Release Denied for Dying Manson Follower

July 15, 2008 7:59:08 PM PDT
A follower of Charles Manson who stabbed pregnant actress Sharon Tate to death nearly 40 years ago but is dying of brain cancer in a California prison was denied compassionate release Tuesday.

The State Parole Board denied release for Charles Manson follower Susan Atkins. She stabbed actress Sharon Tate to death 40 years ago, and is now dying of brain cancer.

In the end, it was too risky for the State Parole Board to grant compassionate release and side with Susan Atkins, a dying woman associated with notorious killer, Charles Manson.

She has brain cancer now, and has three months to live.

The board has a history of siding with the victims' family, who always plead to remember how their lives have changed since losing their loved ones.

"I cried so hard that night, my eyes wouldn't open the next day. I was child, but I was so sick with grief, that I too wished I could die," said Sharon Tate's niece Pam Turner.

Pam Turner is actress Sharon Tate's niece. Tate was eight-and-a-half months pregnant and one of eight people killed during the gruesome Manson murders in the summer of 1969.

The LA District's Attorney's office says denying compassionate release was the right thing, given Atkins showed no compassion to any of the victims.

"I told her, I didn't have any mercy for her," said Atkins.

"She told witnesses that she kept stabbing Ms. Tate until she stopped screaming. She then tasted her blood and wrote the word 'pig' in Sharon Tate's blood at the residence," said Patrick Squeira from Los Angeles District Attorney's Office.

Atkins told Good Morning America's Dianne Sawyer earlier this year, she had hope she would be released.

"I would like to be out someday. I would like to be out someday. It's amazing I still have hope," said convicted killed Susan Atkins in June, 2008.

Atkins' family had hope too. With tears and prayer, they told the board the 60-year-old's model behavior behind bars shows she deserves to die at home.

"She has paid her debt to society. She has served about 40 years of her life locked up and it's sad to think that she may pass there," said Alysia Atkins, Susan's Atkins' niece.

And she will die still in custody. The state will continue to provide medical care for her and guard her until she dies. Taxpayers have already spent nearly $2 million for her care since March.


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