Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Charles Manson and the Manson Family

The Plan

Susan ended the story with admitting that they killed the LaBianca's the next night. "That's part of the plan," she explained. "And there's more."

This tale of murder had Virginia's head spinning. She told Ronnie Howard, who didn't believe the story. "She's making it all up. She could have gotten it out of the papers," Ronnie reasoned. Virginia came up with a way to test Susan about whether she was telling the truth.

Some years earlier when the Tate house had been up for lease, Virginia had actually been to see the exterior of the house on Cielo drive. When she saw Susan, she asked her if the house was still decorated in gold and white. Susan said no. 

Virginia also picked up some miscellaneous pieces of information that tied Charlie and Susan to that house.  It used to belong to Terry Melcher, Doris Day's son. Charlie and Susan were angry with Melcher for some reason that was not clear. She babbled something about Melcher being too interested in money.

Later that day, Susan began to talk again and gave Virginia the list of celebrity targets that were next on their list: Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor, Frank Sinatra, Steve McQueen and Tom Jones. It was important to select victims that would shock the world.

She had planned to carve the words "helter skelter" on Elizabeth Taylor's face with a red-hot knife and then gouge her eyes out. Then she would castrate Richard Burton and put his penis along with Elizabeth Taylor's eyes in a bottle and mail it to Eddie Fisher.

Sinatra was to be skinned alive, while he listened to his own music. The Family would then make purses out of his skin and sell them in hippie shops. Tom Jones would have his throat slit, but only after being forced to have sex with Susan Atkins.

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