The HELTER SKELTER MYTH - a response by Susan to the book “Helter Skelter” accepted as Truth concerning the Manson Murders. Many correcting points to Bugliosi’s assumptions. It is highly foot noted and informative. It is a good read.
My Basic Thesis that Susan did not kill anyone with the supporting evidence, and “the myth of Susan Atkins” developed.
Newspaper articles - I present few newspaper articles. There exist hundreds contradicting each other. Most are not direct information so I don’t use them. I used court transcripts and participant statements as I believe these more accurate.
This site was dedicated to the question of paroling Susan Atkins – Whitehouse. However she has passed on. I am leaving the information up for anyone interested in researching the actual documents. I didn’t edit it so it reads as a current presentation for parole. Susan, for those of you who don’t know, was involved in a couple of murders on August 9-10 1969 known to history as The Manson Murder’s. Given this it may surprise you that I am supporting her parole. Especially with the stories that have circulated about her. “She butchered Sharon Tate, drank her blood, took the child Sharon was pregnant with.” She even confessed to this in the sentencing phase of the trial. But my question is did she really do these things? At the time she claimed she did but has since recanted and says she didn’t. I have been looking at the evidence I have, court papers, testimonies, and come to the conclusion that Susan did not kill anyone. For instance the Coroners Report for Mr. Hinman which is grisly enough reading does not mention anything about him dying by suffocation, of which Susan is thought by many to have done. Like wise when she goes on trial for the Hinman murder and waives all rights she is told that to plead guilty to 1st degree murder she has to have caused the murder as the result of commiting the crime with specific intent - and she says she can’t say that. But then when she later realizes that if she doesn’t say this then she will have to sit through another trial with Manson she changes her statements so she can plead guilty. Is this because she is guilty (even though the State thinks she is more guilty of aiding and abetting) or is it as she states in her Myth of Helter Skelter she was sick of Manson and was already going to die for the Tate murder so she just wanted to get away from Manson? As I have read the documents more and more I have concluded it is the latter. As for the Tate residence murder’s it is often assumed that she fought with Frykowski and stabbed him in the leg. But there is a question if she did stab him. The knife she had didn’t match the wounds. This also seems to be true of the wounds on Sharon Tate. Also Sharon’s throat was not cut as member’s of Sharon’s family has said, nor was the baby taken as many thought. Susan lost her knife in the struggle with Frykowski (it was found in the cushions) (Helter Skelter p17) yet in her 1976 book Susan says she got a second knife from Linda Kasabian though Linda’s testimony doesn’t square with this at all. She did say “Look Bitch I have no mercy on you” but in her Grand Jury trial she points out she was talking to reassure herself - “I went over and grabbed her by the hand and put my arm around her neck. She looked at me and begged me to let me have her sit down and i was told before we even got there no matter what they beg don't give them any leeway. Anyway, I went over and put her down on the couch and looked into her face knowing that anything that I would say I was saying to myself, in a sense reassuring myself. I looked at her and said, "Woman, I have no mercy for you." And I knew at that time I was talking to myself not to her.” Of course for Sharon this was horrible to hear, but the horror was also directed at Susan. And she did give leeway even though told not to. Since the trial Susan has denied killing anyone. As you have seen this appears to be true about Hinman. And it also seems to be true about Sharon Tate. Though she says in her 1976 book she got a second knife after losing her’s in the cushions, there is only that statement to support it. Watson doesn’t mention it, Kasabian doesn’t. As a matter of fact Watson later gets mad at her for losing her knife. If he had known at the time and given her a second, or Linda had, Watson would have made sure the first one was found and removed. After all he was the Man in Charge (this is pre woman’s liberation 60’ after all). I don’t know if she had the second knife. It would be odd for Watson to order an empty handed Susan to kill. Yet the discriptions are Susan sitting next to Sharon holding her arm. As for what Susan did, well again the testimony could all be lies, but she says she hesitated attacking Frykowski which was a result from she couldn’t do it. Like wise in the Grand Jury
testimony she said she didn’t kill Sharon Tate and that in fact she tried to hide her inability from Watson. In her 1976 book and on Watson’s site this is confirmed. The State also asserts in the 1976 appeal concerning Manson (refering to a prior appeal from Atkins) that Bugliosi’s assertion that Susan killed Sharon Tate was only his opinion. And Bugliosi was no Saint as he was accused of using his office to harass a milkman who delivered to his house and also an affair and beating the married woman, though he denies it. Nor for that matter neither was Stephen Kay who worked with a serial rapist for information. So if the State doubts she smothered Hinman, and the Coroner’s report doesn’t mention it, and if the knife stabs in Frykowski’s leg don’t match her knife, and if the stab wounds on Tate don’t match her weapon, and Watson claims he killed Tate because Susan refused his direction, that kind of leaves me with one conclusion.
SUSAN ATKINS DID NOT KILL ANYONE.
She may have told the Prosecutor she did, and cell mates and at the sentencing portion of the Tate trial, but that doesn’t mean she in fact did. Prisoners lie all the time for their own reasons. This started the Susan is inconsistent story that most dismiss her with. Truth is she does contradict herself over the years on many details. But lying doesn’t deserve a 40+ year sentence, a life sentence. Cackling and laughing at victims families while callous doesn’t deserve life. Being deranged from a horrible life doesn’t deserve forever. And if she didn’t kill anyone, as the State evidence and participant words demonstrate, then does she deserve life imprisonment? The same as the ones who did stab? Susan is not innocent. She deserved prison. But I question continuing. In my opinion the truth is she was stunned at the time and not a willing participant. Susan has served her time. Additionally she has a brain tumor, has had a leg removed, and is paralyzed on the one side. She is physically incapable to be any threat even if she wanted, even if she ever was one. We citizens of California are paying a few million dollars for her care and protection. And to make the point - the killers will still be in prison.