Debra Tate, the sister of Charles Manson murder victim Sharon Tate, has revealed she "said a prayer" for Manson's soul and asked God to forgive her sister's killer after learning of his death.
"I said a prayer for his soul," Debra Tate told People of the moment after she received a call from a prison official informing her of Manson's death Sunday evening.
Manson was serving a life sentence for the deaths of seven people, when he died of natural causes on Sunday at a Kern County Hospital at 8:13 p.m. He was 83
A notorious cult leader, Manson was behind a string of brutal murders in Los Angeles in 1969. Along with his "family" members Tex Watson, Patricia Krenwinkel, Leslie Van Houten and now deceased Susan Atkins, Manson was convicted of killing Tate and six other people during the two-day bloody rampage.
Tate, the wife of director Roman Polanski, was 8 1/2 months pregnant when she was killed at her hilltop home in Benedict Canyon on Aug. 9, 1969. Four others were stabbed and shot to death the same night: Jay Sebring, 35; Voytek Frykowski, 32; Abigail Folger, 25; and Steven Parent, 18, a friend of Tate's caretaker.
The following night, Manson rode with his followers to the Los Feliz home of Leno and Rosemary LaBianca, then left three members to kill the couple.
Tate said that she never wished ill on any of the convicted killers, regardless of their horrific crimes. When Atkins died from cancer in 2009, Debra revealed she prayed for her soul, as well.
"My cross in my bedroom still has the flowers that I slipped into Jesus's feet when Susan died," she said. "I cried a tear and I asked for forgiveness on her soul. I'll do the same thing when Charlie dies."
She added, "Each one of these people and myself now have are spirits or our wills are slightly entangled."
Still, while she believes God will take care of Manson and his followers' souls after they die, Debra was determined that the "sociopaths" remained in prison for life.
"I sit across from these monsters many times a year, and I know very clearly they're still capable of heinous acts. For that reason, I've dedicated myself to seeing they stay right where they are until they draw their last breath," Tate told the New York Daily News. "So they can't hurt anyone else."
Manson was also convicted in the connection with the killings of Gary Hinman, a musician, and stuntman Donald "Shorty" Shea in 1969. He was originally sentenced to death but the death penalty was briefly abolished in the state and his concurrent sentences were commuted to life in prison, CNN notes.
Tate added that while she's forgiven Manson, she can't forget the horrific murders he ordered his followers to carry out.
"I've processed through all of my hate for him. Hate isn't health. It won't bring my sister back," she said. "One could say I've forgiven him, but there's a difference between forgiving and forgetting."
She added, "There is nothing that will bring my sister back. For me, her struggles are over, and this is about the world that she left behind. I feel totally that I'm a guardian of the world at large, guarding others from feeling the same kind of pain and grief that these perpetrators inflicted on us."