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Killer Groupie Samantha Spiegel 

Wednesday, Dec 8 2010
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Page 3 of 4

What's going on with the story?" a groggy voice asks the reporter. Turns out it is Samantha. She's calling from a hospital bed. And she's on morphine.

The night before,she had been hanging around with a group of people partaking in various substances (that she and her friends requested not be revealed). She found herself gravitating toward an attractive guy who — for once — was her age. They went home together, and although the details are hazy, they had rough sex, she remembers. A lot of it. The guy was inexperienced, and his technique was "gruesome, like something you'd see on Animal Planet."

When it was over, she wasn't angry. She felt bad for the guy. "Poor thing," she says. "He thought I was enjoying myself."

The next morning, she says, her genitals were swollen to the size of a grapefruit. She checked into the hospital, and resolved not to have anything to do with men under 40, whom she considers too inexperienced.

Even better than sticking to older men, of course, would be developing relationships with prisoners. "They're locked away," she says. "You can't be intimate with someone through glass or a phone, so it's a safe relationship."

Shortly after the trauma, she composed a letter to Charles Manson, who is serving a life sentence at Corcoran State Prison for a series of brutal murders he orchestrated in 1969.

11 September 2010

Dear Charlie,

 

How are you holding up these days, Charlie? My name is Samantha Spiegel. I have always been extremely fascinated by you and Helter Skelter — incredibly so. In fact, I'm going to be reading [Vincent] Bugliosi's Helter Skelter after my roommate. This always sounds crazy to people, but your ideals, your ideaseverything makes sense. You have lived quite a life and I really do respect that and in a way admire that. I may not have lived as much as you have, but I haven't had it easy always. I completely relate to you and Helter Skelter.

 Samantha says she doesn't really believe that Manson's vision of Helter Skelter — an apocalyptic race war started with murder of the wealthy — is all that appealing. But she wanted to lay it on thick to increase her chances of receiving a letter from Manson. So far, none has come.

Expressing her admiration isn't the only way she has tried to compel murderers to write her. She routinely visits web forums like Write-a-Murderer, where she has learned how to find out the location and identification numbers of prisoners she intends to contact, as well as what subjects to bring up and what ones to avoid.

She also took a trip to Union Square, where she purchased a handmade floral stationery set. On its delicate paper, she composed more than a dozen letters to Richard Ramirez, Richard Allen Davis, Charles Manson, and several members of the Manson Family. She finished each off with a spritz of Narciso Rodriguez perfume. "They should have pretty stationery," she says. "I save it especially for them."

Samantha took to checking her mailbox promptly at 3 p.m. She knew that eventually the day would come when a famous prisoner would write back, and it didn't take long. On that warm September afternoon, not even a week after she had mailed her initial batch of letters, she reached into the mailbox and retrieved a correspondence from San Quentin inmate Richard Allen Davis.

In 1993, Davis kidnapped Polly Klaas at knifepoint from a slumber party in Petaluma, committed a lewd act on her, and strangled her to death. After he was caught and convicted, Davis stuck his middle finger up at the judge and said that before Klaas died, she told him, "Just don't do me like my daddy." Klaas' horrified father, who denied the allegation, had to be held back by security. The judge told Davis that his behavior made handing down the death penalty easy.

Samantha says she doesn't condone the murder of children or innocent people. "It's horrific. It's disgusting, really," she says. "But [the killers are] still human beings, and they still need attention. I like the idea of nurturing a side of them that doesn't get nurtured."

As it turns out, Davis wants to nurture Samantha in return.

Dear Samantha,

 

Well, good day and I do hope you are feeling better physically. No more signs of your past nightly outings of sexual delight. So you know, I've been getting your writings and you are very much in my thoughts. I have to say that reading about that one certain person [a reference to Karr] who still inflicts himself in your life J I thought about how much you needed someone willing to wear a ski mask and take a baseball bat to the legs. Seriously, just someone smacking the back and front thigh muscles a few good hard times LOL! Though they won't walk for about a week, slowly getting back on the feet changes the person's attitude much for the better...

Reading this letter aloud to her roommates and the reporter outside the Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf in Pacific Heights, Samantha is basking in the attention. Her flowered notebook is sprawled on her lap, displaying about a dozen letters with San Quentin return addresses. Not all are from Davis, it turns out. Samantha has also hooked the Night Stalker, Richard Ramirez: a burglar, rapist, and serial killer who murdered more than two dozen men and women across California.  

She likes corresponding with Ramirez; he even sent her a picture of himself and a drawing of two dinosaurs fighting. But she finds him to be a bit of an awkward writer. He asks a lot of mundane questions about her family and what she likes to do. But sometimes he cracks her up. "If you had won the lottery, what would you do with the winnings?" she reads aloud. "I'd buy an island and fill it with girls in bikinis."   

About The Author

Ashley Harrell

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