Listen to Manson Follower 'Squeaky' Fromme's Mental Evaluation

She sounds calm and in control talking with psychiatrist before trial

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff

Posted Apr 24, 2014 1:21 PM CDT

(Newser) – The Sacramento Bee is out with a fascinating bit of history regarding Manson follower Lynette "Squeaky" Fromme. A judge agreed to the newspaper's request to release audio recordings of her psychiatric evaluation on Sept. 21, 1975, made just weeks after she was arrested for pointing a gun at President Gerald Ford. (It never went off, and Secret Service wrestled her to the ground.) You can listen to excerpts here, but don't expect to hear crazed ramblings. She's pretty "cool and calm," in the words of NBC News. Some snippets:

  • Psychiatrist James Richmond: "What are you charged with, Lynette?"
  • Fromme: "Attempted assassination of the president of the United States."

  • Richmond: “The press has made a number of comments to the effect that you’re a rather daft broad wandering about in this world, following ill-begotten causes and so forth. How do you feel about that?”
  • Fromme: “I’m working through it the best way I can. I feel this trial, conducted with a little bit of dignity, would help tremendously.”
  • Fromme on the Manson cult: “We did not have sex orgies and drug orgies or cult meetings or hanging Christ in effigy or pretending Charlie was Christ or anything of that nature. This all comes out of people’s imagination. We were actually pretty healthy.”
  • Fromme on prison food: "Well, doc, the food here is not the type of food that I eat. ... I'm a vegetarian. I try and avoid additives, sugar; I ordinarily don’t eat any sugar, starch.”
Fromme said she thought there was a 70% chance she'd be cleared of attempted-assassination charges, but she was convicted and imprisoned until her parole in 2009. (Another Manson follower who murdered two people was granted parole last month.)

In this  Sept. 5, 1975 photo, Secret Service agents put handcuffs on Lynette Squeaky Fromme after she pointed a gun at President Gerald Ford in Sacramento, Calif.
In this Sept. 5, 1975 photo, Secret Service agents put handcuffs on Lynette "Squeaky" Fromme after she pointed a gun at President Gerald Ford in Sacramento, Calif.   (AP Photo/File)
In this Dec. 17, 1975, photo, Lynette Squeaky Fromme waves a finger at the photographer as she is taken from court in Sacramento, Calif.
In this Dec. 17, 1975, photo, Lynette "Squeaky" Fromme waves a finger at the photographer as she is taken from court in Sacramento, Calif.   (AP Photo/Walt Zeboski, File)
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