July 27, 1969 -- Susan Atkins helps helps Bobby Beausoleil and Charles Manson rob and murder a music teacher for two car titles.
August 9, 1969 -- Susan Atkins participates and aids in the brutal murders of five people, one of whom was two weeks away from giving birth and allowed to plead for the life of her unborn child before being stabbed sixteen times.
August 10, 1969 -- Susan Atkins was present and giving support during the home invasion and vicious stabbing of a husband -- which paused only to go stab his wife 41 times, before returning to the still-alive husband and continuing to stab him until his death.
Susan Atkins confessed to all of this -- and more -- during Grand Jury testimony; in conversations with other inmates and in her autobiography.
Susan Atkins was found guilty and convicted of murder, and on March 29, 1971, she was sentenced to death.
Note that she received the death penalty for her actions.
As a result of People v. Anderson in 1972, Susan Atkins' sentence was commuted to life in prison.
Life. In. Prison.
Here recently, Susan Atkins' lawyer/husband has issued a press release contending that Susan Atkins has brain cancer and is down to weeks to live.
He has filed for a "compassionate release" for Susan Atkins, so that she may leave prison and spend her last days in the comfort of family, friends and freedom.
She would not be the first murderer that California has "compassionately released". The reason given is cited (amongst others) as cost effectiveness -- medical care is expensive.
Keep that in mind the next time someone tells you that the death penalty is more expensive than Life in Prison.
As far as Susan Atkins goes, I have two things to say about that:
1) Sharon Tate's child would have been 39 this year. She would probably have had children of her own. She would have laughed, loved and been loved, made good choices and bad, danced, watched sunsets, broken hearts, had her heart broken, lived, learned, and made her mark under the stars in the way that everyone else does.
Except that a pack of monsters slaughtered her before she even got a chance to see the light of day. Butchered her as her mother begged for her unborn life -- and Susan Atkins laughed about it.
2) The sentence was 'life in prison' and Susan Atkins is still alive -- thus I don't think that the sentence has been fully carried out as yet.
Susan Atkins should be grateful for the extra 39 years, for the chances to marry, to simply draw breath each morning -- for being able to do all the small things each of those 39 years ... that she denied her victims.