When Susan Atkins’ “confession” was sold to the European press, as entertaining blood curdling propaganda, a magazine called Rolling Stone had something to say about its potentiality for “damaging pretrial publicity”.
The money was split between Lawrence Schiller, Paul Caruso (associate and co-conspirator of Atkins’ attorney, Richard Caballero), and Susan Atkins- variously cited as $150,000 and $175,000.
Titled “The Killing of Sharon Tate”, this confession/scam/cover up/book was “authored” by Lawrence Schiller, a shady journalist.
Jerry Cohen, and Dial Torgerson (LA times journalists) helped Schiller quickly rewrite the Atkins confession into what Nikolas Schreck called “journalese” in his book, “The Manson File Myth and Reality of an Outlaw Shaman”. I am actually paraphrasing from a few pages within a section called, “Making a Killing: Sadie’s Story and the Schiller Scam”, from Chapter VII- The Soul For Sale: Manufacture and Marketing of the Manson Myth.
The publisher of “The Killing of Sharon Tate” was New American Library, a subsidiary of the same company that then owned the Los Angeles times. Nikolas writes, “While the ethical improprieties of the Caruso-Shilling-Times deal led to much criticism from the mainstream press, it was only the then-countercultural organ Rolling Stone who correctly perceived what a massive violation of Manson’s legal rights had been engineered.”
‘What possible justification could the Times editors have had in running the confessions? Where were their heads? Can an individual’s right to a fair trial, free of damaging pretrial publicity, be so relative? Can it be compromised so easily by the fictitious right of the public to be entertained? … If Miss Atkins’ confession does not constitute damaging pretrial publicity, what does?
What does the phrase mean? Even if the Times could somehow prove that its confession did Manson absolutely no harm, what right did they have to take the risk? The moral decision must be made before, not after, the fact if a man’s right to an impartial trial is to be taken seriously.’
-Rolling Stone Magazine