bankruptcy trustee following the liquidation of Boyd's Texas law practice.

Investigators believe the recordings could contain information about unsolved cases, LAPD Chief Charlie Beck wrote (PDF) in a request to the courts.

Despite the original plan of picking up the audio on Wednesday, detectives will now have to wait at least 14 days while the court considers Watson's request, said LAPD Cmdr. Andrew Smith.

"They already had their tickets in hand and were ready to fly out," Smith said.

Police recently learned of the audio's existence, and are able to listen to the recordings because Watson waived his client-attorney privilege back in September 1976. Author Chaplain Ray Hoekstra used the interviews to help write the 1978 book "Will You Die For Me?"


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Boyd, who died in 2009, represented Watson beginning in 1969 and "for some time thereafter," according to Beck.

Watson was convicted along with Manson and other Manson followers for the 1969 murders of seven people during a two-day crime spree. He was sentenced to death in October 1971, but his death sentence was reduced to life in prison after the California Supreme Court overturned capital punishment statutes in 1972.

He lost his most recent bid for parole last year. He will be eligible for another parole hearing in five years.

Watson, a native Texan who turned to religion after the killings, was convicted along with Manson and followers Patricia Krenwinkel and Susan Atkins of first-degree murder for the Aug. 9, 1969, deaths of pregnant actress Sharon Tate, Abigail Ann Folger, Wojciech Frykowski, Steven Earl Parent and Thomas Jay Sebring at a Benedict Canyon home.

The four also were convicted along with Leslie Van Houten of the stabbing deaths of wealthy businessman Leno La Bianca and his wife, Rosemary, in their Los Feliz-area home the next day.

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