Best Known For
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.
Think you know about Biography?
Answer questions and see how you rank against other players.Play Now
Other grisly and macabre acts were to be perpetrated against the victims. Atkins also revealed that a list of other high profile Hollywood stars were on a list to be killed and mutilated. These included Elizabeth Taylor and husband Richard Burton, Frank Sinatra,
Steve McQueen and Tom Jones. When asked why they wanted to kill such people, Atkins replied that they (Manson and Family)wanted to commit murders that would shock the world and make people take notice.
The trial began on the November 18, 1969. Ronald Hughes was a young lawyer with experience and knowledge of 1960's counter culture. He was assigned as Manson and Van Houten's attorney, but decided to drop Manson in favor of defending Van Houten who he thought could convince the jury that she was under the influence of Manson. The move may have cost him his life. In 1970, Hughes went camping and disappeared. His decomposed body was found several months later. It is thought he was the victim of 'retaliation killing' by members of Manson's Family for, in their eyes, betraying their leader.
During the trial Manson released an album titled 'Lie' in order to raise money for his defense. Previously when he had known Brian Wilson of The Beach Boys fame he had written several songs, one of which was recorded by the popular wholesome group. Manson reveled in media attention and during court proceedings turned up with an X carved into his forehead. Some of his female followers copied the act and shaved their heads, sometimes sitting outside the court house. The X was gradually modified until it turned into a swastika.
Throughout the trial the killers often giggled and exchanged grimaces with Manson. They showed no remorse for their crimes.
On January 25, 1971 Manson was convicted of first degree murder for directing the deaths of the Tate/La Bianca victims. He was sentenced to death but this was automatically commuted to life in prison after the Californian's Supreme Court invalidated all death sentences prior to 1972. He is now still serving time in Corcoran State Prison, California.
Kasabian was granted immunity for her part in acting as star witness. Susan Atkins was sentenced to death, but was later commuted to life in prison. She was incarcerated from 1969 until her death in 2009.
One interesting aspect to this disturbing saga was the emergence of record producer Terry Melcher, son of Doris Day. Melcher knew Brian Wilson of The Beach Boys fame both as a friend and producer of the band's music. Manson and his Family, before their murderous spree, had stayed at Wilson's home after The Beach Boys' singer had picked some members up who were hitchhiking. It was through this association that Manson got to audition for Melcher, who at the time lived at Polanski's house. Melcher was not interested in signing a contract with Manson.
According to one of the Family member's statements, the Polanksi household had been targeted because it 'represented' Manson's rejection by the showbiz world and society.
The original house owned by the Polanksi's at 10050 Cielo Drive has since been demolished. The property that replaced it still stands empty. No agents will include it on their books.
© 2013 A+E Networks. All rights reserved.
profile name: Charles Manson profile occupation:
Sign in with Facebook to see how you and your friends are connected to famous icons.
Your Friends' Connections
Included In These Groups
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 504 people in this group