The Los Angeles Times reported today that Susan Atkins, the former follower of Charles Manson and the convicted killer of actress Sharon Tate in 1969, could be released from a California prison after 37 years.
I profiled Atkins in 2002 after a prison interview because she stated then her hopes to live in the Laguna Beach area of coastal Orange County with her husband. That article can be found here.
According to the Times story, prison officials and her legendary prosecutor, Vincent Bugliosi, have already approved of her release, citing a terminal illness that is expected to take its toll within six months.
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The 59-year-old, who has been featured in numerous documentaries and television movies, is represented by Irvine attorney Eric Lampel. "This is just amazing news," Lampel told the Weekly this morning. "We've been waiting for this for years."
No female prisoner in California has served a longer sentence than Atkins, who long ago renounced Manson in exchange for Christianity. Reports of her conduct in prison over the decades depict a calm, caring woman who loves the Bible and creating art. During numerous past parole hearings, however, relatives of the murder victims of the 1969 killing spree say it's their wish that Atkins is never released.
State corrections officials will make the final determination about releasing Atkins.
-- R. Scott Moxley / OC Weekly