As you may know, Charles Manson died on November 19, 2017, 7 days after his birthday. Everyone was fascinated and scared when it comes to his family and the murders they convicted. Everyone knows the story about how he did actually not kill anyone but he made his ‘family’ do the dirty work for him.
Manson Family, image source: timeline.com
So, after everything was ‘done’ he was given 9 life sentences. To many, he was the face of evil, and some believe that he was wrongly convicted, especially by his “family” members.
Manson Family in front of the court, shaved their heads in protest. image source: timeline.com
Manson had a rough childhood and after many events and problems with his family and as he basically grew on the streets, he did not have much role model. He was sent to Washington to the National Training School for Boys and he was given aptitude tests. According to those he was illiterate and his IQ was 109. The national average was 100, and his caseworker deemed him as aggressively antisocial.
On a psychiatrist’s recommendation, Manson was transferred in October 1951 to Natural Bridge Honor Camp, a minimum security institution. His aunt visited him and told administrators she would let him stay at her house and would help him find work. Manson had a parole hearing scheduled for February 1952. However, in January, he was caught raping a boy at knifepoint. Manson was transferred to the Federal Reformatory in Petersburg, Virginia. There he committed a further “eight serious disciplinary offenses, three involving homosexual acts”. He was then moved to a maximum security reformatory at Chillicothe, Ohio, where he was expected to remain until his release on his 21st birthday in November 1955. Good behavior led to an early release in May 1954, to live with his aunt and uncle in McMechen.
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. When one of the women was arrested 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.
As you may have known and as you may have read, Charles Manson spent his entire adolescence in and out of prisons, and this was also one of the reasons he was not capable of being a productive member of society. Did you know that Manson used techniques that he learned while studying Scientology and a popular self-help book while he was in prison, in order to brainwash his future followers? So, he apparently enlisted in the Church of Scientology and he grew weary of the intense training sessions and began to throw fits until guards moved his cellmate, Layeyette Raimer, a high ranking member of the Church. And in the end, Scientology was too crazy for Manson, but he did use it to brainwash his followers.
What is also interesting is that the family members were forced to adhere to Manson’s bizarre rules while staying at Spahn’s Ranch. Books, watches, calendars and so on, were BANNED from the ranch by Manson and all family members were forbidden to wear eyeglasses because they wanted to live ‘now’ and ‘see the world in its natural state’.
He preferred his followers uneducated and unable to see reality.
The Sharon Tate murder was one of the most brutal murders ever remembered by this family. She was killed by Susan Atkins who died in prison in 2009. According to Linda Kasabian who was also a family member, Susan told to Sharon “Look, bitch, I have no mercy for you. You’re going to die, and you’d better get used to it.” She then stabbed her in the stomach using her blood to write the word ‘pig’ on the front door. Susan Tate was 8.5 months pregnant at that time.
It was apparently later found out that the Manson family had a celebrity kill list and this list included names like Elizabeth Taylor, Tom Jones, Frank Sinatra, Richard Burton, and Steve McQueen.
Charles Manson interview, source: getty images
Manson defended himself with the assistance of his lawyer, Irving Kanarek. Manson failed to manipulate his way out of prison. It is believed that Manson and his ‘family’ could be responsible for up to 35 deaths.
Here is a short report about the events and an interview:
Here is a short documentary about what really happened.