"Sadie" & Susan
If Charlie foresaw how much paper from how many trees in how many forests have been used to type up each parole hearing, on each TLB killer, his ATWA diatribe would take on a whole new meaning!
I know, you're wondering why I've decided to ruminate about the testimony of one parole hearing, given by one killer over 31 years ago. Well, it's been my experience that if you want to get at the truth in anything, you have to peel back the layers of the past, as time has a way of blurring the lines between what was fact and what was fiction.
And, of all the hearings, of all the Manson Family killers, this one sticks out as a clear reflection of a woman, whose actions and choices, and their after-affects, are still reverberating, even today.
In reviewing the 1978 Parole hearing of Susan Atkins, one is reminded of the danger that was "Sadie" and of the risks that still lie within Susan, and that the crevasse which separates the two, isn't all that deep nor wide...
You can read the entire parole hearing transcript, courtesy of the good people at The Manson Family Today website here .
On page 10, Sadie's former defence Counsel, Mr. Caballero, states "I believe these statements that were told to me originally about her participation in the offense were accurate and true. I believe allot of the inflammatory material that was brought out later by cell mates and which is in this very probation report from her own lips, is a lie. I believe she lied."
It's hard to really know, isn't it? Sadie and Susan have swapped stories for many years, even long before TLB, in the form of countless aliases and tell-alls to authorities. She has always been a fair-weather friend, swaying to the winds of change, always in the direction which will best suit her in any situation.
I will agree that Sadie, as no doubt many girls do in Sybil Brand, most likely exaggerated her status in the TLB crimes; but from many lies, a kernel of truth exists, yes? What really stands out for me is her ebullience when it came to her attitude after the crimes; as if by the mere action of either participating in or just witnessing death, there was something to celebrate. The facts, of who did what, when, seem to take a backseat to her apres-mort manic emotions. It is her attitude which sends chills up your spine and not just her acts, or the lack of them...chilling...
Further down page 10, "...that this interview with the probation department was not done on a one-to-one basis. She was present with the other two co-defendants, which I find highly unusual for a Probation Officer who is going to make an independent probation report to do that."
I totally agree with Caballero on this. Who in their right mind would interview a defendant with her co-defendants, especially considering the Group Think that was so obviously present and amply demonstrated in the trial? One can never hope to discover the truth of anything in a group setting, especially with the drug-affected groupies of Charles Manson. Susan may have had to prove to Pat & Leslie, in those interviews, that she indeed was NOT a "snitch" and could play just as hard and fast with the truth of those killings, as any one of them could; hence the exaggerations and the lies. If that's the case, those group interviews were an unfortunate set of circumstances for Susan Atkins.
On page 15, Atkins states, "It was with the understanding that we were going to get money from him. And when we got there, Mr. Hinman told us that he didn't have any money. And in a matter of maybe 15 or 20 minutes of talking with Gary Hinman, there was a fight between Robert Beausoleil and Gary Hinman where Mr. Hinman was hit and a gunshot had been fired into, I think, the sink at that time."
The more I read from the different time periods and from different testimonies, the more I KNOW Bobby's excuse, which he made known for the first time, in that 1981 "Oui" Interview, was, and is, complete BS. The ONLY reason Sadie, Mary and Bobby hit Gary's place on that hot 25th of July, 1969 was to get $$$, as much as he had, for Charlie and his paranoid-schizo fantasies...period. Gary didn't have what they wanted and he was "offed" for it. Pure and Simple. This murder and its motive, at least, should be put to rest with the decomposed corpse of Gary Hinman. Money + The Lack of It = Gary's Death.
The most disgusting part of this tale is that Sadie KNEW what might happen at Gary's (as she's readily admitted to in her most recent book "The Shattered Myth of Helter Skelter" seen here>>>http://www.susanatkins.org/6-Myth.html ) and she went anyways....chilling...
On page 16, Atkins states, "And Charlie pulled out a long dagger and cut him. Then Charlie left."
It should have been obvious to anyone who is slightly more aware than, say, Helen Keller, that you do NOT say "No" to Charlie Manson. He was a pro ex-con, an institutionalized prison rat, who, now that he was free, wasn't going to waste any time getting and having what he wanted, when he wanted it, other people be damned. Sadly, there never was any other ending possible for Gary and the poor guy never knew it until the very end. Join, give $$$ and live, don't join, give $$$ and live, or don't give $$$ and die. His penchant for the girls (and guys) in that family was his weakest link to them and, in the end, his undoing. Maybe Gary is the saddest victim of all...
Charlie WAS there; of that there should be no more doubt. And the dagger that Charlie carried to Gary's that day (L.A.D.A. Steve Kay said it was most likely a sword with a 20" inch blade) was most probably a gift or trade from the Straight Satans for drugs, was what sliced Gary's ear and cheek. The Coroner stated that Charlie's cut alone could have been fatal for Hinman, due to the exorbitant loss of blood, quite apart from the further buck knife stab wounds.
Atkins further states, "We left the house and Bobby went back into the house for a period of five minutes. And then he came out of the house and said Gary was dead; and we left."
The image one is left with is the lingering thought that Gary did NOT die immediately; neither from Charlie's dagger slice, nor from the subsequent stabbings to his chest. There is ample evidence that suggests that SOMEONE, whether Bobby or the Girls, had to smother Gary with a pillow to finally end his life. Petechial hemorrhages should have showed up in the autopsy, if suffocation was the cause of death, but I imagine, due to the severe body decomposition, in those 5 days, in that oppressive July L.A. heat, those subtle signs were impossible to detect. Bottom line is that this was and shall remain a tortured death; and as such, would easily fall under a 1st Degree Murder charge with the Special Circumstances of the Death Penalty.
None of the Manson Family victims wanted to die. They were young and healthy and it took a monstrous effort on the part of their killers to end their lives. After July, 1969, one should have been able to view Gary's face in Webster's dictionary, when looking up the word "torture".
On page 17, Presiding Member Rushen states, "Who gave you the orders for you to stay and care for him [Gary]?"
INMATE ATKINS: "Uh, Charlie."
RUSHEN: "And what happened with the decision to finally kill him?"
ATKINS: "That came from Bobby Beausoleil."
Have I got this right...? Charlie ordered them to stay and CARE for Gary and Bobby decided to KILL Gary. How can both orders be right? Is this not the Mother of ALL oxymorons??? Who is telling what about whom and what, if anything, is the truth? One gets dizzy trying to shake the chaff away from wheat..
Although Bobby was an attractive rebel-without-a-cause kinda guy, what makes any one of us believe that he was a strong enough individual to make his own decision on whether or not to kill Hinman? And on what planet would Charles Manson say to care for someone who has refused his pleas for money? I'm beginning to think I need to take a hit of LSD just to properly digest Susan's testimony...
On page 18, Atkins states "I thought that I had to carry the facade of killing Gary Hinman for Bobby Beausoleil's sake because he was still under appeal and that if I ever told the truth, that it might mean he would lose his appeal and that something would come down on me because of it. So I didn't say anything because I felt I had to protect Bobby."
Am I REALLY supposed to believe that Sadie was so scared for her person or for her baby's life that she was forced to take the blame for Gary's death? There seems to be a pattern developing with this girl. "I said I killed (blank); but (blank) really killed him/her." and you can substitute Bobby's name, Tex's name, well, just about anybodys name, really. Sadie puts herself in the murder picture and then takes herself out, time after time, scene after scene, again and again. Hell, if she didn't actually kill anyone, she sure liked being where killing was going on...and is that any less chilling...any less risky/dangerous to society?
On page 19, Atkins states "But three days before we went, I was sitting out at Spahn's Ranch, and Charlie came up to me....He said, 'Sadie, I want you to do something for me....You always wanted to be out front; you always wanted to be important'....Well, you can do something really important for me.You can go to Gary Hinman's house and you can kill him and you can put his body in the car and you can take him to the pier down at Malibu and you can dump his body over in the ocean.' And he just left me with that. And then, three days later he told me to go with Bobby and do whatever Bobby said to do."
Is it just me or are these statements as full of holes as the Titanic? Malibu pier? WTF? Yeah, sure, that's a great place to dump a body; no one will see ya...just EVERYBODY from the highway and all those people on the beach - night and day - yep, great place. Hell, I don't think I could burp on that beach for someone not noticing!
This statement of Atkins really sends chills down my spine because Charlie KNEW Sadie could NEVER have accomplished this feat by herself, even IF you were stupid enough to dump a dead one over Mailbu pier. There is some serious fantasizing going on here, to implicate Charlie or some serious evidence that Charlie was more demented than anyone thought. Susan contradicts herself, when, then, she states she was only told to do what Bobby told her to do - first, she's the leader, then she's the follower.
What makes me think that she was JUST the person to offer up this scenario to the boys when they sat down for their final chitchat to discuss what they could get from Gary and what to do with the body afterwards! I truly feel that Sadie was a devout soldier in Charlie's army who desperately wanted to be a lieutenant, were it not for her subservient sex.
Further, on page 19, Atkins is asked, "BOARD MEMBER DeLEON: And he [Gary]had no medication for the pain or anything of that nature?"
INMATE ATKINS: "No."
Mary and Sadie supposedly went to a drugstore and bought sterilizing liquids and soup for poor old Gary but didn't even offer the dude an Aspirin while they sutured up his gaping wound with dental floss....Is this where where I'm supposed to laugh if I weren't so disposed to crying? Those 2 days before Gary was put out of his misery must have been excruciating, seriously, like Christ-on-the-Cross excruciating. How 'bout some drugs for Gary at least - a joint even - something for gosh sake. Betcha Gary was wishing he still had that Mescaline lab in his basement on those two days...
On page 23, Atkins is asked, "DeLEON: What type of weapon did Beausoleil have?"
ATKINS: "A buck knife, to my remembrance."
And, yet, Bobby says in that same "Oui" Interview, that he had carried a SHEATH knife "for utility" reasons. A sheath knife is NOT necessarily a Buck knife and the knife, that was discovered in the wheel well of Gary's vehicle Bobby was driving when arrested, was indeed a Buck knife.
Makes you feel like ol' Bobby got "his" knife from the bulk supply of Bucks Charlie bought for his disciples, doesn't it? Bobby and "his" knife are as connected to Charles Manson and The Family as is a bolt to a nut. Sorry Cupid; you're a Mansonite even if you don't look like you should have been, Brother! And maybe THAT'S why you're still in jail!
On page 24, Atkins states, "We had gotten--we had come out and locked the front door behind us. And Bobby heard a noise inside and he thought maybe Gary was still alive....He went in the window and maybe ten minutes later came back out and stated that he had to put a pillow over Gary's face and smother him..."
First, it's 5 minutes, then it's 10; but it's always Bobby and never Sadie. I guess I can be a nice gal and believe her on this one, as Bobby was most likely the only one with a heart to finally put Gary to rest. I doubt Sadie would have cared either way...
On page 32, when Atkins was asked, "Why didn't you leave the group?" Atkins responded, "Well, my son was there."
And to her credit, what prostitute ever wants to leave her pimp when she or her child is being threatened with physical harm? But most prostitutes don't go and kill others just so they themselves will not be killed. And, of course, I guess she forgot about informing the authorities, or her family, that she and her child needed help. She and Tex had $$$ to go buy that meth-cocaine mixture they snorted on the night of the Tate killings but she had no dime to drop in a phonebooth to ask the authorities for help, say, like this, "Hey, Coppers, if you don't come to Spahn's and get me and my boy today, tonight I'll have to chop up some Bel-Air piggies!" - something to that effect. Just think of all the paperwork and blood mopping which could have been spared if she'd bothered to drop that dime...
To Be Continued...