Charles Manson, America's Most Famous Serial Killer, Dies
He served life sentences at California State Prison in Corcoran
November 20, 2017
Charlies Manson died tonight, in prison. He was most famous as the instigator of the Tate-Labianca murders, in which the Manson Family killed the pregnant wife of filmmaker Roman Polanski. By doing so, Manson hoped to set fire to the U.S., start a race war, and somehow save the world. i.e. he was nuts.
Charles Manson, 83, was an American criminal and former cult leader who led what became known as the Manson Family, a quasi-commune that arose in California in the late 1960s. Manson's followers committed a series of nine murders at four locations in July and August 1969.
In the late 1960s, Manson attracted a quasi-communal cult based in California that was later dubbed the "Manson Family". The group gained national notoriety after the murder of actress Sharon Tate plus four others in her home on August 9, 1969, and LaBianca murders the next day. The Tate–LaBianca Murders were executed by Tex Watson and three other members of the Family, acting under the specific instructions of Manson.
Family members were also responsible for a number of other assaults, thefts, crimes, and the attempted assassination of United States President Gerald Ford in Sacramento.
In 1971 he was found guilty of first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder for the deaths of seven people – including the actress Sharon Tate – all of which were carried out by members of the group at his instruction. Manson also received first-degree murder convictions for two other deaths. Manson was originally sentenced to death, but his sentence was commuted to life imprisonment when California invalidated the state's death penalty statute in 1972. He served life sentences at California State Prison in Corcoran.
Manson believed in what he called "Helter Skelter", a term he took from the Beatles' song of the same name. Manson believed Helter Skelter to be an impending apocalyptic race war, which he described in his own version of the lyrics to the Beatles' song. He believed the murders would help precipitate that war. From the beginning of his notoriety, a pop culture arose around him in which he ultimately became an emblem of insanity, violence and the macabre.
At the time the Family began to form, Manson was an unemployed former convict, who had spent half of his life in correctional institutions for a variety of offenses. Before the murders, he was a singer-songwriter on the fringe of the Los Angeles music industry, chiefly through a chance association with Dennis Wilson, drummer and founding member of the Beach Boys. After Manson was charged with the crimes of which he was later convicted, recordings of songs written and performed by him were released commercially. Various musicians have covered some of his songs.
On November 19th, California State Prisons released the following statement:
Inmate Charles Manson, 83, died of natural causes at 8:13 p.m. on Sunday, November 19, 2017, at a Kern County hospital.
Inmate Manson was admitted to state prison from Los Angeles County on April 22, 1971, for seven counts of first-degree murder and one count of conspiracy to commit murder for the August 1969 deaths of Abigail Ann Folger, Wojciech Frykowski, Steven Earl Parent, Sharon Tate Polanski who was eight months pregnant, Jay Sebring, Leno La Bianca and Rosemary La Bianca.
On December 13, 1971, Manson received a first-degree murder conviction from Los Angeles County for the July 25, 1969, death of Gary Hinman and another first-degree murder conviction for the August 1969 death of Donald Shea.
Inmate Manson was originally sentenced to death. In 1972, the Superior Court of California in the County of Los Angeles vacated and set aside the death penalty pursuant to People v. Anderson (1972). The decision caused all capital sentences in California to be commuted to life in prison. Manson’s death sentence was modified to life on February 2, 1977. California did not have the life-without-parole sentence at the time.
California inmates who receive a sentence of life with the possibility of parole are entitled to parole consideration hearings after serving the legally required minimum term. Inmate Manson had been denied parole 12 times between November 16, 1978, and April 11, 2012; the last parole hearing he attended was March 27, 1997. He was not eligible to have another parole hearing until 2027.
Inmate Manson had been housed in the Protective Housing Unit at California State Prison-Corcoran since 1989. The unit houses inmates whose safety would be endangered by general population housing. He had also been housed at San Quentin State Prison, California Medical Facility, Folsom State Prison and Pelican Bay State Prison.