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Saturday, September 26, 2009

Susan Atkin finally dies in U.S. prison

National Post
September 25, 2009

LOS ANGELES - Susan Atkins, one of the leading members of Charles Manson's notorious violent cult who carried out brutal murders at his behest in 1969, has died in a California prison, her husband said on Friday. She was 61.

Atkins, imprisoned since 1971 for her part in eight Manson-related murders, had been suffering from a brain tumor. Earlier this month, state corrections officials rejected her request [for compassionate release.]

"Susan passed away peacefully surrounded by friends and loved ones and the incredible staff at the Skilled Nursing Facility at the Central California Women's Facility," her husband, James Whitehouse, said by e-mail. A much better death than those afforded her victims.

"... Her last whispered word was 'Amen.' No one (on) the face of the Earth worked as hard as Susan did to right an unrightable wrong," Whitehouse said. In exactly what way? Did I miss some Susan Atkins Campaign for Victims?

...At a 1993 parole hearing, Atkins described her time with Manson by saying, "It is almost impossible to understand insanity and that's what I was living with - insanity."

Atkins was 21 years old when the career criminal Manson dispatched her and other followers to the Beverly Hills home of actress Sharon Tate and film director Roman Polanski on Aug. 9, 1969, with orders to kill. Polanski was out of town but the heavily pregnant Tate and four friends were brutally stabbed, beaten and shot to death. Atkins later said she personally stabbed Tate after ignoring her pleas for mercy...

The brutality and seemingly random nature of the murders terrorized much of Southern California and stunned the nation.

Atkins was convicted in 1970...

...[Atkins] disrupted court proceedings with laughter, shaved her head, carved and X on her forehead and sang Manson-penned songs.

...In 1967, she fell under Manson's spell ...she became known within the cult by nicknames Manson gave her: Sadie Mae Glutz and Sexy Sadie.

Atkins' talkative nature implicated the Manson cult. She was being held as a suspect in another slaying and bragged about the Tate-LaBianca case to jailhouse acquaintances, even claiming she had tasted Tate's blood.

Atkins agreed to testify against Manson and confessed to a grand jury but recanted before going to trial. She later pleaded guilty in the torture-murder of a musician who Manson said had cheated him on a drug deal...

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