Susan was involved in murders in 1969 known as The Manson Murder’s. There are stories about her. “She cut Sharon Tate’s stomach open, drank her blood, took Sharon’s child.” Yet the pictures of MS. Tate clearly show this didn’t happen. Susan confessed to murder in her trial but later recanted. She contradicted herself a lot.
After reading court papers, letters, testimonies, despite the public belief, I concluded Susan did not kill anyone.
The Coroners Report for Mr. Hinman though grisly is interesting because Susan states she killed Hinman but the State doesn’t believe this. The State thought she was guilty of aiding and abetting but not killing. Later she said she was already sentenced to death for the Tate killing, was sick of Manson, and did not want to sit through another trial. Reading the document she did not want to plead guilty to 1st degree murder because to do so she had to commit the crime with “specific intent”. But realizing this meant sitting with Manson again she switched her claim. There appears no evidence that she suffocated, stabbed, or did anything to Mr. Hinman except she tried to sew up his cuts. That was the also States position also. But she confessed so they accepted it.
As for the Tate murder’s it is often stated that she fought with Frykowski and stabbed him in the leg. However her knife didn’t match the wounds, nor those Sharon Tate. She was involved but lost her knife in the struggle with Frykowski (it was found in sofa cushions -Helter Skelter p17). In her 1976 book Susan says she got a second knife from Linda Kasabian but Linda’s testimony contradicts this. And Susan’s statement “Look Bitch I have no mercy on you” in the Grand Jury she points out was talking to 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 but note Susan directed it at herself.
Since the trials Susan denied killing anyone. This might be true about
Hinman., and maybe about Sharon Tate. In her 1976 book Susan says she got a second knife after losing her’s but Watson nor Kasabian mention this. Watson later got mad at Susan for losing her knife. If he had known he would have made sure it was found. Maybe Susan got a second knife. It would be odd for Watson to order an empty handed Susan to kill. Yet all discriptions are of Susan sitting next to Sharon holding her arm.
As for what Susan did, testimony contradicts, but she says she hesitated attacking Frykowski because she couldn’t do it. The Grand Jury testimony she said she didn’t kill Sharon Tate and tried to hide her inability from Watson. In her book and on Watson’s site this is restated. In the 1976 appeal concerning Manson The State also asserts (refering to a prior appeal from Atkins) that Bugliosi’s assertion Susan killed Sharon Tate was only his opinion not a fact.
If the State doubts Susan killed Hinman, the Coroner’s report doesn’t mention it, the stabs in Frykowski Tate don’t match Susan’s knife, and Watson assertion he killed Tate, then who did Susan kill?
She probably lied at times but that doesn’t mean she in fact killed. I am not saying Susan was innocent. She aided and abetted in the crimes. She did contradict herself, cackled and laughed at victims families, but from the State evidence and participants words seem to demonstrate she did not in fact kill. She was not in a cult, but a gang, where the leader makes the others guilty by action to protect the leader.
In my opinion she was stunned at the time of the killings but not a happy participant. There is an interview where Susan claims Manson threatened to kill her if she opened her mouth. But that is my opinion. Susan served her time then died of a brain tumor. So for her it is over. I write this because of the myth we may have swallowed from movies that are not true. Movies are not always accurate.
Also Bugliosi was no Saint. He was accused of using his office to harass a milkman who delivered to his house and also beating a married woman he had an affair with, though he denied this. Nor was Stephen Kay who worked with a serial rapist for information.
But then again, these are on a level different from sneaking into someone’s house and killing them.
Make use of the information provided and form your own opinion.
This site was first created when Susan Atkins was alive. It was dedicated to examining evidence about her concerning the Manson “Family” and the murders she participated in. The reason for this is a lot of what the public knows comes from movies. These movies often contradict the book Helter Skelter by Mr. Bugliosi. Even though Ms. Atkins has passed on I am leaving the information up for anyone interested in researching actual documents instead of stories . I hope they are of value.
Susan's Plea - Hinman case
Letter from Psychiatrist that did original assessment of Susan where he feels Bugliosi mis represented his results
Frokowski Coroner Report
My Basic Thesis on Susan
Susan Describe Tate Murder
Joel Hochman Letter
Manson Appeal 1976
Article conscerning Susan
George Denny Book on Bugliosi
Susan’s Hinman case plea guilty even though State of California doesn’t think she did it.
Deputy Orr on the girls
A book on some of Bugliosi’s quirks
Kay making deals with Criminals
The blonde behive deputy in many of Susan’s photos.