CNN to Interview Former Prison Confidante of Manson Family Member Susan Atkins
Former Beverly Hills matchmaker Virginia Graham told the LA Weekly that she has a date with CNN.
CNN contacted Graham after reading, Beverly Hills Matchmaker Spills About Manson Family Member Susan Atkins, she said. Graham’s upcoming interview will likely focus on her prison chat fest with Atkins who she shared a dorm room with at the Sybil Brand Institute for Women in the fall of 1969.
Atkins stabbed to death a pregnant Sharon Tate a gruesome 16 times at Tate’s Benedict Canyon mansion in the summer of 1969. Atkins told Graham that the 26-year-old actress begged for her life and the life of her unborn child.
“She told me this thing with great glee,” said Graham who was in jail for writing a bad check. “When I first saw her she was doing cartwheels up and down the aisle. She was in a total state of happiness. Truthfully I thought she was in for a drug bust.”
Graham’s interview is scheduled for Thursday - a week after Atkins asked the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation for “compassionate release” because she is dying from brain cancer.
Graham, who later became a key witness in the prosecution's case against Atkins, told the LA Weekly that she remembered Atkins as a “young silly ass teenager” who felt no remorse for the brutal attack on Tate.
Asked if Atkins should be released? “Absolutely not,” said Graham. “Why should she?...She murdered in cold blood a woman who was going to have a baby. I will never forget the joy and glee when she was telling me how it was done.”
Atkins was an inmate at the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation for 37 years until she was hospitalized on March 18. Her request for release was approved by the California Institution for Women in Corona, but recently was denied by California’s director of adult prisons.
The Board of Parole Hearings and the sentencing court in Los Angeles also must sign off on Atkins’ request. However, the Los Angeles sentencing court has the final say.
The Board of Parole Hearings will hear Atkins’ request on July 15.
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