The Col is still pissed off at the Gillon- History Channel- Our Generation piece of shit, and especially at giving half the show to fat Gypsy and acting like she was some poor innocent girl corrupted by Manson. I mean, it is hard enough for a genius like myself to follow all this, what chance do we have when History PROFESSORS from Universities spread lies and inaccuracies? Anyway, here is a Chapter from CHILD OF SATAN, CHILD OF GOD. It is copyright 1977 Logos International. I believe that Susan testified that the book is pd because the company never paid her and is defunct. It was at a parole hearing. If anyone actually can prove they own the copyright I will take it down. The title of the Chapter is ESCAPE. Susan is on Death Row for seven murders Gypsy shows up for robbery and shooting at cops. I believe the Spider they talk about is Kenneth Como, whom Gypsy marries later on. The book is by Susan Atkins and A ghost writer. Here is the lovely Gypsy as seen from the point of view of a convicted seven times killer.
The early morning fog was beginning to lift, and patches of blue were spreading across the sky. Dew was still on the grass--mostly crabgrass, actually--but Catherine and I didn't mind. It was going to be a beautiful spring morning and our anticipation overcame any discomfort from the hard ground or the dampness. I plucked at the crabgrass between my knees and occasionally glanced into Catherine's brown eyes. She didn't look thirty. The loss of nearly forty pounds had left her at the well-proportioned, size-nine figure she had displayed during our days at Spahn's Ranch.
She was talking about her new man. "Spider is such a beautiful man, Sadie, so much more together than Charlie ever was."
"Susan," I interrupted. "Please call me Susan, not Sadie."
"I'm sorry," she said, smiling, "but don't be so touchy, woman. We don't have time to be hassling over names right now. There are more important things to be discussed."
Catherine had always been intense, but she was more so then--in 1973. She and Mary, both central figures from the Manson days, had arrived at SSU just a few weeks earlier, sentenced for an armed robbery conducted right after our conviction in the main trial. They had staged the robbery to get guns to try to break Charlie out of jail. Their charges didn't seem to merit SSU treatment, but they, like Pat, Leslie, and me, were considered high security risks.
Catherine, who had also been know as Gypsy, and Mary had been welcome additions to SSU for me. The cool treatment from my two codefendants had never abated, and the newcomers provided me with someone to talk to at last. While we were all civil and formally polite to one another, there had been a definite three-way division for the five of us--Pat and Leslie, Catherine and Mary, and me, pretty much alone. I had begun to drift toward the latter two, just for the sake of companionship.
Catherine was still talking. "I want to know if I can trust you or not to help me and my partner."
It was strange that she should be asking if she could trust me. I hadn't completely made up my mind to trust her and Mary.
Catherine spoke with a warmth that occasionally reached ferocity about "freedom". She in fact intimidated me. "We've got to fight our way into freedom," she was saying again. "It can't be found in prison."
That was obvious, I thought, but her intensity gave it deeper meaning. I was beginning to understand that she was not merely an outlaw. She was a revolutionary.
"It's funny that you should ask me if you can trust me," I said, as she paused. "My name is not the most trustworthy one in this prison, you know." I smiled wryly. "Can you trust me, you say. Hey, I'm not sure I trust myself, or even that I trust you."
I'd never seen a harder look on a woman than the one that covered her face in that instant. It caused me to shudder.
"If you blow my scene, I'll kill you. So don't play any games with me. Either you're with me, or you're against me. Which is it, Susan?"
I tried not to look frightened. I had more than held my own with the old Gypsy. But this was different woman.
"I'm with myself, Catherine," I said softly but firmly. But I'll do what I can to help you get out of here, if that's what you want. I many even decide to go with you, but I'm not committing myself that far at this time. If you trust me and I blow it, I know where I stand. Right?" I paused, and added, "Right!"
There was a long silence. I looked up. The sky was practically all clear, and the slight spring breeze was warming. I pulled on the crabgrass in front of me.
"Okay, girl," Catherine said without looking at me, "this is what I want you to do. I want you to sit up tonight and watch the perimeter man and clock him. I want you to tell me tomorrow morning how many times he drives around the perimeter and how long between the times he passes SSU. All right?"
I was still equivocating. "What on earth for, Catherine?" It sounded dumb, but I was sincere.
The hardness returned to her face. "Look, do you want to ask questions and play games, or do you want out of this hellhole? You just do what I tell you and as you prove yourself to me, I'll tell you more. A good con doesn't ask too many questions, Susan."
She paused, and her face softened slightly. "If you remember nothing else about what I'm into and who I'm with, girl, you remember not to ask questions. Just do what you're told, and you'll be taken care of."
Deep in my stomach was the feeling that comes after you've had the wind knocked out of you. It was that old, old feeling of mine--fear and the beginnings of loneliness. I was cold again. But I refused to show my feelings. I had to stay tough. Catherine had learned things I wanted to know. Besides, she was company, for good or for worse, and If I was going to keep my mind from slipping into the pit that often so beckoned to it, I needed someone to talk to. She claimed she was "a pretty together white witch," with real powers--and maybe she was.
"Say, Cathy," I drawled after nearly a minute of silence, "tell me more about Spider."
I pushed the right button. We alternately sat and reclined on our little lawn for an hour as she spun out a fantastic tale of her "new warrior…Prince Charming…everything a man ought to be…"
He was in one of the major prisons…"the best, the most popular man in the joints…the most respected among the together revolutionists…the general of a new army."
"He actually kidnapped me one day while I was sitting on the corner waiting for Charlie to get out of jail," she said, "and I've never been the same since."
I couldn't believe what I was hearing. Was this Charlie all over again? She let me read one of his letters, and to my surprise he named me as one who should join them. I perceived he was far ahead of Charlie in his cunning. He was more serious that revolution, about violence, than any of us had ever been. Yet much of his rap had the ring of Charlie to it.
"Let's walk," Cathy said suddenly. "I don't like sitting around where the cops can listen in. Besides, Spider says we've got to stay together physically; it's our best weapon against these pigs."
So up we got from the sun-warmed grass and began to walk the L-shaped yard. I felt lazy, but Catherine took off like a runner, her hair flying behind. She was walking, but at a tremendous clip, her arms pumping like an old-fashioned steam locomotive.
"Hey, Cathy, I thought you said walk! You're nearly running. Wait up!"
"Either catch up or be left behind, Susan," she said sharply.
I jogged enough to catch up. I knew she wasn't talking only about her walk. And the thought of being left behind scared me.
We walked for forty-five minutes, and it wasn't long before the staff was watching every step. Our sergeant had a hound dog's nose for trouble, and he knew something was up. He had worked too many years with men in prison to relax his never-turn-your-back-on-a-con attitude. My legs were feeling like lead so I welcomed his call for us to come in, but I wasn't going to let him know it.
"All right, ladies, inside. It's lunch time." He stood at the door like a sentry as we filed past.
"Baker, when you are going to give up?" I asked, my nastiness flaring fully.
"When all the cons are buried six feet under and never see daylight, woman, so what do you think of that?"
"Nothing, you----male chauvinist, nothing!"
As I stepped inside the door, Catherine spoke quickly to me, "Cool it, Susan, the man is only doing his job."
I expected, and received as soon as we were back in our cells that afternoon, a lecture on how to con the guards and keep them off our backs. Despite my experience, I still was too messed-up to be very prison-wise.
That night, after the final count had been taken and all the goodnights spoken, I sat up in my bed and stared out the window into the night. Four rows of vertical steel bars and four of horizontal covered the window. A screen covered them from the inside. The outside was well-lighted. I could see the perimeter road, beyond the large field area outside our own small yard. First there was our barbed-wire fence and then the high barb-topped fence twenty-five yards beyond. And then…freedom."
I shook my head. "No way," I thought. There was no way, it seemed to me, that Cathy and Mary could get through those bars on our windows, over the SSU fence, across that large space with no trees or bushes, and over that outside fence with its rolls of barbed wire on top, placed there just for us after we had arrived. And besides that, there was the electronic beam along the fence and the spot man in his little tower a quarter-mile away.
There were headlights. That was the perimeter man, making his first round in the car--10:10. We had gone back to wearing watches since the Manson days. How were they going to cut the bars? And what about the fence? "What if I go with them, and we've busted?" I asked myself. "They'll never let me see daylight again." I shuddered inside. How long does it take to creep to go around? "There they are"…the headlights--10:17.
"I wonder if Pat and Leslie will try to go with them?" I shook my head negatively.
So Spider thought I was worth trying to help, huh? I began to fantasize. "Snap out of it, Susan." The thought broke through to my consciousness. "This is no game. This is for real. These people aren't playing. What are you going to do? If you're busted, or get them busted--if you blow it one more time, girl--you can start counting the daisies and prepare to make fertilizer for some oak tree."
There were the headlights again--10:45. "He's sure not consistent," I said into darkness. Suddenly I head noises. "Oh oh, bed check." I pulled the covers over my shoulders and closed my eyes. The watchwoman passed by and returned to her office.
"This is just like old times," I thought, noticing the feeling of fear in my stomach and my rapid breathing. Flashes of creepy-crawling burst into my brain, then dissipated. I wasn't sure if the feeling was good or bad.
There were the headlights again--11:03. "Man, I'm not used to this. I'm sleepy." Headlights--11:15…Headlights--11:20…. And on into the night.
"To heck with this. I'm going to sleep."
"Well, give me the rundown, woman." Catherine was eager as I stood outside her window. It was my turn to be outside with Mary that morning. "Is her consistent in his trips around the joint?"
"Nope. It's anywhere from three and a half minutes at the fastest to twenty minutes between trips. I think the guy on the perimeter must stop and talk with the guy on the spot. You'll have to ask Pat about that. Her room overlooks that scene. I can only see the roads and haystacks."
Catherine pursed her lips. "Okay. That's good enough. Now I want you to draw out a map of SSU for me. I need to send it to Spider so he can tell me which is the best rout to take. I want every phone in the place marked, where the staff's office is and a timetable of when they make their security calls. Here is now I want you to write it."
She held up a plastic glass half full of a pale liquid. "You'll draw it with this. It won't show on the paper till it's heated. Then he'll make it out. We'll just send an innocent little letter."
I didn't do anything for two or three days after that. I was still wrestling with whether I could trust Catherine, although I felt myself drawing closer to her and Mary all the time. Pat and Leslie were still maintaining their Susan freeze, and I needed someone to trust in. Not to trust is not to live, I thought. Crazy idea. I'd misjudged people so many times, but I figured, "One more time." Maybe I'd win the prize this time--a real friend. Sometime later, walking with Mary the endless circle we made in our yard--this time at a far more reasonable pace than Catherine's gallop, although Mary's long, slim legs still kept me moving--I inquired about Gypsy's man. "Mary, do you love Spider, too?"
Her cool, blue eyes peered out of their narrow slits in the morning's bright sun, and her customary from turned into a look that said, "Don't come too close, Susan!"
But she said, "Why do you ask?"
"I asked my question first, Mary."
"It's none of your business, Susan," she said evenly, "but yeah, I love him."
"What about Charlie, Mary?" I asked rather innocently. "Did you get tired of his trip?"
Her fierce look blistered me as she stopped and turned on me. "If you never mention him again to me it will be too soon. I can't stand him and I don't want to talk about the----creep; you understand?"
Her fuse was short. "Yeah, all right, Mary, I hear where you're coming from. So how is Pooh-Bear?"
"His name is Michael, and he's fine. I don't call him Pooh-Bear any more."
"Hey, Mary, there's no need to be defensive with me, I'm not out to hurt you."
She put her hands on her hips, and stared hard into my face again.
"Oh yeah? Is that why you went to the grand jury? Don't talk your trash to me. You're going to have to prove to me you ain't going to hurt any more."
I started to walk away. I was quivering like jello inside, but I still had the capacity for a though exterior. "I'll see you later, Mary. I don't want to be your whipping boy today, all right?"
Mary and Catherine may have been closer to me than Pat and Leslie during those mid-SSU days, but things obviously weren't going to be lovey-dovey.
Summer came and went in 1973, leaving me with a bit more confidence--although it was shaky--a nice tan, and the feeling that I could really regain a good reputation as a together woman in this world. I'd made maps, written out procedures, obtained information no one else in the unit had the guts to seek. Getting into a procedure log when the staff wasn't around, for example, wasn't easy, and more times than not I'd thought I'd surely get busted.
The fog season--one of California's blessings or curses, depending on your point of view--was rolling in, and it was time to make the big move. The needed hacksaw blades and other equipment had arrived, something I discovered while walking in the yard late on a windy afternoon. The wind was unusually cold.
"You'll never believe me when I tell you we won't even need to go over the fence," Cathy told me through chattering teeth.
I looked at her calmly and said, with more confidence in my voice that I'd felt in years, "Try me, Cathy."
She grinned with delight and whispered into my ear, "We have a brand-new set of wire cutters."
"Oh yeah? Should I even ask"
"Sure you can ask but I'm not going to tell you." Her grin widened. "Use your imagination, Susan. Spider has taught you that, hasn't he?" She was referring to my inclusion in a lot of his communications in recent weeks.
I pulled my ski hat down over my shoulder-length hair, envying Cathy's long full hair, which she continually flaunted. "I'm starting to compete with her!" The realization hit me unexpectedly. "I can't get back into that! Stop it!"
I thought about how Mary had got the blades in when she returned from making a court appearance in someone else's case--in her rectum. But no wire cutters, surely! Cathy's only visitor had been Jeanie. I looked at Cathy, and she was laughing. She was dying to tell me as soon as I’d admit I didn't know.
"All right, I give up. I thought you knew. But not wire cutters. That's impossible."
"That's not the only place, you know," she said, giggling. "Will it help you if I explain that the handles unscrew from the cutters and that it’s only about five inches long and two inches wide when apart?"
"You mean to tell me, Cathy, that Jeanie carried those things inside her vagina, and old Baker didn't pick it up on the metal detector."
"That's what I mean to tell you, Susan. Baker is so busy looking for things that he misses everything. That's why I talk nice to him and don't want you yelling and swearing at him. It makes him mad, and we want him to like us and trust us. You get him all riled up and he wants to bust you."
She paused for a moment, then looked at me knowingly. "and furthermore, if it ever comes down to it, don't be afraid to give a little bit more. What's more important-your chastity or your freedom?"
That set Catherine off on another of her lectures. I just wasn't up to it and said so, edging away toward the door. She continued on walking in the cold wind, and talking. The last words I heard before she turned the corner were "It gets cold outside late at night." Everything she did was calculated, and everything seemed to work. But still, I wondered, how had they passed those hidden wire cutters while sitting in a visiting room in front of a staff?
I was curled up on my bed and had the blanket pulled up to my neck, reading one of Karlene's philosophy books. Capitalizing on our ever-increasing freedom to move about SSU during certain hours, Cathy walked into my room quietly. The look on her face startled me. I thought I'd done something wrong. Paranoia still prevailed. But, lightheartedly, I said, "Hi. What's the serious face for?"
"If you decide to go, you know that because of your name, if they see you, they'll shoot to kill. And once you're on the other side of the fence, you're either with us, or you're on your own. You know everything I know about how to get out. You've proven yourself to be valuable. Spider's told you that. So if you decide not to come with us, you can come later, on your own. But you must understand that, once I'm out there, there's not going to be a whole lot of time. I'm going to be busy. I'm going to bring it down fast. I was born a revolutionist. I lived through the underground scene in France during World War II. My parents died in the underground, and I'm not about to stop now. I believe in what I'm fighting for. If you don't, then tell me now, sister, because I'm ready to make my move.
I knew something about Catherine's childhood. It had been full of pain. She was the daughter of a Hungarian musician and a woman of German-Jewish background. They had fled from the Nazis to France, and there had fought in the underground after the fall of that nation. They ultimately committed suicide during the war. Catherine was adopted by an American family when she was eight, only to have her adoptive mother commit suicide after being stricken with cancer. Catherine cared for her blind father, a psychologist, until he remarried, and then she went off on her own, marrying, divorcing, playing in small movie parts until she met Bobby, and through him, Charlie. She was one of the most talented members of the Manson group - an outstanding violinist and a magnificent singer. She was experienced, and she was tough.
"I don't need any albatrosses around my neck, Susan, and I can't carry your load for you. There are people out there who will hide you if you make it. If you don't make it, well, you'll have gone down fighting instead of lying here dead in you head."
I still didn't answer, so she rambled on. "I want you to know that all you have done for us so far has been appreciated. I've taught you as best I can. I thank you for staying up and typing those nights while I was working on getting my bar out. If I'm busted before I make it and you choose not to go, they can't implicate you one bit. You can merely say you didn't know what was going on. But, if you try now, and get busted with me and Mary, you'll never be given another chance by them.
I sat on the bed, and picked at the bedspread. "In all honesty, Cathy, I've really weighed it all. I've considered the chances. I know I can't stay here with them, Pat and Les. They drive me crazy. You know I can't handle their games any more, and the thought of staying in SSU the rest of my life blows my mind."
I stopped. I had to go on. Could I? "But I'm not ready to go with you yet. If I do go, and when I do go, I'm going to have to do it on my own. I can't join you and Mary and Spider. That is too much like the past. I don’t want to be on your trip. I want my own trip. Can you dig it? I'm together enough now, I think, to know I've got to stand alone and make my own decisions. This is my first decision - I'm going to stay behind."
I was exhausted with my spiel. Exhausted and afraid. Was I right?
Catherine spoke. "I hear you, sister. You've come a long way. But, seriously, Spider will be proud of you. He'll be disappointed that you aren't coming out with us, but he'll understand. And your stand, when you make your move, will make a lot of dudes inside want to have a woman like you on their team. Don't worry about finding a man. He'll find you, Susan."
She was very close to being as tender as we once had been toward one another. But she pressed on, "I'll write you through your attorney if I need to contact you for anything. All right?"
"Tonight," he said softly, "I need you to type real loud one more time. Pat is going to turn up her stereo loud for us and we should be all the way through the bar tonight. Mrs. Barnhouse will be on, and she ain't too smart, you know, so I'll tap on the wall when I need for you to stop typing. Mary will be in my room around midnight. Her lock is all ready."
She hesitated. "This is it, sister, time to get it on. Check you later."
With that last word, the together witch left. She knew her business, and I respected her. But the old affection was gone. The only thing I was really attracted to by then was her power to make things happen. She was just like Charlie - and apparently Spider. If she pictured things in her mind, they seemed to happen.
I hammered on the keys till my fingers were sore. I'd been at it for nearly two hours. Suddenly, I felt something in the air. Something was wrong. I stopped typing, and Pat's stereo was suddenly turned way down. Leslie was saying something to Pat as I got up and went to grill my door.
Mrs. Barnhouse was standing in front of Cathy's cell. "Don't move, you! It's all over! You’ve had it!"
Confusion rolled in like a whirlwind. All the lights went on, and staff people filled the corridor. For four hours, a storm raged such as CIW had never seen. Two women had come within a fraction of escaping from the highest security this medium-to-minimum-security prison had to offer. The screen was off its brackets. The last bar needed to clear the window was all but an eighth of an inch through. And in one cell were the two women, a pair of wire cutters, two backpacks with makeshift camping gear. All unheard of.
I sat quietly on my bed. I wondered about all the privileges we were going to lose - the ones we had worked for for two years. We'd just have to start over.
But what about Catherine and Mary? They, too, would just have to start over. I shook my head as I thought about the second plan they had already laid out should the first go awry. Nothing was outside their calculation.