Susan Atkins, center, did the stabbing of actress Sharon Tate during the August 1969 murders in Benedict Canyon that are popularly blamed on Charles Manson. Atkins was the killer who famously wrote PIG in Tate's blood on the front door of the home shared by the actress and her husband, Roman Polanski. Atkins was sentenced to death in 1971, but like all of the Manson followers who got death sentences, hers was changed to life in prison when capital punishment was temporarily deemed unconstitutional. The longest-serving female inmate in the California prison system, Atkins is reportedly dying of brain cancer and has had a leg amputated. A request for compassionate release is pending before prison authorities.
Manson prosecutor Vincent Bugliosi says he is OK with Atkins getting out, given her failing health. Tate's sister and last living relative, Debra Tate, wants Atkins to stay locked up. From the Riverside Press-Enterprise:
"She showed no compassion. She told my sister as she slit her throat that she didn't (care) for her or her unborn baby," Tate said.
"If I could, I would say to her that I would pray for forgiveness on her soul at her moment of death when she has paid her debt to society. At that point, I'll show compassion and pray for her soul."
The L.A. Times story has less detail. In the photo, Leslie Van Houten is at left and Patricia Krenwinkel is on the right. Both of them remain in custody, like Manson himself turned down for parole several times. Here's a very brief summary of that bloody episode in Los Angeles history.