American Scene: LAPD allowed Manson family member recordings

PLANO — Los Angeles police are entitled to audio recordings of conversations between a Manson family member and his attorney, a Texas judge ruled Tuesday.

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Brenda T. Rhoades of Plano granted the request, allowing police to obtain the eight cassette tapes containing hours of talks between Charles “Tex” Watson and Bill Boyd, a now-deceased Texas attorney who once represented Watson.

Detectives want to listen to the tapes to learn whether Watson described any unsolved killings in the conversations. An LAPD spokesman said officers have no specific information on what might be in the recordings.

A law firm in McKinney where Boyd once worked has the tapes, and a trustee in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy proceeding involving the firm asked the judge to grant legal authority to give police the recordings. Boyd died in 2009.

Watson is serving a life sentence for his role in the 1969 Tate-La Bianca murders. He previously made the tapes available to the co-author of his 1978 book, “Will You Die for Me? The Man Who Killed for Charles Manson Tells His Own Story.”

Judge Rhoades‘ ruling came despite an objection from Watson’s current attorney, who argued Watson didn’t waive attorney-client privilege when making the book deal.

In the book, Watson detailed his role in the killings of actress Sharon Tate and six other people but didn’t mention any unsolved slayings.

FLORIDA

Lesbian mom’s backers to petition Scout meet

ORLANDO — Supporters of a lesbian mother will present a petition at the Boy Scouts of America’s annual meeting in Orlando to protest her removal from a troop in Ohio.

Deborah Tyrrell’s supporters will present the petition with more than 275,000 names when the Boy Scouts’ meeting begins in Florida on Wednesday.

Ms. Tyrrell was removed last April as a leader of the troop near Bridgeport, Ohio. Boy Scout policy prohibits gays from being adult leaders.

Among those who will present the petition is Eagle Scout Zach Wahls, an Iowa college student who was raised by lesbian mothers. A video of Mr. Wahls urging Iowa legislators not to end civil unions went viral last year.

Scouts spokesman Deron Smith said there are no plans to change the policy but the group values freedom of expression.

NEW JERSEY

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