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Susan Atkins, part of Manson ‘family’

SUNDAY, SEPT. 27, 2009

LOS ANGELES – Susan Atkins, a member of the Charles Manson “family” who admitted ruthlessly stabbing pregnant actress Sharon Tate to death in the cult’s 1969 murder spree, has died in prison less than a month after a parole board turned down a bid for compassionate release. She was 61 and had brain cancer.

Atkins, who eventually came to call the crimes a sin, died late Thursday, according to the California Department of Corrections.

Tate, the 26-year-old actress who appeared in the movie “Valley of the Dolls” and was the wife of famed director Roman Polanski, was one of seven people murdered in two Los Angeles homes during the Manson cult’s bloody rampage in August 1969.

Manson and three others involved in the murders – Patricia Krenwinkel, Leslie Van Houten and Charles “Tex” Watson – remain imprisoned under life sentences.

Atkins, who confessed from the witness stand during her trial, had apologized numerous times over the years.

O.E. Osmanoglu, sultan’s grandson

ANKARA, Turkey – Osman Ertugrul Osmanoglu, the eldest member of the former Ottoman dynasty, has died, officials said Thursday. He was 97.

Osmanoglu died of kidney failure at an Istanbul hospital on Wednesday, the Culture Ministry said.

He was the last surviving grandson of an Ottoman sultan and regarded as the head of the living members of the dynasty.

Osmanoglu would eventually have become its sultan but for the establishment of the Turkish Republic in 1923 following the collapse of the Ottoman dynasty and the exile of its members to Europe.

He was a descendant of Osman I, the Anatolian ruler who established the Ottoman Empire that eventually controlled parts of Europe, Africa and the Middle East, and lasted about 600 years.

Maurizio Montalbini, sociologist

ROME – Italian sociologist Maurizio Montalbini, who spent months dwelling in caves to study how the mind and body cope with complete isolation, died Sept. 19. He was 56.

Montalbini died of a heart attack while in a mountain hamlet near the central Italian town of Macerata, said Guido Galvagno, a longtime colleague. Galvagno said the death did not appear connected to Montalbini’s record-breaking cave stays.

Montalbini spent a total of two years and eight months underground since he started his experiments in the 1980s, according to a biography on his Web site.

In 1987, he claimed his first world record after spending 210 days alone in a cave in the Apennine mountains. A year later, he led an international team of 14 spelunkers to take the world group record with an underground stay of 48 days.


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