The Manson family is one of the most notorious killer cults of all time. They practiced forms of Christianity and Scientology and rejected most government institutions and forms of authority. At first, they seemed harmless and were nothing more than a group of hippies making money from small crimes. Charles Manson had a notorious history with human trafficking, and the girls in the group, who were most of the family, also practiced prostitution in order to make money for the Manson Family.
Throughout the time they lived on a commune on an old movie set, many of the women in the family gave birth to children from clients as well as other members of the family. The other members would often take the children away from the mothers so as not to promote any close family bonding. Charles Manson restricted their use of literature and clocks as a means to control the members. Most of them disconnected from their actual family and friends, and the group managed to go from a hopeful music career to full-blown cult. Although terrifying, nothing measured up to the crimes that were soon to come from the family.
What do you think is the creepiest part of the Manson family? Is it the crimes they committed, the way they did things, or the way they looked? Here are 15 Disturbing Images Of The Manson Family And Their Crimes:
15 There Are Countless Members And Not All Have Been Punished
Like many cults that have since fallen apart, not all of the family members have been caught for their crimes. The above collection of mugshots is of just those who were apprehended and faced charges for conspiracy or other minor crimes related to the family. Not all members have been punished for being in the cult. Not everyone participated in the murders and illegal activities; however, they were aware of other illegal activities and failed to come forward. Some members claimed they were brainwashed and forced to do things against their will. Without rehabilitation, therapy, or even punishment, however, these unknown family members are still living in our society, and who knows what crimes they might be capable of? Most ex-members are well into their final stages of life; however, it still had to be chilling to live anywhere around the area in the '70s knowing that there might be more murderous killers on the loose.
14 Manson Has Always Given Creepy Interviews
One strange thing about Charles Manson is the fact that he never actually killed anybody himself. He simply instructed others to do so, resulting in his life in prison sentence. Although he himself was not a murderer, that doesn’t make him any less terrifying. Because of the seriousness of the crimes and media attention, he has been interviewed countless times throughout his life though he remains behind bars. For every interview he’s done, he always knows how to put on a terrifying show. For someone to be able to control the minds of adults, you have to be a theatrical person. From the haunting image above, Manson certainly was so. The look in his eyes and his crazed expression make this psychopath nightmare material. Many criminals regret the terrifying things they’d done and wish they could turn back time. The same cannot be said for Manson.
13 Many Protest His Arrest And Time Served
The photograph above shows four of the many women who protested Manson’s arrest when he was on trial for his involvement in 9 brutal murders. The women shaved their heads as a sign of protest and solidarity with Manson. They sat outside for weeks as the trial went on, claiming he was falsely accused and that the woman who committed the brutal murders did so on their own terms, making Manson innocent. Their protests were futile, but there were certainly some disturbing pictures taken along the way. At the time, women with shaved heads was a shocking sight, and this group certainly loved the attention that came along with the protests. They would also mark their foreheads with an X to let others know that they were societal outcasts and that they rejected norms. Some still shave their heads to this day in protest with Manson, although now, buzzed cuts are a popular trend unrelated to the creepy cult.
12 Sharon Tate Was Their Most Notable Victim
Sharon Tate was a gorgeous actress known for her beauty and various roles before her death. She had just married Roman Polanski, a director, and was carrying his son. She was eight months pregnant when she and her baby boy were brutally murdered in their California home. The moments before her death, Sharon begged for her life as well as the life of her unborn child. While Roman was away filming one of his movies, Sharon invited some friends over for a casual hangout. Unfortunately, the Manson family had other plans. The home that Sharon and Roman were living in was the previous residence of Terry Melcher, a music producer that Manson was hoping would help them rise to fame. Melcher did no such thing, so the family decided to take revenge. Unfortunately, they weren’t aware that Melcher no longer lived at the Polanski-Tate household, so Sharon and her guests became the victims of the crimes.
11 The Last Known Photo Of Her Alive
The photograph above was taken the day before Tate was murdered. She was growing closer and closer to becoming a mother to a son she hoped to name Paul. Roman has been very remorseful since the death of his wife and unborn child, always wondering if he’d have been able to save the two had he been there. Perhaps, he would’ve just been another victim in the drug-fueled murders. Tate was a well-known actress at the time of her murder, making it one of Hollywood’s most tragic cases. She was also tied and up and tortured before her death, begging for her son’s life the entire time. The photograph was taken by one of her friends, a celebrity hairdresser, who was also murdered by the Manson Family. The friends had no connection to the family and were all murdered simply because they were inside a home that used to belong to a man the cult had a vendetta against.
10 The Crime Scene Was Brutal
The crime scene of Tate’s murder was graphic and horrific. Sharon's body was found in a pool of blood in front of the couch; she was stabbed repeatedly all over her body including her stomach in which she carried her baby boy. Ropes and other devices that were left lying around gave a brutal look into the tortuous final moments of the innocent victims. The cause of death was the multiple stabbings as well as them simply being beaten by the terrifying Manson family. Although a famous actress and director occupied the home, you can see it isn’t a lavish Hollywood house like you’d expect. Tate and Polanski were living a fairly humble lifestyle awaiting the birth of their beloved son. That boy would've been in his 40s today, and who knows how many siblings he might've had as well. Unfortunately, we'll never know all because of a violent and horrific cult.
9 They Wrote In Blood On The Wall
One of the things that made the crime scene so brutal was that the murderers used towels to write in blood all over the walls of the victim’s homes. They used the blood of the victims, obviously, and wrote things such as “pigs,” “death to pigs,” and “Helter Skelter.” They believed that even though they weren’t always directly connected to the victims, the brutality of the crimes was enough to get some attention to their group and the resistance they were trying to lead. They believed that murdering these innocent people would lead to a change in the system or perhaps a race war (as they held beliefs similar to white supremacists). Instead, all we have is a tragic Hollywood story and more bodies sitting behind bars. There’s nothing more sadistic than writing in blood on walls. It’s in every horror movie and the biggest crimes, and this case is no exception.
8 Her Husband Had To Return To The Crime Scene
In the photograph above is Roman Polanski outside his California home after returning home from filming his movie. Instead of coming home to his pregnant wife, he had to see “pig” written in blood on his own door. He had to pack his belongings and move after seeing the blood-soaked walls and carpets all over his home that he hoped to start a family in. Instead of planning the future of his child’s life, he had to plan his wife’s funeral. Polanski still managed to have a long and successful career since the brutal murders, but his life was much more tragic than if Sharon had lived. He found himself involved in a sexual abuse case with a minor and can no longer return to the United States. If only one crazed man hadn’t taken his aggressions out on innocent lives, this picture would be a much different scene.
7 They Were Aspiring Musicians In The Beginning
The Mansons were hoping for a big music career when they all first got together. They actually had a life some of us dreamed of. Most abandoned their boring lives and traded them in to follow a seemingly all-knowing leader to California in a decorated bus that they hoped would allow them to chase their dreams. The reality was, however, that they couldn’t seem to find anyone who was actually all that interested in their music. Some recordings of their songs and covers still exist in dark places on the internet, but for the most part, their musical abilities just remained unused as they moved on to darker crimes. Their failed music careers were actually the motive for one of the murders. One of the members on their hit list was music producer Terry Melcher, whose house they had been stalking for some time before eventually murdering the other residents.
6 Manson After His Final Arrest
The photographs above were among the mugshots taken of Manson when he was picked up for his involvement in the murders at the Tate residence. Imagine seeing this crazed man leading a group of murderers in the desert. His outfit looks like something you would dress a movie murderer in, but for Manson, this was an everyday look. It’s terrifying to know that he was able to get away with leading a terrifying cult for so long but also relieving to know that he was sent to prison for his eternity even though he never murdered anyone. What happened inside the heads of the people in the cult to make them look at a horrifying person like this and think he was the almighty leader? What did he say specifically to people to have them trust him enough to commit murder in his name?
5 The Rest Of The Family Was Eerily Joyous In Court
The Manson Family altogether were responsible for the murder of nine people, although their hit list was much, much longer. They murdered Sharon Tate, four other guests at Tate’s home, Tate’s unborn child, Leno and Rosemary LaBianca, and Gary Hinman. The three women in the photograph above are those who are the most responsible for the murders. Throughout the trial, the women all openly discussed killing the innocent people and were often seen laughing, smiling, and singing when being taken from their cells to court. With such a tragic case, it’s horrifying to see these women’s faces beaming so brightly with smiles. They, too, eventually shaved their heads and put big X’s on their foreheads in solidarity with the rest of the Manson family. One has passed, but the others still remain rotting behind bars. Most of Manson’s followers have since claimed they feel terrible about it all, but looking at photographs like this, it’s hard to feel anything positive for these brutal killers.
4 Sharon Tate's Murderer Calmly Described Stabbing Her Pregnant Belly
When being tried for a crime, most of those accused would do anything possible to prove their innocence when it comes time for them to take the stand. That was certainly not the case for Susan Atkins. The way she described the murders was absolutely disturbing and horrified juries. It’s actually good she did so, as she was able to put herself and Charles Manson behind bars for the foreseeable future. It’s still rather chilling to look at her calm composure, not showing any remorse or guilt for the horrible crimes she committed. She spoke in great detail about tasting Sharon’s blood and how Sharon had begged for her life and the life of her unborn child. She stated that she had stabbed Sharon in the stomach after Sharon had begged for at least her baby to be allowed to live. She also described how the blood was warm and sticky but that she enjoyed the taste.
3 The Family Also Conspired To Assassinate President Ford
The woman in the photograph above is Lynette Fromme, yet another Manson family member. She's known for her attempted assassination of President Ford. For a group so against government institutions and insubordinate as they were, it’s surprising that only this one woman was sent to assassinate on one of the most powerful men in the country at the time. The photograph was taken after her arrest when she was being held for questioning. You can see on her leg that the harness in which she carried a knife meant for murder is still attached. She sits calm and quiet, much more collected than the crazed Manson. Although she didn’t get away with the murder, she was still sentenced to life in prison. She was released on parole in 2009 and is living a low-key life with newfound freedom after a 34-year sentence.
2 He Used To Be Normal
The photograph above is Manson with his first wife whom he also has children with. At one point in his life, he was a family man just like many people you know. That’s what makes this case so terrifying. At one point, he was just a normal guy who wanted to marry the woman he loved. However, he quickly turned into a terrifying monster known for leading one of the most notorious murderous cults in pop culture history. Was it a life of small crimes that led him to commit more serious ones? Or was he destined to be evil his entire life? Manson not only fathered children with the woman above, but he also did so with other women in the Manson Family. His children live quiet lives and distance themselves as much as they can from such a terrifying man, and we certainly don’t blame them.
1 He Might Get A New Wife
The woman in the photograph above is named Star, a name she chose for herself. She's the most recent lover of Charles Manson. Star became infatuated with the cult leader in junior high when one of her friends did a research report on the man. She exchanged letters back and forth with Manson and moved across the country to California to be with him as soon as she turned 18. Now 28, Star recently broke off her and Manson’s engagement due to scheduling complications. Rumors state that she only wanted to marry him in the first place in order to gain access to his corpse once he dies. She wants to set his body up and charge a fee to view the corpse. Why anyone would want to pay to see his dead body is baffling to some, but others would surely love to participate in this sort of business.