Wednesday, September 2, 2009







In the matter of the Life Term Parole Consideration Hearing of:
CDC Number: W-08304

2:50 P.M.

Tim O’Hara, Presiding Commissioner
Jan Enloe, Deputy Commissioner

Susan Atkins, Inmate
James Whitehouse, Attorney for Inmate
Patrick Sequeira, Deputy District Attorney
Paul Purley, Deputy District Attorney
Eric Lampel, Observer Alex Ruiz, ABC 30 TV
Ben Margot, Associated Press photographer
Rick Dallago, Friend of Debra Tate
Debra Tate, Next of Kin
Anthony Dimaria, Next of Kin
Margaret Dimaria, Next of Kin
Mishele Dimaria, Next of Kin
Nancy Gunn, Victim Services Advocate
(Inaudible) Deutsch, Associated Press
Clark Fortner, Public Information Officer Steve Endriss, Nurse
Correctional Officer(s) Unidentified


PRESIDING COMMISSIONER O’HARA: We’re on record. The time is 2:00 or 1450 hours and this is a Subsequent Parole Consideration Hearing for Ms. Susan Atkins, W-08304. Today’s date is the 2nd of September of 2009. We’re located at CCWF. Ms. Atkins was received from Los Angeles County on 12/18/1972. Her term started on the 23rd of April of 1971. She was received by Department of Corrections for a conviction of Murder 1st or the controlling offense is Murder 1st, Case Number A253156, Count Number One. It’s a violation of Penal Code 187. She also has six other counts of 187 and that is Case Number A253156. There are seven counts of Murder 1st. Count Eight is a conspiracy to commit murder. There is also Case Number A267861, Los Angeles County, and that is one count of violation of Penal Code 187, Murder in the 1st Degree. The inmate has a minimum eligible parole date of the 6th of October of 1976 and this hearing is being recorded so for the purpose of voice identification we’re going to go around the room and identify ourselves onto the recording. What I’m going to do is I’ll start with myself. I’ll go to my left. We’ll work the inside of the table first and then we’ll come back around and we’ll work the outside of the room from there. My name is Tim O’Hara, O-‘-H-A-R-A. I am a Commissioner with the California state Parole Board.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER ENLOE: Jan Enloe, E-N-L-O-E, Deputy Commissioner.

DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY SEQUEIRA: Patrick Sequeira, S-E-Q-U-E-I-R-A, deputy district attorney, county of Los Angeles.

MR. PURLEY: Paul Purley, deputy DA, P-U-R-L-E-Y, LA County.

MR. LAMPEL: Eric Lampel (inaudible).


ATTORNEY WHITEHOUSE: James Whitehouse, W-H-I-T-E- H-O-U-S-E, attorney for Ms. Atkins.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER O’HARA: Thank you, sir. Ms. Atkins is out right now. She’s had some issues. We’ll talk about her ADA rights but she’s not responding right now so we’ll move on. We’ll start with Mr. Ruiz.

MR. RUIZ: Alex Ruiz, ABC 30 (inaudible).

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER O’HARA: And the spelling on Ruiz?



MR. MARGOT: Ben Margot, M-A-R-G-O-T, Associated Press still photographer.


MR. DALLAGO: Rick D-A-L-L-A-G-O, support person, Debra Tate.

MS. TATE: Debra Tate, T-A-T-E, next of kin for Sharon Tate.


MR. DIMARIA: Tony Dimaria, D-I-M-A-R-I-A, nephew of Jay Sebring.


MS. MARGARET DIMARIA: Margaret Dimaria, D-I-M-A-R-I-A, Jay Sebring’s sister.

MS. MISHELE DIMARIA: Mishele Dimaria, niece of Jay Sebring.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER O’HARA: And the spelling on Dimaria?



MS. MISHELE DIMARIA: And actually Mishele is M-I-S-H-E-L-E.


MS. GUNN: Nancy Gunn, Victim Services advocate, G-U-N-N.

MS. DEUTSCH: (Inaudible) Deutsch, Associated Press, D-E-U-T-S-C-H.


MR. FORTNER: Clark Fortner, F-O-R-T-N-E-R, public information officer.


MR. ENDRISS: Steve Endriss, E-N-D-R-I-S-S, registered nurse.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER O’HARA: All right. Thank you. That identifies all parties in the room with the exception of two correctional officers who are here for security purposes only and I did want to start out with we have two DAs. Who’s going to be lead on this matter?

DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY SEQUEIRA: I’m actually - - will be representing the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office. Mr. Purley is here as an observer and he’s been asked to read a letter from one of the victim’s family members. So his only participation will be to read the letter at the conclusion of the hearing.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER O’HARA: All right. And Mr. Lampel and Mr. Whitehouse, who’s going to be presenting today?


PRESIDING COMMISSIONER O’HARA: Okay. Very good. I just don’t want it coming from all different sides. And then we have a whole bunch of or a number of observers. We have Mr. Endriss who’s an RN who will not take part in the hearing nor will Mr. Fortner nor will Ms. Gunn or the photographers or the press people. So just with that in mind if you hear something that you like or dislike keep in mind that you’re not taking part in the hearing. All right. With that --

ATTORNEY WHITEHOUSE: When do we handle the objections about the victims’ family members?

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER O’HARA: In about three minutes. We’ll get right there. First I want to go through and talk about your client’s rights and we’ll come around to that particular aspect of it, and the first issue I want to talk about is your client’s rights in regards to the Americans with Disabilities Act. I took an opportunity to review the DEC System which is a computerized system that has been created by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation and through that system the Department of Corrections attempts to track anyone under their care and supervision, whether they have any disabilities, and if they do what accommodations are appropriate. And I did note that indicates nothing in regards to disabilities regarding Ms. Atkins and so I don’t think that’s particularly updated so I moved forward and took a look at what would be known as a 1073, and her 1073 paints a slightly different story, a little more towards what we’re seeing in front of us here today. And now I can’t find it because they cut it off. (Inaudible) Ms. Atkins was seen by her counselor on the 30th of January of 2009 and that was T. G. Mora. What Mr. or Ms. Mora did was do a review of the Central File and determined that Ms. Atkins did have significant issues in regards to mobility and she also had hearing issues and she did have a grade point level of 12.9. Once the counselor took a moment to sit down with Ms. Atkins it was noted that she would need help reading her documents, understanding procedures and forms, would need a wheelchair, and would be taken to the Board if required to be present on a bed or gurney; indicated that she was unable to write at this time and she needed help for her hearing to hear or hear at her hearing and that she didn’t have hearing aids, and for the record Ms. --

ATTORNEY WHITEHOUSE: She does have hearing aids.


ATTORNEY WHITEHOUSE: But it doesn’t matter. She can’t put them in and we can’t put them in without hurting her and she can’t communicate whether or not they’re working or how they’re adjusted and --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER O’HARA: Yeah. For the record since this is tape recorded Ms. Atkins is in a mobile --


PRESIDING COMMISSIONER O’HARA: A mobile bed -- gurney or bed. She is not awake at this time. She apparently -- in reading her compassionate release request in the past she has significant issues at this time. She apparently had a brain tumor and has to have hearing aids and today looks as though she is not going to be awake or she’s not awake for this particular hearing.

ATTORNEY WHITEHOUSE: We’re hoping that if she --


ATTORNEY WHITEHOUSE: We’re hoping that if she rests that she’ll be able to make a statement but --


ATTORNEY WHITEHOUSE: -- but we will see.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER O’HARA: So with all these things in mind and it comes down to what can we do to reasonably accommodate her so she can take as much part in this hearing as possible, the mobility issue we’ve taken care of that with the gurney. Her hearing -- she has hearing aids but apparently they’re painful?

ATTORNEY WHITEHOUSE: Well, she can’t put them in and she can’t adjust them and she can’t communicate to us whether or not they’re put in right or whether or not they’re even working or --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER O’HARA: Very well. And then the communication -- that would be the assistance of counsel to explain documents, help her in her presentation and so forth. I’m not quite sure what else we can do to assist her at this time. I do know that Sacramento offered to have this at the hospital. I’m glad we’re all here today but I’m not sure what else we could do to accommodate her. Counsel, any --

ATTORNEY WHITEHOUSE: I think she’s fine. I talked to her last Thursday. She understood we were having a hearing and wanted to be present, and I talked to her briefly this morning and she appeared to nod that she knew we were going to be here and she still wanted to be present and I think she’s happy with the way we’re handling it. I think she’d be okay.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER O’HARA: Very well. Thank you, counsel. And normally I’d address these questions to your client but I’m going to ask them of you as you are her representative and have been so for quite some time. On the same day that she received her 1073 telling her the various -- going over the various disabilities with her she should have also received notice that she’s going to have a hearing this week, and you were aware that she was going to have a hearing?

ATTORNEY WHITEHOUSE: Oh, yes. I know. I knew.



PRESIDING COMMISSIONER O’HARA: And then she also received a BPH 1002 telling her various rights she had in regards to her hearing?

ATTORNEY WHITEHOUSE: I believe I found that in her room.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER O’HARA: All right. Good. And you've had an opportunity to sit down with her and prepare for this hearing?

ATTORNEY WHITEHOUSE: As much as possible.


ATTORNEY WHITEHOUSE: As close to what I believe her wishes are.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER O’HARA: Very well. And for the record we’ve had an opportunity to review your Central File and the prior transcripts. Ms. Atkins will be given an opportunity to correct or clarify the record as we proceed although that will probably be more on your part. Nothing that happens here today will change the findings of the court. The Panel is not here to retry the case and accepts as true the findings of the court. The Panel is here for the sole purpose of determining your suitability for parole. And do we have any confidential information?

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER ENLOE: There’s a lot of confidential information. I think if anything there may be some letters of opposition in confidential that may or may not duplicate the ones that aren’t there. I say that because I haven’t looked at every single page and reconciled them. But there may be some letters of opposition but that would be all.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER O’HARA: All right. And counsel, have your client’s rights been met to this point?


PRESIDING COMMISSIONER O’HARA: Do you have any preliminary objections?


PRESIDING COMMISSIONER O’HARA: You did have one in regards to the victims’ next of kin.


PRESIDING COMMISSIONER O’HARA: And what was the nature of that objection?

ATTORNEY WHITEHOUSE: Well, unless they’ve changed the law as far as I know according to the Penal Code 3043.3 in California Code of Regulations Title 15, 2029(b), next of kin are defined by law as spouse, children, parents, siblings, grandchildren, grandparents who are related by blood, marriage, or adoption. At least that’s the way it’s always been in the past. I know that the laws have changed recently and the last year or so of my life I’ve spent more in the hospital than behind my desk so --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER O’HARA: My recollection that that has been expanded and I might have to sit down and pull it up online and I’ll do so before we get to the victims’ impact statements. But you would be making an objection to whom here? There was a sister, there was a niece, there was a nephew, and there was a sister, and there’s one support person.

ATTORNEY WHITEHOUSE: And also the problem with the support person is according to Title 15 Section 2029(e) support persons -- in order for such persons to be admitted to the hearing the person requesting support shall advise the Board and the name of the support person at the time he or she informs the Board of his and her intention to attend, which according to Penal Code 3043(e)(2) of course, is the old -- before -- that has to be no later than 30 days prior to the date. And as you know, 10 minutes ago there were no support people when we talked about this prior to the hearing.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER O’HARA: Yeah, and I do think that was a -- that was probably my -- we took a moment, all of us, to speak with the victims’ next of kin. I think that was possibly my in speaking with you folks I asked is everybody a victim’s next of kin -- everybody said yes. But what I’m understanding at this point is Richard Dallago is actually married or supporting Ms. Debra Tate. Is -- am I wrong on that?

DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY SEQUEIRA: Mr. Dallago was a listed victim’s support person in the notification that I received from the --



PRESIDING COMMISSIONER O’HARA: -- support person but you’re not going to present here today.



PRESIDING COMMISSIONER O’HARA: Yeah. He’s not going to present. He is simply supporting someone in their presentation today.

ATTORNEY WHITEHOUSE: All right. That’s fine.


FEMALE SPEAKER: Commissioner, may I ask a question? Is it appropriate to ask what type of brain tumor Ms. Atkins has? Is it -- is that in the confidential file or is that in the public file?

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER O’HARA: You know, I don’t know, frankly, and if I saw it I probably went right over it quickly. I know it was in the request for compassionate release and I’m not -- I don’t think those are confidential. Those go up --

ATTORNEY WHITEHOUSE: I was never able to understand how that ran into the HIPAA statutes --


ATTORNEY WHITEHOUSE: -- under federal law and why suddenly those things are on the news and --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER O’HARA: I don’t -- I don’t know and, frankly, I guess I can look it up. I’d feel uncomfortable telling you.

FEMALE SPEAKER: That’s okay. I just was wondering.




ATTORNEY WHITEHOUSE: Not that I can think of.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER O’HARA: Okay. As they come let me know. With that, we do have a substantial amount of paperwork regarding this hearing and while I do have our normal hearing checklist -- and I’ll hand that over to counsel for both parties -- I also have four volumes of support letters that were submitted by counsel and a number of those are older from prior hearings. I have a number of more recent support letters submitted by Mr. Whitehouse including 71 in one letter, 90 in another letter, and then there are -- these are this year’s. I’d have to go with about three-quarters of an inch thick, add on the 71 and the 90 as far as support letters for this particular hearing. I have letters of opposition, probably an inch and a quarter, for 2009, and I have other various documents. But I do think everybody is in receipt of all those documents.


DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY SEQUEIRA: I’ve received the documents, yes.






ATTORNEY WHITEHOUSE: It’s not clear where I sign --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER O’HARA: Oh, no, no, no. I here or just -- those documents that are listed such as --

ATTORNEY WHITEHOUSE: I’m sure I do. I have a -- but I don’t have a pen.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER O’HARA: I’ve got an extra. if you can put your initials on there if you have Even with the budget crisis they gave me two for the week and I’m willing to loan one out.


PRESIDING COMMISSIONER O’HARA: All right. I’m going to mark that Exhibit 1, and with the amount of paperwork that we’re dealing with today if anybody does come across anything -- somebody speaking of a piece of paper or some sort of document that you’re not privy to please let me know and we’ll get one dug out from wherever. But I want everybody to be on the same page, all right? I think we all have the same documents. If we do not then we’ll work around that. Also, counsel, is there any other documents you’d like to present at this time?

ATTORNEY WHITEHOUSE: I did want to double check something so I had to take some time and I got everything buried here. Because I did send you four packets of letters and it sounded like you only reviewed three of them. The first one -- there’s one with 90, one with 9, and the last was 71.


ATTORNEY WHITEHOUSE: We’re missing that one -- from June 2nd.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER O’HARA: I’m not seeing the -- that with the cover. They may -- and see, and what they do normally for me is they put my packet together nicer and pretty for me so some of the time I’ll have to dig and they’re not (inaudible) like we have on these others. If you would I’ll take the --

ATTORNEY WHITEHOUSE: I have a copy of all the originals here but I don’t have them broken up into groups.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER O’HARA: Right. I’ve got the 90 and I’ve got the one that’s got 71. If you can give me that -- the one we’re missing -- and I’ll be happy to give it back to you at the end of the hearing. That is the -- no, I recognize that you sent it in the whole -- the whole drill and I’m sure it’s somewhere around but I would prefer for the sake of moving the hearing along if I could use your originals. I’ll be happy to give those back to you at the end of the hearing.

ATTORNEY WHITEHOUSE: Well, that’s a problem. The originals are here and they’re not broken up into -- corresponding to the (overlapping).

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER O’HARA: Okay. Well, what would be the first one? Do you have the first one? When you sent them in what would be the top one?

ATTORNEY WHITEHOUSE: That’s June is the (inaudible) the one that I -- the letter I gave you, June the 2nd?

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER O’HARA: The cover on this would be June 2nd.

ATTORNEY WHITEHOUSE: So the top letter would have to be after May 5th. This is May 30th.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER O’HARA: Do you know which one would be on top? Because I have a whole stack here and I’m just curious whether I have the right stack.

ATTORNEY WHITEHOUSE: Yeah. It’s one of the -- it’s a very good chance it’s this one. This appears to be the letters from that time period.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER O’HARA: Thank you, sir. All right. Counsel, is your client going to testify if - - at all today or given the opportunity?

ATTORNEY WHITEHOUSE: I was -- like I said I was really, really hoping and praying that if she rested by the end of the -- we’d be able to get her to say a couple words and that’s what I’m hoping.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER O’HARA: But she won’t be answering questions today?


PRESIDING COMMISSIONER O’HARA: Okay. Then I’ll leave that up to your discretion. At the end of the hearing we’ll come back around to you and see whether she’s willing to make a statement at that time. All right. With that, let’s take a moment and put the official version on the record. I’m going to take a distilled version. Otherwise this reading of this could take all afternoon.

ATTORNEY WHITEHOUSE: Why don’t we do an objection before we get into that because the recent Sandra Lawrence case the California Supreme Court was pretty clear that -- that we’re only supposed to be covering relevant information here and that -- and that the commitment offense is only relevant if it’s predictive of future behavior, and concerning Susan hasn’t moved out of her bed for months I’m not sure how absolutely anything that’s happened during the past bears any relevance to her current dangerousness or future dangerousness other than her medical condition. I know that puts you in a funny position because these hearings usually start -- are mainly centered around the commitment offense and if we chop that out we’re left to talking about the three medical documents I sent you.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER O’HARA: Sure. No, I have no problem with the objection. I’m going to overrule it for the fact that yeah, she is in a hospital bed and we were going to -- we -- that is a component. We’re going to talk about her frailness at this time. But everybody in this room is in a seat based on their past and the past is important to determine where -- or the -- I guess the low point that she had fallen and why she is here today. And while Lawrence indicates that it may not be as probative after 40 years it is still a substantial reason as to why she ended up in this position and the Board needs to know or start with that foundation and then move forward. And we have to look at that and with all those factors, the historical and the current, we need to look at the current factors and see whether there is some relationship to current dangerousness from past behavior and that’s the connection that is -- that needs to be made or not here today.

ATTORNEY WHITEHOUSE: Just for the sake of the objection, you already read her commitment offense and when she was -- why she’s in prison, the counts, and everything and the Supreme Court said that a mere recitation of the circumstances of the commitment offense absent articulation of a rational nexus between those facts and current dangerousness is not evidence of suitability.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER O’HARA: Yeah. And that’s what’s going to happen here today as I’m going to start with that and then the district attorney is going to argue that there is a nexus between the offense and where she’s at today. They’re going to argue that there’s not but in order to be perfectly fair, you know, the reason she is here is the commitment offense, originally came here. And so we need to start with our foundation, set the stage, and then come to the arguments as to whether there’s this nexus to current dangerousness. So I am going to put it on the record but I appreciate the objection because you’ve sort of got us to the next stage as to whether -- and we’ll talk about this down the road -- as to whether she -- based on this history and her current status there is a nexus. All right. I’m going to take a distilled version. It will be from the 2005 counselor’s report. That’s dated the 31st of January of 2005 is when the report was authored and that was counselor -- it was counselor --


PRESIDING COMMISSIONER O’HARA: It was counselor Florence, CC-1, reviewed by Ceremer, C-E-R-E-M-E-R, and the CNPR was Clark who signed off on it. Counts One through Five: “On August 9th, 1969, at the Polanski -- that’s P-O-L-A-N-S-K-I -- residence Abigail Ann Folger, F-O-L-G-E-R, died from multiple stab wounds to the body. Wojicieck Frykowski -- that’s W-O-J-I-C-I-E-C-K F-R- Y-K-O-W-S-K-I -- death was caused by a gunshot wound to the left back and multiple blunt force traumas to the head. He was also stabbed. Steve Earl Parent’s -- that’s P-A-R-E-N-T -- death was caused by multiple gunshot wounds; Sharon Marie Polanski, death was caused by multiple stab wounds to the body; and Thomas Sebring, S- E-B-R-I-N-G, death was caused by multiple stab wounds. On August 10th, 1969 at the La Bianca residence -- that’s L-A-B-I-A-N-C-A -- Leno LaBianca and his wife, Rosemary LaBianca, were killed. Leno LaBianca’s cause of death was multiple stab wounds to the neck and abdomen. Rosemary LaBianca’s death was caused by multiple stab wounds to the neck and trunk. Susan Atkins, Leslie Van Houten, H-O-U-T-E-N, and Charles Manson, M-A-N-S-O-N, were taken into custody by Los Angeles police on October 13th, 1969, November 25th, 1969 , and December 9th, 1969 respectively and were booked into county jail on suspicion of murder. Defendant Patrick -- I’m sorry, defendant Patricia Krenwinkel, K-R-E-N-W-I-N-K-E-L, was arrested on a fugitive warrant Alabama police on December 5th, 1969 in Mobile, Alabama and extradited to Los Angeles. Charles Manson, Patricia Krenwinkel, Susan Atkins were subsequently convicted of seven counts of PC 187, murder, and one count of 187, conspiracy to commit murder, on January 25th, 1971. The jury returned with the penalty of death on December 17th, 1972. Susan Atkins appeared in court and the sentence of death for each count imposed on April 19th, 1971 was vacated and set aside. Ms. Atkins was sentenced to state prison for life concurrently on each count.” The prisoner’s version: “Ms. Atkins has indicated that she would like to update the prisoner’s version of her commitment offense. The following is a summation of Ms. Atkins’ version. Ms. Atkins stated -- states that she was -- had very low self-esteem when she was younger. This was due to the death of her mother, her father’s drinking, the inability to hold down a job, a lack of interest in school, being sexually molested, and by her association with drug users. These factors made her particularly susceptible to the community setting that in the 60s counterculture provided. This is how she ended up in a commune relationship with Charles Manson. Ms. Atkins states that she had a very cynical view of contemporary societal values due to her family denigration and as a result had early brushes with the law. She was arrested at an early age for grand theft auto in violation of the Dyer Act because she unknowingly hitched a ride with two men who had stolen a car. As a result of this earlier arrest Ms. Atkins developed a mistrust of police in general. Ms. Atkins states she became involved in drug use due to the fact that she had no family support while growing up. She did however receive a lot of social support from other drug users. They contributed to her belief that the government was hypocritical and reinforced her mistrust of government and disrespect for law in general. Once she became involved with the communal setting of the family it was very hard to leave. The only friends she had were in the family. The communal setting didn’t allow for her to possess money and there was no housing of her own. The family moved frequently and therefore was always isolated from the community. There was no time to make friends outside the family and was not encouraged unless these people could be persuaded to join. Shortly thereafter the family settled down in Topanga Canyon and Ms. Atkins had a son. Within the commune he was well taken care of. Due to her lack of education, job skills it would have been difficult to support herself, let alone her son. Despite the fact that the relationship within the commune was generally dysfunctional and abusive Ms. Atkins’ experiences produced a person who was more comfortable within the family -- sorry, within the familiar structure of dysfunctional interactions than an unfamiliar setting of a healthy relationship. Ms. Atkins stated she continued to gravitate towards the abusive relationships rather than the unfamiliar setting of a healthy relationship due to her low self-esteem. Ms. Atkins once -- adds once the commitment offenses began it was a shock to her because Charles Manson talked about death so much but never gave any indication that he was going to do something like that. He would continually test members of the family by asking them to perform a task. If they refused to do the task he would tell them they were still bound up with social inhibitions. If they did the task he would say forget it and that was the end of it. So when he talked about killing establishment people it just sounded like one of the rants or one of his tests. Ms. Atkins states while in hindsight Manson’s preoccupation with class struggle seems like a foreshadowing of what was to come during that time there was a lot of talk about social revolution and change and much of the talk used violence in the figurative sense. Once the commitment offenses began Ms. Atkins states there was no way to get away from the family and there was nowhere to go. She feared for her life and feared for the life of her son due to the fact that she had knowledge that Shorty Shea -- that’s S-H-E- -A -- had been killed simply because Manson thought he might talk. Ms. Atkins states due to her dysfunctional upbringing and her drug use she eventually developed a misguided sense of loyalty to the family. She states that there was -- were physical factors that made it especially hard to turn to the police after the crime had been committed. Topanga Canyon was miles from anywhere and she didn’t have a car. The only way of leaving Spahn Ranch -- that’s S-P-A-H-N -- was in someone else -- was if someone else was with you and she was being watched constantly. Ms. Atkins concludes that the time that the crimes were committed she was seriously disturbed, mentally ill, and having delusions, psychotic paranoid, and suffering from chronic LSD use.” Counsel, is there anything about the crime you’d like to add -- clarification, anything?

ATTORNEY WHITEHOUSE: No. I remember when she wrote that and that’s the last version that she wrote herself and so --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER O’HARA: Good. I tried to get the most recent. Very well. In regards to criminal history we have -- no juvenile history is noted. Adult convictions and arrests: 9/12/66, Salem, Oregon -- possession and receiving, concealing stolen property, no disposition; 9/29/66, Portland, Oregon, Dyer Act, no disposition; 9/30/66, Portland, Oregon, Dyer Act, no disposition; 12/21/66, San Francisco Police Department. Hold on, I’m going to -- I thought it was a little better explained back here. Maybe not. All right. 12/21/6, San Francisco PD, Penal Code 1203.10, no disposition; 4/21/68, South Ventura, Vehicle Code 14610(g), Vehicle Code 40302(a), reproducing or possessing a facsimile, a mandatory appearance -- disposition, $10 fine; 6/22/68, South Ukiah, Health and Safety Code 11910, possession of dangerous drugs with a prior; Health and Safety Code 11913, use of minor; Health and Safety Code 11530, possession of marijuana, got 90 days county jail on the Health and Safety Code 11530 and the other two counts were dismissed; 6/7/69, South Ukiah, violation of probation, and probation was reinstated and modified to term; 8/16/69, South Los Angeles, grand theft auto, no disposition; 10/10/69, South Independence, Vehicle Code 10851, grand theft auto; 187 PC, homicide; disposition on 10/13/69 grand theft auto dropped and released to Los Angeles County on homicide charges. Okay. These relate to the commitment offense. So in reality while she did run into law enforcement a number of times in ’66 and ’68 she was only convicted of misdemeanors until we got to the commitment offense. Is that my understanding: Okay.

ATTORNEY WHITEHOUSE: That’s what it says.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER O’HARA: All right. Personal factors -- Susan Atkins was born 5/7/48 as the second child of Edward John Atkins and Jean Jett. She lived in the San Gabriel area for the first six months of her life and from the age of six months to years lived in Santa Clara. At the age of 16, two years after the death of her mother, she moved around for about two years, living with various relatives. Periodically she lived with her father until she was about 18 years old when she went out on her own. Susan Atkins says she does not even remember being close to her mother. Ms. Atkins says her father was an alcoholic. After her mother died when she was 14 years old they started breaking apart. Ms. Atkins had the full responsibility of house and felt as if she was not living up to her father’s expectations. At this time she began to move around living with various relatives. This was a very unhappy time for her. Ms. Atkins has never married but she does have one child named Paul although she -- I think she objected to that naming him -- renaming him Paul.

ATTORNEY WHITEHOUSE: Oh, no. That’s what -- that’s what she wanted.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER O’HARA: She wanted him named Paul. Okay. Because I don’t recollect the exact name but it started with Z.

ATTORNEY WHITEHOUSE: Yeah, that was someone -- that’s the one she objected to.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER O’HARA: Oh, okay. And she indicates as an 18-year-old she became an alcoholic for some six months, admits to use of hashish, marijuana when she was 18. At 18 1/2 she said she started using LSD regularly. Ms. Atkins says she went as far as the 11th grade at Los Manuels High School. She dropped out due to failing grades and it says the school wanted her to repeat the 11th grade and she did not wish to. After leaving high school she worked for a magazine agency as a girl Friday. She left this when her boss failed to pay her -- did not like the conditions under which she had to work. For short periods of time she did various types of jobs including house cleaning, babysitting, cocktail waitress, and topless dancing, and she did a great deal of traveling. There’s no history of mental health treatment and/or military service. Counsel, is there anything I missed in regards to social history or you feel is important to put on the record at this time regarding her --

ATTORNEY WHITEHOUSE: Maybe it’s just a minor thing but she started moving around her family when she was 16 because her father abandoned her and her younger brother. So not only did she lose her mother at but two years later her father just left.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER O’HARA: And in the reading of the probation officer’s report and such and the other documents it sort of indicated that the father took the death of the mother pretty badly and then he moved on and --

ATTORNEY WHITEHOUSE: I had heard stories that that’s how Susan and her younger brother spent those two years is trying to find their father at various bars to get money so they could buy food for dinner.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER O’HARA: Okay. And yeah, it did look like the family unit dissolved rather quickly after the mother passed away. All right. Is there something more in regards to the crime, criminal history, and social history?

ATTORNEY WHITEHOUSE: Not that I can think of.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER O’HARA: Very well. Then if you direct your attention to Ms. Enloe she’ll talk to you about the post-conviction factors.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER ENLOE: Certainly. During this portion of the hearing I will be putting on record information I’ve been gathering by looking through all the various documents I have available including the Central File, the Board packet that has the psychological evaluation, the Board report, prior transcripts, et cetera. And my goal here will be to bring the record current from the last Board hearing until today. And I’ll start with that last Board hearing which was June 1st, 2005, at which time Ms. Atkins was denied parole for four years. The Board Panel at that time did recommend get self-help, stay disciplinary-free, learn a trade, get therapy, and they did request a new psychological evaluation for the next hearing. And at this time in looking at Ms. Atkins’ Central File custody level is shown as Medium A. Classification placement score is 28 which is the mandatory minimum which she can achieve. And in terms of assignments the last hearing that was held was held at the California Institution for Women and Ms. Atkins was transferred to California -- Central California Women’s Facility here at CCWF September 23rd, 2008. And at the time of the last hearing it appears that she was working as a reentry teacher’s aide. She was receiving exceptional work reports and she subsequently before her transfer here was working at one point I saw it called a swamper (phonetic) and then I heard it described elsewhere as a physical fitness trainer. I believe it’s one and the same. The appointment dates were the same so I wasn’t sure about the swamper but --

ATTORNEY WHITEHOUSE: That sounds like Patricia Krenwinkel.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER ENLOE: Well, it was in the documents I had here. But the physical fitness trainer you think is wrong?

ATTORNEY WHITEHOUSE: Yeah. I think they got --


PRESIDING COMMISSIONER O’HARA: I know I saw it. She was a Curves --

ATTORNEY WHITEHOUSE: Oh, yeah. She taught -- on her spare time she was doing Curves and Pilates, yeah.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER O’HARA: Okay. Yeah. So that -- I think that’s what --

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER ENLOE: All right. It’s called --

ATTORNEY WHITEHOUSE: They’re called swampers (inaudible) the term used in the firefighting --

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER ENLOE: Well, you know, thank you for pointing that out. The chrono that I’m looking at is for a different inmate -- the swamper physical fitness calisthenics training one is for a -- not Krenwinkel, not anyone probably associated with. It’s just -- looks like it’s a misfiled document. So thanks for saying that. So the teacher’s aide is actually the last assignment that I have a work supervisory report for and those were all 1s, which means exceptional. And then after or just prior to transfer to this prison in August 29th, 2008, there was a chrono documenting that Ms. Atkins is medically disabled and so all assigned since that time. Is that -- does that sound correct?

ATTORNEY WHITEHOUSE: Well, she was taken to the hospital in May so she’s -- she wasn’t even -- she hasn’t worked since then.


ATTORNEY WHITEHOUSE: I believe it’s May 18th. But she had -- I guess if they did the paperwork in October --

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER ENLOE: The chrono says that but those are the -- those are the two assignments and I’ll let the records office know about this one chrono that is for an entirely different inmate. Academically there’s evidence of the GED and an Associative Arts degree, and I know that it was discussed thoroughly at prior hearings that Ms. Atkins was actually very close to receiving a Bachelor’s degree and was still -- at the time of the last hearing was still planning to work toward that. I don’t know whether she’s completed it but I was just --


DEPUTY COMMISSIONER ENLOE: -- filling this gap for the hearing. Vocationally there’s the paralegal certificate and I know that there had been the word processing work that was completed. And in terms of CDC 115s and 128As nothing new there. There’s -- the five total CDC 115s that were discussed at the last hearing, the last one being March 11th, ’93. I believe it was use of computer for personal use, and the only two 128As were both on the same date, February 7th, 2002, for some misconduct. But those were counseling chronos so there’s nothing new in that area. In terms of self-help and laudatory, there are a number of chronos and I did go through the Central File to ensure that they’re here. They’re also mentioned in the Board packet and they cover areas such as Pathways to Wholeness, Peer Helper and Conflict Transformation Skills, Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, Advanced Meditation and Conflict Resolution, Shalom Sisterhood Organization, Pilates exercise classes. That’s why I didn’t question that other chrono -- I was tying them together in my mind. Victims Offender Reconciliation Group, Young Adult Networking Group -- YANG, Y-A-N-G -- Doing Life Together, a community fellowship group, Toastmasters International -- and she served as vice president for Liberty Speakers Club Number 7187, and additionally there’s a notation that Ms. Atkins received the Smedley Award, S-M-E-D-L-E-Y Award. There was a chrono in September of 2006 documenting that. In October of 2006 a chrono documenting a contribution by Ms. Atkins to the annual Ralph Smedley membership drive competition. She also served as a facilitator in the Curves fitness system resistance training circuit program and completed a seminar in the Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. So those are the things that I found during the time period from the last hearing until today and so at this point I don’t know -- anything that you feel I’ve left off?

ATTORNEY WHITEHOUSE: No. The only thing I’d like to point out is that the 115 she got in ’92 wasn’t a disciplinary or administrative 115. I forget what they call but under --


PRESIDING COMMISSIONER O’HARA: Oh, if it’s administrative it’s lesser. Is that --

ATTORNEY WHITEHOUSE: No, it’s -- well, anyway according to the Title 15 disciplinary-free means programming without an administrative or just or another type of 115. This wasn’t one of those which may be -- sounds like a technicality but it means she’s been disciplinary-free for over a quarter of a century.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER ENLOE: I’m -- well, I note that it was a 115 in 1993 though. I mean, are you saying that it was reduced to a 128A?

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER O’HARA: (Inaudible) I think (inaudible) is there. It’s administrative. okay. 1.



DEPUTY COMMISSIONER ENLOE: In terms of serious --

ATTORNEY WHITEHOUSE: And under Title 15 disciplinary-free is defined as programming without serious or --

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER ENLOE: Thank you for your comment there. So at this point is it all right with you to proceed to the psychological evaluation? Do you have anything else to add before I move forward?


DEPUTY COMMISSIONER ENLOE: At this point then that’s what I’ll do. I’ll turn to the psychological evaluation that we have in the record. It was prepared by Steven Pointkowski, and that’s P-O-I-N-T-K-O-W-S-K-I for the transcriber. The date of the evaluation was February 24th, 2009, and this is a several page document - - approximately pages appears to be -- and many of the things on the first several pages have basically been covered at least to some degree already in this hearing. I do want to point out the doctor on Page 1 though did identify that he did conduct the clinical interview in Ms. Atkins’ hospital room and so there were some -- there were some issues not so much that he identified here but throughout the report there are some areas where -- in fact at the top of Page 3 is one of them as an example. He said -- and I’ll just quote it here -- quote what he wrote the top of the page. “Inmate refused or was unable to discuss what if any behavioral problems she exhibited during the course of her youth when assessed by the undersigned examiner. She was presumably never arrested or convicted of a crime as a minor.” There are similar disclaimers, if you will, throughout so it appeared that he may have had some difficulty in communicating or perhaps understanding, and I say that because I’m going to read several of these into the record so there may have been some difficulty with the communication. The next paragraph right below it -- again, he said Ms. Atkins refused or was unable to comment on her familial history of crime, legal entanglements, drug/alcohol abuse, mental illness, and attempted/completed suicides when interviewed by the undersigned examiner. On Page 5 of the report there’s a section entitled Insight/Self-Assessment and the doctor wrote “the inmate’s negligible participation in the clinical interview precluded the undersigned examiner from assessing her degree of insight, self-awareness.” And at the bottom of Page 5 the doctor talked about substance abuse history and he said the inmate clearly and copiously utilized a variety of substances in the free community. The probation officer report dated April 12th, 1971, reflected heavy LSD usage over 200 times, regular cannabis usage, and minimal cocaine usage, and the life prisoner evaluation that was dated January 31st, 2005, described her as an alcoholic for about six months at age 18 and also noted that she used hashish at the same age. Dr. Smith’s psychological report dated January 31, 2005, indicated she had used a tremendous amount of methamphetamines for about three weeks leading up to the Tate/LaBianca murders. Documents also reflected other drug usage that’s listed there at the top of Page 6, and on Page 6 again the doctor said “when interviewed Ms. Atkins refused to comment or was unable to discuss the circumstances in her life which contributed to her substance abuse, how long she had been abstinent, how she was able to quit, and what she perceived as possible triggers for relapse.” And then when talking about the role that alcohol/drugs played in the commitment offense and the inmate’s ability to refrain from future use in the free community the doctor reported illicit substance usage was probably an integral causal factor in Ms. Atkins’ incident offenses and the respect that such usage plausibly decreased or impaired her impulse control, judgment, and/or inhibitions, and he continued by stating given the inmate’s dearth of substance-related rule violations reports, possession (inaudible) on November 24th, 1982, and historically extensive participation in NA and AA programming she probably possesses or poses a decreased risk for substance usage in the free community. And then under the section on Page 6 entitled Current Mental Status, Treatment Needs, Personality Disorders the doctor said that mental status data was incomplete because of the inmate’s limited willingness or ability to actively participate in the clinical interview with the undersigned examiner. He said the inmate was -- “non-ambulatory and appeared frail and markedly older than her chronological age. She intermittently seemed nervous particularly when she struggled to answer questions or recall events. Ms. Atkins periodically appeared confused. More specifically, she incorrectly stated her age as 48 -- she possibly thought the undersigned examiner was asking when she was born -- was partially disoriented. In another example given fully oriented to person but could not identify the correct month or year or her whereabouts, and sometimes responded nonsensically. An example given -- upon being asked if she had any questions for the undersigned examiner she replied affirmatively but stated “I don’t know” when given an opportunity to ask such questions.” So he, the doctor, stated that her memory was generally poor and the doctor continued: “The inmate’s speech was highly concise, unelaborated, and occasionally difficult to comprehend. On few occasions where the latter occurred she was asked to repeat herself and was clearly understood by the undersigned examiner” and I’m on Page 7 of the report. The doctor said that Ms. Atkins had no regret or stated that she had no regrets about the life she had lived thus far (inaudible) physical discomfort stemming from her various medical conditions and/or medications impeded her ability or willingness to more actively participate in the assessment. And then the doctor said “as stated above it was not feasible to comprehensively assess Ms. Atkins’ mental status. Recent collateral data did not suggest serious mental illness or need for formal mental health intervention.” And one more time on that page he did say her limited ability or willingness to participate in the clinical interview with the undersigned examiner did not allow for more definitive diagnostic clarification. So impulsivity behavioral control -- the doctor said that in all likelihood Ms. Atkins’ substance usage significantly compromised her impulse behavior control prior to incarceration -- the example there participation in seven murders. He said given her most recent rules violation report -- CDC 115 in March of 1993 for utilizing a computer for personal use -- her impulse behavioral control has presumably been satisfactory for quite some time even within the highly controlled setting of the prison. And under the Diagnostic Impressions section for Axis I the doctor indicated polysubstance dependence in a controlled environment; Axis II, personality disorder not otherwise specified with anti-social, dependent, and histrionic features provisional. And then on Page 8 of the report the doctor talked about the inmate’s -- well, there’s a section titled Inmate’s Understanding of the Life Crime and he gave an account -- a brief account -- of the life crime and then he said the inmate refused or was unable to discuss her incident offenses with the undersigned examiner. And regarding remorse and insight into the life crime the doctor again stated because of Ms. Atkins’ negligible participation in the clinical interview with the undersigned examiner it was not feasible to assess her remorse and degree of insight into her life crimes. On Page 9 the Assessment for Risk of Violence section begins and the doctor did identify the tools that are currently used by the forensics division to develop the psychological evaluations -- those tools being the Psychopathy Check List Revised, PCLR, the History Clinical Risk Management 20 -- the HCR-20 -- and also the Level of Service Case Management Inventory -- the LSCMI. But he didn’t go through the normal process. His statement here says because of Ms. Atkins’ minimal participation in the clinical interview and in an abundance of caution regarding the use of risk assessment instruments those that I just stated were not formally scored. So he did talk a little bit about her violence potential in the free community and he talked about the incident offenses -- 1st degree murder, seven counts, and conspiracy to commit murder and no history of violence noted prior to the life crimes. He talked about a young age at the first violent incident, a relationship instability, employment problems, and the vast majority of her -- Ms. Atkins’ job performance ratings within the prison were positive. On Page 10 he continued -- he talked a little bit about substance abuse -- that she clearly and copiously utilized a variety of substances in the free community. We’ve talked about those previously. He talked about psychopathy and basically said it was not -- the PCLR was not formally scored. He talked about early maladjustment, personality disorder, prior supervision failure, and then he talked about lack of insight impulsivity, unresponsiveness to treatment, and he stated because of Ms. Atkins’ negligible participation in the clinical interview with the undersigned examiner it was not feasible to assess her remorse and degree of insight into her life crimes. He continued though -- given that the inmate has reportedly been disciplinary free for nearly 16 years her impulse control is presumably satisfactorily within the highly structured and controlled setting such as the prison. Her overall prison disciplinary record additionally suggested longstanding compliance with institutional rules and policies. And regarding parole plans he said other than indicating that she did not have any money saved or job offers she refused or was unable to discuss her parole plans with the doctor. Then on the last page of the report, overall risk assessment, he did say that Ms. Atkins’ overall risk of violent recidivism if released into the free community is estimated to be in the low range and he said additionally Ms. Atkins’ above mentioned risk of violent recidivism was primarily based upon clinical judgment as opposed to empirical test data and must be understood within this limitation -- with this limitation in mind. And he talked about some things that could increase Ms. Atkins’ risk of violent recidivism -- things such as exposure to charismatic highly anti-social violent-prone individuals, substance relapse, infrequent participation in substance related self-help groups such as NA, AA, manifestation of anti-social and/or dependent personality features, weapon possession, inability to maintain a permanent residence, decreased pro-social support and/or financial difficulties. And then on the other side of the coin he described things that might decrease the risk of violent recidivism such as authoring a comprehensive relapse prevention program, expand pro-social support in the free community, attaining her Bachelor’s degree, and/or further deterioration of her medical condition. And so that actually would conclude the portion of psychological evaluation unless you have any comments to make at this time.

ATTORNEY WHITEHOUSE: No, I didn’t -- I read over that thing but I didn’t pay any attention to it because he wasn’t asked to produce a psychiatric evaluation. He was actually asked in 2005 to create a evaluation of violence potential. And as he sat in her hospital room looking at a woman who literally can’t sit herself up in bed he never got around to mentioning that. You know, I’m going to just, you know, take a shot in the dark but I’m guessing that absolutely nothing you expose her to is going to make her jump up out of this bed and do anything. And just -- I’m sorry, it just kind of bugged me that nowhere did he come around to mentioning her physical condition prevents her from doing anything including feeding herself, and the constant comments that she refused to participate just riled me a little bit. But that aside, just to point out it actually says that she was an alcoholic for six months. If you go back you find out that the person who said that Susan was an alcoholic for six months was Susan. So that wasn’t a doctor. And as for the drug use and the -- Susan used drugs for three years of her life, from 18 to 21. She’s now 61 years old. And the district attorney has consistently said for 40 years the drug use had nothing to do with her commitment offense. And I understand that’s a little game they play to try to, you know, insist that they were more culpable but it’s a little annoying from our perspective to get hit with on one side that she was perfectly sober and so she’s an evil person, from the other side to get told that she had a drug problem so she’s a dangerous person and it’s a little much. Oh, the other thing to point out is he -- I think he said her violence potential now is low and that’s in a -- I just want to point out that that’s a -- that’s a scale of high, medium, low. So basically what he’s saying is no one scores lower -- no one is less violent than Susan is according to his assessment. Low is as low as you go. That doesn’t mean, you know -- does that make sense?

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER ENLOE: Thank you for your comments. Did you have additional or --

ATTORNEY WHITEHOUSE: No. Like I said I was just -- I didn’t pay too much attention to that besides the fact that he got the number of counts wrong and --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER O’HARA: Two things. First of all, what I read on the record initially was you would get an opportunity to clarify or correct the record and that’s why we asked you these questions because, you know, there’s a lot of information coming from a lot of different directions and it gets built on and built on and something gets slightly sideways and it gets worse and worse and worse, and that’s why we take the opportunity to get you to comment in regards to clarify the record so we can go back and shuffle through and see where, you know, maybe you’re right or this was wrong. The other thing is though in regards to psych reports we have seen -- there’s sort of a spectrum and we do see low -- we’ve seen very low. I have actually seen very low. But still low is, you know, where you want it. In any event, is there any other comments you have about --

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER ENLOE: Any post-conviction information?

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER O’HARA: -- post-conviction factors, psych reports? Anything else you want on the record?

ATTORNEY WHITEHOUSE: There’s some stuff she’s done since there. I’d like to cover those in the final - - in my time to talk at the end if that’s okay.



DEPUTY COMMISSIONER ENLOE: Sure. Then at this point if you just turn your attention back to the chair, Commissioner O’Hara.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER O’HARA: Thank you. All right. In regards to parole plans when Ms. Atkins spoke with T. G. Moore, correctional counselor, in preparation for this hearing and I’m not sure whether she did a lot of speaking because this was in June 2009, the indication or the counselor indicates that Ms. Atkins indicated upon release she would be residing with her husband, James Whitehouse, in San Juan Capistrano, California, and Mr. Whitehouse indicated that he will be providing all the necessary requirements that she would require for her well being. In regards to employment due to her medical disabilities and concerns she indicated she might not be employable. All right. And I guess I should start with the support letters.

ATTORNEY WHITEHOUSE: I think that was a -- that was actually my response to the compassionate release hearing. Obviously if she’s paroled then she has to go to LA County. We’ve actually -- I’ve got --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER O’HARA: Not necessarily. With the -- we can send her to just about any county (overlapping).

ATTORNEY WHITEHOUSE: Well, I’d appreciate to have her at my house but I didn’t want to take a chance and I have prepared parole plans both in LA County and Orange County.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER O’HARA: Now, you’ve marked these as confidential. Can I read them on the record?

ATTORNEY WHITEHOUSE: Well, I don’t want the names read out and even the -- some of the organizations I have contacted I don’t want them to be harassed or pressured.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER O’HARA: All right. And just for the record I will mention these but this Panel has the opportunity -- things have changed over the years and most recently. We can send folks who are getting paroled just about anywhere in the state to the best opportunity they have. We’re finding that there are some really good programs down in the LA area and folks from just about all over the state are going down to those programs -- Crossroads and some of these others and --

ATTORNEY WHITEHOUSE: That’s intelligent and I’m glad. I just know in the past sometimes it’s been a little (overlapping).


ATTORNEY WHITEHOUSE: I just don’t want to take a chance.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER O’HARA: But it kind of levels the playing field for the folks who had nobody when they came in and so they can get one of these programs and work their way out from there. I do have confidential parole plans have been submitted to me. It’s four pages. And it does indicate that there is the efforts for Hospice and some connections or looking into further such as the required medical support, and there is one for Los Angeles, one for Orange County. There is a home in the Hospice care -- Orange County home Hospice care. I don’t think anybody would be surprised -- Orange County with a James Whitehouse where she would be staying. And I’ve got something that’s in blue versus the black.

ATTORNEY WHITEHOUSE: Oh, I’m sorry. That was probably for me. There are several Hospice programs and I wanted to research them all and that just for personal reasons I had that highlighted to go back and double check them (overlapping).

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER O’HARA: Okay. So the fact that that one -- that one’s blue doesn’t give it any more focus for me. Okay. But there’s a number of Hospice programs that have been checked or have been listed and then there are -- am I wrong in assuming that one of your relatives is a physician or can do something in regard to Hospice?

ATTORNEY WHITEHOUSE: Yes. And I have several friends that I’ve talked to that are in the medical and support professions --


ATTORNEY WHITEHOUSE: -- which would be able to help out or consult.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER O’HARA: Some of these support folks are listed in different states, different countries. There is one -- Laguna Niguel, California.

ATTORNEY WHITEHOUSE: Down in Orange County.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER O’HARA: Riverside, Mission Viejo. Okay. So it looks to -- my understanding is that you’d like her to come to your house is your first priority -- your home?

ATTORNEY WHITEHOUSE: If I can take care of her there -- if the Hospice people check it out and say that she’d be able to get -- be cared for properly there that’s the first and primary interest is her medical care.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER O’HARA: Have you checked - - have you checked into finances for the Hospice care and such?

ATTORNEY WHITEHOUSE: Not yet. I just know that if it comes to that we’re going to -- we’re going to find it and --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER O’HARA: Okay. Your insurance covers it? Doesn’t cover it?

ATTORNEY WHITEHOUSE: I can cover it. I can cover it.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER O’HARA: You can cover it. Okay. Makes me a little more uncomfortable. If you’re really well off that’s wonderful. The rest of us we have to make sure our insurance covers it. And I am not going to read every for and oppose letter all into the record. I am -- as we noted at the start of the hearing Mr. Whitehouse has submitted three differ7 ent stacks -- one dated August 12th, 2009, as 71 support letters; July 7th, 2009, 90 pages of letters; and then you indicated that this was 9or --

ATTORNEY WHITEHOUSE: I believe there was 97.


ATTORNEY WHITEHOUSE: Those appear to be the same -- the correct dates.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER O’HARA: Okay. And this may be too much to ask with some 250 letters here in front of us. Are there any specific ones that would give --

ATTORNEY WHITEHOUSE: I tried to look through and find things that I thought were really moving and there’s letters from people that used to be in prison thanking her and there’s -- I mean, there’s some incredible things there. There’s people that are facing terrible things in life and obviously we can’t touch them all. I do have blue tags on two of the ones down there and I believe the first one is impressive and caught me off guard.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER O’HARA: All right. And what I was driving at is there any that offer -- and I’ll read these momentarily -- are there any that offer residence?


PRESIDING COMMISSIONER O’HARA: Place to live when she gets out.

ATTORNEY WHITEHOUSE: Oh, yes. Actually I thought you meant resonance.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER O’HARA: No, just a plain old residence. Place to live, financial support, any specifics about monetary support -- an old vehicle she can drive although that may not be a realistic expectation at this point. Monetary support, a physician who would offer their services, a nurse -- anything of that nature?

ATTORNEY WHITEHOUSE: I have the letter from the - - from a woman in -- this is from the perspective -- a place we have in LA.


ATTORNEY WHITEHOUSE: As for care I’ll be covering that and like I said I’ve talked to several people and --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER O’HARA: Now, this gentleman who was listed as confidential in the past but he has --

ATTORNEY WHITEHOUSE: I’d still like to keep that confidential because if that’s where she ends up I don’t want them to be harassed.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER O’HARA: This is -- this is Los Angeles, May 7th, 2009. Indicates -- this gentleman has sent letters for the last -- I assume -- well, it might not be a gentleman. This person has written many letters to the Board over the past 15 years supporting Susan Atkins for parole. “Last summer I testified in Sacramento and implored you to grant Susan a compassionate release. Today I’m pleading with you to parole Susan who is now paralyzed over 85 percent of her body so she could spend her remaining days with her family. In the past I’ve offered my guest house behind my home in Los Angeles to Susan and her husband James and that offer still stands. I will do everything in my power to help bring Susan home. I met Susan in 1993 when I was researching a film about mind control. I had no idea that first meeting would lead to a relationship that I have come to cherish. Although the film never happened my friendship with Susan kept growing over the years. She helped me through some difficult times including my father’s death and let me know the real Susan, not the monster portrayed in the media. I’m one year older than Susan. Like her I was a child of the 60s. It was a time of experimentation and yearning for more spiritual life, rejecting our parents’ values that material wealth makes us happy. I don’t know the 20-year-old Susan who participated in unspeakable crimes. I did not meet Charles Manson when I was 18 -- supplied me with LSD on a regular basis for two years who changed my identity, manipulated my insecurities, and played with my mind. Thank goodness I never met Charles Manson. I also did not lose my mother at 14 or have a brother who sexually abused me or a father who was an alcoholic and absent. I didn’t run away from home. I went to college, encouraged by my parents to do so. Susan is dying of terminal brain cancer. She is unable to get out of bed or feed herself. She lost a leg and can barely speak. She has an exemplary prison record. She meets all the requirements for parole. The California Institution for Women recommended her compassionate release as did her prosecutor, Vincent Bugliosi, the man who knew exactly what Susan did or did not.” Did CCW or (inaudible) recommend release -- compassionate release?


PRESIDING COMMISSIONER O’HARA: I thought for some reason they didn’t.

ATTORNEY WHITEHOUSE: No, I have it here. The doctor recommended -- said she satisfied all the criteria and recommended it. The warden said she satisfied all the criteria and recommended it. Susan Hubbard (phonetic) said she satisfied all the criteria but didn’t recommend it.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER O’HARA: Okay. Because I knew someone in CDR -- CDCR was opposed.

ATTORNEY WHITEHOUSE: The one person that didn’t know her.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER O’HARA: All right. “She certainly is not a danger to society and to come to that conclusion today would be disingenuous. Doesn’t make excuses for what happened in 1969. Forty years Susan dedicated her life to helping others and to serving God, the only way she knew how to make amends for her actions so long ago. To deny Susan parole you’re not punishing Susan who’s already been incarcerated for four decades. You’re punishing her family, her husband, her brother, her sister-in-law, her two teenage nieces who she knows all -- she’s known all their lives. I am asking for compassion and mercy. Mercy is for the just and the unjust alike. It’s not about who they are but who we are. No one deserves mercy. Mercy is freely given or it wouldn’t be mercy. It would merely be a reward or punishment. Granting parole for Susan is more about who we are as a society than who she is. Thank you so much for considering my letter.” All right. And that is a place to reside in Los Angeles, has you in Orange County. Any other specifics that would --

ATTORNEY WHITEHOUSE: No, other than just the fact that we’ve been married for almost 22 years and I’m going to continue to take care of her.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER O’HARA: All right. And you have a couple marked and I will make note of those. This is -- “I understand that Susan Atkins is coming up for parole consideration. I support her parole to the community. Retired for 30 years, worked in juvenile corrections for the state of Oregon. I was on a parole board who was considering the release of a young female who had been our ward who ran to California, who was involved in serious crime (inaudible) sentenced to the California correction system. While there she said she had met Susan Atkins. The governors of California and Oregon agreed best interest for this young woman would be better served if she were transferred back to Oregon to be closer to her family. After her parole hearing her counselor encouraged the young woman to share what happened to her in California. She proceeded to tell me that she met Susan and that over time Susan shared her own spiritual journey with her. As a result this young woman decided to turn her life around and follow Christ. This story through years -- though years old exemplifies what I believe justice and rehabilitation are all about. Susan has become a giver after being a self-centered taker. For some there is never forgiveness and compassion is not a part of our life’s philosophy. Would that all people incarcerated in our penal system lived out their lives as has Susan. I was showing one of our correctional officers -- I’m sorry, I was showing one of our correctional facilities to a staff in the United States Department and a representative from the African nation. The African turned to me and asked, “How many of these young men have repented?” I have never heard the question before. No one has ever asked me about a heart change. Has Susan repented? According to her life in prison she has and I support her release for compassionate reasons that only include her but all of us as well.”

ATTORNEY WHITEHOUSE: The other one is kind of long. I was just going to read a couple of excerpts from that and --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER O’HARA: Well, you’ve helped me out because you underlined some of the most important (overlapping). Can I just go with that?

ATTORNEY WHITEHOUSE: Yeah. Except for -- except for the bottom one. I think the underlined part at the bottom I just -- I don’t feel comfortable with -- the bottom of that page.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER O’HARA: Okay. I’ve got another letter that indicates, “I am a 22-year veteran of law enforcement in North Carolina. As a law enforcement officer I have vast experience on the topic about to be discussed. I haven’t been on the prosecution side of homicide trials over the years in our community. I’m sorry -- I have been on the prosecution side of homicide trials over the years in our community with equal cruelty yet they have all served their sentences and have been released. The image that has been concocted by the media and the families has made this bigger than it is. A death has no higher loss and in defense of the families I fully appreciate that. I have served that cause for all these years. You made your mistakes. You did your time. But where does it say that people do not deserve a second opportunity to prove themselves? You have done more charitable things --”

ATTORNEY WHITEHOUSE: Stop, stop, stop.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER O’HARA: Okay. “You’ve prepared and attended hearing after hearing with the same compassion as all the parties in attendance from either side. You carry yourself in a manner that shows compassion. The fact is you clearly no longer are a threat to society and have not been for decades. I see you paying a price but as I stated there is a time where that debt has been paid. The time has gone past.” All right. And I think that’s sort of exemplary of the situation. I appreciate the letters. Some are from inmates. I took a opportunity to peruse at least the 71 and the 90 that I had plus -- I don’t know -- what’s that, a foot thick of old letters and such? And took an opportunity to go through those and that may be where your most recent ones are because there are some from 2009 in here. But a lot of them are from folks who have heard her story, never actually met her. Some are from folks in custody that have dealt with her, you know, that she has impacted -- some church folks. There’s a lot of folks that she has met through church or touched or somehow I think her religious foundation has connected her with a lot of those folks as well. As a result they have sent a significant number of letters. The bottom half of this I assume -- I’m guessing these are probably your stack of 97 that are down under here. I don’t want to short shrift her support. Is there any other support letters that you would feel that I should touch on to better help make the record replete as far as support?

ATTORNEY WHITEHOUSE: I wish I’d had -- I wish I’d had more time to go through these. There are some that take this tone and would you like to --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER O’HARA: I will take the time. It’s important that we do so. I just don’t want to read 250 on the record.

ATTORNEY WHITEHOUSE: No. Let me just read parts of this. “My name is blank. I have a daughter. I have a daughter named Ashley. Recently Ashley was going to move away from home so she could be near Charles Manson. She is almost of age. I told her to write to you -- and mainly this is just a plea to Susan -- as a mother I’m begging you to help me save my baby from Charles Manson. Please pray about it and if you have time please try to put your testimony into words if you can and write her yourself. Help me reach out to all the children that must be educated.” And a copy of Susan’s letter, but this is the letter her mom wrote back. “Thank you so very much. Ashley did read your letter. She looked at it for more than an hour and then put it with her special drawer. With your kind words I think she’s coming around,” and she goes on to say that she’s being -- she’s working with -- with your permission can I give your name and address to the webmaster of Calvary Chapel. He will be one of the people setting up the “Parents Against Manson” website. And unfortunately we do get a lot of letters from people asking us to help them with their nephews or people and their families that are developing an unsafe interest. This is from ’98.


ATTORNEY WHITEHOUSE: That one was from ’98.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER O’HARA: Okay. All right. Again, I don’t want to -- I want to put this correctly. I’m not in a particular hurry because I just stay in a hotel all week and then go home. But I -- so with that said I want to put anything that’s important on the record. I believe in a full and fair hearing. But if I do put 250 of yours on the record I got to put all the opposing letters on the record and that I’m a little hesitant to do. So again, I come back to you. Is there any other letters of import -- any other clear support letters -- anything else of impact that you feel needs to be put on the record in regard to parole plans?

ATTORNEY WHITEHOUSE: Like I said, I went through a lot of these letters trying to find ones that I could read on here but -- and I remember wonderful ones from the past. But in the last couple weeks we’ve really been fighting with her health and I wasn’t sure we were going to make it here and I thought it was more important for me to spend time with her. And I’m sorry because I -- over the years she has got some incredible letters and one of the things that I’ve enjoyed dealing with the last -- you know, one of my few joys over the last year was writing back to people that have written to her either supporting her or thanking her for stuff she’s done in the past and it’s just been incredible to see how many people have been touched from her -- by her and it’s a wonderful time and --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER O’HARA: And I did take an opportunity to peruse those letters. I will admit I didn’t read every one of them specifically but I did take an opportunity to wend my way through them and it does appear that she has made an impact on some of the folks she has met in the institutions. A large number of religious groups and religious folks out there have indicated a connection with her and just folks in the community. Some of them are just saying that BPH needs to look at the whole picture and not just the -- what I call the excitement of the media and the press. All right. With that I’m going to take a moment and reference also the other side of this and we do have a number of letters who are -- folks who are opposed to a finding of suitability. As I mentioned earlier that is oh, probably about an inch, inch and a half thick that particular file indicating they are opposed to a finding of suitability and those letters, like the support letters you have, come from all aspects of the community. I don’t want to run off with that -- thank you. All aspects -- folks from the community, all walks of life, and they’re opposed to a finding of suitability. In regards to official letters we do send out 3042 notices that are sent out to various interested entities who have some interest in this case and we sent out those 3042 notices. We sent one to the public defender, Los Angeles Police Department, one to the Honorable H. Older, one to the attorney general Jerry Brown, one to the district attorney, county of Los Angeles. He has sent Mr. Sequeira to make a statement on their behalf. One to the public defender and one to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, one for the Honorable Raymond Choate, C-H-O-A-T-E, the attorney general Jerry Brown, and again the district attorney of Los Angeles and I think the fact that two letters went out to a number of these different agencies has the fact -- due to the fact that she had two separate cases. We did receive a response from the Los Angeles Police Department. It is dated August 6th of 2009. It does indicate -- “To Whom it May Concern: We recommend that this parole be denied. It is the department’s position to adamantly oppose the release of this inmate back to the community. Ms. Atkins should remain segregated from society.” And then it does give the detective (phonetic) to call if we have any questions -- that is Joel Justice, Captain, Commanding Officer in the real time analysis in Critical Response Division. And all right -- I had one late letter in regards to opposition of a finding of suitability.

ATTORNEY WHITEHOUSE: Did you get a response from Judge Choate?

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER O’HARA: I did not or did not find one although we have many a document here. Did you, sir, get one in your packet? Because it should have been forwarded to you.

ATTORNEY WHITEHOUSE: You know what? I don’t look through the -- Susan used to. I don’t.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER O’HARA: I’ll take one other quick look. We have a large number of documents from the district attorney’s office including the anatomical summary from the chief medical examiner paperwork of -- looks like Lexus or West Law printouts, some well over a hundred pages, on the murders. I think it was Manson’s -- yeah, Charles Manson defendants --

DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY SEQUEIRA: That was sent by Mr. Whitehouse. That wasn’t sent by my office.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER O’HARA: Oh, I’m sorry. And it talks about --

ATTORNEY WHITEHOUSE: Oh, that’s People versus Manson. That was the appeal?

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER O’HARA: Uh-huh. I am not seeing one from the judge.

DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY SEQUEIRA: I don’t know if Judge Choate is still alive.

ATTORNEY WHITEHOUSE: That’s what I thought. That’s what -- the reason I asked (overlapping).

DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY SEQUEIRA: (Overlapping) I know his son is a judge and, you know, is considerably older than most everyone here in the room so I don’t know if the original trial judge is still alive.

ATTORNEY WHITEHOUSE: The reason I ask is because the last response we had from 1981 is when he wrote back and said that he doesn’t have any information to judge whether or not she’s any longer a danger.


ATTORNEY WHITEHOUSE: I was going to bring that up and then I thought that would be kind of embarrassing if you got a letter from him, you know.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER O’HARA: No, no, no. I didn’t have a letter and those letters automatically go out to everybody, all the interested official parties that were involved and many a time we find that someone has passed away a long time ago or moved on or other things have happened, and I guess the sort of conclusion of this aspect of the hearing is in regards to parole plans you would like Ms. Atkins to parole to you in Orange County, reside at your home, and you will attempt to get medical care for her and if that is -- secondarily you have Los Angeles. We have -- and I don’t recollect the name and you don’t want it on the record but there is a place. You can use the -- I guess it’s the pool -- pool house -- modified pool house or apartment or whatever it may be --


PRESIDING COMMISSIONER O’HARA: -- and stay there, again, get medical care for Ms. Atkins, and there is a significant amount of support and there is a significant opposition to a finding of suitability here today from all walks of life, all indicating their particular stance on this matter. And I guess I would turn to the district attorney’s office. Is there any opposition letters that you feel are appropriate for me to put on the record? They all have about the same tenor but if you saw any that struck you stronger than others I’ll be happy to do so.

DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY SEQUEIRA: Yeah. I think an excellent one is from former Manson family member Barbara Hoyt who was actually an actual witness in several of the trials.


DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY SEQUEIRA: I think that’s probably a good one to start with in terms of opposition letters.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER O’HARA: All right. In all fairness we should -- yeah, put the best opposed and the best for on the record. “My name is Barbara Hoyt. I lived with the Manson family for six months from 4/1/69 to about 10/1/69 -- lived with the family during the time of the Tate/LaBianca murders. I was 17 years old. I am an expert on the Manson family. I have a formula to judge whether or not the defendants are fully remorseful about their crimes. Having been given copies of and transcripts of the parole hearings I can tell you whether or not they are truthful about their activities during these times, the roles they played in the family, and their relationship with other people present. If they can’t even be truthful about the past how can they have remorse for it? If they are still after 40 years playing Mansonesque games are they safe among the general public? Sadie Atkins has been the easiest of the defendants to critique as I was one of the main witnesses against her. In the past years or so some of the defendants have simply refused to discuss their crimes at the parole hearings at all. Susan Atkins has put herself into this category but she has written a draft of her latest book which her husband has posted on her website,, under the title of “The Myth of Helter Skelter.” So I’m able to judge her, again, by her own words. Helter Skelter was the title of a race war which Charlie and the family foresaw where the black people would arise and kill off all the white people except the family who would be hiding in the desert. When the war was over the family believes that the blacks would find themselves unable to govern and would ask the remaining whites, i.e. the Family, to rule over them. Thus the Family with Charlie as its head would rule the world. Though Susan Atkins discounts Helter Skelter as the motive now she lived and breathed it when she lived with the Family. The first day I arrived she personally instructed me about Helter Skelter. She talked with me about it for hours. She showed me the dune buggies that were being prepared, the hides that were being made into clothing for family members, the gun mounts on the dune buggies, the maps of the desert. Everything the Family did was for Helter Skelter, all the talk about Helter Skelter. Now she claims that the Tate/LaBianca crimes were all done as copycat killings. I want you to be aware that copycat motive was created during the penalty phase of the trial which was one and a half years after the murders. Every one of the murders that the Manson Family committed and was convicted of were related to Helter Skelter as preparation showing blackie how to do it or the victims somehow interfering with the Family’s plan or to survive it. Sadie describes her jailhouse confessions as her exaggerating her involvement in the murders to make herself look tougher than she was because she said Charlie told her that she -- that this is a survival technique -- that it would make yourself look tough and the other inmates would leave you alone. Well, there were no inmates out in the desert when I overheard her bragging about the murders to the 17-year-old Oyish (phonetic) that’s Ruth Morehouse. She cheerfully described the deaths of Sharon Tate, Abigail Folger, and the LaBiancas. There were no -- there was no one there she had to look tough for. Sadie describes herself as -- on her website as longing for her son and that Manson kept her from him. I babysat the family children for about three days in August of 1969. Linda Kasabian visited her little girl several times a day. She brought her food and treats and toys. She fed her, played with her, loved her. Danny DeCarlo also visited her son a couple times a day and Mary Brunner also visited her son about once a day but not once did Sadie visit her baby son, not even once. At no time during the time of the murders did Sadie look sad. She was having a wonderful time. She wasn’t downtrodden as she claims now. Family life suited Sadie just fine. She wasn’t on the outside looking in as she describes now. She was a central player. She says that when she left the Spahn Ranch the night of the Tate murders she didn’t know where she was going or what they were going to do. I walked up to the front of the ranch that night bringing three sets of dark clothes as instructed by her. Manson told me they already left. With Manson was a ranch hand, Juan Flynn. Juan later told me that he asked them where they were going and Sadie lunged out the window of the car and yelled at him, “We’re going to kill some motherfucking pigs.” Sadie, having been involved in a earlier murder of Gary Hinman, had to have no doubts about what she was going to do. She complains on her website that she was -- is unfavorably compared to Linda Kasabian and that Mr. Bugliosi referred to her as a vampire. Well, that is because she actually tasted Sharon Tate’s blood. She claims now that she was frozen in fear but how could she have written the word “pig” on the victim’s front door with the victim’s own blood? Even on her deathbed about to meet her maker she still isn’t telling the truth. In conclusion, I beg you now to allow Susan Atkins release from prison. I’m sorry. In conclusion I beg you not to allow Susan Atkins released from prison. She has killed too many people. She can’t give that back. Murder isn’t something you get over and the victims don’t get to rise from their graves. The families don’t get the gaping hole in their hearts where their loved ones belong repaired. The witnesses will continue to have nightmares and defendants need to remain in prison. They should not be the only ones allowed to move on.” And that’s from Barbara Hoyt, H-O-Y-T. Any other letters of impact and import from the opposition?

DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY SEQUEIRA: Well, there are a number of letters and I think (overlapping) and I don’t think it’s necessary to single out any additional ones at this time.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER O’HARA: All right. And just want to be fair that without going through each and every one of them the most pertinent from each side. If there’s nothing more in regard to parole plans, sir?


PRESIDING COMMISSIONER O’HARA: Very well. Then what we’ll do is open it up to the Panel in regards to questions and the client is not going to speak at this time so we’ll --

MALE SPEAKER: Is it okay if I run to the bathroom and you can (overlapping) --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER O’HARA: Yeah. This -- you know --

DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY SEQUEIRA: This would be a good time to take a break.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER O’HARA: This is a perfect time to take a break. So let’s take a break. The time is 1630 hours and we're going to take a five-minute break.

(Off the Record)


PRESIDING COMMISSIONER O’HARA: We’re back on the record. The time is 1645 hours and Ms. Atkins was not able answer questions so we’re moving to statements by to the district attorney’s office.

DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY SEQUEIRA: Thank you. The Los Angeles County district attorney’s office remains strongly opposed to the release of Susan Atkins on parole. Ms. Atkins, first of all, comes from a history of unstable tumultuous relationships with her family. Prior to the commitment offense she failed previous grants of probation. She’s exhibited an escalating pattern of criminal conduct and as a good example of that I’ll take -- we’ll go back to the 1966 arrest in Oregon where Ms. Atkins was arrested by a state trooper for possession of a concealed weapon. Her comment at that time to the state trooper afterwards was, “I should have killed you.” She was also involved in drugs prior to the commitment offense. But as is chronicled in the truncated statement of facts regarding the commitment offenses Ms. Atkins bounced around as indicated in her prior history. She then met up with Charles Manson and joined the Manson Family. The Manson Family was a criminal terrorist organization, and I say that because they operated just as a typical street gang or any other type of organized crime gang would operate. They trained, they practiced, they instructed, they recruited, and they were involved in numerous crimes, not only the commitment offense themselves but also other crimes such as theft, drug dealings, et cetera. Part of the motive and the perpetuation of this criminal organization involved the need for money and that leads us first of all to the Hinman murder. Gary Hinman was a musician associate of the Family. He had been friendly with a number of the girls and it was believed by Charles Manson, Susan Atkins, and the rest of the Family that Mr. Hinman had come into an inheritance of approximately $20,000 or $30,000. The Family was always looking for money to finance their operations and the ultimate operation, of course, being the retreat to the desert in the wake of Helter Skelter. So they decided that they were going to obtain money from Mr. Hinman. They went over to Mr. Hinman’s house on Friday, July 25th of 1969. Bruce Davis, another Manson Family member, drove Susan Atkins, Mary Brunner, and Bobby Beausoleil from the Spahn Ranch to Hinman’s Malibu home for the purpose of getting the $20,000 or $30,000. Bruce Davis dropped Atkins, Brunner, and Beausoleil off at the Hinman’s home. Now, Beausoleil had developed a signal whereby Atkins and Brunner would go into the house and first of all see if Hinman was home. If he was with someone the women would stay and talk with him a while and then leave. But if Hinman was alone one of the women was to signal Beausoleil from the window. Hinman was alone so Atkins lit a match at the window and signaled Beausoleil to go inside. When Beausoleil entered the house he was armed with a gun and a knife. Beausoleil went to the kitchen. He had a conversation with Hinman. During the conversation with Hinman he pulled a gun and demanded $20,000. Hinman asked Beausoleil to leave. Instead Beausoleil beat him with the gun and punched him. Atkins, the inmate, was given a gun to hold which Hinman tried to wrestle away from her. There was a bit of a struggle. I think a shot went off and struck a wall or a portion of the house. But Beausoleil ended up with the gun and then he left the room to make a phone call to Charles Manson. After the phone call a second struggle took place between Beausoleil, Atkins, Brunner, and Hinman. At the end of this struggle Beausoleil once again ended up with the gun. Twenty minutes afterwards Beausoleil placed a call. Charles Manson and Bruce Davis arrived at Hinman’s home. Davis was carrying a knife and Charlie Manson was carrying a sword. After they arrived Mary Brunner testified that she went into the kitchen and she could hear a fight break out in the other room. Manson had come into the kitchen with a cut on his index finger which Brunner bandaged up. Hinman also had to be bandaged after Manson had cut his face and nearly severed his entire ear off with the sword. Manson stayed and talked to Hinman for less than an hour. Then he and Hinman -- he and Bruce Davis left in Hinman’s Fiat. After Manson and Davis left, Susan Atkins, Mary Brunner, and Bobby Beausoleil took turns sleeping with one of them always awake to keep guard on Gary Hinman. They kept asking Hinman for money but Hinman didn’t have money and so after a two-day period of being tortured in his residence Hinman finally agreed to sign over the pink slips to two of his cars, and at the conclusion of the two-day period when they weren’t able to get money from Mr. Hinman Bobby Beausoleil stabbed Gary Hinman in the chest. Now, also during this period of time Hinman tried to escape but the door was locked and the three of them ran over to him. When Hinman was stabbed Mary Brunner testified that she walked in and she saw that Beausoleil had stabbed Hinman and Beausoleil later told another witness named DeCarlo that Hinman did not die right away and had to be stabbed multiple times. And after stabbing Hinman, Beausoleil made him chant while Atkins and Brunner cleaned up the house and wiped off the fingerprints. Hinman went unconscious while they cleaned up the house. After Beausoleil, Atkins, and Brunner stepped outside the house to leave but they stopped when they heard Hinman’s loud raspy breathing. Beausoleil crawled back inside the house through the kitchen window and then opened up the door for Atkins, the inmate, and Brunner. When the women walked in they saw Beausoleil holding a pillow over Hinman’s face. Beausoleil then went into the kitchen and Brunner and the inmate, Susan Atkins, took turns holding the pillow over Gary Hinman’s face until he was dead. Mary Brunner took some money out of Hinman’s wallet. Now, at some point after stabbing Hinman Beausoleil used Hinman’s blood to write “political piggy” and draw a paw -- a cat’s paw print on the wall of the house, and the purpose for doing that was to copycat the Black Panther palm print on the wall so that the Black Panthers would be blamed for killing Gary Hinman. They then left and Hinman was arrested -- or excuse me, Bobby Beausoleil was arrested in Hinman’s Volkswagen van at a later time. Hinman identified five stab -- Hinman was -- the coroner identified Hinman as being killed with five stab wounds. Now, after the Hinman killing the inmate, Susan Atkins, returned to the ranch grinning and stated, “We killed him.” The brutal torture and killing of Gary Hinman over a two-day period of time did not deter Ms. Atkins from further criminal activity. Notwithstanding her statements in the Board report, which I’ll get to a little bit later as well, she was willingly a follower and integral member of this terrorist organization because the plan for the terrorist organization which began -- it began somewhat with the Hinman murder but I think the primary motive for that particular murder was obtaining money, but it also then was further illuminated in the LaBianca and Tate murders. On August 9th of 1969, a little after -- a little over a week after Hinman murder the group was standing around the ranch. They were told to get into -- to go with Watson in an old Ford and do whatever he said. As Watson started to drive off Manson stopped them and reminded them to leave a sign -- “You girls know what to write -- something witchy.” Watson handed three knives and a gun to Kasabian to wrap and put on the floor of the car while they were driving in case they were stopped. Now, this concept of leaving something witchy was something that had been planned at the ranch before the Tate/LaBianca murders. They were -- as part of the routine at the ranch the girls along with the other primary core members would put on dark clothing and they would practice sneaking up on individuals’ houses in the middle of the night, and this concept of leaving something witchy is they would go into the house and they would move something around -- they’d leave a little thing dangling in the tree -- just something to show the residents of that house that someone had been there -- something was going on. They used dark clothing. They practiced. Later on they also practiced using knives. There was instructions in the desert. Barbara Hoyt relates that she was taught by Watson and others how to use a knife and how to effectively kill someone. So I’m describing this as a criminal organization. This is exactly what criminal organizations and terrorist organizations do. They train for operations. They conduct the operations and the purpose of the operations is to strike fear into the public and that is exactly what Helter Skelter was all about -- the idea of killing innocent strangers and blaming them on blacks in racially-charged Los Angeles in the late 60s was a -- it appears to be a farfetched notion to us today but back in the 60s it wasn’t that far out of the realm of possibility that some horrendous crimes being blamed on blacks could in fact also encourage further violence between blacks and whites or those individuals who would be upset by these murders. And that was the purpose of Helter Skelter was to start a race war -- was to get the whites and the blacks to fight as laid out by Barbara Hoyt in her letter that you just read and that the blacks would win but because they were -- have difficulty governing -- they didn’t know how to govern they would look to someone like Charles Manson and the Family to be the leaders and basically to govern the world. And this is the misguided notion of Helter Skelter and this is what Susan Atkins bought into and became a large part of as well as all of the other members. So on the night of the, you know, the Tate murders -- and I won’t go into full detail but basically they went to the house. The group -- the phone lines were cut. They climbed the fence. The first innocent victim, Steven Parent, was trying to leave from visiting the caretaker in the back of the residence and as he drove his car up to the fence to leave Charles Tex Watson stepped up and fired four shots and killed him. They then entered the house. Watson had climbed the fence and had opened the gate. Susan Atkins went in and rounded up the victims. She held Sharon Tate who by the way was stabbed 16 times and was 8 1/2 months pregnant at the time. She also stabbed Wojicieck Frykowski several times in the leg and then she later -- in fact, and the rest of the victims were slaughtered along with Jay Sebring, Abigail Folger. The five victims were killed at the residence in a tremendous act of brutality. They were slaughtered. Four of the victims were stabbed a total of 102 times. I mean, as sad as Ms. Atkins may look today it pales -- it just pales in comparison to the crime scene photos, the autopsy photos of the victims, not only of the Hinman murder but also the Tate murders and also the LaBianca murders. Leno LaBianca was stabbed and so was his wife, Rosemary LaBianca, which I’ll get to in a moment. But these were brutal horrible crimes, and in fact the statements by Ms. Atkins when she was later arrested and went to jail she began bragging to a couple of cellmates in jail as to what she had done, and she told Virginia Graham that Sharon Tate was the last to die and she laughed about it. She talked about -- I’ll get a better quote here for a moment for you -- this is what Sharon Tate told Virginia Graham -- that Sharon was the last to die and then she laughed. She said that Sharon was crying and was begging and pleading, “Please don’t kill me. Please don’t kill me. I don’t want to die. I want to live. I want to have my baby. I want to have my baby.” Ms. Atkins then said that she looked Sharon straight in the eye and said, “Look, bitch. I don’t care about you. I don’t care that you're going to have a baby. You're going to die and you better be ready.” She then told her cellmate Virginia Graham that she killed Sharon Tate. She told Ronnie Howard, another cellmate, that she kept stabbing Sharon until Sharon stopped screaming. Sharon Tate was stabbed a total of 16 times, not all of them by Ms. Atkins because Tex Watson also stabbed Sharon Tate. And, of course, she died along with the others at the residence. In addition to stabbing her she also told the inmates -- her cellmates that she tasted Sharon Tate’s blood and she wrote in Sharon Tate’s blood the word “pig” on the front door of the residence, and this also corresponded to the writing at the Hinman residence which said “political piggy”. Again, the staging of the crime scene after this brutal slaughter and the murders with the whole idea of trying to blame these murders on blacks and with this unbelievable anti-social purpose to start a race war. After both -- after those two murderous crime sprees Ms. Atkins still wasn’t deterred. She went back to the residence. She bragged about the murders. She watched them on TV. That’s reflected in testimony from Barbara Hoyt as well. And then the next night there was another plan to continue committing murders to incite the race war of which Ms. Atkins was, again, once again, a willing participant. Now, on the night of the -- the next night in the LaBianca murders the plan was slightly different. Charles Manson said it was a little too messy at the Tate residence so we want to be a little more careful this time. So seven people piled into a car -- Charles Manson, Tex Watson, Steve Grogan, Linda Kasabian again, who was -- basically she was the driver because I think she was the only one that had a valid driver’s license at the time -- along with inmate Susan Atkins, Patricia Krenwinkel, and Leslie Van Houten. They left the residence and they began looking for victims. In looking for the victims they actually went to several locations. They went to one location. They looked into the location. There were some pictures of some children. Charles Manson decided well, it may not be necessary -- it may be necessary at some point to kill children but not tonight. They then went to a church. They were looking to kill a pastor but the church’s door was locked. They then became angry at a motorist and Charles Manson wanted to kill the motorist in kind of a street rage type of killing but the motorist took off and they weren’t able to do it. So finally they settled -- after looking at a number of different locations over a several hour time period they went to Waverley Place. The family had been to a party next door to the LaBianca residence on a previous occasion so they were familiar with the neighborhood. They pulled up into the driveway. Charles Manson went inside and I believe with Tex Watson. Rosemary and Leno LaBianca were tied up. They then came back outside and then Manson sent inmate Susan Atkins, Patricia Krenwinkel, and Linda Kasabian -- actually, not Linda Kasabian -- Leslie Van Houten, Krenwinkel, and Ms. Atkins and then Tex Watson then went into the house for the purpose of killing the LaBiancas. Prior to that when Manson came back out to the house part of the plan was to steal -- well, first of all, Rosemary LaBianca’s wallet was taken and part of the plan was to then take Mrs. LaBianca’s wallet and leave it in a black neighborhood with the credit cards and other items inside of it, and the thought was that if someone found it a black would find it, would use the credit cards, and would ultimately be connected and charged with the murders. So Charles Manson, Steve Grogan, Linda Kasabian, and Susan Atkins then left the residence. The others remained inside and they went in and they slaughtered the LaBiancas. Leno LaBianca had the word “war” carved on his chest. A fork was left sticking in his throat. Both of them were stabbed numerous times by Tex Watson and the other two -- and the other -- and the three -- and the two girls. Afterwards those girls cleaned up the house. They wiped it clean of fingerprints. They ate food from the refrigerator, took a shower, cleaned up when they left. Ms. Atkins did not go into the residence and she did not personally participate in the killings of the LaBiancas but she was part of the master plan that night which was to murder people. And although she didn’t murder -- personally murder them she’s clearly responsible for those murders because she aided and abetted those murders. But even beyond that what is not publicized at times is what happened after Ms. Atkins, Charles Manson, Steve Grogan, and Linda Kasabian did after they left the first hit team at the LaBianca residence. They went to a gas station. Linda Kasabian hid Ms. LaBianca’s -- Mrs. LaBianca’s purse in the women’s restroom what they thought was a black neighborhood. It actually wasn’t. It was kind of on a borderline of a black neighborhood. And she hid the wallet very well. In fact it wasn’t discovered until several months later when she told the police where the wallet was located. But that didn’t end the participation in the murders that night because the plan was to go out and kill some other people and that plan was fully embraced by inmate Atkins and Manson, Steve Grogan, and Linda Kasabian so they began looking for another victim or victims. They settled on a location near the beach where Linda Kasabian had met a person and knew where that person lived. They went there to kill that person. Linda Kasabian thwarted the killing by deliberately going to the wrong floor of the apartment building at 3:00 o’clock in the morning and of course an old man opened the door. They were looking for some young guy that they could easily just go in and eventually kill. But an old man -- older man opened the door so they had to abandon the plan for further killings that night. But this is illustrative of the extent that Susan Atkins was involved in this criminal organization and this terrorist organization because for anyone living in Los Angeles back during that time there was concern. People were just being slaughtered. The entertainment industry was shocked and concerned. There were rumors that there would be other targets because of the relationship with Sharon Tate being married to Roman Polanski and also the connection with the residence being Terry Melcher’s house and he was associated with other entertainment people as well. Now, after the arrests and after the -- as the prosecution went through the process of the trials I think it’s also important and significant to note and to follow what kind of attitude Ms. Atkins had after the arrest. You already know that she was bragging about the killings to jail inmates. You already know that she was part and parcel with the family. There are photographs and news clips of the three girls linking hands and dancing as they walk down the hallway to the courtroom. There is the well-documented disruptions in the courtroom, the speaking out of the girls including Ms. Atkins, the absolute defiance, and the lack of any remorse whatsoever for being charged with these horrible murders and facing the death penalty. And if there’s any question as to the gravity of these eight murders, I mean, in and of themselves the gravity far surpasses your average killing, so to speak, or your average murder. She was clearly and is clearly a mass murderer. But the attitude that she and her crime partners displayed during the trial was such to not only show how little she cared about the people that she killed but also convinced people from the community to kill a young Susan Atkins -- to vote for death. Now, granted the death penalty was set aside for legal reasons. But if you’re looking at the scheme of weighing gravity -- of seeing how serious these crimes were and how shocking they were, that is something to consider that people from the community thought so little of her actions and her contempt for the process they voted that she should die. Now, since that time what has changed or has there been a change? Has there been insight? Has there been remorse? Has there been some significant showing from Ms. Atkins to overcome this tremendous horrific mass murders that she was involved in? And I would suggest to you that there hasn’t been. If you look at the early psychological evaluations of Ms. Atkins you can see that there’s some definite issues with anti-social personality disorder. There are definite issues described by the early psychiatrists with regards to her mental stability. Her institutional adjustment recently has been good but there’s also five 115s. There’s -- and if you look at them they’re all -- prison disciplinaries were almost all of them of a -- the misconduct is all manipulative. It’s using the phone to call her agent I think one of them was. There’s indications from the early Board reports that she -- Ms. Atkins would try to manipulate staff so that staff would argue with each other and she would try to pit one against the other. This entire process and evidence of manipulation also is reflected in many of the psychological evaluations. But yet we hear and I’ve heard earlier in the hearing that there is -- this is -- there’s this big change and there’s what I call or what I’ve heard previously what I call revisionist history. There was just in the -- just as a interesting aspect of this in -- if you look at the social evaluation in 1971 from -- this was from R. L. Koehler, K-O-E-H-L-E-R, associate, this one specifically says that Susan Atkins said that she was never married but does have one child now called Paul but she called him Zezo, Z-E-Z-O, Z-E-C-E, and then last name Zadfrack, Z-A-D-F-R-A-C-K, who was born on 10/7/68 and a father who has claimed is Bruce White and it’s -- you know, and I know the counselor earlier mentioned that she now claims that she didn’t like the name Zezo Zadrack, however in this report she’s asked why she named her child Zezo Zece Zadfrack and she said, “Zezo Zece Zadfrack has no special meaning and it just came to me out of the air.” Susan Atkins says that she doesn’t like calling her son Paul and she wasn’t asked when her son’s name was changed to Paul which seems to be a direct conflict to what Mr. Whitehouse mentioned earlier claiming that she didn’t like the name Zezo and she wanted it changed to Paul. But to me this is just an example of the revisionist history because it’s quite clear that Ms. Atkins over the years not only has gone from denying the murders but she clearly has minimized her involvement in the crime. Many times she has not discussed the crime. The latest website talks about the myth of Helter Skelter but yet it’s interesting to note that even in the psychological evaluation, the most recent one, and also if you look at the one in 1971 from Dr. Coburn, she tells Dr. Coburn that she felt that black people had been engaged in mass killings of white people -- that the killings had been systematically covered up by the authorities to avoid a mass panic. Now, this fits in perfectly with the idea of starting a race war so that blacks and whites can fight with each other. The reports also indicate that she has -- appears to have a more individual capacity for murder which could have expressed itself and possibly did without the involvement of the group per se which also tends to go against this idea that she was just following along with the group mentality. And I think there’s also indications that she’s a seriously disturbed person and that was from Dr. Hensley, H-E-N-S-L-E-Y. There have been numerous psychological evaluations of Ms. Atkins over the years and I note that the last one has certainly had some difficulties and in my opinion the most recent psychological report is very inconclusive. But if you look to the previous psychological report you also notice that there is some interesting comments with respect to Ms. Atkins’ version of her involvement in these murders which I think is extremely significant. First of all, the most recent version that was read into the record earlier I noticed in listening to it that I didn’t see one mention of exactly what she did -- what role or what participation did Ms. Atkins have in the crime. I mean, there’s much talk about Charlie Manson -- there’s much talk about her upbringing and death of her mother and all of these other problems that she had but no -- nowhere in this prisoner’s version is a description of exactly how she participated in the murders and I think that in and of itself is significant. How can you judge whether or not Ms. Atkins has any remorse or any insight into the crime when, number one, she doesn’t talk about it? And in fact, what she says in her most recent version is actually contradicted by the evidence in the case. I already talked to you about the planning of the creepy crawly missions, as they called them, and the leaving something witchy, and I noticed that in her statement she says well, that once Ms. Atkins -- and this is on page -- I don’t know which page it is of the Board report but it says Ms. Atkins adds once the commitment offenses began it was a shock to her because Charles Manson had talked about death so much but never gave any indication he was going to do something like that. Well, that is absolutely contradicted by the evidence in the case -- by the testimony of Barbara Hoyt, by the -- even the most recent letter from Barbara Hoyt also points that out as well. There is no insight if she claims that this thing just happened and she just got swept along. She planned it. She was involved in it. She talked about it. She lived it. She lived the concept of Helter Skelter. She lived with the idea that they were going to kill some people -- the piggies, as they’re described in the Beatles’ White album -- the people from the establishment and it was necessary to kill those people to start the revolution. But yet she says in her statement so when he -- when he, meaning Charles Manson, talked about killing establishment people it just sounded like one of his rants or one of his tests. Well, that is clearly not the case. Additionally, she claims in her statement that she was fearful of the family -- she had nowhere to go -- she didn’t have a car and it was miles from the Spahn Ranch to civilization. This is true but what is left out is the fact that she was free to leave any time she wanted. These people that stayed at the commune weren’t just the central figures in the murders -- the six or seven Family members. There were up to -- at some point up to 20 people that lived at the ranch and that came and went, and there were people that weren’t involved in killing that didn’t decide they want to be involved in killing and they could easily leave and how did they -- how did they travel around? They hitchhiked everywhere they went. Ms. Atkins hitchhiked back from the murder scenes. They didn’t have cars. There were cars available but they weren’t always driving cars so this concept that somehow she was forced, you know, was kind of a captive within the Family and was forced to participate in these murders is flat out wrong and clearly shows that she has no insight and no understanding and no remorse, and she continues to minimize her involvement in the crimes. She also talks about her child and about, you know, feeling a threat to the child and therefore that’s why she was forced to stay with the family. I think the letter from Ms. Hoyt accurately and very dramatically contradicts that. Now, just a note for the Panel just so they understand Ms. Hoyt, Ms. Hoyt testified against a number of the Family members. When it became evident to the Family that she was going to be a witness she was lured to Hawaii by a couple of other Family members, put up in a penthouse, and then as the other Family members who took her to Hawaii told her to stay there -- basically to hide out so she couldn’t be called as a witness in the trial but just before they left they laced a hamburger that she ate with LSD to the point where she began having convulsions and wound up going to the hospital. So they tried to basically kill a witness. This is the same type of activity that you see in criminal street gangs, in terrorist organizations. You want to eliminate the witnesses against you. Fortunately for Ms. Hoyt she recovered. Her father came to get her, brought her back to California, and she wound up testifying in several of the trials. But if there is an expert on the Family and if there is an expert on someone who knows what was going on at that time it’s certainly Ms. Hoyt, and I think that that letter clearly shows that after all of these years Ms. Atkins doesn’t have remorse. In fact, if you look at her most recent versions of her participation in the Hinman murder what does she say? She says she was in the same residence but she was in a different room when Gary Hinman was killed. She basically minimizes her involvement in the crime. She fails to mention that she held a pillow over his face. She seems to deny that now. But yet even at the time that she pled guilty to the Hinman murder the judge specifically asked her did you hold a pillow over his face and she specifically answered in the transcript that she did. So she admitted in court that she held a pillow over Gary Hinman’s face until he stopped breathing yet in the psychological evaluation, on the website, in her most recent statements she doesn’t admit to that. She also now I think in the most recent version with respect to the killing of Sharon Tate and her unborn child that now she has some doubts that she even stabbed anyone. I mean, that’s a far cry from what she told Virginia Graham and Ronnie Howard. It’s a far cry from what she told the police and the explanation now is that oh, this was just all an exaggeration. That is absolutely wrong and that’s absolutely not true and Ms. Atkins to this day continues to lie. She continues to minimize her behavior. She has a lack of insight that is demonstrated, and probably I think maybe the most telling recent statement of all in terms of her lack of insight and her lack of remorse for these crimes is the statement on Page 7 of the psychological evaluation in which the doctor says at one point -- I’m quoting -- “At one point however she sat up in her bed and yelled at the undersigned examiner possibly out of frustration stemming from her inability to express herself where there’s examiner asking her to repeat herself. She said she had no regrets about the life she had lived thus far.” She had no regrets about killing Gary Hinman, Steven Parent, Sharon Tate, Jay Sebring, Wojicieck Frykowski, Rosemary and Leno LaBianca. That is amazing. It’s amazing to me that she would even think to yell at a psychologist and say that she had no regrets about the live she had lived so far. If anyone has regrets or should have regrets about the life they lived so far it would be inmate Susan Atkins. I agree that it’s important to look at the whole picture but I think when you look at the whole picture you see that this inmate has engaged in a pattern since she’s been in prison of manipulation. She’s tried to trade in on her notoriety. There is the book that she’s written. There’s the current website. There’s the 128 in 2002 in which her husband was banned from visiting her for a year for violating prison rules --


DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY SEQUEIRA: -- and in that particular instance --

ATTORNEY WHITEHOUSE: That was being investigated and they ended up dropping it. Then we were never charged with anything.

DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY SEQUEIRA: If you look at the 128 you can see exactly what that was all about. Ms. Atkins was creating -- in fact, I have it right here -- in the Hobby Craft program she was creating artwork and they were -- there’s a biographical paragraph on inmate Atkins and a sentence disclosing to the prospective buyer that “all proceeds from the sale of the work go to crime victims.” However, during the investigation it was determined that inmate Atkins and Mr. Whitehouse fraudulently advertised pieces of artwork for sale by the Internet, United States mail, and the CIW visiting room. Inmate Atkins sold these items without the approval of the warden. The prints were produced at CIW in the Hobby Craft program by inmate Atkins and then reproduced in mass volume by a contract vendor under the direction of Mr. Whitehouse and with the pretense of raising funds to aid crime victims. Mr. Whitehouse utilized visits regular and legal to conduct unauthorized business transactions with inmate Atkins in the visiting room causing serious concern for the security of this administration. Now, what is interesting about this is that as I understand it --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER O’HARA: Hold on. I thought it was because the funds were not going to --

ATTORNEY WHITEHOUSE: During the investigation and at her last hearing we were able to show that hundreds of dollars were sent and we actually got in touch with the attorneys for the Frykowski family that told me that they were upset if anyone’s getting in the way of helping Susan pay off to the family -- the Frykowski family. In the end they ended up dropping the investigation and we were never -- they determined nothing ever happened.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER O’HARA: There was no 115 or 128.

DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY SEQUEIRA: No, it’s 2000 -- the 2002 one. Yes, the two 128s in (inaudible) there’s two of them.


PRESIDING COMMISSIONER O’HARA: Okay. I’m sorry. Okay. So this is an informational chrono. Thank you.

DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY SEQUEIRA: Okay. But the point I’m trying to make is this money that went to Wojicieck Frykowski was because the family of Wojicieck Frykowski had filed a lawsuit and had won a lawsuit for monetary damages against Ms. Atkins. And in terms of manipulation I looked just recently on the website and I noticed that gee, on Ms. Atkins’ website there’s even indications of asking people to donate to the Frykowski family. Well, now isn’t that interesting because that’s the only family that has sued Ms. Atkins civilly and has won a judgment. I didn’t see anything on Ms. Atkins’ website regarding remorse for Jay Sebring’s family or for any other families involved in the murder.

ATTORNEY WHITEHOUSE: It lapsed several years ago so this -- what he’s doing now has nothing to do with the response to the wrongful death lawsuit.


ATTORNEY WHITEHOUSE: Their lawyer failed to refile it.

DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY SEQUEIRA: Well, nevertheless -- nevertheless --

ATTORNEY WHITEHOUSE: So she’s doing this out of the goodness of her heart, not out of any -- as far as I know Susan is the only person over the years who’s ever - -


ATTORNEY WHITEHOUSE: -- into that. Excuse me.


DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY SEQUEIRA: And the concern I have is is that this is, again, another manipulation to try to make her look good -- to try to make her look like she might have some remorse -- to make her look as if she somehow (inaudible) insight. But yet all of the other victims -- the other seven victims aren’t mentioned. The other seven victims haven’t been - - haven’t been given money by Ms. Atkins. And this is all -- you know, this is all part of what I call the revisionist history and an attempt -- you know, a media - - an attempt to using the media and other aspects to make Ms. Atkins somehow look as if she wasn’t the horrible murderer that she is, and when you look at her statements regarding the crime in particular you see that that is the case. She hasn’t shown remorse, she hasn’t shown insight, and she hasn’t changed significantly from the person who committed these horrible mass murders. And so when the Panel looks at the gravity of the crime which is extremely grave -- I mean, you can’t really find a more horrific example of criminal activity -- you know, it certainly fits in with all the other mass murderers and crimes of notoriety in California and also in the United States. But all in all when the Panel looks at all the factors the Panel should clearly find that her -- the factors that show that she is unsuitable for parole far and far away outweigh any factors that might deem her to be suitable. And so for all of those reasons I would ask this Panel find the inmate unsuitable for parole and to make it a lengthy parole denial. Thank you.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER O’HARA: Thank you, sir. Counsel, this is your opportunity to tell the Panel anything that you feel is important that this Panel needs to know to better help it make a decision today.

ATTORNEY WHITEHOUSE: Can we take a slight break right now? Personal break?

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER O’HARA: Oh. All right. Let’s take a quick one. It is 1730 hours.

(Off the Record)


PRESIDING COMMISSIONER O’HARA: We’re back on record. The time is 1735 hours. All parties that were present prior to the five-minute recess have returned. And Counsel, this is your opportunity.

ATTORNEY WHITEHOUSE: Thank you. In March of 2008, my wife suffered a malignant brain tumor which left her paralyzed over 85 percent of her body, her left leg amputated, literally unable to sit herself up in bed. In spite of this, in July of 2008 the district attorney had the gall to call her the most dangerous woman in America and the full Board unanimously denied her compassionate release. In the 14 months since then the California taxpayers have spent $6 to $7 million guarding her and caring for her. I’m here today to ask you as Susan’s husband, because Susan can no longer ask you herself, to send her home so that Susan’s brother and I can take full responsibility for her care. I’m also here today as her lawyer to ask you to determine that she is not a present danger to society which is your sole responsibility under the law. I said earlier that I was going to object to any talk of her commitment offense because it’s irrelevant. California Supreme Court just this last year in their Lawrence decision stated that parole applicants in this state have an expectation that they will be granted parole unless the Board finds they are unsuitable for parole. The Penal Code and corresponding regulations established that the fundamental consideration in parole decisions is public safety, and it is apparent that the core determination of public safety involves an assessment of the inmate’s current dangerousness. Parole release decision the -- a parole release decision authorizes the Board to identify and weigh only the factors relevant to predicting whether the inmate will be able to live in society without committing additional anti-social acts. Later they go on to clarify the only relevant factors are those which have “implications concerning future dangerousness or current dangerousness to the public” or are “probative to the statutory determination of continuing threat to public safety.” They talk specifically about the use of the commitment offense. There is a growing recognition that in some instances the circumstances of the underlying offense bear little relationship to whether the inmate remains a threat to public safety. The near recitation of the circumstances of the commitment offense absent articulation of a rational nexus between those facts and current dangerousness is not evidence of unsuitability. It is not the crime that makes a prisoner unsuitable for parole. It’s the implication concerning future dangerousness that derives from the prisoner having committed that crime. The aggravated nature of the crime does not in and of itself prove some evidence of current dangerousness to the public unless the implications regarding dangerousness that derive from his or her commitment offense remain probative to the statutory determination of a continuing threat to public safety, and I’m sure you guys both know this. I’m saying this mainly for the cameras because the public has a right to understand why we’re here. This isn’t a resentencing hearing and this isn’t a retrial. All we’re doing here today is determining whether or not if you let her go she’s going to threaten society. And the California Supreme Court goes on to say the Board’s decisions must be supported by some evidence, not merely by a hunch or intuition. So we come here today with Susan in this condition that you can see. For the record, she’s lying in her gurney here. She is paralyzed over 85 percent of her body. She can move her head up and down. She can move it to the side. She used to have partial use of her left arm, partial limited use, meaning she can’t wave to you. She can’t give you a thumbs up. She no longer can point at you, I believe. She can’t snap her fingers. And this is the evidence. This is the only evidence that the Board has as far as I know concerning her physical limitations. I sent you these. One is the comprehensive accommodation chrono from March 3rd of this year. It states that Susan is permanently assigned to the skilled nursing facility, permanently immobile, permanent hearing loss, permanent assist in eating and moving. The disability placement program verification form which was also filled out on that date I sent to you, permanent wheelchair access which actually means gurney access. We haven’t been able to get her in a wheelchair for well over a year. Permanent speech impairment -- “does not communicate speaking or writing” -- complex medical needs, assistance needed eating, bathing, grooming, moving, cleaning, permanent speech and comprehension impairment due to underlining medical problems. And, of course, you also mention the notice and request for assistance at the parole hearing which was dated January 30th. Needs help reading documents, needs help understanding procedures and forms, needs wheelchair -- it actually meant needs access for the gurney -- needs help hearing, needs help communicating in writing, appears to understand but appears to have difficulty understanding too. That’s the only evidence regarding her medical condition. And all those things have to do with what are we supposed to be looking for the future of behavior. In light of that, is there anything that her commitment offense has to do that’s probative to what she’s going to be doing in the future as far as you know? That’s a question.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER O’HARA: It’s a rhetorical question.

ATTORNEY WHITEHOUSE: Well, no. Actually we’re allowed to ask the Board questions.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER O’HARA: We’re past the question phase. We’re at closing statements. Go ahead.

ATTORNEY WHITEHOUSE: I think that -- I mean, the cameras can see her. One of the reasons I really wanted to come here today is because the district attorney at her compassionate release hearing just a year ago stood up in front of the cameras and said she was the most dangerous woman in America and I really wanted to see if you had the guts to do it now with the cameras on her. I -- you know, when I prepared for this -- I’m not going to talk too much about her case, first of all, because it’s irrelevant and I started going through her old -- you know, I have all her old things and I started making up a list of the DA’s varying accounts of the crime and, you know, I just -- I don’t -- I’m not a Manson -- what did Barbara Hoyt call herself, a Manson expert? I’m not a Manson expert. I don’t think he’s interesting. I don’t think he’s worth studying. I haven’t spent my time over the last 20 years caring what he does one way or another. Susan has moved so far beyond that and I think certainly anybody -- I think everybody else should. But I did write down a couple things. It’s interesting speaking about the way that stories change -- that at her compassionate release hearing last year just 14 months ago the district attorney said that Susan never helped. He took umbrage to the fact that we said that Susan helped the police and I’ll read you what the police said in 1969. “Our whole case against Manson and the others rested on the decision of Susan Atkins.” Another quote: “We can’t get a grand jury indictment on this. If Susan Atkins doesn’t cooperate we’ve had it.” Here’s another one -- a memorandum from the head of the trials division to the district attorney: “Susan Atkins’ information has been vital to law enforcement.” And this is a memo from Vincent Bugliosi, who was the prosecutor, to the head of -- to Evel Younger (phonetic): “Without Susan Atkins’ testimony on the Tate case the evidence against two out of the five defendants is rather anemic. Without her testimony on the LaBianca case the evidence against five out of the six defendants is nonexistent. That was it. Without Susan we still didn’t have a case.” That’s what they said in 1969 so they can say a lot of things now but --


PRESIDING COMMISSIONER O’HARA: Oh, oh, oh -- you didn’t get -- but --




PRESIDING COMMISSIONER O’HARA: -- but we’re past that. It’s his turn to make his closing statement.

ATTORNEY WHITEHOUSE: No, she didn’t testify at the trial but there wouldn’t have been a trial if they hadn’t been able to indict Charles Manson. I don’t like talking about this stuff but, you know, when we first went to the -- when Susan went to the Grand Jury the district attorneys put forth her evidence as the truth, the Grand Jury stating that she didn’t stab Sharon Tate - - she didn’t kill her. Within a couple years they said that she did stab her but she wasn’t the one who was responsible for her death. A couple years later she said -- they said that Susan stabbed and killed her. Fourteen months ago this district attorney said that Susan was responsible for all 16 stab wounds to Sharon Tate. Today he’s backed off that again because he wants to be able to (inaudible) Watson in with that too. He doesn’t want to give that up so he’s changed his story again. And as vulgar as this is, some of the witnesses against us at months ago actually said that Susan slit Sharon Tate’s throat and killed her which you know isn’t true because you have the autopsy in front of you. Originally, the district attorneys admitted Susan didn’t kill Hinman. Then they said she smothered Hinman to death and they said that she stabbed then smothered him to death. Then they said that she held a gun on him, tortured him, stabbed him, smothered him, and forced him to sign over his cars’ pink slips to her. Today, they haven’t claimed -- they’ve changed again. Originally in 1969, Helter Skelter was a race war. In fact, it was Charles Manson’s race war. It wasn’t Susan Atkins’ race war. In fact, Barbara Hoyt testified in Leslie Van Houten’s second trial that this was Charles Manson’s race war. But within a couple years this turned into a biblical race war founded on the Book of Revelation and a couple years later it turned into a race war where Charles Manson was going to hide in the desert for a hundred years underground in caves that they were going to get down to with golden ropes. After 2001 the district attorney literally said that no, no, no, Helter Skelter was a war to let Muslims take over the world, and today it’s become a terrorist war. I love the way that the district attorney is fond of saying Susan confessed. Usually when he says Susan confessed what he means is that the district attorney’s office gave Howard and Graham immunity, dropped all the charges against them, and paid them $25,000 to go in front of the jury and say that Susan said stuff. So when he says that Susan confessed to this what he means is that Ronnie Howard and Virginia Graham were paid to get up in front of a jury and say that Susan said this. What Ronnie Howard and Virginia Graham actually said in 1969 when Vincent Bugliosi interviewed them and asked them why if this woman confessed to killing all these people did they sit in jail and not tell anyone, both of them looked at him and said she’s lying. That’s what they said in 1969. By 1971, being given immunity and $25,000 reward for testifying against her, then suddenly she became quite exciting. The district attorney Vincent Bugliosi also stated that Susan’s defense was hampered by Manson who made sure that she was not allowed to put on a defense, made sure that she had to -- that she was represented by his lawyer, and that she was actually forced to testify in the penalty phase of the trial. It’s fun to listen to the district attorney go back to the early psych reports from 1971 because they don’t represent what Susan has done. And what was it, revisionist history he said? Oh, by the way, Barbara Hoyt was 17 years old. Do you think it likely that Charles Manson took her aside -- how long was she with the family, a couple months? Took her aside and told her the real reason everything he was doing? Another reason why nobody told -- also, by the way, you know, Barbara Hoyt at the time of these killings never once stood up and said no, stop, don’t do this. Why didn’t she do that? Well, it’s very simple -- because she would have ended up with Donald Shea. Donald Shea, of course, is one of the farm hands at Spahn’s Ranch who someone thought might go to the police and he ended up killed. Barbara Hoyt didn’t talk and didn’t stand up to Charles Manson in 1969 because she was scared for her life and that was a very legitimate fear, and that’s the same reason why Susan didn’t jump up and stand up against Charles Manson in 1969. Barbara Hoyt was one of Charles Manson’s girlfriends. You can make darn sure that Susan didn’t tell her about her misgivings or her plans because she didn’t want it going right back to Charles Manson. The district attorney talked about progress. I think that’s when he was talking about revisionist history. This is what I have. 1972 probation officer’s report -- positive changes in attitude, development potential is substantial. ’73 counselor’s report -- subject is making fair to good readjustment. ’73 Board hearing -- the Board noted subject is searching and that is good. ’74 psychiatric evaluation showed general improvement since last interview. ’74 Board hearing -- she appears to have grown since last year at the hearing. ’75 psychiatric evaluation -- during her involvement in the psychiatric treatment unit therapy program this woman has shown some improvement in the amount of insight she has into her problems. 1976 psychiatric evaluation -- she is more consistent in her thinking and system of values and this is significant. 1976 counselor’s report -- Susan’s programming has been heralded by significant improvements in her emotional growth. Interpersonally Susan has also shown notable improvement. 1976 Board hearing -- the Board was impressed with Susan’s sincerity. Board explains they consider her making excellent progress. They are very impressed with her improvement. 1970 counselor’s report -- if Susan continues with this attitude and behavior demonstrated during the past year she should be able to live a crime-free life once she is paroled and released to the community. 1977 -- the chief of the Board of Prison Terms, Howard Way, states that Susan will be a good parole risk some day. 1978 counselor’s report -- Susan has undergone dramatic changes since her arrival at CIW. She has become adjusted to incarceration and acceptance of her commitment. She developed a positive attitude toward self-improvement. Subject credits her reacceptance of religious beliefs as being largely responsible for her present positive outlook. Board hearing from 1978 -- generally there are dramatic changes apparent since your arrival at CIW. This is what the Board told her. “As far as custody and that is concerned you’re certainly way above average from inmates we talk to and see. We are impressed with what you’ve done in prison.” You know, I -- this (inaudible) in 1970 and I could go on but it -- I’m just -- it just shows -- revisionist history, that’s a sound bite. I do have here a letter which I got just a couple months ago from Joel Hotchman. I’m sure I sent it to you. Joel Hotchman was the psychiatrist -- or the psychologist that the prosecutors used at the trial. He talks for a while. I have never commented on your case. Dear Susan, blah, blah, blah -- “I have never commented on your case as I was not happy with the media circus that has always exploited it. I have been particularly unhappy with the distorted use of my professional testimony to argue against your release. I testified that anyone’s children could have ended up in your situation.” I believe I sent you this with the -- with some of the stuff I sent you but I realize it’s copious - - if you’d like to look at it.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER O’HARA: No, go ahead. I think I’ve got a copy. I think I ran across that one. Go ahead. What was the clinician’s name?



ATTORNEY WHITEHOUSE: Also we have, of course, at the compassionate release hearing the prosecutor himself, Mr. Bugliosi, supported Susan’s compassionate release. He sent a letter too but it specifically says it’s for the -- it talks about remorse and the fact that if the fact that the victims of this crime weren’t given compassion -- if that’s a reason for not releasing someone then no one would ever be released because (inaudible) victims from a murder weren’t shown mercy at the time, otherwise there wouldn’t be a killing. But he -- and I do have a letter here but he specifically says it’s for the compassionate release hearing so I’m not going to quote it here. But Mr. Bugliosi did say in the early 70s that he as a prosecutor thought Susan would do 15 to 20 years for her crime. I’d already mentioned something about the cost. It was costing about $17,000 a day to take care of Susan, and this is a time when we’re cutting health care to kids and MediCal and over the last couple of -- you know what? I have an entire list which I love -- I love going through and I’ve marked a lot of stuff here. This is -- these are the positive documentation Susan’s had for the last 35 years or so and some of this stuff is unbelievable. I think you remember last hearing I mentioned that twice she’s been documented for helping save the life of other inmates who were -- who attempted suicide and she helped hold their wrist and stop the bleeding and in one case carried her to the hospital. And I could spend hours going through this and I’d love to do it but I’m going to go through what she had over the last -- what she’s done just the last couple of years which isn’t in here. Susan recently wrote to the NAACP to try to establish a center at CIW to deal with race relations. I think I mentioned before she was asked to participate in the Treasury Department’s Colloquy of Police Chiefs following Waco. She cooperated with the mayor of Houston’s office in passing legislation to stop the sales of crime memorabilia online. She participated in the sexual -- in a sexual abuse survivors art show in New York and was asked to return. Like I said, I believe she’s the only -- in fact, I know -- you know, the wrongful death lawsuit we got notification when anyone paid into that and besides Susan nobody ever paid into that except for the time when Guns and Roses did a Charles Manson song and tried to give him the royalties, and Susan actually spoke up against that and wrote opinions to the newspapers talking about what a misguided idea that was to produce this song and they ended up giving that money to the victims -- to the Frykowski family. But I know that Susan’s the only person to voluntary contribute to the payment of the wrongful death lawsuit. Back in -- I had the letter here a second ago and now I’ve -- in ’94 Susan opposed Charles Manson’s parole. She cooperated with Santa Barbara Sheriff’s Department criminal investigations division investigating unsolved crimes. She helped raise -- with all the inmates at CIW helped raise over $6,000 for the victims of the World Trade Center attack. She’s contacted the Marrow -- National Marrow Donors Program to see about initiating a recruitment group within the prisons. She’s contacted the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism in California State University, San Bernardino to see if a program could be initiated at CIW to educate and confront issues of racism and cultural hatred. She contacted the American Cancer Society to see if they could establish an information project within the prison to inform women about the risks and early detection methods to prevent cancer. She contacted the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame to ask them to reconsider their display of Charles Manson, stating it was irresponsible in a forum where so many young people are present which -- and we never got a response from them. I’m hoping that other people will also take that up and hopefully they’ll rethink that. She’s recently helped to contribute to Mick Foley’s (phonetic) latest book concerning social programs and the way cultures deal with cultural violence, and she’s contributed to the Kandor (phonetic) Trust as a supporter of their charity’s work to support victims and (inaudible) to the best of her declining ability assisted them with a book being written by their staff to aid homicide victims and coming to terms and adjusting to life after homicide. That’s what I could find what she’s done over the last couple years and mainly just the last couple years before she was hospitalized. Like I said, I’d love to go through this. We only have so much time and I went through a lot of this last time and I could -- I could literally talk about this for hours. I think the main point which I already made was that we really are here only for one thing and it’s important for the public to understand this too. This isn’t a -- oh, wait, there is one other thing which I’d like (inaudible) now. You said earlier that we’re not here to retry the case. The case is set. We’re not here to reargue it. Susan said before that she didn’t kill Sharon Tate and the district attorney’s taken a lot of umbrage to that. This is the -- the reason I sent you this, this is the People against Charles Manson. This is the appeal of Susan’s conviction, and it’s very long and to tell you the truth I didn’t read it for years and years and years because I didn’t care. And finally, I’ve come -- after all these years I found this. Now, this is -- the Appellate Court, of course, is over the trial court. It’s more powerful than the trial court. In fact, this is the Appellate Court’s the one that overturned Laura Van -- Leslie Van Houten’s conviction. During this one of the things that Charles Manson did is he tried to say wait a minute, you put Susan up in front of the Grand Jury to indict me and then at the trial you said that she was lying when she said that she didn’t kill Sharon Tate. Well, you can’t indict me with information you know is false. That was one of his claims in this and this is what the court said. This is their holding. Susan Atkins testified at the Grand Jury proceeding but not at trial. Ronnie Howard and Virginia Graham did not testify before the Grand Jury but did testify at trial. Manson draws attention to the fact that before the Grand Jury Atkins stated that Watson had killed Sharon Tate. At trial Graham and Howard testified that Atkins claimed she killed Sharon Tate. From this conflict Manson argues that he was convicted by the knowing use of perjured testimony. And that respondent - - that means the state -- repressed Susan Atkins’ Grand Jury testimony. Both contentions are without merit. In the first place the jury was admonished not to consider the Graham/Howard testimony except to Ms. Atkins. Manson makes much of Bugliosi, the prosecutor’s, testimony during the penalty phase to the effect that he believed Atkins did stab Tate even though he knew she would testify to the contrary before the Grand Jury. Bugliosi’s opinion on the subject is just that. The record does not reflect that the testimony was in fact perjured. This is the holding of the California Appellate Court that in 1976 the record does not reflect that Susan’s testimony in front of the Grand Jury was perjured. And that’s why I sent you this, which means that that’s the holding of the California Appellate Court which we’re not here to retry. Is that -- does that sound right?


ATTORNEY WHITEHOUSE: It starts at the bottom of 59 and goes to the top of 58.


ATTORNEY WHITEHOUSE: I already -- I started to say that the reason we’re here -- and it’s important for the public to understand this -- is we’re not here to retry the cases and we’re not here to resentence Susan. And despite what some of our -- some of the opposition says in front of the cameras life doesn’t mean life in California. By the Penal Code life means that after Susan serves her seven years she comes before you and the Board shall -- that means mandatory -- must release her unless there’s evidence that releasing her would be -- cause a danger, a threat to society. That’s what life means in California and that’s what we’re here to do today is determine if Susan’s release would cause a threat to society. I said there’s other stuff here and I’ve said a lot. I realize Susan’s allowed to make a statement. Would this be appropriate time for me to see if I could rouse her and --


ATTORNEY WHITEHOUSE: During one of the breaks when she was drinking water for a second I had her and she understood where she was and I asked her if she’d like to try to make this statement and she indicated she would.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER O’HARA: Oh, please. This is the opportunity and the time.

ATTORNEY WHITEHOUSE: Is it okay if I move to this side and -- this is actually a good side --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER O’HARA: I’m going to need to get a microphone up next to her as close as you could.

ATTORNEY WHITEHOUSE: Do you know where you are? You’re at your parole hearing and hopefully you’re rested and you have a chance to make a statement. Would you like to hear what we talked about? -


ATTORNEY WHITEHOUSE: If I say the Lord is my --




ATTORNEY WHITEHOUSE: He makes me to lie down in -

INMATE ATKINS: In green pastures.

ATTORNEY WHITEHOUSE: He leadeth me beside the --

INMATE ATKINS: Still waters.

ATTORNEY WHITEHOUSE: He restoreth my --


ATTORNEY WHITEHOUSE: He leadeth me on the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Lo though I walk through the valley of the Shadow of --


ATTORNEY WHITEHOUSE: -- I shall fear no --


ATTORNEY WHITEHOUSE: -- for thou art with me. Thy rod and thy staff they --

INMATE ATKINS: Comfort me.

ATTORNEY WHITEHOUSE: I’ll prepare us a table before me in the presence of my --


ATTORNEY WHITEHOUSE: Now annointeth my head with --


ATTORNEY WHITEHOUSE: My cup runneth -- my cup runneth --


ATTORNEY WHITEHOUSE: Surely goodness and kindness will follow me -- goodness and mercy will follow me all the --

INMATE ATKINS: Days of my life.

ATTORNEY WHITEHOUSE: And I shall dwell in the --

INMATE ATKINS: House of the Lord forever.

ATTORNEY WHITEHOUSE: Amen. Our God is what? Our God is an --


ATTORNEY WHITEHOUSE: Yeah. I’m extremely proud of you. And that’s it. We were practicing that for over a year.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER O’HARA: Very well. With that let’s take a moment and sir, Mr. Purley, if I can get you to clear out we’re going to have our victims’ next of kin step on up.

DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY SEQUEIRA: Oh, she’s finished her -- that was her statement?


DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY SEQUEIRA: I thought she was making a statement. (Inaudible) if it was just -- well, that’s her statement?

ATTORNEY WHITEHOUSE: That’s all she can say.


PRESIDING COMMISSIONER O’HARA: All right. Let’s -- any particular order?

MS. TATE: Well, I guess I’m elected to go first - -


MS. TATE: -- I’ve been told.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER O’HARA: Step on up. Please reintroduce yourself onto the record.

MS. TATE: Absolutely.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER O’HARA: And then if you would then take your time and make your statement.

ATTORNEY WHITEHOUSE: Did you double check the Penal Code and stuff? Those might have been changed since last time with the --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER O’HARA: Well, it’s my understanding we’ve got a sister and --

MALE SPEAKER: Nephew and sister.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER O’HARA: Nephew and sister and -- who are going to speak here today.

ATTORNEY WHITEHOUSE: And the nephew is -- I told you that in the old -- at least before the new laws that --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER O’HARA: He was it was beyond that. My understanding is that it has been broadened. I’ve got my code here. I am going to allow him to speak. He’s come here and he’s ready to present. So I am going to allow him to speak but I’ll revisit that section here as you make your statement if you would please.

MS. TATE: Hello. For the record my name is Debra Tate, T-A-T-E, and I am the sister to Sharon Tate. I would like to respond to a few things that Mr. Whitehouse has said that is absolutely incorrect.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER O’HARA: Ms. Tate, if you could --

MS. TATE: Come forward?

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER O’HARA: No, just bring your comments to the (inaudible).

MS. TATE: Oh, I’m sorry. To the Panel. I was the one that said, and it’s a family term, that Susan Atkins slit Sharon’s throat. Nobody else there. I was not at the compassionate release hearing because I had an accident and was incapable of driving. My eyes were swollen shut. So for him to say that a family representative said that at the hearing is incorrect. That came from a blog of the Manson Family site. Susan Atkins herself has many times made many switchbacks as to her involvement or lack of involvement. If you read the entire record it very clearly shows that. More importantly, Ms. Atkins nor any other member of the Manson Family has ever, which I do believe is one of the required -- very basic required steps and conditions of parole, made -- attempt to make amends in a Twelve Step program. Ms. Atkins made a reference to the amount of hate that she felt in the parole room. It is clearly a act of narcissism. It goes hand in hand with sociopathic behavior which many of her other psychological evaluations have alluded to and said quite specifically. There has never been any hate in my heart for these people. I am incapable of hating. I commend them -- always have commended them for their good deeds that they have managed to accomplish within the walls of confinement. However, I do believe that the death of my sister, my nephew which would be turning 40 years old right now this week, is not an irrelevant cause. Each one of the friends in that house that died that night were very close and personal to me, which is a unique experience because my mother and father didn’t know them well. I had spent the whole summer at that house with Wojicieck, Gebby (phonetic), Jay -- with the exception of Steven Parent knew them very well. I had been left in charge of that house in order to prepare it for Sharon coming home with a very short amount of time left to prepare the home for giving birth -- basically to help her with the nesting of the home. Ms. Atkins very callously denied Sharon the opportunity of life. Ms. Atkins since then has very callously denied each one of my family members the potential at a free life. I’ve lost my mother, my father, and my little sister to the stress of this. Furthermore, I have to make a complaint on Mr. Whitehouse’s pert and sassy interpretation of the law just reading. I don’t think that that -- I don’t see that as any different whatsoever than his wife marching down the courthouse halls singing in blatant disrespect to the law. I did some checking. It would have been very easy for any one of these women or males in the Manson Family to get a letter of apology or some kind of communication to any of us victims, and that was never done. As a matter of fact it wasn’t even brought up in any way, shape, or form until I went on Diane Sawyer’s show and said, “Diane, none of these people have ever even tried to make an apology.” I believe that this is a very basic breach of a requirement to rehabilitation -- one of the fundamental steps that has been blatantly overlooked. A shaking voice or I can -- I can never make up for what they’ve done is not an attempt. A heartfelt letter, a look of compassion across a desk -- anything of the smallest nature I would be willing to let go and forgive. But that has not happened. And as far as her danger to society today, these are people that went around collecting and influencing others. I don’t think that that particular threat is being removed. I also would like to tell you that my mother died of brain cancer. I happen to be quite the expert on brain cancer. She has managed to live further than any other person on the face of this earth that has suffered from the same disease. I’m not sure how much longer that might happen. Nobody does. We don’t have a crystal ball. We don’t know under these circumstances since these miraculous healings are taking place what kind of verbal communication or other communications may be capable and culpable going forward in the future. I can never say -- will never be willing to accept the fact that these people cannot influence the actions of others. I know -- I get death threats on a fairly regular basis, okay? They have new and current followers. They acquire youngsters every day. They reach out on the Internet. They make jokes. They make fun. It depends on what audience they’re playing to such as the audience that Mr. Whitehouse has played to today. The pain that I feel is very, very real. The pain that my family, who is no longer with me -- I’m the last in my line -- was very, very real. I feel heartfelt compassion for the process that Ms. Atkins is suffering through now as I’m very familiar. I was my mother’s sole caretaker until the end of her life. I will pray for her soul when she draws her last breath. Up to that point I think that she needs to be in these controlled environments. I cannot say that she could not influence others even if not by direct contact by the message that goes out. I have to be responsible to society. You, I would like to think, need to be responsible to society. And if it were not for her original actions she wouldn’t be in this position. If she had shown any kind of a remorse in a prior hearing I might have actually been the first one to stand up and say, let’s give this person a chance. I take parolees into my home unpaid for by the state -- unsolicited. I don’t have a website where people donate me money. Everything I do I do on my own and I do believe in rehabilitation. I do believe that the system can work although currently extremely broken. I hope that it’s not broken to the point that we let out serial killers. This can cause a ripple effect that is unbelievable. I know that that’s not something that is to be considered in this room here today but as human beings I think we all need to consider that. Once you start compromising the law there’s no going back. It’s a very slippery slope. And so to consider that I would really like that you deny Ms. Atkins parole for the maximum amount of time. Thank you.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER O’HARA: Thank you, Ms. Tate. Sir, if you’d step on up and you are a blood relative, right?

MR. DIMARIA: Sure. Yes, I am. I am --


MR. DIMARIA: I will. I might ask a favor. This is an awkward -- you want me to address here. Would it be possible if I sit here? Do you mind if maybe I switch with you? Is that okay?

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER O’HARA: Oh, that’s -- I have no problems about (overlapping).

MR. DIMARIA: This way I can focus, thanks. It’s --

ATTORNEY WHITEHOUSE: Just for the record, didn’t you look that up?

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER O’HARA: He’s a blood relative and I’m (overlapping) --

MR. DIMARIA: I’ll -- I’ll --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER O’HARA: You know what? They’ve expanded that and I’m going to overrule the objection. It is --

ATTORNEY WHITEHOUSE: Something I just want -- you can overrule it (inaudible) checked if they changed it.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER O’HARA: Got it in my manual. They’ve broadened it out. Proceed.

MR. DIMARIA: Sure. Bear with me. It might be laborious.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER O’HARA: Thank you for the warning. Go ahead.

MR. DIMARIA: Can I have some water? My name is Anthony Dimaria. I am the nephew of Jay Sebring. Before beginning my impact statement I’d like to comment on Susan Atkins’ illness. I feel genuine compassion for Ms. Atkins as she deals with this disease. But in no way should an illness dealt by fate mitigate punishment for crimes of this magnitude for which she was originally sentenced to death. There is simply no correlation between Susan Atkins’ battle with cancer and justice for her crimes in which nine people were killed. I include Sharon’s unborn child and Gary Hinman. Mr. Hinman’s murder is directly related to our impact because if Susan Atkins had gone to the authorities after partaking in Mr. Hinman’s murder my uncle and the other victims would be alive today. There is no way for me to describe how these crimes have impacted us with a void my uncle’s murder has left. But I will start in telling that these parole hearings and what is said in them is part of what continues to haunt us today and sends us back to hell year after year, sometimes two or three times a year. And while these hearings reopen old but very fresh wounds I am grateful for the opportunity to speak on behalf of a man who was a profound source of love and pride for all our family. It is crucial in any matter regarding violent crime that the victim have a voice. At Susan Atkins’ last parole hearing in 2005 I was struck by a statement she made regarding “the hatred I feel towards me in this room today.” Our involvement in these hearings have nothing to do with hatred. They come out of love to speak for those who can’t speak for themselves. This statement in 2005 is particularly poignant because it was made after 35 years of reflection and rehabilitation. I’m not here for Susan Atkins. I’m here for Jay Sebring. The only hatred I feel is for the crimes themselves and for vermin who exploit and profit from these killings. It is devastating to hear today how a college degree or involvement in self-help groups and Twelve Step meetings could weigh against the value of my uncle’s life or worth the memory of my family happy and complete until Ms. Atkins’ murderous rampage. While Susan Atkins’ behavior behind bars is commendable it is merely normal for the typical law abiding citizen. This is noteworthy because it is what Susan Atkins did abnormally that led to her original death sentence. So as you ponder criteria for Ms. Atkins’ prison record I ask is one of the loved ones -- is one of your loved ones’ life worth years of NA, AA Twelve Step meetings? Each of Ms. Atkins’ nine victims deserve more. All of our families deserve more. As Mr. Whitehouse mentions Vincent Bugliosi I’d like to address a few of his statements I find puzzling and painful to hear, especially when Mr. Bugliosi passionately convinced the jury of 12 to sentence Susan Atkins to death due to the cruel and heinous nature of her crimes. Mr. Bugliosi said recently, “My view is that anyone who opposes her request for release other than the relatives of seven Tate/LaBianca victims is being very robotic or extremely callous.” I know many of my uncle’s friends and associates including his former wife Cammy who take extreme exception to that remark. It is out of touch with their experience and trivializes their loss and suffering. The same holds true for the friends and victims -- for the friends of each of the victims. As Mr. Whitehouse regarded in terms of statutory law today Mr. Bugliosi says, “Mercy is already built into California’s statutory law because if it weren’t we would automatically give the death penalty for every murder case, which we don’t.” We are not talking about just a murder case. We are talking about conspiracy to commit mass murder involving despicable racist ideologies, terrorism, and the torture butchering of a full-term pregnant woman and her son. There is a difference. When I hear Mr. Bugliosi or anyone speculate whether Ms. -- whether or not Ms. Atkins inflicted fatal wounds to Sharon I think about how Susan Atkins held a pregnant woman against her will, forced her to watch the massacre of her friends, taunted her, and then readied her for certain slaughter. To diminish Susan Atkins’ role in these crimes is a transparent tactic and is shameful for anyone who would do such a thing. Mr. Whitehouse mentions today Ms. Atkins’ role during the trials. I don’t know much about that. But I can tell you about her behavior during the trials when she spit on the memory of my uncle after helping to kill him, when she spit on our family, when she snickered and laughed and giggled and sang during the trials. It was that exact behavior that helped perpetuate the Manson mystique and appeal in society today. There is discussion of Susan Atkins’ physical state or whether she remains a threat to public safety and is still a threat to society. Sadly, the destruction of these crimes extends beyond our families and carries societal repercussions. The slaughter of my uncle and his friends was influential in the murder of Jason Sweeney. Nearly 40 years after Ms. Atkins’ crimes, three Philadelphia teenagers were sentenced to death -- were sentenced to life without parole for Jason Sweeney’s murder. These teens testified that they listened to “Helter Skelter” for several hours straight to ready themselves before killing Jason. Jason was killed with a hatchet, a hammer, and a large rock. For them Susan Atkins’ crimes were cool and an inspiration to kill. The threat of Susan Atkins to society whether direct, symbolic, repercussive, or by implication is real and it’s current. There are many things that are disturbing to hear in these parole hearings but the mention of cost efficiency strikes to the core. We are not here to balance the California state budget. We are here because Susan Atkins sent nine people to their graves. I find any talk of dollars and cents in this room inappropriate and gut wrenching. Yet another thing that haunts me about these crimes is how the identities and legacies of the victims have been stolen by the exploitation and sensationalism of these slaughters. These are not faceless props to be packaged and sold in media horror stories. Steven Parent took on jobs in hopes to fund his college education. Abigail Folger strove to help her friends and the underprivileged in South Central LA. Leno LaBianca served in World War II and together with Rosemary nurtured and supported their family. Sharon dreamed of having a family and raising her son. Jay was an original -- a dreamer who revolutionized an industry and changed the lives of those he touched. These were people who wanted to make a difference for good, acting of their own free will. Most unbearable for me is how my grandmother’s eyes would go vacant from time to time, especially on Christmas Eve. Sometimes she’d leave the room for an hour, sometimes two. Before Jay was killed my grandmother and grandfather saved every picture, every article about their son from newspapers and magazines. We have trunks filled with them. When the rumors and exploitation bubbled up in the media and after seeing Susan Atkins spit on the memory of her son in the trial, my grandmother never again picked up a newspaper or a magazine until the day she died. One day my uncle visited my parents and me in Las Vegas. My grandparents were visiting from Detroit, and at one point Uncle Jay and I were playing in the front yard. He chased me, I’d chase him, and that made such an impression on me because he was so cool, and even though I was a kid and he was an adult I felt like we were on the same level and I couldn’t wait to keep doing that. I have a picture that I’m going to give to you at the break. I’d like you to look at it. It’s a picture that my uncle took of us that afternoon when we were playing in the front yard. If you look at the expressions of our family you’ll see the pride and love we had as a family. But in particular are the feelings we shared towards the man taking the picture, and as he drove off I couldn’t wait to see him again. That was the last time I saw him, several months before he was killed. I had no idea how profoundly his life and his murder would impact my life. I would like you all to know the man that Jay Sebring was but there’s not enough time and this is not a proper or deserving forum. Because of Jay Sebring I know that if you live passionately with regard to excellence and integrity everything is possible. You can achieve your dreams. Because of Susan Atkins, I know that anyone anywhere -- anyone in this room can be killed in the middle of the night with our families by people carrying carving forks, butcher knives, and guns. Every night when I go to sleep that’s a reality I live with. Before I conclude I’d like to thank Patrick Sequeira and the Los Angeles district attorney’s office for providing the victims and our families a voice -- a legal voice. I’d also like to express my heartfelt respect and gratitude to Steven Kay who not only helped prosecute in the original Manson murder trial but served -- prosecuted a total of four Tate/LaBianca murder trials and presided in over 60 parole hearings over a 35-year span. This was a vow he made to the victims and to our families, and he did so without promotion or profit. For us, he, Patrick, they are champions of justice. Susan Atkins and James Whitehouse may believe Ms. Atkins has been rehabilitated and is a changed person. But I remind the Board that there are nine people that lie in their graves who remain unchanged, unrehabilitated, and forever will be unparoled. Mr. Whitehouse discussed the permanent physical limitations of Susan Atkins. I remind everyone in this room that Steven Parent is permanently dead in his grave -- that Abigail Folger is permanently dead in her grave -- Wojicieck Frykowski permanently dead in his grave -- Sharon Tate permanently dead in her grave -- Sharon’s son permanently dead in his grave -- Jay Sebring permanently dead in his grave -- Rosemary LaBianca permanently dead in her grave -- Leno LaBianca permanently dead in his grave -- Gary Hinman permanently dead in his grave. Considering -- I beg the Board to consider parole for Susan Atkins only when her victims are paroled from their graves -- only when each of our families recover from 40 years of loss and suffering -- only after the interrupted destinies of each and every one of her victims are restored completely. Considering the heinous acts of Susan Atkins and how many people she has devastated, I respectfully ask that you deny parole to Ms. Atkins for the longest period of time permitted by law. Anything less is a travesty of justice.


MR. DIMARIA: Thank you.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER O’HARA: Sure, sir. Turn the microphone towards you.

MR. PURLEY: This is a letter from Fred Kummer, K-U-M-M-E-R, who indicates his residence is in the state of Michigan. “I’m very much opposed to the parole of Susan Atkins. I’m the brother of Jay Sebring, born Thomas Jay Kummer, who along with other innocent victims was brutally murdered by Ms. Atkins and others of the Manson cult. As you are aware, Ms. Atkins originally received a death sentence until the ruling by the California Supreme Court in 1972 overturning capital punishment. Given the nature of the crime she committed and the sentence she originally received, it is unthinkable that she serve any less than life imprisonment for the following reasons. One, parole should not even be a consideration. None of the victims can receive a parole from the death sentence that was imposed upon them by Ms. Atkins. None of the victims’ families and generations following can receive a parole from the pain and loss as a result of the crimes committed against their loved ones. Should Ms. Atkins be granted a parole that none of these can ever be eligible to receive? Two -- the heinous nature of the crime, multiple brutal vicious murders of innocents and the consequent trial and death sentence logically require that any alternative be no less than life imprisonment. These were not crimes committed on the spur of the moment out of a moment’s passion but on two separate occasions and I’m aware of no evidence that indicates that there was any sense of sorrow for what was done even through the trial and sentencing phase. Three, with what seems an anomaly in the legal system, the only hope that justice for society and the victims will be served is for the victims’ families and their descendants to continually oppose any parole for the perpetrators. In a society that tends to forget the past and focus on the sympathies of the present this is a formidable task for the family members who remain. It seems relatively simple to impress people with the need for mercy for someone who has served 37-plus years for a crime. It is a greater challenge to be able to educate them regarding the reasons for keeping the criminal in prison for life. In addition to the loss of our loved ones this is further ill treatment of the victims’ families. Please, no parole. Four, possible exemplary conduct in prison/no threat to society? I realize that Ms. Atkins may have led an exemplary life in prison and may have given significant help to other prisoners. I would hope this is so. However, this does not in any way lessen the gravity of the crime she committed or the just punishment -- originally death, now should be at least life without parole. For the sake of argument let us make the assumption that Ms. Atkins is not a threat to society. Let us assume that she has helped and served others in prison in an exemplary manner. Please tell me what amount of service can be considered as just payment for the lives so brutally taken. If in fact her conduct in prison has been exemplary that’s a wonderful thing. She is making her life count for something good. However, that service does not override the reason for her imprisonment in the first place. Society has a right and an obligation to require punishment appropriate to the crime. Five, mercy and justice in society -- some may be thinking it’s been 37-plus years in prison. Ms. Atkins doesn’t pose a threat to society anymore -- isn’t it time for a little mercy. There was and will be no mercy shown to the victims, their families, or their descendants. What would you say to all of us if we were able to stand before you at Ms. Atkins’ parole hearing? We have been robbed of any relationship we must have had with our loved ones but more importantly society must set a standard that in cases of such crimes the payment fits the crime. Society must protect itself. Society must draw a line in the sand that says with certain crimes there is no room for compromise. In receiving reprieve from the death sentence Ms. Atkins has already received mercy. Six, accountability/consequences -- there must be accountability for crimes of such magnitude -- consequences appropriate to the crimes. Society must maintain standards for its own survival, especially in the case of extreme crime such as these. Eight lives were brutally snuffed out. If the justice system rewards a mass murderer with time off for good behavior it does so at society’s peril. Seven, how does Ms. Atkins justify a request for parole in view of her responsibility to society? Does she have no obligation but to herself? For whom does she have more sympathy, her victims or herself? Of whose good is she thinking, her own or the impressionable young people in society? Some of these now wear shirts glorifying her crimes. What kind of message does she send to society and to young people in particular by putting her own desires for freedom above a very just and fair sentence of life imprisonment for the crimes she committed? Would it not be better that she take the high road regardless of personal cost and voluntarily accept a lifetime punishment as a well-deserved sentence, refusing any consideration of parole? She would not be the first to honorably do so. Does honor and eternal good play a part in her request for parole or is she thinking only of the effect upon her own life? Does she really think it is likely that her freedom will benefit society and herself more than her just imprisonment? I can only ask those questions. Ms. Atkins will have to answer them for herself. I believe Ms. Atkins’ freedom can only hurt society by demeaning the value of the lives she participated in taking and minimizing the gravity of her crime. A voluntary bold statement of the justice of her imprisonment -- denying any parole -- would go far as a witness to people everywhere. It would attest to the acceptance of her responsibility for her crimes and to a true concern for the good of society as well as the victims of her crimes. That is her choice. It is unfortunate that Ms. Atkins has cancer but her medical condition does not override the necessity that the sentence that she justly and subsequently mercifully received be carried out, and that is life imprisonment. No parole is warranted. Thank you for consideration. Sincerely, Fred Kummer.”


MALE SPEAKER: And we have one other’s.


MS. MARGARET DIMARIA: Is that okay if he sits --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER O’HARA: Yeah. He can comfort you and support you. He’s made his statement so it’s your turn to speak. But he can sit with you and help you along.

MS. MARGARET DIMARIA: Thank you. My name is Margaret Dimaria. I am Jay Sebring’s sister. I desperately hope that I can represent my brother and my parents and my family here at this hearing. The woman that is here before you is not a victim. My brother, Sharon Tate, her baby, Abigail Folger, Wojicieck Frykowski, Steve Parent, the LaBiancas, Gary Hinman -- they are all victims. To do good things with the remainder of her life, I think that’s good. I would like to think that all people try to do good things. Most people do them in the free world when they have a choice. My brother chose in his life to have people -- he felt it was extremely important that people could look as good as possible -- as they possibly could look. It was his choice to make that happen to as many people as he could touch -- to bring up the standards of his profession. He was an exceptionally good-looking man. He loved life. He liked to stay up late. He probably would have stayed up all night if he could have but eventually he would go to sleep and then he didn’t want to get up in the morning because he loved life and he loved to see people enjoy life. He didn’t want to see any of his family hurting or feeling bad, even if we had an argument or something. I can remember one time he would not get off the phone until I got on the phone -- I was aggravated with him about something -- because he didn’t want people to feel bad. He wanted people to feel as good as they could feel. He -- you know, I hear today about Susan Atkins doing good things for the people in prison and I think that’s very good and I think that’s commendable, and it’s too bad that she is at a time in her life where she can’t continue to do that. But there are a lot of people in prison that need that. But in the free world that wasn’t what she did. She murdered my brother, the other people. If it was technically her stab that did it, it doesn’t matter. If she would have made a choice at any given moment in her time that she was with the Manson Family or going to these houses where she did and the other people -- the so-called Manson and I have to say so-called because all of these people chose to be a part of this family. They weren’t forced to be there. They chose it. If she would have at any given moment under any of these circumstances changed her thought process it could have made a difference. She could have died in the process but she would have had to have had a change of heart to not be a cold-blooded murderer. Here before you is a cold-blooded murderer, many times, trying to create havoc in society, trying to create unrest that we don’t need to have. We all are working to get rid of that. She could have done differently any moment of that time. Even afterwards she didn’t do it, and in later years when -- I hate to say this but it would behoove any person with any intelligence to do the things that it takes to try to get out and I don’t know if she did these things because she truly had a change of heart or because she was trying to get out of prison. I don’t think anybody knows that except in her own mind and that’s fine because she did do them and it’s a good thing and it probably did help other prisoners or letters from her husband/attorney that said she has helped. Any good a person can do through their life is very good. How they live and how they die is a measure of a person. My brother lived life to the fullest. He loved the fast lane. He liked fast cars. He -- if he could take anyone in here in this room he’d make you look better and you’d feel better and you’d feel good about yourself and you’d do better tomorrow for it. He can’t do that. I would give anything if he could walk in this room. But he can’t. If I might go back to -- we had two services for my brother because he had -- he grew up in Michigan. He had all of his friends that he grew up with in school. He had Navy friends. So childhood friends and as a youth and as a young adult. And then he had his friends in California. He made a great name for himself. I can’t even tell you all of the people that were at his service but I can tell you that when our eyes met they had horror in their eyes. They had sadness in their eyes because of the crimes -- because of what were done to all of these people and because when my brother was laid out he -- the person that wanted everyone to look as good as they could look he barely resembled himself. When we went to Michigan and at that service my brother Fred was there and my father was there and my husband, and my mother was sick in bed. She couldn’t come. My sister stayed with her. Anthony was a young boy and he was left at home at the time. We had made arrangements. But when I saw my brother I wanted to reach out. I really wanted to change what was impossible. When we went back to Michigan and my mother hadn’t seen my brother yet and my sister was brought in a room with us and we were all concerned about my mother seeing my brother, and when my sister saw him she said, we have to do something -- we can’t have Mom see him like this. And she asked my husband and I because we also were in the same profession -- she said can you do anything and my husband said, I will try to do what I can do, and he tried desperately and he did -- he made a difference. My brother’s hands were in the shape -- he was a very fit person. He believed in good health. He believed in good appearance. He was a black belt. You could see in his hands that he tried until the very last to defend himself -- to keep that life that he loved -- to help Sharon, his very dear friend. He yelled out, “Leave her alone. She’s pregnant.” All the other people -- it’s impossible when you’re physically fit to go against the gun. They had no chance. Even in those moments Susan Atkins could have said, we can’t do this. Never. Any of them could have said this together as a group. Like a bunch of vultures, coyotes, together they created mass murder. People talk about mercy. I believe that the Manson Family were perpetrators of these murders received mercy twice. The first time was when the death penalty was revoked, and I have to add in here I am so grateful -- I am grateful for something -- that my parents never had to come to a parole hearing. They’re gone now. When they were alive they were so grateful when these people were caught, and then when they were convicted and found guilty they said no one will have to go through this at their hands ever again, and they got the death penalty. The death penalty was revoked. We all know that. But the only thing that was there at the time -- the only other choice was life with possibility of parole. I was told for years they would never get out -- it’s impossible. Well, as we know nothing is completely impossible, ever, and when I found out what was going on and how things were going I spoke with my husband. It was at a time in my life where we had raised our children -- we tried to save them and shelter them from all of these things -- to keep them into a life that they wouldn’t have to deal with all these things other than knowing that these crimes were committed and everything was handled -- that justice was done -- justice was served. They were all adults by the time I found out that in fact I felt a strong -- it’s so important for my brother, for my parents, and for all the victims to be here today to speak for them because they can’t. After our two older children got through most of their lives and talking to them and dealing with all of this I thought that -- we had a 10-year span and then we had another child that -- we weren’t supposed to have any more but we had a miracle and it was a very beautiful thing to have her but also it was a hard time during my mother’s life, and when our youngest was born it gave her something else to think about -- something else to live for and have importance and keep going. And I never thought -- I thought there’s so much time. She’s not going to ever have to deal with this. And she was in grade school in about the 5th grade. It was free dress day and she -- I picked her up from school and she was so beside herself and so livid and she didn’t even know how to express herself or come off of where she felt. And I said, what’s the matter, and she said well, one of the boys in my class had a t-shirt on with Charles Manson and the other guys were saying how cool it was and how great it was, and the teacher didn’t realize what it was. Honestly I don’t remember what it said. But for us it was horrible. For young people that don’t know the history they didn’t really know. For some of them he’s an icon or it’s cool to have all kind of t-shirts or in your face t-shirts or whatever. But in the middle of class she said, he isn’t cool -- it isn’t good. And she stopped because we always kept everything private and to ourselves. My mother and father never one time with all their pain and suffering ever came to me. It was so important to them that they would be strong and not carry their feelings on their shoulder, try to do the right thing, try to raise our family, try to be strong for their family. We tried to be strong for them. Anyway when Michelle came home from school she said, “I just said that and then I couldn’t stop.” She said they were -- oh, you don’t know and this is cool and she said, it’s not cool -- they’re murderers -- they murdered my uncle. And the teacher took her out in the hallway at that time and talked to her and of course my husband and I talked to her, her older brother and sister talked to her, and she didn’t understand, and it took a lot of time. It took a lot of talking, and we’re a very close family. We talk about everything. I would have liked to think that it was over. Our kids are -- I call them kids -- they’re young adults. They still go to -- what do you call that?


MS. MARGARET DIMARIA: Concerts. I don’t go to concerts anymore. And there, again, they are faced with performers wearing these t-shirts. My daughter said she walked out on a couple of concerts, places that she paid good money for. She was there to have a good time and right in the middle of it, boom, it’s like you are thrown into a block wall. You are hit with something that you don’t expect and you have no choice and it never ends. Never. And for one of these people to be released it makes a huge difference on society. For me it’s huge personally. But I also feel an obligation to society that it doesn’t send -- I don’t believe that we can send the wrong message. I am here right now asking for justice, pleading for justice, asking that more than seeing me here you see my brother, my parents. I have two pictures that I want to show you -- not a picture of my brother as he was murdered -- not the way I last saw him, but the way he really was -- the smile on his face, and if you could see him now walk in this room he would give you that smile. He’d give you that smile if he was caught doing something that maybe he shouldn’t have been doing. But he was Jay Sebring. He influenced a lot of people. We will never forget him and we don’t want you to forget him. And I have a picture of my parents here and there’s an inscription on it and it’s from my brother and it’s not long before he was murdered that he had it sent to them. He had them go to California when he was able to have some money and be able to do for his own parents what they never did. They never went on a cruise. They never did anything. My dad took a vacation -- he painted the house. But he set them up in a hotel room and he set them up in the bridal suite, and he and his wife at the time, they brought them over. They had a wonderful time. My brother wanted my parents to order room service and really feel good. He took a picture of them and there’s an inscription and I want you to see it because those were good times. Those were happy times. Those are the people that I don’t want you to forget. I do want to tell Debra that I feel so bad for you and your family. I appreciate everything that they’ve done. I appreciate all of the DAs. I appreciate you here for your service. I really can never say all I want to say. I know I’m forgetting things. For Susan Atkins’ attorney/husband to say that the record isn’t relevant or the past isn’t relevant -- my brother’s murder isn’t relevant? I wouldn’t be in this room. I would not be here. I’m not her friend. I’m not her acquaintance. She murdered my brother and his friends. Okay. I don’t know where -- I’ve got to get them out of my purse. Okay. Thank you.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER O’HARA: Do you have the photos?

MALE SPEAKER: We’ll give them to you at recess and you can look at them. We don’t want the cameras, you know (inaudible) the family.

MS. MARGARET DIMARIA: It’s one of the few things that I have that the press hasn’t seen and exploited and --

MALE SPEAKER: Okay. That’s fine. You can show them now.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER O’HARA: Yeah. Because in some ways it is -- counsel gets the opportunity to see what we see so we won’t put them on --

MALE SPEAKER: Yeah. The main concern -- my microphone (inaudible) I’m just going to put that (inaudible) but I’m not going to roll during this.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER O’HARA: That’s fine. Thank you. If there’s nothing further we’re going to recess at this point. Mishele, were you going to say anything or no? Okay. Then what we’re going to do is recess. We will deliberate. We’ll call you right back with our decision. The time is 1910 hours.



DEPUTY COMMISSIONER ENLOE: We’re back on record.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER O’HARA: We’re back on record. The time is 8:15. This is the decision in the matter of Susan Atkins, W-08304. All parties are present that were here prior to the recess with the exception of Mr. Turley [sic] who has left who was observing, and Ms. Atkins has also gone back.

ATTORNEY WHITEHOUSE: Yeah, I’m sorry. She -- because of her medical conditions.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER O’HARA: Totally understandable. All right. But everybody else is here at this time. And in regards to this matter the Panel reviewed all information received from the public and all relevant information that was before it today in concluding that the prisoner is not suitable for parole because the inmate currently poses unreasonable risk of danger if released from prison. The finding of unsuitability is based on weighing of considerations provided for in California Code of Regulations Title 15. This is a three-year denial and the first consideration that does weigh extremely heavily upon this Panel here today is the commitment offense and I’ll take a brief run-through of those offenses but the -- of note that the commitment offenses were committed in a especially atrocious cruel manner, extreme notoriety, extreme viciousness. Multiple victims were attacked and killed in same and separate incidents. The offenses were carried out in dispassionate and calculated manner. There were execution style murders. The victims were abused and defiled and the offenses were carried out in a manner which demonstrates an exceptional callous disregard for human suffering, and the motivation for the crime is inexplicable -- to start a race war where the Manson Family could then come out and rule victors is -- makes absolutely no sense. In this particular matter to start with and it was basically as expressed here a mass murder one by one and it was done -- these murders were done -- not so much Mr. Hinman but the murders afterward were done to strike fear, incite and racially charge an already racially charged environment to try to strike off a race war. In the first incident, Mr. Hinman -- and that was on the 25th of July of 1969. The inmate and a number of the Manson Family went to Mr. Hinman’s and asked for money. He was -- didn’t satisfy their requests and they kept him prisoner, cut and stabbed him over a two-day period. At one point they cut his ear off. In the end they finally stabbed him to death and put -- suffocated with pillows and this was not even a deterrent to anyone involved. It was actually incited them or ignited them to more of the same, and as a result on August 9th of 1969 the inmate and a number of the Manson Family members went to the Polanski residence where they murdered Abigail Ann Folger, who died of multiple stab wounds to the body; Wojicieck Frykowski died of gunshot wounds to his left leg and blunt force trauma to the head; Steven Earl Parent died from multiple gunshot wounds; Sharon Marie Polanski died from multiple stab wounds to the body. She was also over eight months pregnant. Jay Sebring died from multiple stab wounds and then one day later, the next night, the inmate with other family members went to the LaBianca’s home where they murdered Leno LaBianca, who died of multiple stab wounds to neck and abdomen, and Rosemary LaBianca died from multiple stab wounds to the neck and trunk. During these incidents efforts were made to make it look like these crimes were done by African Americans, put on the wall “political piggy” -- the Tate killing -- the Tate/Polanski killings -- “pig” on the wall with Sharon Tate’s blood. These crimes are despicable. I’m not going to delve too deeply in them because they have been recounted or distributed so much literature and hype and press that it is simply a matter of this inmate took part in these atrocious crimes and the reason for that was to incite a race war, to strike fear. Folks were picked at random. Some of the most vicious types of killings that you can think of, picked at random in their homes. Mr. Hinman spent two days wondering whether he was going to die or not before he was actually stabbed to death. We have some information that Ms. Tate spent time begging for her life before her and her unborn child were stabbed a number of times and her blood was used to write on the wall -- just the whole carrying on of this group over this amount of time is atrocious and it does strike so much stronger than your average murder and I hate to say there is an average murder but in this particular case this is one of the most atrocious undertakings in criminality in California history. We do note that this weighed very heavily in the Panel’s decision here today in the reasons for denial. Another factor that weighed against a finding of suitability is prior criminality. Inmate had been arrested a number of times. She had been -- a misdemeanor for a forged license and got 90 days probation for possession of marijuana and she had violated that probation. She had a grand theft auto in 1969 that was dropped based on allegations about the homicide. She had an unstable social history. She has a history of unstable tumultuous relationships with others. She had an arrest history which illustrates her instability in her life. She failed previous grants of probation. She failed to profit from society’s previous attempts to correct her criminality. Such attempts included adult probation, county jail. She had problematic relationships with her father. Apparently was never brought out in the probation officer’s report but later on she alleges that her brother sexually molested her. She was involved with gang activity and cult activity, drug and alcohol use. She’s a high school dropout. She used numerous aliases throughout her young years. But one of the major factors that had troubled the Panel here today -- and we recognize that she did not speak here today and that is certainly her right -- but we looked back through prior statements and we’re somewhat troubled in that she did minimize a couple of things -- factors that are very important. We noted that in the past she has minimized the race issue in her latest statements and on her website, indicating that this wasn’t really a race issue or a war issue, just psyched us up -- was just talk. And what’s extremely bothersome for us here today is to hear -- and we saw it in prior decisions -- that she was a reluctant follower and afraid to leave. And Mr. Shapiro put it pretty right. They hitchhiked everywhere out there. She’d come and gone. She had actually had some medical stuff where she went to the hospital and I think she had to hitchhike back to the ranch. There’s no indication that she could not leave. There’s every indication that she was a major player and one of the central issues -- central persons, people -- in these crimes in carrying them out, and the fact that she has minimized her conduct over time indicates that she certainly hasn’t come to grips with her understanding of the underlying factors of this crime. Therefore we find that she lacks insight in the causative factors. It certainly has not been expressed in the documents that we had an opportunity to peruse and admittedly there is many, many pounds of documents but when you delve into the statements that have been given over the years and so forth you really -- well, I understand that this is a very complex situation as far as the (inaudible) and timing, the situation of society at the time, Mr. Manson and his influence, and all those things. But we haven’t yet to hear the insight into the causative factors and what brought her to not only become involved with the precursors -- the drugs, the alcohol -- I guess she had an unstable life (inaudible) that led to her trying to find acceptance through the Family and then to take it to the next step to go out on these murders, to be an integral part of these murders, never try to stop any of these murders even when she’s standing over a woman who is 8 1/2 months pregnant begging for her life and not even batting an eyelid. The psychiatric report is -- we found it inconclusive and it’s no fault of the inmate for the fact that she is currently suffering from some severe (inaudible) physical issues. Dr. Pointkowski on 3/6/09 authored the report. We simply found it inconclusive because we didn’t think it was a fair situation nor an opportunity to look at Ms. Atkins today and realize that she does not really have the ability to communicate particularly at this time, and this report was done about six months ago while she was still suffering from the same malady that she is currently suffering from. So we went back to the report from Dr. Smith on the 3rd of January of 2005, and while the tenor of that report is generally positive it does resound to the same issues that this Board had when that psych indicates on Page 6 under inmate’s level of insight/remorse/empathy -- these crimes are horrific and well beyond what is common in our community. Inmate Atkins does admit responsibility and she offers what appear to be credible expressions of insight and remorse, complete assurance of her acceptance of responsibility. Insight and remorse will probably always be clouded somewhat by the factual disputes that stem from her earlier versions of the crimes. We do note that there has been serious misconducts while incarcerated although we do note that while having five 115s her last was in 1993. She does have two recent 128s, indicating that she has not been following the rules as appropriate although they are informational chronos. We do note that although the prisoner has participated in significant self-help and therapy these activities have not indicated an enhanced ability to function within the law upon release because while she has been taking a number of these programs the depth of insight and understanding of the crime and acceptance of her part in this crime have not been seen by the Panel when we peruse the prior transcripts and other things in the file including her minimization of the race issue and the war that they wanted to incite and that she was a reluctant follower afraid to leave. We do note that parole plans, while she does have realistic residential plans with her husband and we can’t ask that she have employment plans with her current infirmity, but we were somewhat troubled when asked, sir, when I asked you how are you going to fund the Hospice you said you had insurance -- you kind of hesitated and said you’ll pay for it. But that makes us somewhat uncomfortable because she certainly needs significant day-to-day assistance. The hearing Panel notes responses to 3042 notices indicate an opposition to finding of parole suitability, specifically the district attorney of Los Angeles County. Also the Los Angeles Police Department have indicated they’re opposed to a finding of suitability. Also the victims’ next of kin have taken the opportunity to express their desires here today and that was weighted as well. The Panel finds by clear and convincing evidence pursuant to Penal Code 3041(b)(3) after considering the public and victims’ safety as well as parole consideration criteria set forth in Title 15 that the prisoner does not require a period of incarceration of additional 15 years before her next parole hearing because she has done significant programming while in custody. I do note that she has obtained her GED. She has attained a AA degree and is close to a BA degree. She has been involved as a trainer for the Curves fitness training system. She is a certified paralegal. She has completed Vocational Word Processing. She’s won various awards and contributed to various charities. As far as self-help Pathways to Wholeness, the Inmate Assistance Module for substance abuse, Victim Offender Reconciliation, Doing Life Together, Young Adult Network, Toastmasters, Mediation and Conflict Resolution, the Shalom Sisterhood, Conflict Transformational Skill. She has facilitated the Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, a sexual abuse group in 1994, AA/NA, Breaking Barriers, Doing Life Together. She has a psychiatric report by Dr. Pointkowski. Where I’ve indicated it was inconclusive for the fact that she was not able to communicate the doctor does find that she has a low threat to society. These are very positive factors that we do not want to minimize here today. She does also lack an assaultive history as a juvenile. She is infirm at this time and that would indicate the reduced probability of recidivism and she has not had a serious misconduct for many years while incarcerated. But the Panel has no substantial doubt based on these circumstances at this time the prisoner does not require a 15-year denial. We then considered whether the safety of the public and the victims require that you remain incarcerated for 10 additional years. By clear and convincing evidence we have no substantial doubt for the reasons cited before Ms. Atkins does not require a more lengthy period of incarceration in the next threshold of seven years. The Panel does want to commend her for the positive but on balance the circumstances make her unsuitable which we’ve already discussed outweigh the positive aspects of the case. After weighing all the evidence presented today Ms. Atkins is unsuitable for parole because she poses an unreasonable risk if released and require at least an additional three years of incarceration. And the reasons for that are the same that I’ve mentioned to this point. I did want to make note because this Panel did put significant stress on the commitment offense. The counsel argued Lawrence and Shaputis with this, and just a quick note in regards to that argument is that we did follow subdivision B of Section 3041 that provides that a release date must be set unless the Board determines the gravity of the current conviction offense or offenses or the timing and gravity of current or past conviction of offenses is such that consideration of the public safety requires a more lengthy period of incarceration for this individual and that a parole date therefore cannot be fixed at this meeting, and that was from Rosenkrantz. And we did note that from Lawrence, Page 47, in sum: the Board or the governor may base a denial of parole decision upon the circumstances of the offense or upon other immutable facts such as an inmate’s criminal history (inaudible) some evidence will support such reliance only if the facts support the ultimate conclusion that an inmate continues to pose an unreasonable risk to public safety. Accordingly, the relevant inquiry for a reviewing court is not merely whether an inmate’s crime was especially callous or shockingly vicious or lethal but whether the identified facts are probative to the central issue of current dangerousness when considered in light of the full record before the Board or the governor. And the argument here is this Panel feels that these Manson killings and the rampage that went on is almost iconic and they have the ability to influence many other people, and she still has that ability as part of that group. And I think it’s been fed by the websites and those type of things but she still at this point not having total insight into the crime, has -- does not recognize the impact that this crime has on not only past society shaping California culture in a lot of ways -- music and many of those other things where Manson and the Family keep popping up -- but also in the youth of today. And I will note that it is an individualized assessment of the continuing danger and risk to public safety posed by the inmate that this Board looks at each individual that comes before us -- is looked at individually as to how they -- their current dangerousness. And a final note -- I do want to make sure that this crime and the impact and I mentioned a lot of it along the way but it does indicate random selection, innocent victims, supposedly meant to follow a fictional war, a race war, prophecy. It’s inexplicable in its relation to the brutal homicides, and while Lawrence does indicate after a long period of time the commitment offense may no longer indicate a current risk of danger to society in light of a lengthy period of positive rehabilitation, and that is from Lawrence. However, a commitment offense may continue to be predictive of current danger even after decades of attenuation (inaudible) especially brutal such as a hate crime or a crime involving torture, and that’s In Re Rozo 2009, 172 Cal App 4 Page 40 Cal App 4th 40 Page 58 through 59. And in this particular case the offenses -- brutal offenses were committed in the context of framing black people to incite a race war and the victims were tortured. They were bound, threatened, and repeatedly stabbed to death. Ms. LaBianca had to listen to her husband dying in the next room and we do believe based on the gravity of the commitment offense that she does continue to pose a danger to society. The notorious murders are so heinous, atrocious, and cruel that we believe that her due process rights are not violated by a denial of parole based on the gravity of the offenses. But still in that regards we also find that she does minimize the racial nature of the offense. She has portrayed herself as a reluctant follower and we do note that she had prior commitment, prior offenses and arrests and convictions prior to this rampage. I wouldn’t call it a rampage -- it was a calculated -- a number of calculated murders. She had drug use early in life, an unstable social history, and then had association with a cult, further indicating that she has factors that would indicate she is not suitable for parole. With that said, we ask that she remain disciplinary-free and upgrade through self-help and therapy if available. It is incumbent that this Panel with all the versions that have been told early on has settled into some relatively stable version in recent years that we have some understanding of her understanding of the crime, insight into it, and in fact that we feel she’s minimizing the crime. We haven’t got to the point now that we feel she does not pose an unreasonable risk to society. Anything you’d like to add?

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER ENLOE: I think you’ve captured it very well. I don’t -- I have nothing else to add at this time. Thank you.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER O’HARA: Very well. That ends the hearing. The time is 8:40.