Manson 'Harem' Angles for Freedom

Atkins up for parole; filmmaker makes case for van Houten
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Aug 9, 2009 9:03 AM CDT
Members of Charles Manson's "family" are shown outside the courtroom in the Los Angeles Hall of Justice after a hearing in 1970.   (AP Photo/David F. Smith/FILE)
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(Newser) – With Squeaky Fromme, who aimed a gun at President Ford, set for parole next Sunday, other members of the murderous “Manson Family” are pushing for release, the Telegraph reports. Susan Atkins, who at first said she’d stabbed actress Sharon Tate 16 times, plans to plead for freedom at her parole hearing Sept. 2. Meanwhile, a filmmaker has written a series of Huffington Post pieces in support of Leslie Van Houten’s release.

Atkins has been denied parole before, but may stand a better chance this time because of terminal illness. Public interest in savage murder mastermind Charles Manson remains intense; he’s reportedly received more letters than any other US inmate. “This is probably the most bizarre and notorious case of mass murder in the annals of American crime,” said the prosecutor in the case. “People have always been fascinated by evil and it does not get more evil than this."