Back in the house, Tate pleaded to be allowed to live long enough to have her baby, and even offered herself as a hostage in an attempt to save the life of her unborn child; her killers would have none of it, as either Atkins, Watson, or both killed Tate, who was stabbed sixteen times. Watson later wrote that Tate cried, "Mother... mother..." as she was being killed.
Earlier, as the four Family members had headed out from Spahn Ranch, Manson had told the women to "leave a sign... something witchy". Using the towel that had bound Frykowski's hands, Atkins wrote "pig" on the house's front door, in Tate's blood. En route home, the killers changed out of bloody clothes, which were ditched in the hills, along with their weapons.