Charles Manson, as seen above, is known to have started a Cult in California that led to almost 35 brutal murders; his cult consisted of runaways and vulnerable people who went into his cult just looking for friends and what they got was a family setting, but they may have gotten more than what they were asking for. In order to break down the family he created, we must look at all aspects of his life.
He was born on November 12, 1934 in Cincinnati, Ohio as Charles Milles Maddox to Kathleen Maddox. His father is allegedly Colonel W. H. Scott Sr. and his stepfather was William Manson. Charles may have never met, heard from, or known his biological father. He was born in the University of Cincinnati Academic Health Center to his 16 year old mother and "no name Maddox" was written on the birth cirtificate but was changed weeks later to Charles Milles Maddox. He later took on his step father's last name, Manson.
Kathleen was involved with Colonel, which was his given name but he led her to believe he was an army personnel (he had a reputation for being a con artist among the local towns people, so this was no surprise). Before the birth, she told him that she was pregnant; he left and he never returned. In August of 1934, Kathleen married William; he worked at a dry cleaning place as a laborer.
During Charles's childhood, his mother would go with her brother on drinking binges; she would leave her son with a babysitter, but she had a multitude of babysitters that would babysit Charles for her. On April 30, 1937, Kathleen and William divorced and the court ruled that William had neglected Charles.
On August 1, 1939, Kathleen went drinking with Julia Vickers (Kathleen's brother's girlfriend) at a friend's house and the two girls decided to rob the man; Kathleen called her brother, asking him to help in the robbery. They were arrested hours later and in court Kathleen got 5 years in prison while her brother Luther was sentences to 10 years. Charles was sent to live with relatives in McMechen, West Virginia and explained the weeks after his mother's release from prison as a very happy time in his life for him.
Charles and Kathleen moved to Charleston, West Virginia and Kathleen continued being a drunk. They then moved to Indianapolis after Kathleen was arrested but wasn't convicted and that was when she started attending AA, a group to help alcoholics recover. She met a man by the last name of Lewis, who she married in August 1943. Around this time, Charles began to steal from stores.
In 1947, Charles was sent to Gibault School for Boys (which is in Terre Haute, Indiana) by his mother because she could not find a foster home for him. The school was for troubled kids ran by Catholics. For Christmas that same year, he spent time at family relatives' house in McMechen; he was caught attempting to steal a gun during his stay there.
He spent 10 more months at Gibault before running away, escaping to Indianapolis. Instead of going to his mother's house as you might expect, he rented his own room in town and was able to support himself through theft; when he was eventually caught, the judge ruled to have him sent to a juvenile home called Boys Town (which was in Omaha, Nebraska). It only took four days before he and one of the other boys stole a car and a gun after escaping from the facility. They robbed a store and casino before heading to the other boy's uncle's house in Peoria, Illinois. The other boy's uncle was also a their and trained them to be professional thieves. Charles was arrested on three accounts of theft and sent to a reform school named Indiana Boys School. He alleged that the boys and staff at this school raped him and he learned to pretend to seem insane, screaming and waving his arms around. He escaped in February 1951 with two other boys.
The trio was arrested in Utah after attempting to drive stolen cars all the way to California; they were charged with federal crimes of driving stolen cars across state lines and theft; Charles was yet again sent to another school for reforming troubled kids in Washington, D.C. called National Training School for Boys.
When he arrived, he had to take IQ tests; he was not literate but had an IQ of 109 (the average is 100 IQ). The case worker that was working his case said he was aggressive and showed signs of being antisocial.
In 1951, Charles was transferred in October to Natural Bridge Honor Camp due to his psychiatrist's recommendation. His aunt tried to ask if he would be able to stay with her and she would make him get an actual job; the court set his parole hearing for February 1952.
In January, he raped one of he inmates and was transferred to a reforming facility in Petersburg, Virginia. There, he committed eight more disciplinary offenses, three of which were more rapes. He was then moved to a maximum security facility in Chillicothe, Ohio. He was released in 1954 and lived with his aunt and uncle in McMechen.
Charles married Rosalie Jean Willis (a hospital worker that was a waitress) in January 1955. She got pregnant and they went to LA in October, using a car Charles had stolen. Three months later, he was caught for stealing he car and charged with another federal crime. He was granted five years probation, but that was revoked after failing to go to court on charges from Florida and he was sentenced to three years in March 1956, which he spent that time in Terminal Island, San Pedro, California. His wife gave birth to their son while he was in prison and she named the newborn boy Charles Manson Junior. Rosalie would come visit him, but in March 1957 those visits ended when she moved in with a man. Before Charles's hearing, he was caught trying to escape; parole was denied and he was given five years of probation.
He got parole in September 1958; that same year, Rosalie filed for a divorce. In November, he started pimping out underage girls, the first of which was 16 years old. In September 1959, he was charged with yet another federal crime-trying to cash a fake treasury check.
He later on married a woman named Leona and took her and another girl to New Mexico to make them prostitutes. He was eventually charged with not following the Mann Act in April 1960, but those charges were eventually dropped.
The girls and he were arrested in June from Laredo, Texas and sent back to LA. He had his probation revoked and was sentences to finish his ten year sentence for violating his probation. He was sent to the United States Penitentiary in McNeil Island, Washington and there he took guitar lessons from Alvin Karpis, the leader of the Barker–Karpis gang. Charles's mother moved to Washington's state to work as a waitress and to be closer to her son; during his prison sentence, someone gave Charles the name of someone who worked in Hollywood and the name was Phil Kaufman.
In 1963, Leona filed for divorce; during the divorce, she claimed they had a child together named Charles Luther.
March 21, 1967 was when Charles Manson was released; he was 32 years old and he had spent at least half of his life behind bars. Charles requested to stay in prison, calling it a home and not knowing how to deal with the outside world. He was still released.
After his release, Charles stayed in California and got a large amount of followers, mostly women. Eventually, they lived in the desert and there were approximately 100 members. The group was formed in the 1960's and moved onto murdering in the late 1960's. They would rob people and stores, stealing cars, food, and cash; they believed in the hippie lifestyle and Charles would brainwash them by giving them drugs such as LSD and preaching to them, claiming to be God or Jesus Christ and being their alleged Savior. Women that wanted to join the cult had to have sex with Charles or other male members, kind of like an initiation process. He then started convincing a few of the members to commit murders.
Gary Hinman was associated with the family, but in July 1969 he was murdered. He was a hippie, drug dealer, pianist, musician, Buddhist, and was studying Sociology at UCLA. On July 31, he was found in his home; he was stabbed multiple times, had been robbed, and his two cars were missing. On the wall the phrase "Political Piggy" was written in his own blood on the walls and the police left it as an unsolved murder; it's believed that Susan Atkins, Mary Brunner, and Bobby Beausoleil (members of the cult) killed him after being ordered by Charles Manson because Gary owed him money. Bobby Beausoleil was later found with one of Gary's cars. This was the first murder the family was involved in.
The family also murdered Sharon Tate and four others in her home on August 8 and 9, 1969; they stabbed the pregnant actress to death and killed the other people in her home, friends that were over to hang out and have a party. Sharon Tate's husband, Roman Polanski, was away on business and was not murdered.
Leno and Rosemary LaBianca were also victims of the family; they were also killed. There were multiple other murders and there's claims that the family resulted in up to 35 murders.
Charged with Murder
Charles Manson was charged with seven first degree charges and one charge of conspiracy to murder. He was originally given the death penalty, but that was outlawed in 1972; therefore, he was then given life with the possibility of parole. Until his death, he had multiple interviews with multiple news media outlets.
On January 1, 2017, Charles was rushed to Mercy Hospital (in Bakersfield) because he was suffering from gastrointestinal bleeding. Too weak for surgery, he was sent back to prison on January 6. It is unsure as to what (if any) treatment he was given.
But on November 15, he was admitted again to a hospital. On November 19, respiratory failure and colon cancer caused cardiac arrest and he died. He was 83 years old at 8:13 PM on November 19, 2017.
On March 20, 2018, his grandson Jason Freeman had him cremated after a lengthy court battle with two other men over the body.
Interview (the interview will be linked above)
In an interview in 1981 (published by 60 Minutes Australia), Charles Manson is interviewed for the first time since being charged with murder. When he is led to the room to be interviewed, they ask him to sit down and he responds with, "I'm not going to sit in that damn chair. I'll stand and talk with the dude."
Tom Snider, the interviewer, finally begins to ask questions, regardless that Charles refused to take a seat. "You know, you were sentenced to the gas chamber and then they modified the death penalty. Were you happy when that was done?"
Manson turns around and without looking at Tom, he says, "Was I happy when what was done?"
Tom clarifies, "When you found out you weren't going to the gas chamber."
Charles then goes on to say: "You're talking about dying. Now, that gets me nervous."
When Tom asks why, Charles Manson says, "Did you have any thoughts about somethin'? Was you wanting to go anywhere?"
Tom again repeats his question, wanting an actual answer from the serial killer.
Charles pauses before saying, "Uh...I knew I wasn't going to go to the gas chamber cuz I hadn't done anything wrong."
Tom asks if he's scared to die and Charles responds with, "Sometimes I feel I'm scared to live. Living is what scares me. Dying is easy. Uh, how long have I been in jail? 34 years? 34 years so, uh."
Tom then cuts him off by saying, "Out of 37 years, you've been here 34." The interview goes on, as you can watch above.
Charles was a music artist and his first album LIE was released on March 6, 1970; one song from the album ("Cease to Exist") was also released by the Beach Boys, but was modified and was renamed "Never Learn Not to Love" by them.
Charles Manson's music is still sold today. Simply type "Charles Manson Music" into YouTube, Apple Music, or whatever music app you go by.