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 August 8, Manson sent four of his followers, including Atkins, to the house of director Roman Polanski and the pregnant Sharon Tate. By the end of the night, Tate and four others in the house were dead. Atkins later admitted to holding Tate down while Charles “Tex” Watson stabbed her to death, although later still, she recanted and said that she was merely a bystander to the scene.
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.