At the outset I apologize in advance to anyone who takes offense at the clinical discussion, below, of the wounds inflicted on the victims at Cielo Drive. Dreath
tried both before the Grand Jury and during the trial to increase this number to four by having Watson carry his own knife. He did this due to the defensive knife wound to Steven Parent. His chief witness, Linda Kasabian, never supported his effort. Susan Atkins, before the Grand Jury, was hesitant to confirm Bugliosi's theory. So we are left with three knives.
Two of these knives are described by Kasabian and Atkins. We know there was a folding "Buck" knife that had a 3/4 inch diameter blade. There is a knife described as having tape on the handle. Based upon the autopsy reports this knife probably had a one inch blade. The third knife is never fully identified by either witness but, again, based upon the autopsy reports and testimony of Thomas Naguchi probably had a one or more likely a one and one half inch blade.
We also know that when the killers got out of the car and walked back to the gate of Cielo Drive the knives were in the possession of Krenwinkel, Atkins and Kasabian. After that, the evidence regarding possession of the knives is not as clear because somewhere between climbing the fence and the front door of the house Watson came into possession of a knife. This knife was used to attack Steven Parent, used to slash the screen on the entry window and used to stab every victim in the house.
We are also told that Atkins lost her knife at some point during her struggle with Voytek Frykowski and that knife, according to the official narrative, landed, blade-up, in a chair in the living room.
We know two knives were thrown out the window of the car on the way back to Spahn Ranch. These would have logically been 'the taped knife' and the third knife. I will call the third knife 'the other one'.
So we have three knives:
The Taped Knife
The One Left Behind and.....
The Other One
The Taped Knife
We know that one knife used at Cielo Drive had tape on the handle. According to Kasabian this is the knife she obtained from Larry Jones before leaving Spahn Ranch that night.
Q. Was one of the 3 knives, the one that Larry Jones gave you?
Q. Was there anything unusual about the knife?
MR.KANAREK: Calling for a conclusion, conjecture, your Honor. Immaterial.
THE COURT: Overruled.
A. It had tape wrapped around the hilt, the top of the knife.
We also are led to believe that this is also the knife wielded by Krenwinkel during the murders.
Q. You can answer this yes or no, Linda. Did Katie say that --- I am talking about Patricia Krenwinkel now --- did she say why her hand hurt?
MR.KANAREK: I object.
Q. What did she say in regards to that?
MR.KANAREK: I object on the grounds of conclusion, hearsay, and no materiality.
THE COURT: Overruled.
A. She said when she stabbed that there were bones in the way and she couldn't get the knife through all the way, and that it took too much energy or whatever, I don't know her exact words, but it hurt her hand.
Q. Did she say anything about the grip of the knife?
A. That is why her hand hurt.
We are left with the impression from these two moments in the testimony that this knife was transferred from Kasabian to Krenwinkel when Krenwinkel left the house and walked over to Parent's car to borrow the knife from Kasabian. However, it should be noted that Kasabian never actually directly identified which knife she had when they entered the property or which knife she gave to Krenwinkel.
The witnesses are not consistent, however, regarding the Taped Knife.
On December 1, 1969 Susan Atkins was taken under court order from jail to the office of her attorney Paul Caruso. The purpose of this trip was to prepare a plea on behalf of Atkins.
When Atkins appeared for this interview Kasabian was not in custody. That didn't happen until December 4th. Kasabian was on the other side of the country and hadn't had contact with any Family members for several months. I point this out only because it means that Atkins could not have known what Kasabian was going to say. So what did Atkins have to say? (Thanks to Cielodrive.com for the interview.)
PAUL CARUSO: She died. What kind of knife did you have?
SUSAN ATKINS: A buck knife, with black tape wrapped around the handle. I don’t know if the police ever found it or not.
RICHARD CABALLERO: What makes you think it was black tape? Is that the way you recollect it?
SUSAN ATKINS: That’s the way I recollect it. I know we had one buck knife and it had black tape wrapped around it because the handle was broken off. Just a little piece.
RICHARD CABALLERO: The handle was broken?
SUSAN ATKINS: Yes, before we went there.
RICHARD CABALLERO: Did it say anything on the blade of the knife.
SUSAN ATKINS: Not that I know of.
RICHARD CABALLERO: Did it say “buck” ?
SUSAN ATKINS: It probably did. I know it was a buck knife.
RICHARD CABALLERO: How new or old was the knife?
SUSAN ATKINS: It was fairly old.
RICHARD CABALLERO: Where did you get the knife from?
SUSAN ATKINS: From the Ranch. It was stuck in wood. I don’t know where the knife actually came from.
RICHARD CABALLERO: Had you seen other knives there that had tape around them? At the ranch?
SUSAN ATKINS: One or two. Yes, I believe one.
RICHARD CABALLERO: You say it had black tape around it. Could that have been that one of the knives brought there that night had black tape around it for perhaps did not have?
SUSAN ATKINS: No, because I remember it having the tape around it, I remember holding it. And I remember looking at it and wow, that’s going to leave fingerprints.
RICHARD CABALLERO: Okay, when you stabbed Frykowski in the leg, is that the knife that you left there, or the other knife.
SUSAN ATKINS: I can honestly say I don’t remember what knife I left there.
PAUL CARUSO: Did you have another knife up there?
SUSAN ATKINS: No.
PAUL CARUSO: Only took one knife there.
SUSAN ATKINS: I only took one knife there. Everybody had a knife.
RICHARD CABALLERO: The knives were exchanged. Therefore you may have left a knife different from the one that had the black tape around it, is that right?
SUSAN ATKINS: That could be a possibility but I remember asking when we got back in the car did anybody have the knife with the tape around it and they said no.
RICHARD CABALLERO: Things were pretty excited at that point. And you stopped in the car and as you will relate in a few minutes, you wanted to get rid of it? But first of all, there was another knife there, that might have been there a buck knife too? Do you have knowledge that there was another knife that might have been a buck knife?
SUSAN ATKINS: No, I don’t.
PAUL CARUSO: Susan said they all had knives.
RICHARD CABALLERO: Yes. This is crucial because the police have a knife and that's what we're trying to get to because there's a good chance that you left a different knife there.
At this point in the interview the discussion regarding the taped knife ends and is never discussed again.
Atkins is sure she has the taped knife but she also calls it a "Buck" knife. If we ignore Kasbian's testimony for a moment, Atkins' memory appears reasonably sound. She even says when they returned to the car she asked if anyone had the taped knife and reports that everyone said 'no'. This adds detail. She also distinctly remembers looking at the knife in her hand and thinking about finger prints. These details are indicative of actual memories and add credibility to her statements.
Atkins also had absolutely no reason to lie about the taped knife in this scenario. She is being interviewed by her attorneys. This interview, it was thought at the time, would never see the light of day.
Kasabian identifies the taped knife as the one given to her by Larry Jones but does not actually identify it as the knife she gave to Krenwinkel. This is left to Bugliosi's inference and becomes part of the official narrative through no witness. She also doesn't describe which knives she threw out the window of the car but does state that her "Buck" knife was not in the car.
Atkins, based upon all other evidence, however, probably is wrong. And there just might be a reason she wants the taped knife and not the Buck knife.
The other interesting comment in the exchange, above, is this:
RICHARD CABALLERO: The knives were exchanged. Therefore you may have left a knife different from the one that had the black tape around it, is that right?
Atkins never mentions exchanging knives in this interview or before the Grand Jury. The only place the subject comes up is right here. We do know she has been interviewed previously at the jail because Caballero alludes to those conversations.
RICHARD CABALLERO: Susan, I just want to interrupt you one moment. You said to me before about the gun, yesterday when we spoke in jail, that was Charlie’s gun, wasn’t it?
Unfortunately, we don't know what was discussed the previous day at the jail regarding the knives so a mystery remains: who actually had the taped knife when the killers entered the property and how were the knives exchanged? This comment about an 'exchange' (if we knew the details) may also answer the question: how did Watson end up with a knife before the attack on Steven Parent. It might also confirm or refute Krenwinkel's stroll to Parent's car to acquire Kasabian's knife.
The One Left Behind
This knife was owned, originally, by Linda Kasabian and is a folding buck knife. It was found blade up in a chair located in the living room of the house.
The official narrative would lead us to believe that this knife was used by Atkins to stab Voytek Frykowski several times in the leg and likely was 'lost' by Atkins when she and Frykowski fell into that chair during their scuffle. Per Atkins:
"Somehow he managed to turn my head, he [Frykowski] was still holding my hair and he was behind me. He fell in the chair behind me, that was next to the couch this way [indicating] and he was fighting and I was kicking him and I proceeded to stab him three or four times in the leg*****"
The First Homicide Report identifies the location where the knife was found.
"#4, A "Buck", clasp type knife found under the seat cushion of an overstuffed chair, which was located in the living room seven feet south of the north wall of the living room and four feet east of the west wall of the living room."
In this picture that is the chair marked by the arrow.
The only available evidence says that Atkins lost her knife sometime during the altercation with Frykowski. There was, indeed, a Buck folding knife found wedged in the chair. The problem is this knife apparently didn't stab anyone.
"Granado found the second knife in the living room, less than three feet from Sharon Tate’s body. It was wedged behind the cushion in one of the chairs, with the blade sticking up. A Buck brand clasp-type pocketknife, its blade was ¾ inch in diameter, 313/ 16 inches in length, making it too small to have caused most of the wounds. Noticing a spot on the side of the blade, Granado tested it for blood: negative."
Bugliosi, Vincent; Curt Gentry. Helter Skelter: The True Story of the Manson Murders (p. 42). W. W. Norton & Company. Kindle Edition.
There was no blood on the knife and according to Bugliosi, the size (diameter) of the knife blade does not match 'most of the wounds' (this will prove inacurate). There also apparently was no blood on the chair or the floor near the chair. One has to assume that somehow between striking Frykowski and ending up being discovered in the chair any blood was wiped from the blade.
And that probably happened. In his testimony Granado says he removed the knife from the chair and placed it on the wet bar behind the chair for the fingerprint guys. When he got it back it was covered in fingerprint 'dust'. So it is possible any blood was removed in that process. Granado seems to lay the blame there in his testimony.
One would hope that Granado et al, confronted with multiple stab wounds on multiple victims and finding a 'random' knife, would take extra care to check the knife and location for blood and maybe even try to track down its origin. Remember, LAPD sent a detective all the way to Massachusetts to check on a story by a suspect about purchasing a Buck knife. It appears, instead, that the knife was 'mishandled'.
What we do know is that whomever wielded this knife did a bit more damage then Atkins (or Bugliosi) would lead us to believe.
Per Frykowski's autopsy report:
"STAB WOUNDS OF THE LEFT LEG
The left leg shows 8 stab wounds.
These stab wounds are similar. Each measures ¾ of an inch in length and about 1 inch to 1-1/2 inches in depth. They are perpendicular to the skin surface. None are fatal."
These wounds fit this knife and at first look corroborate Atkins' story. But do they really?
Naguchi later testifies that three of these wounds are to the back of Frykowski's left leg and five are to the front of his leg.
At least to me the 3/4 inch blade of the Buck knife inflicted all of these wounds. That would seem to support the theory that this was the knife used by Atkins in her struggle with Frykowski because she admits stabbing him in the leg or at least stabbing 'something' behind her.
But a review of Frykowski's autopsy report quickly reveals that this same knife could also have inflicted all of the wounds to Frykowski's back.
STAB WOUNDS OF THE BACK
Stab wound #1 ***** This stab wound measures ½ inch and shows one sharp medial edge, one dull lateral edge. The depth of this stab wound is ¾ inch.
Stab wound #2***** The depth of the wound is ¾ inch and it measures ¾ inch by size.*****
Stab wound #3***** This wound measures 3-1/2 inches deep and it measures ¾ inch in length and shows one sharp upper edge and one dull lower edge. The deepest portion of this wound penetrates one inch into the posterior portion of the left lung.
Stab wound #4*****This wound measures 3-1/2 inches in depth and measures one inch in length. It shows two different edges, one sharp lower edge and a dull upper edge, the deepest penetration of this wound goes into the posterior aspect of the right lung.
Stab wound #5 ***** This wound measures 3-1/2 inches in depth and it measures ¾ inch in length. It shows two different edges, one sharp lower edge and one dull upper edge. This wound penetrates as deep as the left kidney.
Wounds #3, #4 and #5 are 3/4 inch or one inch in length and deeply penetrating. A larger width knife could not inflict these wounds. A one inch blade cannot inflict a deep 3/4 inch wound. A 3/4 inch blade if used in a particular fashion could possibly inflict the one inch wound.
Naguchi testified that wounds #3 and #4 were 'fatal wounds' meaning they would be fatal if medical treatment was not received. He later, on cross examination, opined that treatment had to happen within 10 to 15 minutes.
Naguchi: There were five stab wounds on the back. These again are labeled 1 through 5.
No. 2 is located in the vicinity of stab wound No.1 but is slightly below the location of stab wound No.1. It measures, I believe three-quarters on an inch in length, penetrating into the right lung. I would say this would be a fatal wound.
No 3 was found on the left side of the mid-back. It measured one inch in length, penetrating deep into the left chest cavity, piercing the left lung. I would consider this also a fatal wound.
Obviously, Naguchi confused the wounds. His testimony describes wounds #2 and #3 as fatal wounds. From the autopsy report #2 clearly would not be fatal. He has confused #3 and #4 from the report and referred to them as #2 and #3 during his testimony. But from the descriptions you can figure out what he means (even if he also gets the 'lungs' wrong).
Is the knife long enough to inflict these wounds? Yes.
Q: By Mr. Bugliosi: Showing you the large blow-up, does it appear to be an enlargement of the small photograph, People’s 122?
A: [By Granado]: Yes.
Next I move on to G27, which is a buck-type knife, which closes up—it is a pocket type knife, buck, having a three-quarter inch diameter blade 3-13/16 length blade.
The blade is 3 and 13/16 inches (or nearly four inches) in length. The wounds are 3-8/16 deep.
So it seems that Atkins minimized her assault on Frykowski when she testified before the Grand Jury and was interviewed by Caballero/Caruso. In fact, it appears she likely was directly responsible for Frykowski's death.
Assuming Atkins attacked Frykowski first and Watson attacked second and she used this knife, she inflicted these wounds before Watson joined the attack and two were fatal. He had 15 minutes to live. It is fair to say Atkins stabbed Frykowski to death.
Perhaps Atkins gave a clue to what really happened after she decided to tell practically anyone who would listen to her about the crimes while she was being held in jail on the Hinman case. Virginia Graham testified that Atkins said she had, in fact, attacked Frykoski as he fled.
Q: After Sharon Tate and Jay Sebring entered the living room, what did Susan Atkins say took place?
A: She said that the other man-
Q: Now, when you say 'other man,' did she indicate that this was a man other than Jay Sebring?
A: Yes, sir, she did.
Q: What did she say about this other man?
A: She said that the other man ran past her, and as he ran past her she stabbed him four or five times. He got to the door and he started screaming for help. He got out onto the front lawn and he was screaming, 'Help, help, somebody please help!' And with this she put her hand on her hip and she said to me, 'And would you believe that he was screaming "Help, help," and nobody came?'
If Frykowski at some point did run past Atkins and she did attack him, logically, those wounds would be to his back. Wounds #3 and #4 are to Frykowski's back.
No other wounds on any other victim measure 3/4 inch. This supports the theory that Atkins lost this knife at about this time- during her altercation with Frykowski- after inflicting these wounds.
There is, of course, another problem with Atkins' testimony if we view the altercation between Atkins and Frykowski, logically and compare that to her story. Atkins claims Frykowski was behind her and grabbed her hair. She claims she swung the knife backwards and hit 'something'.
Atkins: Somehow he got hold of my hair and pulled it very hard and I was screaming for Tex to help me, or somebody to help me, and Frykowski, he was also screaming. Somehow he got behind me and I had the knife in my right hand and I was -- I was -- I don't know where I was at but I was just swinging with the knife and I remember hitting something four, five times repeatedly behind me. I didn't see what it was that I was stabbing."
Cielodrive.com. Susan Atkins Grand Jury Testimony (Kindle Locations 557-558). Kindle Edition.
If Atkins was standing with her back to Frykowski with the knife in her right hand, as described, she would logically strike his right leg not his left leg unless she was swinging across her body (a difficult maneuver). She also logically would strike the front of his leg under either scenario. Frykowski has no wounds to his right leg and three of the wounds inflicted by this knife to his left leg are to the back of his leg a location she can't possibly reach based upon her description (unless Frykowski is doing the Twist). I can't see how she could inflict any of those wounds standing with her back to Frykowski.
The autopsy reports suggest that Atkins' story is not at all, accurate. It is probable that she was facing Frykowski at one point (when she struck his left leg) and at another point was likely behind him stabbing him in the back (fatally) and the left leg several times.
The Other One
Very little is known about this knife but it was the probably the knife used by Watson. The autopsy reports suggest that this knife had a 1 to 1.5 inch wide blade.
If the blade was 1.5 inches in width this knife inflicted the fatal wounds on Sharon Tate and all of the wounds on Jay Sebring as well as seven stab wounds on Abigail Folger. (Sharon Tate also had eight, one inch wounds to her back.) This is consistent with the official narrative and places the knife in Watson's hands: stabbing first Sebring, then Folger and lastly, Sharon Tate. Based on that narrative this knife should also be responsible for many of the wounds inflicted on Frykowski.
Oddly, none of the wounds to Voytek Frykowski match this knife as a 1.5 inch blade. Aside from the 3/4" wounds (discussed above) the autopsy reveals the following wounds (length):
Back: one (1") and one (.5")
Anterior Trunk: five (1"), two (1.25"), one (.5") and one (.25")
Left Arm: sixteen (1")
Right Arm: three (1")
None of these wounds initially appear to result from the third knife.
I can offer no solid explanation for this anomaly. A smaller knife could inflict a larger wound and depending on the taper to the point any knife could inflict a smaller wound if it is superficial. A larger knife should not be able to inflict a smaller deeply penetrating wound. If Watson's knife had a 1.5 inch blade the remaining wounds to Frykowski are too small.
I would have expected at least some of Frykowski's wounds to be 1.5 inches or larger like those suffered by Jay Sebring, Sharon Tate and Abigail Folger. They are not.
Is it possible the knives changed hands multiple times? Perhaps, but the opportunity for this to occur is missing from the official narrative and, of course, no one says that happened. If Krenwinkel had the taped knife (one inch blade-capable of inflicting these wounds) Krenwinkel is never described as being near Frykowski giving Watson an opportunity to receive her knife.
Of course it is also possible this third knife had a one inch blade and not a blade 1.5 inches in diameter, but then the multiple, uniform 1.5 inch wounds from a larger blade on three victims become the anomaly.
Another explanation could be an error in the autopsy report. Russell Henry performed the autopsy on Abigail Folger and Jay Sebring. Thomas Naguchi performed Sharon Tate's autopsy and Gaston Herrera performed Voytek Frykowski's. It could be that Herrera 'read' the ruler (literally) wrong although confusing an inch with an inch and a half is a pretty big error when the goal is to record the wounds in case a murder weapon turns up. Then again Herrera initially missed the second gunshot wound to Frykowski.
At the time of the autopsies Naguchi didn't know how many weapons he was dealing with so the anomaly would likely not have drawn his attention even if he saw it.
The physical evidence goes a long way towards answering one question: it is probable the "Buck" knife with it's 3/4 inch blade did not kill Sharon Tate. Bugliosi knew this and yet persisted, right to the end, in believing Atkins stabbed Sharon Tate. She did not. The knife that killed Sharon Tate likely also wounded Sebring and Folger.
Testimony of Thomas Naguchi, MD
Naguchi testified at the trial and concluded that the weapon or weapons used in the murders had a blade of one to one and a half inches in width.
Q: What is the width of the blade?
A: Yes, I have an opinion.
Q: Okay. What is your opinion on that?
A: The width of the stabbing weapon can be calculated from the stab wound on the surface of the skin. Many had a one-inch length. Others had one and a half inches.
Q: From one to one and a half inches?
A: So that my opinion would be, as a maximum width would be between one inch and one and a half inches.
His testimony is interesting. Naguchi follows the appropriate procedure when examining an expert even though Bugliosi fails to do so. It is also kind of humorous that with all of Kanarek's objections there is none here when Bugliosi's question is objectionable.
The first question (above) should be 'do you have an opinion regarding the width of the murder weapon?' Naguchi actually answers that question even though it is not asked. He knows the drill. He simply says 'Yes, I have an opinion.' Naguchi then offers the basis for his opinion without being asked- the skin surface wound- Bugliosi should have asked that question next. Naguchi answers the unasked question for Bugliosi again. He then delivers his opinion regarding the maximum width.
Naguchi does not mention the 3/4 inch deeply penetrating wounds to Frykoski or those to Frykowski's left leg while he discussed the possible murder weapon (above). There is no way to prove it but this omission may relate to Bugliosi's belief Atkins killed Sharon Tate. The knife found in the chair has a 3/4 inch blade. Mentioning this fact might possibly alert the defense to the fact that knife likely did not inflict any wounds on Sharon Tate. And that might have been used by the defense to question Virginia Graham's testimony. Mr. Shin does not follow up on this issue (and neither do any other defense counsel) when cross examining Naguchi. Also notice Naguchi says 'maximum' width. He, at least recognized the 3/4 inch wounds existed. To me that is rather ironic: if Bugliosi avoided the 3/4 inch blade because of his desire to connect Atkins with Sharon Tate he missed the evidence that rather closely ties her to inflicting fatal wounds on Frykowski. If the knife found in the chair is Atkins' knife and it has a 3/4 inch blade it (and by extension Atkins') she fatally stabbed Frykowski.
There is one way to further corroborate that (1.) Atkins did not stab Sharon Tate and (2.) she did fatally wound Frykowski: People's Exhibit #39 (the knife). If we had a clear image of the knife we could determine if it was sharp on both sides. I was unable to locate such an image. Naguchi testified that the wounds to Sharon Tate were made by a weapon that either was sharpened on both edges or at least partially sharpened on both edges (Bugliosi asks Kasabian about sharpening knives for this reason). The fatal wounds to Frykowski are, per the autopsy report, from a single edged blade (note the 'dull' reference to the edge of the wounds above). If People's #39 is sharpened only on the cutting edge this would tend to confirm both theories.
This knife (right) is not People's #39 but it is a Buck #110 or a mock-off of a Buck #110, like People's #39.
This knife is not sharpened on both edges. Note that if you move the six inch ruler (left) to line up with the tip of the blade the blade is nearly four inches long.
[As an interesting aside Krenwinkel was asked at her most recent parole hearing whether she stabbed Sebring. She was not asked about stabbing Tate or Frykowski. Why Sebring? Why did the DA ask the question? It's a seemingly random question from the DA that makes you go hmmmm- and think about those Tex Tapes- either that or the DA just doesn't know what she's talking about, which is equally plausible since she also said Kasabian slit the screen....unless she did and the tapes say so...hmmm.]
Hercule Poirot: "For me it is truth. I want always truth."
So here is what I believe happened.
Watson's statements about the Devil and killing everyone would have heightened the stress in that room beyond belief. That would begin to trigger nature's reaction: fight or flight. Shooting and then stabbing Jay Sebring triggered a flight response in two of the victims. It likely also caused Sharon Tate to 'freeze'- go into shock.
Atkins' statement about people going through 'changes' seems to confirm that fact. Then Watson tells Atkins to kill Frykowski. She hesitates and he gets free of his bonds and heads for the door- flight.
Atkins then strikes, stabbing Frykokowski five times in the back and in the back of the left leg, somewhere near the north end of the couch. Perhaps at that time he also feels as though he is blocked by the blue trunks and determines to fight.
Confronted with the attack and his effort to flee blocked, Frykowski now turns to 'fight'. He turns on his assailant and grabs her hair pulling her head back as she proceeds to stab him in the leg (now facing him but her head pulled back so she can't see what she is hitting). He disengages from her perhaps by falling into the chair at the north end of the living room on top of her or he pushes her there. She loses her knife and ends up on the floor. He then heads for the door, wounded and reeling, probably with some sense of his injuries, knocking over the blue trunks
PAUL CARUSO: Frykowski was going out, wasn’t he?
SUSAN ATKINS: Yes, but I don’t ‘remember because I was on the floor.
He attempts to escape, and now Watson attacks, firing two shots and pursuing.
Meanwhile, Abigail Folger makes her escape- again, a natural response-flight. She, in part, is taking an unconscious cue from Frykowski. Her 'partner' flees. She flees. Abigail wrestles with Krenwinkel but can't control her and is wounded, perhaps several times. She then disengages and flees again like Frykowski.
It should be noted that while Atkins testifies about Watson's assault on Abigail- going to help Krenwinkel and stabbing Folger- Watson does not confirm this event in his book, which allegedly was drawn from the November 1969 Tex Tapes. This (below) is his first mention of Abigail Folger after the chaos ensues.
"As Frykowski sank down on the flagstones, Sadie yelled that someone was getting away. I looked across the lawn and saw Abigail Folger dashing toward the fence with Katie behind her, knife raised. Blood was already streaking the white nightgown." Will You Die For Me?
Of further interest is the fact Atkins never 'narcs' on Krenwinkel. Not once in her Grand Jury testimony or her Caruso/Cabellero interview or in her admissions as told by Virginia Graham or Ronnie Howard that I could find does she ever describe Krenwinkel specifically stabbing anyone. Instead she implicates only Watson.
Frykowski heads for the door, Watson in pursuit and Folger heads for the pool, Krenwinkel in pursuit. Atkins gets up from the floor, now alone with Sharon Tate [until Kasabian enters the room]. A few moments later Watson and Krenwinkel return.
While writing this post any doubt in my mind that Atkins (now deceased), Krenwinkel and Watson should ever receive parole vanished. While all of the murders were brutal, the murder of Sharon Tate was simply horrifying.
Consider for a moment: she sits in that room having watched the carnage around her, her closest support lies on the floor mortally wounded. She likely heard what occurred on the lawn. One sits there goading her 'I have no mercy for you, bitch'. Then she hears these monsters return and discuss her fate. The crazy eyed one snarls "Shut up, you bitch". The other one hisses 'kill her'. The third responds 'Katie said kill her'. The first then says 'she can't'. And by his own admission Watson's first blow was knowingly 'non-fatal' -to her face, designed to silence her- perhaps not unlike a similar blow to Abigail Folger.
The inmates......"Lack a depth of insight into the grisly crimes"