On Page 62, Atkins states, "I know in my heart when I was given the death penalty...I know that is what I deserved. Anything given to me beyond a life sentence in here or short of that, to me is Divine mercy. The fact that I'm alive today is mercy, when I had no mercy for anybody and I'm being shown mercy."
Well, then, that begs the question, that if Susan REALLY means what she's saying, why, oh why, does she monopolize the Parole Board's time, using countless reams of paper in official documentation of each of her hearings, and force surviving family members to relive their losses every time she gets a chance? Honestly, I'm just not sure which is worse, the initial killings of her victims, or the endless barrage of hearings, the families never able to live past the nights of August 9th and 10th, 1969. If I were monstrous enough to take such heinous actions and then really realize the damage I had caused society, I would relinquish all rights to any parole hearings and let my victims' families have some peace of mind and some closure. Is that too much to ask of you, Susan, while the Justice system grants you your Divine mercy?
On page 66, Los Angeles District Attorney, Steven Kay states, "She [Atkins] did not actually kill anyone on the night of the LaBianca murders but was unquestionably ready and willing to do so if the occasion arose....If she is paroled after a certain number of years, the public will feel that no one will be kept longer, since her crime is the most horrible."
This is exactly the crux of the situation. Sadie would NOT have said no to Charlie if he had picked her to walk up the LaBianca driveway. NO ONE in Swartz's borrowed car in the early morning hours of August 10th would have said no to Charlie - not Clem, not Sadie - and its up for debate whether Linda would have agreed, or not.
It's the very idea of a shared responsibility in these murders that the Manson gang, to this very day, simply cannot wrap around their heads. They, each of them, in their old age, have said the words and clinically admitted to their shared responsibility but even when they are spewing the rhetoric in interviews and in hearings, you can tell their hearts are not in the words. Leslie keeps qualifying her actions with, "I'm not sure if Rosemary was dead or not when I stabbed her those 16 times." Sadie never seems to empathize nor take active responsibility in the pain and torture Gary must have experienced when no pain medication was given to him. And everybody is more than willing to say they never stabbed Sharon, as if being in the room with the actual stabber wasn't horrific enough.
Quite honestly, the only one who could be relieved of the LEGAL guilt, if not the moral, would be Charlie himself; for he made damn sure his physical being was long gone before any blood bath began.Thankfully, in the United States, a charge of Conspiracy to commit murder holds as much weight as the actual act of murder; for if it weren't for that law, Charlie would have been free from all legal guilt.
As to any legal precedent stemming from a release of any of these killers, Mr. Kay is right once more in saying that any and all future multiple victim spree killers would be punished to a lesser degree than that of the Manson murderers, as theirs were the most heinous murderous acts perpetrated in the annuls of American crime. Any defense lawyer worth his salt would easily site the fact that if the Manson gang could be released then their client should be as well. The Manson murders is and shall remain the yardstick to measure all similar future crimes. Pure and simple.
On page 70, Mr. Kay states, She did, after Beausoleil, also stab him a number of times. Hinman had what you--has been termed a death rattle. When somebody is dying, it's kind of a gurgling sound. Miss Atkins and Miss Brunner participated in holding a pillow over his face to kind of suffocate him and to keep the sound down....Leslie van Houten testified...Atkins...said, 'We killed him.' and that she was real excited about it...that...during the period between the Hinman and the Tate murders, Miss Atkins spent most of her time sharpening knives, because she was fascinated about the thought of killing people and wanted to be prepared the next time that it came up."
The more you analyze the Manson Family story, the more stunned you become. No other group of individuals have had such blood lust. Sadie goes as far as saying that she actually "liked" Gary but because she was never his girlfriend, the act of killing him was never in conflict with how she felt about him. Unbelievable! And then, after Gary's death, she obsessed about the thrill of taking another human life. It was approximately 12 days before Tate and its a wonder Sadie could wait that long. She probably hung out in the weapons room with Danny or on the boardwalk with Tex, chomping at the bit, waiting for her race track starting gate to be opened...
Oh, and by the way, Bobby, Mary and Sadie didn't hold a pillow over Gary's face to dampen the sound of his "death rattle". Death rattles are not THAT loud, People. They stabbed him after slashing him and bludgeoning him with a gun and then suffocated him when his healthy body wouldn't die; and they, through these acts, for two days, composed and in control, lived to tell the tale and to repeat said on a larger scale 12 days later. It leaves even ME speechless...
On page 73, Mr. Kay further states, "The evidence at all of the trials has been just absolutely overwhelming that nobody was under the influence of drugs at the time of either one of the murders, except on the second night, that Tex Watson had taken some speed to pep him up, and the psychiatrists have testified that that wouldn't effect him mentally. The testimony from even the participants...has been nobody had taken any drugs."
This "fact" has always puzzled me, legally and psychologically. Legally, wouldn't it have been more prudent a defense to say, "Yeppers, we took bucket loads of drugs before each kill and we were out of our minds; that's what made us kill and so viciously. It was the drugs, Man!" To assert that a type of human could do such barbarous acts while totally sober makes monsters out of each one of them and forces the Jurors to vote Guilty with Special Circumstances of Death. And, I think once these dim-wits figured out that that sober assertion was more damaging to their cases than that of "diminished mental capacity", they reversed their stories in their subsequent parole hearings, like Sadie's, here, in 1978, to say that, yes, they had been under the influence, so don't-hold-it-against-me kind of defense.
I think the ONLY Manson gang member who was smart enough to see this was Steve Grogan; and his D.M.C. defense along with his cooperation in the search for Shea's body, was the ticket out of jail. The Judge in Steve's trial fell for it and after 8 years of incarceration, Clem heard the clang of his jail cell door open. The others, living with their claims of sobriety, have yet to see the light of day.
Psychologically, its hard to imagine that a human being could accomplish all that was done without the aid of some hallucinogen. I'm not sure if this proves that these kids were indeed psychopaths or that Charlie's powers of persuasion were even more profound than once thought. Either way the prospect is frightening...
On page 74, Mr. Kay states, "Watson, at his trial, stated that when he came back after killing Frykowski that Miss Atkins was participating--was killing Tate, and he also participated in that."
I know that Tex has now said that it was he who stabbed Sharon but one wonders exactly what Sadie had been doing with Sharon while the others were otherwise occupied. She only ever mentions Sharon's pleading for her life and Sadie's cold response to that plea. What did the two of them do for the remaining minutes while Katie and Tex were trying to down Gibby and Voytek? What, am I supposed to believe that the two women sat quietly on that couch waiting their turn in all this?
There seems to be a "group think" going on with the Hinman/TLB murderers. They seemed to do stuff in pairs, or in threes, everywhere someone died, as if being in a group made the acts that much easier to accomplish. So, the jury is still out as to whether or not Tex is telling the whole story - or that he even remembers the whole story - as he admits he doesn't remembering using the rope at Tate, that he just carried it in but didn't wrap it around anyone nor anything.
I believe these killers have either psychologically blocked out the truth or experienced a drug-induced blackout while in the act of killing Sharon, similar to the blackouts alcoholics can experience. My cop's daughter's nose is itching and telling me that that last act of murder was indeed a group project. Remember the cop's Golden Rule: the initial testimony is most akin to the truth!
On pages 80 & 81, Mr. Kay states, "And in the last--in a 1977 psychiatric report, Dr. Roh, the staff psychiatrist, states on page 1 of his report...it says, 'Her violence potential outside of a controlled and supervised environment is probably unpredictable."
And let's be realistic here, the only thing that has dampened any of the Manson murderers is the frailty which comes from aging. I truly believe that Sadie, Katie, Tex, Leslie and Bobby had and still have in their make-up, a predilection for violence, probably from early childhood. That and their egocentric way of looking at life, coupled with an inability to empathize with others, are lifelong traits. At 60 years of age, of course, those predilections are dampened but, I fear, never really extinguished. EVERYONE of the killers has been able to technically recite the events and clinically acknowledge their wrong-doings but none have ever been able to internalize or truly empathize because their psychological make-up holds no ability to accomplish this.
If released, sure, another TLB wouldn't occur with these aging murderers but, at anytime, a situation could arise in everyday life on the outside which could spark the return of their violent reactions to stressors. The risk of violent reactionary behaviour is a risk none of us on the outside need to fear from these people.
On page 84, Atkins admits, "The 115, as it's called here, a violation of phone or abusing my phone privileges, was something that I did on an impulse."
That says it all, doesn't it?
Sadie's entire reason for being was, has been and shall remain a life led by impulses - no pre-planning, no thought to the consequences, no empathy, no remorse - just self-gratification. Predators in the jungle live a life on impulse but none of us want to live beside a puma or a lioness, do we? I just loved how Susan never realized the importance of this statement when she said it; because, the predatory nature of her being finds nothing askew with this admission. Statements like this from the TLB killers are all the shrinks need to hear to keep their cell doors locked.
The "Sadie" Enigma...Final Part IV...Coming Soon...