Wednesday, September 2, 2009
Debra Tate and Anthony DiMaria talk about Atkins Hearing
Anthony DiMaria is working on a documentary about his uncle, Jay Sebring.
But, for today, he has made the trek from Las Vegas to California in hopes of keeping his uncle's murderers out of society.
"She's more than a Manson follower," he said of Susan Atkins. "She's a mass murderer."
Paroling Atkins because she is dying of cancer -- a disease he called "fate" -- would send the wrong message, especially given Manson's dark following as some kind of anti-hero, DiMaria told ABCNews.com.
"Like it or not she and these crimes have had a huge impact, obviously on our family but also culturally," he said.
"Miss Atkins can die with dignity while serving out her sentence completely," he said. "My uncle died with dignity in the worst possible situation as he defended himself and the people he cared about as he was shot, stabbed and beaten to death by Susan Atkins and her accomplices."
And in a letter, Tate' sister Debra called Atkins "a cold blooded woman who to this day has not displayed any true remorse for her participation in the murders."
The Tate family has been very active in the parole process over the last 40 years. After the deaths of her parents and sister, Debra Tate has taken over the family cause and appears, either in person or through a written statement, at nearly every Manson-related parole hearing.
DiMaria said the seemingly endless string of paroles is exhausting for the victims' families, who get in touch every so often before a hearing.
"You're never really allowed to kind of let it go," he said. "You want to say all the things you feel need to be said, but it's such an impossibility."
Charles Manson is next up for parole in May 2012, Watson in November 2011, and van Houten in August 2010. Krenwinkel was up for parole this year, but requested it be postponed one year until November 2010 for reasons unknown. To keep up to date on this please go to: http://tatefamilylegacy.com/
Tate's husband at the time, movie director Roman Polanski, declined to comment on the possibility of Atkins' release. But, in the past, he has been known to support Debra Tate, who he has kept in touch with over the years.
In the past, Calif. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has also opposed Atkins’ request for compassionate release. Although Atkins is said to have shunned Manson and accepts responsibility for her role in the murders, Debra Tate told CNN in an email that she doesn’t believe any member of the Manson Family should ever be released from prison. She said the murders were “so vicious, so inhumane, so depraved, that there is no turning back.”
We will let you know the outcome as soon as we hear.
DiMaria's documentary has the tag line: "This is his face. This is his story."
The documentary is a "look at the life, death and legacy of Jay Sebring, as told by those who knew him."
The documentary will have Jay Sebring speaking in his own words and by many others, some using archival footage, including: Marlon Brando, Peter Sellers, Domininck Dunne, Paul Newman, Frank Sinatra, James Gardner, Dennis Hopper, Kirk Douglas, Bruce Lee, Henry Fonda, Peter Lawford, George Peppard, Robert Wagner, Sammy Davis Jr., Joanne Woodward, Robert Conrad, Chuck Connors, Paul Anka, Stuart Whitman, Phyllis Diller, Bobby Darin, Nancy Sinatra, Jackie Cooper, Steve Allen, Jim Morrison, Barbara Luna, Andy Williams, David Milch, Vic Damone, Debra Tate, Sheilah Wells, Vidal Sassoon, Cami Sebring, Peter Knecht, Charles Champlin, Anthony Timpone, Joe Torrenueva, Larry Geller, Jim Markham, Amos Russell, James K. Graham, Elle Elliott, Mary Tannen and Sharon Tate herself.
We will let you know when it is released.
My best goes out to Anthony and Debra on this day.