Susan Atkins, known within the Family as Sexy Sadie, was a member of the Manson Family. Atkins was a participant in the murder of Gary Hinman and the Tate murders.
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 joined the Manson Family at their ranch, where she gave birth to a son, whom Manson named Zezozose Zadfrack Glutz. Manson Family member Dianne Lake cut the umbilical cord with her teeth.The child was eventually removed from Atkins’s and later adopted.
In the summer of ’69, The Family started to attract police attention at their current home at Spahn’s ranch. The Family began looking for funds to move to a new hide out in Death Valley.
Manson heard that Family aquantance Gary Hinman inherited money and send Susan Atkins, Mary Brunner and Robert Beausoleil to Hinman in order to get the money. After several days of torture they killed Hinman.
Atkins was part of the murder squad send to 10050 Cielo Drive. Atkins first claimed she was the one that killed Tate but during the Tate/LaBianca murder trial Atkins stated that she held down the pregnant Tate while Tex Watson stabbed her to death.
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.
Jail and Death
Atkins implicated herself in jail, when she told her cellmates that she stabbed Tate, tasted her blood and used Tate’s blood to write “Pig” on the front door of the house.
In October 1969, the entire Manson Family was arrested, and they were 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.