I found this site, late one night (I’m not totally sure how I even landed there) and was riveted by it for way too long. This site used to contain a rough draft of a book started by Susan Atkins (of Manson Family fame) and her husband, attempting to explain what really happened leading up to the Tate-LaBianca murders – that while Helter Skelter was used as a motive to finally convict Manson and his family members, it was really just one in a long line of manipulation techniques that he used to get people to do what he wanted.
Historically, Manson has been looked at as this mind controlling genius that somehow got a bunch of kids to attempt to enact his ‘end of the world’ scenario – one that he truly believed. This extremely well written article shows Manson for what he really was: a paranoid, self-centered, sociopathic, master manipulator, who after shooting a man who he thought was a Black Panther manipulated those around him to enact murders that he thought would throw the Black Panthers off his trail and keep them from coming after him – in other words, he was trying to save himself by sacrificing those around him.
Most interestingly, this write up explained many things that have confused people for years – including why the Tate-LaBianca murders seemed so “random”. This article was the first explanation of the reasoning behind the randomness of the acts that actually makes sense, as well as explaining some of the things Manson did in order to gain control over his followers.
This is the most rational, thought out explanation of the Manson crimes that I have ever read, coming from someone who had an intimate role in some of the most horrific and publicized murders of all time. Interestingly, her role wasn’t what we all thought it was.
Hopefully, it helps take away some of the mystique and fascination that some young people still have for him today.
I’m disappointed that she had to turn to christianity to prove her point. Most of her later years were spent writing letters to Christians. I think that was probably because of how society looked at her – it could have been the most extreme way to get acceptance in her eyes. The world may never know.
What was apparent to me was the logic in the explanation offered in this text. Well worth the read.
Susan Atkins is suffering from terminal brain cancer and was recently denied parole after submitting a request for “compassionate release” due to her illness.
Update September 25, 2009
Susan Atkins has died at the age of 61.
Update May, 2014:
Here is the updated link to the book, which you now have to pay for. Totally worth the price. Finally a book that lays out the “randomness” of the end of the summer of love. These murders killed a generation. The Myth of Helter Skelter, by Susan Atkins.