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Charles Manson follower Linda Kasabian dead at 73

Linda Kasabian, a follower of Charles Manson who served as a star witness for the prosecution in the famed Manson Family murder trial in 1970, has died at 73, the New York Times reports.

The Times, which cited a notice in the Tacoma News Tribune, said the cause of death had not been made public.

Kasabian, then 20, waited outside the rented Los Angeles home of pregnant film star Sharon Tate on August 9, 1969 while members of the Manson Family stabbed the actress and three other people to death.

The next night she accompanied Manson and other members of the cult to the home of Leno and Rosemary LaBianca, where the couple was slain.

Kasabian, who did not take part in the murders themselves, was granted immunity by prosecutors to testify against Manson and four of his followers at their sensational 1970 trial in Los Angeles. All five were convicted.

Manson, a charismatic former convict, assembled a group of runaways and outcasts, including Kasabian, and established a makeshift commune at a defunct movie ranch northwest of Los Angeles.

In the summer of 1969, Manson directed his mostly young, female followers to murder seven people in what prosecutors said was part of a plan to incite a race war.

Manson was sentenced to death in 1969 for the Manson Family killings and murder of an acquaintance, Gary Hinman.

He was spared execution when the California Supreme Court declared the death penalty unconstitutional in 1976. He died in prison in 2017.