The Myth of Helter Skelter by Susan Atkins

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.

Related Links:

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.

5 thoughts on “The Myth of Helter Skelter by Susan Atkins

  1. I also have read this 2012 book (as well as Susan Atkin’s 1977 book CHILD OF SATAN CHILD OF GOD) and I wholeheartedly agree with everything you have written.

  2. Susan should have been given her freedom, but no, the hateful and the dis-honest people at the parole hearing, and the outside lies about her prevented that. She killed no one.
    Are these people real? Susan had an amputated leg and brain cancer. and they said deny her parole because she was a danger to society..?
    How can they release thousands of ‘lifers’ in a decade, some that committed cold-direct, by hand murders, one or two murders, and they are released after around 20 years.
    Susan was a victim of injustice. I liked her when I knew her and I always have.
    Thank You

  3. Ron,
    How ya doin’? I didn’t know that you had commented on my comment, till I ran across this site as I was looking at Susan across the internet to see what may be new in articles about her and/or the ‘Manson situations,’ so to speak. I forgot I had been here and said something before.
    Susan blabbed at the Sybil prison and she said things that were ridiculous such as she killed Sharon. She didn’t but was an accessory and deserved 20 or even 30 years in jail.
    Tex and Bugliosi said that Susan did not actually attack Sharon.
    As to my interest in Susan and the ‘Manson Family’ I was in Chatsworth in July ’69 around the second-third week. I met Susan by a grocery store she and two girls from Spahn were at.
    She started talking with me. I sat and talked with her and the other two girls. They were friendly and nice. Susan and I spent the day together: we walked, ate, smoked a joint that she had and we made love, outdoors in an area with all kinda trees bushes, boulders.
    She talked about the living at the Haight in S.F. That nice experience, that day, with her, to be combined with what my mind went through when I found out what she did and that she was with that whole Manson life and trials, really screwed my head, and I can’t get the thoughts outta my head. If you care to, go to or simply Google or Bing my name and you should see a heading: The Day I Met Susan Atkins. You will see.
    Also, I’m about to submit my book-‘American Trippin’-The 60’s- to publishers and studios.
    The first couple hundred of the 700 pages are about Susan and the whole Manson/Spahn/crimes/trials. The book is my experiences in the 60’s, all events having occurred.
    That includes my commentary about American culture. I’ll be glad to answer any questions. Thanks

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