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Charles Manson is an American cult leader whose followers carried out several notorious murders in the late 1960s and inspired the book Helter Skelter.
Charles Manson - Early Life (1:34)
Charles Manson - The Family (2:02)
Charles Manson - The Guru (1:37)
Learn how Charles Manson’s early years shaped the serial killer the world knows today.
To Charles Manson, The Beatles were prophets who were sending him and others messages within their lyrics.
An inside look into the day in the life of the Manson family.
For those in the Manson family, Charles Manson was revered as a Christ-like figure.
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The most inhumane killing had to be of Sharon Tate, who despite pleading for the life of her unborn child was mercilessly stabbed in the stomach by Susan Atkins. Kasabian told of Atkins' chilling words to Tate before she stabbed her.
I have no mercy for you. You're going to die and you'd better get used to it"
Atkins then used Tate's blood to write the word 'PIG' on the front door.
Instead of this brutal massacre sating the pathological Manson, he instead criticized the murderers for being sloppy. The following night on the August 10, 1969, he took Family members Watson, Patricia Krenwinkel and Leslie Van Houten to the Los Feliz district address of wealthy supermarket executive Leno LaBianca and his wife, Rosemary.
Ironically, Manson and his Family were arrested not on suspicion of the murders but simply on the belief that they had vandalized a portion of the Death Valley National Park while they were hiding out in the Mojave Desert. In 1969, the local county sheriff had them in custody not realizing that he had murder suspects on their hands. But it was the confessions of Susan Atkins, while held in detention on suspicion of murdering Gary Hinman, that led detectives to realize that Manson and his followers were involved in the Tate/La Bianca killings.
Various motivations were examined during the course of the trial. The most feasible being that Manson's pathological ego, insanity and belief in Armageddon were influences that led him to carry out a trail of destruction.
Manson believed that he was the new Messiah and that after a 'nuclear attack' he and his followers would be saved by hiding in a secret world under the desert. His prophetic visions included a belief that after the race war 'blacks' would triumph. Manson along with his 'Family' members would have to mentor the black community as they would 'lack experience' to run the planet.
As Manson and the Family were to be the beneficiaries of the race war, he told his followers that they had to help initiate it. According to defense witness and killer Van Houten, this was the primary reason why they murdered the LaBiancas. Manson had taken the wallet of murdered Rosemary Bianca with the intention that he would deposit it in a section of LA, where a person of ethnic origin might find it, use it and then possibly have the murders pinned on them.
Later in court Van Houten, who was just nineteen when she took part in the LaBianca killings, alleged that Manson had taken advantage of her vulnerability and dislike for her mother. She believed, like the other members, that he was a man of vision.
Thirty years later during a parole board she was to say that she was horrified by what she had done that night and desperately wanted to redeem herself. Van Houten was denied parole in 2006, and again in 2010.
Susan Atkins, possibly the most disturbed of all the killers, admitted in initial confessions to fellow prisoners that she had wanted to cut out Tate's unborn baby, but didn't have the time.
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Combine a charismatic personality with fringe beliefs and an appetite for violence, and you get some of history's most notorious cult leaders. Charles Manson terrorized frightened Americans in the late 1960s, convincing his followers to commit heinous murders in his name. David Koresh led the Branch Davidian cult in Waco, Texas, leading to a standoff with the federal government in 1993 that resulted in the death of Koresh and 75 of his believers. Learn about these leaders, and many more, who inspired hundreds to follow their unconventional philosophies—often with tragic results.
Cult Leaders 9 people in this group
Charles Manson's eerie ability to control his "family" of young hippies in California remains as mysterious and intriguing today as it did in 1969, when Manson orchestrated the infamous murders of Sharon Tate and Leno and Rosemary LaBianca. Many Manson Family members were sentenced to life in prison for participating in those murders, including Squeaky Fromme, Susan Watkins and Patricia Krenwinkel. Members Bobby Beausoleil and Steve Grogan, under Manson's bizarre influence, committed other murders. Examine our list of Manson Family members and find out about life on the Spahn Movie Ranch, Charles Manson's uncanny hold over his followers, and the random and brutal crimes that ensued.
Manson Family 12 people in this group
Famous Scorpios 503 people in this group