The "Sadie" Enigma...The Final Part IV
"Sadie" & Susan
This is my last installment on this 1978 Parole Hearing of Susan Atkins but undoubtedly NOT the last time I endeavour to uncover the holes in Ms. Atkins "story" of the Manson murders. Despite the heinous nature of these crimes, one would think it would have been prudent to fess-up to the whole truth regarding her actions instead of constantly reshaping her story to better fit what she thought was a way of being granted parole. I know if I'd been a parole board member, the mere fact that her and her cohorts ever-changing sequence of events in the Hinman, Tate-LaBianca, and Shea murders would have been enough for me to keep their cell doors permanently locked. And from what I can tell, these half-wit murderers never figured that out...
On page 95, Hearing Representative Del Pasco refers to a "chrono", dated 4/4/78, of Ms. Atkins activities, "You [Susan] respond to authority well, require little supervision, but remain manipulative and sophisticated in achieving your goals and desires..."
Charles Manson = authority for Sadie
Prison officials = authority for Susan
"manipulative and sophisticated in achieving your goals and desires" = in The Family and away from The Family
A formula which hasn't altered for Susan some 9 years after the murders...
What would make any rational human being think any change was possible if even 9 years incarceration haven't done the trick?
Old dogs...new tricks...never been there...
On page 99, Del Pasco continues to read from Atkins' chrono, and comments "But it appears that you have become overzealous to the point of creating an institutional problem with your religious activities." Quoting from the chrono, Del Pasco reads, "...as a result of a memo date 5/3/78 from Antonio D. Brandon, student chaplain in which Susan is reported to have stated 'these children', pointing to the group, were given to her by the Lord, and she 'assumed a position of authority in terms of what they were being taught."
All those who think Susan has never fully understood her O.C.D. complex with seen and unseen religious leaders, put your hands up! (as mine waves violently in the air!). And this idol fixation she has/needs is what lead her to the Hinman/Tate murders in the first place, so why should I NOT be concerned that a similar idol fixation on God would lead her down a path of destruction again?!
These kinds of learned behaviours, according to the shrinks in the "know", are very difficult to shed and constantly reinforced if allowed to grow unchecked, and the stronger they grow with age.
Susan, early on, traded Charlie and The Family for Jesus and God and has had no restrictions placed on her in terms of her habitual fixation on religious icons while incarcerated, so the root cause of her deviant behaviour has never really been adjusted to normal levels. I would envision her joining a fundamentalist religious group on the outside and if exposed to the right stressors, her religious zeal could again overflow into very destructive actions. Maybe she wouldn't kill again for her "leader" but that doesn't prevent her from having a very negative influence on younger followers under her mentorship, becoming in effect, a Charlie to her legions of Sadies...are ya seeing a pattern here, folks, are ya?
On page 104, Susan states, "As a new Christian, I had to learn how to present my faith in God in an acceptable way to my peers so that it would not be rejected."
Is this not P.C, speak for, "I've learned how to be an effective conman to unsuspecting souls within my reach!" A further continuation as a "Front Door Girl" for Charlie at Spahn's, no? Can't you just visualize Susan as the Welcome Wagon gal at some fundamentalist church in the valley, grabbing hold of every young member who walks through the door? The crazies would love her and the normal folk would run for the hills, me thinks. No religious group needs an appendage like that pacing the front doors or shoving obsessive, compulsive thoughts down their offsprings throats in Sunday School classes.
On page 112, Susan states, that if released, she would go to work for Mr. Warren LeBoeuf of Prison Outreach Ministry, stating, "I would call a one-on-one ministry where I just deal with people."
OMG!!!! That's the very essence of the reason WHY she's still behind bars. The LAST place you'd want a convicted multiple killer, former religious cult follower to be is one-on-one with anyone! I wouldn't want her to have a one-on-one with Helen Keller for fear of how she'd influence her! The Parole Board members know this, the prison shrinks know this, the L.A.D.A.s all knew this, and wee little me knows this.
The only safe place for any of these Manson murderers would be in the background of a company, pencil pushing or machine working, not ever in the company of human beings...the risk would always outweigh the reward...
On page 137, Atkins' former Defense Attorney, Mr. Caballero states of his former client, "This girl has become someone. This girl has become a human being, a person you should give consideration to."
When is an action perpetrated by an individual so over the line of decency that no amount of rehabilitation can remedy the damage caused to society? When is enough, enough? We have to have some boundaries left in this world, that if crossed over, you're forever in the no-go zone, right?
And beyond the human suffering this band of idiots wreaked, there was the social hostage-taking of the entire Western world, so reverberating in fear that, to this very day, you can bring up the name Charles Manson or the phrase The Family and the world over individuals will know to whom you refer.
There was no "consideration" given to the consequences of their actions, to the victims themselves, nor to society as a whole when they paraded through our coffee table magazines like they had the market on domestic fear.
And each and every one of them - Bobby, Leslie, Charlie, Tex, Susan and Pat - are paying the price with their natural lives lived behind bars...and rightfully so; because if we as a society do not hold them up to the bar of unacceptable behaviour, who then incarcerated can be held accountable for any crimes less heinous than those of the Manson Family?
The line was crossed; the victims paid with their lives; the perpetrators too.
It's called Justice. Pure and Simple.
Finally, on page 142, in rebuttal to Mr. Caballero's words, Mr. Kay states, "Well, what happens if she gets out? What happens if things don't work out with this family she's living with? And who's she going to jump to next and become overzealous, because that's Susan Atkins, that overzealous girl, participating in murder....Susan Atkins was not the victim. She didn't have to join the Manson Family. Once she joined, she didn't have to stay. Nobody forced her to participate in murder....She did it voluntarily on her own. She knew this was wrong and she did it anyway."
The language is heart-felt and plain but can any other words put this issue to bed better? I don't think so.
We all have to be responsible for our own actions and for the decisions we make in life regardless of the circumstances surrounding those decisions. Susan Atkins made her bed and now she must lie there. And no amount of rehabilitation, restitution or remorse changes that fact and closure will only half-heartedly come when the coffin screws are turned on Susan's lid for the very last time....