She was a Hollywood actress on the verge of superstardom.
Not only that, but Sharon Tate was eight-and-a-half months pregnant when she was brutally killed in her own home.
The 26-year-old wife of director, Roman Polanski, who was away filming at the time of his wife’s death, had invited a few friends round for dinner.
It was an evening that ended with five dead bodies and a bloodbath in the swish home on Cielo Drive, Los Ageles.
Tate, along with friends Jay Sebring, Wojciech Frykowski and Abigal Folger, and Steven Parent, a pal of the house’s caretaker, were butchered by members of Charles Manson’s Family in a crime that shocked the world.
The Family barged into the home on August 9, 1969.
Parent was shot and killed as The Family, minus Charles, burst into the home in Los Angeles.
He was just 18.
Wojciech was asleep on the sofa when The Family barged in and was kicked in the head by Tex Watson.
When Wojciech asked him what he was doing he chillingly replied “I am the devil and I’m here to do the devil’s business”.
Watson then started to tie Sharon and Jay together with a rope round their necks and slung it over the beam in the living room.
Abigail was ordered into the bedroom to get her purse and handed $70 over to The Family.
She managed to flee out of a bedroom door but was followed by Patricia Krenwinkel, who caught her and stabbed her.
But worse was to come for Abigail who was eventually killed by Watson, who stabbed her 28 times.
Wojciech’s hands had been bound by a towel but he managed to free himself and started to struggle with Atkins.
She kept stabbing at his legs but as he struggled out of the house, he was caught by Watson and hit over the head with a gun.
He was then stabbed multiple times, shot twice but still fought to escape the house.
Wojciech was eventually killed when he was stabbed 51 times.
Tate herself was stabbed many times in the chest and strangled.
As The Family launched their frenzied and horrying attack, one of the members who helped kill Tate ignored her desperate pleas for mercy.
The mum-to-be even begged to be taken as a hostage so she could be kept alive for long enough for her baby to be born.
But Susan Tate, who delivered some of the fatal blows, would not be moved.
As a petrified Tate called out “mother, mother”, Atkins responded in the cruellest way possible.
She told the actress: “Look, b****, I don’t care about you.
“I don’t care if you’re going to have a baby, You better be ready. You’re going to die.”
Chillingly, while in prison, Atkins once told a cell mate that the first time she stabbed Tate “it felt so good”.
Tate’s mutilated and broken body was found with the cord used in the killing still around her neck.
Tragically, her baby – due to be born within weeks – did not survive the horrific injuries suffered by his mother.
It’s not clear if Watson or Atkins stabbed Tate and delivered the fatal blow.
Once the killers had butchered their victims, they used the bloody towel that had bound Wojciech’s hands to write the word ‘pig’ on the front door of Sharon’s home in blood.
Just a day after the Tate murder, The Family struck again.
Supermarket executive Leno LaBianca and his wife, Rosemary, were killed at their home in LA.
Officers did not link the two crime scenes.
Then, in December 1969, members of the Manson Family were arrested for a series of car thefts and while she was in custody she told her fellow prisoners of the other crimes she had been involved in – including the murders.
The rest of the gang were arrested a few days later and their trial began on June 15, 1970.
Guilty verdicts were returned on 27 separate counts and all four were sentenced to death.
This was later changed to full life sentences.
Atkins died of a brain tumour in 2008, having had her application for parole refused 18 times.
Charles Manson died of a heart attack on November 19, 2017. He was 83.