The Susan Atkins Biography Many of you will remember the website mansonfamilytoday. He prematurely passed away in and with him went the website. But now, due to the dilligence of an unnamed blog reader, the biographies that Bret had compiled on four of the killers Bruce Davis , Patricia Krenwinkel , Charles Watson and Susan Atkins have been recovered.
If memory serves me correctly Bret was working on Leslie's bio when he met his untimely demise. The bios are long, dense and full of great info. Given the length of each, we will present one per week beginning with Bruce Davis.
Rest in peace, Bret. You are sorely missed She grew up in Santa Clara California where she had a difficult childhood. Susan Atkins was the most deprived of the three Manson girls convicted of murder. Both of her parents were alcoholics, and her mother Jeanette Atkins died of cancer when Atkins was fourteen years old. Susan had two brothers, Michael who is older and Steven who was the youngest. She is remembered from those days as a self-conscious quiet girl, a member of her school glee club and the local church choir.
One fellow choir member later described her, "She seemed to be able to assert her personality through singing in a way she couldn't in her daily life.
Her father was especially close to her older brother Michael. Susan claims she was sexually molested repeatedly by her older brother and several of his friends. He later told Susan he did it because he wanted to "teach his friends about girls. Then Susan's mother became ill and was diagnosed with terminal cancer.
Just two weeks before Mrs. Jeanette Atkins made her last way to the hospital, Susan brought along other members of her church choir to sing Christmas carols under her bedroom window.
After the death of her mother relatives were called in along with her grandparents to help look after Susan and her two brothers.
Atkins' long illness had been financially ruinous to the family and all they were left with was a huge pile of bills and no money to meet them. Edward Atkins, her father started drinking more heavily and Susan was very upset and their relationship deteriorated. Although her father told a slightly different story: But friends, neighbors, ministers and teachers say Susan was constantly uprooted, changing homes, schools and friends frequently as Mr.
Atkins roamed around looking for work. Atkins eventually had to sell the house and move to Los Banes, California, where he found work on the San Luis Dam project. He eventually left Susan and her younger brother Steven.
Michael had remained in San Jose. Susan was forced to take a job during her junior year in school to support herself and Steven. A next door neighbor later said "Susan was a good kid who just needed some direction and someone who cared.
She was left alone. There was no place to turn for help. We never had any trouble with her, although she would get despondent and break down and cry in my house.
She decided to drop it and get a full time job to support herself, as her grandparents didn't have room for both her and Steven, and since Steven was younger Susan had to go. Her older brother had previously left home to join the navy. She claims she became an accomplished thief and could steal anything she wanted and discovered that stealing gave her thrills. During that time she was in high school all Susan wanted out of life was to have fun, by then she had become thirsty for excitement.
Her grades deteriorated in spite of her attempts to manipulate her teachers Atkins dropped out of Los Banos High at eighteen and migrated San Francisco in hope of a better life where she started working for a magazine agency but quit after only two months because of undesirable conditions. She then held various jobs: After arriving in San Francisco she became very lonely and depressed.
She was living in a flee-bag-hotel and had virtually no friends to begin with. She would spend her nights bar hopping and going to bed with different men every night.
She attempted to bleach out her hair platinum like Jayne Mansfield but it turned out yellow with burned ends. She had to cut her long hair below her ears but decided to stay blond.
One night when Susan was at her lowest she took some codeine pills and pretended to kill herself but was really just calling for attention and help. She phoned and left the door open before she played dead. One night after being out on the town drinking with a gay neighbour she met was walking up Market Street when she met two sailors who invited her to their hotel. There she was introduced to marijuana for the first time. She liked the pleasant effect and would take anything that would give her satisfaction and relieve her from her grey existence.
She became involved with two escaped convicts Clifton Talefero and Al Sund, she was in love with one of them and the three committed armed robberies along the west coast. When caught by an Oregon State Trooper while trying to flee over the Oregon boarder, Atkins was carrying a loaded firearm.
When she was arrested she reportedly told the state trooper, "I should have killed you. Susan started making new friends through new escapades through dope and LSD, she supported herself as a topless dancer and later by selling narcotics, but she never made it beyond the seedy Go-Go Halls where she made a decent living as an amateur topless Go-Go dancer.
She was very flexible and had a voluptuous figure. She had brooding dark eyes and a serious oval face Through her go-go dancing she also briefly worked for Church of Satan founder Anton Szandor LaVey as a stage actress in a production which featured her as a vampire. In her dance routine she pretended to be a member of the audience who would all of a sudden start taking of her clothes and head for the stage. He was living there with several people and together they sold large amounts of dope and narcotics.
At this house Atkins met Charles Manson who was seated in the living room and playing his guitar. Captivated by his music, she decided to leave her man and began to travel with him and some of his female followers in a school bus they painted all black.
The father was a young man named Bruce White, a college student from the University of New Mexico who was studying physiology. She had met him in New Mexico when she and other members of the Family were traveling through in White joined them and lived with them in the Topanga Canyon area for a month. He left shortly before the Family settled down at the Spahn Movie Ranch. Atkins parental rights were terminated once she was convicted and he was adopted, and she has had no contact with her son since her incarceration in , although her attorney Debra Frasier in tried to locate him without success.
Her son was adopted by a couple in medicine and renamed "Paul". Detailed account of Susan's life with Manson and the girls can be found in Susan's own words in her autobiography "Child of Satan, Child of God" and her account in "The Killing of Sharon Tate.
According to Mary Brunner's testimony at Bobby Beausoleil's trial, it was Bobby who stabbed and killed Hinman while Brunner and Atkins were watching from the kitchen. Brunner denied having seen Atkins put a pillow over Hinman's face. The only person to support that story was Atkins herself when she was trying to out gross two cell mates. At the Tate house, Atkins helped tie up the victims and as a result got into a violent struggle with Voytek Frykowski and stabbed him several times in the legs.
She held Sharon Tate down while waiting for Watson. According Watson's testimony it was him alone who stabbed Sharon Tate. Although Susan did not kill Sharon, she stabbed frykowski and she entered the residence with the intention that everyone would be killed before they left.
She helped struggle with the victims in an attempt to keep them from escaping so her role is a little more serious than she wants to admit today. She claims she only "participated" by being present and not stopping the senseless slaughter. In October , the Barker Ranch in Death Valley was raided and family members were arrested for arson. While at the prison, Kathryn Lutesinger implicated Atkins in the Hinman murder.
Atkins was transferred to another prison. It was there that she bragged to cell mates Ronnie Howard and Virginia Graham about the family's involvement in the Tate, LaBianca murders. The information was turned over to the police and Manson, Watson, Krenwinkel were arrested and a warrant was issued for Kasabian whose whereabouts were unknown. Atkins testified before a Los Angeles Grand Jury, hoping to avoid the death penalty. She said Charles Manson sent them to the house to kill everyone on the premises.
It was to cause panic terror. She said they wore their creepy-crawly outfits, sent by Manson and hell bent on murder.
She gleefully described every gruesome detail of the murders She revealed how she held down Sharon Tate as she pleaded for her and the baby's life. She recounted how she told Tate, "Look, bitch, I don't care a about you. I don't care if you're going to have a baby or not. You're going to die and I don't feel anything about it.
She claimed she stood by as Watson stabbed her repeatedly. She also claimed she stabbed Voytek Frykowski several times in the legs. The whole world was watching. As she came out of the court room, every newspaper, magazine and television station in the US was waiting. The media exposure from day one was unprecedented and incredible. On December 2, , there was hardly a person in the United States and Europe who didn't know her name.
She had betrayed her own people and Manson and the others never forgave her for what she did. Atkins, returning to her role as a devoted Mansonite, was tried with Manson, Krenwinkel and Van Houten for first-degree murder for the Tate-LaBianca massacres.
The girls carved an X on their foreheads and shaved their heads to show their solidarity and constantly disrupted the courtroom.