Susan Bartell

Susan Bartell (aka Country Sue Bartell, Land Sue)

Susan Bartell

Susan Phyllis Bartell did not join the family until sometime after the Tate and Labianca killings.

Susan Bartell was born on June 28, 1951 in Los Angeles. Growing up she attended Canoga Park High School and was still attending when she began telling friends about a man named “Charlie” who was some sort of musically inclined singing prophet, according to students who remember her.

Although Susan was considered a “member” of the Manson Family, she did not actually join the group until sometime after the Tate and Labianca killings had already taken place on August 9 and 10, 1969. However, she was at the Barker Ranch and was arrested along with everyone else during the ranch raids on October 10 and October 12, 1969; she was taken into custody while driving a car full of groceries to the location.

Susan Bartell was also present during the suspicious death and alleged suicide of John “Zero” Haught on November 5th, 1969 at the Home of Mark Ross located at 28 Clubhouse Avenue in Venice, California. When interviewed by police at the scene Bartell corroborated with the other occupants of the home, that they had heard a gunshot and rushed to the room to find Madaline Joan Cottage “Little Patty” saying that Zero had shot himself by accident playing Russian Roulette. The death was officially ruled a suicide, despite later finding contradictory evidence.

It has been said that Ed Sanders, the man who wrote “The Family”, a profile of the events leading up to the Tate-LaBianca murders, drove with Sue from Spahn Ranch to the Free Clinic in Los Angeles. On the drive there, Sanders brought up that he had heard from police that they had suspected Donkey Dan DeCarlo as being the shooter in Zero’s murder. Sue quickly said, “No, he wasn’t at the murder”, and then quickly caught herself and added,”I mean, whatever it was… Danny wasn’t there.” She went on to tell Sanders that Cappi, Claudia, Bruce and others were in the living room and that she personally held Zero while he died.

Susan Bartell was also one of several family members to record Folk rock music written by Manson in “The Family Jams”, an album recorded while the murder trial was ongoing with a song called “Get on Home” containing eerie quotes referring to the carving of x’s into the foreheads of members who waited outside the courthouse.

“When you see the children with x’s on their head, if you dare to look at them, soon you will be dead.”

In Vincent Bugliosi’s book “Helter Skelter”, Susan Bartell is mentioned as the person that calls and threatens lawyers during the trials; threatening aimed at motivating defense attorneys, and intimidating prosecutors. She was never charged as it wasn’t easy to trace the calls back then, but Bugliosi suspected it was Sue.

Susan is still alive and lives in California.

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