Southern California breaking news and trends

LAPD: A dozen unsolved homicides may be linked to the Manson family

APTOPIX Charles Manson

California Department of Corrections/AP

A photo provided by the California Department of Corrections shows serial killer Charles Manson Wed., April 4, 2012.

Los Angeles police revealed Thursday that the department is actively investigating 12 unsolved homicides that may be linked to the Manson family.

The L.A. Times reports that the details of the dozen cases have been withheld, but that police were probing the decades-old cases because they were committed in areas the "family" was known to operate.

The announcement of the open investigations coincides with legal action to obtain audio tapes from 1969 that may hold clues about additional murders.

Officials have so far been unsuccessful in acquiring the eight cassette tapes, which are believed to contain hours of conversation between Manson follower Charles "Tex" Watson — currently serving a life sentence for his role in killings — and his late attorney.

Access to the tapes was blocked in early October when a Texas judge prevented the LAPD from executing a search warrant at the office that houses the tapes. The search warrant approach was taken after a previous ruling granting review of the tapes was stalled by an appeal from Watson's attorney, the Times reports.

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Manson family recordings may hold clues to unsolved killings

APTOPIX Charles Manson

California Department of Corrections/AP

Charles Manson. A judge will decide whether to release "Manson family" audio tapes to Los Angeles police.

A judge is set to rule today on whether a collection of Manson family member recordings will be turned over to Los Angeles authorities.

Officials believe the tapes may hold clues to unsolved killings.

The Texas hearing involves audio recordings of conversations between Manson family member Charles "Tex" Watson and his attorney.

Watson, who previously made the tapes available to the co-author of his 1978 book "Will You Die for Me?," is currently serving a life sentence for his involvement in the 1969 Tate-La Bianca murders.

The tapes were part of the estate of now-deceased Texas lawyer Bill Boyd. Los Angeles authorities say they received a tip that the recordings, and other items, may include information pertaining to unsolved cases. 

Police say they have no specific information on what the recordings contain, however, the Associated Press reports.

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