The 'Manson Girls:' Who Were They, And Where Are They Now?

By | January 22, 2019

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The three female defendants in the Tate-LaBianca murder trial walk from the jail section to the courtroom, August 6th. The girls are (left to right) Leslie Van Houten, Susan Atkins, and Patricia Krenwinkel. Source: (

The young women known as the "Manson Girls" had been normal, pretty, bright teenagers, but they're remembered for the brutal murder of seven people. Susan Atkins, Patricia Krenwinkel, and Leslie Van Houten were female disciples of Charles Manson who participated in the killing spree meant to bring about Manson's doomsday scenario, a race war he called "Helter Skelter." But who were the Manson Girls?

In August 1969, Manson called on his followers, the so-called "Manson Family" to instigate Helter Skelter with a series of muders carried out in two locations on consecutive nights. One of those killed was stunning actress Sharon Tate, who was pregnant at the time with her husband Roman Polanski's baby. Jay Sebring, Wojciech Frykowski, Abigail Folger, and Steven Parent were also murdered at Tate's house on the first night; the following night, the Manson Family murdered Leno and Rosemary LaBianca were murdered in their home.

The cold-blooded killers showed no mercy for Tate or any of their victims, and the murders were particularly gruesome and heinous, shocking even veteran police officers. They were further shocked to learn that the murders were carried out by a few young women and men who were following the orders of their charismatic cult leader. Promising to provide a sense of "family," Manson brainwashed his followers and convinced them to do his evil bidding. If you were alive when the grim and puzzling saga played out, you might get the chills from these jailhouse photos of the Manson Girls, and the stories of who they were, what they did, and where they are now.

Susan Atkins, Former Stripper

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While on trial, Susan Atkins shaved her head and cut an X into her forehead to show her devotion to Charles Manson. Source: (

One of the prosecutors called Susan Atkins the “scariest of the Manson girls.” Atkins was a 21-year-old strip club dancer when she met Charles Manson and immediately fell under his spell. She became one of his closest and most devoted followers. Atkins confessed to killing actress Sharon Tate, stabbing her more than a dozen times as the beautiful blonde star of Valley of the Dolls pleaded for the life of her unborn son. (Roman Polanski, her husband, was away in London at the time of the murders. The couple had married just the year before.) When she went on trial for the Manson murders, Atkins was originally sentenced to death. She responded by evilly taunting the court by yelling, “You better watch your own kids” and “You best lock your doors.”