August 7th, 2009
05:31 PM ET

Summer of 1969

Program Note: The summer months of 1969 were especially historic. Humans took their first steps on the moon, the Woodstock Festival rocked thousands of concertgoers, riots in New York sparked the gay rights movement and the strange Manson murders shook up southern California. All this week, AC360º will take a closer look into the mysterious lives of the Manson family murderers. Tune in for the 5 part series at 10 P.M. ET.

Read more about the Summer of 1969 here and the Mason murders below.

[cnn-photo-caption image="http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/CRIME/06/05/california.manson.family.hearing/art.gi.jpg" caption="Susan Atkins, shown here after her indictment in the Manson murders, has been denied parole 17 times."]

40 years after Manson murders

Carey Bodenheimer

The woman who stabbed pregnant actress Sharon Tate to death will be considered for parole from prison a month after the 40th anniversary of the killings that cast a shadow of fear over southern California.

Susan Atkins, 61, has been denied parole in 17 previous hearings, but the former "Manson Family" member now is terminally ill with brain cancer and is paralyzed.

Charles Manson used his hypnotic powers to direct Atkins and other "family" members to kill seven people, including the pregnant Tate, in a two-night rampage that terrorized the city of Los Angeles, California, in August 1969.

Keep reading...

Filed under: 360° Radar • Crime & Punishment
soundoff (2 Responses)
  1. Annie Kate

    Atkins should stay in prison and not be shown any mercy – the depravity of her crimes and her lack of mercy condemn her. In her condition what does it matter where she dies? Sharon Tate and her friends were certainly not granted a choice in where they were to die by this woman so why should she be given a choice? True justice would have been the death penalty carried out for Atkins and the rest of the convicted on the Manson case; since the death penalty was abolished and their sentences reduced to life in prison we should extract at least that much from each of them. Death should be the only parole they ever receive.

    August 7, 2009 at 6:48 pm |
  2. Michael C. McHugh

    My historian's guess is that in the future, the moon landing will be considered by far the most important event of 1969, if we eventually do find a way to travel to other solar systems. No, it can't be done now–not even close–and will not be done in our lifetime, but who can say about the future? One hundred years ago, we were still in the horse and buggy era. If such space travel becomes possible, and if we even find other civilizations "out there", someone like Manson will be lucky to get even a historical footnote in comparison.

    August 7, 2009 at 6:13 pm |