Linda Kasabian – who helped imprison Charles Manson and inspired the band name – has died

She was the Manson cult's getaway driver

Linda Kasabian, who was a follower of the murderous cult leader Charles Manson and was the inspiration behind Kasabian‘s band name, has died at the age of 73.

A notice in the The News Tribune Of Tacoma was relayed this week by The New York Times, which reported that Linda died recently. Her cause of death has not been made public.

Linda’s infamy came from serving as a key witness for the prosecution in the Manson Family murder trial of 1970. The then 20-year-old waited outside the rented Los Angeles home of pregnant film star Sharon Tate on August 9, 1969 while members of the Manson Family stabbed Tate and three others to death.


Linda accompanied Manson and other cult members on the following night to the home of Leno and Rosemary LaBianca, who were also murdered. She didn’t commit the actual murders and instead served as a getaway driver.

Charles Manson
Charles Manson pictured in January 1970. CREDIT: Bettmann / Contributor

The follower was granted immunity by prosecutors for testifying against Manson and four of his followers, all of whom were later convicted.

The story of the Manson Family killings was explored in Quentin Tarantino’s 2019 film Once Upon A Time… In Hollywood.

Stranger Things actress and solo musician Maya Hawke portrayed a further fictionalised version of Linda in the film named ‘Flowerchild’.

Kasabian, meanwhile, were originally called Saracuse before landing on their name after their former guitarist Chris Karloff spotted the name in a book about Manson.


Bassist Chris Edwards told UKULA Magazine in 2007 that Karloff had suggested the new name: “[Karloff] just thought the word was cool, it literally took about a minute after the rest of us heard it…so it was decided.”

Kasabian announce new album 'The Alchemist’s Euphoria'. Credit: Neil Bradford
Kasabian. Credit: Neil Bradford

Saracuse was reportedly a misspelled version of Syracuse in Italy where The Beatles had performed [via The Guardian].

Manson, meanwhile, died in prison in 2017 at the age of 83 while serving a life sentence for ordering the killings. He directed his primarily young, female followers to murder seven people in the summer of 1969 in what prosecutors said was part of a plan to incite a race war.

The cult criminal was sentenced to death for his crimes including the Manson Family killings and the murder of an acquaintance, Gary Hinman.

However, Manson was spared execution when the California Supreme Court declared the death penalty unconstitutional in 1976.

In other news, Kasabian are among the acts booked for the Teenage Cancer Trust gig series in London this month.

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