One of the world’s most notorious mass murderers is dead: Charles Manson. Following a hospitalization that we reported last week, officials say Manson died last night at a hospital in Bakersfield, California. The nature of his illness or he actual cause of death hasn’t been released. He was 83.
Manson was the son of a prostitute and started getting into trouble at an early age, but the late 60s, he was in San Francisco and beginning to assemble his so-called “family.” A charismatic leader, Manson was credited with having had an uncanny, ability to attract followers, but also to control and exploit them. He would ultimately spend most of his adult life in prison.
But Manson’s desire to start an apocalyptic race war was his focus, which is what led to the infamous Tate/LaBianca murders. On August 9th1969, members of the Manson family killed actress Sharon Tate, who was eight months pregnant at the time, and four others. The next night, they killed Rosemary and Leno LaBianca. Manson was convicted of murder and sentenced to death as were members of his “family.” His sentence was commuted to life in prison when the Supreme Court struck down the death penalty in 1972.
- Altogether, Manson and seven of his “family” members were convicted of between one and nine murders apiece. Manson was turned down for parole a dozen times, with the last time being in 2012.
- Manson was convicted separately of two other murders: those of Gary Hinman, a musician killed by Manson family members in late July 1969, and Donald Shea, a stuntman killed August of that same year.
- While most of his family members remain in prison, Susan Atkinsdied there in 2009 – she was 61. Leslie Van Houten, who is now 68, was granted parole this past September. Patricia Krenwinkel was last denied parole in June.
- Though he’s confirmed to have had three, Manson is survived by two children. His first son – Charles Manson, Jr. – committed suicide in 1993. Son Charles Luther Manson (born in 1963 by Manson’s second wife Leona Rae “Candy” Stevens) has essentially dropped off the map. Son Valentine Michael Manson changed his name to Michael Brunner. His whereabouts are also unknown.
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Source: New York Times