3 of Susan Atkins’ Letters, Implicating Her In Killings, Read To Jury
Thursday, October 29th, 1970
LOS ANGELES, Oct. 29 – Three letters from defendant Susan Atkins deeply implicating her in the Sharon Tate murders were read to the jury yesterday while the young woman bent low over a scratch pad and etched out a picture.
The letters were written in December 1969 to three former inmates in the women’s jail here. In one Miss Atkins wrote, “I did what I did because that is what I did.”
The trial was interrupted in late afternoon when Sheriff’s Sgt. William Maupin was about to testify and the trial was recessed to judge’s chambers.
It was reported that Maupin was about to relate an occasion when Charles Manson offered him a bribe as he was being led to his jail cell.
The letters were read by the court stenographer in one passage the girl whom Manson nicknamed Sadie Glutz said:
“I did not admit going into the second house because I was not in the second house.”
Testimony by previous state witnesses has been that Miss Atkins participated in the murders at the home of actress Sharon Tate, but was not present when Leno and Rosemary LaBianca were killed.
One letter was written to a woman named Ronni Howard, one of Miss Atkins’ cellmates, who testified earlier in the trial that Miss Atkins had told her about the Tate slayings.
One passage read:
“When I heard you were the informer I wanted to slit your throat. But now just come and say you love me.”
In another development in the trial, Dist. Atty. Evelle J. Younger announced there was a possibility that Manson, accused of eight murders, would be charged with others.
Younger called a special meeting “to discuss possible additional murder charges in connection with the Manson case.”
Although Younger did not say who the victims were, in testimony outside the presence of the jury Tuesday, Paul Watkins said Manson had told him about the slaying of a ranch hand, Donald O’Shea, missing for months.
Watkins, one of the final witnesses called by the prosecution, was asked by a defense lawyer whether he wanted to see Manson dead or whether he cared.
“I don’t care,” Watkins said. “Everyone does what he does to himself.”
The young man described one LSD party where 30 or so followers were on the floor and Manson sat in a wicker chair talking.
“I listened to Charlie say ‘die’ and I thought I’ll have to do that. I tried to but I couldn’t figure out any way to. I imagined riding a motorcycle into a rock and splattering all over the place but then I opened my eyes and my body was still there.
“Charlie said ‘die’ again so we all lay down and acted like we were dead bodies all over the floor and one girl started screaming like she was dying and screaming ‘Charlie.’ And then Charlie was in the middle of the room moving his fingers and feeling the confusion in the air.”
Defense Attorney Paul Fitzgerald revealed to newsmen that he had been trying for a month to serve a subpoena on Beatle John Lennon to appear at the trial with regard to lyrics that allegedly led Manson to violence.
Fitzgerald said he understood Lennon had been in Los Angeles recently but that an attempt to find him had been fruitless “because there’s a tremendous wall of people around the man.” He said he had been informed Lennon had returned to London.