Manson was born to a 15 or 16 year old (depending on the source) girl in Cincinnati Oh. on Nov 12,1934. His Mother, Kathleen Maddox, did not even bother to give him a real name on his birth certificate. On it he is listed as No Name Maddox. There is not 100% surety who his father is, but most likely it is a man named Colonel Scott Sr. When Kathleen told him she was pregnant he told her he'd been called away on army business, which he lied to her about being in, and after several months she realized he was not returning. It is assumed this is the father as Kathleen brought a paternity suit against Scott and this lead to an agreed judgement in 1937, which is basically a settlement between the two without Scott having to admit to being the father. Within the first few weeks Kathleen decided on the name Charles Milles after her father. Kathleen, then had a short lived marriage to a man named William Eugene Manson. The marriage lasted around three years, during which time Kathleen often went on drinking benders with her brother Luther. She would leave Charles with different babysitters all the time. This obviously caused issues with William and he filed for divorce citing “gross neglect of duty” on the part of Kathleen. Charles would retain the last name of Manson after the divorce as he was born after the two married. During one of her drinking sprees she had taken Charles with her to a cafe. The waitress commented about how cute Charles was and that she wanted kids of her own. Kathleen said to the waitress “ pitcher of beer and he’s yours.” The waitress obviously presumed she was kidding but brought her an extra pitcher of beer anyway to be nice. Well, true to her word, Kathleen finished her pitcher and left, leaving the boy there. Days later Manson's uncle would track him down and bring him home. What. The. Fuck!
When he was 5 years old, his mother and her brother Luther were arrested for robbing a man. Mother of the year, folks! Reportedly, Luther pressed a ketchup bottle filled with salt into The man's back, pretending it was a gun. He then smashed the bottle over The man’s head, and the siblings stole $27 before fleeing. Police caught up to the pair shortly after and arrested the two. Kathkleen received 5 years in prison and Luther 10. Charles was sent to live with his aunt and uncle in west virginia. Biographer Jeff Guinn related a story about Manson's childhood. When Manson was 5 years old and living with his family in West Virginia, his uncle reportedly forced him to wear his cousin Jo Ann's dress to school as punishment for crying in front of his first-grade class. In the biography, Guinn shares his perspective:
“It didn't matter what some teacher had done to make him cry; what was important was to do something drastic that would convince Charlie never to act like a sissy again.”
In first grade, Manson persuaded girls to beat up the boys he didn't like. When the principal questioned him, Manson offered the same defense he would later use after influencing his Family to commit the Tate-LaBianca murders:
“It wasn't me; they were doing what they wanted.”
In 1942, the prison released Manson’s mother, Kathleen, on parole after she served three years. When she returned home, she gave Manson a hug. He later described this as his only happy memory from childhood. A few weeks after this homecoming, the family would move to Charleston WV. Here Manson would constantly be truant from school and his mother continued her hard drinking ways. His mother was again arrested for theft but was not convicted. After this the family would move again, this time to Indianapolis. While in Indianapolis his mother met an alcoholic with the last name Lewis while attending AA meetings. The two would marry in 1943. That same year Manson claims to have set his school on fire at the age of 9.
*christmas present story*
At the age of 13 Manson was placed into the Gibault School for Boys in Terre Haute Indiana. The school was for delinquent boys and run by strict catholic priests. There were severe punishments for even minor infractions, obviously. These included beating with a wooden paddle or lashes from a leather strap. Manson escaped the school and slept in the woods, under bridges and pretty much anywhere he could find shelter. He made his way back home and spent Christmas of 1947 with his aunt and uncle back in WV. After this his mother sent him back to the school where he would escape, yet again ten months later and headed back to Indy. There, in 1948 he would commit his first known crime. He would rob a grocery store looking for something to eat, but came across a box containing around 100 dollars. He would take this and get a hotel room in a shitty part of town and buy food as well.
After this robbery he tried to get on the straight and narrow by getting a job delivering messages for Western Union. The straight path he was on would not last long though, as he started to supplement his income with petty theft. He was caught and in 1949 a judge sent him to Boys Town, a juvenile facility in Omaha, Nebraska. After spending a whopping 4 days at Boys Town, Manson and a fellow student named Blackie Nielson obtained a gun and stole a car. The boys decided to head to Nielson’s uncle's house in Peoria IL. Along the way they would commit two armed robberies. When they got to the uncle’s, who was a professional thief, they were recruited as apprentices in thievery. Manson was arrested a couple weeks later as part of a raid and during the subsequent investigation was linked to the two earlier armed robberies. He was then sent to the Indiana School For Boys, another very strict reform school.
At the reform school Manson alleged to have been raped by other students at the urging of a staff member. He was also beaten very often and ran away from the school 18..count em...18 times! Manson developed what he called “the insane game” as a form of self defense while at the school. When he was physically unable to defend himself, he would start screaming and screeching, making faces and grimacing, and waving his arms all over the place in an attempt to make his attackers think he was insane! After all of his failed attempts at running away and escaping, he finally succeeded in escaping with two other boys in february of 1951. The three boys decided to head to california, stealing cars and robbing gas stations along the way. They ended up getting arrested in Utah and Manson was sent to the National Training Center for Boys in washington dc for the federal crime of driving a stolen car across state lines. When he got to the center he was given a test that determined he was illiterate even though he showed a slightly above average IQ of 109. Average in the US is around 98-100. Hise caseworker also deemed him “aggressively antisocial”
When Charlie was being considered for a transfer to Natural Bridge Honor Camp, a minimum security institution, a psychiatric evaluation was required.
On October 24 1951, Charlie was transferred to the Natural Bridge Honor Camp in Petersburg, Virginia. His parole hearing was scheduled for February 1952. On October 24, 1951, when his Aunt Joanne visited, she promised Charlie and the authorities that when he was released, she and his Uncle Bill would look after him, provide him with a place to live, and a job.
Psychiatrist Dr. Block, explained in a prison and probation report that his life of abuse, rejection, instability, and emotional pain had turned him into a slick but extremely sensitive boy:
"[Manson] Tries to give the impression of trying hard although actually not putting forth any effort ... marked degree of rejection, instability and psychic trauma ... constantly striving for status ... a fairly slick institutionalized youth who has not given up in terms of securing some kind of love and affection from the world ... dangerous ... should not be trusted across the street ... homosexual and assaultative [sic] tendencies ... safe only under supervision ... unpredictable ... in spite of his age he is criminally sophisticated and grossly unsuited for retention in an open reformatory type institution.”
In January 1952, less than a month before his parole date, Charlie sodomized a boy with a razor to his throat. He was reclassified him as dangerous and transferred to a tougher, higher security, lock up facility; the Federal Reformatory at Petersburg, Virginia,.
By August 1952, he had eight major violations including three sexual assaults. He was classified as a dangerous offender and characterized as "defiantly homosexual, dangerous, and safe only under supervision" and as having "assaultive tendencies."
September 22 1952, Charlie was transferred to the Federal Reformatory in Chillicothe, Ohio, a higher security institution. He was a "model prisoner." There was a major improvement in his attitude. He learned to read and understand math. On January 1, 1954, he was honored with a Meritorious Service Award for his scholastic accomplishments and his work in the Transportation Unit for maintenance and repair of institution vehicles.
While incarcerated at Chillicothe, Charlie met the notorious American Syndicate gangster, Frank Costello, aka "Prime Minister of the Underworld," a close associate of the powerful underworld boss, Lucky Luciano.
In the book, Manson: In His Own Words (1986), by Nuel Emmons, Manson, obviously impressed by with Costello's professional crime background states:
"When I walked down the halls with him [Costello] or sat at the same table for meals, I probably experienced the same sensation an honest kid would get out of being with Joe DiMaggio or Mickey Mantel: admiration bordering on worship. To me, if Costello did something, right or wrong, that was the way it was supposed to be... Yeah, I admired Frank Costello, and I listened to and believed everything he said."
Charlie's parole on May 8, 1954, stipulated that he live with Aunt Joanne and Uncle Bill in McMechen, West Virginia. Now at nineteen years-old, for the first time since his mother gave him up when he was 12, Charlie was legally free .
Soon after Manson gained his freedom, his mother was released from prison. She moved to nearby Wheeling, West Virginia and soon Charlie moved in with her.
In January 1955, Manson married a hospital waitress named Rosalie Jean Willis. Around October, about three months after he and his pregnant wife arrived in Los Angeles in a car he had stolen in Ohio, Manson was again charged with a federal crime for taking the vehicle across state lines. After a psychiatric evaluation, he was given five years' probation. Manson's failure to appear at a Los Angeles hearing on an identical charge filed in Florida resulted in his March 1956 arrest in Indianapolis. His probation was revoked; he was sentenced to three years' imprisonment at Terminal Island, San Pedro, California.
While Manson was in prison, Rosalie gave birth to their son Charles Manson Jr. During his first year at Terminal Island, Manson received visits from Rosalie and his mother, who were now living together in Los Angeles. In March 1957, when the visits from his wife ceased, his mother informed him Rosalie was living with another man. Less than two weeks before a scheduled parole hearing, Manson tried to escape by stealing a car. He was given five years' probation and his parole was denied.
Manson received five years' parole in September 1958, the same year in which Rosalie received a decree of divorce. By November, he was pimping a 16-year-old girl and was receiving additional support from a girl with wealthy parents. In September 1959, he pleaded guilty to a charge of attempting to cash a forged U.S. Treasury check, which he claimed to have stolen from a mailbox; the latter charge was later dropped. He received a 10-year suspended sentence and probation after a young woman named Leona, who had an arrest record for prostitution, made a "tearful plea" before the court that she and Manson were "deeply in love ... and would marry if Charlie were freed". Before the year's end, the woman did marry Manson, possibly so she would not be required to testify against him.
Manson took Leona and another woman to New Mexico for purposes of prostitution, resulting in him being held and questioned for violating the Mann Act. Though he was released, Manson correctly suspected that the investigation had not ended. When he disappeared in violation of his probation, a bench warrant was issued. An indictment for violation of the Mann Act followed in April 1960. Following the arrest of one of the women for prostitution, Manson was arrested in June in Laredo, Texas, and was returned to Los Angeles. For violating his probation on the check-cashing charge, he was ordered to serve his ten-year sentence.
Manson spent a year trying unsuccessfully to appeal the revocation of his probation. In July 1961, he was transferred from the Los Angeles County Jail to the United States Penitentiary at McNeil Island, Washington. There, he took guitar lessons from Barker–Karpis gang leader Alvin "Creepy" Karpis, and obtained from another inmate a contact name of someone at Universal Studios in Hollywood, Phil Kaufman. According to Jeff Guinn's 2013 biography of Manson, his mother moved to Washington State to be closer to him during his McNeil Island incarceration, working nearby as a waitress.
Although the Mann Act charge had been dropped, the attempt to cash the Treasury check was still a federal offense. Manson's September 1961 annual review noted he had a "tremendous drive to call attention to himself", an observation echoed in September 1964. In 1963, Leona was granted a divorce. During the process she alleged that she and Manson had a son, Charles Luther. According to a popular urban legend, Manson auditioned unsuccessfully for the Monkees in late 1965; this is refuted by the fact that Manson was still incarcerated at McNeil Island at that time.
In June 1966, Manson was sent for the second time to Terminal Island in preparation for early release. By the time of his release day on March 21, 1967, he had spent more than half of his 32 years in prisons and other institutions. This was mainly because he had broken federal laws. Federal sentences were, and remain, much more severe than state sentences for many of the same offenses. Telling the authorities that prison had become his home, he requested permission to stay.
In 1967, 32-year-old Charles Manson was released from prison once again (this time, from a correctional facility in the state of Washington). He then made his way to San Francisco and quickly found a home in the counter-culture movement there.
Manson created a cult around himself called the "Family" that he hoped to use to bring about Armageddon through a race war. He named this scenario "Helter Skelter," after the 1968 Beatles song of the same name.
Living mostly by begging, Manson soon became acquainted with Mary Brunner, a 23-year-old graduate of the University of Wisconsin–Madison. Brunner was working as a library assistant at the University of California, Berkeley, and Manson moved in with her. According to a second-hand account, he overcame her resistance to his bringing other women in to live with them. Before long, they were sharing Brunner's residence with eighteen other women.
Manson established himself as a guru in San Francisco's Haight-Ashbury district, which during 1967's "Summer of Love" was emerging as the signature hippie locale. Manson appeared to have borrowed his philosophy from the Process Church of the Final Judgment, whose members believed Satan would become reconciled to Christ and they would come together at the end of the world to judge humanity. Manson soon had the first of his groups of followers, which have been called the "Manson Family", most of them female. Manson taught his followers that they were the reincarnation of the original Christians, and that the Romans were the establishment. He strongly implied that he was Christ; he often told a story envisioning himself on the cross with the nails in his feet and hands. Sometime around 1967, he began using the alias "Charles Willis Manson." He often said it very slowly ("Charles's Will Is Man's Son")—implying that his will was the same as that of the Son of Man.
Before the end of the summer, Manson and eight or nine of his enthusiasts piled into an old school bus they had re-wrought in hippie style, with colored rugs and pillows in place of the many seats they had removed. They roamed as far north as Washington state, then southward through Los Angeles, Mexico, and the American Southwest. Returning to the Los Angeles area, they lived in Topanga Canyon, Malibu, and Venice—western parts of the city and county.
Having learned how to play guitar in prison he did his best to wow artists like Neil Young and The Mamas and Papas, his idiosyncratic folk music failed to generate enthusiasm until he was introduced to Dennis Wilson of the Beach Boys, who saw talent in Manson's playing. Wilson allowed Manson and several of "his girls" — who had by now begun coalescing around him because they believed he was a guru with prophetic powers — to stay with him at his mansion in June 1968. Wilson eventually kicked them out after they began causing trouble, but Manson later accused the Beach Boys of reworking one of his songs and including it on their 1969 album "20/20" without crediting him.
In 1967, Brunner became pregnant by Manson and, on April 15, 1968, gave birth to a son she named Valentine Michael (nicknamed "Pooh Bear") in a condemned house in Topanga Canyon, assisted during the birth by several of the young women from the Family. Brunner (like most members of the group) acquired a number of aliases and nicknames, including: "Marioche", "Och", "Mother Mary", "Mary Manson", "Linda Dee Manson" and "Christine Marie Euchts".
Manson established a base for the Family at the Spahn Ranch in August 1968 after Wilson's landlord evicted them. It had been a television and movie set for Westerns, but the buildings had deteriorated by the late 1960s and the ranch's revenue was primarily derived from selling horseback rides. Female Family members did chores around the ranch and, occasionally, had sex on Manson's orders with the nearly blind 80 year-old owner George Spahn. The women also acted as seeing-eye guides for him. In exchange, Spahn allowed Manson and his group to live at the ranch for free. Lynette Fromme acquired the nickname "Squeaky" because she often squeaked when Spahn pinched her thigh.
Charles Watson, a small-town Texan who had quit college and moved to California, soon joined the group at the ranch. He met Manson at Wilson's house; Watson had given Wilson a ride while Wilson was hitchhiking after his car was wrecked. Spahn nicknamed him "Tex" because of his pronounced Texas drawl. Manson follower Dianne Lake (just 14 when she met Manson) detailed long nights of lectures, in which Manson instructed others at the ranch to take LSD and listen to him preach about the past, present and future of humanity.
With his “family” coming together, manson began his work with Helter Skelter. The following excerpt about Helter Skelter is taken from wikipedia, Sources were double check for accuracy and we just figured this would be a quick review. We have added a few things to fill it out...so don't @ us bros ;)
In the first days of November 1968, Manson established the Family at alternative headquarters in Death Valley's environs, where they occupied two unused or little-used ranches, Myers and Barker. The former, to which the group had initially headed, was owned by the grandmother of a new woman (Catherine Gillies) in the Family. The latter was owned by an elderly local woman (Arlene Barker) to whom Manson presented himself and a male Family member as musicians in need of a place congenial to their work. When the woman agreed to let them stay if they'd fix things up, Manson honored her with one of the Beach Boys' gold records, several of which he had been given by Wilson.
While back at Spahn Ranch, no later than December, Manson and Watson visited a Topanga Canyon acquaintance who played them the Beatles' recently released double album, The Beatles (also known as the "White Album"). Manson became obsessed with the group. At McNeil Island prison, Manson had told fellow inmates, including Karpis, that he could surpass the group in fame;:200–202, 265 to the Family, he spoke of the group as "the soul" and "part of the hole in the infinite".
For some time, Manson had been saying that racial tensions between blacks and whites were about to erupt, predicting that blacks would rise up in rebellion in America's cities. On a bitterly cold New Year's Eve at Myers Ranch, as the Family gathered outside around a large fire, Manson explained that the social turmoil he had been predicting had also been predicted by the Beatles. The White Album songs, he declared, foretold it all in code. In fact, he maintained (or would soon maintain), the album was directed at the Family, an elect group that was being instructed to preserve the worthy from the impending disaster.
In early January 1969, the Family left the desert's cold and moved to a canary-yellow home in Canoga Park, not far from the Spahn Ranch.:244–247 Because this locale would allow the group to remain "submerged beneath the awareness of the outside world",:244–247 Manson called it the Yellow Submarine, another Beatles reference. There, Family members prepared for the impending apocalypse, which around the campfire Manson had termed "Helter Skelter", after the song of that name.
By February, Manson's vision was complete. The Family would create an album whose songs, as subtle as those of the Beatles, would trigger the predicted chaos. Ghastly murders of whites by blacks would be met with retaliation, and a split between racist and non-racist whites would yield whites' self-annihilation. The blacks' triumph, as it were, would merely precede their being ruled by the Family, which would ride out the conflict in "the bottomless pit", a secret city beneath Death Valley. At the Canoga Park house, while Family members worked on vehicles and pored over maps to prepare for their desert escape, they also worked on songs for their world-changing album. When they were told Melcher was to come to the house to hear the material, the women prepared a meal and cleaned the place. However, Melcher never arrived.
Crimes of the Family
On May 18, 1969, Terry Melcher visited Spahn Ranch to hear Manson and the women sing. Melcher arranged a subsequent visit, not long thereafter, during which he brought a friend who possessed a mobile recording unit, but Melcher did not record the group.
By June, Manson was telling the Family they might have to show blacks how to start "Helter Skelter". When Manson tasked Watson with obtaining money, supposedly intended to help the Family prepare for the conflict, Watson defrauded a black drug dealer named Bernard "Lotsapoppa" Crowe. Crowe responded with a threat to wipe out everyone at Spahn Ranch. The family countered on July 1, 1969, by shooting Crowe at Manson's Hollywood apartment.
Manson's belief that he had killed Crowe was seemingly confirmed by a news report of the discovery of the dumped body of a Black Panther in Los Angeles. Although Crowe was not a member of the Black Panthers, Manson concluded he had been and expected retaliation from the Panthers. He turned Spahn Ranch into a defensive camp, with night patrols of armed guards.] "If we'd needed any more proof that Helter Skelter was coming down very soon, this was it," Tex Watson would later write. "Blackie was trying to get at the chosen ones."
Gary Allen Hinman
The murder of Gary Hinman committed by Bobby Beausoleil forever changed the course of the now-infamous cult; at one time sold to followers as the embodiment of free love, the incident set Manson’s cult on a path for the unparalleled brutality and violence that continues to captivate the world nearly 50 years after the fact.
New murder minutiae
Beausoleil provided new details about the murder that started it all as part of a two-hour Fox special “Inside the Manson Cult: The Lost Tapes" that aired in 2018.
As part of the jailhouse interview, Beausoleil detailed Hinman's relationship to the Family, the circumstances around the 34-year-old musician's death, and why Beausoleil felt he "had no way out" other than going forward with his brutal act.
"Fear is not a rational emotion and when it sets in. Things get out of control—as they certainly did with Charlie and me," he said during the special.
Hinman, a talented piano player who once played at Carnegie Hall, was described by his cousin as a "lost artistic soul,” according to People magazine—one who would wind up falling in with the wrong crowd and befriending the Manson Family.
"Gary was a friend. He didn't do anything to deserve what happened to him and I am responsible for that," Beausoleil said from the California Medical Facility, a male prison, where he's serving a life sentence.
According to Dianne Lake, who also participated in the TV special to discuss her time as a Manson devotee, Family members had been to Hinman's house several times before his murder. Beausoleil had purchased drugs from Hinman during the summer of 1969. He sold them to another person, who then complained about their quality, causing Beausoleil to need his money back. "Bobby was driven over there to make it right with two girls that knew Gary very well. In fact, I think he had slept with both of them: Susan Atkins and Mary Brunner," former follower Catherine "Gypsy" Share said during the special. But Hinman didn't have the money. After Beausoleil, an aspiring actor and musician, roughed Gary up a bit, they called Manson, who decided to come to the house with a samurai sword.
When he arrived, Manson took the sword and made a swipe across Hinman's face from his ear down his cheek. "It was bleeding a lot," John Douglas, a retired FBI agent who later interviewed Manson, said in the special. Beausoleil asked Manson why he had cut the man's face. "He said, 'To show you how to be a man.' His exact words," Beausoleil said. "I will never forget that."
According to Beausoleil, who at one time was given the nickname "Cupid" for his good looks, he tried to patch the wound up and "make things right." Hinman, however, insisted on receiving medical attention—which is when things took a fatal turn.
"I knew if I took him, I'd end up going to prison. Gary would tell on me, for sure, and he would tell on Charlie and everyone else," Beausoleil said in the interview "It was at that point I realized I had no way out."According to the San Diego Union Tribune, Hinman was tortured over three days before he was killed. Beausoleil, for his part, admitted to stabbing Hinman twice in the chest. The family reportedly used Hinman’s blood to scribble the words “Political Piggy” on the wall after the murder, according to CBS News, and also included a panther paw to try and pin the slaying on the Black Panthers (Manson was known for his desire to incite a race war).Beausoleil, along with Bruce Davis, was later arrested for the murder.
The murder catapulted the Manson family into a new level of violence. Although they had been training and preparing for a supposed race war for some time at Spahn Ranch, they had now become the aggressors and instigators of violence.
"This is when things start getting really dire, I mean really murderous," Lake said during the Fox program. Several weeks later, Manson Family followers would go on to murder Tate, writer Wojciech Frykowski, coffee heiress Abigail Folger, celebrity hair stylist Jay Sebring, and Steven Parent, who had come to visit the gardener on Polanski’s property. The next night, the group would break into the home of Leno and Rosemary LaBianca and kill the couple. Beausoleil was sentenced to death for his role in Hinman’s murder, but the sentence was later commuted to life in prison. In January of 2019, he was recommended for parole during his 19th appearance before a parole board, according to CNN. His attorney Jason Campbell argued that he should be released from prison because he hasn't been a danger to society in decades. "He has spent the last 50 years gradually growing and improving himself and in particular, over the last few decades, he's been pretty much a model inmate," he said.However, California Gov. Gavin Newsom later overruled the recommendation, keeping Beusoleil behind bars, the Associated Press reports.As he sat in his cell and reflected on his past crime, Beausoleil told the team behind the Fox special that he is filled with regret over the death of his one-time friend."What I've wished a thousand times is that I had faced the music,” he said. “Instead, I killed him.”
Tate- Labianca murders
On the night of August 8, 1969, Charles "Tex" Watson, Susan Atkins, Patricia Krenwinkel, and Linda Kasabian were sent by Charlie to the old home of Terry Melcher at 10050 Cielo Drive. Their instructions were to kill everyone at the house and make it appear like Hinman's murder, with words and symbols written in blood on the walls. As Charlie Manson had said earlier in the day after choosing the group, "Now is the time for Helter Skelter."
What the group did not know was that Terry Melcher was no longer residing in the home and that it was being rented by film director Roman Polanski and his wife, actress Sharon Tate. Tate was two weeks away from giving birth and Polanski was delayed in London while working on his film, The Day of the Dolphin. Because Sharon was so close to giving birth, the couple arranged for friends to stay with her until Polanski could get home.
After dining together at the El Coyote restaurant, Sharon Tate, celebrity hairstylist Jay Sebring, Folger coffee heiress Abigail Folger and her lover Wojciech Frykowski, returned to the Polanski's home on Cleo Drive at around 10:30 p.m. Wojciech fell asleep on the living room couch, Abigail Folger went to her bedroom to read, and Sharon Tate and Sebring were in Sharon's bedroom talking.
Just after midnight, Watson, Atkins, Krenwinkel, and Kasabian arrived at the house. Watson climbed a telephone pole and cut the phone line going to the Polanski's house. Just as the group entered the estate grounds, they saw a car approaching. Inside the car was 18-year-old Steve Parent who had been visiting the property's caretaker, William Garreston.
As Parent approached the driveway's electronic gate, he rolled down the window to reach out and push the gate's button, and Watson descended on him, yelling at him to halt. Seeing that Watson was armed with a revolver and knife, Parent began to plead for his life. Unfazed, Watson slashed at Parent, then shot him four times, killing him instantly.
The Rampage Inside
After murdering Parent, the group headed for the house. Watson told Kasabian to be on the lookout by the front gate. The other three family members entered the Polanski home. Charles "Tex" Watson went to the living room and confronted Frykowski who was asleep. Not fully awake, Frykowski asked what time it was and Watson kicked him in the head. When Frykowski asked who he was, Watson answered, "I'm the devil and I'm here to do the devil's business."
Susan Atkins went to Sharon Tate's bedroom with a buck knife and ordered Tate and Sebring to go into the living room. She then went and got Abigail Folger. The four victims were told to sit on the floor. Watson tied a rope around Sebring's neck, flung it over a ceiling beam, then tied the other side around Sharon's neck. Watson then ordered them to lie on their stomachs. When Sebring voiced his concerns that Sharon was too pregnant to lay on her stomach, Watson shot him and then kicked him while he died.
Knowing now that the intent of the intruders was murder, the three remaining victims began to struggle for survival. Patricia Krenwinkel attacked Abigail Folger and after being stabbed multiple times, Folger broke free and attempted to run from the house. Krenwinkel followed close behind and managed to tackle Folger out on the lawn and stabbed her repeatedly.
Inside, Frykowski struggled with Susan Atkins when she attempted to tie his hands. Atkins stabbed him four times in the leg, then Watson came over and beat Frykowski over the head with his revolver. Frykowski somehow managed to escape out onto the lawn and began screaming for help.
While the microbe scene was going on inside the house, all Kasabian could hear was screaming. She ran to the house just as Frykowski was escaping out the front door. According to Kasabian, she looked into the eyes of the mutilated man and horrified at what she saw, she told him that she was sorry. Minutes later, Frykowski was dead on the front lawn.Watson shot him twice, then stabbed him to death.
Seeing that Krenwinkel was struggling with Folger, Watson went over and the two continued to stab Abigail mercilessly. According to killer's statements later given to the authorities, Abigail begged them to stop stabbing her saying, "I give up, you've got me", and "I'm already dead".
The final victim at 10050 Cielo Drive was Sharon Tate. Knowing that her friends were likely dead, Sharon begged for the life of her baby. Unmoved, Atkins held Sharon Tate down while Watson stabbed her multiple times, killing her. Atkins then used Sharon's blood to write "Pig" on a wall. Atkins later said that Sharon Tate called out for her mother as she was being murdered and that she tasted her blood and found it "warm and sticky."
According to the autopsy reports, 102 stab wounds were found on the four victims.
The Labianca Murders
The next day Manson, Tex Watson, Susan Atkins, Patricia Krenwinkel, Steve Grogan, Leslie Van Houten, and Linda Kasabian went to the home of Leno and Rosemary Labianca. Manson and Watson tied up the couple and Manson left. He told Van Houten and Krenwinkel to go in and kill the LaBiancas. The three separated the couple and murdered them, then had dinner and a shower and hitchhiked back to Spahn Ranch. Manson, Atkins, Grogan, and Kasabian drove around looking for other people to kill but failed.
Manson and The Family Arrested
At Spahn Ranch rumors of the group's involvement began to circulate. So did the police helicopters above the ranch, but because of an unrelated investigation. Parts of stolen cars were spotted in and around the ranch by police in the helicopters. On August 16, 1969, Manson and The Family were rounded up by police and taken in on suspicion of auto theft (not an unfamiliar charge for Manson). The search warrant ended up being invalid because of a date error and the group was released.
Charlie blamed the arrests on Spahn's ranch hand Donald "Shorty" Shea for snitching on the family. It was no secret that Shorty wanted the family off the ranch. Manson decided it was time for the family to move to Barker Ranch near Death Valley, but before leaving, Manson, Bruce Davis, Tex Watson and Steve Grogan killed Shorty and buried his body behind the ranch.
The Barker Ranch Raid
The Family moved onto the Barker Ranch and spent time turning stolen cars into dune buggies. On October 10, 1969, Barker Ranch was raided after investigators spotted stolen cars on the property and traced evidence of an arson back to Manson. Manson was not around during the first Family roundup, but returned on October 12 and was arrested with seven other family members. When police arrived Manson hid under a small bathroom cabinet but was quickly discovered.
The Confession of Susan Atkins
One of the biggest breaks in the case came when Susan Atkins boasted in detail about the murders to her prison cellmates. She gave specific details about Manson and the killings. She also told of other famous people the Family planned on killing. Her cellmate reported the information to the authorities and Atkins was offered a life sentence in return for her testimony. She refused the offer but repeated the prison cell story to the grand jury. Later Atkins recanted her grand jury testimony.
Investigation and Trial
On September 1, 1969, a ten-year-old boy in Sherman Oaks discovered a .22 caliber Longhorn revolver under a bush near his home. His parents notified the LAPD, who picked up the gun, but failed to make any connection between it and the Tate murders.
In October, Inyo County officers raided Barker Ranch, in a remote area south of Death Valley National Monument. Twenty-four members of the Manson Family were arrested, on charges of arson and grand theft. Cult leader Charles Manson (dressed entirely in buckskins) and Susan Atkins were among those arrested.
After her arrest, Atkins was housed at Dormitory 8000 in Los Angeles. On November 6, she told another inmate, Virginia Graham, an almost unbelievable tale. She told of "a beautiful cat" named Charles Manson. She told of murder: of finding Sharon Tate, in bed with her bikini bra and underpants, of her victim's futile cries for help, of tasting Tate's blood. Atkins expressed no remorse at all over the killings. She even told Graham a list of celebrities that she and other Family members planned to kill in the future, including Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, Tom Jones, Steve McQueen, and Frank Sinatra. Through an inmate friend of Graham's, Ronnie Howard, word of Atkins's amazing story soon reached the LAPD.
About the same time, detectives on the LaBianca case interviewed Al Springer, a member of the Straight Satan biker's group that Manson had tried to recruit into the Family. Word had leaked to police that the Straight Satans might have some knowledge about who was responsible for another recent murder with several similarities to the LaBianca killings. Springer told detectives that Manson had bragged to him in August at Spahn Ranch--after offering him his pick from among the eighteen or so "naked girls" scattered around the ranch--about "knocking off" five people. When Springer told detectives that Manson had said the Tate killers "wrote something on the...refrigerator in blood"--"something about pigs"--, the detectives knew they might be onto something. Still, it struck them as odd that anyone would confess to several murders to someone that they barely knew. It took another member of the Straight Satans, Danny DeCarlo, to move the focus of the investigation decisively to Charles Manson. DeCarlo told police he heard a Manson Family member brag, "We got five piggies," and that Manson had asked him what to use "to decompose a body."
On November 18, 1969, the District Attorney and his staff selected Vincent Bugliosi to be the chief prosecutor in the Tate-LaBianca case. The choice was no doubt influenced by Bugliosi's impressive record of winning 103 convictions in 104 felony trials. The day after getting the Tate-LaBianca assignment, Bugliosi joined in a search of the Spahn Movie Ranch, where police gathered .22 caliber bullets and shell casings from a canyon used by Family members for target practice. The next day, the search party moved on to isolated Barker Ranch, the most recent home of the Family, on the edge of Death Valley. In the small house at Barker Ranch, Bugliosi saw the small cabinet under the sink where Manson was found hiding during the October raid. On an abandoned bus in a gully, investigators discovered magazines from World War II, all containing articles about Hitler.
Based on Ronnie Howard's account of Susan Atkin's jailhouse confession and interviews conducted with various Manson Family members, the LAPD eventually identified the five persons who participated in the actual Tate and LaBianca murders. The suspects consisted of four women, all in their early twenties, and one man in his mid-twenties: Susan Atkins, Patricia Krenwinkel, Leslie Van Houten, Linda Kasabian, and Charles "Tex" Watson. Atkins remained in custody at Dormitory 8000. Van Houten was picked up for questioning in California. Watson was arrested by a local sheriff in Texas. Patricia Krenwinkel was apprehended in Mobile, Alabama. Kasabian voluntarily surrendered to local police in Concord, New Hampshire.
Knowing that convictions of at least some defendant would require testimony from one of those persons present at the murders, the D. A.'s office first reached a deal with the attorney for Susan Atkins: a promise not to seek the death penalty in return for testimony before the Grand Jury, plus consideration of a further reduction in charges for her continued cooperation during the trial. Atkins appeared before the Grand Jury on December 5. She told the grand jury she was "in love with the reflection" of Charles Manson and that there was "no limit" to what she would do for him. In an emotionless voice, she described the horrific events in the early morning hours of August 9 at the Tate residence. She told of Tate pleading for her life: "Please let me go. All I want to do is have my baby." She described the actual murders, told of returning to the car and stopping along a side street to wash off bloody clothes with a garden house, and of Manson's reaction on their return to Spahn Ranch. Atkins said that on returning to Spahn Ranch she "felt dead." She added, "I feel dead now." After twenty minutes of deliberations, the grand jury returned murder indictments against Manson, Watson, Krenwinkel, Atkins, Kasabian, and Van Houten.
Prosecutor Vincent Bugliosi talks to the press during trial
When efforts to extradite Tex Watson from became bogged down in local Texas politics, the District Attorney's Office decided to proceed against the four persons indicted for the Tate-LaBianca murders who were in custody in California. Jury selection began on June 15, 1970 in the eighth floor courtroom of Judge Charles Older in the Hall of Justice in Los Angeles. Manson's request to ask potential jurors "a few simple, childlike questions that are real to me in my reality" was denied. During the voir dire, Manson fixed his penetrating stare for hours, first on Judge Older and then one day on Prosecutor Bugliosi. After getting Manson's stare treatment, Bugliosi took advantage of a recess to slide his chair next to Manson and ask, "What are you trembling about Charlie? Are you afraid of me?" Manson responded, "Bugliosi, you think I'm bad and I'm not." He went on to tell Manson that Atkins was "just a stupid little bitch" who told a story "to get attention." After a month of voir dire, a jury of seven men and five women was selected. The jury knew it would be sequestered for a long time, but it didn't know how long. As it turned out, their sequestration would last 225 days, longer than any previous jury in history.
Opening statements began on July 24. Manson entered the courtroom sporting a freshly cut, bloody "X" on his forehead--signifying, he said in a statement, that "I have X'd myself from your world."
Bugliosi, in his opening statement for the prosecution, indicated that his "principal witness" would be Linda Kasabian, a Manson Family member who accompanied the killers to both the Tate and LaBianca residences. The prosecution turned to Kasabian, with a promise of prosecutorial immunity for her testimony, when Susan Atkins--probably in response to threats from Manson--announced that she would not testify at the trial. Bugliosi promised the jury that the evidence would show Manson had a motive for the murders that was "perhaps even more bizarre than the murders themselves."
On July 27, Bugliosi announced, "The People call Linda Kasabian." Manson's attorney, fabled obstructionist Irving Kanarek, immediately sprung up with an objection, "Object, Your Honor, on the grounds this witness is not competent and is insane!" Calling Kanarek to the bench and telling him his conduct was "outrageous," Judge Older denied the objection and Kasabian was sworn as a witness. She would remain on the stand for an astounding eighteen days, including seven days of cross-examination by Kanarek.
Kasabian told the jury that no Family member ever refused an order from Charles Manson: "We always wanted to do anything and everything for him." After describing what she saw of the Tate murders, Kasabian was asked by Bugliosi about the return to Spahn Ranch:
"Was there anyone in the parking area at Spahn Ranch as you drove in the Spahn Ranch area?"
"Who was there?"
"Was there anyone there other than Charlie?"
"Not that I know of"
"Where was Charlie when you arrived at the premises?"
"About the same spot he was in when he first drove away."
"What happened after you pulled the car onto the parking area and parked the car?"
"Sadie said she saw a spot of blood on the outside of the car when we were at the gas station."
"Who was present at that time when she said that?"
"The four of us and Charlie."
"What is the next thing that happened?"
"Well, Charlie told us to go into the kitchen, get a sponge, wipe the blood off, and he also instructed Katie and I to go all through the car and wipe off the blood spots."
"What is the next thing that happened after Mr. Manson told you and Katie to check out the car and remove the blood?"
"He told us to go into the bunk room and wait, which we did."
Kasabian also offered her account of the night of the LaBianca murders. She testified that she didn't want to go, but went anyway "because Charlie asked me and I was afraid to say no."
Kasabian proved a very credible witness, despite the best efforts during cross-examination of defense attorneys to make her appear a spaced-out hippie. After admitting that she took LSD about fifty times, Kasabian was asked by Kanarek, "Describe what happened on trip number 23." Other defense questions explored her beliefs in ESP and witchcraft or focused on the "vibrations" she claimed to receive from Manson.
A major distraction from Kasabian's testimony came on August 3, when Manson stood before the jury and held up a copy of the Los Angeles Times with the headline, "MANSON GUILTY, NIXON DECLARES." The defense moved for a mistrial on the grounds that the headline prejudiced the jury against the defense, but Judge Older denied the motion after each juror stated under oath that he or she would not be influenced by the President's reported declaration of guilt.
Testimony corroborating that of Kasabian came from several other prosecution witnesses, most notably the woman Atkins confided in at Dormitory 8000, Virginia Graham. Other witnesses described receiving threats from Manson, evidence of Manson's total control over the lives of Family members, or conversations in which Manson had told of the coming Helter Skelter.
Nineteen-year-old Paul Watkins, Manson's foremost recruiter of young women, provided key testimony about the strange motive for the Tate-LaBianca murders--including its link to the Bible's Book of Revelation. Watkins testified that Manson discussed Helter Skelter "constantly." Bugliosi asked Watkins how Helter Skelter would start:
"There would be some atrocious murders; that some of the spades from Watts would come up into the Bel-Air and Beverly Hills district and just really wipe some people out, just cut bodies up and smear blood and write things on the wall in blood, and cut little boys up and make parents watch. So, in retaliation-this would scare; in other words, all the other white people would be afraid that this would happen to them, so out of their fear they would go into the ghetto and just start shooting black people like crazy. But all they would shoot would be the garbage man and Uncle Toms, and all the ones that were with Whitey in the first place. And underneath it all, the Black Muslims would-he would know that it was coming down."
"Helter Skelter was coming down?"
"Yes. So, after Whitey goes in the ghettoes and shoots all the Uncle Toms, then the Black Muslims come out and appeal to the people by saying, 'Look what you have done to my people.' And this would split Whitey down the middle, between all the hippies and the liberals and all the up-tight piggies. This would split them in the middle and a big civil war would start and really split them up in all these different factions, and they would just kill each other off in the meantime through their war. And after they killed each other off, then there would be a few of them left who supposedly won."
"A few of who left?"
"A few white people left who supposedly won. Then the Black Muslims would come out of hiding and wipe them all out."
"Wipe the white people out?"
"Yes. By sneaking around and slitting their throats."
"Did Charlie say anything about where he and the Family would be during this Helter Skelter?"
"Yes. When we was [sic] in the desert the first time, Charlie used to walk around in the desert and say-you see, there are places where water would come up to the top of the ground and then it would go down and there wouldn't be no more water, and then it would come up again and go down again. He would look at that and say, 'There has got to be a hole somewhere, somewhere here, a big old lake.' And it just really got far out, that there was a hole underneath there somewhere where you could drive a speedboat across it, a big underground city. Then we started from the 'Revolution 9' song on the Beatles album which was interpreted by Charlie to mean the Revelation 9. So-"
"The last book of the New Testament?"
"Just the book of Revelation and the song would be 'Revelations 9: So, in this book it says, there is a part about, in Revelations 9, it talks of the bottomless pit. Then later on, I believe it is in 10."
"Yes. It talks about there will be a city where there will be no sun and there will be no moon."
"Manson spoke about this?"
"Yes, many times. That there would be a city of gold, but there would be no life, and there would be a tree there that bears twelve different kinds of fruit that changed every month. And this was interpreted to mean-this was the hole down under Death Valley."
"Did he talk about the twelve tribes of Israel?"
"Yes. That was in there, too. It was supposed to get back to the 144,000 people. The Family was to grow to this number."
"The twelve tribes of Israel being 144,000 people?"
"And Manson said that the Family would eventually increase to 144,000 people?"
"Did he say when this would take place?"
"Oh, yes. See, it was all happening simultaneously. In other words, as we are making the music and it is drawing all the young love to the desert, the Family increases in ranks, and at the same time this sets off Helter Skelter. So then the Family finds the hole in the meantime and gets down in the hole and lives there until the whole thing comes down."
"Until Helter Skelter comes down?"
"Did he say who would win this Helter Skelter?"
"The karma would have completely reversed, meaning that the black men would be on top and the white race would be wiped out; there would be none except for the Family."
"Except for Manson and the Family?"
"Did he say what the black man would do once he was all by himself?"
"Well, according to Charlie, he would clean up the mess, just like he always has done. He is supposed to be the servant, see. He will clean up the mess that he made, that the white man made, and build the world back up a little bit, build the cities back up, but then he wouldn't know what to do with it, he couldn't handle it."
"Blackie couldn't handle it?"
"Yes, and this is when the Family would come out of the hole, and being that he would have completed the white man's karma, then he would no longer have this vicious want to kill."
"When you say 'he,' you mean Blackie?"
"Blackie then would come to Charlie and say, you know, 'I did my thing, I killed them all and, you know, I am tired of killing now. It is all over.' And Charlie would scratch his fuzzy head and kick him in the butt and tell him to go pick the cotton and go be a good nigger, and he would live happily ever after."
On November 16, 1970, after twenty-two weeks of testimony, the prosecution rested its case.
Irving Kanarek, Manson's defense attorney
When the trial resumed three days later, the defense startled courtroom spectators and the prosecution by announcing, without calling a single witness, "The defense rests." Suddenly, the three female defendants began shouting that they wanted to testify. In chambers, attorneys for the women explained that although their clients wanted to testify, they were strongly opposed, believing that they would--still under the powerful influence of Manson--testify that they planned and committed the murders without Manson's help. Returning to the courtroom, Judge Older declared that the right to testify took precedence and said that the defendants could testify over the objections of their counsel. Atkins was then sworn as a witness, but her attorney, Daye Shinn, refused to question her. Returning to chambers, one defense attorney complained that questioning their clients on the stand would be like "aiding and abetting a suicide."
The next day came another surprise. Charles Manson announced that he, too, wished to testify--before his co-defendants did. He testified first without the jury being present, so that potentially excludable testimony relating to evidence incriminating co-defendants might be identified before it prejudiced the jury. His over one-hour of testimony, full of digressions, fascinated observers:
"I never went to school, so I never growed up to read and write too good, so I have stayed in jail and I have stayed stupid, and I have stayed a child while I have watched your world grow up, and then I look at the things that you do and I don't understand. . . .
"You eat meat and you kill things that are better than you are, and then you say how bad, and even killers, your children are. You made your children what they are. . . .
"These children that come at you with knives. they are your children. You taught them. I didn't teach them. I just tried to help them stand up. . .
"Most of the people at the ranch that you call the Family were just people that you did not want, people that were alongside the road, that their parents had kicked out, that did not want to go to Juvenile Hall. So I did the best I could and I took them up on my garbage dump and I told them this: that in love there is no wrong. . . .
"I told them that anything they do for their brothers and sisters is good if they do it with a good thought. . . .
"I don't understand you, but I don't try. I don't try to judge nobody. I know that the only person I can judge is me . . . But I know this: that in your hearts and your own souls, you are as much responsible for the Vietnam war as I am for killing these people. . . .
"I can't judge any of you. I have no malice against you and no ribbons for you. But I think that it is high time that you all start looking at yourselves, and judging the lie that you live in.
"I can't dislike you, but I will say this to you: you haven't got long before you are all going to kill yourselves, because you are all crazy. And you can project it back at me . . . but I am only what lives inside each and everyone of you.
"My father is the jailhouse. My father is your system. . . I am only what you made me. I am only a reflection of you.
"I have ate out of your garbage cans to stay out of jail. I have wore your second-hand clothes. . . I have done my best to get along in your world and now you want to kill me, and I look at you, and then I say to myself, You want to kill me? Ha! I'm already dead, have been all my life. I've spent twenty-three years in tombs that you built.
"Sometimes I think about giving it back to you; sometimes I think about just jumping on you and letting you shoot me . . . If I could, I would jerk this microphone off and beat your brains out with it, because that is what you deserve, that is what you deserve. . . .
"These children [indicating the female defendants] were finding themselves. What they did, if they did whatever they did, is up to them. They will have to explain that to you. . . .
"You expect to break me? Impossible! You broke me years ago. You killed me years ago. . . .
"Mr. Bugliosi is a hard-driving prosecutor, polished education, a master of words, semantics. He is a genius. He has got everything that every lawyer would want to have except one thing: a case. He doesn't have a case. Were I allowed to defend myself, I could have proven this to you. . .The evidence in this case is a gun. There was a gun that laid around the ranch. It belonged to everybody. Anybody could have picked that gun up and done anything they wanted to do with it. I don't deny having that gun. That gun has been in my possession many times. Like the rope was there because you need rope on a ranch. . . .It is really convenient that Mr. Baggot found those clothes. I imagine he got a little taste of money for that. . . .They put the hideous bodies on [photographic] display and they imply: If he gets out, see what will happen to you. . . .[Helter Skelter] means confusion, literally. It doesn't mean any war with anyone. It doesn't mean that some people are going to kill other people. . . Helter Skelter is confusion. Confusion is coming down around you fast. If you can't see the confusion coming down around you fast, you can call it what you wish. . Is it a conspiracy that the music is telling the youth to rise up against the establishment because the establishment is rapidly destroying things? Is that a conspiracy? The music speaks to you every day, but you are too deaf, dumb, and blind to even listen to the music. . . It is not my conspiracy. It is not my music. I hear what it relates. It says "Rise," it says "Kill." Why blame it on me? I didn't write the music. . . .
"I haven't got any guilt about anything because I have never been able to see any wrong. . . I have always said: Do what your love tells you, and I do what my love tells me . . . Is it my fault that your children do what you do? What about your children? You say there are just a few? There are many, many more, coming in the same direction. They are running in the streets-and they are coming right at you!"
At the conclusion of Bugliosi's brief cross-examination of Manson, Older asked Manson if he now wished to testify before the jury. He replied, "I have already relieved all the pressure I had." Manson left the stand. As he walked by the counsel table, he told his three co-defendants, "You don't have to testify now."
There remained one last frightening surprise of the Tate-LaBianca murder trial. When the trial resumed on November 30 following Manson's testimony, Ronald Hughes, defense attorney for Leslie Van Houten failed to show. A subsequent investigation revealed he had disappeared over the weekend while camping in the remote Sespe Hot Springs area northwest of Los Angeles. It is widely believed that Hughes was ordered murdered by Manson for his determination to pursue a defense strategy at odds with that favored by Manson. Hughes had made clear his hope to show that Van Houten was not acting independently--as Manson suggested--but was completely controlled in her actions by Manson.
Manson's defense attorney, Irving Kanarek, argued to the jury that the female defendants committed the Tate and LaBianca murders out of a love of the crimes' true mastermind, the absent Tex Watson. Kanarek suggested that Manson was being persecuted because of his "life style." He argued that the prosecution's theory of a motive was fanciful. His argument lasted seven days, prompting Judge Older to call it "no longer an argument but a filibuster."
Bugliosi's powerful summation described Charles Manson as "the Mephistophelean guru" who "sent out from the fires of hell at Spahn Ranch three heartless, bloodthirsty robots and--unfortunately for him--one human being, the little hippie girl Linda Kasabian." Bugliosi ended his summation with "a roll call of the dead": "Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, Sharon Tate...Abigail Folger...Voytek Frykowski...Jay Sebring...Steven Parent...Leno LaBianca...Rosemary LaBianca...are not here with us in this courtroom, but from their graves they cry out for justice."
The jury deliberated a week before returning its verdict on January 25, 1971. The jury found all defendants guilty on each count of first-degree murder. After hearing additional evidence in the penalty phase of the trial, the jury completed its work by sentencing each of the four defendants to death on March 29. As the clerk read the verdict, Manson shouted, "You people have no authority over me." Patricia Krenwinkel declared, "You have judged yourselves." Susan Atkins said, "Better lock your doors and watch your own kids." Leslie Van Houten complained, "The whole system is a game." The trial was over. At over nine-months, it had been the longest and and most expensive in American history.
Manson at his 1992 parole hearing
The death sentences imposed by the Tate-LaBianca jury would never be imposed, thanks to a California Supreme Court ruling in 1972 declaring the state's death penalty law unconstitutional. The death sentences for the four convicted defendants, as well as for Tex Watson who had been convicted and sentenced to death in a separate trial in 1971, were commuted to life in prison. Patricia Krenwinkel, now 72, became California’s longest-serving female inmate. According to state prison officials, Krenwinkel is a model inmate involved in rehabilitative programs at the prison. She will be eligible to apply for parole again in 2022. Patricia Krenwinkel, now 70, is serving her life sentence at the California Institution for Women in Corona, prison officials say, and has been disciplinary-free her entire sentence. She is still considered to present an unreasonable threat to society. Charles “Tex” Watson, now 74, is housed at the RJ Donovan Correctional Facility in San Diego County near the Mexican border, where he walks the track “sharing my faith, relating to many men”, according to the ministry’s website. He has been denied parole 17 times. A state panel in 2016 once again found him unsuitable for release from prison for at least five more years. In prison, Watson married, divorced, fathered four children and became an ordained minister. Susan Atkins, dubbed “the scariest of all the girls” by a former prosecutor, died in prison in 2009 at age 61
Charles Manson was incarcerated in a maximum security section of a state penitentiary in Concoran, California. He has been denied parole twelve times, most recently in 2012. His next parole hearing was scheduled for 2027. In prison, he had assaulted prison staff a half dozen times. A search of the prison chapel where Manson took a job in 1980 revealed his hidden cache including marijuana, one hundred feet of nylon rope, and a mail-order catalog for hot air balloons. In 1986, he published his story, Manson in His Own Words. In his book, Manson claims: "My eyes are cameras. My mind is tuned to more television channels than exist in your world. And it suffers no censorship. Through it, I have a world and the universe as my own."
All three female defendants have expressed remorse for their crimes, been exemplary inmates, and offered their time for charity work. Yet none has been released by the California Parole Board, even though each of them was young and clearly under Manson's powerful influence at the time of their crimes. There is no question that but for their unfortunate connection with Charles Manson, none would have committed murder. It is sad, but undoubtedly true, that parole boards are political bodies that base decisions as much upon anticipated public reaction to their decisions as on a careful review of a parole applicant's prison record and statements.
In November 2014, the California Department of Corrections announced that it had received a request for a marriage license from their famous eighty-year-old prisoner. Manson's bride-to-be was Afton Elaine Burton, nicknamed “Star” a twenty-six-year old woman who had worked for Manson's release. Turns out that the few short years before Manson’s death, “Star” Burton was actually planning to secure the legal rights to his corpse — in order to display it for curious observers in a glass crypt for profit. He never did marry her OR give his consent to display his remains.
Instead of tying the knot and while stringing Star along, He was busy “making little dolls, but they were like voodoo dolls of people and he would stick needles in them, hoping to injure the live person the doll was fashioned after,” said former L.A. County prosecutor Stephen Kay who helped convict Manson in 1970. “He said his main activity was making those dolls.”
The end came for Charles Manson on Sunday, November 19th, 2017 at 8:13pm, at the age of 83. The official cause of death was “acute cardiac arrest,” “respiratory failure” and “metastatic colon cancer.”
Upon his death newspapers across the country seemed to have cheered over Manson’s passing. For instance, the New York Daily News published a front cover spread that read, “BURN IN HELL, Bloodthirsty cult leader Manson dies at 83.” Others followed suit with brazen titles such as “EVIL DEAD. Make room, Satan, Charles Manson is finally going to hell” – New York Post.
Four months after the death of Manson, his cremated remains were scattered along the California hillside. Friends old and were in attendance, including Family Member and longtime Manson supporter Sandy Good.