Susan Atkins, the convicted murderer and onetime Charles Manson disciple, died late Thursday after being placed on hospice status earlier in the week.Susan Atkins was a monster who stabbed to death an 8 1/2 months pregnant Sharon Tate. That she lived another 40 years, got married twice while in prison and died a painful death was too good for her. Hopefully Sharon Tate can now rest more easily.
Terry Thornton, spokeswoman for the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, told ABCNews.com that Atkins had been placed in the prison hospital's hospice a few days ago when death seemed "imminent."
She received round the clock pastoral care, a service provided to inmates at that hospital so they don't die alone.
"It's just an effort to bring some dignity to inmates in the last time they have on Earth," Thornton said.
Atkins, 61, was diagnosed with brain cancer last year. The disease spread and Atkins, whose left leg was subsequently amputated, was paralyzed over most of her body by the time she died.
She was wheeled into the parole hearing on a gurney Sept. 2, her head covered in a pink and purple knitted cap. The cross she once carved into her forehead as a sign of loyalty to Manson was no longer visible.
Her face bloated, Atkins slept through most of the hearing, but spoke a few words of the Bible's Psalm 23, chiming in when cued by her husband and attorney James Whitehouse.
Atkins' family had pleaded with the parole board to show her mercy and let her die at home. But hearing officials cited the "atrocious" and "dispassionate" nature of the murders committed in 1969.
Atkins was one of five people convicted of the murders of pregnant actress Sharon Tate and six others in a two-night murder spree ordered by cult-leader Manson.