Linda Kasabian

Linda Kasabian was a member of the family, but eventually became a witness against them. She was the key witness in the prosecution of Manson and his family.

Linda Darlene Kasabian, born Linda Darlene Drouin, aka Yana the Witch, was born into a poor family, her parents often argued, leading to their divorce when Linda was still a young girl. Her mother remarried but Linda did not get along with her stepfather, the two often butted heads. At sixteen, Linda had enough of the tension between her and her stepfather and decided to leave her home.

She married a man named Robert Peasley, but the marriage didn’t last. On July 2, 1965, Robert and Linda were involved in a pretty severe car crash. Not long after, Robert sought a divorce and was granted it, citing the fact that Linda’s behavior had put his physical and mental health in serious danger.

Drug Trafficking Ring

In 1967, Linda, then still going by her birthname, Drouin, was apprehended for participation in a drug network. During a narcotics raid, Linda along with five men were taken into custody. When they searched the apartment, the police discovered 15,000 dollars worth of narcotics; marijuana, LSD, and a variety of pills. $15,000 in 1967 would be worth approximately $125,000 today.

On the Run

Seeking a purpose, Linda moved to Miami to attempt to repair her broken relationship with her father, who was a bartender in the city. Unfortunately, the two were unable to reconcile and Linda eventually relocated to Boston. There, she met Robert Kasabian and the two married, having a daughter named Tanya. Their marriage quickly fell apart, and she moved back in with her mother. Eventually, Robert, living in Topanga Canyon, asked her to come over and try to reconcile.

The Family

Linda and her husband had yet another failed relationship, and he soon left. Charles Melton, a friend of her husband, introduced Linda to Catherine Share, who told Linda about the tranquil, hippie-like lifestyle she and her “family” enjoyed on an old movie ranch. Captivated, Linda took her daughter Tanya and decided to go and see the ranch with Share.

They warmly welcomed Linda and her daughter onto the ranch, being reassured that they would be safe on the ranch as long as they remained loyal to the group. On her first night at the ranch, Linda slept with Charles Watson, who would later commit the horrific Tate-LaBianca murders.

The next day, Kasabian was formally introduced to Charles Manson, which she later described as an overwhelming experience. His charismatic personality and the way he spoke and carried himself made a lasting impression on her. She thought Manson was almost divine, likening him to Jesus Christ. That night, she and Manson engaged in sexual intercourse in a cave near the ranch.

Kasabian returned to Topanga Canyon, got her stuff, stole 5,000 dollars from Melton, and went back to Spahn Ranch and joined the family. Kasabian got pregnant for a second time. According to Lynette Fromme, Kasabian stated that Bobby Beausoleil was the child’s father.

Linda Kasabian joined Manson and his family in July 1969, less than a month before the infamous Tate murders.

On the evening of August 8, 1969, Linda Kasabian, Charles Watson, Susan Atkins, and Patricia Krenwinkel went out on a murder mission. In the early morning of August 9, 1969, while Linda kept watch, the three others murdered five people, including the pregnant actress, Sharon Tate.

The following night, Linda drove a murder squad to the home of Leno and Rosemary LaBianca on Waverly Drive. Manson got out and tied the couple up. After that, he got back in the car with Linda; Charles Watson, Patricia Krenwinkel, and Leslie Van Houten then stabbed the LaBiancas to death.

While the LaBianca’s were being brutally murdered, Manson reportedly told Kasabian to drive to an apartment complex. His intention, according to Kasabian, was to have Grogan, Kasabian, and Atkins take the life of Saladin Nader, a person whom Kasabian had encountered earlier while hitchhiking. Kasabian purposely led them to the wrong apartment, thus saving Nader from an untimely demise.

Escape from The Family

On August 11, 1969, Linda was asked to deliver a message to Sandra Good, Mary Brunner, and Bobby Beausoleil, who were all incarcerated at the time. Linda, seeing this as a chance to break away from the murderous group, fled to New Mexico, where her husband was living. There, she divulged all the gruesome details of the events which had taken place.

She told him she had left their daughter, Tanya, at the ranch, but Robert was determined to go back and pick her up. However, Kasabian convinced him that it was far too dangerous. Kasabian discovered that following the August 16 Spahn Ranch raid, their daughter had been placed in foster care. Kasabian promptly retrieved Tanya and took her to her father’s home in Florida, where they stayed for a while. Eventually, Kasabian decided to return to her mother.
Witness for the Prosecution

On December 2, 1969, Linda Kasabian was charged with the brutal Tate/LaBianca murders. She was granted immunity following her agreement to become a witness for the prosecution. Vincent Bugliosi, the prosecutor in the Manson case, then took Kasabian back to the house at Cielo Drive, the scene of the Tate murders. There, she provided Bugliosi with details of the murders that only the perpetrators could have known. Linda’s testimony was deeply damaging to Manson and his family.

Linda Kasabian Today

After the trial, Linda tried to find stability, but she has been arrested for indecent exposure, DUI and meth possession. She has led a life of crime, and unfortunately, her once innocent daughter is now nicknamed “Lady Dangerous”.

Linda Kasabian, today known as Linda Chiochios, died on January 21, 2023. According to her death certificate, Linda passed away at a hospital in Tacoma, Washington, and her body was cremated. Her cause of death was not disclosed.