Manson Cult Plan to Kill Liz, Burton and Sinatra Told
Friday, October 9th, 1970
LOS ANGELES, Oct. 9 – Plans by the Manson “family” to kill several prominent people — including Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton and Frank Sinatra — were told today by a former cellmate of Susan Atkins who revealed a “confession” made in jail by the girl, a defendant in the Tate murder case.
Virginia Graham, 37, who was scheduled to take the witness stand in the murder trial today, told investigators Miss Atkins not only told of the murders at the Sharon Tate home in Benedict Canyon and at the home of market owner Leo LaBianca the next day, but said the “family” planned many other murders.
“She told me she had decided to murder Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton. She said she had given great thought to this and that she wanted to do something she thought would be unusual and again would shock the world.
“She told me she knew how to gouge people’s eyes out; that Charlie (Manson) had shown her how to do it — so she decided that she would take Elizabeth Taylor’s eyes out.
“She was going to take her knife, burn the end of it until it was redhot, and put it on the side of Elizabeth Taylor’s face, to leave her mark.
“As far as Burton was concerned, she wanted to castrate him…”
Mrs. Graham, in a lengthy statement said the 22-year-old “family” member also wanted to kill singer Tom Jones but had “something unusual” planned for him.
“She told me she was physically attracted to him sexually and that she would force him to have sex with her at the point of her knife and that then she would cut his throat.”
The girl said she was “definitely going to get” singer Frank Sinatra, Mrs. Graham said.
“She said she was going to Sinatra’s house, knock on his door and she was positive he was going to answer it because she knew that Frank liked women.
“She said she was going to get a meat hook, hang him upside down and skin him alive while his music played.
“She then said that Charlie had shown her how to tan hides and that she was going to make purses out of it to try and sell them to hippie shops so that everybody would have a little piece of Frank.”
Mrs. Graham said that in the conversations with Miss Atkins, the girl intimated she did not like Sinatra’s son, but did not elaborate. She also did not like actor Steve McQueen, Mrs. Graham said, because “she felt he was getting too politically inclined and this went against her grain.”
Miss Atkins, in her many conversations in jail, described by “crucifixion” of Charles Manson, Mrs. Graham said.
“She described to me that on various occasions Charlie would put himself on a cross and that a girl would kneel at the foot of the cross and that he would moan, cry out and know he was being crucified. They also would sacrifice animals and drink their blood as a fertility rite because Charlie wanted the girls to produce children, because they were trying to form a new type of society — a new type of human being.
“Anything went in the sex orgies,” Mrs. Graham said the girl told her. “Boy with boy, girl with girl — this was immaterial because there was no difference.”
Manson, the girl said, was their “father, their leader, their love.” He was also Jesus, she said, “who was going to lead them to the desert.
“There was a very large hole in Death Valley that only Charlie knows where it is. But right now there is a civilization, of people living under the earth,” Miss Atkins reportedly told her. Manson was to take the “family” and the chosen few there to live, she said.
Mrs. Graham’s statements have been the subject of hours of secret in chambers sessions between Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Charles Older and attorneys. Most of the statements, especially portions pertaining to other prospective victims, have been deleted by the judge and will not be available to the jury.
By MARY NEISWENDER