Kathryn, also known as Kitty, first encountered Charles Manson during the summer of 1969. Her boyfriend, Bobby Beausoleil, had taken her to the notorious Spahn Ranch. Kathryn and Manson had a contentious relationship. As Kathryn was pregnant and attempting to persuade Beausoleil to leave the family, Manson became increasingly resentful towards her. His anger was often directed at Kathryn, who was helpless to defend herself. Manson reportedly once elbowed her in the face when she fell asleep during one of his late-night ramblings.
One day, after being threatened with death by Manson, who told her he would “carve her up,” Kathryn had finally had enough and fled the ranch. On July 30, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Office (LASO) found Lutesinger and brought her in for questioning, given that she was a teenage runaway. She divulged to the detectives that Manson had threatened her and also told them about all the dodgy activities taking place at Spahn Ranch, before returning to her parent’s horse ranch.
While staying with her parents, Kathryn found out that her boyfriend, Beausoleil, had been arrested for the murder of Gary Hinman. She hadn’t been aware of his imprisonment and attempted to call Beausoleil at the ranch, yet she couldn’t get into contact with him. Nobody would tell her what had happened to him. Eventually, Manson told her, over the phone, that Beausoleil had been apprehended, yet he refused to divulge the reason.
The Demon in Death Valley
On August 15, Kathryn went back to Spahn Ranch. The next day, August 16, police raided the ranch, and arrested Kathryn along with the rest of the family. After their release, Manson and his people moved to Death Valley, and Kathryn joined them. Susan Atkins finally told Kathryn what happened to Beausoleil. She explained to Kathryn that Beausoleil had been arrested for the murder of Gary Hinman. On the night of October 9, Kathryn fled the ranch.
Downfall of The Family
Kathryn went to the police and informed them of the Hinman murder. The detectives questioned her multiple times, and she gave them valuable insight into Manson and his group. She informed them of the credit card fraud, drugs, underage girls and weapons on the ranch. Consequently, Beausoleil, Atkins, and Brunner were taken into custody for the Hinman murder.
Unbeknownst to the police, they had apprehended one of the Tate killers.
While in jail, Susan Atkins, who always wanted to be the center of attention, began to boast to her cellmates. She detailed the Tate and LaBianca murders and how they were linked to Manson. Atkins told her cellmates that she was the one who killed Tate and tasted her blood.
Kathryn’s testimony was essential in connecting the family to the Hinman murder and eventually to the Tate and LaBianca murders. After a lengthy investigation, Manson and the members of his group responsible for the murders were charged for the crimes.
While Kathryn may not have been a fervent Manson supporter, she developed a certain connection with the group and adopted their habits, such as shaving her head and carving an X in her forehead. She even kept watch at the Hall Of Justice with the rest of the group.
As she was about to give birth to Beausoleil’s child, Kathryn was confronted with the devastating news that Beausoleil had been sentenced to death for the murder of Hinman. Upon hearing the verdict, Kathryn was overcome with emotion, weeping uncontrollably. Beausoleil’s parents rushed to her side to offer comfort. In the days that followed, she welcomed her daughter, Jene, into the world.
Kathryn drifted in and out of the family during the trials, but eventually she left the clan and went her own way.