Charles Manson, 83, is at last where he belongs; wallowing in the Hubs of Hell. Manson went to meet his maker a few days ago after residing the past 48 years in Corcoran State Prison in Kings County California, convicted for orchestrating nine murders in LA during the summer of 1969.
With the hope of starting a violent race war (which he deemed “Helter Skelter”), in Southern California, Manson directed his “family” to murder Abigail Ann Folger, Wojciech Frykowski, Steven Earl Parent, Sharon Tate Polanski, Jay Sebring and Leno and Rosemary La Bianca. And all were carried out during a violent drug-induced spree in a scant 24 hours with the intent to frame black persons for murder:
“Through a frenzied combination of shooting, stabbing, beating and hanging, they murdered Ms. Tate and four others in the house and on the grounds. Before leaving, Ms. Atkins scrawled the word “pig” in blood on the front door of the house; in Mr. Manson’s peculiar logic, the killings were supposed to look like the work of black militants.”
The next night, Manson temporarily joined the scene with his “family”:
“Inside, Mr. Manson tied up the residents — a wealthy grocer named Leno LaBianca and his wife, Rosemary — before leaving. After he was gone, several family members stabbed the couple to death. The phrases “Death to Pigs” and “Healter Skelter,” misspelled, were scrawled in blood at the scene.”
Although not immediate, the jailhouse grapevine in LA fingered Manson (one of the family bragged to the wrong inmate), and arrests were finally made, seven months after the slaughter of innocents, including the unborn child of actress Sharon Tate.
The Early Years
Charles Milles Maddox was born November 12, 1934, to a single, 16-year old prostitute. Life was not pleasant on the streets of Cincinnati, Ohio, for an outsider. For most of his teenage years, Charles was passed from reformatory schools to detention centers until reaching adulthood:
“Manson was described by probation reports as suffering from a “marked degree of rejection, instability and psychic trauma” and “constantly striving for status and securing some kind of love.” Other descriptions included “unpredictable” and “safe only under supervision.”
Too bad that file didn’t follow him wherever he went.
Manson, the diminutive grifter, spent time in prison in Washington state for a variety of offenses, which is where he reinvented himself as the psycho-babbling guru and master manipulator of transient teenage girls. In prison, he studied Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People. And it was incarceration that gave Manson the tools to land invitations to rub shoulders with famous people he considered peers, on the outside:
“The gangster Alvin “Creepy” Karpis taught him to play guitar in prison, which is also where Manson was introduced to Scientology. In 1968, after Manson and the earliest Family members had moved to Los Angeles, he got involved with the music scene, befriending Dennis Wilson, a Beach Boy, and briefly interacting with Neil Young.”
He had a good spin. Crazy eyes, but a good spin.
Manson and his craziness altered the way society viewed the counter-culture uprising in the country during the late 1960s. What was once deemed an acid-dropping group of lazy burnouts, communal Hippy enclaves were suddenly regarded as havens for violence, fueled by illegal drugs and mental illness. The Charles Manson “family,” was the perfect face to point to in signaling the degradation of morals and societal norms, and elected officials such as then California Governor Ronald Reagan and President Richard Nixon, were quick to instill fear into conservative, family-oriented households, by holding Manson as an icon of counter-culture.
For the “family,” they wanted to be famous. They wanted to commit crimes that would create unbridled fear and chaos, and force the world to sit up and take notice. Mission accomplished. No matter the time and distance from the Los Angeles of 1969, the cult of Manson, the bloodshed, and Helter-Skelter will live on far past the death of Charles Manson; movies, documentaries, and cult internet sites. He will never leave us.
As the crazy murderer once said, “Living is what scares me, dying is easy.” Too bad he didn’t take the easy way out decades ago.