Friday, February 27, 2009

Blogging The New Atkins Book Part ONE- Say What?

Hi there.
Sadie, the girl who even if she didn't kill Sharon Tate at least wished that she did, was writing another book before she was diagnosed with only six months to live twelve months ago.

You can read it here.

It's not very well written. It is very self serving. Big surprises I know. Bret claims it is her third book but I only count one before this. In any case, I read it once and we're only going to plow through it to see what we can learn.

Any real value would be in the revealing of the hither to unknown motives for TLB. She does refute the Bug's lies- but then any two year old would do the same if they opened their goddamn eyes (I'm talking to you, Discovery Channel!). But her new motive- not so good.

Near as I could conclude her view is

1- Charlie thinking he killed Lotsapoppa started everything. I buy that.
2- Charlie wanted money to get the fuck out of town. Okay.
3- He thought Hinman had it. Maybe, this has been bandied about before.
4-Bobby was a leader of the Family too and Charlie wanted him to get his hands dirty. Okay except most evidence indicates Bobby was NOT a leader. Hell he was younger than some of the girls.
5- Bobby got sent to get the money along with Sadie and Mary because Charlie wanted their hands dirty. Charlie stabbed Gary so that Bobby would have to kill him.
6- Bobby goes to jail, Charlie doesn't want him to squeal about Crowe so he sends out people to do TLB as copycat murders but everyone was too stupid and no one linked them.

The biggest problem I have with this is that, besides from not making sense, I don't believe Bobby KNEW about Crowe until later. He wasn't a leader, sorry Sadie. And if Sadie is accurate and Charlie had Mary repudiate Bobby during the second trial, then Bobby would have made a deal to save his ass from the gas chamber RIGHT THERE by giving up Manson for Crowe. Remember, we're all just scholars here. Fucking GAS CHAMBER is a real thing- people give up their mothers to avoid it.

So while, as Bret says, there is some truth in what she says, her theory doesn't make sense.

Let's read together, shall we?


Anonymous said...

As far as being a truthful exposition of her role in the crimes, this effort of Susan's is poor. After 40 years to mull things over, you'd think she could do better. I think she was an enthusiastic participant in the crimes, and this essay does not reflect that. Putting forth the notion that she was coerced into the crimes out of fear for her child contradicts just about every other eye-witness account we have heard. This applies to the killing of Hinman and the goings on at the Polanski house.

As far as shedding light on the mindset of Manson, I agree with you that there is great plausibility in the notion that the Crowe killing was the trigger event. All of the subsequent murder scenes included some attempt to implicate the Panthers, presumably to get the police to harass them and keep them busy while Manson escapes to the desert.

There are lots of little problems with some of the details. For example, it may be a small matter that she emphatically states that the men were not preached to about the Helter Skelter and the Hole, but Tex and Clem seem to have been exposed to these rants and believed them, at least during the period in which the crimes were committed. This, along with her misrepresentation of her own role makes you wonder what else Susan is either concealing or mistaken about. Susan's apparent lack of honesty about her own role leads us to doubt any detailed information which she includes (which isn't much).

There are also a lot of questions that are not answered by this outpouring of honest reflection by one who was at all three of the murder sites post Crowe (I believe she was in the car outside the Labianca house). Why the Tate house, why the Labianca house? Hinman is somewhat understandable. We know of his connections to the Family. But the Polanski house? Manson's orders were quite specific as to which house was to be targeted that night. Manson also chose the Labianca house. The debate over why he chose those particular victims will continue, even if we now assume that one principal motive was to protect himself from any fallout from the Crowe murder.

I have always disagreed with the notion that Helter Skelter was made up by Bugliosi to explain the unexplainable. I believe it is central to the crimes in a certain sense. It was a motive implanted by Manson in the persons who carried out the crimes to get them to accomplish his desired outcome: an escape to the desert where the Panthers and the police could not reach him.

There is ample evidence that his Helter Skelter scam was believed by both male and female followers during the period in question. Does that make it a true motive, in the way Bugliosi describes it? No, but given the information he had at the time it certainly might have appeared that way to him.

Shak El said...

One thing I noticed from this book is that its heavily footnoted. Its almost like she was not fuckin there. You would figure that James or whowever is ghostwriting would know that you don't reference 1st person information since Susan supposively is giving first hand information.

Shak El said...

Some list: "The Killing of Sharon Tate : The Exclusive Story of Susan Atkins" by Lawrence Schiller as her first book since its mostly her interviews/court docs

Shak El said...

Anyone know when O'Nieil's book is coming out so far its no listed on yet (mainstream publishers often list a year before actual publications)?

A.C. Fisher Aldag said...

Thank you for making us aware of this document, Colonel.

Jean Harlow said...

I think that its interesting to note that TJ when asked/ordered(?) to shoot Crowe doesn't and leaves the family... what made him and Linda different from the others (and by this I mean not physically harming anyone)?

Sbsugar said...

I find it odd how she basically "yadda-yadda-yaddas" her way over the 2 nights of murder. Jeez. Step up and take some responsibility, Susan!

Heaven said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Heaven said...

Sorry for the delete.. Typo!
Here's a new message from James...

To all our friends and
family, March 1st, 2009

Susan and I hope you are all well and happy. Each day I get to visit
with Susan we start our visit with a prayer thanking God for each of
you and asking Him to bless you each with a closer relationship with
Him. And that's how we end each day as well. (I also ask God to bless
every doctor, nurse and aide who works with Susan and ask that He let
them see His love through Susan's big brown eyes and beautiful smile.)

Susan has been extremely well the last month. As I told you a month
ago, the doctors told us the latest brain scans appear to show that
Susan's tumor has stopped growing. This is nothing less than a
miracle. Like I also told you a month ago, this does not mean she is
cured. The tumor can start growing again any day, and they expect it
will start again. But nine months ago when the neurologists first
told Susan and me what her prognosis was we both talked about it and
agreed that we were going to thank God for each and every day He
gives us. And if that ends up being three more months (the prognosis
at the time) then that's what we'd thank Him for. Anything more than
that and we'd thank Him even more. And so even though this present
surprise may end at any moment, we are still having an incredibly
blessed time.

Susan's physical therapy appears to be doing very well. She is more
and more comfortable when being moved, which is an answer to prayer.
This is also good for her digestion, circulation, and breathing. And
Susan does not seem as antagonistic toward the whole process as she
was several weeks ago (which is also an answer to prayer).

She seems to be talking more spontaneously. She had a friend visit
with her today and when she asked how Susan was Susan said "Oh honey,
I'm fine!" I also discovered she tried to talk her way out of a
shower last week, telling the nurse quite clearly "I can't take a
shower. I have a shower restriction! " The ploy didn't work, but the
nurse was very impressed. Her counselor told me he talked to her
several days ago and started to fear after several positive responses
that all she could say was "yes," so he asked her what she was
watching on TV and Susan said "Divorce Court."

Today I also discovered that on days when the aides don't take Susan
to the shower (which I understand is still quite an operation for all
involved), they try to transfer her to a reclining chair for awhile.
They told me they've even taken her outside in the sun once or twice
in the last couple weeks. So Susan's friend quickly asked if we could
take her outside today and they said yes. I asked Susan if that
sounded good and she agreed. So we sat outside in the shade and it
was very nice. I pointed out to Susan that it has been almost a year
since the two of us have sat together outside. She looked very good,
very healthy and very happy. The aides and the other inmates who
walked by and saw us sitting out there all smiled and waved at her.
It was fun.

In other news, I have just been told the Parole Board has scheduled
another parole hearing for Susan on May 28th. If you would like to
write a letter to them and support Susan, you can write them at:
California Board of Parole Hearings, Post Office Box 4036,
Sacramento, CA 95812-4036. Just tell them you are writing to support
Susan Atkins, W#08304.

So we're just going to keep praying and keep enjoying the time we're
given together. I think that goes for all of us. I want to thank you
all for being a part of our lives and for being such good friends. To
those of you we haven't been able to see in the last year, Susan and
I think of you often and miss you all very much. I hope you will all
have a great month, and a continuing great year! Take care and God


Anonymous said...

Susan lying to get out of something she doesn't want to do? That's a great sign that she is on her way to total recovery. Blessed be the Lord!

Seriously, this poor woman's biggest problem is that she can't tell the truth about anything, whether it's about taking a shower or reluctantly hanging around 3 murder scenes. Susan, sociopaths do exist and you are probably one.

It's hard not to have compassion for her, but she has had a chance to live until old age unlike many persons whose last moments she was witness to.

Anonymous said...

Obviously, I have never believed the H.S. motive.

I have been on record here before buying into the copycat motive.

Much of Susan's explanation I can believe, since it goes into the copycat theory I believe.

I do, however, have trouble with some of her throw-away excuses. Because CM wanted her to be segregated from her child...did he always have to achieve that segregation by sending her off to an area that just happened to be adjacent to a murder discussion?

She's always in the know by listening in on other conversations but not being a part of them.

She also needs to provide more detail about her participation in the events of August 9th and 10th. Even, if she's to be believed, for catharsis purposes.

She's off to a decent start with me, in that I can buy quite a bit of her explanation. But, she always loses me when it comes time for her to decide to kill.

Home or no or no mom/ meal/no next meal....good people don't stab, hack, and chop people to death just to get by because they ain't got a place to go.

James...if you're reading this....I'm glad she's doing ok. I hope she's doing ok enough to sit down once again and tell the whole truth.

Anonymous said...

jm30, you will be sorely disappointed if you are looking for a deathbed confession from this one.

Aint gonna happen.

What we have just read is all we are going to get: Charlie made me do it.

Force 17 said...

The motive in essence hasnt changed from her 1st book in 1974, its just been fleshed out with hindsight. I think its pretty close as i dont believe in HS or drugs burns or robbery.
Is it self serving-absolutely.
Does she take any responsibility-nope she takes the Nuremburg defence-"i was only taking orders".
Unfortunately it makes Manson into a super rational criminal mastermind again when in fact he was just reacting to events with very little common sense or intelligence.
We have to remember this is not the definitive version because there is no definitive version, it is Susan Atkins version as she understands it.
Also one point she says CM forced LVH to go on the 2nd night-we know this isnt true.

andy said...

I'm curious how much taxpayers are shelling out weekly to keep her alive and with top notch health care? Now everyone smile and wave to good ole Susan sitting in the sunshine.

andy said...

by the way, thanks for the post/link.

Anonymous said...

Susan == Miss O'Shaugnessy (The Maltese Falcon)

Anonymous said...

How about a conversation starter: whats it like to be locked up in a women's prison for 40 years?

“Here’s the thing, I’m not saying I wasn’t responsible for what I did, I was, I was a bad person filled with sin and evil, but that’s not who I am anymore. You understand what I’m saying?”


Eden’s riff is a vast improvement over what I have heard from the majority of the other inmates. Over and over, I hear them automatically regurgitate the language of the therapists who infest the prison like New Age locust.

Prison Psychobabble 101, choose your favorite:

a) ”I lack self-esteem.”

b) “I am learning to love myself.”

c) “I have to be less oppositional.”

d) “I have no impulse control.”

e) “I have abandonment issues.”

The inmates repeat these cozy phrases like mantras, magic formulas without true emotional inflection. They tell me that they love their therapists because they don’t judge them, nor judge the crimes committed.

It’s only the religious ministries who insist on bringing good and evil into the mix, thus Eden, a born again Christian, admits to committing an evil act and seems truly contrite.

Or am I being manipulated by a master sociopath?

A.C. Fisher Aldag said...

The essential trouble with Xianity is the fallacy of exoneration. Susan can feel that her god has forgiven her, that she isn't gonna have to pay for her actions, that she believes so she gets to go to a nice cozy afterlife, regardless of her behavior. Same with Watson. It absolves them of responsibility.

If we took the Xian ministers out of the prison system, truly separated church and state, it'd likely reduce the astronomical rates of recidivism. The idea that people can get away with anything, and be exhonerated, and then they do it again. Screw the psychobabble, jam the forgiveness... get these people to understand that in their next lives, they are gonna be starving orphans in Africa with AIDS.

agnostic monk said...

I appreciate Susan's revelations on a number of levels. I think she probably is somewhat on target when it comes to Charles Manson. I don't think he was as intelligent or meticulously calculating as she wants us to believe, but he was probably first and foremost all about Charlie.

Maybe Susan is on to something. We haven't talked that much about Bobby threatening Charlie with exposure. It could be true. Bobby has changed his story. Then again, I trust the words of today's Bobby more than I would ever trust Susan and he has never gone there at least not that I recall.

One thing though, Susan seems quite obsessed with Linda. She seems intent on comparing herself, her actions, her relationship with the prosecution, her behavior during the trial, etc. with Linda. It is almost a pathological comparison. I want to slap her. SUSAN! Linda didn't put you there! And for that matter CHARLIE didn't put you there! YOU put you there! Stop!

Anyone here remember the good ole days of the Col's great blog when we used to joke "Linda! Linda! Linda!"? Every time Susan mentioned Linda I giggled because I kept hearing the wonderful CatsCradle or the legendary Heaven saying it, LOL. Good times had by all. Thank you for the post, link, and commentary, Col.

Heaven said...

Hiya Monk! Great to see you..

I remember when we used to pull Linda's pigtails and made her cry LOL

Ahhh good times!


Anonymous said...

Buddha Saves!

A.C. Fisher Aldag said...

Susan blames Linda because she, Susan, wanted to be the prosecution witness and thus, skate.

Marliese said...

Susan was never going to skate. Her deal would have been exactly what she ended up with death penalty.

Pristash said...

I've waited a long time to comment because I wanted to read it all and reflect a little bit...

Generally her story is probably as plausible as any. Instead of it being a big drug burn or mafia hit, it's just a money/copycat/try to keep BB's mouth shut kind of a thing. And if that was the case, were the LaBianca's just victims of dumb luck so to speak?

I'm still puzzled about a few things, so I was checking HS, Watson and GoRightly even just to cross check some things, so here are a few thoughts:

Who drove the car to Cielo? Sadie again says LK was brought because of the driver's license thing, but Tex drove, didn't he?

I noticed she didn't admit to stabbing VF, but she admitted it in her Grand Jury testimony, and Watson says she did too. Then she loses the knife? The same one found in the couch cushions? The same one ruled was too small to have caused most of the wounds and didn't have any blood on it at all? How's that possible?

Disappointed at no mention of Garrettson, or whether or not she thought Manson returned to the scene afterwards.

Also, more and more, I'd like to know what happened to Stephanie Schram. An interview with her might be very enlightening. She was one of the last arrive and one of the only ones to flee from Barker in October.....

Marliese said...

Have we talked about Sadie believing Bobby was a leader? She's said this before too.

Col, you said he's not a leader, so is she seeing Bobby's charisma as leading? Not competing to be in charge, but being out front. Everyone always says Bobby had the ability to draw attention to himself, be in the spotlight, and there was also his talent with the when he was around, he may have dominated the attention, stealing the scene from Charlie, and Sadie calls that being a leader, even though he wasn't otherwise a leader at all...

And it's very disappointing that after 40 years in prison, she still can't crumble in grief and horror over the murders...

Anonymous said...


Most accounts I have read agree that Linda was the only one with a drivers license, and that she drove TO Cielo... Linda started driving back FROM Cielo, but Watson took the wheel when they had the incident with the garden hose.

Marliese said...

It sounds so funny when they talk about Linda driving because she had a valid driver's a little thing like that matters when you're about to slaughter a houseful of people.

Thirty years ago, in her Child of Satan book, she mentions that LK had the license, but that Tex drove to Cielo anyway.

Fiona said...

I'm sorry my first post came out on the blog itself. I've never done this before. Also, I'm only a girl and therefore awed and helpless in the face of technology. That's my excuse anyway.

Fiona said...

I have always thought that in the interests of true justice, the girls should be released, that is , no-one should remain incarcerated just because their case is famous.
But onto the question of remorse. Pat seems bitterly regretful. And as for Leslie, you only have to look at her anorexia. There's no need for a woman to be trying to fit size zero dresses in jail. No, Leslie's anorexia was her mind's attempt to escape from the crushing burden of what she had done by inducing a slow suicide. She reminds me of Lady Macbeth, suffering in her sleep from unconquerable guilt.
And now for Susan. I want to believe Susan is remorseful. I do think she was misrepresented and that indeed her culpability was not much more than Linda's. It's just that she seems so detached from it all. In her "Child Of..." book, she asks herself how she feels: "But my guilt. What about that? Was I sorry for what I had done to innocent people? No." She was sorry instead that she had got everyone jailed. And when Jesus came to her cell and she was born-again (yes, likely. I don't think) what did she say? That the bitterness had all gone, like a weight had been lifted. Almost as an afterthought she adds: "The guilt, too." It's the bitterness, i.e. the feeling of being done wrong to, not doing wrong yourself, that's what concerns her.
And even now, her central idea seems to be: "It's not FAIR! Linda got all the chances, I got none! Why didn't I get immunity, etc, etc" I recall her saying that as Tex rampaged through the house and Pat drove down Abigail, she sat on the coffee table, facing and guarding Sharon. For God's sake, picture the scene, a woman, helpless with pregnancy, who only moments before was chatting to an old flame and basking in her blameless happy life, now hemmed in on a couch, the same old flame dying on the carpet and her friends screaming in agony as knives flash into them: now, if I'd seen that, if I had guarded that woman, when I came to my senses and the brainwash faded away, I think I'd never sleep again, much less pull the case apart and cry "Unfair! Unfair! Teacher, Teacher, what about Linda? She was there too! Punish her too!"
Of course Susan has some points, but equally of course, Bugliosi was going to call Linda an angel. It's called 'lighting up your witness' I think. It's what lawyers do when they have to make a case using witnesses who are just as reprehensible as the defendants. It's painful, and so the lawyer tries to re-cast the witness in a positive light. Susan's crazy behaviour precluded that. Whether her madder statements were true or not, she was making them a mile a minute. How about the tale of climaxing with a guy at the moment he shot himself? That it is clearly not true is meaningless. Linda was acting contrite. Susan was swishing her behind around.
All Susan's remorse still seems to be for the fact she ran off at the mouth. Why doesn't anyone ask the real question: "Truthfully, Susan, are you now sorry that you spoke out? If we suppose that if you had not, you and your friends would never have been caught, are you sorry? True remorse would mean you were glad you jabbered to your cell-mates. You received punishment and no-one else got killed". If she could go back in time, what would she do?

Anonymous said...

Well, if you're Manson, and you are the one who decides who drives, a little thing like a drivers license would be important, since a routine traffic stop could derail the whole operation. For example, Timothy McVeigh was apprehended during a traffic stop (I believe it was malfunctioning brake lights or something similar) after the OKC bombings.

Susan's statement agrees with Linda Kasabians testimony at the trial on what happened after the murders. According to Linda, she was in the car and started it up, but Watson pushed her aside and drove off the property.

Watson's version at his trial is that he took over driving after the garden hose incident. Small detail, but if Linda and Susan agree i'd go with their version.

Marliese said...

Too bad Manson's traffic stop in Oceanside with Stephanie on August 7 didn't derail Charlie. Wasn't she underage, and wasn't he at the least violating parole...?

Fiona said...

Excuse me, but is there any one place where all these Whitehouse letters through Heaven are gathered? Or an especial key to search for them? I'm hunting post by post and I could use a way to narrow down.
Also please excuse me for rambling or obsession: I should point out at the start, as per the doctor's orders, that I have a form of autism called Asperger's Syndrome which I think more ppl are aware of now. It allows me to have laser-like focus and incredible recall, but also I never know when to stop. So feel free to tell me. In fact, I would love it, because it is so hard to know

A.C. Fisher Aldag said...

Marliese, little Stephanie wasn't such an innocent waif... she was already knocked-up by some unknown guy when Charles found her hitch hiking. Wonder where her parents were?

He continues to maintain that the ticket was in the wee hours of the 9th.

Marliese said...

I didn't say she was innocent, AC, I said she was underage, and she was...only 17. Children are capable of being pregnant.

I know you believe the ticket was in the early morning hours of August 9, but believing so makes many ohers intimately involved in the events of those two days liars, and we know they all lie, but none have been tripped up in the detail of Charlie's return...for the second time that week, to Spahn's Ranch on August 8th, so maybe Charlie is the biggest liar of them all.

You also believe that he didn't help himself to the LaBianca home, tie them up, kindly reassure them that everything was going to be alright, and then invite the devil in to knife and mutilate them to death.

A.C. Fisher Aldag said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
A.C. Fisher Aldag said...

My bad... to many typos to survive.

Yeah, I sure do. Here's why: I have a hard time believing that someone of Mr. LaBianca's size, a guy who was used to throwing large grocery boxes around, was able to be punked by a man who is my size. Now, a Texas football player might've been able to do that...

When one is seventeen, one is not a child. One is capable of enlisting in the military, moving out from one's parents' house, and getting married, all legally. If she'd had more parental guidance when she was younger, she might not've gotten pregnant before she was ready to care for a child... but I think that of most of the "Family". Where the heck were their folks?

agnostic monk said...

Tex did go into the LaBianca house with Manson (along with a gun and a bayonet - negating Manson's smallness).

"Telling us to wait, Charlie slipped up to the house alone. A few minutes later he was back, telling me to come with him. Pointing through one of the windows, he showed me a man asleep on a couch with a newspaper over his face. We went in the unlocked back door and, as a big dog nosed at us with friendly curiosity, crossed through the kitchen into the living room, Charlie still carrying the gun, me with the bayonet.

Charlie poked the man gently with the pistol to wake him up. As with Voytek Frykowski the night before, grocery-store owner Leno LaBianca's first words were: "Who are you? What do you want?"

Holding the gun on him, Charlie smiled and murmured, "We're not going to hurt you. Just relax. Don't be afraid."

From "Will You Die For Me"

It happened. I don't always trust Tex but I think this was a truthful description on his part.

Marliese said...

Maybe where you live, AC, but in the State of California, a 17 year old is still a child...underage, a minor, and cannot legally get married, enlist in the military, or legally have sex with a 37 year old man, regardless that she was a runaway, already pregnant, with absent and maybe neglectful parents...unless she was emancipated, and i don't recall reading that she was, there's very little written about Stephanie, other than she was 17 and pregnant when Charlie scooped her up from a gas station near Big Sur, and that she lived with her sister in San Diego.

She was legally under the age of consent in California, and in California, a 37 year old man giving a 17 year old girl drugs and having sex with her is guilty of unlawful sex with a minor...and for Charlie Manson, that would be a felony.

deadwoodhbo said...

Why is it always the parents fault .That has to be the oldest lamest comment around.BOREING!!!!!!
Ace said If she'd had more parental guidance when she was younger, she might not've gotten pregnant before she was ready to care for a child... but I think that of most of the "Family". Where the heck were their folks?

8:06 PM, March 15, 2009