Charles Manson will be turning 83 years old this year, and he’s still in prison. He’s one sicko that will probably never be paroled. He’s been denied parole twelve times, and if he lives long enough, his next parole date will not be until 2027 when he’ll be 92. Most people are aware of the manipulative personality of Manson, which is why he’s not being paroled. Being in prison hasn’t stopped Manson from having a following. Many people write to him in prison as if he’s still a leader; that’s how much influence he has.
To this day, the story of Charles Manson and his followers will have you shuddering; his crimes will still horrify the masses. Manson and his followers scared a nation with their string of murders in the ’60s, violating their minds and reminding people that you aren’t even safe in your own home.
His manipulative and charismatic personality produced a massive following of people who were willing to do anything for him, including murder. They lived on an old ranch in their own community and, at one point, Manson was living with 17 women, and we can imagine what that must’ve been like. The interesting thing about Manson was that he was able to kill without getting his hands dirty. His followers did the dirty deeds, committing gruesome murders in California, including some celebrities that Manson disagreed with.
The nightmare caught up to Manson, however, and both he and his main followers were arrested for the crimes. Manson was originally sentenced to death until California took away the death penalty in 1972, so instead, he just sits in jail waiting.
15. He Tried Out Scientology
It’s pretty surprising to think that Manson, who was part of the “free love era,” would even consider Scientology since the religion has such a strict structure. He did, however, and he dove in with both hands and learned what he could about it. There was a time when Manson took 150 hours of Scientology courses. He stopped, however, because he deemed the religion to be “too crazy” for him. Considering how Manson lived and the things that he’d done in his life, you would think that nothing would be considered too crazy for him. But apparently, Scientology was too much for a serial killer to wrap his head around. We’re sure that the Scientology organization doesn’t want to be associated with the name Charles Manson; they’ve already been doing terribly in the media since Leah Remini went loose.
14. He’s Engaged
That’s right! Even a convicted 82-year-old convicted murdered can get a 27-year-old to stand by her man. She’s obviously out of her mind, but like we said before, the influence of Manson is still as powerful today as it ever was. The girl, Afton “Star” Burton, actually petitioned to obtain Manson’s sperm because she wanted to have his child. We’re not sure what 82-year-old sperm would be like, but thankfully, officials didn’t allow it. “No matter what happens to Manson, none of his family are getting access to his DNA at this stage. There’s no room for sentiment or emotion when it comes to Manson — in fact, especially because of Manson. It will be a complicated and troublesome process, not to mention how much outrage this may cause around the world. Many people will think this is a sick joke, but Manson has expressed his desire to add to his family of four children” (The Sun).
13. His Followers Had Rules
Like any cult, there are usually some strict rules that followers have to adhere to. Just because Manson was part of the free love generation doesn’t mean he never laid down the law. His followers weren’t allowed to read books because obviously, he didn’t want any free thinkers amongst him. Manson also didn’t allow calendars, watches, or clocks to be at the Spahn Ranch. One of the weirdest rules that he had were no eyeglasses, even if a follower really needed them. Manson believed that they all had “natural vision” and that they should “see the world around them” on their own. The poor followers who had very bad vision were probably walking around stumbling all the time trying to find their “natural vision.” It goes to show how manipulative he was that people just went along with these bizarre rules.
12. His Hands Were Really Clean
When it came to the horrific murders that shocked the nation in 1969, Manson’s hands weren’t dirtied at all in those murders. Aside from binding a couple of the victims, Manson made sure not to be anywhere near the victims when the murders took place. He probably thought that if things got hairy that he would be okay because he never actually murdered anyone. He had some sadistic women in his life who killed for him, and it was they that did the dirty work. However, in California, they have a law that states that murder conspirators are just as guilty of murder than the people who actually committed the crimes. Manson didn’t even have to be present at the murders for him to go down for them. Thankfully, the law was on the victims’ side this time; otherwise, Manson could still be out there convincing people to murder for him.
11. Celebrity Hit List
Manson had a thing about celebrities, and he shocked the world when he went into the home of Sharon Tate and murdered her and some of her friends. Tate was brutally stabbed sixteen times during the heinous murders. We can be thankful that they were caught because allegedly, Manson had a celebrity hit list where his followers were going to be sent out to kill one celebrity after another. They had plans that went on for years with people they were going to murder in Hollywood. Tate’s death was truly tragic; she was a gorgeous woman that had her whole life ahead of her. The cult wanted to be infamous for their murders. Apparently, the list included big names such as Steve McQueen, Frank Sinatra, Elizabeth Taylor, and Tom Jones. It’s scary to think what would’ve happened had they not been caught.
10. There May Be More Victims
When Manson and his clan were arrested and charged, it was for the eight murders that occurred in the late ’60s — heinous murders that made the headlines. But is it possible that there are more, even murders we don’t even know about? But many people believe that there’ve been many more murders, as many as 35 over the years. It says that the cases weren’t pursued because the members that were involved with the murders had already been found guilty, so there was no reason to pursue further cases. Manson could’ve gone down for the murders, but there wasn’t any reason to pursue him. There could possibly be other victims out there who were never found out, and that’s the scariest part of it. Who knows how many people have been killed by the infamous Manson family? It’s hard to believe that there could only be eight.
9. He Was Obsessed with the Beatles
Who wasn’t a fan of the Beatles? But we’re confident that the band wouldn’t be impressed to know that Charles Manson was a fan of theirs. Manson was so obsessed with the band that he and his followers believed that when Manson was arrested that the Beatles would call and stand up for him. Some of the women that killed for Manson wanted to sell their stories later on, and Rolling Stone took a few up on the offer. They demanded money, of course, and, in one of the interviews, these girls showed shock at the fact that they didn’t hear a peep from the Beatles. The women insisted that the journalist should give the Beatles their number, asking, “Tell them to call,” and “give them our number.” It just goes to show that this cult and their members weren’t playing with a full deck. We’re sure that the Beatles would’ve found that interview rather interesting and a little creepy.
8. He Was Born Without a Name
When Manson was born in a Cincinnati hospital, his mother was only 16 years old, and she refused to name the father. Kathleen Maddox wouldn’t try to get child support from the man for many years, and it’s likely that Manson never knew who his father was. Even after he was born, his mother didn’t know what to name him, so the hospital called him “no name Maddox.” It’s actually kind of creepy. It took a few weeks before she named him “Charles,” and soon after that, she had a quickie marriage to William Manson. She then changed Charles’s last name from “Maddox” to “Manson.” She eventually went after his real father, Colonel Walker Scott, for child support and won. He was asked to pay $5 a month for support, which he never did. It’s believed that he never had contact with his son.
7. He Deliberately Hired a Boring Lawyer
We’re not sure what his thought process was when he decided to hire Irving Kanarek, but at the time, he thought it would work in his favor. Kanarek had a reputation for not only being boring but also confusing judges as well as the prosecution with his speeches and annoying the juries by questioning them over and over again. He spent most of his time objecting throughout his trials, and that seemed to appeal to Manson. It turned out to be a bad move for Manson since he ended up with the death penalty. He seemed to realize that because, at one point during the trial, Manson shouted out, “You’re just making things worse!” His sentence did eventually get reduced from the death penalty to life imprisonment. It turns out that even Kanarek couldn’t get Manson off the hook for the murders that he committed.
6. He Was Married Once
We’re not sure what it would’ve been like to have been married to Manson, a notorious serial killer. Manson had been in and out of juvenile detention since he was young. He was always getting into trouble. The last time that he was let out on parole, he met his then-future wife, Rosalie Willis. It appeared as if Manson was really happy with this woman. She was three months pregnant when they left for Southern California in a stolen car to start a new life. He was eventually charged with stealing that car, and it broke his probation, sending him back to jail. Rosalie attempted to stay loyal at first and visited with Manson often, but eventually, she moved on with another man and filed for divorce with Manson. It was the last attempt he made at living with a domestic wife in a traditional marriage.
5. Removing Witnesses
There was a lot going on during the trial of Manson; in fact, some of his followers were trying to get rid of the witnesses. There were still quite a few followers out there in the world who weren’t charged with murder. The followers were trying to kill off witnesses and, at one point, lured away a key witness to a restaurant in Hawaii and tried to kill her. We’re not sure why a witness would ever try to get involved with followers, but it’s possible she had no idea who they were. They had a creepy exchange with the woman where they bought her a hamburger. She took a bite of the hamburger and seemed to be enjoying herself, but as the witness finished the last bite, one of the women said, “Just imagine if there were 10 tabs of acid in that.” A scary situation, but the witness did survive as she begged a stranger to get in touch with the prosecutor, and she was rushed to the hospital. It was pretty serious because the girls who took the woman out for a burger were charged with attempted murder.
4. He Read Dale Carnegie
It’s no secret that Charles Manson was inspired by Hitler and took many of his cues from him. But there was also another person who influenced Manson during his early years. He read and obsessed over a book called How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie. It was the book that taught him how to manipulate people, especially his followers. He was obsessed with the book and read it over and over again while he was in prison as a young man. He especially liked the part about how he could have influence over others and have them “take ownership” over an idea. It probably helped him to control his followers; he was very manipulative. After all, he did convince a number of people to commit eight murders for him. That’s probably not what Carnegie meant when he wrote the book.
3. A Famous Criminal Taught Him Guitar
The man that inspired Public Enemy No. 1 is genius criminal Alvin “Creepy” Karpis, the man behind the Ma Barker gang. He had a huge reputation in the underworld as a very intelligent human being. Manson and Karpis were imprisoned at McNeil Island Penitentiary at the same time. Karpis was known to have played guitar very well at the time, and Manson started taking lessons from him. At first, Karpis described Manson as “lazy and shiftless.” But his opinion changed when Manson started becoming quite good at guitar and even started writing his own songs. He may have had a window into whom Manson was going to become. “Karpis also described Manson’s singing voice as ‘pleasant,’ implying that the world was only a few misfiring neurons from avoiding a murderous psychopath, but gaining another Dan Fogelberg” (Listverse). Unfortunately, the world didn’t get another Dan Fogelberg.
2. He Has a Massive Number of Fans
It’s shocking how many people will follow a man like Manson. We doubt that his life has been very lonely in prison since he gets mail constantly from many different people. The influence of his life and the murders that have been committed have been powerful enough for him to gain thousands upon thousands of followers — which is pretty crazy because that means that there are a whole lot of crazy people on the outside, and who knows what they’re capable of? While in prison, Manson has received a lot of mail, more than any other inmate in all of history. Every year, Manson receives mail from around 60,000 people. It’s probably more mail than he can even read, but it constantly comes piling in. He probably could have an army waiting for him if he ever got out of jail.
1. Loyal Until the End
The fact that the courthouse steps were always packed with Manson followers, it was obvious that his following was loyal right until the end. They’re probably still loyal to this day. Originally, Manson and another member of his family wanted Ronald Hughes to represent them, and at first, he agreed. But later, he dumped Manson and instead represented Van Houten. That was probably a bad move on his part because, in 1970, he decided to go on a camping trip, and he never returned. He went missing, and his body was found months later in the woods. No one knows what happened to Hughes, and a killer was never arrested. Many people believe, however, that some of the remaining Manson members killed Hughes because he betrayed Manson. Now that’s a little bit creepy, and it just goes to show the influence this monster had over people.
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