Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

VIDEO: Interview With Manson Family Member Susan Atkins

Susan Atkins. Police photo.

After leaving a troubled home life, 18-year-old Susan Atkins became one of Charles Manson’s devoted female followers. Susan was impressionable–a trait aggravated by the Manson family’s near-constant use of LSD–and became devoutly loyal to her leader. In the summer of 1969, Susan was a core participant in the murder of actress Sharon Tate and four others at Tate’s Beverly Hills home. Susan, nicknamed Sexy Sadie, was the one who famously wrote “PIG” on the door in the pregnant actress’s blood.

Given a death sentence that was later commuted to life in prison, Susan became an ardent Christian behind bars. After being denied parole 18 times, she died in prison after serving almost 40 years. The interview below was conducted in 1976, when Susan was 28 and had already served 7 years.

In the interview, Susan describes life as one of “Charlie’s Girls” and the nine murders she was involved in.

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