Where was Charles Manson born and raised there?

Charles Manson and the Manson Family: On a Deadly Mission

Jesus and Satan in one person: this is how Charles Manson once described himself. He is considered the epitome of evil, one of the most notorious criminals of the 20th century - even though he never killed anyone himself. The leader of the Manson Family, however, ordered several extremely gruesome murders on his disciples.

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Initially, Charles Manson gathered a group of young hippies in California. He was manipulative, violent and authoritarian - but apparently very charismatic. Because his commune mainly attracted female members who were blindly devoted to him.

Manson was specifically looking for girls from difficult backgrounds. He used drugs and sexual violence to make her compliant. Women had no soul for him and were of no value except to serve men

Racist and delusional worldview

Manson himself had grown up with relatives and on the street: his mother, a prostitute, had given birth out of wedlock at the age of 16 in 1934, but was later imprisoned several times. Her son also often came into conflict with the law and ended up in jail for the first time at the age of 16.

In 1967 he went to San Francisco, then a hippie stronghold. He actually wanted to become a musician and tried several times to get a record deal. However, there was no success.

At the same time he founded his commune in which he could live out his racist and delusional worldview. The Manson Family had around 100 members, the hard core consisted of 20 followers, mostly young women. Children were also there, including Manson's own son, whom he had with family member Mary Brunner. Only whites were welcome.

Manson and his followers lived on a farm near Los Angeles, the Spahn Movie Ranch. There were strict rules: Members were not allowed to listen to music by black musicians, wear glasses or watches, and own any books.

Manson appeared as a prophet: he was convinced that the Apocalypse would come in 1969, a war between blacks and whites. All whites would die, except the Manson Family members.

In the end, however, the blacks would submit to Manson because they were unable to organize themselves. This crude vision was inspired by a Beatles song: Manson interpreted "Helter Skelter" in his own way. The text is actually about the driving experience on a large roller coaster.

Murders should lead to war

But, as is well known, the predicted war did not break out. Manson devised a plan: he wanted to initiate the fighting himself and commissioned his disciples to murder people. The victims should come from the rich white upper class, the murders should then be blamed on blacks.

First, in late July 1969, Manson sent Bobby Beausoleil, Mary Brunner, Susan Atkins, and Bruce Davis to Gary Hinman, a teacher. You should be collecting debt from a drug deal.

The family held Hinman for two days and tortured him, and Manson cut off his ear with a sword. In the end, Hinman was stabbed to death by Beausoleil. The police caught him the next day, he was sleeping in the victim's car.

The Sharon Tate Massacre

On the night of August 8, 1969, the four Manson Family members Charles "Tex" Watson, Susan Atkins, Linda Kasabian and Patricia Krenwinkel broke into the home of director Roman Polanski in Los Angeles while intoxicated. Manson was actually targeting music producer Terry Melcher, son of actress Doris Day.

But he had moved out in the meantime, instead Polanski and his heavily pregnant wife Sharon Tate lived there. The two had recently become famous as the director and leading actress of "Dance of the Vampires".

Polanski was filming in England at the time of the act, he wanted to return four days later on the calculated due date. The killers literally slaughtered the 26-year-old Tate and four guests.

The murders only lasted a few minutes, but it was never clear what exactly happened.

One thing is certain: the corpses were scattered all over the house and were terribly damaged with a total of over 100 knife wounds. The murderers had smeared the word "Pig" on the white front door with Sharon Tate's blood.

The next day the four set off again, accompanied by family members Leslie Van Houten and Steve "Clem" Grogan. They massacred the owner of a supermarket chain, Leno LaBianca, and his wife Rosemary.

Manson had driven to and entered the Los Angeles house. But he left before the murders.

The killers carved the word "War" (war) into the man's abdominal wall. They smeared "Death to pigs" and "Rise" in blood on the walls, and scrawled "Helter Skelter" in blood on the fridge.

The perpetrators deposited Rosemary LaBianca's wallet at a gas station in a black residential area.

A few days later, several family members also killed the stuntman Donald Shea on their ranch, and his body was not found until 1977.

The police had no trace in any of the cases, and there was no indication of a motive. The result: the wealthier residents of the city feared an attack, lived in fear and horror.

It was not until three months later that several members of the Manson Family were arrested - albeit for car theft. But Susan Atkins bragged about the murders in prison, which put investigators on the right track.

Bizarre murder trial

The Manson supporters were later sentenced to death in the longest and most expensive murder trial in the United States to date. Among them was the guru himself, who was supposed to die in the gas chamber.

The trial turned into a bizarre spectacle: the accused women reacted to every glimpse of Manson's eyes and began to scream. When he shaved off his hair, they followed suit when he scratched a cross on his forehead. He later expanded it into a swastika.

The sentences were commuted to life imprisonment because of the temporary abolition of the death penalty in California. Family members Leslie Van Houten, Charles "Tex" Watson, Patricia Krenwinkel, Bobby Beausoleil and Bruce Davis are still in prison today. Susan Atkins died in prison in 2009.

Family member and driver Linda Kasabian testified against the group as a key witness. She was paroled, changed her name, and went into hiding. Steve Grogan was the only ex-disciple to be pardoned in 1985.

Mary Brunner, mother of Manson's son, was serving a six-year prison sentence for a later robbery on behalf of the family. She was not convicted for the murder of Gary Hinman because she had apparently only watched - and testified as a key witness against the other three.

The former disciples turned away from Manson while in custody. Leslie van Houten and Patricia Krenwinkel graduated from university in prison, Bobby Beausoleil became a painter and composes soundtracks for films. Susan Atkins and Charles Watson became professing Christians.

The Manson Family may have even more people on its conscience, some estimates put up to 35 victims. Before their arrest, the group was allegedly already planning other crimes, including Frank Sinatra, Tom Jones, Elizabeth Taylor and Steve McQueen on the death list.

The fascination of Charles Manson

Many musicians have processed Manson and his deeds in songs, including Sonic Youth, the Ramones, Slipknot and Ozzy Osbourne. Shock rocker Marilyn Manson put his stage name together from two extremes of US pop culture: In addition to Manson, Marilyn Monroe.

Other bands used samples of his songs, Guns N 'Roses recorded the song "Look at your game girl" written by Manson.

One of Manson's songs had previously made it to the B-side of a Beach Boys single in a modified form: Dennis Wilson met Manson in 1968 and introduced him to his brothers Brian and Carl. They wrote songs together and a demo recording was also produced.

The Manson family even lived in Dennis Wilson's mansion for a while, used his credit card, and stole from him. Manson threatened the musician with a knife - so that he even had to go into hiding for a short time.

Wilson also introduced Manson to Terry Melcher - who was supposed to be the victim of the murder assignment that eventually killed Sharon Tate.

Manson still exerts a strange fascination on some people today, there is a real cult around him. He is considered to be the prisoner in the US who received the most letters and emails.

Afton Burton, 28, admires Manson so much that she contacted him as a teenager and has been visiting him regularly since 2007. In the end, the two even had wedding plans, but let the granted permission expire unused in early 2015.

Manson is now 83 years old and his health has deteriorated significantly. He will never be released again: He has been in California prisons since 1972, twelve appeals for clemency have been rejected. He could not put the next one again until 2027.