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Monday, July 6th, 2015
On Monday, December 1, 1969, Judge William Keene signed an order, requested by Attorney Richard Caballero, authorizing the removal of Sadie Mae Glutz, aka Susan Atkins, from the Sybil Brand Institute, between the hours of 2:30pm and 10:00pm. Atkins was taken to 425 South Beverly Boulevard, Beverly Hills – the law offices of Paul Caruso – where she was interviewed on tape by Caruso and Caballero for the purpose of determining a plea. The following is the transcript of the taped interview.
SUSAN ATKINS: About two months prior to meeting him I was in an apartment in San Francisco and I was on LSD up on the roof and I just looked at the city and I couldn’t handle it. And I remember reaching up with my hands and there was no sky, just blue in my hands, and there was no depth to it.
PAUL CARUSO: You were close to the sky?
SUSAN ATKINS: Yes, and I asked if God, just stop this world and take me off of it. About two months later, after travelling around for two or three months, I ended up in a house in San Francisco on Lime Street. It was primarily dope dealers. I got involved with them and then one day a little man came in with a guitar and started singing for a group of us that were together. And he sang, the song that hit me hardest was “The Shadow of His Smile” and his voice, his manner, just more or less hypnotized me – mesmerized me. I was just absolutely in love with him. I didn’t know him and I also felt I was in competition with him because he got more attention than I did.
PAUL CARUSO: That’s normal.
SUSAN ATKINS: And I asked him if I could play his guitar. Now, I didn’t know how to play the guitar, I knew maybe one or two chords on the guitar. And he said to me, sure, and handed me his guitar. And I looked at it and I thought to myself, I didn’t say it, I said I can’t play this and he turned around and he looked at me, straight in the eye, and said you can play that if you want to. And immediately I knew he was in my head and, wow, nothing like this ever happened before and it blew my mind. I was just with him from then on.
PAUL CARUSO: What was his name?
SUSAN ATKINS: Charles Manson.
PAUL CARUSO: You say he was a short man?
SUSAN ATKINS: Yes.
PAUL CARUSO: How old a man is he?
SUSAN ATKINS: 36, 37 years old.
PAUL CARUSO: And did you play the guitar?
SUSAN ATKINS: No, I handed it back to him after that. I plucked with it but handed it back. And he left and came back, you know, in about a period of two days and he took me off. You know, took me for a walk. Said do you want to go for a walk with me and and I said yes. I felt really privileged because all the girls in the house were just in love with him, his whole mannerism and the way he spoke. And we walked about two blocks away from where our house was to the place where he was staying in San Francisco and he took me into his room and said I want to make love with you and I said okay. Have you ever made love with your father. I said no. He said have you never thought about it? And I got kind of embarrassed and said yeah, like two or three times. He told me to take off my clothes. I took off my clothes. There was a full length mirror in the room and he said notice yourself in the mirror. I couldn’t look at myself. He said, go ahead, look at yourself in the mirror – look how beautiful you are. I looked and I turned away and he pushed my head back and said Look, you’re perfect. And I said well, yes, it’s okay and while he was making love with me told me to imagine I was making love with my father to get me through that particular hangup that I had about my father. And about when we were through, it didn’t last long, it was better than I’d ever had it before. It was the most beautiful experience I’d ever experienced. He took me back to Lime Street house and then he left. And then he brought over two girls the next day, a girl by the name of Lynn Fromme and Patricia Krenwinkel and a Mary Brunner and said that they’d just gotten a school bus and they were going to paint it black and fix up the inside and he asked, a couple of other girls, a girl by the name of Ella, I don’t know what her last name, Ella Bailey and another girl I don’t know what her name is and asked if they wanted to go along with him and I felt hurt because he didn’t ask me. And so I was talking to the other girl and they said well, if you want to go, ask him! Well, I didn’t ask him.
PAUL CARUSO: You were too shy?
SUSAN ATKINS: Yes, I wanted him to ask me —
PAUL CARUSO: You wanted him to ask you? —
SUSAN ATKINS: Right. I wanted him to ask me. And he came back and was getting the two girls ready to go in the school bus with him and I was upstairs, it was a three story house, and he was talking to another girl. And at the time I had what I called “the little man” who was in jail —
PAUL CARUSO: I know what the name means. Were you a “working girl” at the time?
SUSAN ATKINS: No. I had just quit working as a topless dancer. He came up to me and said, “Well, are you going to go with me or aren’t you?” I said, “Well, what about my old man in jail?” And he said, “What do you mean ‘your old man’? Don’t you mean your victim?” I flashed, Wow, he’s right. I went downstairs and packed two changes of clothes, some of my mother’s things that I had with me, put it in a suitcase, put it in the bus, and off we went. And for about a year and a half all we did was travel around in that bus. Five girls and Charlie.
PAUL CARUSO: How did you live in those days?
SUSAN ATKINS: People gave us things. Charlie had such a way of communicating with us we were just all together in the bus going through our changes, getting to know each other, getting uninhibited so we could make love each other freely. And he put me through a few changes with Lynn and he would make love with Lynn and I’d feel jealous and so would everybody else in the bus for the simple reason he always picked her. In all three years he only made love with me six times.
PAUL CARUSO: That’s strange. You’re a very attractive girl.
SUSAN ATKINS: Thank you. I’m aware of that.
PAUL CARUSO: Self-confidence. You should have it. That’s why it’s a shame for anybody to put you down because you shouldn’t be put down. You should have self-confidence.
SUSAN ATKINS: That’s what Charles did for three years – he gave me my faith in myself back to me. One of the good things he did for me. Showed me how to be a woman and not to be a man-trap. In other words, I can control men if I wish to, but that’s not my place and I realize that now.
PAUL CARUSO: Are you over Charles yet or does he still fascinate you?
SUSAN ATKINS: He fascinates me and I still fear him. Not too long before were arrested in the desert he called me out away from the rest of the girls and he said, “Sadie, you’re not, that’s what he called me, he named me Sadie Mae Glutz about a year and a half , to destroy, to kill my ego.
PAUL CARUSO: — to destroy your entity —
SUSAN ATKINS: Right. He said you’re not afraid of me enough and I don’t know what it’s going to take to put that fear in you but you’re just not that afraid of me. And when he said that, I really became afraid of him and often times I would do things – I knew I was strong – I was stronger than most any of the girls there – I knew it. I would go through my changes and I would go through my changes silently; more than openly and I knew I had a lot of influence with a lot of the girls. He even told me that once. He said that, You have more influence over these girls than any of the other girls. That you’ve almost got more influence over them than me, but I’m not going to let that happen.”
PAUL CARUSO: When you did things for Charles, shall I call you Sadie? What do you prefer I call you?
SUSAN ATKINS: It doesn’t matter.
PAUL CARUSO: I’d rather call you Susan. When you were doing things for Charles, did you do them to please him?
SUSAN ATKINS: Yes.
PAUL CARUSO: Everything you did for that guy?
SUSAN ATKINS: For him and the more I would do things to please him, the more he would tell me, don’t do it for me, do it for yourself. I don’t care about you. I just love you completely.
PAUL CARUSO: Did you ever feel any limit for what you would do for Charles?
SUSAN ATKINS: No, but then again I did because I was never asked to do things for him. All the other girls were asked to do things for him because he knew I was capable of doing things for him. And he wanted to give the other girls that chance —
PAUL CARUSO: — to do it themselves —
SUSAN ATKINS: — to prove themselves to themselves.
RICHARD CABALLERO: —–
PAUL CARUSO: What would you say is the worst thing you ever did for Charles?
SUSAN ATKINS: Cop out to what’s happening right now, what I’m being indicted for.
PAUL CARUSO: What’s that?
SUSAN ATKINS: Confess to killing, even though I didn’t actually kill.
PAUL CARUSO: Confess killing whom?
SUSAN ATKINS: Gary Hinman.
PAUL CARUSO: You didn’t do it? Is there anyone else you hurt for Charles
SUSAN ATKINS: Hurt?
PAUL CARUSO: Or killed or destroyed anyone?
SUSAN ATKINS: I stabbed a man five or six times, but I would say that was in self-defense. I was ordered by a man by the name of Tex to kill a man. But I hesitated and because I hesitated the man got his chance to attack me and I luckily enough had a knife in my hand because the man was big he could have just one whack —
PAUL CARUSO: — What was that man’s name, do you recall?
SUSAN ATKINS: No, I don’t. I’ve only heard it a couple of times and seen it on the paper.
PAUL CARUSO: Who? Was that one of those men that was involved in the Tate?
SUSAN ATKINS: Yes, the biggest man, the one that weighed about 190 pounds.
PAUL CARUSO: I think that was Wojciech Frykowski.
SUSAN ATKINS: Wojciech Frykowski.
PAUL CARUSO: You know I represented a suspect in that murder. You know that or don’t you know that? If you don’t know, I’ll tell you that a man named Harrigan was arrest– well, not arrested by the police, but he was a prime suspect. So Harrigan and I went down to the police station and they interrogated him for about 4 hours —
SUSAN ATKINS: Is this the man that was in the guest house?
PAUL CARUSO: No. That was William Garretson, the man who worked there, and I think Steven Parent was the young boy who was killed in the car.
SUSAN ATKINS: His death I felt very bad about when I saw it happen.
PAUL CARUSO: Really? I was under the impression he was the last person killed.
SUSAN ATKINS: No, he was the first.
PAUL CARUSO: How did that happen?
SUSAN ATKINS: We were instructed to go to this particular house. It was at night and I had no knowledge of what was happening until we actually got there.
PAUL CARUSO: Who instructed you to go to that house?
SUSAN ATKINS: Charlie. Charlie instructed me and Tex and name also Charles, a girl by the name of Linda and Katie – Patricia Krenwinkel.
PAUL CARUSO: Where were you when he instructed you to go there?
SUSAN ATKINS: Spahn’s Ranch.
PAUL CARUSO: Is that the place in the desert?
SUSAN ATKINS: No, that’s the mansion up in Chatsworth.
PAUL CARUSO: In Chatsworth. I don’t mean to interrupt you . I’m fascinated with this story. Please tell me what else happened.
SUSAN ATKINS: Well, Charlie instructed us to go there and gave us a car and and told us all to get two changes of clothes, basically black, and we had been buying black clothes for what we call creepie-crawlies, we go around and creepy-crawlie people’s houses – we wouldn’t take anything – just for the experience of getting the fear and bringing ourselves to now. And he instructed us to get the clothes and our knives and such and such, and four of us got in the car and started going up to this place. Now Tex explained to us the situation at the house because he had seen the house. He’d been up in the house. The house used to belong to Terry Melcher.
PAUL CARUSO: Doris Day’s son.
SUSAN ATKINS: Yes. We know Terry very well. The reason Charlie picked that house was to instill fear into Terry Melcher because Terry had given us his word on a few things and never came through with them. So Charlie wanted to put some fear into him, let him know that what Charlie said was the way it is, just what he said. the way it is and his philosophy, most people call it. And we, he explained the set up of the house for us and had a set of bolt cutters with us, and ropes and a gun. One rope, that was a gun and each one of us had a knife.
RICHARD CABALLERO: Susan, I just want to interrupt you one moment. You said to me before about the gun, yesterday when we spoke in jail, that was Charlie’s gun, wasn’t it?
SUSAN ATKINS: I can not say for sure whether it was Charlie’s gun or not. All I know is that that gun was used in previous killings.
RICHARD CABALLERO: Is that then the gun that Charlie used to kill the Black Panther?
SUSAN ATKINS: Yes.
RICHARD CABALLERO: And is that the gun that he used to target practice out on the ranch with?
SUSAN ATKINS: Yes.
RICHARD CABALLERO: And is that a long gun? Can you describe the gun?
SUSAN ATKINS: No.
RICHARD CABALLERO: Can you recall at all what it looked like?
SUSAN ATKINS: I know it was a heavy gun.
RICHARD CABALLERO: Was it an unusual type of a gun?
SUSAN ATKINS: No. Just looked like a gun to me.
RICHARD CABALLERO: Well, was it short gun?
SUSAN ATKINS: Like a western gun.
RICHARD CABALLERO: Like an old-fashioned gun?
SUSAN ATKINS: Yes, something like that, I would imagine. I don’t see a picture in my mind right now. If I flash on it, I’ll let you know. I believe, we drove up to the house, turned the car around, you know the set-up of the house, turned the car around and parked it between the gate and a neighbor’s house. We got out of the car, this is going downhill, we got out of the car and got the bolt cutter. Tex climbed up the telephone pole and snipped two wires, hoping that they were the telephone wires – one happened to be for the telephone and one for the —
RICHARD CABALLERO: — utilities?
SUSAN ATKINS: — Utilities. Yes, utility line. Then we got back in the car, drove it down the hill and parked the car at the base of hill, up aways, so it wouldn’t look too suspicious. We walked back up the hill. We didn’t touch the gate because we didn’t know if it was electrified or not but you know there’s a slope on the driveway? Well, we climbed up that hill and there was a small place where we could climb over the fence. So we went over the fence, four of us, and all of a sudden we saw light coming out and we knew it was a car and Tex told us to lay down and be still, so we all just did, exactly what he said, just laid down and be still. And just as the car drove into our sight, couldn’t actually see what happened, but I heard Tex say, “Stop – halt” and he had the gun on this young boy and I heard the boy say, “Please don’t hurt me – I won’t say anything and the gun went off four times. And Tex came back and said come on and we proceeded to go, you know how the front door is? Well, there’s a window right next to it. He lifted up and opened the window, went inside and around and opened the front door. We had no idea how many people were in the house. When we got into the living room, there was a man sleeping on the couch and his head was, the back of it was facing me. Tex went around in front and the man woke up thinking it was a friend of his. He said “What time is it?” – I forget the name he said, and Tex stood in front with with the gun and said don’t move or you’re dead. Then he motioned for us to come and stand behind the couch and we left Linda outside to listen for sounds. It surprised me that nobody heard the gunshots but they weren’t that loud. It was a very quiet gun. And then Tex let me in and said go check the other rooms. So I went down the hall to Abigail Folger’s bedroom and Sharon Tate’s bedroom.
PAUL CARUSO: There’s one bedroom at one end of the hall and one bedroom at the other end of the hall.
SUSAN ATKINS: Right. And there were two, like this.
RICHARD CABALLERO: Right.
SUSAN ATKINS: I went in Abigail Folger’s room and she put her book down and looked at me and I smiled and waved and looked in and saw Sharon Tate and the other younger man – the shorter man —
PAUL CARUSO: Jay Sebring?
SUSAN ATKINS: Yes. They were talking and didn’t see me. And I looked back at Abigail Folger and said, What are you reading”?
RICHARD CABALLERO: Did you know the people’s names at that time?
SUSAN ATKINS: No, I didn’t. I came back out and I told Tex, there’s three more in there. And so he told me take the rope and tie up what ever, his name is —
PAUL CARUSO: Jay Sebring? Sharon Tate?
SUSAN ATKINS: No, this is the man that was on the couch. The man —
PAUL CARUSO: Wojciech Frykowski
SUSAN ATKINS: Frykowski. And I was shaking so bad I couldn’t tie his hands but I got the rope around and couldn’t pull it tight. And he just, he was so petrified he just laid there and didn’t say a word. And he kept asking Tex, “What do you want? What do you want?” “Who are you?” And Tex said, “I’m the devil, I’m here to do the devil’s business.” And, “We want all your money. Where’s your money?” He said, “My money’s in the wallet on the desk” and Tex told me to go over and look on the desk and I said, “Tex, it’s not there”. And then Tex said “go in and get the other people and bring them out here.” So I took my knife and I went in and stood by Abigail Folger’s bed and said “Go out in the living room” and “Don’t ask any questions”. And I went into Sharon Tate’s room and told them to go out in the living room. And the three of them were pretty much terrified by what was going on. And Tex took the rope and tied it to Sebring and Tate together and put the rope over the —
RICHARD CABALLERO: — beam
SUSAN ATKINS: Did all three of them that way. No, before I go to that. He, Jay Sebring, came into the living room and said “What’s going on” and Tex said, “Go over and sit down”. Jay Sebring proceeded to advance on Tex and Tex shot him. And he fell on the floor. I think he fell on his side because I saw him laying on his side. And Sharon went through a few changes, (laugh), quite a few changes.
PAUL CARUSO: What do you mean by changes?
SUSAN ATKINS: Oh, her facial expressions – she said “Oh my God, no.” Miss Folger didn’t say anything, she just stood there.
PAUL CARUSO: You say Sharon Folger – you mean Abigail Folger?
SUSAN ATKINS: Abigail Folger – I don’t know why I keep saying Sharon. and —
PAUL CARUSO: What did he throw over the beam? Did he throw the rope over the beam and then tie them?
SUSAN ATKINS: No, he tied them up and then pulled it tight, and then threw it over so they couldn’t move either way.
RICHARD CABALLERO: What did they pull over her head?
SUSAN ATKINS: They didn’t put anything over their heads. They didn’t have anything over their heads when we left, except Sharon Tate – I threw a towel over her head.
RICHARD CABALLERO: When you threw the towel over her head, was her head near Sebring’s?
SUSAN ATKINS: Sebring and Sharon Folger —
RICHARD CABALLERO: Sharon Tate.
SUSAN ATKINS: Sharon Tate was laying curled up near the couch and Sebring was coming out this way from the fireplace and their heads were probably close together.
RICHARD CABALLERO: I know the incident about the towel that you were relating to Mr. Caruso, but what I want to ask you is when you did so —
SUSAN ATKINS: I didn’t even look – I just threw it.
RICHARD CABALLERO: So, could it have fallen therefore over Jay Sebring’s head as well?
SUSAN ATKINS: Yes.
RICHARD CABALLERO: Okay, that explains it.
PAUL CARUSO: How did Frykowski get away? You didn’t tie him very well?
SUSAN ATKINS: No, but he didn’t move for a while and then – Tex proceeded to tie them up – Sebring – I had taken the rope off of him and proceeded to bind his hands with a towel I found in the bathroom. I didn’t do a very good job of that, evidently I wanted the man to get away. I don’t know, subconsciously I was thinking. I know I wasn’t thinking consciously at all. Then Tex said to him “Where’s your money” and Sharon or Abigail said “My money’s in my wallet” and Tex instructed me to go get it out of her wallet. And I untied her and she led me back and I told her, “You get it out”. She handed me $72.00 or $73.00 and said that’s all she had and said do you want my credit cards? And I said no. She put the wallet back in and I proceeded to lead her back into the living room and tied her back up and put the rope back over the beam. And one of the ladies said “what are you going to do with us and Tex said, “You’re all going to die.” And this caused immediate panic. And Tex told me to kill the big man, Frykowski, well I went over to him and I raised the knife and I hesitated. And as I hesitated, he reached up and grabbed my hair, he started pulling my hair. So I had to fight for my life as far as I was concerned. I still had the knife. Somehow he managed to turn my head, he was still holding my hair and he was behind me, he,fell in the chair behind me, that was next to the couch this way and he was fighting and I was kicking him and I proceeded to stab him three or four times in the leg and then while this was going on, Abigail started getting loose and was fighting with Katie. Linda had evidently heard some noise and went back down and sat in the car so we had no watch for the outside. Well as this went on there was a lot of confusion going on, I don’t remember exactly what happened, but I remember seeing Frykowski going outside and as he was going outside he was yelling – for his life, he was screaming, really loud. And I said Tex, help me. Do something. Tex went over and hit him 5 or 6 times over the head with the butt of the gun, broke the gun handle, the gun wouldn’t work any more, and proceeded to stab him. While he was stabbing the man was still screaming – I’m surprised nobody heard anything. And he was pretty much half dead on the porch – that’s why all the blood was there, I imagine. About this time I was holding Tate because she —
RICHARD CABALLERO: Just a minute – did Frykowski get shot?
SUSAN ATKINS: No. Not that I know of.
RICHARD CABALLERO: As he was running out when – Paul, is it your recollection that Frykowski was shot?
PAUL CARUSO: Yes.
RICHARD CABALLERO: As he was running out and you called to Tex, he caught up with him and grabbed him from the back – front the back, the gun wasn’t loud as you say, but couldn’t Tex have fired once and shot him in the back?
SUSAN ATKINS: He may have —
RICHARD CABALLERO: Frykowski had a bullet hole in his back. Now would that make sense – from the story that you’re telling us?
SUSAN ATKINS: Yes.
RICHARD CABALLERO: That would not be inconsistent with anything you saw there?
SUSAN ATKINS: No, it wouldn’t.
RICHARD CABALLERO: After that shooting is probably when he hit him on the head. Because he was shot.
SUSAN ATKINS: But I don’t remember him being shot.
RICHARD CABALLERO: In the excitement, the gun going off, I can understand that.
SUSAN ATKINS: I was holding Sharon, I grabbed her in a neck hold –
RICHARD CABALLERO: I want to ask one more question. When Tex first approached, when you called Tex to help you with Frykowski, Tex approached Frykowski, was Tex approaching, did he approach him from the back? That’s what I want to know.
PAUL CARUSO: Frykowski was going out, wasn’t he?
SUSAN ATKINS: Yes, but I don’t ‘remember because I was on the floor. Sharon was starting to get herself loose from the rope and the Folger girl had already broken loose and was fighting with Katie and I was just standing there watching, there wasn’t much I could do. I had given my knife, I thought, to one of the other girls, the girl that was outside. Evidently I didn’t because she didn’t have it when we left so I figured I had lost it in the house, which threw paranoia into me as we left. I went over and got Sharon and put her in a head lock. She didn’t fight me, I just held her. Then she was begging me to let her go so she could a her baby and Katie was calling for me to help her because Folger was bigger than Katie and Katie had long, long hair. She was pulling on Katie’s hair and Katie was calling for me to help her. So I called to Tex to do something. Tex came back into the house and reached up to stab Folger and she looked at him and said, “You’ve got me, I give up” and Tex stabbed her and she was on the floor. I think he stabbed her in the stomach because I saw her grab down here. And then Tex went back outside because the other man, Frykowski, had gone outside and was on the lawn by then, still running and calling for help and he proceeded to continue killing him. I would imagine that was
PAUL CARUSO: Do you remember where Frykowski’s pants were? Did that make an impression on you?
SUSAN ATKINS: Where his pants were?
PAUL CARUSO: Do you recall if his pants were up around his abdomen or did they fall, do you recall?
SUSAN ATKINS: No, I don’t recall. I know they were strange looking pants.
RICHARD CABALLERO: What do you mean strange looking?
SUSAN ATKINS: They had some sort of pattern on them.
PAUL CARUSO: Were they mod?
SUSAN ATKINS: Yes, his whole outfit was mod. It looked like an Indian, East Indian outfit.
Then Tex told me, Sharon Tate wanted to sit down, so I took her over and sat her down on the couch. She said all I want to do is have my baby and I knew I had to say something to her before she got hysterical and while I was talking to her I knew everything I was saying to myself, I wasn’t talking to her. “Woman, I have no mercy for you” and that was myself to only me. When the Folger girl started to go outside, Tex and Katie went outside and I just stayed there with Sharon. I’m not sure whether Katie went outside or not. Then Tex came back in and said “Kill her” “Katie said to kill her”. I reached to grab ahold of her arms, I didn’t want to kill her, so I grabbed ahold of her arms and said, “Tex, I can’t kill her, I’ve got her arms, You do it.” And Katie couldn’t kill her. So Tex stabbed her in the heart and he told us to get out. We, Katie and I, went running outside looking for Linda because we didn’t see her and yelling for her but we didn’t want to yell too loud. When Tex came out I said Tex do you have my knife?, and he said no. I said Katie do you have my knife and she said no. So I said Linda must have it, I think I gave it to her. And he said, Sadie, go back and write something on the door. I didn’t want to go back into that house.
PAUL CARUSO: I don’t blame you.
SUSAN ATKINS: I didn’t want to go back into that house but something made me go back in the house and I got the towel that I had tied the man’s hands with and I went over to Sharon Tate and I flashed, Wow, there’s a living being in there – I want it but I couldn’t bring myself to cut her open and take the baby. I knew it was living, I knew it wouldn’t live
PAUL CARUSO: She died.
What kind of knife did you have?
SUSAN ATKINS: A buck knife, with black tape wrapped around the handle. I don’t know if the police ever found it or not.
RICHARD CABALLERO: What makes you think it was black tape? Is that the way you recollect it?
SUSAN ATKINS: That’s the way I recollect it. I know we had one buck knife and it had black tape wrapped around it because the handle was broken off. Just a little piece.
RICHARD CABALLERO: The handle was broken?
SUSAN ATKINS: Yes, before we went there.
RICHARD CABALLERO: Did it say anything on the blade of the knife.
SUSAN ATKINS: Not that I know of.
RICHARD CABALLERO: Did it say “buck” ?
SUSAN ATKINS: It probably did. I know it was a buck knife.
RICHARD CABALLERO: How new or old was the knife?
SUSAN ATKINS: It was fairly old.
RICHARD CABALLERO: Where did you get the knife from?
SUSAN ATKINS: From the Ranch. It was stuck in wood. I don’t know where the knife actually came from.
RICHARD CABALLERO: Had you seen other knives there that had tape around them? At the ranch?
SUSAN ATKINS: One or two. Yes, I believe one.
RICHARD CABALLERO: You say it had black tape around it. Could that have been that one of the knives brought there that night had black tape around it for perhaps did not have?
SUSAN ATKINS: No, because I remember it having the tape around it, I remember holding it. And I remember looking at it and wow, that’s going to leave fingerprints.
RICHARD CABALLERO: Okay, when you stabbed Frykowski in the leg, is that the knife that you left there, or the other knife.
SUSAN ATKINS: I can honestly say I don’t remember what knife I left there.
PAUL CARUSO: Did you have another knife up there?
SUSAN ATKINS: No.
PAUL CARUSO: Only took one knife there.
SUSAN ATKINS: I only took one knife there. Everybody had a knife.
RICHARD CABALLERO: The knives were exchanged. Therefore you may have left a knife different from the one that had the black tape around it, is that right?
SUSAN ATKINS: That could be a possibility but I remember asking when we got back in the car did anybody have the knife with the tape around it and they said no.
RICHARD CABALLERO: Things were pretty excited at that point. And you stopped in the car and as you will relate in a few minutes, you wanted to get rid of it? But first of all, there was another knife there, that might have been there a buck knife too? Do you have knowledge that there was another knife that might have been a buck knife?
SUSAN ATKINS: No, I don’t.
PAUL CARUSO: Susan said they all had knives.
RICHARD CABALLERO: Yes. This is crucial because the police have a knife and that’s what we’re trying to get to because there’s a very good chance that you left a different knife there.
PAUL CARUSO: They showed my client Harrington several knives, when they were questioning him and he couldn’t identify any of them. Now, Susan, you started to tell us about going back in the house and grabbed the towel you used to tie up and you took it over to Sharon Tate. Was she bleeding very much?
SUSAN ATKINS: Yes and I could hear the blood inside her body gurgling – It was the same sound I’d heard with Hinman.
PAUL CARUSO: That’s the death rattle.
SUSAN ATKINS: Yes. Is that what they call it? It’s not a very pretty sound.
PAUL CARUSO: No, it’s terrible.
SUSAN ATKINS: And I reached down and turned my head away and touched her chest to get some blood and proceeded to go to the door and the only thing I remember being instructed to write on the door was “Pig” so I proceeded to take my hand and write “Pig” with the towel and threw the towel back and ran outside.
RICHARD CABALLERO: When you say “touched her chest”, that was with the towel?
SUSAN ATKINS: Yes.
RICHARD CABALLERO: Did you write “Pig” with the towel?
SUSAN ATKINS: Yes with the towel. Then I threw, I didn’t know what to do with the towel, so I just threw it back in the house.
PAUL CARUSO: Were you the last one to leave?
SUSAN ATKINS: Yes.
PAUL CARUSO: So you’re going back to the car now. Were they all waiting for you?
SUSAN ATKINS: We, I walked to the front gate and the rest of them were standing on the other side, just about the little platform that we stepped down, that you go down into the front lawn, and walked down around the car, Katie, Tex, Katie and Tex were standing near the car.
PAUL CARUSO: Where’s Linda?
SUSAN ATKINS: Linda had disappeared on us and we didn’t know where she was and we called for her. But we didn’t want to go around, didn’t want to even go anywhere near that area. We were instructed to go to the next door neighbor’s house and to do the same thing.
PAUL CARUSO: Who instructed you to do that?
SUSAN ATKINS: Charlie.
PAUL CARUSO: Tex?
SUSAN ATKINS: No, Charlie.
PAUL CARUSO: Tex’s name is also Charlie but in the relation of the incidents for the purpose of clarity, she is always going to refer to Tex as “Tex”.
SUSAN ATKINS: Now, we went, you know the button that you use to open the gate? Tex pushed that button, but I don’t think he used his fingers, I think he used his arm or something. And we picked up our clothes which we had stashed by the gate, we all knelt and picked up our second change of clothes, walking down the road not too conspicuous, and Linda was in the car. She had started to start the car and Tex told her to get over, excuse the expression, what the fuck did she think she was doing? We got in the car and there was nothing but just [long drawn out sigh]
RICHARD CABALLERO: What?
PAUL CARUSO: Exhaustion.
SUSAN ATKINS: Exhaustion.
RICHARD CABALLERO: Did anybody have blood on them?
SUSAN ATKINS: Yes, we all did. And proceeded to change our clothes in the car as we were driving. Now we went for a ride to look for a place to dump the bloody clothes. Now this, I saw that last night and you’ll see the change. As we were driving we flipped off the route down a couple of side streets to look for a dark house and we found one. We got out of the car, walked up the street, found a house with no lights on, hoping there would be nobody home, and we found a big house. All I remember is that it was a big house with a lot of shrubbery around it, the front. We looked for the hose, turned the hose on, went out in the street and proceeded to wash ourselves off. All this happened spontaneously, we didn’t plan anything that happened, it was all spontaneous. All of a sudden we heard an old man and an old woman coming out – what are you people doing and blab, blah, blab. The old woman said my houseman belong to the Sheriff’s —
PAUL CARUSO: Reserve?
SUSAN ATKINS: — Something like Deputy Reserve, he belonged to the Sheriff’s Department of Los Angeles County and he was going to report this. What are you doing? And Tex just looked at them, smiled, and said, “We’re just getting a drink of water. Sorry we disturbed you.” And the old man said, “is that your car down there?” And Tex said, “No, we’re walking.” And the man said “I know that’s your car down there.” Tex said, “Okay, girls, get in the car” and we double fast walked to the car. Now, all the weapons were not in the car. Before we went to that house we went for a drive up Mulholland Drive, before we went to the house to wash off, we went for a drive and we drove along the side of a deep embankment, I don’t remember where it was, it was dark, and I didn’t pay any attention, and Linda had all the weapons, all but the one knife, up in the front seat, and Tex said, “Does anybody have a white rag”? in order that if somebody saw us throwing something, we could throw the white rag while we were throwing things out of the window. And we proceeded to throw all of the clothes. We stopped one time. Linda got out of the car, threw all the clothes over as far as she could, over the side of the embankment.
PAUL CARUSO: On Mulholland?
SUSAN ATKINS: On Mulholland Drive. I believe that’s the road.
PAUL CARUSO: You were on Benedict Canyon. That’s where the Cielo Drive address was. How far was the second house from the Tate house?
SUSAN ATKINS: I don’t know. I have no idea. We drove around quite a bit. I wasn’t paying any attention. I was just stunned.
RICHARD CABALLERO: Susan, before we leave that point, when you say you got rid of all the weapons, did that include the gun?
SUSAN ATKINS: Yes.
RICHARD CABALLERO: Now, if you were to go with me in a car and we were to leave that house, do you think that by sense of direction you might get me anywhere near where the gun was actually thrown?
SUSAN ATKINS: [Sigh] I don’t know.
PAUL CARUSO: Do you recall if you went east or west?
SUSAN ATKINS: I don’t know, Tex was driving. I just sat in the back seat slumped down.
PAUL CARUSO: Do you think if we got you in a car and left from that residence that you might have some general feeling of, you might be able to develope a picture for yourself.
SUSAN ATKINS: Well, I’ve got a picture in my mind and all it shows me is the side of the mountain and the road —
RICHARD CABALLERO: That’s what I thought – that you would be able to say this looks like the spot.
SUSAN ATKINS: Yes.
PAUL CARUSO: Dick, you have a good idea. Susan, where were you sitting in the car.
SUSAN ATKINS: In the passenger side in the back seat.
PAUL CARUSO: Okay, so you were in the right rear. Was the mountain to your left or was it to your right?
SUSAN ATKINS: The mountain was to my left and the embankment, the hill going down, to my right.
PAUL CARUSO: That’s very encouraging. That’s good. That’s a big help.
SUSAN ATKINS: And then after we disposed of all the weapons, then we continued to drive until we got down to a residential area, I know it was close to Sunset Boulevard. Then we got in the car and the man and woman were walking behind us and we were walking fast. Tex got in the car and started it, and the woman kept saying, take their driver’s license, number, but he didn’t have anything to write it down with. He got in the car and started it and the man came up and reached in to take the keys, evidently he knew there was something suspicious going on, and Tex flooded the car, put it in low and took off. Practically broke the man’s hand from what I could see. I just flashed, wow, that was a strange house to pick, out of all the houses – and then we drove down the road and made a couple of turns and stopped at a gas station. The purpose for stopping at the gas station was we were almost out of gas. We bought some gas and the three of us girls took turns going into the bathroom checking for blood spots and making sure we were clean. Tex did the same. But all the way out I noticed there was blood on the car and I hoped that nobody had seen it.
When we got back to the Ranch we got out of the car and went directly to the cafe which was our —
PAUL CARUSO: Hangout?
SUSAN ATKINS: — yes, the whole ranch was my hang out, our home, and I went in the kitchen and got a rag and proceeded to wipe down the whole car for blood. I didn’t know where it was but I knew if there was any it would be on the steering wheel and on the handles well, I didn’t touch anything else. Charlie came out and said what are you doing home so early? Tex and Charlie walked off and talked. We went down to the end of the boardwalk and went into what we call the bunkhouse and there was Brenda (who’s known as Nancy Pitman), and Katie and Linda and Tex and Charlie and we all sat back – I almost passed out —
RICHARD CABALLERO: What’s Linda’s last name?
SUSAN ATKINS: I don’t know Linda’s last name, she hasn’t been with us for very long.
PAUL CARUSO: Susan, do you recall where you came out on Sunset Boulevard?
SUSAN ATKINS: Well —
PAUL CARUSO: Do you know Beverly Hills very well or Hollywood or near Scandia?
SUSAN ATKINS: lt was down further.
PAUL CARUSO: You mean west, toward Beverly Hills?
SUSAN ATKINS: You know the auto store that has all the far-out cars?
PAUL CARUSO: Oh! On Sunset Boulevard near Stefanino’s. Do you know where Stefanino’s is?
SUSAN ATKINS: I think so.
(Unintelligible; too many people talking at one time)
SUSAN ATKINS: And when we got back to the Ranch, I almost passed out. I was sitting there trying to pay attention to what Charlie was saying, and I just couldn’t handle it. I laid back on the floor and I felt as though I was being killed.
PAUL CARUSO: (Unintelligible) seance. Like a seance.
SUSAN ATKINS: Yes, it was. Then I went in and laid down.
PAUL CARUSO: Did Tex or Charlie tell you never to tell this story to anybody? Ever threaten you in any way?
SUSAN ATKINS: They told that if I betrayed the trust that they had in me that I would be killed.
PAUL CARUSO: Who told you that?
SUSAN ATKINS: Charlie. He told me many times that if I, especially in the last year, Sadie, you’ve been with me two years now, for a long time, he said if you ever decide to leave, I’ll take you and hang you upside down and slit your throat and use you as an example for everybody else.
RICHARD CABALLERO: So you knew you couldn’t leave.
SUSAN ATKINS: That’s right.
RICHARD CABALLERO: How did you come to the house, how did you enter? Let’s go over that very carefully.
SUSAN ATKINS: Tex went through the window, came around the front door and unlocked it and opened it and let us in the front door.
RICHARD CABALLERO: What about the gates?
SUSAN ATKINS: The gates? We didn’t go over the gates because we didn’t know, it they were electrified, whether there was an alarm system that we didn’t want to set off, so we went up alongside the embankment and climbed over the fence. In fact, I got caught on the barbed wire, it wasn’t barbed wire, but I got caught–
PAUL CARUSO: Pierced edge, rough edge.
SUSAN ATKINS: Yes, pierced edge.
PAUL CARUSO: But no one was in the living room when you went into the house? Sharon and Jay Sebring were in the bedroom —
SUSAN ATKINS: And Folger was in her bedroom
PAUL CARUSO: And Frykowski —
SUSAN ATKINS: Was in the living room on the couch, laying down.
PAUL CARUSO: There was one person on the couch.
RICHARD CABALLERO: Susan, after you went back to the Ranch, after the killing in Sharon Tate’s residence, did Charlie say anything? To you or to the group – whether you were present or not – what did you hear that Charlie said or do regarding the Tate residence?
SUSAN ATKINS: Nothing. He just acted as though it never happened. Charlie is the type that he lives each second for each second and pays no mind to what happened two seconds, that’s how much now he is.
RICHARD CABALLERO: How was it that he directed you to go to the Tate residence?
SUSAN ATKINS: Through Tex.
RICHARD CABALLERO: What, was he present?
SUSAN ATKINS: He just told me to do everything Tex said to do.
RICHARD CABALLERO: Did he tell you where you were going?
SUSAN ATKINS: No.
RICHARD CABALLERO: Now did you know that that house had originally been the one used by Mr. Melcher?
SUSAN ATKINS: Tex told me.
RICHARD CABALLERO: When?
SUSAN ATKINS: On the drive up there.
RICHARD CABALLERO: To your knowledge, had Charlie been up to that house before?
SUSAN ATKINS: Tex told me that he and Charlie had been there before – that’s why they chose the house.
RICHARD CABALLERO: Did he say he had been up there with Charlie or just Charlie alone?
SUSAN ATKINS: He stated, I believe, I’m not sure, so don’t quote me, that he and Charlie had both been up there together.
PAUL CARUSO: Was it Charlie that told you to get the black clothes?
SUSAN ATKINS: Tex.
PAUL CARUSO: Who originally told you to get the black clothes for the “creepy crawlies” as you called it.
SUSAN ATKINS: Well, Charlie had pretty much control over everybody but as I said before Charlie usually, in fact, all the time, he said “you people are not my people. You belong to yourselves and you do what you want to do.”
RICHARD CABALLERO: Why was it Charlie directed you to the Melcher house, what used to be the Melcher house, and did not come along himself?
SUSAN ATKINS: That I do not know.
RICHARD CABALLERO: Did he ever mention it or not?
SUSAN ATKINS: No.
RICHARD CABALLERO: Did Tex ever mention it to you?
SUSAN ATKINS: No. I never questioned Charlie what said, I just did it.
RICHARD CABALLERO: I told you the police are pretty well convinced that Charlie was present at the Tate place.
SUSAN ATKINS: I know he was not.
RICHARD CABALLERO: You related some of the story of what happened in the Tate Case to some girls up in the jail, did you not?
SUSAN ATKINS: Yes.
RICHARD CABALLERO: And you had a conversation. Did you use the name Charlie?
SUSAN ATKINS: I did not use any name that I recall. I know I talked about Charlie –
RICHARD CABALLERO: Well, Susan, as I told you, there is a girl in the jail that has related to the police that – substantially all that you have told me as having been a conversation that she had with you except that she says you used both names, Tex and Charlie, and you said that Charles climbed up and cut the telephone wires.
SUSAN ATKINS: Well, I may have said Charles, but I don’t remember saying Charles. I know it was Tex –
RICHARD CABALLERO: You say you may have said Charles – why is that?
SUSAN ATKINS: because I know Tex’s name is also Charles. I haven’t called Tex Charles but maybe two or three times to his face and that was only when Charlie was not there.
RICHARD CABALLERO: Okay, now we’re going to discuss what happened the next few days, going into what you and we have before called “The Beverly Hills killing” because you thought it was in Beverly Hills. You’ve come back from the Tate killing and clear through to the Beverly Hills episode.
SUSAN ATKINS: Well, I got back to the Ranch and as I said earlier, Charlie and Tex and Brenda and Katie and me were in the bunkhouse talking. And Linda was there. The reason I don’t remember Linda a lot is because she was not prominent in my mind. She wasn’t with us for more than a month. Then I went in and slept for a while and when I woke up, it just hit me, I didn’t want to. Also I wanted to go and look at the news reports because I knew it would be in the news. I went into what I call the trailer, there’s an area that’s located next to Mrs. Spahn’s house and there was this little TV in there. I turned on the news and that was the first thing that hit. I went wild and quick like ran out and got Katie and told her to come watch television with me, it was on the news. I called Linda in and I called Tex in and I called Clem in, because Clem knew about it. Charlie wasn’t awake.
RICHARD CABALLERO: You say Clem had known about it. Who was Clem.
SUSAN ATKINS: Clem is one of the men who lives at the Ranch.
RICHARD CABALLERO: When you came back from the Tate episode, was Clem there?
SUSAN ATKINS: Yes, in fact, he was in the bunkhouse with us.
RICHARD CABALLERO: And was Charlie there?
SUSAN ATKINS: Yes.
RICHARD CABALLERO: Was the killing discussed in front of Clem?
SUSAN ATKINS: Yes.
RICHARD CABALLERO: Okay, go ahead.
SUSAN ATKINS: We watched the newscast and it kind of, it really helped me to know that the people were as important as they were – it blew my mind and there were a few comments made, well, the soul really picked a good one this time. Just happened to have been Sharon Tate, a movie actress, and it happened to have made nationwide and worldwide news which we had no knowledge that that’s what it would do. There was a comment made that what had happened had served it’s purpose, that was to instill fear in man himself.
PAUL CARUSO: The establishment?
SUSAN ATKINS: The establishment. That’s what it was done for. To instill fear – to cause a paranoia. To also show black man how to go about taking over white man. I just put it out of my mind as best I could. I couldn’t. For two days I just had nothing but pictures of what was happening and flashes on the Hinman case. It was just so vivid I just accepted it and sat and watched the pictures in my mind. I continued to appear normal on the Ranch and did my work on the Ranch and that night we all got together and smoked some grass and sang some songs. I think I made love with Clem, I’m not sure who I made love with or if I even made love that night. And, next day, I would look at Katie and Katie would look at me and we both would know that that was the utmost thing in our minds, that we couldn’t put it out of our couldn’t minds, it was right there. And I’d look at Charlie and he’d wink at me and give me reassurance that everything was okay, was going to be alright. He didn’t have to say it – I just felt it. Tex seemed his normal self, just as happy and go-lucky as could be. But everybody on the ranch was pretty quiet. Everybody on the Ranch knew by then there had been a killing but they didn’t know who had done it. They had their suspects because most of them knew that we had gone out the night before. Went through the next day pretty normal, took care of things that had to be taken care of at the Ranch. I forget, I believe the next night, Charlie told me to get two changes of clothes, and a knife,we were going to do it again. I gave a sigh and he said do you have any remorse? I said no, knowing that all the time inside they did. And he knew it? Because he knows me inside-out – in fact, he knows what I’m doing right now.
It’s killing him as much as it is killing me. Linda and Katie, Clem and Tex and Leslie, all got in the car. We all had our things together, knives, and I think there were two guns or one gun, and we just drove around. We went over to Pacific Palisades, Pasadena, we drove around and stopped at two ‘houses, Charlie got out of the car, we drove around the block —
RICHARD CABALLERO: Who was driving?
SUSAN ATKINS: Charlie. And he was talking the whole time. I forget what he was telling us, he was just talking, to keep us so we wouldn’t be thinking about what we were doing. Stopped at one house, Charlie got out, we went around the block and Charlie came back. We picked up Charlie and he said, “Man, there were pictures of children in that house. I just couldn’t do that.” He said there may come a time when we we might have to kill some children but it would in order to save the children that are coming with us. And so I accepted that and we drove asleep around. I fell asleep. I slept. I felt tired, thoroughly exhausted. I hadn’t slept, I just couldn’t sleep. And when I woke up we were parked and I looked around and I recognized the area as being the area where I had taken an acid trip with Charlie and the girls and a few people in the house. What I considered the Beverly Hills area.
RICHARD CABALLERO: Did you recognize it as such or did someone tell you that?
SUSAN ATKINS: I recognized the area because there was a house close, if you will look at the reports, it had a long fence, big high wall, the house right next to that, and the house right next to that is the house that we took the acid trip in. Charlie got out of the car —
RICHARD CABALLERO: I want to stop you there. We discussed this before. This house that made you recognize the area, did you discuss it with Charlie then?
SUSAN ATKINS: No. Not at that particular time.
RICHARD CABALLERO: Okay, fine. We’ll get to that later.
SUSAN ATKINS: Charlie got out of the car, went in the house and we all just sat there very quiet, didn’t make a sound, lit a cigarette, in fact we all lit a cigarette and sat there and smoked and didn’t say anything. Charlie came back to the car and called Tex out and Tex and Charlie went into the house. Now I dozed off and after I dozed off, I had a dream – it was so visual it was actually what was happening in the house – I could see Charlie tieing the man up and talking to him, tieing the woman up. And then he came back to the car and I woke up.
RICHARD CABALLERO: Did Charlie go in with a weapon?
SUSAN ATKINS: Yes, with a gun. He crept into the house, that’s what he told me when he came back to the car. He instructed Katie and Leslie – I hoped he wouldn’t ask me to do it and he didn’t because he picked up on those vibrations – told Katie and to go into the house with Tex and Katie and Tex and Leslie went into the house which left Linda and Clem and me and Charlie and he instructed them to hitch-hike home when they were through. I said, “Charlie, isn’t that the house we took the acid trip in with Harold in?” and he said, “No, it’s the house next door.” I said “Oh” and that’s all that was said about it. On the way out he picked up the woman’s wallet, which had her identification and credit cards in it and we took the opposite direction from which we came and dropped the I.D. off at a gas station. Linda went into the gas station and left the waIlet in the gas station, the women’s restroom, hoping that a black woman would find it and pick it up and use the credit cards, which would direct the police to black people, instilling more fear into white people. Then we drove around, just kept driving around, ended up at the ranch, but the idea was Charlie had wanted Clem and Linda and me to go to another house and we would do two simultaneously, in one night, to instill fear into white men.
PAUL CARUSO: Charlie colored?
SUSAN ATKINS: No, he’s not.
PAUL CARUSO: But he reacts to the black people pretty much?
SUSAN ATKINS: He spent most of his life in jail. He spent about 20 years.
PAUL CARUSO: What did he get out of the LaBianca’s?
SUSAN ATKINS: Nothing that I know of.
PAUL CARUSO: Just credit cards and wallet?
SUSAN ATKINS: Yes, and we didn’t even use those, we just dumped those.
RICHARD CABALLERO: You went back to the Ranch then?
SUSAN ATKINS: Yes.
RICHARD CABALLERO: Some time later the people that were left in the LaBianca house, the one that you call the Beverly Hills episode, came back. At that time did they relate to you —
SUSAN ATKINS: I got Katie to tell me because Katie and I are close.
RICHARD CABALLERO: Before you got Katie to tell you, had you by this time had any conversation with Charlie regarding that house next door?
SUSAN ATKINS: Oh —
RICHARD CABALLERO: When did that come in?
SUSAN ATKINS: On the drive back, I believe he mentioned the house next door was the house where we took the acid trip. That’s all I can recall. I don’t remember what I told you yesterday.
RICHARD CABALLERO: That’s what you told me yesterday. You said that you knew the area and he said that’s the house where we had taken an acid trip, including yourself, that you hadn’t recalled exactly, but indicated you had been there. Is that correct?
SUSAN ATKINS: Yes, sound about right.
RICHARD CABALLERO: Did Charlie say anything as to why he picked the house next to the one where you had had the acid trip? Was there any symbolism there or any reason?
SUSAN ATKINS: Not that I know of.
RICHARD CABALLERO: Let me refresh your mind. You gave me an answer yesterday when I asked you why would you pick that house. And I asked you did you know any of the people around there?
SUSAN ATKINS: We knew the people next door –
RICHARD CABALLERO: Okay —
SUSAN ATKINS: — but we didn’t know if they were still living there or not. And if they were, it would probably be to instill a lot of fear in them because they just totally blanked out on us – they were people who had given us their word and then backed out on it.
RICHARD CABALLERO: So you don’t know them, just like Terry Melcher, is that correct?
SUSAN ATKINS: Yes.
RICHARD CABALLERO: So that’t the reason Charlie picked that house, on purpose rather than just indiscriminately. Do you have an opinion now —
SUSAN ATKINS: — No, I don’t have any opinions at all.
RICHARD CABALLERO: Okay. Now tell me what Katie told you and or Tex or, who was the other girl in the house?
SUSAN ATKINS: Leslie.
RICHARD CABALLERO: Tell me what any one of the three told you and who said what, when they came back.
SUSAN ATKINS: Katie was the only one that said anything to me.
RICHARD CABALLERO: What did she say?
SUSAN ATKINS: Katie said they got into the house and they took the woman into the bedroom – Leslie and Katie took her into the bedroom – or something and tied her up and put her on the bed and put a bag or a cloth over her head and proceeded to talk to her how everything was going to be okay, she wasn’t going to be hurt, it was all going to be all right. Katie told me she knew she was talking to herself, not to the woman, just to reassure herself, that everything was okay, all perfect, was going to be good, while Tex was in ing room with the man. She said the woman heard her man, her husband being killed, and she panicked, started fighting, knocked over her lamp and fought and screamed, “What are you my husband, what are you doing to my husband,” and all time Katie was stabbing her and Leslie was trying to hold her and Katie just kept stabbing her. I forget how many times she said she stabbed her.I don’t even think she knows. Up until the time she was dead, the woman kept saying, “What are you doing to my husband?” and Katie told me that’s what the woman was going to live with, that’s the thought she’s going to carry through infinity. And I said, “Yes, you’re right there.” She said after they were through they went in and wiped off all the fingerprints, at least that’s what she said they did. Wrote helter-skelter on the refrigerator, “Death To All Pigs” or something to that effect on the door, in the corner of the living room in the people’s blood. Then went over and took showers in the people’s house, changed their clothes, went into the refrigerator and had something to eat, she saw a fork – I can’t remember whether she said it was a kitchen fork or one of those long forks —
PAUL CARUSO: — Carving fork —
SUSAN ATKINS: Carving fork. She said she just saw it and she flashed who, that will scare somebody and she picked the fork up and went over and left the fork in the man’s stomach. She said she reached over at it, took it, hit it and just sat and watched; she watched it wobble and said she was fascinated by it. She said Tex had carved “Pig” in the man’s chest.
RICHARD CABALLERO: Did she say that she actually saw “Pig” or did she say that she saw some writing on the man’s chest?
SUSAN ATKINS: She said “pig”, I believe.
RICHARD CABALLERO: Could it have been another three letter word?
SUSAN ATKINS: It could have been.
RICHARD CABALLERO: Does the word “war” —
SUSAN ATKINS: — yes —
RICHARD CABALLERO: — have any significance to you?
SUSAN ATKINS: Yes, it does.
RICHARD CABALLERO: Tell me what it has for you?
SUSAN ATKINS: That’s what Katie said.
RICHARD CABALLERO: Why did you say “pig” a few minutes ago?
SUSAN ATKINS: Because “pig” is instilled in my mind from what I wrote on Sharon’s door.
RICHARD CABALLERO: Suppose I had just made up the word “war”, would that change your mind?
SUSAN ATKINS: No.
RICHARD CABALLERO: Why wouldn’t it?
SUSAN ATKINS: Because Katie, when Katie told me I flashed and said wow, pretty far out.
RICHARD CABALLERO: Why? Tell me what you thought about it.
SUSAN ATKINS: Why I thought it was pretty far out?
RICHARD CABALLERO: Yes, if it really was “war”.
SUSAN ATKINS: The thought behind it, I don’t think I really had a thought behind it at that particular time, but I believe, I logically believed I thought Katie said the word “pig” but now that you say the word “war” was carved in the man’s —
RICHARD CABALLERO: I didn’t say that. I said if it had
SUSAN ATKINS: Well, if it had. That’s what was written on the man’s chest.
RICHARD CABALLERO: Now, if I tell you I don’t know what the word was, what would you say? What word would you say was on his chest?
SUSAN ATKINS: War. And then she said they just —
RICHARD CABALLERO: — Did she tell you why she wrote “war”?
SUSAN ATKINS: She didn’t do it.
RICHARD CABALLERO: Oh, did she tell you why Tex did it?
SUSAN ATKINS: No.
PAUL CARUSO: Tex did it on the chest, then.
SUSAN ATKINS: At least when we do things together, we never ask each other why. We just accept it if that’s what you’ve done.
RICHARD CABALLERO: I appreciate that. Now let me ask you do you remember what you were told?
SUSAN ATKINS: I believe and I feel and I can see her sitting and talking to her saying “Tex carved the word ‘war'” on his chest.
PAUL CARUSO: With what?
SUSAN ATKINS: She didn’t say with what.
RICHARD CABALLERO: Did you, in the conversation as you recollect it, do you know if it was — do you have a picture of a spreading of blood or of a carving into the body? What? Something just written on him, scratched into him or carved into him – that’s what I want to know.
SUSAN ATKINS: She said “carved”. And she said it was almost dawn but they got out of the house and creepy-crawled —
PAUL CARUSO: In their black clothes?
SUSAN ATKINS: No, they had changed their clothes. They were wearing regular street clothes..
RICHARD CABALLERO: What did they do with their other clothes?
SUSAN ATKINS: Threw them away in somebody’s garbage can.
RICHARD CABALLERO: Near there?
SUSAN ATKINS: No, I think she said they walked quite a few blocks. They had to walk quite a few blocks, I guess about a mile.
RICHARD CABALLERO: What about the gun?
SUSAN ATKINS: Charlie took the gun. Tex didn’t go in with a gun.
RICHARD CABALLERO: So while Charlie was in there, had they killed the people yet?
SUSAN ATKINS: No.
RICHARD CABALLERO: Why didn’t Charlie stay?
SUSAN ATKINS: Because he was going to take Clem and Linda and me to another house.
RICHARD CABALLERO: Why didn’t you go to another house?
SUSAN ATKINS: Because we couldn’t find one.
RICHARD CABALLERO: Did Charlie look for some?
SUSAN ATKINS: Mmmn, I fell asleep because I was tired. I was really tired.
RICHARD CABALLERO: Had you ever gone into the house?
SUSAN ATKINS: No, I never entered the house.
RICHARD CABALLERO: Charlie was the first one in?
SUSAN ATKINS: .Yes.
RICHARD CABALLERO: While Charlie was there, were the people tied up?
SUSAN ATKINS: He went in and told the man, here’s what he related to me, he said, “I’m not here to hurt you. Just be calm, it’ll be okay. Just sit down and be still.” He tied them up with pieces of leather he wore around his neck and he came and got Tex and Leslie.
RICHARD CABALLERO: With leather Charlie wore around his neck? Is that what he tied them up with?
When he told you, when he related that to you, that this is what he did, how he told the man to be quiet and I’m not going to hurt you, and tied them with leather, who was present?
SUSAN ATKINS: Tex, Leslie and Katie and Clem and myself, we were all there.
PAUL CARUSO: This was after he came out of the house?
SUSAN ATKINS: Yes, and he told Tex, he said, “Now, the last time you blew it. You panicked the people. He said “don’t panic the people, let them think it’s going to be okay so they’ll at least go in peace.”
RICHARD CABALLERO: Is there anything else you know about that particular episode other than what you have just told us?
SUSAN ATKINS: No.
RICHARD CABALLERO: There again was Charlie directing you and the others?
SUSAN ATKINS: Yes.
PAUL CARUSO: When Charlie said “last time you panicked”, do you know to what he was referring?
SUSAN ATKINS: Yes, he had told the people – Tex had told the people “You are going to die”
PAUL CARUSO: Where was this?
SUSAN ATKINS: At the Tate house.
PAUL CARUSO: At the second, the LaBianca, he said very cooly —
SUSAN ATKINS: — very cooly and let them think it’s going to be okay, be nice to them, don’t cause them to panic, to put more fear in them than what they already have.
PAUL CARUSO: Let them live in peace to infinity?
SUSAN ATKINS: Right.
RICHARD CABALLERO: Do you recall any kind of animals at the LaBianca residence?
SUSAN ATKINS: No.
RICHARD CABALLERO: Was anything said?
SUSAN ATKINS: Yes, Katie said there was a dog there.
RICHARD CABALLERO: And what did she say about that?
SUSAN ATKINS: She said the dog was, just sat and watched the whole thing and the dog came up to them and wagged it’s tail, and she reached down and patted it on it’s head.
PAUL CARUSO: Wasn’t much of a watch dog, was it?
SUSAN ATKINS: No.
RICHARD CABALLERO: Did you say that they had put something over the LaBiancas’ heads?
SUSAN ATKINS: Yes.
RICHARD CABALLERO: What was that?
SUSAN ATKINS: I think she said pillow cases, I’m not sure.
RICHARD CABALLERO: Who did all the writing on the walls? In the LaBianca case?
SUSAN ATKINS: Katie said Clem – Leslie did it. And I think Tex wrote because it was up high. I don’t know for sure whether Tex die it or not.
RICHARD CABALLERO: What did they take from the house?
SUSAN ATKINS: Nothing that I know of other than the woman’s wallet.
RICHARD CABALLERO: Did they look for other things.
SUSAN ATKINS: Not that I know of.
RICHARD CABALLERO: Was anything other than money – all that was taken at the Tate house, if you recall?
SUSAN ATKINS: Yes, $73 or $74.00.
RICHARD CABALLERO: From where?
SUSAN ATKINS: Abigail Folger’s wallet.
PAUL CARUSO: How about narcotics, Susan. Were any narcotics taken or seen?
SUSAN ATKINS: No.
PAUL CARUSO: Anybody see any?
SUSAN ATKINS: No, but I know they turned on just looking at the house and looking at them, they hide it from society, but I knew they did.
PAUL CARUSO: You could read them loud and clear?
SUSAN ATKINS: Yes.
PAUL CARUSO: What does Katie look like?
SUSAN ATKINS: Katie has got – about my height, but long, beautiful, thick brown hair – I imagine it comes down to about here –
PAUL CARUSO: Down to the waist?
SUSAN ATKINS: Almost. About the middle of her back and it just covers her whole head. She’s got blue eyes, pretty blue eyes, very attractive, large ears and she says they’re big so I can keep my hair behind my ears, and she has hair, prominent, growing down around her neck, through the chest area, very hairy arms and legs, very graceful.
PAUL CARUSO: Where is she from?
SUSAN ATKINS: Los Angeles.
PAUL CARUSO: Is she? Does she have a family here?
SUSAN ATKINS: Yes.
RICHARD CABALLERO: Did you find out later the name of these people as being LaBianca?
SUSAN ATKINS: No.
RICHARD CABALLERO: Did you know or do you know of anyone of the group, of your family, did they know any of the LaBianca children. Was anything said about that?
SUSAN ATKINS: Katie said she had some children and that the children would probably be over on Sunday. Katie didn’t say that she heard this from the woman, but just from the type of people that the daughters or sons would probably be over for Sunday dinner and find their bodies and blow their minds.
PAUL CARUSO: Did you ever read in the paper about the LaBianca murder?
SUSAN ATKINS: No.
PAUL CARUSO: You didn’t hear it on TV or see anything at any time?
SUSAN ATKINS: No.
RICHARD CABALLERO: Didn’t you try and listen to the news to hear about it again?
SUSAN ATKINS: I was tired of listening to the news. All I heard on the news was Tate, Tate, Tate. I just shut it off.
RICHARD CABALLERO: Now all of this followed the Hinman, is that right?
SUSAN ATKINS: Yes.
RICHARD CABALLERO: Now you must be getting hungry. We’ll make arrangements about getting something to eat and then we’ll talk about the Hinman matter, which is the one you are currently charged with in Santa Monica. Now I told you when you came in today that I heard they were going to file murder complaints against you and all of the others, that everybody is in custody. Do you know that?
SUSAN ATKINS: That’s 26 people.
RICHARD CABALLERO: Why 26 people?
SUSAN ATKINS: Because that’s how many were arrested out in the desert.
RICHARD CABALLERO: No. I’m talking about those involved, in these matters that we’ve been discussing. Everyone is in custody, including yourself. Hopefully, we will be able to prepare a defense, as you have already honestly indicated to me that you were mesmerized by this Svengali-type individual, Charlie, and we are going to have to try to put our best foot forward, to try and convince everybody, maybe even the Grand Jury, because in the final analysis, if we can convince them it will be to your benefit. That’s all we’re concerned with, is your benefit. Okay, now we’ve got to get you something to eat, including some ice cream.
Thursday, May 28th, 2015
MR. PART: This is 3 p.m. in the afternoon, and Leslie Van Houten and myself, Marvin L. Part, her court-appointed attorney, are sitting in a private room at the Sybil Brand Institute. And I’m going to ask Leslie some questions, and she’s going to give me some answers.
Leslie, we’ve had previous interviews that have not been recorded, and I want —
(A hiatus occurs in tape.)
MISS VAN HOUTEN: “You were only waiting for this moment to arrive.”
And then, “Have you seen the little piggies.”
And at the end of the song it had like tat tat tat tat tat tat tat, like the sound of a machine gun.
And then further on in the album it had Helter Skelter. And it’s, “When I get to the bottom I go back to the top of the slide; then I turn around and I go for a ride,” and it’s coming down fast, “Helter Skelter.”
And also then the revelations — Revolutions 9.
And then when we read in the Bible, it said about the four-headed locusts. And it just described the Beatles so perfectly.
MR. PART: You say Revolutions 9.
Did you read anything — any title in the Bible that you thought might have been the Beatles’ song Revolutions 9?
MISS VAN HOUTEN: Yeah.
We looked up Revelation in — in the New Testament, and in the Bible we read Revelations, and it talked about a four-headed locust that would have hair of woman and mouths of lions and faces of man and a shield of protective armor.
And we thought it was like the guitars, because their album, when we would listen to it on acid, would say so much more.
And someone even told me one time about how it was made to erase certain parts of your mind, the way they got their different electric currents going together in their music.
And revelation — Revolutions 9 is just mostly a song of sounds. And it has “Rise,” and it would — it says stuff like they are standing still, and as time goes on they get a little bit older and a little bit slower.
And we believed that once you were perfect in your mind you didn’t age any more. There was no getting old.
MR. PART: Then, did you believe that the Beatles were the four-headed locust and a prophet?
MISS VAN HOUTEN: Uh-huh, I believed it.
And also they sing a song, “You Know that What You Eat You Are, What is sweet Now Turns So Sour.”
And Revelations 10 is when an angel comes out with one foot on the sea and one foot on the land, and he said to some guy, “Eat this book that — and it will taste sweet in your mouth, but when it gets in your stomach it will be so sour.”
Like in and out of the album, they’ve got parts of the Revelations in the Bible throughout it. All right?
I believed that they were.
MR. PART: Now, I believe you told me that during the time that you were at the Gresham Street address everybody was on acid trips. Is that correct?
MISS VAN HOUTEN: Uh-huh. We were taking acid a lot, and just listening to the album to more or less —
Well, see, when we came back to the city it was only to start, only to start —
MR. PART: Excuse me; let me interrupt. Don’t, don’t put your finger over the microphone.
Go back to what you were saying. But I want you to — I think you told me in the past that you thought you heard the Beatles sing Charlie’s name.
Could you elaborate on that.
MISS VAN HOUTEN: Yes.
In the Revolutions 9 there is a part where the women are singing, “Your home is where you’re happy.”
And in the one part, if you listen on another track, it sounds like they are saying “Charlie.”
You know, just — I don’t know how many times they do it; just once, I think.
And then that’s when the songs he’d written many years ago was — “Your Home is Where You’re Happy.”
And there were just little things in and out.
Like they were calling for their monkey. And a long time ago we used to call Charlie the monkey.
You know, just all kinds of little things that made it seem real to us to connect the Beatles with us.
And so — because Charles is the type of person he is, like he’s out front with people. And a lot of people had a hard time seeing him or looking at him. And that’s another line that the Beatles said, “He’s got to be good looking ’cause he’s so hard to see.” Because so many people couldn’t even look at him.
But we — after that, we started decide — seeing where we were in this position, because we knew that we were part of this Revolutions — of the Revelations in the Bible. We knew that we had a part in it.
And so we read, and it talked about a hole in the desert or going to the Kingdom.
We found out — we started looking into the Death Valley, what’s underneath Death Valley, and we found out there was the Armagosa River and blind fish and all kinds of things that just made us believe that there was a whole world underneath. And that some of the Montezuma’s people are already under there waiting for us.
And that what would happen is that about a couple thousand of the chosen people — white people — would go down into the center of the earth and stay there for about fifty years. And then there would Athens or — I can’t remember all the names, but something was going to happen. And then we were going to come back up.
And this was when we — the earth would be all black.
MR. PART: First thing is wouldn’t you be pretty old by that time; and second thing is why was the earth going to be all black?
MISS VAN HOUTEN: No, we wouldn’t. We wouldn’t be old, because we wouldn’t age.
Because to go into the hole, you would have to be perfect in your mind and in your body.
And so it would be black just meaning that there would be no more white people,up on the earth. They would all be wiped out completely.
And, let’s see. And I was going to say something else, but I can’t remember what it was.
Oh, yeah. And the Beatles saying that after the Revolutions song they say, “Now the moon begins to shine,’ you know, “Good night, sleep tight.”
It’s almost like a lullaby for everyone — for all the right people having their karma to be completed.
MR. PART: What do you mean by the word “karma”? I think you used it twice.
MISS VAN HOUTEN: It’s used in India, and it’s just so — it’s like, “As you sow, so shall you reap.”
Like, “What you put out you get back.”
Like, we, — we being the white man — have put out a lot of pressures on other groups, like the Indians when we first came over, and the slavery on the black man.
And we’re going to get it back, and the time has come to get it back because the cities and everything is moving at such a high speed that it’s going to break.
That’s what I mean by “the karma.”
MR. PART: Now, how were you supposed to get down to the center of the earth?
MISS VAN HOUTEN: Well, we hadn’t quite figured it out yet. We were looking for the hole.
That’s what we were doing in the desert with the dune buggies. And that’s why we needed more dune buggies.
And we were — we had a good idea that it was in the Death Valley area, but we weren’t sure just where.
And we weren’t quite — we weren’t quite sure of how it was going to work, where we’re going to get in there.
But maybe it was going to be rigged up from someone who’d gone down before, that it would have water on the top and then like the water would like move away — go away somehow by some kind of mechanism.
And if we played around the hole enough that went down there, we’d find it out.
And then we could just walk down it and then we’d have to float down a river, one of the rivers, and then it would take us down and take about — I think about two weeks, we figured it out, to get down to the center.
And then once we got to the center we’d be tiny, and everything would be great big, magnified, like the pearls.
It talks about the pearls. There’d be giant pearls, and we’d be just little tiny, about maybe five inches compared to everything else.
MR. PART: You say it talks about the pearls.
Who talks about the pearls?
MISS VAN HOUTEN: At the end of Revelations, in the very last book, almost to the last page, it says that the kingdom will have giant pearls.
I don’t know who said it — I don’t know who wrote it — but it talks about that, and gold everywhere.
MR. PART: Now, you say that you all used to sit around Gresham and the desert and talk about this philosophy of going down to the center of the earth.
Could you name some of the people that used to talk about it?
MISS VAN HOUTEN: Gypsy and Brenda and myself and Katie and Charles and Tex and Clem and Snake and Rachel.
There was — we’re the ones that usually talked about it the most. Sadie did sometimes; but I don’t know if she actually believed it or not.
But all the rest of us, we really believed it.
MR. PART: Now, to go out to the desert in Death Valley and find this hole that was going to lead you to the center of the earth you needed dune buggies; is that right?
MISS VAN HOUTEN: Uh-huh.
MR. PART: Now, where were you going to get the dune buggies?
MISS VAN HOUTEN: Well, we’d boughten four of them, and then they got taken away. So we started just taking them.
MR. PART: Now, I remember in one of our conversations we were talking about the Hinman murder.
There was something that you said about Hinman and dune buggies.
Could you tell me what that was?
MISS VAN HOUTEN: We had — I — just from talk — I didn’t know too much about what was going on; but from talk, he was wealthy. And with the money he gave us, we were going to get dune buggies.
But he never gave us any money.
MR. PART: Okay.
Now, is that all that you can think of, or all that you remember, about this philosophy about going to the center of the earth?
MISS VAN HOUTEN: I think so right at the time.
MR. PART: Now, you said something about thinking that Charlie is or was Jesus.
Do you still believe that; and, if you do, was there anything that he ever said or did that made you believe it?
MISS VAN HOUTEN: Yeah, I still believe he is. And, you know, I can’t say it in words. Only that he’s almost not even human.
I mean, you know, he’s got his body and all, but he’s gentle. I mean he’s everything. He’s just everything at once.
It’s hard, you know, I can’t even almost explain him. You know? And like —
And it’s like he has no ego, meaning — you know.
Do you know what ego is?
it’s faces that we put on for each other.
And he has none of that. He’s just a person.
And, well, it’s so hard to explain why I believe he is, but I know he is.
MR. PART: Now, did he ever say anything about being Jesus except for what you just told me?
MISS VAN HOUTEN: He used to — he used to say, “I see too much; I see what’s happening, and I don’t want it; I don’t want to be in this position.”
He’d say,”I wish someone else would.”
He’d say, “I — I know that I died on the cross before.”
He told us about a suicide — dream sort of, like acid trip he had one time. This was when he first got out after his seven years.
And he — he said that all of a sudden he was being he was carrying the cross again, and he was being nailed on it.
And Mary, the first girl that was ever with him, was crying at his feet.
And he said he felt it all over again, and he knew, you know, that he had died. See.
And if you, if you could give up your personality and your ego and be willing to die, then you were already dead; that the body didn’t mean anything.
MR. PART: Now, you say “Mary.” Are you talking about the Mary Brunner, the girl that was with him?
MISS VAN HOUTEN: Yes, I’m talking about Mary.
MR. PART: So when you say that he had the dream, or the whatever it was, after an acid trip, that he was again nailed to the cross, the Mary that was with him is the Mary that we all know now as Mary Brunner; is that right?
MISS VAN HOUTEN: Um-hmm, yes, uh-huh.
And so one time I had an acid trip like that. He said that, he said that he died and everybody wrote about it, and that they are using him as they do, you know, Jesus, so holy and so great, because they didn’t, they didn’t go when he went.
But he said all his true followers went with him. In other words, they said, “If you, if you crucified him you’re going to crucify us, too.”
And so I was in Hollywood one time and I had an acid trip and I, and I was up on the cross.
It sounds far out, but I was, for real. I was feeling them do it. And I could feel the knife or the sword when it went in, too.
I know that he is. You know, I believe that he’s Christ. I never would deny it.
MR. PART: Now, as you know, Charles Manson, along with yourself and a lot of others, are in great jeopardy in this trial.
And there are many indications that if Manson is convicted of these first degree murders, that he may die in the gas chamber.
Have you ever had any thoughts that perhaps this would be like a second crucification?
MISS VAN HOUTEN: Yeah, many times.
MR. PART: Tell me about it.
MISS VAN HOUTEN: Well, it seems strange that it would happen again, seeing as he already died once; but if it did it would be all right; because what we did was because of this part of the plan that we have no control of.
MR. PART: Now that you mentioned “the plan that we have no control of,” tell me what you mean.
MISS VAN HOUTEN: Well, it seemed like after we knew what was going to come down we tried talking to leaders, you know, black leaders, and we saw that they were stalling.
And it was almost as though we had to make the first move for it to continue to develop, to get bigger so that it would happen because the black man loves us so much that he would be our slave and do everything we said, let us beat him and mistreat him for so many years that he almost doesn’t want to do what he has to do, but he sees that he has to do it.
And so it was up to us to start it.
MR. PART: Now, you say that you talked to some black leaders.
Who were these black leaders?
And you say it was up to us to start it.
Now, what do you mean by starting it?
MISS VAN HOUTEN: I don’t know. All I know is his name is John and he — he’s pretty big in government.
And I don’t know. He may not be, you know. But we thought he was.
And starting — starting it was that — to just start killing people. Because it’s going to be blood for blood.
MR. PART: Now, did you believe that the — that the black people would to have to start killing the white people?
MISS VAN HOUTEN: No, it wouldn’t be that way.
White man would kill white man. The black man would sort of be there, too, helping him along.
Because we — it was — it’s like white man is divided, you know. We aren’t united in our thoughts. And the black man is more together. They are more one in their thoughts, you know.
They’re — they’d — in here I’ve gotten a lot of talk about how they call each other sister and each other brother. But very seldom do two white girls say, “Hey, sister,’ you know.
They greet you when you come in, you know. Say, “Say, sister, come on in. Want a cigarette?” You know.
They don’t do that.
And so white man would kill white man for their beliefs. If they didn’t believe the same, they’re going to knock each other off.
And then black man would be there to sort of help them.
Crawling in the night.
MR. PART: Well, how were you going to start the this revolution?
MISS VAN HOUTEN: By killing.
MR. PART: Could you explain that?
MISS VAN HOUTEN: By doing a murder that had no sense behind it, and by putting words that would make people scared.
Because the more fearful the people get, the more frantic it will get, and the faster it will happen.
MR. PART: Now, I’m going to get — now that we’ve learned the theory I’m going to start talking about specific events.
Will you tell us starting what you know about the Hinman murder, then switch to what you know about the Tates and after that to what you know about the LaBiancas.
MISS VAN HOUTEN: Okay.
I knew that three of us — Do you want me to give the names? — Bobby and Mary and Sadie went to Gary Hinman’s to get some money. And anything else he had. And him.
And if he wouldn’t — and if he wouldn’t come, they were going to kill him.
And he didn’t come.
But they were there for a lot of days. And they would call up, and they were real scared and everything.
And Charles went over there one night to tell them to, you know, relax, because he could — he could keep his cool.
But I would never call him villainous, even though all this has happened.
And then he came back, and about the next day I think the rest came back, and they said that they had killed him.
MR. PART: Who said that?
MISS VAN HOUTEN: Sadie. Sadie came in grinning saying, “We killed him.”
And then I asked her what it was like, you know; and she just said that it was real weird and he made funny noises.
MR. PART: All right.
There’s been some talk that at one time Charlie Manson had gone over there and cut off Hinman’s ear.
Would you comment on that if you know anything about it; and also would you comment on anything that Sadie or Bobby Beausoleil said about the actual killing.
MISS VAN HOUTEN: Yeah. Charlie went over there —
I heard from someone — I don’t remember who — that Charlie had gone over there and cut off Gary’s ear, and that he had come back.
That’s when I said, in just a little bit before, when Charlie went over there that’s what happened.
And I guess that all I ever really heard about it was they had a hard time killing him; that he wouldn’t die, and that —
I don’t even remember who actually did the killing or not. I never got that straight.
MR. PART: You told me once that Sadie was always around sharpening knives, and that after Hinman had died she could hardly wait till the next time.
Could you elaborate on that.
MISS VAN HOUTEN: Well, Sadie was always more or less the rougher of us girls.
You know, she was always up front. In fact, she Beatles had a song about her called “Sexy Sadie.”
And that song just fit her so perfect, you know.
And after that — Well, we were all almost fascinated by the thought of killing people just because we’d been, you know, taught to stay away from it and nobody knows about death, really, you know.
And when she came back she was almost infatuated by it. She kept sharpening the knives, getting them real sharp.
And she was always wanting to go creepy crawl and, you know, get credit cards or do this and that.
She always wanted to be in on the murders. She liked to be in on the rough stuff that Charlie would have us do.
MR. PART: Okay. Now, tell us about, about the Tates, and then go to the LaBiancas.
MISS VAN HOUTEN: Well, I don’t, I don’t really remember how I learned exactly that the Tates had been done.
I can’t remember knowing before they left that they were going to go do that.
I know that Charlie came in to Katie and I –we were sitting in taking care of the babies — and this was that night; and he said something about, “Do you see why I believe that we have to kill?”
And we both said, “Yes,” you know, “we see.”
He said, “Do you want to do it?”
And we said, we said, “No, but we know that it has to be done; so,yes.”
You know, in other words, we didn’t want to go out and actually like do somebody in, but it had, it had to be done; and we were the only ones that saw that it had to be done.
So I went on to sleep, and Katie did, too.
And then Charlie came in and woke her up, and I didn’t know why, but I sort of had an idea it was to go do some, you know, knock somebody off.
And then the next morning Sadie was watching the news, I think. Somehow I found out that they had done it.
Oh, no. I asked Katie, and she told me.
MR. PART: What did she say?
MISS VAN HOUTEN: She said that — that they had murdered five people; that they didn’t know there were going to be that many at the house; and they didn’t know who the people were; and there were a whole lot of them.
And it happened so quick, and it was a horrible thing. You know, she was shaken up by it.
And then — see? — and then somehow we heard the news, and they said, “Oh, my God, they were rich,” you know, “they were famous people,” you know.
That’s really all that was said about it.
And then the next night —
Oh, but Sadie said she’d left her knife there. They said it was done real messy; and it happened in about twenty minutes, you know.
I didn’t really get the details too good.
And then the next night — Well, I was feeling bad, to tell you the truth. Because Sadie — because Katie was my best friend. And to think that she was strong enough in her believing not — you know, to be able to go kill, I wanted to, too.
Because I wanted to be just like Katie.
MR. PART: Is that Katie or Sadie?
MISS VAN HOUTEN: Katie. That’s Patty. I wanted to be just like her.
And almost it was like it would make myself stronger to know that I could kill somebody, because at the moment I’m killing them I have to be that willing to die.
MR. PART: Well, was Katie — this Patricia Krenwinkel was she out on — in the Tate murders?
MISS VAN HOUTEN: Um-hmm, yes.
MR. PART: The so-called — the Tate murders?
MISS VAN HOUTEN: Tex and Sadie and Katie were on the inside, and Linda was supposed to be on the outside.
That’s the way the story
And then —
So I was feeling kind of bad, because I didn’t get to go.
I was sure hoping that if we did it again I could go.
MR. PART: Why in the world would you want to go out and kill somebody?
MISS VAN HOUTEN: Because it had to be done. It had to be done just in order for the whole thing to be completed, for the whole world’s karma to be completed we had to do this.
And I wanted to do it, because I thought that if I could go out and kill someone that I would — you know — it’s not an easy thing to do it — and that I — in a sense I would be giving up totally to what I believed in because I would have to pay the consequences if they were to come back.
MR. PART: You said, “if they were to come back.”
What do you mean by that?
MISS VAN HOUTEN: Well, I didn’t — you know, like even after it happened I wasn’t really scared about being arrested for it, you know. I was never hiding.
We were in the desert hiding, but not — you know, it was almost like a game to get ready for when it really came down we’d know how to hide.
You know, we weren’t like doing a real good job of hiding out there like we could have been doing.
MR. PART: You say, “They were going to come after me.”
Do you mean the people, or you meant the people that were killed would come back, or what do you mean?
MISS VAN HOUTEN: No. That the man would come and try to get me for doing what I did.
MR. PART: What man was that?
MISS VAN HOUTEN: Oh, the police.
MR. PART: Oh.
So the night after the Tate killing, what happened then?
MISS VAN HOUTEN: Well, we were all sitting in the kitchen, and Charlie pulled me out to the side, and he said, “Are you crazy?”
And I said, “Well, yeah.”
MR. PART: He said, “Are you crazy?” and you said, “Yeah.
Now, what does “crazy” mean to you?
MISS VAN HOUTEN: In other words, it meant, “Are you almost, to the regular person’s thinking mind, are you crazy enough to believe the way I believe, to see the way I see, that we are, you know — that we had been sent down to start this in motion?”
And I said, “Yes.” Because I — I do. I’m crazy enough to believe it.
And he said, “Are you crazy enough to be able to go out and kill someone for this?”
And I said, “Yeah,” that I was.
So he said, “Okay. Go get two changes of clothes and get in the car.”
So I did.
Do you want me to continue?
So there was Linda and Charlie and Tex and me and Katie and Sadie and Clem. We all went out that night.
We went driving around. We were driving and —
MR. PART: Now, did everybody have a change of clothes; what kind of a car was it; and were there any weapons in the car?
MISS VAN HOUTEN: Yeah. Everybody had two changes of clothes.
And I think we only had two weapons that I knew of in the car, and those were big knives. And they were underneath the floor mat — one of them was, anyway — that I was sitting on in the back seat.
And it was Johnny Swartz’s car, an old, probably in the fifties, a Chevy or something like that.
And so we drove and we drove and we drove, and they couldn’t find any place.
And I was tired and most everybody was tired, so we went to sleep.
And then when I woke up I heard Charlie talking to Sadie — or, no, Tex; that’s who he was talking to, Tex.
And he said, “Everything’s — I got everything okay. And they think it’s a robbery. And just to tie it up, just go on in. I got their wallet. They’re sure it’s a robbery. And just tell them everything is okay so that when they go don’t make it so that they got to be tortured. Make it quick and easy,” you know, “for them, because just as –”
MR. PART: Did he say anything about what had happened the night before, something about Tex getting everybody all heated up?
MISS VAN HOUTEN: I remember talk about it, but I can’t really say for sure if I actually heard him saying it. But it was mentioned, that he’d blown it.
Because then these people we afraid, and the idea was to do it —
(End of first side of tape.)
They were going to go anyway sooner or later because when it came down they were going to get it.
So we tried to make it as easy — like
Oh, so Katie and Tex and I were in the house. I didn’t tell you that part.
So we went in —
No, Tex went in. Yeah, that’s right. Then Tex went in.
And Katie and I walked in.
And this alarmed the people. You know, that two girls would be walking in if it was only a robbery, you know.
And the woman, she turned around and said, you know, ‘What do you want? What are you guys doing here?’
And we told her, “We only want to take what you got that’s worth anything.”
She said, “Well, we don’t have much money, but I’ll get” — you know, she got this little box that had some change in it.
And Tex was real calm and cool, and he was just saying, “Everything is going to be all right. We are just going to take your money.”
MR. PART: Now, what was Tex armed with and what were you armed with?
MISS VAN HOUTEN: Oh, when we entered the house we hadn’t gotten anything, and we hadn’t brought in anything, but Tex had this long knife.
MR. PART: Was this a bayonet?
MISS VAN HOUTEN: Yeah, that’s what it was. It was –because it was heavy. It was almost like an iron.
And we went in the kitchen and we got the knives, some kitchen knives.
And then we were supposed to go — we were supposed to go take the woman into the bedroom and put a hood on her and then wait for him to do the same thing, and at the same time we’d, you know, knock them both off so that they wouldn’t hear each other dying.
And so the woman — I was going to hold the woman down, and because Katie had done it before it would have been easier for her to actually stab the woman because I was getting kind of freaky about the whole thing.
And then I was watching, you know, I was looking more than I was paying attention to what I should have been doing.
And the woman, I guess she heard her husband —
MR. PART: Now, I understand Tex was in the other room with the man, and you and Katie were with the woman.
When you talk about a hood, was that a pillowcase that you somehow fastened around her head? And if you did, what did you fasten it with?
MISS VAN HOUTEN: Yeah, it was a pillowcase, and we fastened it with the lamp cord.
And, let’s see; for some reason I’m fogging out,but —
MR. PART: Well, did the woman hear her husband die?
MISS VAN HOUTEN: Oh, yeah. So her husband — so the woman heard her husband — the woman heard her husband —
She must have because all of a sudden she jumped up, and it surprised me.
And she got the lamp shade, and she was about to knock me on the head with it, and I put it back, and she kept going, “What’s happening to Leo? What’s happening to Leo?’
And we kept telling her, “He’s all right, he’s all right.”
And then Katie tried to stab her, and the knife wasn’t strong enough. It kept bending.
So we called Tex in. And I can’t remember which one of us did it; could have been me.
And we said, you know — “Tex come in,” that, “we can’t kill her; the knives won’t bend.”
And — but only — she was dead within a minute, it seemed. She didn’t make any of those breathing noises.
MR. PART: Well, who stabbed her?
MISS VAN HOUTEN: Katie did, and then Tex did, although I didn’t see Tex do it.
So I couldn’t say for sure, but he had the good knife.
MR. PART: If you were in the same room, how was it that you could not see Tex do it?
MISS VAN HOUTEN: Well, I had run out of the room.
Yeah; I ran out of the room to tell — you know, I’m it’s sort of foggy, that part, but this is the way I can recall it:
That I had run out of the room to get Tex, and I had seen the man; and Tex ran by me in the doorway because I remember —
You know, like it comes in pictures, and the picture I see is Katie trying to get the knife in her throat and it wouldn’t go.
And then I remember seeing her laying flat in front of her closet, all bloody on her stomach.
And then I remember the man laying on the sofa gurgling that deep bloody gurgle.
And so then we were going to make the house look freaky.
MR. PART: Now, had anybody given you any instructions about what you call “making the house look freaky”?
MISS VAN HOUTEN: Well, in order to create fear it had to be — look like an obvious, just an obvious murder; that there was no robbery , nothing behind it; just flat out to do it, to start this paranoia going.
And so we had been told that this was the best time to use our witchcraft.
MR. PART: Who told you that? When was it told to you? And what is witchcraft?
MISS VAN HOUTEN: Well, Charles told it to us; and I can’t remember just when.
It might have been before we went in the house or before we even left.
MR. PART: When you say “Charles” in all these conversations, dear, you mean Charles Manson; is that correct?
MISS VAN HOUTEN: Um-hum, yes.
So — and, oh, what witchcraft was or is to the group was just that women are more aware of than men, and that — because they know how to take care of the man.
So witchcraft is just all the little things a woman does.
Like sewing would be a form of it.
And so he said, “This is when you can use your greatest amount of witchcraft,” meaning you can use your imagination and do, you know, a whole number, meaning making it look ugly.
But I couldn’t get behind that, and I don’t think any of the others could, and I really don’t think that Charles could.
So I went back in the bedroom and I saw the woman laying down; and Tex handed me the knife and, you know,said, “Okay,” you know, “get to it.”
MR. PART: Now, was the woman dead at that time? If you think she was dead, what made you think she was dead?
MISS VAN HOUTEN: I’m positive she was dead. She was just laying there, like the man was, like I say, he was gurgling; and she was just laying there.
She didn’t even make a moan or a groan. I didn’t feel her, you know, her pulse, or anything. And her head was covered, so I didn’t see her face. I kind of wished I had of.
MR. PART: Why?
MISS VAN HOUTEN: Because I could have seen what I had done more, you know.
A face shows so much more; that maybe it would have stirred something more up in me.
MR. PART: Was the actual stabbing of the woman — did that — was that unusual to you; did it feel different than you thought it might have felt?
MISS VAN HOUTEN: It felt so weird that I blew my mind behind it; if you understand what I mean by blow my mind.
I mean, I lost control. I went completely nuts that moment. It was —
Do you want me to explain?
It was hard to get it through. Like when I thought of stabbing, I didn’t really have any idea in my mind, but it’s a real feeling. It’s — it’s not even like cutting a piece of meat. It’s much tougher. And it was — I had to use both hands and all my pressure, all my strength behind it to get it in.
And so once I started, the feeling was so weird that I just kept doing it.
Like I say, I did it about ten times, I think.
And then — Well, do you want me to continue?
And then I went into the other room, and I noticed that there had been things written on the wall. There was “Pig” and “Rise,” and “Helter Skelter,” and — and that might be all. There might have been something else.
MR. PART: Now, what do those words mean to you, and what were they written in, and where were they written?
MISS VAN HOUTEN: “Helter Skelter” was written on the refrigerator. And that was used to let people know that the Beatles were the prophets, and they were telling it like it was, and that it’s coming down fast, and you just be ready, you know.
You know, get it on. Do whatever you have to do for this whole thing to be over.
And “Pig” was the white — the white businessman who hated his neighbor, couldn’t look at his neighbor with love, who was going to get it in the end.
And then “Rise” was for the black man saying that it was his turn to, you know, be leader after all that time.
And I don’t remember where — “Rise” I think was written on a wall, and I’m not sure where “Pig” was written, but I know that they were written in blood.
MR. PART: Whose blood?
MISS VAN HOUTEN: Mr. LaBianca’s.
MR. PART: Now, all these things that we’ve talked about, “Helter Skelter” and “Pig” and so on and so forth, that they are all things that came out of this Beatle album that we have been talking about; is that right?
MISS VAN HOUTEN: Yeah, um-hmm.
MR. PART: Who wrote them?
MISS VAN HOUTEN: The Beatles.
MR. PART: Who wrote the words in Mr. LaBianca’s blood?
MISS VAN HOUTEN: I think Katie did.
MR. PART: Tell us about what property, if any, was taken from the LaBiancas, what property, if any, was left, and what you did after the killings.
MISS VAN HOUTEN: Umm, we took some change, and thenI was busy with the fingerprints, ’cause I didn’t want any to be left. And the others —
MR. PART: What did you do with the fingerprints, and who told you to do something, if someone did?
MISS VAN HOUTEN: Umm, Katie handed me a towel and
No, I said, “What about the fingerprints? I left some on the lamp shade.”
And Katie handed me a towel and said, “Go wipe them off with this
So I went, and I just about did the whole bedroom all over and everything I had touched.
And we did the kitchen and just sort of all over, just a whole fingerprint thing, ’cause we hadn’t worn any gloves.
And then Katie and Tex, when I came out of the bedroom, they were taking a shower.
I don’t know if Katie actually took one, but I know Tex did.
And then after that we were hungry. And so we went and we took some cheese and milk out of the refrigerator. And we took it with us. And we left out the back door and went down the fence and down the sidewalk.
Oh, we changed our clothes inside the house from our black clothes into regular clothes.
And Tex’s zipper broke, so I had to give him my pair of pants, and I took a pair of Mrs. LaBianca’s shorts and put them on.
MR. PART: Tell us if Tex’s clothes or anybody’s clothes had blood on it, and tell us what you did with the bloody clothes.
MISS VAN HOUTEN: Uh-uh, I didn’t see blood on any of our clothes.
And we really didn’t need to even change them other than they were all black and dark colors.
And we took the clothes, and we walked and walked for a couple of blocks, and then we threw them in a trash can and then went and we hid in the bushes. And we waited for daylight to hitchhike home.
MR. PART: Tell us about the ride home.
MISS VAN HOUTEN: First ride we got was from a black man. And he took us to Griffith Park where the freeway starts. And then this man in this funky old blue and white car picked us up. And he drove us almost all — he drove us to Chatsworth Street.
And we even stopped and bought him breakfast at some place on Topanga Canyon Boulevard. I don’t remember the name of it. I think it starts with an N.
And then he dropped us off at Chatsworth Street, and we went around an orange grove and then over the highway real quick. And then down in a creek.
And we walked up, and then Katie went over to Devil’s Canyon, and Tex walked up around the dump, and I came up through the pony corral.
You know, we all just went, you know — let’s see, it was morning —
We all just started doing whatever we were going to do.
Oh, I went down to the farmhouse.
And the hitch — and the man who had picked us up hitchhiking came driving around. He came — but I covered up my head and played like I was sleeping so he never saw me.
But he wondered if we were from Spahn’s Ranch, and we told him no.
MR. PART: Now, did anybody see you coming back to the ranch — when I say “anybody,” I’m talking about girls at the ranch — see you coming back, and did anybody see you and everybody else leaving?
MISS VAN HOUTEN: Uh-huh. Cathy saw us leaving, Cathy Myers.
And Squeaker saw me coming back. That’s LynnFromme.
And other than that, no, huh-uh.
I just went —
You mean when I walked up from through the pony corral? Lynn saw me.
But other than that, everyone else thought I’d just been sleeping all night.
MR. PART: Now, when you left with Charlie in the car, was there anybody else who saw you leaving?
MISS VAN HOUTEN: Only Cathy. And she knew. ‘Cause she wanted to go.
MR. PART: Well, how did you know Cathy wanted to go, and why didn’t she go?
MISS VAN HOUTEN: Well, Cathy — Cathy was more or less coming and going and coming and going.
She said she was with us, but she was — you know she’d leave every couple weeks for a few days.
In other words, her amount of loyalty to the Family wasn’t complete.
So for her to do it would almost be like a risk, like she would freak out and then run away, and who knows what she’d do.
And she was feeling bad ’cause she wanted to go ’cause she wanted to help out.
MR. PART: Now, after you got back — Strike that.
Were — were any — Was anybody else who went with you that night supposed to go into any other houses and commit any other murders?
MISS VAN HOUTEN: Uh-huh. All the rest were going to. They were — I don’t know where they were going, they were just going to do what we had done. Same thing. Only it was going to be Linda and Clem and Sadie.
MR. PART: You say that Clem was also in the car, and he was about to go out and do the same thing that Charles Watson had did — done.
Is that correct?
MISS VAN HOUTEN: Yes.
MR. PART: And had there been some conversation or anything between Charles or anybody as to what was going to happen that night before everybody went out, and specially was Clem present during any of these conversations?
MISS VAN HOUTEN: Yeah. We were all present. We all knew what we were going to go out to do. Nobody didn’t know.
MR. PART: Well, how did you know?
MISS VAN HOUTEN: We all talked about it.
MR. PART: Tell us what you said and what other people said.
MISS VAN HOUTEN: Well, not — really not that much was sa id other than the fact that we were going to do it because it had to be done and that we were going to do it the next night and that this was just the beginning, you know.
But this would be probably all we’d ever have to do.
MR. PART: Now, Kasabian, the Kasabian girl was onthe Tate murders but she never went inside the house, at least to my knowledge.
And what exactly did she do in regard to the LaBianca murders concerning the car, or anything like that?
MISS VAN HOUTEN: She drove it most of the time. But then she got too nervous and –’cause, you know, Charlie was directing the driving.
Like he’d say, “Turn right, turn left, go straight,” you know, “Turn around.”
So he got too nervous and she said, you know, “Well, then, you drive the car.”
So she got out and then he drove it.
MR. PART: Now, did the Kasabian girl — Her name is Linda; is that right?
Did Linda Kasabian have a change of clothes with her that night, too?
MISS VAN HOUTEN: Well, the way —
All these, you know — like’I’m not positive that every person did like they were asked to do, you know.
In other words, I know that every single person there was asked to get two changes of clothes for their own well-being, you know.
But I can’t remember actually seeing everybody’s two changes, you know.
Like they were sort of like, “Get it for yourself and keep track of it.” But I pretty much remember everybody having it.
MR. PART: How, in some articles I have read in the newspapers and in some transcripts that I’ve also read Susan Atkins is also known to you as Sadie Glutz, says that after they let everybody off at the LaBianca house that they went home to — back to the ranch.
But there’s also been a story that they stopped at another house to do the same thing that you did.
Now, did you know anything about that? Or did you hear anything about that?
MISS VAN HOUTEN: No, i hadn’t; but I knew that was the idea.
And so I said, I said to Sadie the next day, I said, well, you know, “What did you guys do,” you know. “What happened with you guys after you left us?”
And she said, “Nothing; we just came back.”
You know, I — I didn’t hear anything about that other.
She said they looked around for awhile but nothing came — nothing happened.
MR. PART: Now, when we sat down here before I actually turned on the tape recorder I asked you if you know what the word “remorse” meant; and you said “No.”
And I told you it meant feeling sorry.
Could you tell us how you feel now about what happened to the LaBiancas and all the other people that were killed.
MISS VAN HOUTEN: Well, I can’t really feel sorry, because I did it, and I did it with every intention of it being right.
Sometimes when I think about it —
See, I try not to think. That sounds pretty ridiculous, but I don’t. I try not — I try to keep my mind clear. When I think about it, it makes me feel bad, you know.
I can start to cry, specially ’cause the kids, ’cause they are my age. I didn’t really have any —
MR. PART: Now, you say you feel badly. What makes you feel badly?
MISS VAN HOUTEN: Well, when I start thinking about the kids having to find their folks, the parents. You know, that seems ugly to me.
MR. PART: Are your talking about the LaBiancas?
MISS VAN HOUTEN: Yeah, the LaBiancas.
And I heard that Mr. Tate sort of blew his mind, he’d put on a hippie hairdo looking for the people that did it to his daughter.
I feel sorry for those people.
MR. PART: How about the people that are dead? Don’t you feel sorry for them?
MISS VAN HOUTEN: I really — I — To be honest, no.
MR. PART: Why don’t you feel sorry for the dead people?
MISS VAN HOUTEN: Well, all it is is a body.
You know, I mean, that’s the way I feel about my life. In other words, when I went out and I did them in, it’s like I’m that willing to have myself killed.
I only see all this around me as just a body and just part of what I come from.
And what I come from is much greater.
In other words, I believe that you come — I believe that you come from nothing and you are going back to nothing; and while you’re here you almost are nothing. You’re just an animal.
MR. PART: When you went out to — and were part of the group that killed the LaBiancas did you think that what you were doing was right? And if you did, why was it right?
MISS VAN HOUTEN: I thought it was perfectly right, and I thought it was perfectly right because I see — 1 —
And I even today still see the way I did then. I see it coming up to the vibrations of everything is coming up.
It’s like a big tune coming up. It’s going daaaaa, and it’s going to get up to the highest point and then it’s going to break.
And this paranoia had to be started to get the vibration going even stronger; and it’s just part of the plan.
And I have no control over it.
MR. PART: So, then, do you think that the things that you and Charlie and Sadie and the rest did are kind of preordained?
MISS VAN HOUTEN: Uh-huh; and I think what happens here is probably going to be preordained, too.
MR. PART: When you say “what happens here,”you mean you thj that the results of the trial are preordained no matter what anybody does; is that right?
MISS VAN HOUTEN: Yeah.
In other words, I think that everything that happens is perfect.
I know it sounds probably real far out, but it’s true.
Sometimes I doubt it, and then I get nervous and shakey and everything. But most of the time I’m pretty sure that everything that happens is perfect.
MR. PART: What do you think is going to happen at the trial?
MISS VAN HOUTEN: I have no idea. I know that I’ve thought a lot about the worst, not that I think it’s going to happen, because I wasn’t wrong; but I’ve been trying to, in case it would happen, I’ve been trying to prepare myself for such a thing.
MR. PART: Do you really care if — if you are given the death penalty in this case and die? Do you really give a darn whether you get life imprisonment or something less than that?
Is that — do you really want to die?
MISS VAN HOUTEN: I don’t — I don’t want to and I don’t not want to.
In other words, I’d love to get out of this, you know. I’d love to go back on the street and just mingle with people.
Because, see, I love — I love everything just as much as everybody else, but I just happen to see what’s going to — I just happen to see what’s going to be happening.
MR. PART: Leslie, if you could turn the clock back and go back that night that you asked Charlie to go along with him to kill the LaBiancas, although you didn’t know who was going to be killed, dear, would you do it again?
MISS VAN HOUTEN: Yes, I would. I can’t — I can’t feel sorry for what I’ve done.
And like — like I say, I have — I have no control And like I’m not trying to, you know, do like Sadie’s doing and put it on Charlie, ’cause I don’t think Charlie has any control.
In other words, when he talks, he talks with words that, like, come from another place. He doesn’t like even talk with words that regular people use.
And — and he used to — he used to even say, umm, “I’ve become an empty hole.” He’d say, “I can –” He says, “I have no control of what I’m saying.” He just says, “I have no control of my actions. I don’t even think about what I’m doing or saying.”
And — and it was like that for a lot of us, especially those of us who almost gave up more to the Family. In other words, gave up more of our own wants for the for the whole group.
So in other words, if the clock could be put back, if I saw that this is the way it was coming down, again, I’d do it again.
MR. PART: You’d do it again even if you thought you were going to get caught and be in the same position you are now?
MISS VAN HOUTEN: Yeah. Like, you know, I hope I can — I hope I can walk, you know, out, or that I can — in other words, I want to be free.
But I’m not afraid to die.
MR. PART: You’re a religious girl, I know. We’ve talked about that.
Do you think that maybe you’re kind of like, oh, one of God’s messengers carrying out his will, or something like that?
MISS VAN HOUTEN: You’re going to really think I’m nuts, but, yeah, I do. I think I’m an angel, so to speak.
Not with wings, you know. Naturally I know I don’t have wings.
But, I mean, in other words, I believe I’m one of the disciples. I’m one of the people spoken about in the Bible.
Maybe not mentioned, you know, like names, but I know I’m —
In other words, what I feel is so real. I can’t — I can’t talk the reality of it, but I feel it
It’s a fulfillment inside me.
MR. PART: Is — is there anybody else in the group that you think might be an angel, too?
MISS VAN HOUTEN: Or, yeah.
Well, it’s all up to the person. I mean, if they believe it, then they are.
Like Brenda does. I’m pretty sure Brenda knows she’s she’s one.
And Gypsy would know she’s one.
And Katie would. And Diane and Rachel probably would.
MR. PART: Well, if Charlie’s Jesus and you girls are angels and you are doing God’s will and God’s will is that the revolution start so that the colored people can take over the earth, why do you think that everybody’s in jail?
MISS VAN HOUTEN: Oh, I don’t know.
You know, it would almost be for the publicity, assilly as that sounds. So that all —
See, there’s no — we were trying to find out ways of letting the youth know, because the people that are going to go into the hole are going to be the young people.
And we tried with our music, and nobody would put out our music.
And, you know, we tried lots of different ways, and nothing worked.
But now everyone is finding out. Like our music is finally coming out. And Charles will be able to speak for himself at the court and — to show —
I guess it just happened to let people know that that this is the way it was happening. ’cause some people will believe.
MR. PART: So in the way you think, perhaps this trial will be a good thing, and maybe some kind of a — a way to start the revolution; is that right?
MISS VAN HOUTEN: It will be one of the — one of the movements towards starting it, yeah.
Like it’s already happening. In jail here there’s a, – you can feel a lot of it. The tension, the Black Panthers and that type of thing. It’s already starting.
But by no means — by no means were we ever prejudiced or disliked the black, you know. It’s not that way at all. If anything, it’s we have love for them, and we’re giving them their turn, which they deserve.
MR. PART: Do you think the fact that all the publicity and things about the Black Panthers that started just about the same time as this trial is just a coincidence, or do you think that’s ordained, too?
MISS VAN HOUTEN: I don’t think there’s any coincidences. It’s —
It just all comes together, all these things. Like I don’t think that the Beatles’ “Blackbird Fly –” and
(End of side 2 of the tape.)
Tuesday, March 3rd, 2015
Bobby Beausoleil Parole Transcripts
HEARING RESCHEDULED FOR JULY DUE TO RULES INFRACTION INVESTIGATION
Feb. 19 – The subsequent parole consideration hearing scheduled last week for Manson family associate, Bobby Beausoleil, has been rescheduled for Thursday, July 16th, due to a pending rules infractions investigation, according to the California Department of Corrections.
According to CDCR spokesman, Luis Patino, Beausoleil was cited for a rules infraction on January 27. Pursuant to Title 15 the Board of Parole Hearings is obligated to postpone the hearing until the infraction has been fully adjudicated.
Beausoleil, 67, serving a life term for his role in the 1969 murder of musician Gary Hinman, has been denied parole 17 times, was given a 5 year denial at his last hearing, held in 2010.
Gary Hinman’s cousin, Kay Martley, along with Sharon Tate’s sister, Debra Tate, planned to make opposition statements at the hearing via telephone, according to an Associated Press report by Don Thompson. While the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office routinely attends Beausoleil’s hearings, Martley’s participation would mark the first time anyone made a victim impact statement at one.
Wednesday, January 21st, 2015
STATEMENT MADE BY BOBBY BEAUSOLEIL AT HIS JUNE 2003 PAROLE HEARING.
I would like to make a statement and say a few things. Now this is the part where I get to tell you why I think you ought to let me out of prison. And you know, that’s not really what I understand about what is happening and that was really happening, because this really is not about me. I understand that now, whereas I didn’t when I was a kid, you know, when I was 20 or 21 years old. I thought it was all about me. But it’s not about me. This is about what is best for society. I hope that what is best for society and what I can bring to a successful parole will coincide at some point. I do want to be united with my family, but like I said, it’s not really about what I want.
But for what it’s worth, I’m going to tell you what I want. What I want is to be able to no longer be considered a liability. I want to be considered an asset. I am fully capable of doing that. I have abilities and talents that I worked very hard to develop, that I’ve learned how to use in a way that’s beneficial to a lot of people, both in this community on the inside and to the outside community. I’d like to be able to do this more effectively. So if it’s about what I want, that’s what I want to be able to do.
But again, it’s not really about what I want. It’s about what is best for society. And in that regard, I’ll say this. I am really extremely sorry for what I’ve done to bring harm to all the people that I’ve brought harm to over the years. And it begins, of course, with Gary. And I am fully cognizant of what I did there. I mean there’s discrepancies in the facts, and I really can’t speak to that anymore. I’ve told you what I know from my own experience, and I hope that you will use that to mitigate Danny DeCarlo’s self-serving statements early on. It’s my own fault that I didn’t own up early on and have this be part of the actual court records. So I have nobody to blame there. And so I can’t really tell you that you have to believe me. All I can do is represent to the best of my ability the facts as I know them.
I killed Gary Hinman. I am responsible for that. It was my decision to do it. Nobody forced me or ordered me to do it. I feel that I was, you know, as I’ve said, I was kind of forced into the position of being there in the first place, but that, again, was from the decisions that I had made earlier on. I had entered into a drug transaction that escalated and got out of control. But I made that decision initially, and it rests with me. I must hold myself accountable.
Insofar as how it has hurt Gary, in 1981, a man did exactly to me what I did to him. I was stabbed in the heart and both lungs, and for some reason, some miracle kept me alive. And so now I since then for the past 22 years, I’ve had an opportunity to remember what that felt like. So I know what I did. I also know how it affected Gary’s family because I know intimately how it affected mine. Excuse me. I hurt a lot of people, and I’m very sorry for having done that. I want to be able to give something back. It is my very clear intention to give something back, to do the best that I can to make amends, to honor Gary’s life by helping other people to understand how I took it, so that they won’t make the same mistakes that I’ve made.
I think that’s probably the best that I can give, although I know it’s never really enough. If all I have is a prison cell and a piece of paper and a pencil, I will continue that work. Thank you.
Friday, August 8th, 2014
Bruce Davis Parole Transcripts
- 03/12/14 Parole Hearing
- 10/04/12 Parole Hearing
- 01/28/10 Parole Hearing
- 09/15/08 Parole Hearing
- 09/06/07 Parole Hearing
Shea / Hinman Files
PRESS RELEASE FROM GOVERNOR JERRY BROWN, AGAIN DENYING PAROLE FOR FORMER MANSON FAMILY MEMBER BRUCE DAVIS
Aug. 8 – The Board of Parole Hearings found Davis suitable for parole based on his satisfactory conduct in prison, age, parole plans, positive psychological evaluation, acceptance of responsibility, participation in self-help programming, laudatory notes from correctional staff, work ratings, and educational accomplishments.
Davis is now 71 years old and has been in prison for over 43 years. I acknowledge Davis has made efforts to improve himself while incarcerated. He has not been disciplined for serious misconduct since 1980 and earned his Master of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy in religion from Bethany Bible College, graduating summa cum laude. He has been commended for his outstanding job performance, high personal standards, and excellent people skills. He has worked in the chapel for nearly three decades, teaches Bible study classes, and has moderated Yokefellows Peer Counseling since 1983. He has participated in self-help classes including Alcoholics and Narcotics Anonymous, Alternatives to Violence, and others. I commend Davis for taking these positive steps. But they are outweighed by negative factors that demonstrate he remains unsuitable for parole.
The exceptional brutality of these crimes and the terror the Manson Family inflicted on the Los Angeles community 45 years ago still resonate. The sentencing judge aptly noted that “these were vicious murders. They indicate a very depraved state of mind on the part of the defendant.”
Davis’s crimes were intended to fund and protect the cult and to trigger an apocalyptic race war. The Family planned a violent robbery of Gary Hinman because they believed he had money to fund the cult’s endeavors. Davis armed himself with a gun and drove others to Mr. Hinman’s home. Two days later, Davis and Manson were summoned for help. Davis pointed a gun at Mr. Hinman while Manson slashed Mr. Hinman’s face from ear to chin. The two left the others to continue to hold Mr. Hinman hostage in his own home while he bled profusely, and Beausoleil finally stabbed him to death and smothered him with a pillow. The Family used Mr. Hinman’s blood to write messages on his walls and left his body to decompose and rot. Two weeks later, other members of the cult carried out seven more horrific murders. Seventeen days after the Tate-LaBianca massacre, Davis, Manson, and others killed Mr. Shea because they suspected he was a police informant. They surrounded Mr. Shea, relentlessly beat and stabbed him, chopped up his body, and hid his remains. Davis finally admitted in 2012 that he sliced Mr. Shea from his armpit to his collarbone while the others stabbed Mr. Shea. Davis and Manson later bragged about the gory details of the murder. These crimes represent that “rare circumstance” in which the aggravated nature of the crimes alone is sufficient to deny parole.
The crimes alone, however, are not the only evidence that Davis is unsuitable for parole. Davis continues to paint himself as a passive bystander who took part in these appalling events because he was afraid of the repercussions of breaking away. He told the psychologist who evaluated him in 2013, “I was a dependent person. I needed attention and approval. I wasn’t my own person. I wanted sex, drugs, and rock ‘n roll.” He later continued, “I wasn’t looking out for my best interests; I was led by fools, bigger fools than myself.” Davis told the Board that he was willing to do “whatever it took” because he wanted to be “Charlie’s favorite guy.” He still maintains that he did not participate in the planning of the murders of Mr. Hinman or Mr. Shea.
Davis explained that he “deceived himself” by telling himself that it was “okay” as long as he did not actually “pull the trigger” to kill Mr. Hinman. He claims that he refused to go out on August 9 and 10, 1969 to participate in the Tate-LaBianca murders because “I didn’t want to be involved in something that could be physically confrontive.” He claims that he reluctantly participated in the stabbing of Mr. Shea because he was threatened by Manson and said that immediately after he “cut” Mr. Shea, “I looked around as if I hope you’re happy, threw down the knife and left. And that was a shock. That was a shock.” He said, “I felt terrible about it. I didn’t feel, of course, too terrible not to do it, because I was – I had – there was other considerations like what will happen if I say no.”
Davis’s explanations show he is still dodging responsibility for his active role in these murders. Each of the members of the Manson Family, including Davis, knew full well what the purpose and intent of the cult was— to prepare for and instigate Helter Skelter. Davis’s actions show that he, too, signed on to the plan and didn’t merely tolerate the violence of the others. Davis did not just “cut” Mr. Shea, he sliced Mr. Shea “from armpit to collarbone.” As I noted in my reversal last year, Davis bragged about murdering and dismembering Mr. Shea, stating “Yeah, when we brought him to now, Clem cut his head off,” adding, “That was far out.” Davis also bragged to Springer about dismembering Mr. Shea as a way to “tak[e] care of snitchers.” Although Davis did not participate in the Tate-LaBianca murders, those grisly crimes neither caused him to question his involvement with the Family, nor deterred him from participating in the brutal murder of Donald Shea weeks later. Davis then evaded capture for over a year, hiding in the desert with the other cult members. These are not the actions of a distraught and reluctant participant.
Davis was not simply a follower. At his sentencing, the judge stated, “I don’t want to give…the impression that Mr. Davis was at all a dupe…in these cases or simply a foil of Charles Manson.” The judge, who reviewed the facts of this case first-hand, observed that Davis was older and more educated than most of the other members of the cult and capable of independent judgment, and said “he shouldn’t be treated as somebody who was just led along by the nose and at the whim and command of Charles Manson. He’s a man who is capable of going on his own path and he deliberately chose to engage in these murders.”
My reversal of Davis’s grant of parole last year was based on the gravity of his offenses as well as his minimization of his role in these events. I noted that Davis was still revealing new details about the murders over 40 years later. I asked Davis to explain why he has shielded other Family members from prosecution by withholding information about these crimes, and to finally reveal what he knows. I asked him to reconcile his version of being a follower with the evidence that he was a leader who actively championed the Family’s values. He did not address these concerns at his most recent parole hearing. For the same reasons I articulated last year, I find that Davis is not suitable for parole.
I have considered the evidence in the record that is relevant to whether Davis is currently dangerous. When considered as a whole, I find the evidence shows that he currently poses an unreasonable danger to society if released from prison. Therefore, I reverse the decision to parole Davis.
EDMUND G. BROWN JR.
Governor, State of California
Decision Date: August 8, 2014