When I was eight years old, my father got to know and meet Charles Manson. I had no idea who this man was, but I understood that he must be someone very special since I heard of their meeting everywhere; on TV, on the radio and in social media. I asked my father what was so special about this man, but the only response I got was something like “he is someone I need to get to know to find out why people do horrible things”. He said that I was too young to understand why.
When Manson died a few years later, on November 19th 2017, my father’s phone kept beeping and ringing all day. Reporters from all over the world wanted my father to tell them his opinions about it. By then I was old enough to read all the headlines myself. From what I understood then, he was a very famous murderer, it seemed like the whole world knew his name.
When he was born, he did not even have a name. He was called “No Name Maddox”.
When Kathleen Maddox gave birth to him on November 12th, 1934 at the University of Cincinnati Academic Health Center, she was only 16 years old. The father, Colonel Walker, abandoned the mother just a few days after he found out that she was pregnant. Kathleen was an alcoholic and completely ignored her son. Manson was left alone almost everyday when she was out partying and drinking. It did not take long before he ended up in an orphanage and started committing crimes.
Since Manson never had a family, he was obsessed with creating his own. He had a personality that women were attracted to, he was charming and promised to help and take care of them. He manipulated and convinced them that the world would go under and that together they were the only ones who could save it. At his meeting with my father, he even said that he was Jesus Christ. After a few years, he had gathered a following of approximately a hundred people, which would later be known as the “Manson family”.
Some of the Manson Family members
During the 60s-70s, pop music became very popular and people started idolizing pop stars. Manson saw this as an opportunity to become famous and told his “family” that they should make music that would make the whole world listen to them and follow them. He wanted to become more famous than the Beatles. Unfortunately the music producer he contacted was not impressed by Manson’s music. Therefore he went for plan b, a war to kill all white people, starting with the producer.
Manson persuaded a few of his favourite members of the family to visit the producer’s house in Beverly Hills. When they got there in the middle of the night, they were told by the people staying there that he was out of town. These people turned out to be the pregnant movie actress Sharon Tate and her friends. Before the night was over, they were all dead…
Throughout his whole life, Manson denied being involved in the murders. He even refused being in the house that night. I asked my father what he believed and he told me that Manson let him know details about that night to impress him. But if my father told anyone about this, Manson would say that he lied. The details that he told him seemed too real to be invented. (Nadin Elzant 9E)
Charles Manson went to prison a large number of times for the different crimes he committed alone and with the Manson Family before he officially got sentenced to death. The state abolished the death penalty one year after, which led that he instead got sentenced to life. While Manson was recently married to Rosalie Willis, the couple drove of in a stolen car for a trip to California, U.S. Willis gave birth to his child, Charles Manson Jr., one month before he got probation for the stolen car. Even after his insignificant crimes, he still wanted to continue his criminal life.
As mentioned, Manson had many admirers that became the Manson Family and Manson was the leader. The loyal disciples have committed over 35 murders. Most of the Manson Family members were already sentenced to life for some of the known killings that they committed. The Manson Family used to murder people the same way to not leave a noticeable trace of being them. The murder of Gary Hinman and the Tate/LaBianca murders are for instance similar.
The Murder of Gary Hinman
Gary Hinman, born on December 24, 1934, in Colorado, U.S was a musician. Manson and Hinman became friends for a long period of time. On July 25, 1965, the Manson Family members Bobby Beausoleil, Susan Atkins, and Mary Brunner visited Hinman. Manson had the belief that Hinman had money hidden in his house which he wanted to obtain by trying to make Hinman a member of the family. Hinman refused to give them his money which led to him being held captive for a couple of days before getting stabbed to death. Manson used a sword to slice Hinman’s ear and face and Beausoleil stabbed him in the chest after hours of begging to leave him alone. To get away with this, the members used Hinman’s blood to write “POLITICAL PIGGY” to make the Black Panthers look guilty.
Tate Murders (LaBianca)
The Tate murders were one of the biggest murders the cult had committed. This killing was a mass murder that was a home invasion as well which including Patricia Krenwinkel, Linda Kasabian, Susan Atkins, and Charles “Tex” Watson were behind. This event occurred between August 8 and 9th, 1969 and took six people’s life – including one unborn baby. Krenwinkel, Kasabian, Atkins, and Watson were under the direction of Manson to arrive at 10050 Cielo Drive were the American actress, Sharon Tate was currently living with her spouse, Roman Polanski. Manson gave explicit instructions to murder everyone in the house. A couple of hours earlier, the victims had dinner at the restaurant, El Coyote.
Steven Parent was only 18 years old when he got murdered. He was born in California and was visiting the guest house in the midnight of August 8th. Parent came across the members while driving a car. Parent was met by Watson that was holding a knife in one hand and a gun in the other. While Watson was approaching, Parent shouted out “Please don’t do this, I won’t say anything”, hoping it would change Watson’s mind but he instead shot Parent four times. This occurred prior to Watson and Atkins breaking into the home.
Sharon Tate was an American actress and a model, working as a cover girl and in fashion magazines. She was born on January 24, 1943, in Dallas, Texas, U.S. She starred in Valley of the Dolls where she played the character Jennifer North which she got nominated for a Golden Globe. All the victims gathered in the living room moments before she got stabbed to death. Tate was eight and a half months pregnant with her son when this incident occurred. Polanski and Tate were planning on naming their son Paul Richard Polanski, after his father. Sharon Tate was the last one to get murdered by Manson.
Jay Sebring was an American hair stylist for celebrities. Sebring was in love with Tate until the day he died but they still remained good friends. On the day of the murder, Watson tied a rope around his neck with Tate. Sebring got shot to death by Watson after he was concerned if laying on the stomach was good for Tate and her unborn child. Watson kicked Sebring while he was slowly dying.
Wojciech Frykowski was a polish man that moved to the U.S several years after graduation. Frykowski could not speak English but was fluent in French which had no use in the U.S. He had to get a tutor to teach him English, Abigail Folger, who he at that time fell in love with. Folger and Frykowski successfully fled out from the house but Watson shot Frykowski on the lawn before they could get away.
Abigail Folger was an American coffee company owner. She used to work with charity a large amount of time. Folger then settled to work as Frykowski’s English tutor. They became a couple after many months of being friends. On August 8th, Folger was held captive whilst the members of the cult tried to murder the others in the house. Folger was able to run away from Atkins and Watson but she did not get too far before Watson reached her and tackled her. Krenwinkel and Watson stabbed her until she died.
They have successfully completed their mission and prior to taking off, Atkins wrote “PIG” on the front door of the house using Tate’s blood.
On the following night of the Tate murders, the members of the cult, Watson, Atkins, Krenwinkel, Kasabian, Leslie Van Houten, Steve “Clem” Grogan, and Manson took off to murder other people.
Leno and Rosemary LaBianca were a married couple and the two victims after the Tate murder incident. The LaBiancas were terrified after reading the headlines about the incident from the day before. Rosemary went and slept in the bedroom whilst Leno slept in the living room. Rosemary woke up by Manson holding a gun near her and took her to the living room. When she entered the living room, Rosemary saw her husband tied up. The couple thought that they were only getting robbed but after the Manson Family stole their money, they started to torture the LaBiancas. Van Houten and Krenwinkel entered the bedroom were Rosemary was tied up. While her husband Leno was getting stabbed in the living room screaming to stop, Rosemary was getting tortured hearing his scream. Leno got stabbed until he stopped responding. Krenwinkel left a carving fork poking out of his stomach and a kitchen knife from the throat. Watson returned to finish his business with Rosemary, stabbing her a numerous amount of times. Rosemary got stabbed a total of 41 times. Before leaving, Van Houten, Krenwinkel and Watson wrote many words on the walls.
Now all the members of the cult have gone their separate ways. Susan Atkins was sentenced to death after the Tate killings. Whilst in prison, Atkins acknowledged her participation of stabbing the actress, Sharon Tate. Atkins died in 2009 due to brain cancer. Patricia Krenwinkel is now 71 years old. She has tried to get parole for fourteen times but it got denied because of that she confessed about how she stabbed Abigail Folger twenty-eight times. She got sentenced to life in California Institution for Women. Leslie Van Houten, was the youngest follower of the cult when only being 19 years old, is momentarily 69 years old. After many testimonies, Van Houten has gotten paroles denied. Charles ‘Tex’ Watson, the member and leader of the Tate and the LaBiancas murders, is sentenced to life. The 73 years old man received a diploma in business management. ‘I am the devil. I am here to do the devil’s business’ was his saying before murdering Tate and the LaBiancas.
Bobby Beausoleil is an American musician who was in the murder of Gary Hinman. While in prison, the 71 years old Beausoleil recorded music in prison. He has a passion for music and for being sentenced to life, he wants to have something to do. Linda Kasabian, the follower and the assistant of the biggest killings that the Manson Family were behind. Now she is 69 years old and there is not much information on where she is now.
Charles Manson, the founder, and leader of the cult died of colon cancer, acute cardiac arrest and respiratory failure on November 19, 2017, in Bakersfield, California, U.S. Manson was transferred one month before his death from Corcoran State Prison to a hospital in Bakersfield due to his health getting worse. Charlie ‘No Name Maddox’ Manson, died at the age of 83.
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- CieloDrive.com (n.d) Steven Parent [online] Available from: http://www.cielodrive.com/steven-parent.php [Accessed 25 January 2019]
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- Harvard style references: Tyra
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