WORLD-OBITS-L ArchivesArchiver > WORLD-OBITS > 2006-07 > 1152359358
From: "Peter_McCrae" <>
Subject: OLDER: Charles Older--2006
Date: Sat, 8 Jul 2006 12:49:18 +0100
Charles Older, 1917-2006
CHARLES OLDER is best remembered for being the judge
at the 10-month-long trial of mass murderer Charles Manson but he had the
rare distinction of being awarded both the US and British Distinguished
Flying Cross in combat against the Japanese.
The bizarre Manson case involved the brutal slaying of the actress Sharon
Tate and others. Older, who has died at 88 in Los Angeles, heard evidence
that Manson and his LSD-taking followers had committed gruesome murders in
the name of starting a race war. The accused went to court with shaved heads
and Xs carved on their foreheads, which they turned into swastikas. They
chanted nonsensically, in keeping with what Older called Manson's "twisted
philosophy". During the trial, Manson tried to attack Older with a pencil.
Older graduated in political science from the University of California in
1939 and joined the US Marine Corps Reserve and then
the Flying Tigers, a covert group of US pilots recruited to fly for the
Chinese government in its war with Japan. He became the third
highest-scoring Flying Tiger ace before serving as a major in the US Army
Air Forces in the China-Burma theatre. Altogether he was credited with
shooting down 18 Japanese aircraft.
In 1952, after serving in the Korean War, he received his law degree from
the University of Southern California, and in 1967, Governor Ronald Reagan
appointed Older to the bench.
Manson and three of his followers - Susan Atkins, Patricia Krenwinkel and
Leslie Van Houten - were tried for the gory cult killings of Tate, Leno and
Rosemary La Bianca and four others in 1969. At one stage Manson shouted at
the judge: "In the name of Christian justice, someone should cut your head
Manson's followers, who testified that they simultaneously regarded him as
God and Satan, were convicted of first-degree murder for stabbing and
shooting Tate and the others. Manson was also convicted of first-degree
murder, for instigating the violence. All were sentenced to life.
After the trial, Older sent the reporter Bill Farr to jail for contempt for
failing to reveal a source. Farr had written an account of a witness who
said the Manson family had planned to kill such entertainers as Frank
Sinatra and Elizabeth Taylor.
Edward Cazier, Older's former law partner, said: "He
was a Renaissance man. He was, in addition to his wartime and judicial
exploits, an accomplished watercolourist and a very good golfer."
Older's wife, Catherine, whom he married in 1943, and three daughters
|OLDER: Charles Older--2006 by "Peter_McCrae" <>|