Naked Satanists & Hippie Killers: How Susan Atkins Posed Nude For LaVey Before She Killed For Ma

My grandparents Anton LaVey & Diane posed along with a bevy of nude “witches” and some black cloaked warlocks in a half dozen or more photo shoots in 1967 alone. The photographer who prompted this sudden blitz of porny advertising was a Swede by the name of Leif Heilberg. Heilberg was responsible for recruiting then 19 year old Susan Atkins to pose nude in photo shoots with LaVey at his home for an “authentic” look. Many of these photos were printed in the dozens of mens magazines from the late 1960s that ran exposes on “LaVey’s Lustful Church.” The sex angle was exaggerated to sell this new Satanism idea to the public, and who better to start with than perverts? The heavily accented Heilberg would sweep the streets for hippie runaway type girls that he’d find often hanging around the Height /Ashbury part of San Francisco.

“Eef they haav a goot poosey” was Heilberg’s criteria for choosing models to pay to pose nude in these shoots. It seems Susan made the cut because she didn’t just pose with Anton & Diane once or twice, but many times, and always with badly done makeup. As Diane recalled, "she looked like a clown because she would use thick white lipstick and strange bright blue eye shadow" - she’s that easy to spot when looking at old articles on Anton and the Church.

Susan also played the (nude) role of ‘the vampire’s bride’ in the campy strip club burlesque reviews Anton was directing at the time. The concepts all very simple; girl tied with rope to a board, wolfman runs out on stage growling with shredded clothing and tufts of fur all over. The wolfman makes his way to the tied up girl and unties her. She is awakened by this and begins to scream as the werewolf rips off her blouse and bra (if she was wearing any to begin with) and then carries her off stage. Dracula needed a bride, and her name was Susan Atkins. She would emerge from a prop coffin and Dracula would pick her up and hold her aloft, carrying her off stage in this manner. “Susan was tiny. She was not just little, she was skinny, so she would have been easy to pick up that way.” Recalls Diane about the time Susan posed for these impromptu productions.

Only a few weeks after calling in sick with a “104 degree fever” Susan took off to Los Angeles with Charles Manson in his black painted school bus. From black house to black bus, the world didn’t see or hear from Susan Atkins again until the horrific “helter skelter” murders committed by the Manson Family, and for Susan’s part, the murder of the young and beautiful actress Sharon Tate.

The photo shoots that were published in mens “nudie” mags of the Church of Satan were not of actual rituals, which were ever performed for any religious function or purpose. But the attention the new organization received from these “expose’s” did serve to bolster the growing number of members – elevating the Church of Satan to that of a global religion adhered to by thousands more eccentric pervs the world over.

Read the full original "Nude Living" article from 1967 straight from the magazine pages below!

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