LOS ANGELES (CBS) — A federal judge ruled Tuesday that the Los Angeles police will have access to a decades-old audio recordings of a convicted Manson family member and his attorney.

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

KNX 1070’s Claudia Peschiutta reports Watson and Boyd spoke for more than 8 hours on tape, which wound up as part of a book on the Manson killings, but Watson signed a legal waiver of his ownership rights on the tape and Boyd died in 2009.

LAPD Commander Andy Smith said if robbery homicide detectives can listen to the tapes, it might prove useful in providing a fuller picture of the Manson crime syndicate in 1969.

“What we’re hoping is that we get any kind of information at all about any unsolved case or any information at all that will help close the door on interesting cases,” said Smith.

Watson is serving a life sentence for his role in the 1969 Tate-La Bianca murders.

Smith admits the maneuvering amounts to little more than a legal fishing expedition since detectives are not looking into any specific cold cases or missing persons investigations tied to the Manson Family.

But he did signal that detectives could be on their way to the Lone Star State very soon ahead of the ruling to release the tapes.

“If the judge rules in our favor, we’ll go ahead and send a couple of our [robbery homicide] detectives over there right away,” he said.


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