Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Charles Manson and the Manson Family


Virginia said she didn't.

"Well, you're looking at her."

Virginia was horrified and asked why she did such a thing.

"Because we wanted to do a crime that would shock the world, that the world would have to stand up and take notice."

Atkins went on to explain that they selected the Tate house because it was isolated. Susan said they knew who the owner was but they didn't know or care who would be at the house that night.

Susan explained that there were four of them, three girls and a man, all of whom had been given their instructions by Charlie. When they got to the gate, the man cut the telephone wires. Next they shot the teenager four times because he had seen them.

When they got in the house, Susan said that in the living room there was a man on the couch and a woman on the chair reading. Then some of Susan's group stayed in the living room, while Susan went into the bedroom where Sharon was sitting on the bed talking to Jay Sebring. They quickly put nooses over Sharon and Jay's heads so that if they moved they would choke.

Frykowski ran for the door. "He was full of blood," she said and claimed that she had stabbed him three or four times. "He was bleeding and he ran to the front part, and would you believe that he was there hollering 'Help, help, somebody please help me,' and nobody came? Then we finished him off."

"Sharon was the last to die," Susan said with a laugh as she described how Sharon was begging her, " Please don't kill me. Please don't kill me. I don't want to die. I want to live. I want to have my baby. I want to have my baby."

Susan said she just looked at Sharon straight in the eye and said, "Look, bitch, I don't care about you. I don't care if you're going to have a baby. You had better be ready. You're going to die and I don't feel anything about it...In a few minutes I killed her."

Susan said she saw that there was Sharon's blood on her hand and she tasted it. "Wow, what a trip! To taste death, and yet give life."

Flabbergasted, Virginia asked Susan if it didn't bother her to kill a pregnant woman.

"I thought you understood. I loved her, and in order for me to kill her I was killing part of myself when I killed her," Susan explained. She had wanted to cut out Sharon's baby but there wasn't enough time. She had also wanted to take out all the victims' eyes and squash them against the walls and cut off and mutilate all of their fingers, but they didn't have the chance.

Susan told Virginia that after they left the Tate house she realized that she didn't have her knife with her any more. Not only that, she had left her palm print on a desk, "but my spirit was so strong that obviously it didn't even show up or they would have me by now." The four of them drove to a place where they were able to wash their hands and change their clothes.

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