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Manson Web Extra: SHOULD THEY EVER GO FREE?

The next parole hearing for Susan Atkins is scheduled on September 2. She is dying of cancer

ANTHONY DiMARIA, nephew of Jay Sebring, a victim at the home of Sharon Tate. Forty-three years old, he is an actor. Susan Atkins said at her last parole hearing that when her death sentence was commuted she realized God had a plan for her. She said it protected her from the hate she felt from the victims’ families. I believe she feels she is the victim—that she is being victimized by us. We don’t go to the hearings out of hatred or vengeance. We go out of love. We go to speak for the victims, who can’t speak for themselves. The hearings are disruptive and disturbing, but those of us who go feel that it is imperative to give a voice to the people who were killed.

BARBARA HOYT, member of the Family. Fifty-seven years old, she is a registered nurse. I put them in jail, and now I’m working to keep them there. One of the main things that motivates me is that they’re still lying about their roles in the crimes. They minimize what they did. I think they’re still a danger to the public, not only physically but also on a moral level. When people convicted of murder end up being let out, that’s a bad precedent. They need to stay in prison.

The victims’ families thought that once these people were convicted they could move on. But it has turned out this isn’t so. The families have had to speak at parole hearings, and it’s very hard for them. Even after 40 years, a lot of the relatives of the victims still can’t talk about it. I wasn’t a victim’s family member, and it took me 30 years to be able to talk about it. It’s not right that the victims’ families should be put through this.

Correction: August 3, 2009
The introduction to this Web extra has been changed. Susan Atkins will be considered for parole, not compassionate release.

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