Name: Susan Denise Atkins
Date of birth: 05/07/1948
Date of death: 09/24/2009
Cause of death: Brain cancer
Place of birth: San Gabriel, California
AKA: Sadie Mae Glutz, Sexy Sadie
Archive: Susan Atkins
Children: Zezozose Zadfrack Glutz
Image Gallery: Susan Atkins Gallery
“Sexy Sadie, what have you done – You made a fool of everyone”
Susan Atkins, known within the Family as Sexy Sadie, was a member of the Manson Family. Susan Atkins was born on May 7, 1948, in San Gabriel, California. She was the second of three children born to alcoholic parents, and grew up in Northern California. After she dropped out of high school to support herself (her mother died when Atkins was 15 and her father abandoned the family), Atkins moved to San Francisco and became a topless dancer.
In early 1967, while staying with friends, Susan Atkins met Charles Manson. Atkins settled with the Manson Family at their Southern California ranch, where she gave birth to a son, whom Manson named Zezozose Zadfrack Glutz. (The child was eventually removed from Atkins’s and later adopted)
The Hinman Murder
Atkins was present during the murder of Gary Hinman. On July 25, 1969, Robert Beausoleil, Susan Atkins, and Mary Brunner paid Gary Hinman a visit. According to Beausoleil’s jailhouse interview for Oui Magazine, 1981, they went to Hinman because Hinman had sold Beausoleil 1000 tabs of bad mescaline. Beausoleil wanted his money back.
Gary told Beausoleil that he didn’t have the money. Gary was held captive for 3 days. Beausoleil, Atkins and Brunner took turns sleeping. According to Danny Decarlo Beausoleil had knocked Gary around for 3 or 4 hours. Later on Manson and Bruce Davis stopped by. Manson had a sword on him and struck Gary in the head, slicing of a piece of his ear. Atkins and Brunner tried to stitch up Gary’s face with a needle and dental floss.
The ordeal finally ended when Beausoleil stabbed Gary twice in the chest. Gary didn’t die immediately and made loud gurgling sounds so Atkins and Brunner took turns smothering Gary with a pillow.
After Gary died Beausoleil wrote the words “Political Piggy” and drew a paw print on the wall in Gary’s blood, in an attempt to make authorities think the Black Panthers committed the murder.
Before the trio left they covered Gary’s body with a blanket, took his bagpipes and two pink slips for his cars and took the cars to Spahn Ranch.
When the cops later examined the crime scene they found blood in the living-room, on the hall floor between the living-room, bath and kitchen, and on the walls, floor, and ceiling of the kitchen.
The Tate Murders
On the night of August 8, 1969, Manson told Tex Watson to take some of the girls and to go to “that house where Melcher used to live” and to “totally destroy everyone inside, as gruesome as you can” and Manson told Watson to “leave a sign, something witchy”. Tex Watson took Susan Atkins, Linda Kasabian, and Patricia Krenwinkel to Cielo Drive.
When they arrived at the entrance of the Cielo Drive property, Watson climbed a telephone pole near the gate and cut the phone line to prevent telephone access from the house. At this point it was after midnight, August 9, 1969.
Telephone Pole Near The Gate
Just then, headlights approached. Watson ordered the women to lie in the bushes. He then stepped out and ordered the approaching driver to halt. Eighteen-year-old student Steven Parent had been visiting the property’s caretaker, William Garretson, who lived in the property’s guest house. Watson first lunged at Parent with a knife, giving him a defensive slash wound on the palm of his hand, then shot him four times in the chest and abdomen.
Steven Parents Car
The group then proceeded to the main house. Watson told Kasabian to keep watch down by the gate. Watson cut the screen of a window and entered through the window, and let Atkins and Krenwinkel in through the front door.
They found Frykowski sleeping on the living room couch. Watson kicked him in the head. When Frykowski asked him who he was and what he was doing there, Watson replied: “I’m the devil, and I’m here to do the devil’s business.”
Atkins and Krenwinkel searched the house and found Tate, Sebring and Folger and forced them to the living room. Watson began to tie Tate and Sebring together by their necks with rope and slung the rope up over one of the living room’s ceiling beams. Sebring’s protested to the rough treatment of the pregnant Tate. Watson then shot Sebring and stabbed him seven times.
Frykowski’s hands had been bound with a towel. Freeing himself, Frykowski began struggling with Atkins, who stabbed at his legs with the knife with which she had been guarding him. As he fought his way toward and out the front door, onto the porch, Watson caught up with Frykowski and struck him over the head with the gun multiple times, stabbed him repeatedly, and shot him twice.
Around this time, Kasabian was drawn up from the driveway by “horrifying sounds”. In an effort to stop the massacre, she falsely told Atkins that someone was coming.
Meanwhile, Folger had escaped from Krenwinkel and fled out a bedroom door to the pool area. Krenwinkel ran after Folger, caught her, stabbed her, and tackled her to the ground. Watson joined Krenwinkel and they stabbed Folger 28 times. In the meantime Frykowski struggled across the lawn. Watson went over to Frykowski and then stabbed him to death. Frykowski was stabbed a total of 51 times.
In the house, Tate pleaded to be allowed to live long enough to have her baby, and even offered herself as a hostage in an attempt to save the life of her unborn child. Susan Atkins told Tate as she begged, “Look, bitch, I don’t care about you. I don’t care if you are having a baby. You are going to die and I don’t feel a thing about it.” At this point either Atkins, Watson, or both killed Tate (testimonies vary). Tate was stabbed 16 times. Watson later wrote that as Tate was being killed, she cried for her mother.
Using the towel that had bound Frykowski’s hands, Atkins wrote “pig” on the house’s front door in Tate’s blood.
Atkins was arrested in October 1969 for her involvement in the murder of Gary Hinman. At that point, the police did not know who was responsible for the Tate-LaBianca murders. But Atkins implicated herself in jail, when she is said to have admitted to cellmates that she stabbed Ms. Tate, tasted her blood and used it to write “Pig” on the front door of the house.
In October 1969, the entire Manson Family was arrested, and they were later tried for the murders. The series of trials was circus-like, and the defendants’ bizarre behavior became a striking trait of the proceedings.
On March 29, 1971, Atkins was sentenced to death, later the sentence was reduced to life in prison. Atkins died on September 24, 2009 at age 61. A year before her death Atkins received a diagnosis of brain cancer and had a leg amputated. At the time of her death, Atkins was California’s longest-serving female inmate.