Charles Manson Is Dead At Age 83


(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF YAHOO NEWS)

 

Charles Manson, whose cult slayings horrified world, dies

JOHN ROGERS

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Associated Press
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FILE – In this 1969 file photo, Charles Manson is escorted to his arraignment on conspiracy-murder charges in connection with the Sharon Tate murder case. Authorities say Manson, cult leader and mastermind behind 1969 deaths of actress Sharon Tate and several others, died on Sunday, Nov. 19, 2017. He was 83. (AP Photo, File)

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Charles Manson, the hippie cult leader who became the hypnotic-eyed face of evil across America after orchestrating the gruesome murders of pregnant actress Sharon Tate and six others in Los Angeles during the summer of 1969, died Sunday after nearly a half-century in prison. He was 83.

Manson, whose name to this day is synonymous with unspeakable violence and madness, died at 8:13 p.m. of natural causes at a Kern County hospital, according to a California Department of Corrections statement.

Michele Hanisee, president of the Association of Deputy District Attorneys, reacted to the death by quoting the late Vincent Bugliosi, the Los Angeles prosecutor who put Manson behind bars. Bugliosi said: “Manson was an evil, sophisticated con man with twisted and warped moral values.”

“Today, Manson’s victims are the ones who should be remembered and mourned on the occasion of his death,” Hanisee said.

California Corrections spokeswoman Vicky Waters said it’s “to be determined” what happens to Manson’s body. Prison officials previously said Manson had no known next of kin and state law says that if no relative or legal representative surfaces within 10 days, then it’s up to the department to determine whether the body is cremated or buried.

It’s not known if Manson requested funeral services of any sort. It’s also unclear what happens to his property, which is said to include artwork and at least two guitars. State law says the department must maintain his property for up to a year in anticipation there might be legal battles over who can make a legitimate claim to it.

A petty criminal who had been in and out of jail since childhood, the charismatic, guru-like Manson surrounded himself in the 1960s with runaways and other lost souls and then sent his disciples to butcher some of L.A.’s rich and famous in what prosecutors said was a bid to trigger a race war — an idea he got from a twisted reading of the Beatles song “Helter Skelter.”

The slayings horrified the world and, together with the deadly violence that erupted later in 1969 during a Rolling Stones concert at California’s Altamont Speedway, exposed the dangerous, drugged-out underside of the counterculture movement and seemed to mark the death of the era of peace and love.

Despite the overwhelming evidence against him, Manson maintained during his tumultuous trial in 1970 that he was innocent and that society itself was guilty.

“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,” he said in a courtroom soliloquy.

Linda Deutsch, the longtime court reporter for The Associated Press who covered the Manson case, said he “left a legacy of evil and hate and murder.”

“He was able to take young people who were impressionable and convince them he had the answer to everything and he turned them into killers,” she said. “It was beyond anything we had ever seen before in this country.”

The Manson Family, as his followers were called, slaughtered five of its victims on Aug. 9, 1969, at Tate’s home: the actress, who was 8½ months pregnant, coffee heiress Abigail Folger, celebrity hairdresser Jay Sebring, Polish movie director Voityck Frykowski and Steven Parent, a friend of the estate’s caretaker. Tate’s husband, “Rosemary’s Baby” director Roman Polanski, was out of the country at the time.

The next night, a wealthy grocer and his wife, Leno and Rosemary LaBianca, were stabbed to death in their home across town.

The killers scrawled such phrases as “Pigs” and “Healter Skelter” (sic) in blood at the crime scenes.

Three months later, a Manson follower was jailed on an unrelated charge and told a cellmate about the bloodbath, leading to the cult leader’s arrest.

In the annals of American crime, Manson became the embodiment of evil, a short, shaggy-haired, bearded figure with a demonic stare and an “X” — later turned into a swastika — carved into his forehead.

“Many people I know in Los Angeles believe that the Sixties ended abruptly on August 9, 1969,” author Joan Didion wrote in her 1979 book “The White Album.”

After a trial that lasted nearly a year, Manson and three followers — Susan Atkins, Patricia Krenwinkel and Leslie Van Houten — were found guilty of murder and sentenced to death. Another defendant, Charles “Tex” Watson, was convicted later. All were spared execution and given life sentences after the California Supreme Court struck down the death penalty in 1972.

Atkins died behind bars in 2009. Krenwinkel, Van Houten and Watson remain in prison.

Another Manson devotee, Lynette “Squeaky” Fromme, tried to assassinate President Gerald Ford in 1975, but her gun jammed. She served 34 years in prison.

Manson was born in Cincinnati on Nov. 12, 1934, to a teenager, possibly a prostitute, and was in reform school by the time he was 8. After serving a 10-year sentence for check forgery in the 1960s, Manson was said to have pleaded with authorities not to release him because he considered prison home.

“My father is the jailhouse. My father is your system,” he would later say in a monologue on the witness stand. “I am only what you made me. I am only a reflection of you.”

He was set free in San Francisco during the heyday of the hippie movement in the city’s Haight-Ashbury section, and though he was in his mid-30s by then, he began collecting followers — mostly women — who likened him to Jesus Christ. Most were teenagers; many came from good homes but were at odds with their parents.

The “family” eventually established a commune-like base at the Spahn Ranch, a ramshackle former movie location outside Los Angeles, where Manson manipulated his followers with drugs, supervised orgies and subjected them to bizarre lectures.

He had musical ambitions and befriended rock stars, including Beach Boy Dennis Wilson. He also met Terry Melcher, a music producer who had lived in the same house that Polanski and Tate later rented.

By the summer 1969, Manson had failed to sell his songs, and the rejection was later seen as a trigger for the violence. He complained that Wilson took a Manson song called “Cease to Exist,” revised it into “Never Learn Not to Love” and recorded it with the Beach Boys without giving Manson credit.

Manson was obsessed with Beatles music, particularly “Piggies” and “Helter Skelter,” a hard-rocking song that he interpreted as forecasting the end of the world. He told his followers that “Helter Skelter is coming down” and predicted a race war would destroy the planet.

“Everybody attached themselves to us, whether it was our fault or not,” the Beatles’ George Harrison, who wrote “Piggies,” later said of the murders. “It was upsetting to be associated with something so sleazy as Charles Manson.”

According to testimony, Manson sent his devotees out on the night of Tate’s murder with instructions to “do something witchy.” The state’s star witness, Linda Kasabian, who was granted immunity, testified that Manson tied up the LaBiancas, then ordered his followers to kill. But Manson insisted: “I have killed no one, and I have ordered no one to be killed.”

His trial was nearly scuttled when President Richard Nixon said Manson was “guilty, directly or indirectly.” Manson grabbed a newspaper and held up the front-page headline for jurors to read: “Manson Guilty, Nixon Declares.” Attorneys demanded a mistrial but were turned down.

From then on, jurors, sequestered at a hotel for 10 months, traveled to and from the courtroom in buses with blacked-out windows so they could not read the headlines on newsstands.

Manson was also later convicted of the slayings of musician Gary Hinman and stuntman Donald “Shorty” Shea.

Over the decades, Manson and his followers appeared sporadically at parole hearings, where their bids for freedom were repeatedly rejected. The women suggested they had been rehabilitated, but Manson himself stopped attending, saying prison had become his home.

The killings inspired movies and TV shows, and Bugliosi wrote a best-selling book about the murders, “Helter Skelter.” The macabre shock rocker Marilyn Manson borrowed part of his stage name from the killer.

“The Manson case, to this day, remains one of the most chilling in crime history,” prominent criminal justice reporter Theo Wilson wrote in her 1998 memoir, “Headline Justice: Inside the Courtroom — The Country’s Most Controversial Trials .”

“Even people who were not yet born when the murders took place,” Wilson wrote, “know the name Charles Manson, and shudder.”

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AP writer Michelle A. Monroe contributed to this report. This story contains biographical information compiled by former AP Special Correspondent Linda Deutsch. Deutsch covered the Tate-La Bianca killings and the Manson trial for The Associated Press and has written about the Manson family for four decades.

12 thoughts on “Charles Manson Is Dead At Age 83

      1. I am a believer that when a person commits first-degree murder that once convicted the family members of the murder victim should be allowed to within 24 hours, kill the murderer in the same manner that their loved ones were killed. Quick, final, cheap, and over, true justice.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Dolly, as you know, I am not very handy around a computer so I am going this route to try to get a message to you. Just a few moments ago I reblogged an article for a new follower who calls himself ‘larryzb’. I put a big disclaimer in bright red with his article because I don’t want anyone to think that I actually agree with this idiot. I would like you to read his article that I reblogged for him about the Russian Revolution then if you would check out his BS about the Holocaust, then if you would please get back to me about what he has to say and about what my oped in bright red had to say and please let me know what you think. Thanks Dolly,—ted

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Dear Ted,
        Unfortunately, some of the facts in his posts are true. Although there is no “Jewish Conquest” – what a ridiculous notion! – many of the early Bolshevik leaders were Jewish, albeit nowhere near 80%. However, ALL OF THEM were subsequently eliminated by Stalin. Some of the non-Jewish communist political and military leaders had Jewish wives, and they were forced to save their own lives by giving up their wives to be incarcerated or executed during the purges. The only exception was Marshal Voroshilov; he pulled his gun on agents who came to arrest his wife Golda. Incredibly, Stalin ordered to let them be.
        It is also true that one of the co-founders of the German Communist Party, Rosa Luxemburg, was Jewish, although the other founders, Karl Liebknecht and Clara Zetkin, were German. Therefore, the unfortunate short-lived German communist uprising of 1919 had only one Jewish participant, Rosa Luxemburg, who was brutally beaten to death by the German para-military guards Freikorps.
        Bela Kun’s father was a lapsed Jew, and his mother was a Protestant, so he wasn’t even Jewish, but he was executed during the purges anyway.
        The main executor of “Holodomor” was Khruschev, on direct orders from Stalin. No Jews were involved in that action.
        What else? George Soros is Jewish, to our shame. However, I fail to count “many Jews” in judicial and political positions in America. Am I mistaken in my math?During Stalin’s purges, untold millions of people (some estimate 60 millions!) have been killed, but the first to be killed were Jews, not the other way around.
        There are many people today who deny that the Holocaust happened, and that’s why it is so important to keep the memory alive.
        Finally, Russian governments historically did not put much value on human life, whether they were pagan, Christian, or communist. All you have to do is take a look at Russian history. Communists didn’t invent anything new there, and Jews were certainly not involved.
        I hope I answered your questions, Ted.

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      4. Thank you Dolly, I very much appreciate you. I know that you are a person who is full of so much knowledge, this is why I wrote you these questions. To me, your depth of knowledge is amazing and You are a person whom I totally trust to give honest reply’s. I hope that you and your Husband had a good Sabbath, Shalom.—ted

        Liked by 1 person

      5. I thank you for your confidence, Ted! I’ll confess that my house is full of books in several languages, and when I don’t have the answer off the top of my head, I go to the sources. I truly appreciate your interest and your support!
        We did have a lovely Shabbos, thank you so much!

        Like

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