Susan Atkins

When she died of brain cancer on Sept. 24 at 61, Susan Atkins was in a women's prison in California, serving a life sentence for eight of the most horrific murders in the annals of American crime. Atkins, a Los Angeles native, was 15 when her mother died; soon afterward, she left home to become a topless dancer in San Francisco. In the hippie mecca of Haight-Ashbury she met cult leader Charles Manson, who seduced her and his other young followers into believing that he was the second coming of Christ--and that the way to bring about a new social order...

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