Manson Family Member Linda Kasabian Dead at 73

Linda Kasabian, a former member of the infamous "Manson Family" cult, has passed away at the age of 73. According to a report by TMZ, Kasabian died on Jan. 21, 2023, but the news was kept quiet and not reported until this week. Her cause of death was not revealed, and she was reportedly cremated shortly after her passing.

Kasabian reportedly died in a hospital in Tacoma, Washington where she had been living since the late 1980s. Kasabian had legally changed her surname to "Chiochios" in an attempt to protect her identity, and a 2016 Rolling Stone article mentioned that she had been "living in near poverty." The details of Kasabian's personal life were not widely known at the time of her death. She had two daughters, but it's not clear if either of them survived her.

Kasabian's life story is a harrowing tale and her involvement with the Manson Family is unique among its other members. Kasabian shared her story in her own words in the 2009 docu-drama Manson and then elaborated in a handful of other interviews around that time. Those accounts matched Kasabian's infamous testimony in a trial against Manson and his followers.

As a young woman, Kasabian was abandoned by her husband in Los Angeles, California in the summer of 1969 with a young daughter and another on the way. She was introduced to the Manson Family through a friend of her husband and spent four weeks living with the cult on their ranch. She was asked to prove her "loyalty" to the cult there which is how she became embroiled in their criminal activities.

Kasabian was present during the Tate and LaBianca murders that August, but she only drove the getaway vehicle. Afterward, Kasabian went back to her hometown in New Hampshire, but when she learned there was a warrant out for her arrest she turned herself in to authorities and agreed to testify against Manson in exchange for legal immunity. Her testimony was considered by many the most dramatic part of the trials as she described sexual encounters with Manson and other cult members as well as violent crimes.

Kasabian was a controversial figure after her testimony and avoided the public eye as much as possible. The facts of her life after that time are difficult to verify, but she may have lived on another commune for a time before settling in Washington. Her home was raided by police in 1996 and her daughter was arrested for possession of cocaine and sentenced to a term in state prison. That and other episodes from her later life were described in Greg King's 2016 book Sharon Tate and the Manson Murders.

Manson passed away in 2017 in prison, and several other prominent members of his cult have passed away over the years as well. Others remain alive. Kasabian is the first member of the Manson Family to die since Barbara Hoyt in 2017. Details on her funeral services are not publicly available at the time of this writing.