In his 80s now, rotting away in a California prison, Charles Manson still has the power to disturb and horrify. His crimes, along with those of his group of young followers, have come to embody the American nightmare. Since their string of vicious and violent murders in 1969, the comfort and safety of people in their very own homes has never quite been the same.
At the age of 35, Manson had already amassed a group of followers in California. They had isolated themselves on an old ranch that still sometimes doubled as a set for cheap westerns in the 1960s. Without getting his hands dirty himself, he instructed his young and devoted followers to commit a string of horrific murders in California - including targeting a number of celebrities. The case quickly gained national attention as many feared they could easily be next.
Taking full advantage of the free love decade, the kumbaya "love thy neighbour" attitude of the era was stopped dead in its tracks. Eventually caught on incidental charges, police pieced together what had happened and Manson, along with key followers, were put on trial for their nightmare crimes. Manson was sentenced to death for his involvement, though when California would repeal the death penalty in 1972 that would be repealed.
Manson has been in prison ever since but has lost none of his muster. Every few years he cycles back into the media, with a new cult or with a new revelation of his crimes. He still seems spry and healthy for an 80-year-old and can still apply for parole -- though there is no way he will ever get out.
In spite of representing a kind of national nightmare, a lot is not known about this charismatic cult leader (few people realize, for example, that this enthralling cult leader was just 5'2), and we are here to shed some light on the enthralling but still mysterious cult leader.
15 Manson Rearranged A Murder Scene
14 At 80, Was Engaged To A Hot 27-Year-Old
13 Broken Engagement - She Just Wanted Him For His Corpse
12 He Had A Celebrity Hit-List
11 Believed He Communicated With The Beatles
10 Still Has Obsessed Followers Today
9 Believes He's Immortal
8 Mother Sold Him For A Pitcher Of Beer
7 The Failed Musician Targeted A Producer
6 His Followers Attempted To Murder A Key Witness
5 Used Substances To Control Teen Followers
4 Tried To Frame Black Panthers With Murder
3 Tate Was 8-months Pregnant When Murdered
2 Was Inspired By Scientology
1 Been In Jail For Over 80% Of His Life
Long before Charles Manson urged his followers to commit violent mass murder for him, he had already spent the majority of his life behind some kind of bars. Since the age of twelve he had been in and out of reform school and prison. By the time he was 32 years old, he had already spent a cumulative sixteen years behind bars - most of his "free" years taking place before puberty. Many have claimed that Manson had always felt more comfortable behind bars where he knew how to get his way and how the power structure worked. It's here that the fruit of his philosophies emerged, but also where he learned to read and play guitar. As of 2016 he has been in prison for his involvement in the Tate-LaBianca murders for nearly 45 consecutive years.
Sources: The Daily Mail, NYPost, Rolling Stone, UltimateClassicRock, LATimes, CNN
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