• Susan Atkins Admits Tate, Hinman Deaths

Susan Atkins Admits Tate, Hinman Deaths

LOS ANGELES, Feb. 10 – Pale, dark-haired Susan (Sadie) Atkins confessed to killing actress Sharon Tate and musician Gary Hinman Tuesday in the penalty phase of the Tate-LaBianca murder trial.

The story of the seven Tate-LaBianca murders told from the witness stand by the 22-year-old defendant closely resembled the testimony of the state’s key witness, Linda Kasabian, except, in Miss Atkins’ version:

— Charles Manson had nothing to do with the seven killings. The bearded, long-haired, 36-year-old convicted murder did not direct his followers to kill the five Tate victims and he wasn’t even along the second night when Leno and Rosemary LaBianca were killed.

— Petite, pig-tailed Mrs. Kasabian, 22-year-old mother of two, offered the motives for murder, picked the victims and directed the killers to the scene.

“Sexy Sadie” not only implicated herself with her testimony but she placed her co-defendants, Patricia Krenwinkel, 22, and Leslie Van Houten, 21, at the scenes of murder.

It was reported they will take the stand next to say that Manson is innocent.

It all began, Miss Atkins said, when Bobby Beausoleil went to Hinman’s house to get back $100 or the pink slip of a car which the 34-year-old musician had sold him.

Hinman resisted, and she and Beausoleil came back the next day to again demand the money or the pink slip. She said the two men fought and she called Manson from Spahn Ranch to settle the dispute.

Manson got the car’s pink slip after arguing with Hinman, Sadie claimed, but Hinman pulled a gun and shot at Manson, who then hit the musician with something.

When Manson said, “I’m splitting,” and started to leave, Miss Atkins said, Hinman went after him with a gun. She said it appeared Hinman was going to shoot the fleeing man.

“I didn’t know what he was going to do,” she said. “I had my knife on me and I ran at him and I killed him.

“I had no choice. He was going to hurt my love, and anybody that hurts anything that I love, I want to protect him.

“It was like I jumped on him, and the next thing I know I’m back at the ranch.”

Several days after Hinman was killed — in late July, 1969 — a friend came to the musician’s Topanga Canyon home. The terrible odor warned him something was wrong.

Hinman’s body was found in the living room. He had been stabbed and cut across the left side of his head. “Political Piggie” had been written in blood on the wall.

Beausoleil, a handsome Manson “family” member called “Cupid,” was convicted of Hinman’s murder and sentenced to death. In the final stages of his trial, he blamed Manson for the murder.

“Sadie” Atkins testified that she didn’t remember any of the details that police found.

“I don’t know what happens in between that, I really don’t, I don’t remember nothing, all I know is Bobby was taken to jail for something that I did, and he was found guilty for something that I did and I cannot let him go to the gas chamber or sit up on Death Row for something I did:

“You all can judge me accordingly.

“But you’ve got an innocent man on Death Row, and you’ve got an innocent man sitting in here.”

“It is my conspiracy.”

Back at the ranch, Miss Atkins said she, Linda Kasabian and Leslie Van Honten, one of Beausoleil’s loves, talked about how they could free him of murder charges.

She said Mrs. Kasabian suggested they could hire an attorney for Beausoleil or they could commit “copycat murders.”

She (Linda Kasabian) said, ‘If you will make lots of them, they will cut Bobby loose and everybody will go free,” the witness said.

“I couldn’t accept that right away. Until I dropped some acid with her, and she told me to get a knife and a change of clothes,” Miss Atkins said.

On the evening of Aug. 8, 1969 after Mrs. Kasabian supposedly gave the drug STP to Charles (Tex) Watson and LSD to her, “Sadie” said the three and “Katie” Krenwinkel drove away from the Spahn Ranch.

Following Linda’s directions, Miss Atkins said, the four went to a house which she later learned was I0050 Cielo Drive, the home of actress Sharon Tate.

“Sadie” suggested that Linda might have picked the Tate house because her husband had been “burned” once on a $1,000 narcotics deal with someone in Beverly Hills and she wanted to collect the money to use in Beausoleil’s defense.

Watson killed Stephen Parent in the driveway of the home and they all entered the house but, the witness said, at first she didn’t remember clearly what happened.

She pictured herself as on a kind of nightmarish LSD trip in which she saw flashes of silent scenes — a woman and a man lying on the floor — but heard no conversation.

“You don’t recall whether or not you stabbed anyone?” asked her attorney, Dave Shinn.

“I don’t recall if I did,” “Sadie” said. “I know I said I did at one time, and that was a story.”

However, after the recess, and after viewing pictures of the Tate house and the five victims, Miss Atkins testified in detail about events inside the house.

She told of herding Sharon Tate, Jay Sebring and Abigail Folger into the living room of the Benedict Canyon estate at knife point. She said Voityck Frykowski already was there, his hands bound.

She said “Watson, Mis Krenwinkel, Mrs. Kasabian and herself were then all in the living room when the “small man” (Sebring) started walking toward Watson.

“I heard a shot,” Mis Atkins said.

“The two women screamed, the man on the couch said something and I told him to shut up, am he shut up.

“And the rope went around, I think Tex tied the rope around the people’s necks — then he threw the rope over the beam.

“And Tex said ‘Turn out the lights,’ and I turned out the lights.

“And then Tex said ‘Get on the floor’ to the people in the house, and they got on the floor, and they lied down and they were crying, and they were saying, ‘Please don’t hurt me.’

“Each one of them kept saying, ‘Please don’t hurt me, we won’t hurt you, we won’t call the police, please don’t hurt me, we won’t call the police.’”

“Do you recall what happened after that?” Shinn asked.

“The man on the couch started to get up, and I tried to stop him and he kept pulling my hair and I was kicking at him and I was fighting him, it was like I was fighting for my life, it was like I never fought before; something I never experienced.”

“I just kept swinging, I kept swinging the knife, I would swing the knife backwards, it was like —”

She demonstrated how she stabbed with the knife behind her back.

“I could feel the knife going into something, but I didn’t know what it was going into, because he had hold of my hair and he was pulling on my hair and I was kicking and I kept saying, ‘Tex, help me, help me, Tex’

“And the man let go of me and he started to run, and I went to run after him, and then I looked
over and Katie was calling ‘help!’

“She was fighting with two women. And the dark-haired woman (Miss Folger) had hold of Katie’s hair and was pulling on it and Katie was fighting and she called for Linda, and Linda came in, and I ran to the pregnant woman (Sharon Tate) because she was starting to take the rope off her neck.

“And I put my arm around her neck and I had her head in my arms, and then I saw ‘Tex’ come back to the man on the floor with the robe around his neck (Sebring) and he was stabbing the man.

Miss Atkins said she dropped her knife and Mrs. Kasabian gave her the one she had.

Suddenly, she said, she found herself alone in the living room with the pregnant Sharon Tate.

“She kept pleading, ‘Please don’t kill me, please don’t kill me, I’m not going to say anything,’ “Sadie” said.

“I just looked at her like ‘Shut up’

“I told her to shut up, I don’t want to hear it.

“She said, ‘Please, let me sit down.’

“I said, ‘I’m not not going to let you do anything, just be quiet.’

“I threw her down and held my knife at her, and I said, ‘Don’t move, don’t move.’

“She said, ‘Please, all I want to do is have my baby.’

“I said, ‘Don’t move, don’t talk to me, don’t say anything to me. I don’t want to hear it.

“Tex came back in and he stood over and he looked at her and he said, ‘Kill her.’ And I killed her.

“And I just stabbed her, and she fell, and I stabbed her again.

“She put her arms up, and then her arms fell.

“I don’t know how many times I stabbed her. I don’t know why I stabbed her.

“There was nobody in the house. I remember seeing Tex hitting a big man on the top of the head in the doorway.

“Then he came back in and he told me to kill her, and I killed her.

“Then I ran outside and ‘Katie’ was just getting up from in front of the woman on the grass (Miss Folger).”

Before she left, “Sadie” said, she did one other thing. She took a towel, touched Sharon Tate’s stomach with it and wrote “Pig” on the front door of the house.

“Then we walked away from the house, so much fear, I was feeling so much fear,” she said.

After watching a news account on television the next day, Miss Atkini said she, Linda, Katie, Tex, Leslie, and Steve (Clem) Grogan went out again.

This time, she testified, Mrs. Kasabian directed them to the Los Feliz district home of Harold True, an acquaintance who supposedly had money.

She said Linda and Tex went away and returned in a short time. Then, she said, Katie, Leslie and Tex walked off together.

Miss Atkins did not attempt to explain why the three might have entered the LaBianca residence, next door, Testimony in the trial showed that True had moved from the neighborhood months before that night.

After leaving the trio, Miss Atkins, Mrs. Kasabian and Grogan drove to the beach, entered an apartment house and finally drove back to Spahn Ranch.

“Sadie” said she left her companions and walked to Devil’s Canyon where she found other members of the “family” sleeping. She said she thought one of them was Manson.

Miss Atkins repeatedly insisted that she now wanted to tell the truth. She said she had lied before the Los Angeles County Grand Jury.

What she told the grand jury and wrote in a book called “The Killing of Sharon Tate,” implicated Manson, whom she met in a house on Lime St. in San Francisco.

“This whole world and everybody in it has been God’s game, and that game is just about to come to an end,” she said in the book. “Judgment Day for every human being on the face of the earth is coming.

“But the night I met Charlie in that house on Lime St., I had no idea I would be there when God’s game ended for Sharon Tate, with me holding her in my arms,” she said in the book, adding:

“The night Charlie instructed us to go to Sharon’s we were still living up at the Spahn Ranch in Chatsworth. We hadn’t moved out to Death Valley yet.

“Charlie instructed me and Tex, a girl by the name of Linda and Katie — that’s Patricia Krenwinkel.”


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