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Patti Tate loses battle with breast cancer

June 6, 2000
Web posted at: 2:38 p.m. EDT (1838 GMT)

LOS ANGELES, California (CNN) -- Patti Tate, sister of Charles Manson family murder victim Sharon Tate, has died. She was in her early 40's.

Tate had been battling breast cancer for the past two years. She died last Saturday at 5:30 a.m. with her three children at her side in Rancho Palos Verdes, California.

Tate was 11 when Sharon was murdered on August 9, 1969. She and her family worked at keeping Manson and his followers in prison, for their role in two gruesome attacks that left seven dead, including Sharon who was 8 1/2 months pregnant at the time.

Sharon had been hung from a rafter in her living room and the word "Pig" was written in her blood on the front door of the Los Angeles home she rented with husband-director Roman Polanski. Polanski was in London at the time of the attack.

Manson and his followers Patricia Krenwinkle, Tex Watson, Susan Atkins and Leslie Van Houten were convicted of the attacks and sentenced to death. All became eligible for parole in 1972 after the California State Supreme Court abolished the death penalty.

The Tate family attended the parole hearings of Manson and his followers to try to ensure none would be let out of prison.

The Tate sisters' mother, Doris, also founded a non-profit victim's rights organization called "Doris Tate Crime Victims Bureau" based in Sacramento.

When Doris died in 1992 Patti, who served as a bureau board member took over the organization and continued to attend the parole hearings of Manson and his followers, saying it was important to keep the tragedy of her sister's death alive so that people would not forget what Manson and his cult did.

Tuesday, Van Houten is scheduled to have her 13th parole hearing.

Patti is survived by her three children, her father Paul and her older sister Debra.



RELATED SITES:
Patti's Tate's Breast Cancer Resource Page
Sharon Tate the memory lives on
California Courts
Board of Prison Terms: Victim Services

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