Susan Atkins received a life sentence for her participation in the Tate/LaBianca murders

Susan Atkins (aka Sadie Mae Glutz, Sexy Sadie, Violet, Sharon King, Donna Kay Powell) [DECEASED]

Susan Atkins

Known to the Family as”Sadie,” Susan Atkins was convicted of murdering seven people

As a young teen, Susan Atkins sang in her church choir in San Jose, California and nursed her mother, who was dying of cancer. After her mother’s death, however, her life went seriously off course. She fought with her father, dropped out of high school, and moved to San Francisco where she became a topless dancer, hustler, and gun moll.

While living in San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury district in 1967, Atkins met Charles Manson. In her grand jury testimony, Atkins said:

“[Manson] gave me the faith in myself to be able to know that I am a women…. I gave myself to him.”

Atkins said there was “no limit” to what she would do for “the only complete man I have ever met.” To Atkins, Manson “represented a Jesus Christ-like person.”

Atkins spent a year-and-a-half traveling around the Southwest with other Manson Family members on an old school bus. During this time Atkins was taking lots of LSD and practicing free love with Manson Family members of both sexes. In 1968, she bore a child, who Manson helped deliver, named Zezozose Zadfrack Glutz. Atkins moved into the Family’s Spahn Ranch in 1969. On August 8 of that year, she set out on a bloody attack that left five dead at the home of actress Sharon Tate. Atkins later admitted stabbing Voytek Frykowski in the legs and holding down Tate while Tex Watson stabbed her to death. Additionally, she said she wrote “PIG” on the door to the residence using Tate’s blood. 

While Sharon Tate pleaded for her life and the life of her unborn child, Atkins told her:

“Look bitch, I don’t care about you. I don’t care about your baby. You’re going to die and I don’t feel a thing about it.” – Susan Atkins to Sharon Tate, August 9th, 1969.

There remains some speculation about who stabbed Sharon Tate. Atkins initially told Graham and Howard she did it. However, she later recanted, and Tex Watson has since taken full responsibility. 

While in prison on other charges in 1969, Atkins revealed her participation in the Tate murders to Virginia Graham:

“You have to have real love in your heart to do this for people.” 

The LAPD proposed granting Atkins immunity in return for her testimony that could convict Manson and other Family members. Prosecutor Vincent Bugliosi claims he immediately objected, saying, “We don’t give that gal anything!” In the end, the prosecution offered not to seek the death penalty in return for her trial testimony–an offer which Atkins, after testifying before the Grand Jury, refused.

A jury convicted the twenty-two-year-old Atkins of first-degree murder and sentenced her to death in 1970. Her sentence was reduced to life imprisonment when the California Supreme Court declared the state’s death penalty unconstitutional.

In September 1974, Atkins said her cell door opened and “a brilliant light poured over her.” Describing the experience in her 1977 book Child of Satan, Child of God, Atkins said she believed the light was Jesus, telling her God had forgiven her, etc. Atkins died on September 24, 2009 at the Central California Women’s Facility, Chowchilla, California.

Read Susan Atkins’ memoir Child of Satan, Child of God.

Discuss this topic in the new Susan Atkins forum.

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