Charles Manson – Helter Skelter guides Manson Family on murderous rampage thru LA

// August 27th, 2016 // Strange

Charles Manson with crazy eyes

Charles Manson and the Manson Family murders

Huddled in Charles (Charlie) Manson’s commune in an abandoned movie set in the California desert,  the Manson Family lived under the belief that an apocalyptic race war called “Helter Skelter” was destined to reap impending doom on the world while bequeathing an enormous power base to the Manson Family. In order to precipitate the war, the Manson Family committed nine murders over four locations during a five-week period in the summer of 69. The events ended the Decade of Love and introduced the world to a real-life monstrosity that prior to, Americans thought only existed in their worst dreams.

Who was Charles Manson?

Charles Manson’s childhood is difficult to discern because, as with much of Manson’s narratives, the story changed often. He was born in Cincinnati, Ohio on November 12, 1934 as Charles Milles Maddox to a 16-year-old, hard-drinking, promiscuous single mother, Ada Kathleen Maddox. Manson’s biological father is believed to be Colonel Walker Scott of Ashland Kentucky who curiously, was alluded to in case papers as being “black”. The report read:

“Father: unknown. He is alleged to have been a colored cook by the name of Scott, with whom Charles’s mother had been promiscuous at the time of pregnancy.”

At five years old, Charlie lived with an aunt (Nancy or Glenna Maddox) in McMechen, West Virginia for a few years while his mother was in prison for armed robbery. Kathleen had tried to place little Charlie in a foster home but there was no space available. A few years later, a court placed Manson in the Gibault School for Boys in Terre Haute, Indiana. He escaped and fled back to his mother who promptly rejected him.

Throughout his teen years, Manson was in and out of boy’s homes each time escaping what he felt was abuse from administrators and ridicule from the other children. On his own, he procured money for food and rent by committing burglaries.

Fortunately, Manson’s extensive time in custodial care revealed much about his personality and demeanor. Doctors say he had an IQ of about 109 (he scored a 121 several years later) and could barely read or write. Caseworkers classified him as antisocial, extremely sensitive, “unable to control his impulses”, with an inclination toward “homosexual and assaultive tendencies”.

Manson’s first prison term, first parole, first marriage, first son

Charles Mansion marriage to Rosalie WillisIn October 1971, at the age of 17, a psychiatrist committed Manson to a minimum security prison, Natural Bridge Honor Camp in nearby Virginia. Charlie was only a few days from release when “one of the boys took a razor blade and held it against another boy’s throat while Manson sodomized him”. As a result, Manson was classified as “dangerous” and transferred to the Federal Reformatory in Petersburg, Virginia where additional serious offenses occurred resulting in another transfer to an even more secure facility in Ohio. Once in Ohio, Manson miraculously transformed into a model prisoner and was granted parole three years later (May 1954).

While on parole, Manson moved to West Virginia where he met and married a waitress named Rosalie Jean Willis. They had a son together, Charles Manson Junior, and Charlie supported his new family by stealing cars. Multiple arrests and probation violations followed before eventually, Manson found himself in the Terminal Island prison in San Pedro, California. While in prison, Rosalie met another man (reportedly a truck driver) and filed for divorce.

Manson was paroled from prison in September 1958, the same year his divorce from Rosalie became final. He immediately began acting as a pimp for 16-year-old Leona Rae “Candy” Stevens. Manson was soon caught transporting an underage prostitute across state lines and attempting to cash a forged Treasury check (a federal offense) in the amount of $37.50.

Facing hefty federal charges, he took Leona as his wife in order to suppress her testimony. His ploy didn’t work. Manson was sentence to 10 years in prison and in 1961, was placed in the United States penitentiary at McNeil Island. While Manson was locked away in prison, Leona had a child, Charles Luther Manson. Like Rosalie, she asked Manson for a divorce.

On March, 21, 1967, Manson was paroled. Now 32 years old, he had spent more than half his life locked behind bars.  Using the later years in prison to learn how to play the guitar, he hoped to become a professional musician and was perfectly content with daily walks around the prison yard and playing the guitar in his cell. When informed of his parole, he requested permission to stay in prison saying “prison had become his home”. His request was denied – a decision the system would soon come to regret.

Manson moves to San Francisco

On the day of his release from the penitentiary, Manson moved into an apartment in San Francisco near the Haight-Ashbury section of town. The “Summer of Love” was blossoming and San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury district had become the mecca center for the burgeoning hippy movement. Amidst masses of people arriving in San Francisco from all over the country, Manson supported himself by panhandling.

Soon Manson met his next mark, 23-year-old Mary Brunner, a library assistant at the University of California in Berkeley. Before long, Manson, who had a penchant for reading a person’s weaknesses, began manipulating Brunner, bending her to his will. Soon, he moved in with her and convinced her that other women should be allowed to stay in the home with them. Within months, Manson lived in Brunner’s apartment with 18 other women.

The Manson FamilyManson the Scientologist starts his own cult – the Manson Family

In prison, Manson claims to have studied Scientology (he listed Scientology as his religious preference on entrance paperwork). He began employing cult-like methods on the women in Brunner’s home. He taught them that they were reincarnations of early Christians and that the “establishment” were reincarnated from the Romans. He told stories in which he was nailed to a cross and implying he was Christ, would ask them, “Don’t you know who I am?” Playing off his name, he emphasized that “Charles Milles is Man’s Son”. The group expanded as new arrivals seeking respite found their savior in Charlie.

By the summer of 1967, Manson, Brunner, and the Manson Family piled into an old school bus outfitted with colored rugs and beanbag chairs and spent the next 18 months roaming the American West travelling as far north as Washington and southward to Mexico. They periodically stopped in LA, spending time in Topanga Canyon, Malibu, and Venice. During their travels, Brunner gave birth to Manson’s third son, Valentine Michael Manson, whom they nicknamed Pooh Bear. Valentine was born on April 15, 1968 in a condemned house in Topanga Canyon. The Family assisted with the birth.

Manson’s proclivity for manipulating people ensured the Family grew while his dynamic personality made sure they stayed. On one occasion, Manson preached against a materialistic outlook only to be questioned by a listener about his well-furnished bus. Nonchalant, he tossed the bus keys to the doubter who promptly drove the bus away while Manson watched, appearing unconcerned. In another instance, an enraged father of a young girl who had joined the Family pointed a shotgun at Manson and told him flatly, he was about to die. Manson calmly invited the man to shoot him while lecturing the man about the nuances of love. After a few minutes, the man quietly laid down his gun.

Prelude to apocalypse – the Manson Family meet Beach Boys’ Dennis Wilson

Charles Manson (right) with Beach Boys Dennis Wilson (left)In late spring 1968, Dennis Wilson of the Beach Boys picked up two attractive hitchhiking women – Patricia Krenwinkel and Ella Jo Bailey. He took them to his Pacific Palisades mansion.

The next night, Wilson returned home after a late night recording session. As he pulled into the driveway, he noticed a man emerging from his home. Thinking he was about to be accosted, Wilson asked the man who he was and what he intended to do. The man, Charles Manson, dropped to his knees and began kissing Wilson’s feet.

Wilson entered his home to find twelve other strangers, mostly women in various states of undress, milling about his house. Manson befriended Wilson and soon, Charlie began treating Wilson’s abode as a second camp for the Manson Family.

Witnesses recall Wilson and Manson would often play the guitar together, the women acting as their servants, bringing them food and drinks and showering them with “love”. Wilson’s financing of the Manson family was astounding. Wilson once said that during their stay, he spent over $100,000 on the Family, including treatment of their gonorrhea. Wilson even gave Manson several of his Beach Boy’s gold records.

Manson’s time with Wilson played on his desire to become a professional musician. Wilson introduced Manson to several of his entertainment business contacts and paid for studio time for Manson which Manson used to record several songs he had written. It is said that his work was not bad but not great either.

Spahn Ranch - then and now (the Ranch burned in 1970)The Manson Family moves to Spahn Ranch

In August 1968, Dennis Wilson’s manager recognized the Manson Family were taking advantage of him. He kicked the Family out of Wilson’s home. Never missing a beat, Manson took the family to Spahn’s Movie Ranch, not from Topanga Canyon Boulevard.

Spahn’s Ranch had been a set for Western movie productions. Bonanza, The Lone Ranger, and Zorro television shows were filmed there as well as the movies Duel in the Sun and The Creeping Terror. Owned by dairy farmer George Spahn, it was located at 12000 Santa Susana Pass Road near Chatsworth, about 30 miles northwest of Los Angeles (the street number has since changed and the ranch is now part of the Santa Susana Pass State Historic Park).

When Manson and the Family arrived in 1968, the ranch was in bad shape, little more than a ramshackle collection of old, broken down movie-set buildings. George Spahn allowed the family to live there in exchange for labor and sex with the Manson Family women (Lynette “Squeaky” Fromme was his favorite). The family complied, helping George with daily chores and working Spahn’s horse rental business.

Remembering the Dennis Wilson debacle, and recognizing that the Family could lose their home on George Spahn’s whim, Charlie setup alternative camps. One at Myers Ranch, which was owned by the grandmother of a new Manson Family recruit, and another at Barker Ranch, located in the Goler Wash on the edges of Death Valley. Barker Ranch was owned by an elderly woman who agreed to let the Family stay if they helped fix things up. Manson gave her a Beach Boy’s gold record to seal the deal.

Charles Manson becomes obsessed with The Beatles – introduces Helter Skelter

The BeatlesIn November 1968, a friend of the Family played them the Beatle’s newly released White Album. Manson was blown away by the record and became obsessed with the band, bragging to the Family he would someday surpass them in fame.

During this time, Manson began increasingly talking about the racial tension between blacks and whites (partly prompted by Martin Luther King Jr’s assassination which had taken place six months earlier). On New Year’s Eve, the family gathered around a large fire and Manson explained that a racial war between whites and blacks was imminent. In fact, he said, the racial Armageddon he predicted was cited in several of the Beatle’s songs.

According to Manson, The Beatles’ White Album told the entire story – in code. He revealed to the group that the album was directed at the Family itself and contained instructions on how to preserve the worthy from the impending disaster. He called his plan, Helter Skelter.

The Manson Family prepares for Helter Skelter

Manson Family home - yellow house in Canoga Park called the Yellow SubmarineIn January 1969, the Family moved into a quant yellow home in Canoga Park, not far from Spahn Ranch. Manson called the home the Yellow Submarine, a reference to the Beatles’ song of the same name. According to Manson, living in Los Angeles would let the family monitor the establishment while remaining “submerged beneath the awareness of the outside world.”

One month later, in February 1969, Manson revealed his plans to the Family. As instructed by the Beatles’ I Will song (“And when at last I find you/your song will fill the air/sing it loud so I can hear you”), the Family would create an album of encoded songs that would trigger a race war between whites and blacks (which Manson said was inevitable anyway). As a result of Helter Skelter, blacks would kill whites and ultimately prevail – but their triumph would be short-lived. The Family would soon rule over all from “the bottomless pit”, a hidden underground city somewhere beneath the floor of Death Valley.

In the Canoga Park home, the Family began writing songs, preparing maps, and planning escape routes for the upcoming attack from “blackie”. They were told that Terry Melcher, a record producer out of LA, was coming to the house to hear their new material. Melcher, the son of actress Doris Day, was a popular music producer who helped shape the California Sound. He produced the Byrd’s first two albums and many of the hit singles from Paul Revere and the Raiders. Manson assumed Melcher would be overwhelmed by their music and choose to publish it.  The Family waited for Melcher’s arrival. He never showed up.

The Manson family visits Terry Melcher

After Melcher’s failure to show up and listen to their new material, Manson decided to pay him a personal visit. He and a few Family members drove to 10050 Cielo Drive on March 23, 1969. Unknown to Manson, Melcher was no longer the tenant at the residence. As of February, the new owners were Roman Polanski and actress Sharon Tate.

A photographer, Shahrokh Hatami, was at the Polanski residence shooting Tate before her departure to Rome the next day. She saw Manson approaching and went outside to greet him. Manson asked for Melcher and Hatami explained that she did not know anyone by that name. She told him this was Roman Polanski’s house. Standing in the doorway, calmly watching the exchange, was Sharon Tate.

Manson decides to trigger Helter Skelter himself – the Crowe shooting

Bernard "Lotsapapa" Crowe during trialOn May 18, 1969, Terry Melcher did indeed visit the Family at Spahn Ranch to hear Manson’s songs, just as Charlie had said he would. However, Melcher was not impressed. One month later, there still was no offer to record the Manson Family’s music album. As a result, Manson derived another scheme to launch the race war. Since the blacks could not figure out how to start the race war, Manson would start it for them by committing a series of crimes and planting evidence at the crime scenes implicating the blacks.

The Family discussed various means to obtain money they would need to finance their Armageddon. Charles “Tex” Watson, arguably the most intelligent member of the group, suggested scamming money from a Hollywood drug dealer, Bernard “Lotsapoppa” Crowe. They tried – and failed.

Crowe responded to the attempt, threatening to kill everyone at Spahn Ranch. Manson countered on June 1, 1969, shooting Crowe in his Hollywood apartment. Afterward, Charlie couldn’t stop talking about how he “plugged the blackie” in Hollywood. However, unbeknownst to Manson, Crowe survived the shooting.

The day after the shooting, newspapers reported the discovery of a body of a Black Panther member in Los Angeles near UCLA. Manson mistakenly believed this to be the body of Bernard Crowe. Fearing retaliation from the Black Panthers, continuous guards were posted around Spahn Ranch in preparation for the attack.

The Hinman murder

Gary Hinman - murdered by Manson FamilyTwo months later, there was no retaliatory response from the Black Panthers and Manson still needed money to finance their race war. On July 25, Manson sent Bobby Beausoleil, Mary Brunner, and Susan Atkins (aka Sexy Sadie) to the Topanga Canyon home of Gary Hinman, a local musician, business owner, and drug dealer. Hinman lead a burgeoning hippy lifestyle and the Family often crashed at his home.

The events that took place at Hinman’s are murky. We know that the Family demanded money from Hinman. It has been said the money was an expected refund for a bad drug deal but possibly the money was “requested” as payment in order for Hinman to become part of the Family. Regardless of the reason, Hinman refused.

The Family held Hinman hostage for two days. At one point, Manson showed up to threaten him and slashed his ear with a sword (one of the women later sewed it back on with dental floss). Eventually their patience wore thin and Beausoleil stabbed Hinman to death. At Manson’s suggestion, the Family tried to frame the “blacks” for the murder by writing “political piggy” on the wall using Hinman’s blood.

One week later, Beausoleil was caught driving Hinman’s car and arrested. The murder weapon was found in the car’s tire well. Two days later, Manson announced to the family, “Now is the time for Helter Skelter.”

The Sharon Tate murders

“Now is the time for Helter Skelter”

The Hinman murder coarsened Manson’s aplomb. On the night of August 8, 1969, just two weeks after telling his followers to prepare for Helter Skelter, Manson told Charles Watson, Susan Atkins, Linda Kasabian, and Patricia Krenwinkel to grab a change of clothes, a fake driver’s license, and a knife. He told them they were to go back to 10050 Cielo Drive (the home of Roman Polanski and Sharon Tate) and kill everyone there. He told Watson:

“Totally destroy everyone in it – as gruesome as you can.”

Before they left, Charlie stuck his head in the window of the car and told the women to “leave a sign”. He grinned,

“You girls know what I mean – something witchy.”

Polanski was in London working on a film project, The Day of the Dolphin. Inside Polanski’s home were Sharon Tate (Polanski’s wife), her former lover Jay Sebring, Polanski’s friend Wojciech Frykowski, and Frykowski’s lover Abigail Folger, heir to the Folger coffee fortune. Tate was 8-months pregnant which made the events to follow that much more horrendous.

The Manson Family arrives at the Tate residence

The Polanski-Tate residenceThe Manson Family arrived at the Tate home shortly after midnight. They backed their old Ford pickup truck to the bottom of a hill that led to the estate, parked, and walked up the hill to the home. Watson climbed a utility pole just outside the gate and cut the phone lines. They scrambled up an embankment and dropped over the fence onto the grounds.

As they stood, a car’s headlights hit them. Inside the car was 18-year-old Steven Parent who had been visiting the Polanski’s caretaker, William Garretson. Watson ordered the others to stay down and stood, motioning the car to stop. Parent pulled next to Watson who leaned into the car window and pointed a .22-caliber revolver at his head. Parent begged Watson to put the gun down. Watson pulled out a knife and slashed Parent across the face. He then shot him four times in the chest, killing him. To ensure nobody saw the vehicle, the Family pushed the car up the driveway, away from the road.

The Manson Family enters the Tate home

Pool area of the Polanski-Tate home - red arrows show path Folger took when fleeing from KrenwinkelThe intruders ran across the front lawn and searched for an entrance to the home. Watson found an open window, cut the screen, and climbed through. He crept to the front door and let Atkins and Krenwinkel in. Kasabian stayed outside acting as a lookout.

As Watson whispered instructions to Atkins, Frykowski, who was sleeping on the living room couch, awoke. Barely making out two figures in the dark, Frykowski asked Watson who he was and what he was doing inside the home. Watson replied, “I’m the devil and I’m here to do the devil’s business.” He then kicked Frykowski in the head.

Meanwhile, Atkins searched through the home, rounded up the other occupants, and led them into the living room where Watson was slinging a rope over the living room’s ceiling beams. Atkins tied Frykowski’s hands with a towel and guarded him while Watson took the rope and tied Tate and Sebring together by their necks. Sebring protested and Watson shot him, then stabbed him seven times.

During the melee, Frykowski attempted to flee. Chaos erupted. Watson later described the victims as “running around the place like chickens with their heads cut off”. Atkins followed Frykowski. They struggled and Atkins stabbed him in the leg with a knife. Frykowski continued toward the front door but Watson easily caught up with him, struck him in the head with the butt of his pistol, stabbed him repeatedly, then shot him twice. He completed the task by stabbing him 51 more times.

Kasabian, who had remained outside as a guard, heard “horrifying sounds” coming from inside the home and ran into the house. Seeing the pandemonium underway, she attempted to stop the madness, telling Atkins falsely that someone was coming.

At the same time, Folger saw that Atkins and Watson were distracted and fled to the pool area. Krenwinkel chased her to the front lawn. She tackled her to the ground, then stabbed her 28 times. Police later said there was so much blood, they thought Folger’s white nightgown was red.

Neighbors’ reports of a commotion go unheard

The closest house to the Tate residence belonged to the Kotts. They say they heard gunshots coming from the direction of the Polanski’s around 12:30 AM but since all grew quiet, they went to bed.

Sharon Tate murder sceneAt the same time, Tim Ireland, who was on a camping trip less than a mile away, heard shouts of “Oh, God, no please don’t! Oh, God, no! Don’t! Don’t!” He drove to the area but found nothing out of the ordinary.

Robert Bullington heard several gunshots and reported them to the LAPD. The LAPD officer responded, “I hope we don’t have a murder – we had an earlier woman-screaming call in that same area.”

The murder of Sharon Tate

Inside the home, Tate plead to be allowed to live long enough to birth her baby, even offering herself as a hostage. Atkins ignored her pleas telling her “Woman, I have no mercy for you.” She and Watson then stabbed her 16 times. Atkins would later reveal that she tasted Tate’s blood.

“It was slick and I brought my hand to my face and I could smell the blood. I opened my mouth and licked it off my fingers.”

Atkins considered carving out Tate’s unborn child to take to Charlie but figured it would take too long.

Before leaving, the Family took the towel that had been used to bind Frykowski’s hands and wrote the word “pig” on the front door using Tate’s blood. On the way home, the Family changed out of their bloody clothes, throwing them and the weapons out the car window.

The LaBianca murders

Long driveway leading to the Leno/Rosemary LaBianca home - house at top of hillWhen Manson heard about the disarray during the Tate murders, he was displeased. It was too disorganized and messy. He vowed to “show them how to do it”.

The next night, August 9, 1969, Leslie Van Houten, Steve “Clem” Grogan, Charles Watson, Susan Atkins, Linda Kasabian, Patricia Krenwinkel, and Charlie rode through LA looking for victims. After a couple of hours, Manson gave directions to 3301 Waverly Drive in the Los Feliz area of LA, the home of supermarket executive Leno LaBianca and his wife Rosemary LaBianca. The home was next to a house where the Manson Family had attended a party the previous year. They parked near the end of the driveway and Manson disappeared up the drive alone. He returned after a short time and asked Watson to accompany him.

Through a window, Manson pointed out a man sleeping on the couch. The two entered through an unlocked back door. Manson woke the sleeping Leno and held him at gunpoint while Watson bound his hands with a leather thong. Watson then fetched Rosemary from the bedroom. They covered the heads of both with pillow cases and secured them in place with lamp cords. Manson then left and sent Krenwinkel and Leslie Van Houten into the home with instructions to kill the couple.

Watson stabbed Leno with a chrome-plated bayonet. He heard a scuffle in the bedroom and entered to find Rosemary keeping the women at bay with a wildly swinging lamp. Watson pushed the lamp aside and stabbed her several times with the bayonet. He then returned to the living room and resumed stabbing Leno. Before leaving, Watson carved “WAR” into the man’s stomach.

Watson returned to the bedroom where Krenwinkel was stabbing Rosemary with a kitchen knife. Watson directed Van Houten to stab Rosemary too. She complied, stabbing her 16 times. In total, Rosemary was stabbed more than 40 times.

Watson carefully cleaned the bayonet, then climbed into the LaBianca’s shower. While Watson bathed, Krenwinkel used the victims’ blood to write “Rise” and “Death to pigs” on the walls and “Healter Skelter” on the refrigerator door. She then grabbed a fork from the kitchen, went back to Leno, and stabbed him 14 more times leaving the fork protruding from his stomach. She completed her mayhem by planting a steak knife in his neck.

Kasabian foils another murder attempt

While the LaBianca’s were being murdered, Manson directed Kasabian to drive with two other family members to the Venice home of another acquaintance. With instructions to kill the occupant, Manson then left and drove back to Spahn Ranch, leaving the family members to hitchhike home.

Kasabian thwarted the murder by deliberately knocking on the wrong apartment door. The group abandoned their plans. As they left, Susan Atkins defecated in the stairwell.

Discovery of the Tate victims

Abigail Folger murder sceneOn the same day the LaBianca’s were murdered, Polanski’s housekeeper, Winifred Chapman, went to the Tate residence early that morning. When she arrived, she noticed a dangling wire draped over the gate and a white Rambler parked awkwardly in the driveway. She entered the home and saw “splashes of red” all over the walls. She checked the phones and found they were dead. She looked through the window into the backyard and saw the first body. Chapman ran from the home, briefly catching a glimpse of another body in the Rambler in the driveway.

Officers arrived at the scene and approached the home with guns drawn. They found Tate laying in the living room, pregnant, bare body smeared with blood, and a rope around her neck that extended over a rafter in the ceiling. The other end of the rope was tied around the neck of a male laying nearby. As they searched the home, they heard the voice of a man. It was the caretaker, William Garretson. He was promptly taken into custody and for several days, was considered the primary suspect. He was released after passing a polygraph test.

Discovery of the LaBianca bodies

At 10:30 PM on August 10, the bodies of the LaBianca’s were discovered by Rosemary Bianca’s son from a prior marriage, 15-year-old Frank Struthers. Frank arrived at the home to find the shades pulled down and the boat still attached to the family car, neither of which were characteristic of his parents. He knocked on the door but received no answer. He drove to a nearby pay phone and called the home. Still no answer. Alarmed, he called his sister and her boyfriend. Together they entered the home and found Leno with a bloody pillowcase over his head and something protruding from his body. They fled the home and called the police from a neighbor’s house.

On August 12, two days after the bodies of the LaBianca’s had been discovered, despite the savagery and similarity of bloody writings on the walls, LAPD told reporters that there was no connection between the Tate and LaBianca murders.

Manson Family arrested – for auto theft

It appeared as if the only way LAPD was going to catch the culprits was if they fell right into their laps. That happened on August 16 when the sheriff’s office raided Spahn Ranch and arrested Manson and 25 others as “suspects in a major auto theft ring”. However, because the warrant had been misdated, the group was released just a few days later.

By the end of August, with virtually all leads exhausted, the LAPD finally recognized that the writing on the walls of both the Tate and LaBianca murder scenes could be references to “the singing group The Beatles’ most recent album”.

Spahn Ranch during a raid on the Manson Family (for auto theft)Meanwhile, sheriffs were not content with the first failed raid and still suspected the Family of auto theft. In October 1969, nearly two months after the murders, they raided the Myers and Barker Ranches where they found the Family searching for the entrance to the fabled Bottomless Pit. Manson, dressed entirely in buckskin clothing, was found hiding in a cabinet beneath Barker’s bathroom sink.

A break in the case

Tate murder evidence found

On September 1, 1969, a distinctive .22-caliber Hi Standard “Buntline Special” revolver was wound in Sherman Oaks by 10-year-old Steven Weiss. He found the pistol under a bush by the road near his house. It was the gun that had been used to kill Parent, Sebring, and Frykowski.

Police took possession of the gun but despite it being found near the Tate residence, failed to tie it to the murders. However, when news of the find broke, a local ABC television crew quickly located and recovered the Manson Family’s bloody clothing that had been discarded nearby.

Authorities work together

About a week later, investigators from the LaBianca team asked the sheriff’s office about possible similar crimes. Sheriffs recalled the Hinman case where “political piggy” had been written on the wall in blood, similar to the writings on the walls of the Tate and LaBianca residences. They told LAPD that during their investigation, they had interviewed a lady named Kitty Lutesinger.

Kitty had been arrested during the first August 16 raid at Spahn Ranch. While interrogating Kitty, the LAPD developed additional leads to a motorcycle gang, Straight Satans, that Manson had tried to enlist as bodyguards. One of their members, Danny Cecarlo, had lived with the Family for a brief time, working on trucks and dune buggies, mostly in exchange for sex with all the girls. At one point in his stay, the Straight Satans rode into the ranch and threatened to rape and murder everyone if Decarlo did not return with them to Venice. Charlie stepped forward and offered his life instead. The bikers were so freaked out by Manson’s gesture, they jumped on their bikes and left.

As a result, the Straight Satans were no friend of Manson’s. Police contacted members of the gang who gladly hinted there may be a link between Manson and the Tate-LaBianca murders.

Susan Atkins brags to jail mates

Susan Atkins - aka Sexy SadieMeanwhile, Susan Atkins was in Dormitory 8000 in LA, serving time for the auto theft charges. During her stay, she befriended two inmates, Virginia Graham and Veronica “Ronnie” Howard. Atkins freely shared tales of her crimes with her newfound buddies. She told them of a “beautiful cat” named Charles Manson and bragged about the Tate and LaBianca murders, boasting that she stabbed Tate multiple times and tasted her blood. She claimed more killings were planned including Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, Tom Jones, Steve McQueen, and Frank Sinatra. Atkins’ stories worked their way through the jailhouse and soon her bravado reached the warden.

Warrants issued Manson Family members

The information Atkins leaked to jailmates lead to the issuance of warrants for Watson, Krenwinkel, and Kasabian. Manson and Atkins were already in custody (from the Barker Ranch raid) and Van Houten’s involvement had not yet been discovered. On December 1, 1969, the remaining Family members were arrested. Krenwinkel surrendered to authorities in Concord, New Hampshire.

Atkins agreed to testify in exchange for dropping the death penalty. Later, she retracted her testimony saying,

“Manson sent his followers to suggest that it might be better for me and my son if I decided not to testify against him.”

Years later she retracted her retraction declaring her original statement was true.

The trial of Manson, Krenwinkel, Van Houten, and Atkins

The trial begins with Kasabian as the prosecutor’s star witness

The Manson Family outside of the Justice Hall during the Manson Family trialAmidst intense public interest, the trial of Charles Manson, Patricia Krenwinkel, Leslie Van Houten, and Susan Atkins began on June 15, 1970. Vincent Bugliosi acted as chief prosecutor and charged each with seven counts of murder and one count of conspiracy.

To keep Family members from disrupting the courtroom, they were subpoenaed as prospective witnesses so they could not be present while the others testified. As a result, they loitered near the entrances of the courthouse and throughout the corridors leading to the courtroom.

Since Kasabian had been present at all crimes but was not directly involved in the killings, she was offered immunity in exchange for her testimony. She became the prosecution’s primary witness. She explained to the jury, “We always wanted to do anything and everything for Charlie.” Bugliosi asked about her return to Spahn Ranch.

BUGLIOSI: “Was there anyone in the parking area at Spahn Ranch as you drove in the Spahn Ranch area?”

KASABIAN:  “Yes.”

BUGLIOSI:  “Who was there?”

KASABIAN:  “Charlie.”

BUGLIOSI:  “Was there anyone there other than Charlie?”

KASABIAN:  “Not that I know of”

BUGLIOSI:  “Where was Charlie when you arrived at the premises?”

KASABIAN:  “About the same spot he was in when he first drove away.”

BUGLIOSI:  “What happened after you pulled the car onto the parking area and parked the car?”

KASABIAN:  “Sadie said she saw a spot of blood on the outside of the car when we were at the gas station.”

BUGLIOSI:  “Who was present at that time when she said that?”

KASABIAN:  “The four of us and Charlie.”

BUGLIOSI:  “What is the next thing that happened?”

KASABIAN:  “Well, Charlie told us to go into the kitchen, get a sponge, wipe the blood off, and he also instructed Katie and I to go all through the car and wipe off the blood spots.”

BUGLIOSI:  “What is the next thing that happened after Mr. Manson told you and Katie to check out the car and remove the blood?”

KASABIAN:  “He told us to go into the bunk room and wait, which we did.”

Her testimony showed that Charles Manson controlled everything the Family did and whether directly involved in the murders or not, it was clear he was the leader of this murderous cult.

Manson attempts to represent himself

Charles Manson in courtAt first, Manson attempted to act as his own lawyer but after violating the gag order twice and submitting several nonsensical pretrial motions, permission to act as his own attorney was withdrawn. Manson attempted to argue with the judge:

MANSON: Your Honor, you mentioned… you mentioned “reconsider.” Then you could possibly reconsider, if you can ask me to reconsider. Let me ask you to reconsider. I have a position as well as your Honor has a position. My position is still as strong as it was the first day I was arrested. The position that I hold is as follows. The confusion that has been created around the situation can be eliminated if your Honor would allow me to have my own voice in court. I am not here to use dilatory tactics or cause confusion. I am not here to shout in your courtroom. I am not here to fight with your bailiffs, and I am not here to go against my brother. I am just here to try to explain what these two gentlemen, even though sincere as they may be, they have no idea of what is going on. They are still in the dark about the whole situation. They have a bunch of facts; they have a bunch of things…

JUDGE OLDER: What two gentlemen are you talking about?

MANSON: The district attorneys, they are very good at what they do, but they are way out, they are on the edge of town, you know, like it’s…

JUDGE OLDER: Are you making some kind of a motion, Mr. Manson?

MANSON: Yes, I’m making a motion, if I can finish. I listened to you.

JUDGE OLDER: Just tell me what the motion is.

MANSON: It is my opinion that the court is not supposed to think, but supposed to administer the laws that go into the book, Manson vs. the United States. You give me a case…

JUDGE OLDER: Mr. Manson I don’t want to hear a speech. If you have a motion or a request, state it to the court so I would know what you want.

MANSON: I would like to associate in with Mr. Kanarek as my own counsel.

JUDGE OLDER: I have already ruled on that several times. Your motion will be denied.

MANSON: Yeah, okay, then you leave me nothing, you know, there is nothing else I can do. You can kill me now.

JUDGE OLDER: All right.

MANSON: You understand what I am saying to you? Do you understand what I am saying to you?

JUDGE OLDER: Is there anything further, gentlemen, before we resume in the courtroom?

Watkins explains Helter Skelter to the court

Paul Watkins - Manson Family member who testified in trialThe murder trial testimony was graphic and gruesome – and bizarre. Jurors, and the press, were fascinated. Paul Watkins, who served as a recruiter for the Family, explained Charlie’s teachings. Bugliosi asked Watkins how Helter Skelter would begin:

WATKINS: “There would be some atrocious murders; that some of the spades from Watts would come up into the Bel-Air and Beverly Hills district and just really wipe some people out, just cut bodies up and smear blood and write things on the wall in blood, and cut little boys up and make parents watch.  So, in retaliation-this would scare; in other words, all the other white people would be afraid that this would happen to them, so out of their fear they would go into the ghetto and just start shooting black people like crazy. But all they would shoot would be the garbage man and Uncle Toms, and all the ones that were with Whitey in the first place. And underneath it all, the Black Muslims would-he would know that it was coming down.”

BUGILIOSI: “Helter Skelter was coming down?”

WATKINS: “Yes. So, after Whitey goes in the ghettoes and shoots all the Uncle Toms, then the Black Muslims come out and appeal to the people by saying, ‘Look what you have done to my people.’ And this would split Whitey down the middle, between all the hippies and the liberals and all the up-tight piggies. This would split them in the middle and a big civil war would start and really split them up in all these different factions, and they would just kill each other off in the meantime through their war. And after they killed each other off, then there would be a few of them left who supposedly won.”

BUGILIOSI: “A few of who left?”

WATKINS: “A few white people left who supposedly won. Then the Black Muslims would come out of hiding and wipe them all out.”

BUGILIOSI: “Wipe the white people out?”

WATKINS: “Yes. By sneaking around and slitting their throats.”

BUGILIOSI: “Did Charlie say anything about where he and the Family would be during this Helter Skelter?”

WATKINS: “Yes. When we was [sic] in the desert the first time, Charlie used to walk around in the desert and say-you see, there are places where water would come up to the top of the ground and then it would go down and there wouldn’t be no more water, and then it would come up again and go down again. He would look at that and say, ‘There has got to be a hole somewhere, somewhere here, a big old lake.’ And it just really got far out, that there was a hole underneath there somewhere where you could drive a speedboat across it, a big underground city. Then we started from the ‘Revolution 9’ song on the Beatles album which was interpreted by Charlie to mean the Revelation 9. So-”

BUGILIOSI: “The last book of the New Testament?”

WATKINS: “Just the book of Revelation and the song would be ‘Revelations 9: So, in this book it says, there is a part about, in Revelations 9, it talks of the bottomless pit. Then later on, I believe it is in 10.”

BUGILIOSI: “Revelation 10?”

WATKINS: “Yes. It talks about there will be a city where there will be no sun and there will be no moon.”

BUGILIOSI: “Manson spoke about this?”

WATKINS: “Yes, many times. That there would be a city of gold, but there would be no life, and there would be a tree there that bears twelve different kinds of fruit that changed every month. And this was interpreted to mean-this was the hole down under Death Valley.”

BUGILIOSI: “Did he talk about the twelve tribes of Israel?”

WATKINS: “Yes. That was in there, too. It was supposed to get back to the 144,000 people. The Family was to grow to this number.”

BUGILIOSI: “The twelve tribes of Israel being 144,000 people?”

WATKINS: “Yes.”

The bathroom sink in the Barker Ranch house - Manson was found hiding here during the raidBUGILIOSI: “And Manson said that the Family would eventually increase to 144,000 people?”

WATKINS: “Yes.”

BUGILIOSI: “Did he say when this would take place?”

WATKINS: “Oh, yes. See, it was all happening simultaneously. In other words, as we are making the music and it is drawing all the young love to the desert, the Family increases in ranks, and at the same time this sets off Helter Skelter. So then the Family finds the hole in the meantime and gets down in the hole and lives there until the whole thing comes down.”

BUGILIOSI: “Until Helter Skelter comes down?”

WATKINS: “Yes.”

BUGILIOSI: “Did he say who would win this Helter Skelter?”

WATKINS: “The karma would have completely reversed, meaning that the black men would be on top and the white race would be wiped out; there would be none except for the Family.”

BUGILIOSI: “Except for Manson and the Family?”

WATKINS: “Yes.”

BUGILIOSI: “Did he say what the black man would do once he was all by himself?”

WATKINS: “Well, according to Charlie, he would clean up the mess, just like he always has done. He is supposed to be the servant, see. He will clean up the mess that he made, that the white man made, and build the world back up a little bit, build the cities back up, but then he wouldn’t know what to do with it, he couldn’t handle it.”

BUGILIOSI: “Blackie couldn’t handle it?”

WATKINS: “Yes, and this is when the Family would come out of the hole, and being that he would have completed the white man’s karma, then he would no longer have this vicious want to kill.”

BUGILIOSI: “When you say ‘he,’ you mean Blackie?”

WATKINS: “Blackie then would come to Charlie and say, you know, ‘I did my thing, I killed them all and, you know, I am tired of killing now. It is all over.’ And Charlie would scratch his fuzzy head and kick him in the butt and tell him to go pick the cotton and go be a good nigger, and he would live happily ever after.”

Charles Manson’s testimony fascinates

Charles MansonManson’s testimony was poetic, thought-provoking, and weird. The courtroom was spellbound as the charismatic cult-maniac rambled.

“You made your children what they are…. These children that come at you with knives, they are your children. You taught them. I didn’t teach them. I just tried to help them stand up…. You can project it back at me, but I am only what lives inside each and every one of you. My father is your system…. I am only what you made me. I am a reflection of you. You made your children what they are…. These children that come at you with knives, they are your children. You taught them. I didn’t teach them. I just tried to help them stand up…. You can project it back at me, but I am only what lives inside each and every one of you. My father is your system…. I am only what you made me. I am a reflection of you.”

His testimony fascinated jurors and the press, who reported so much about Charlie, some began to fear he was being idolized. Charlie told the court:

I never went to school, so I never growed up to read and write too good, so I have stayed in jail and I have stayed stupid, and I have stayed a child while I have watched your world grow up, and then I look at the things that you do and I don’t understand.

You eat meat and you kill things that are better than you are, and then you say how bad, and even killers, your children are. You made your children what they are.

These children that come at you with knives. they are your children. You taught them. I didn’t teach them. I just tried to help them stand up.

Most of the people at the ranch that you call the Family were just people that you did not want, people that were alongside the road, that their parents had kicked out, that did not want to go to Juvenile Hall. So I did the best I could and I took them up on my garbage dump and I told them this: that in love there is no wrong.

I told them that anything they do for their brothers and sisters is good if they do it with a good thought.

I don’t understand you, but I don’t try. I don’t try to judge nobody. I know that the only person I can judge is me . . . But I know this: that in your hearts and your own souls, you are as much responsible for the Vietnam war as I am for killing these people.

I can’t judge any of you. I have no malice against you and no ribbons for you. But I think that it is high time that you all start looking at yourselves, and judging the lie that you live in.

I can’t dislike you, but I will say this to you: you haven’t got long before you are all going to kill yourselves, because you are all crazy. And you can project it back at me . . . but I am only what lives inside each and everyone of you.

Manson Family waiting outside the courtroom during the Manson trialMy father is the jailhouse. My father is your system. . . I am only what you made me. I am only a reflection of you.

I have ate out of your garbage cans to stay out of jail. I have wore your second-hand clothes. . . I have done my best to get along in your world and now you want to kill me, and I look at you, and then I say to myself, You want to kill me? Ha! I’m already dead, have been all my life. I’ve spent twenty-three years in tombs that you built.

Sometimes I think about giving it back to you; sometimes I think about just jumping on you and letting you shoot me . . . If I could, I would jerk this microphone off and beat your brains out with it, because that is what you deserve, that is what you deserve.

These children [indicating the female defendants] were finding themselves. What they did, if they did whatever they did, is up to them. They will have to explain that to you.

You expect to break me? Impossible! You broke me years ago. You killed me years ago.

Mr. Bugliosi is a hard-driving prosecutor, polished education, a master of words, semantics. He is a genius. He has got everything that every lawyer would want to have except one thing: a case. He doesn’t have a case. Were I allowed to defend myself, I could have proven this to you. . .The evidence in this case is a gun. There was a gun that laid around the ranch. It belonged to everybody. Anybody could have picked that gun up and done anything they wanted to do with it. I don’t deny having that gun. That gun has been in my possession many times. Like the rope was there because you need rope on a ranch. . . .It is really convenient that Mr. Baggot found those clothes. I imagine he got a little taste of money for that. . . .They put the hideous bodies on [photographic] display and they imply: If he gets out, see what will happen to you. . . .[Helter Skelter] means confusion, literally. It doesn’t mean any war with anyone. It doesn’t mean that some people are going to kill other people. . . Helter Skelter is confusion. Confusion is coming down around you fast. If you can’t see the confusion coming down around you fast, you can call it what you wish. . Is it a conspiracy that the music is telling the youth to rise up against the establishment because the establishment is rapidly destroying things? Is that a conspiracy? The music speaks to you every day, but you are too deaf, dumb, and blind to even listen to the music. . . It is not my conspiracy. It is not my music. I hear what it relates. It says “Rise,” it says “Kill.” Why blame it on me? I didn’t write the music.

I haven’t got any guilt about anything because I have never been able to see any wrong. . . I have always said: Do what your love tells you, and I do what my love tells me . . . Is it my fault that your children do what you do? What about your children? You say there are just a few? There are many, many more, coming in the same direction. They are running in the streets-and they are coming right at you!”

When Bugliosi concluded his cross-examination of Manson, Judge Older asked Charlie if he wished to testify before the jury. He replied:

“I have already relieved all the pressure I had.”

Manson left the stand and as he passed the counsel table, he looked to his three co-defendants and smiled, saying, “You don’t have to testify now.”

Manson tries to attack the judge

On October 5, Manson’s defense attorneys declined to cross-examine a prosecution witness. Manson stood and asked to cross examine the witness himself. The judge denied his request. Manson leapt over the defense table and lunged at the judge screaming, “Someone should cut your head off!”

Manson was wrestled to the ground by bailiffs and removed from the courtroom. In unison, the female defendants rose from their seats and began chanting in Latin. Year later, Judge Older admitted that the episode freaked him out so much, he began wearing a revolver under his robes while the trial continued.

Manson Family waiting outside the courtroom during the Manson trialManson enters the courtroom with a shaved head

On November 16, the prosecution rested their case. Manson returned to the courtroom with a bald head and a forked beard telling the courtroom:

“I am the devil and the Devil always has a bald head.”

The next day the female defendants also shaved their heads. Days later, the courthouse was surrounded by Manson Family members with shaved heads.

The defense rests their case

The court was stunned when the Defense rested their case – they had not called a single witness to the stand. It was later found that Manson had instructed the female defendants to claim they had committed all the crimes and that Manson had no involvement in the murders. Knowing that the female defendants were going to “hang themselves”, the defense refused to call them to the stand and allow them to speak. Manson had been cornered.

The disappearance of defense attorney Ronald Hughes

With the body of the trial concluded, both sides began preparing their closing statements. A ten-day recess was called. Defense attorney Ronald Hughes announced he had plans for the time off – a camping trip near Sespe Hot Springs in Ventura County. He never returned to court.

Hughes’ body was found a year later but it was so badly decomposed, no cause of death could be determined. Years later, Manson Family members claimed that he had been murdered by the Family in retaliation for not allowing the female defendants to testify. They said he was merely the first of many they claimed to have “eliminated”.

The Family attempts to silence witnesses

Charles Manson - "X" carved into his foreheadThe Family’s claim that they murdered Hughes must not be accepted as an idle boast. We know the Family made other attempts to ensure Manson was not prosecuted. For instance, in an attempt to absolve Manson of any involvement, Catherine Louise “Gypsy” Share falsely testified that Kasabian was the mastermind behind the murders.

A more sinister attempt to silence a witness took place in 1971. Catherine Share, along with Lynette “Squeaky” Fromme, Dennis Rice, Steve “Clem” Grogan, and Ruth Ann “Ouisch” Moorehouse were charged with attempted murder after a plot to kill fellow Manson member Barbara Hoyt failed. The group had planned to poison Hoyt to prevent her from testifying for the prosecution against Manson. Their plan backfired when they failed to deliver enough poison (planted in Hoyt’s Hamburger) to kill her.

The Manson Family also executed plans to break Manson out of jail. On August 21, 1971, Share, accompanied by her then-husband Kenneth Como and Family members Mary Brunner, Dennis Rice, Charles Lovett, and Larry Bailey drove a white van to the Western Surplus Store in Hawthorne, California. They entered the store brandishing guns and ordered the store patrons and clerks to lie on the ground. They then moved about the store snatching up 143 rifles. While the rifles were being loaded into their van, a clerk tripped the silent alarm.

Police arrived and a shootout erupted. Share opened fire on the squad car putting a bullet hole in the top corner of the windshield. Police returned fire, injuring Brunner, Share, and Bailey. When questioned, they told police they were attempting to build an arsenal with which they would use to fight their way into the jail and free Charlie.

The verdict

When court opened for closing testimony, the Manson women stood and began shouting and chanting. They were removed from the courtroom for the remainder of the trial. On January 25, 1971, the defendants were allowed back to hear the judgment. The jury returned guilty verdicts against all four defendants. Particia Krenwinkel responded,

“You have just judged yourselves.”

Susan Atkins rose from her seat and screamed at the courtroom,

“Better lock your doors and watch your kids!”

On March 29, 1971, the jury returned verdicts of death against all four defendants. They were sentenced on April 19, 1971 by Judge Older.

Meanwhile, Watson is tried separately

Later, Manson turned the "X" on his forehead into a SwastikaWatson, who had fled to McKinney, Texas after the Tate-LaBianca murders, was arrested on November 30, 1969 and extradited to California. He was tried later than the other Manson Family members but was also found guilty on all seven counts and sentenced to death.

Death sentence reduced

In February 1972, only about six months after the imposition of the death sentence on the defendants, the sentence was reduced to life in prison by California vs. Anderson in which the California Supreme Court abolished the death penalty in the state.

More Manson Family murders

Many are unaware that the Manson Family murders did not end after the sentencing of Manson, Watson, and the four female defendants.

The Willett murders

On November 8, 1972, the body of 26-year-old James L.T. Willett was found by a hiker near Guerneville, California. Investigators found he had been forced to dig his own grave before being shot in the head. His body was found with one hand protruding from the grave and the head and other hand missing.

Willett’s station wagon was found in Stockton, near where several Manson Family members were living including Priscilla Cooper, Lynette “Squeaky” Fromme, and Nancy Pitman. Police raided the home and found the body of Willet’s 19-year-old wife, Lauren “Reni” Chavelle Olmstead Willett, buried in the basement. She had been killed by a single gunshot to the head.

Michael Monfort, Priscilla Cooper, James Craig, Nancy Pitman, William Goucher, and James Craig were found to be involved and convicted.

The murder of Donald “Shorty” Shea

Investigators recovering the body of Donald "Shorty" SheaDonald “Shorty” Shea was a Spahn Ranch resident and notable Hollywood stuntman. He had gone missing on August 16, 1969, shortly after the sheriff’s raid on the ranch. In 1977, authorities discovered Shea’s body after Steve “Clem” Grogan produce a map that pinpointed the location. It was determined that Manson believed Shea, who was married to a black woman, was a mole who had helped coordinate the raid with “blackie” and the authorities. For his cooperation, Steve Grogan was the first convicted Manson Family member to ever be granted parole (he was released in 1985).

Lynette “Squeaky” Fromme attempts to assassinate President Gerald Ford

Donald "Shorty" SheaOn September 5, 1975, US President Gerald Ford was scheduled to speak in Sacramento at a breakfast event. Lynette “Squeaky” Fromme gleaned details of his arrival from a news report. Ford would be staying at the Senator Hotel, about 15 minutes walking distance from Fromme’s apartment. She decided that an assassination of Ford would bring the world’s attention to the plight of the Redwood trees being killed by LA pollution. With a .45 caliber 1911 pistol she “borrowed” from a friend, she donned herself in red clothing and walked to the Senator Hotel at 1121 L Street.

Ford left the hotel and crossed the street to shake hands with people who had gathered in Capitol Park to see him. Ford recalls seeing a woman in a brightly colored red dress but figured she just wanted to shake hands. Fromme, standing slightly behind a row of people in line to greet the President, pulled the .45 from a leg holster under her flowing red dress and reached through the row of people toward the President. Ford remembers seeing a hand come through the crowd and noticing that in that hand was a gun.

She pointed the gun at President Ford and pulled the trigger. Witnesses recall hearing a “metallic click” sound. The pistol was fully loaded but Fromme was unaware that she needed to pull back the slide to insert a cartridge into the pistol’s chamber.

Secret Service agents whisked Ford away, gripping him underneath the arms, until he shouted, “Put me down! Put me down!” Ford continued his walk to the Capitol and met with the governor for about 30 minutes, never once mentioning the assassination attempt on his life.

Fromme was tried on November 4, 1975. Ford testified at the trial, the first time a US President testified in a criminal trial. During the trial, US Attorney Dwayne Keys argued that Fromme was “full of hate and violence”. In response, Fromme jumped from her seat and hurled an apple at him.

Fromme’s trial ended on November 9, 1975 with a guilty verdict and a life sentence. During her imprisonment, Fromme escaped, earning additional time on her sentence. Beyond all imagination, two years and eight months after Ford’s death, Fromme was released from prison on parole.

Aftermath

Where are they now?

Charles Manson

Charles Manson after years living behind barsAfter sentencing, Charles Manson was sent to San Quentin prison where he found acceptance from an Aryan Brotherhood group. It has long been rumored that Manson acted as a sexually submissive to the group’s members.

On September 25, 1984, a prisoner threw paint thinner on Manson and set him afire. Manson suffered 2nd and 3rd degree burns over 20% of his body.

In 1997, Manson was found to have been trafficking drugs from behind prison walls. He was moved to Pelican Bay State Prison.

In 2009, Manson was caught in possession of a cellphone. Records show that a number of calls were placed to California, New Jersey, Florida, and British Columbia.

In 2014, Manson made plans to marry 26-year-old Afton Elaine “Star” Burton from behind prison walls. The marriage license was obtained on November 7, 2014 but the wedding was cancelled after it was discovered that Burton only wanted to marry Manson so she and a friend (Craig “Gray Wolf” Hammond) could use his corpse as a tourist attraction after he died.

Manson has been denied parole more than a dozen times. According to prison officials, he has a history of “controlling behavior” and “mental health issues” including schizophrenia and paranoid delusional disorder.

Charles Manson, the wild-eyed 1960s cult leader whose followers committed heinous murders that terrorized Los Angeles and shocked the nation, died in prison on Sunday, November 19, 2017 of natural causes. He was 83 years old.

Susan Atkins

In 1974, Susan Atkins, aka Sex Sadie, stated she became a Christian after seeing a vision of Jesus in her jail cell. She married Donald Lee Laisure while in prison. She was his 35th wife. She later divorced Laisure and married James W. Whitehouse, a Harvard Law School graduate. Whitehouse has represented Atkins in two of her parole hearings. In 2005, she received her 17th parole hearing. It was denied.

In 2008 it was learned that Atkins was dying from brain cancer. She had one leg amputated before becoming paralyzed. In her final days, she could not sit up in bed without assistance. She died on September 24, 2009. Her last whispered word was “Amen”.

Lynette “Squeaky” Fromme

Manson Family members shortly after carving X's into their foreheadsFromme was released from prison in August 2009, despite her attempts to assassinate President Ford in 1975 and escaping from prison at least once. Upon release, Fromme moved to Marcy, New York in upstate New York in a house that “looks like an old metal Quonset hut from the World War II era”. She lives with a man named Robert Valdner who was released from prison in 1992 after killing his brother-in-law.

The television show Inside Edition caught up with Fromme in March and attempted to interview her. She took a wild swing at the cameraman.

Leslie Van Houten

Described by a psychiatrist as “a psychologically loaded gun”, Houten was convicted of helping to stab Rosemary LaBianca to death and chasing down Abigail Folger and stabbing her to death. Houten is serving a life sentence at the California Institution for Women in Corona, California. She has been disciplinary-free for her entire sentence.

In 2002, 66-year-old Houten told a parole board she was “deeply ashamed” of her role in the killings. She said, “I take very seriously not just the murders but what made me make myself available to someone like Manson.”

Charles “Tex” Watson

Watson hailed from Collin County, Texas and was a straight “A” student and sports star in high school (he set the state record in hurdles). He is believed to have been the “brains” behind the Manson family’s operations.

Watson is housed in the Mule Creek Prison in Lone, California. He works as a janitor. In prison, Watson married, divorced, and fathered four children. He became an ordained minister and has had no disciplinary actions against him since 1973. According to his ministry website:

“Manson offered a utopia, but in reality he had a destructive worldview which Charles ended up believing in and acting upon. His participation in the 1969 Manson murders is a part of history that he deeply regrets.”

He has been denied parole at least 16 times.

Patricia Krenwinkel

Patricia gave up her Manhattan Beach apartment, car, and job to join the Manson Family during their jaunt around the country in the old school bus. Krenwinkel was the one that wrote “Death to Pigs” on the wall using victims’ blood. She later condemned Manson.

According to officials, Krenwinkel is a model inmate at the California Institution for Women in Corona, California. She has been denied parole at least 13 times.

Bruce Davis

Davis was convicted for the murders of Gary Hinman and Donald “Shorty” Shea and imprisoned in California Men’s Colony in San Luis Obispo. He became a Christian behind bars and earned a doctoral degree in philosophy of religion.

Linda Kasabian

Linda left her New Hampshire home at 16-years-old to head west “looking for God”. Although she drove the killers to the Tate and LaBianca murders and is believed by many to have had a larger role in the killings than admitted, in exchange for her testimony, she received immunity. She is now the mother of four and is believed to be living back in New Hampshire.

Robert Beausoleil

Manson women during trialNicknamed “Cupid” because of his looks, Beausoleil had been a major actor in Hollywood, playing the part of Lucifer in Kenneth Anger’s Scorpio Rising film. He was convicted of Hinman’s murder and is serving a life sentence in a California medical facility in Vacaville, California.

Robert joined the Aryan Brotherhood gang while in prison and has suffered various injuries from fights (including a broken jaw). He has been denied parole at least 17 times.

Mary Brunner

Brunner is the mother of Michael Valentine Manson, Charlie’s third son. She played no role in the murders but was arrested for robbing a gun store in 1971 in a bizarre scheme to free Manson from jail. During the robbery, she was wounded by police in a shootout.

Mary was paroled from prison in 1977.

Steve “Clem” Grogan

Nicknamed “Scramblehead” by Manson because of his stupidity, he was sentenced to death for the Manson murders but had his sentence reduced to life after a judge deemed him “too stupid and too hopped up on drugs to have orchestrated a slaughter”.

Clem was paroled from prison in 1985.

Rosalie Jean Willis (Manson’s first wife)

During one of Manson’s prison terms, Rosalie (“Rosy”) gave birth to Charles Manson Jr. In March 1957, she cut all ties with Charlie and left him for another man (reportedly a truck driver) while he was in prison.

Rosalie remarried and became Rosalie Jean White. She moved to Cadiz, Ohio and had three more children with her new husband.

One child was killed in 1971 when he was 11-years-old by a “accidental gunshot blast”.

Another child died in 1986 in Houston of an “accidental overdose”.

Charles Manson Jr. committed suicide in 1993.

Rosalie died on August 21, 2009 of lung cancer in Tucson, Arizona.

Charles Manson Jr. (Manson’s first son)

Charles Manson Jr., Charlie’s first son, took the name Jay White when his mother (Rosalie) remarried. Friends of the family say he had eyes just like his father. One told reporters:

“His eyes scared the hell out of me! He was one of the spookiest people I have ever met.”

Charles Manson Jr. committed suicide in Colorado by gunshot on June 29, 1993.

Charles Luther Manson (Manson’s second son)

Born to Leona Rae “Candy” Stevens, he has since disappeared.

Michael Brunner (aka Valentine Michael Manson, Charles Manson’s third son)

Charles Manson Jr.Michael was born on April 1, 1968 by Mary Brunner. He was Charlie’s third son. He was sent to live with Mary’s parents in Eau Claire, Wisconsin in 1970, shortly after the Tate-LaBianca murders. He gives his grandparents credit for raising him in a normal, stable home with a deeply religious background that focused on morals.

Brunner says he feels no connection to his father and has made no attempts to communicate with him. In fact, Charlie once sent him a letter which he promptly tore up without reading.

When asked if he worries about genetics, that he could have possibly inherited some of Charlie’s tendencies, his answer is a firm “no”.

Little is known about his whereabouts – he keeps a low profile. It is believed he has at least one son (born around 1991).

The Tate House

The Polanski/Tate house at 10050 Cielo Drive was demolished in 1994. An Italian-style mansion was built in its place by the creator of the TV show, Full House. The street address was also changed.

The original home’s lot can be located however. Driving east on Sunet, in the middle of Beverly Hills, turn left on Canyon and head north into Benedict Canyon. Up in Benedict Canyon is Cielo Drive which dead ends on a hillside. The dead end is where the old Tate mansion was located.

The fascination with “piggies”

Many wonder why the Manson Family had such an obsession with the words “pig” and “piggies”. The phrased comes from the George Harrison song, Piggies.

“Everywhere there’s lot of piggies, living piggie lives. You can see them out for dinner with their piggy wives.”

Additional information

Manson Family victims

Linda Kasabian testimony

Direct examination by Vincent Bugliosi:

BUGLIOSI: “Did you ever see or observe any members of  the Family refuse to do anything that Manson told him or her to do?”

KASABIAN: “No, nobody did. We always wanted to do anything and everything for him.”

Linda Kasabian testifying in courtOn the Tate Murders:

BUGLIOSI: “The night of the afternoon that Mr. Manson said ‘Now is the time for Helter Skelter,’ were you still at the ranch that night?”

KASABIAN: “Yes.”

BUGLIOSI: “Was this the evening of August the eighth, 1969?”

KASABIAN: “I believe so.”

BUGLIOSI: “What took place that evening, Linda, at the ranch?”

KASABIAN: “I remember I was standing out front at this one point and Charlie came up to me and pulled me off the porch, and I was standing at the very end of the porch, closest to George Spahn’s house, and he told me that-”

BUGLIOSI: “He told you what?”

KASABIAN: “He told me to get a change of clothing, a knife, and my driver’s license.”

BUGLIOSI: “Did Mr. Manson tell you to change the clothing you already had on or to bring an additional change of clothing?”

KASABIAN: “To bring an additional.”

BUGLIOSI: “To bring an additional change of clothing?”

KASABIAN: “Yes.”

BUGLIOSI: “Now, when you walked up to the car, you say Katie and Sadiethat is Patricia and Susan-were inside the car. Where was Tex?”

KASABIAN: “He was standing over by the driver’s side.”

BUGLIOSI: “Was he talking to anyone?”

KASABIAN: “I think he was talking to Charlie.”

BUGLIOSI: “What is the next thing that happened?”

KASABIAN: “Tex got in the car, and we started-”

BUGLIOSI: “What happened at that point?”

KASABIAN: “We got about to the middle of the driveway, you know, and Charlie called us and told us to stop, and he came to the car to my side of the window, stuck his head in, and told us to leave a sign. He said, ‘You girls know what I mean, something witchy,’ and that was it.”

On a description of the murders.

KASABIAN: “We climbed over a fence and then a light started coming toward us and Tex told us to get back and sit down….A car pulled up, in front of us and Tex leaped forward with a gun in his hand and stuck his hand with the gun at this man’s head. And the man said, ‘Please don’t hurt me, I won’t say anything.’ And Tex shot him four times.”

BUGLIOSI: “Did you actually see Tex point the gun inside the window of the car and shoot the man?”

KASABIAN: “Yes, I saw it clearly”

BUGLIOSI: “About how far away were you from Tex at the time that he shot the driver of the car?”

KASABIAN: “Just a few feet.”

BUGLIOSI: “After Tex shot the driver four times what happened next?”

KASABIAN: “The man just slumped over. 1 saw that, and then Tex put his head in the car and turned the ignition off. He may have taken the keys out, I don’t know, and then he pushed the car back a few feet and then we all proceeded toward the house and Tex told me to go in back of the house and see if there were open windows and doors, which I did.”

BUGLIOSI: “Did you find any open doors or windows in the back of the house?”

KASABIAN: “No, there was no open windows or doors.”

BUGLIOSI: “What is the next thing that happened, Linda?”

KASABIAN: “I came around from the back, and Tex was standing at a window, cutting the screen, and he told me to go back and wait at the car, and he may have told me to listen for sounds, but I don’t remember him saying it.”

BUGLIOSI: “While you were down by the car do you know where Tex, Sadie, and Katie were?”

KASABIAN: “No, I didn’t see them.”

BUGLIOSI: “Did either of those three come down to the car?”

KASABIAN: “Yes, Katie came down at one point.”

BUGLIOSI: “Did Katie say anything to you?”

KASABIAN: “Yes, she asked for my knife, and 1 gave it to her, and she told me to stay there and listen for sounds, and I did, and she left.”

BUGLIOSI: “When she left, did she walk in the direction of the residence?”

KASABIAN: “Yes.”

BUGLIOSI: “Did you see either Patricia Krenwinkel or Susan Atkins or Tex walk into the residence?”

KASABIAN: “No, I didn’t.”

BUGLIOSI: “Were you all alone by the car?”

KASABIAN: “Yes.  I heard a man scream out ‘No. No.’ Then I just heard screams. I just heard screams at that point. I don’t have any words to describe how a scream is. I never heard it before.”

BUGLIOSI: “How long did the screaming continue?”

KASABIAN: “Oh, it seemed like forever, infinite. I don’t know.”

BUGLIOSI: “Was the screaming constant or was it in intervals?”

KASABIAN: “It seemed constant, I don’t know.”

BUGLIOSI: “Now, what did you do when you heard these screams?”

KASABIAN: “I started to run toward the house.”

BUGLIOSI: “Why did you do that?”

KASABIAN: “Because I wanted them to stop.”

BUGLIOSI: “What happened after you ran toward the house?”

KASABIAN: “There was a man just coming out of the door and he had blood all over his face and he was standing by a post, and we looked into each other’s eyes for a minute, and I said, ‘Oh, God, I am so sorry. Please make it stop.’ And then he just fell to the ground into the bushes. And then Sadie came running out of the house, and I said, ‘Sadie, please make it stop.’ And then I said, ‘I hear people coming.’ And she said, ‘It is too late.’ And then she told me that she left her knife and she couldn’t find it, and I believe she started to run back into the house. While this was going on the man had gotten up, and I saw Tex on top of him, hitting him on the head and stabbing him, and the man was struggling, and then I saw Katie in the background with the girl, chasing after her with an upraised knife, and I just turned and ran to the car down at the bottom of the hill.”

BUGLIOSI: “Now, when you told Sadie that people were coming, was that the truth?”

KASABIAN: “No.”

BUGLIOSI: “Why did you tell her that?”

KASABIAN: “Because I just wanted them to stop.”

BUGLIOSI: “You said you saw Katie. That is Patricia Krenwinkel?”

KASABIAN: “Yes.”

BUGLIOSI: “Was she chasing someone?”

KASABIAN: “Yes.”

BUGLIOSI: “Was it a man or a woman?”

KASABIAN: “It was a woman in a white gown.”

Linda Kasabian during her transfer after surrendingOn the events after the Tate murders.

BUGLIOSI: “Did Katie and Sadie say anything as you were driving off from the residence?”

KASABIAN: “Yes.”

BUGLIOSI: “What did they say?”

KASABIAN: “They complained about their heads, that the people were pulling their hair, and that their heads hurt. And Sadie even came out and said that when she was struggling with a big man, that he hit her in the head. And also Katie complained of her hand, that it hurt.”

BUGLIOSI: “Did she say why her hand hurt?”

KASABIAN: “Yes.”

BUGLIOSI: “What did she say?”

KASABIAN: “She said when she stabbed, that there were bones in the way, and she couldn’t get the knife through all the way, and that it took too much energy or whatever, I don’t know her exact words, but it hurt her hand.”

BUGLIOSI: “Did Tex eventually stop the car?”

KASABIAN: “Yes, he did.”

BUGLIOSI: “Do you know where he stopped the car?”

KASABIAN: “I don’t know the names or anything, but it was a street-we had spotted a hose coming out from a house, and we went up the hill and turned around and parked and walked up to the house.”

BUGLIOSI: “Would you relate what happened, Linda?”

KASABIAN: “An older woman came running out of the house.”

BUGLIOSI: “This is the house where the hose was?”

KASABIAN: “Yes.”

BUGLIOSI:   “All right, what happened next?”

KASABIAN:   “And I don’t remember her exact words, but she said, Who is there?’ or Who is that, what are you doing?’ And Tex said, ‘We are getting a drink of water.’ Then she got sort of hysterical and she said, ‘My husband is a policeman; he is a deputy,’ or something like that. And then her husband came out and he said, ‘Is that your car?’ And Tex said, ‘No, we are walking.’ ”

BUGLIOSI: “What is the next thing that happened?”

KASABIAN: “And we started to walk toward the car.”

BUGLIOSI: “All four of you?”

KASABIAN: “Yes. And the man was behind us.”

BUGLIOSI: “Did the man follow you all the way to the car?”

KASABIAN: “Yes, he did.”

BUGLIOSI: “Do you recall what the man looked like?”

KASABIAN: “I just remember he was old and he had white hair, that is all I remember.”

BUGLIOSI: “What is the next thing that happened?”

KASABIAN: “The man was right behind us and he came to the driver’s seat and he started to put his hand in the car to reach for the keys and Tex blocked him, grabbed his hand and just jammed, you know.”

BUGLIOSI: “What is the next thing that happened?”

KASABIAN: “I remember we came to sort of a level part of the road and through a dirt shoulder, and he pulled off and handed me the clothing and told me to throw them out, which I did.”

BUGLIOSI: “What clothing are you talking about?”

KASABIAN: “The clothing that the three, Tex, Katie, and Sadie had changed from.”

On the return to Spahn Ranch.

BUGLIOSI: “Was there anyone in the parking area at Spahn Ranch as you drove in the Spahn Ranch area?”

KASABIAN: “Yes.”

BUGLIOSI: “Who was there?”

KASABIAN: “Charlie.”

BUGLIOSI: “Was there anyone there other than Charlie?”

KASABIAN: “Not that I know of”

BUGLIOSI: “Where was Charlie when you arrived at the premises?”

KASABIAN: “About the same spot he was in when he first drove away.”

BUGLIOSI: “What happened after you pulled the car onto the parking area and parked the car?”

KASABIAN: “Sadie said she saw a spot of blood on the outside of the car when we were at the gas station.”

BUGLIOSI: “Who was present at that time when she said that?”

KASABIAN: “The four of us and Charlie.”

BUGLIOSI: “What is the next thing that happened?”

KASABIAN: “Well, Charlie told us to go into the kitchen, get a sponge, wipe the blood off, and he also instructed Katie and I to go all through the car and wipe off the blood spots.”

BUGLIOSI: “What is the next thing that happened after Mr. Manson told you and Katie to check out the car and remove the blood?”

KASABIAN: “He told us to go into the bunk room and wait, which we did.”

BUGLIOSI: “When was the first time you learned the identity of those five people [killed at the Tate residence]?”

KASABIAN: “The following day on the news.”

BUGLIOSI: “On television?”

KASABIAN: “Yes.”

BUGLIOSI: “In Mr. Spahn’s trailer?”

KASABIAN: “Yes.”

BUGLIOSI: “Did you see Tex, Sadie, and Katie during the day following these killings, other than when you were watching television with them?”

KASABIAN: “Well, I saw Sadie and Katie in the trailer.  I cannot remember seeing Tex on that day.”

Linda KasabianOn the LaBianca murders

BUGLIOSI: “After dinner what did you do, if you recall?”

KASABIAN: “Charlie came in and called Katie and Leslie and myself aside and told us to get a change of clothes and meet him at the bunk room, which we did.”

BUGLIOSI: “Did Mr. Manson say anything to you and the others, once you were all together in the bunk house?”

KASABIAN: “Yes, he did.”

BUGLIOSI: “What did he say?”

KASABIAN: “He said we were going to go out again tonight. Last night was too messy and that he was going to show us how to do it.”

BUGLIOSI: “Now, Linda, you testified that the first night you had the idea that you were going on a creepy-crawly mission; you did not know there was going to be any killing, is that correct?”

KASABIAN: “Yes, that’s right.”

BUGLIOSI: “The second night did you know what was going to happen?”

KASABIAN: “Yes.”

BUGLIOSI: “Did you want to go along with Mr. Manson and the others on the second night?”

KASABIAN: “No.”

BUGLIOSI: “Why did you go along if you didn’t want to?”

KASABIAN: “Because Charlie asked me and I was afraid to say no.”

On the search for the victims

BUGLIOSI: “What happened after you stopped in front of this house?”

KASABIAN: “Charlie got out of the car and told me to drive around the block.”

BUGLIOSI: “Did he get out of the car by himself?”

KASABIAN:  “Yes, he did.”

BUGLIOSI: “Did you in fact drive around the block?”

KASABIAN: “Yes, I did.”

BUGLIOSI: “With the other people?”

KASABIAN: “Yes.”

BUGLIOSI: “Did you come back to the front of the house?”

KASABIAN: “Charlie was standing in approximately the same spot I left him, and he got back in the car. Charlie told us that when he had walked up to the house and looked into the window that he saw pictures of children on the wall, and he said he couldn’t do it, he couldn’t go in, but he said later on that we shouldn’t let children stop us for the sake of the children of the future.”

BUGLIOSI: “Was Mr. Manson continuing to give you directions?”

KASABIAN: “Yes, he was.”

BUGLIOSI: “Where did he direct you to drive at that point?”

KASABIAN: “I don’t know the district or the areas, but residential areas, houses, and we came to one point, I remember I was really tired, I just could not drive anymore, so he just took over the driving and then I remember we started driving up a hill with lots of houses, nice houses, rich houses, and trees. We got to the top of the hill and turned around and stopped in front of a certain house and we all looked at the house.”

BUGLIOSI: “Did anything unusual happen while you were driving east on Sunset Boulevard in the residential area?”

KASABIAN: “Yes, after I had been driving for a few minutes there was a small white sports car in front of us and there [were] stoplights here and there, and Charlie-”

BUGLIOSI: “Do you know who was in the car?”

KASABIAN: “I believe it was a man, one person.”

BUGLIOSI: “No one else was in the car with him?”

KASABIAN: “No, I don’t think so.”

BUGLIOSI: “Did Mr. Manson say anything to you with respect to that car?”

KASABIAN: “Yes, he did.”

BUGLIOSI: “What did he say to you?”

KASABIAN: “He told me to follow it and at the next stoplight when it was green to pull up beside it.”

BUGLIOSI: “When the stop light was green?”

KASABIAN: “I mean, excuse me, red, I get my colors mixed up. So that we were stopped. It would have been red, excuse me. Charlie wanted me to pull up beside the car, and Charlie was going to get out and kill the man, shoot the man, whatever.”

BUGLIOSI: “Did you in fact pull up next to this white sports car at a red light?”

KASABIAN: “Yes, I did.”

BUGLIOSI: “Did Mr. Manson get out of the car or start to get out of the car?”

KASABIAN: “He proceeded to get out of the car, yes.”

BUGLIOSI: “And what happened at that point?”

KASABIAN: “The light turned green, so the car left.”

On events att the LaBianca home

BUGLIOSI: “When had you been parked in front of that home prior to this occasion?”

KASABIAN: “A year before, approximately, in July of 1968.”

BUGLIOSI: “What was the occasion for your being in that particular location a year earlier?”

KASABIAN: “My husband and I and friends were on our way down from Seattle, Washington, to New Mexico and we stopped off in Los Angeles, and this one particular person knew Harold True, so we went to his house and had a party.”

BUGLIOSI: “Is this the house in front of which Manson told you to stop the car?”

KASABIAN: “Yes, it is.”

BUGLIOSI: “Now, when Manson directed you to stop in front of Harold True’s place, did you recognize the spot?”

KASABIAN: “Yes, I did right away.”

BUGLIOSI: “Did you say anything to Manson with respect to this?”

KASABIAN: “Yes.”

BUGLIOSI: “What did you say to him?”

KASABIAN: “Charlie, you are not going into that house, are you?”

BUGLIOSI: “Did he say anything to you when you said that to him?”

KASABIAN: “Yes, he did, he said, ‘No, I’m going next door.’ ”

BUGLIOSI: “What was the next thing that happened?”

KASABIAN: “He got out of the car alone.”

BUGLIOSI: “Did all of you remain in the car?”

KASABIAN: “Yes, we did.”

BUGLIOSI: “What is the next thing that happened?”

KASABIAN: “I saw him put something in his pants, an object, I don’t know what it was.”

BUGLIOSI: “What is the next thing that he did?”

KASABIAN: “He disappeared up the walkway, the driveway leading toward Harold’s house, and 1 could not follow him any longer. He just disappeared.”

BUGLIOSI: “Several minutes?”

KASABIAN: “Yes.”

BUGLIOSI: “What happened after Mr. Manson returned to the car?”

KASABIAN: “He called Leslie and Katie and Tex out of the car.”

BUGLIOSI: “Was he out of the car at that point, too?”

KASABIAN: “Yes.”

BUGLIOSI: “What happened next?”

KASABIAN: “Sadie-excuse me-Clem [Tufts] jumped in the backseat with Sadie and I pushed over on the passenger side, and I heard bits and pieces of the conversation that he had with Tex and Katie.”

BUGLIOSI: “What did you hear him say?”

KASABIAN: “I heard him say that there was a man and a woman up in the house, and that he had tied their hands and that he told them not to be afraid; that he was not going to hurt them.”

BUGLIOSI: “Did he say anything else to Leslie, Katie, and Tex?”

KASABIAN: “Yes, at one point he instructed them, for Leslie and Tex, to hitchhike back to the ranch, and for Katie to go to the waterfall.”

Linda KasabianOn events after the LaBianca murders

BUGLIOSI: “Did he tell you to do anything with respect to this wallet after he handed it to you?”

KASABIAN: “Yes, he did.”

BUGLIOSI: “What did he tell you?”

KASABIAN: “He told me to take the change out of the wallet and to wipe off the fingerprints, and then-this is while we were driving off-and we drove a few blocks, and he told me that he would stop, and he wanted me to throw it out on the sidewalk.”

BUGLIOSI: “Well, when he gave you those instructions about wiping the fingerprints off the wallet, did you do that?”

KASABIAN: “Yes, I did.”

BUGLIOSI: “Did you remove the change from the wallet?”

KASABIAN: “Yes, I did.”

BUGLIOSI: “What did you do with the change?”

KASABIAN: “I believe I put it in the glove compartment.”

BUGLIOSI: “Did he tell you why he wanted you to throw the wallet out of the window?”

KASABIAN: “Yes, he did. He said he wanted a black person to pick it up and use the credit cards so that the people, the establishment would think it was some sort of an organized group that killed these people.”

BUGLIOSI: “What happened after you stopped the car?”

KASABIAN: “We all got out of the car, started walking toward the beach, we got down to the beach, walked on the sand, and Charlie told Clem and Sadie to stay a little bit behind us. And Charlie and I started walking hand in hand on the beach, and it was sort of nice, you know, we were just talking, and I gave him some peanuts, and he just  made me forget about everything, just made me feel good….I told him I was pregnant and started walking. We got to a side street, a corner, and a police car came by and stopped and asked what we were doing. And Charlie said, ‘We are just going for a walk.’ Charlie said something like, ‘Don’t you know who I am?’ or ‘Don’t you remember my name?’ They just said no. It was a friendly conversation. It just lasted for a minute. Then they walked back to the car.”

BUGLIOSI: “With respect to this conversation with the policemen, did they write your names down?”

KASABIAN: “Not that I saw, no.”

On searching for more victims

KASABIAN: “Then he looked at me and he said, ‘What about that man you and Sandy met?’ He said, ‘Isn’t he a piggy?’ I said, ‘Yes, he is an actor.’ And then he further questioned me and he asked me if the man would let him in. And I said, ‘Yes.’ And he asked me if the man would let my friends in, Sadie and Clem. And I said, ‘Yes.’ And he said, ‘Okay. I want you to kill him,’ and he gave me a small pocket knife. And at this point I said, ‘Charlie, I am not you, I cannot kill anybody.’ And I don’t know what took place at that moment, but I was very much afraid. And then he started to tell me how to go about doing it, and I remember I had the knife in my hand, and I asked him, With this? ‘And he said, ‘Yes,’ and he showed me how to do it. He said, ‘As soon as you enter the residence, the house, as soon as you see the man, slit his throat right away.’ And he told Clem to shoot him. And then, also, he said if anything went wrong, you know, not to do it.”

BUGLIOSI: “What happened after you arrived at this man’s apartment?”

KASABIAN: “Charlie wanted me to show him where he lived.”

BUGLIOSI: “Did you do that?”

KASABIAN: “Yes, I did.”

BUGLIOSI: “Did you get out of the car with Charlie?”

KASABIAN: “Yes.”

BUGLIOSI: “What about Sadie and Clem?”

KASABIAN: “No, they stayed behind.”

BUGLIOSI: “What is the next thing that happened?”

KASABIAN: “We entered the building and we walked up the stairs. I am not sure in took him to the top floor-I am not sure exactly what floor I took him to. Then I pointed out a door which was not his door.”

BUGLIOSI: “Which was not the actor’s door?”

KASABIAN: “Yes.”

BUGLIOSI: “What is the next thing that happened?”

KASABIAN: “Then we walked back downstairs to the car, and he gave Clem a gun.”

BUGLIOSI: “Charlie Manson gave him a gun?”

KASABIAN: “Yes. At this point he said something—”

BUGLIOSI: “When you say ‘he,’ you are talking about Charles Manson?”

KASABIAN: “Yes. He said that if anything went wrong, you know, don’t do it; and of course, to hitchhike back to the ranch, and for Sadie to go to the waterfall.”

BUGLIOSI: “Did either Clem or Sadie say anything to Mr. Manson at this point?”

KASABIAN: “No, not that I know of”

BUGLIOSI: “Then you say Charlie drove off?”

KASABIAN: “Yes.”

BUGLIOSI: “What is the next thing that happened?”

KASABIAN: “Clem, Sadie, and myself walked up-I believe I took them to the fourth floor, because I know I didn’t go all the way to the top, and I went-as I entered the hallway, whatever it is, where all the doors are, I went straight to-to the first door, and I knocked. They hid behind the corner.”

BUGLIOSI: “When you say ‘they,’ you are referring to whom?”

KASABIAN: “Sadie and Clem. And I knocked on the door, which I knew wasn’t the door, and a man said, ‘Who is it?’ And I said, ‘Linda.’ And he sort of opened the door and peeked around the corner, and Ij ust said, ‘Oh, excuse me. Wrong door.’ ”

BUGLIOSI: “And that was it? How long did you look at this man who opened the door?”

KASABIAN: “Just for a split second.”

Charles Manson testimony

THE COURT: Do you have anything to say?

Charles Manson in court sticking out his tongueMANSON: Yes, I do. There has been a lot of charges and a lot of things said about me and brought against me and brought against the co-defendants in this case, of which a lot could be cleared up and clarified to where everyone could understand exactly what the family was supposed to have been, what the philosophies in regards to the families were, and whether or not there was any conspiracy to commit murder, to commit crimes, and to explain to you who think with your minds.

It is hard for you to conceive of a philosophy of someone that may not think. I have spent my life in jail, and without parents. I have looked up to the strongest father-figure, and I have always looked to the people in the free world as being the good people, and the people in the inside of the jail as being the bad people.

I never went to school, so I never growed up in the respect to learn to read and write so good, so I have stayed in jail and I have stayed stupid, I have stayed a child while I have watched your world grow up, and then I look at the things that you do and I don’t understand.

I don’t understand the courts, and I don’t understand a lot of things that are brought against me. Your write things about my mother in the newspaper that hasn’t got anything to do with anything in particular.

You invent stories, and everybody thinks what they do, and then they project it from the witness stand on the defendant as if that is what he did.

For example, with Danny DeCarlo’s testimony. He said that I hate black men, and he said that we thought alike, that him and I was a lot alike in our thinking. But actually all I ever did with Danny DeCarlo or any other human being was reflect himself back at himself.

If he said he did not like the black man, I would say, “Okay.” I had better sense than tell him I did not dislike the black man. I just listened to him and I would react to his statement.

So consequently he would drink another beer and walk off and pat me on the back and he would say to himself, “Charlie thinks like I do.” But actually he does not know how Charlie thinks because Charlie has never projected himself.

But maybe the girls and women in your world outside … Being by yourself for such a long time when you do get out you appreciate things that people don’t even see, you walk over them every day.

Like in jail you have a whole new attitude or a whole different way of thinking. I don’t think like you people. You people put importance on your lives. Well, my life has never been important to anyone, not even in the understanding of the way you fear the things that you fear, and the things you do.

I know that the only person I can judge is me. I judge what I have done and I judge what I do and I look and live with myself every day. I am content with myself.

If you put me in the penitentiary, that means nothing because you kicked me out of the last one. I didn’t ask to get released. I liked it in there because I like myself. I like being with myself.

But in your world it’s hard because your understanding and your values are different. These children that come at you with knives, they are your children. You taught them. I didn’t teach them. I just tried to help them stand up.

Most of the people at the ranch that you call The Family were just people that you did not want, people that were alongside the road, that their parents had kicked them out or they did not want to go to Juvenile Hall, so I did the best I could and I took them up on my garbage dump and I told them this that in love there is no wrong.

I don’t care. I have one law and I learned it when I was a kid in reform school. It’s don’t snitch. And I have never snitched, And I told them that anything they do for their brothers and sisters is good, if they do it with a good thought.

It is not my responsibility. It is your responsibility. It is the responsibility you have towards your own children who you are neglecting, and then you want to put the blame on me again and again and again. Over and over you put me in your penitentiary. I did not build the penitentiary. I would not lock one of you up. I could not see locking another human being up.

You eat meat with your teeth and you kill things that are better than you are, and in the same respect you say how bad and even killers that your children are. You make your children what they are. I am just a reflection of every one of you.

I have never learned anything wrong. In the penitentiary, I have never found a bad man. Every man in the penitentiary has always showed me his good side, and circumstances put him where he was. He would not be there, he is good, human, just like the policeman that arrested him is a good human.

I have nothing against none of you. I can’t judge any of you. But I think it is high time that you all started looking at yourselves, and judging the lie that you live in. I sit and I watch you from nowhere, and I have nothing in my mind, no malice against you and no ribbons for you.

But you stand and you play the game of money. As long as you can sell a newspaper, some sensationalism, and you can laugh at someone and joke at someone and look down at someone, you know.

You just sell those newspapers for public opinion, just like you are all hung on public opinion, and none of you have any idea what you are doing. You are just doing what you are doing for the money, for a little bit of attention from someone. I can’t dislike you, but I will say this to you. You haven’t got long before you are all going to kill yourselves because you are all crazy.

And you can project it back at me, and you can say that it’s me that cannot communicate, and you can say that it’s me that don’t have any understanding, and you can say that when I am dead your world will be better, and you can lock me up in your penitentiary and you can forget about me.

But I’m only what lives inside of you, each and every one of you. These children, they take a lot of narcotics because you tell them not to. Any child you put in a room and you tell them, “Don’t go through that door,” he never thought of going through that door until you told him to go through the door. You go to the high schools and you show them pills and you show them what not to take, how else would they know what it was unless you tell them?

And then you tell them what you don’t want them to do in the hopes they will go out and do it and then you can play your game with them and then you can give attention to them because you don’t give them any of your love. You only give them your frustration; you only give them your anger; you only give them the bad part of you rather than give them the good part of you.

You should all turn around and face your children and start following them and listening to them.

The music speaks to you every day, but you are too deaf, dumb, and blind to even listen to the music. You are too deaf, dumb and blind to stop what you are doing. You point and you ridicule. But it’s okay, it’s all okay. It doesn’t really make any difference because we are all going to the same place anyway. It’s all perfect. There is a God. He sits right over here beside me. That is your God. This is your God. But let me tell you something; there is another Father and he has much more might than you imagine.

If I could get angry at you I would try to kill every one of you. If that’s guilt, I accept it. These children, everything they have done, they done for love of their brother. Had you not arrested Robert Beausoleil for something he did not do…. (An Interruption)

I have killed no one and I have ordered no one to be killed. I may have implied on several occasions to several different people that I may have been Jesus Christ, but I haven’t decided yet what I arn or who I am. I was given a name and a number and I was put in a cell, and I have lived in a cell with a name and a number. I don’t know who I am.

I am whoever you make me, but what you want is a fiend; you want a sadistic fiend because that is what you are.

You only reflect on me what you are inside of yourselves, because I don’t care anything about any of you and I don’t care what you do.

I can stand here in front of this court and smile at you, and you can do anything you want to do with me, but you cannot touch me because I am only my love, and it is all for me, and I give it to myself for me, because I look out for me first and I like me, and you can live with yourselves and your opinion of yourselves. I know what I have done.

If I showed someone that I would do anything for my brother, include give my life for my brother in the battlefield, or give where else that I may want to do that, then he picks his banner up and he goes off and does what he does.

That is not my responsibility. I don’t tell people what to do.

If we enter into an agreement to build a house, I will help you build the house and I will offer suggestions for that house, but I won’t put myself on you because that is what made you weak, because your parents have offered themselves on you. You are not you, you are just reflections, you are reflections of everything that you think that you know, everything that you have been taught.

Your parents have told you what you are. They made you before you were six years old, and when you stood in school and you crossed your heart and pledged allegiance to the flag, they trapped you a in truth because at that age you didn’t know any lie until that lie was reflected on you.

Charles Manson escorted into the courtroomNo, I am not responsible for you. Your karma is not mine.

My father is the jail house. My father is your system, and each one of you, each one of you are just a reflection of each one of you, and you all live by yourselves, no matter how crowded you may think that you are in a room full of people, you are still by yourself, and you have to live with that self forever and ever and ever and ever.

To some people this would be hell; to some people it would be heaven. I have mine, and each one of you will have to work out yours, and you cannot work it out by pointing your fingers at people. I have ate out of your garbage cans to stay out of jail. I have wore your second-hand clothes. I have accepted things and given them away the next second.

I have done my best to get along in your world and now you want to kill me, and I look at you and I look how incompetent you all are, and then I say to myself, “You want to kill me, ha, I’m already dead, have been all my life!” I’ve lived in your tomb that you built.

I did seven years for a thirty-seven dollar check. I did twelve years because I didn’t have any parents, and how many other sons do you think you have in there? You have many sons in there, many, many sons in there, most of them are black and they are angry. They are mad, and they are mad at me.

I look and I say, “Why are you mad at me?”He said, “I am mad at you because of what your father did.” And I look at him and I say, “Well,” and I look at my fathers, and I say, “If there was ever a devil on the face of this earth I am him.” And he’s got my head anytime he wants it, as all of you do too, anytime you want it.

Sometimes I think about giving it to you. Sometimes I’m thinking about just jumping on you and let you shoot me. Sometimes I think it would be easier than sitting here and facing you in the contempt that you have for yourself, the hate that you have for yourself, it’s only the anger you reflect at me, the anger that you have got for you.

I do not dislike you, I cannot dislike you. I am you. You are blood. You are my brother. That is why I can’t fight you. If I could I would jerk this microphone out and beat your brains out with it because that is what you deserve, that is what you deserve.

Every morning you eat that meat with your teeth. You’re all killers, you kill things better than you. And what can I say to you that you don’t already know? And I have known that there is nothing I can say to you. There is nothing I can say to any of you. It is you that has to say it to you, and that is my whole philosophy; you say it to you and I will say it to me.

I live in my world, and I am my own king in my world, whether it be a garbage dump or if it be in the desert or wherever it be. I am my own human being. You may restrain my body and you may tear my guts out, do anything you wish, but I am still me and you can’t take that.

You can kill the ego, you can kill the pride, you can kill the want, the desire of a human being. You can lock him in a cell and you can knock his teeth out and smash his brain, but you cannot kill the soul. You never could kill the soul. It’s always there, the beginning and the end. you cannot stop it, it’s bigger than me. I’m just looking into it and it frightens me sometimes.

The truth is now; the truth is right here: the truth is this minute, and this minute we exist.

Yesterday you cannot prove yesterday happened today, it would take you all day and then it would be tomorrow, and you can’t prove last week happened. You can’t prove anything except to yourself. My reality is my reality, and I stand within myself on my reality.

Yours is yours and I don’t care what it is. Whatever you do is up to you and it’s the same thing with anyone in my family. and anybody in my family is a white human being, because my family is of the white family. There is the black family, a yellow family, the red family, a cow family and a mule family. There is all kinds of different families.

We have to find ourselves first, God second, and kind, k-i-n-d, come next. And that is all I was doing. I was working on cleaning up my house, something Nixon should have been doing. He should have been on the side of the road picking up his children. But he wasn’t. He was in the White House sending them off to war. I don’t know the different people that have got on the stand, one friend said I put a knife to his throat. I did. I put a knife to his throat. And he said I was responsible for all of these killings.

I have done the best I know how, and I have given all I can give and I haven’t got any guilt about anything because I have never been able to say any wrong. I never found any wrong. I looked at wrong, and it is all relative. Wrong is if you haven’t got any money. Wrong is if your car payment is overdue. Wrong is if the TV breaks. Wrong is if President Kennedy gets killed.

Wrong is, wrong is, wrong is you keep on, you pile it in your mind. you become belabored with it, and in your confusion….

I make up my own mind. I think for myself. I look at you and I say, “Okay, you make up your own mind, you think for yourself, then you see your mothers and your fathers and your teachers and your preachers and your politicians and your presidents, and you lay in your brain with your opinions, considerations, conclusions.” And I look at you and I say, “Okay, if you are real to you it’s okay with me but you don’t look real to me. you only look like a composite of what someone told you you are. You live for each others’ opinion and you have pain on your face and you are not sure what you like, and you wonder if you look okay.”

And I look at you and I say, “Well, you look alright to me,” you know, and you look at me and you say, “Well, you don’t look alright to me,”

Well I don’t care what I look like to you. I don’t care what you think about me and I don’t care what you do with me. I have always been yours anyway. I have always been in your cell.

When you were out riding your bicycles I was sitting in your cell looking out the window and looking at pictures in magazines and wishing I could go to high school and go to the proms, wishing I could go to the things you could do, but oh so glad, oh so glad, brothers and sisters, that I am what I am.

Because when it does come down around your ears and none of you know what you are doing, you better believe I will be on top of my thought.

I will know what I am doing. I will know exactly what I am doing. If you ever let me go before you kill me. And then I don’t really particularly care anyway, because I still will be there and I will still know what I am doing. In my mind I live forever. In my mind I live forever, and in my mind I have always lived forever.

I am only what you made me. I am only a reflection of you.

I have done everything I have always been told. I have mopped the floor when I was supposed to mop the floor. And I have swept when I was supposed to sweep.

I was smart enough to stay out of jail and too dumb to learn anything. I was too little to get a job there, and too big do to something over here.

I have just been sitting in jail thinking nothing. Nothing to think about.

Everybody used to come in and tell me about their past and their lives and what they did. But I could never tell anybody about my past or what my life was or what I did because I have always been sitting in that room with a bed, a locker, and a table. So, then it moves on to awareness: how many cracks can you count in the wall? It moves to where the mice live and what the mice are thinking, and see how clever mice are.

And then, when you get on the outside, you look into people’s heads. You take Linda Kasabian and you put her on the witness stand and she testifies against her father. She never has liked her father, and she has always projected her wrong off to the man- figure. So, consequently, it is the man’s fault again, and the woman turns around and she blames it on the man. The man made her do it. The man put her up to it.

The man works for her, the man slaves for her, the man does everything for her, and she lays around the house and she tells him what he should do, because, generally, she is an extension of his mother. His mother told him what to do and she trained him for twenty years and passed him on to the wife. Then the woman takes him and tells him what to wear, when to get up, when to go to work.

Then when she gets on the stand and she says when she looked in that man’s eyes that was dying, she knew it was my fault.

She knew that it was my fault because she couldn’t face death. And if she cannot face death, that is not my fault. Why should she blame it on me? I can face death. I have all the time.

In the penitentiary you live with it, with constant fear of death, because it is a violent world in there, and you have to be on your toes constantly.

So, it is not without violence that I live. It is not without pain that I live.

I look at the projection that comes from this witness stand often to the defendants. It isn’t what we said, it is what someone thought we said. A word is changed: “in there” to “up there,” “off of that” to “on top.” The semantics get into a word game in the courtroom to prove something that is gone in the past. It is gone in the past, and when it is gone, it is gone, sisters. It is gone, brother.

You can’t bring the past back up and postulate or mock up a picture of something that happened a hundred years ago, or 1970 years ago, as far as that goes. you can only live in the now, for what is real is now.

The words go in circles.

You can say everything is the same, but it is always different. It is the same, but it is always different. You can “but” it to death. You can say, “You are right, but, but, but.”

You sat here for nineteen days questioning that girl.

She got immunity on seven counts of murder.

She got. I don’t know how much money she is going to make in magazines and things. You set her up to be a hero, and that is your woman. That is the thing that you worship.

Charles Manson escorted into the courtroomYou have lost sight of God. You sing your songs to woman. You put woman in front of man. Woman is not God. Woman is but a reflection of her man, supposedly. But a lot of times man is a reflection of his woman. And if a man can’t rise above a woman’s thought, then that is his problem, it is not my problem. But you give me this problem when you set this woman against me.

You set this woman up here to testify against me. And she tells you a sad story. How she has only taken every narcotic that is possible to take. How she has only stolen, lied, cheated and done everything that you have got there in that book.

But it is okay. she is telling the truth now. She wouldn’t have any ulterior motive like immunity for seven counts of murder.

And then comical as it may seem, you look at me, and you say, “You threatened to kill a person if they snitch.”

Well, that is the law where I am from. Where I am from, if you snitch, you leave yourself open to be killed.

I could never snitch because I wouldn’t want someone to kill me.

So, I have always abided by that law. It is the only law that I know of, and it is the law that I have always abided by.

But she will come up here and you enshrine her, you put her above you, and you strive to be as good as something below you.

It is circles that just don’t make any sense in my reality. But of course again that is my reality and it has nothing to do with you, because you have got your reality and you have to live with what you believe in.

But this woman has got here and she has testified. She said she wasn’t sure, but maybe.

Then the magical mystery tour wouldn’t be able to be explained to you.

A magical mystery tour is when you pick up somebody else and play a part. you may pick up a cowboy today, and you go around all day and play like a cowboy. You put on a hat and you ride a horse.

This is all we have done. We have played like mom and dad. We have loved each other. We have done everything we could to stay outside the frame of the law, the shakedowns. Nothing has been stolen. I have got better sense than to break the law. I give to the law what it has coming. It is his law. If I break his law, he puts me back in the grave again.

I haven’t broken his law yet but it seems as if somebody lays around and somebody needs to fulfill a spot, they snatch it up and say, “This will do. We will put this over here, we can hang this on him. Or we can do this to that.”

Then the words go into another meaning and another level of understanding.

Why a woman would stand up and project herself into a man and say, “Actually he never told me anything, but I knew it all came from him.”

Her assumption.

Am I to be found guilty on her assumption?

You assume what you would do in my position, but that doesn’t mean that is what I did in my position. It doesn’t mean that my philosophy is valid. It’s only valid to me. Your philosophies, they are whatever you think they are and I don’t particularly care what you think they are.

But I know this: that in your own hearts and your own souls, you are as much responsible for the Vietnam War as I am for killing these people.

I knew a guy that used to work in the stockyards and he used to kill cows all day long with a big sledgehammer, and then go home at night and eat dinner with his children and eat the meat that he slaughtered. Then he would go to church and read the bible, and he would say, “That is not killing.” And I look at him and I say, “That doesn’t make any sense, what you are talking about?”

Then I look at the beast, and I say, “Who is the beast?”

I am the beast.

I am the beast.

I am the biggest beast walking the face of the earth. I kill everything that moves. As a man, as a human, I take responsibility for that. As a human, it won’t be long, and God will ask you to take responsibility for it. It is your creation. You live in your creation. I never created your world, you created it.

You create it when you pay taxes, you create it when you go to work, then you create it when you foster a thing like this trial.

Only for vicarious thrills do you sell a newspaper and do you kow-tow to public opinion. Just to sell your newspapers. You don’t care about the truth. You take another Alka-Seltzer and another aspirin and hope that you don’t have to think of the truth and you hope that you don’t have to look at yourself with a hangover as you go to a Helter Skelter party and make fun of something that you don’t understand.

The Judge interrupts and asks Manson to stick to the point.

MANSON: The issues in this case? The issues in this case?

The issues are that Mr. Younger is Attorney General, and I imagine he is a good man and does a good job. I don’t know him. I can’t judge him. But I know he has got me here. He set me in this seat.

Mr. Bugliosi is doing his job for a paycheck. That is an issue. He is doing whatever he is doing. Whether he thinks it is right or not, I couldn’t say. That is up to him.

The only way that I have been able to live on that side of the road was outside the law. I have always lived outside the law. When you live outside the law it is pretty hard, you can’t call the man for protection. You have got to pretty much protect your own.

You can’t live within the law and protect yourself. You can’t knock the guy down when he comes over and starts to rape one of the girls, or starts to bring some speed or dope up there. You can’t enforce your will over someone inside the law.

I gave everything I could think of to that old man and that ranch for permission to stay there, and I have given the people that stayed on that ranch my all. When no one wanted to go out in front and fight, I would go out and fight. When no one else wanted to clean the toilets, I would go and clean them.

People would see me and they would see what I do and see the example that I set. They see, when I am cleaning out a cesspool, that I arn happy and smiling and making a game of it. Like I was on a chain gang somewhere once upon a time and they come and pass the water. I make a game out of it, or I make a pleasure out of a job. We turn it into a magical mystery tour.

We speed down the highway in a 1958 automobile that won’t go but fifty, and an XKE Jaguar goes by, and I state to Clem, “Catch him Clem, and we’ll rob him or steal all of his money,” you know. And he says, “What shall we do?” I say, “Hit him on the head with a hammer.” We magical mystery tour it.

Then Linda Kasabian gets on the stand and says: “They were going to kill a man, they were going to kill a man in an automobile.”

To you, it seems serious. But like Larry Kramer and I would get on a horse and we would ride over to Wichita, Kansas, and act like cowboys. We make it a game on the ranch.

Like, Helter Skelter is a nightclub. Helter Skelter means confusion. Literally. It doesn’t mean any war with anyone. It doesn’t mean that those people are going to kill other people. It only means what it means. Helter Skelter is confusion.

Confusion is coming down fast. If you don’t see the confusion coming down fast around you, you can call it what you wish.

It is not my conspiracy. It is not my music. I hear what it relates. It says, “Rise!” It says, “Kill!” Why blame it on me? I didn’t write the music. I am not the person who projected it into your social consciousness, that sanity that you projected into your social consciousness, today. You put so much into the newspaper and then you expect people to believe what is going on. I say back to the facts again.

How many witnesses have you got up here and projected only what they believe in. What I believe in is right now. I don’t believe in anything past now. I speak to you from now.

Because there is nothing here to worry about, nothing here to think about, nothing here to be confused over. My house is not divided. My house is one with me, myself.

Then I look at the facts that you have brought in front of this court and I look at the twelve facts that are looking at me and judging me. If I were to judge them, what scale would that balance? Would the scale balance if I was to turn and judge you? How would you feel if I were to judge you? Could I judge you? I can only judge you if you try to judge me. That is the fact.

Mr. Bugliosi is a hard-driving prosecutor, with a polished educa- tion. Semantics, words. He is a genius. He has got everything that every lawyer would want to have except one thing: a case. He doesn’t have a case.

Were I allowed to defend myself, I could have proven this to you. I could have called witnesses and showed you how these things lay, and I could have presented my picture.

You are dealing with facts and positive evidence. If you are dealing with things that are relative to the issues at hand, then you look at the facts. What else do you look at? Oh, the leather thong.

How many people have ever worn moccasins with a leather thong in it? So you have placed me on the desert with leather clothes on and you took a leather thong from my shoe. How many people could we take leather thongs from? That is an issue.

Then you move on and you say I had one around my neck. I always tie one around my head when my hair is long. It keeps it out of my eyes. And you pull it down on your neck. And I imagine a lot of long-haired people do. There are so many aspects to this case that could be dug into and a lot of truth could be brought up, a lot of understanding could be reached.

It is a pretty hideous thing to look at seven bodies, one hundred and two stab wounds. The prosecutor, or the doctor, gets up and he shows how all the different stab wounds are one way, and then how all the different stab wounds are another way; but they are the same stab wounds in another direction.

They put the hideous bodies on display and they say: “If he gets out see what will happen to you.” Implying it. I am not saying he did this. This is implied. A lot of diagrams are actually in my opinion senseless to the case.

Then there is Paul Watkins’ testmony. Paul Watkins was a young man who ran away from his parents and wouldn’t go home. you could ask him to go home and he would say no. He would say, “I don’t got no place to live. can I live here?” And I’d say, “Sure.” So, he looks for a father image. I offer no father image. I say, “To be a man, boy, you have got to stand up and be your own father.” And he still hungers for a father image. So he goes off to the desert and finds a father image.

When he gets on the stand, I forget what he said, whether it had any relative value, oh, I was supposed to have said to go get a knife and kill the Sheriff of Shoshone. Go get a knife and kill the Sheriff of Shoshone? I don’t know the Sheriff of Shoshone. I don’t think I have been there but once.

I am not saying that I didn’t say it, but if I said it, at that time I may have thought it was a good idea. Whether I said it in jest and whether I said it in joking, I can’t recall and reach back into my memory. I could say either way. I could say, “Oh, I was just joking.” Or I could say I was curious. But to be honest with you I don’t ever recall saying “Get a knife and change of clothes and go do what Tex said.” Or I don’t recall saying, “Get a knife and go kill the sheriff.”

I don’t recall saying to anyone “Go get a knife and kill anyone or anything.” In fact it makes me mad when someone kills snakes or dogs or cats or horses. I don’t even like to eat meat because that is how much I am against killing.

So you have got the guy who is against killing on the witness stand, and you are all asking him to kill you. you are asking him to judge you. Because with my words, each of your opinions or diagrams, your thoughts, are dying. What you thought was true is dying. What you thought was real is dying. Because you all know, and I know you know, and you known that I know you know. So, let’s make that circle.

You say, “Where do we start from there?” Back to the facts again. You say that the facts are elusive in my mind. Actually, they just don’t mean anything. The District Attorney can call them facts. They are facts. You are facts.

But the facts of the case aren’t even relative, in my mind. They are relative to the Thirteenth Century. They are relative to the Eighth Century. They are relative to how old you are or what kind of watch you wear on your arm. I have never lived in time. A bell rings, I get up. A bell rings and I go out. A bell rings, and I live my life with bells. I get up when a bell rings and I do what a bell says.

I have never lived in time. When your mind is not in time, the whole thought is different. You look at time as being man-made. And you say time is only relative to what you think it is. If you want to think me guilty then you can think me guilty and it is okay with me. I don’t dislike any of you for it. If you want to think me not guilty it is okay with me. I know what I know and nothing and no one can take that from me.

You can jump up and scream, “Guilty!” and you can say what a no good guy I am, and what a devil, fiend, eeky-sneaky slimy devil I am. It is your reflection and you’re right, because that is what I am. I am whatever you make me.

You see, it is what happens inside the now that … the words just lose meaning. A motion is more real than a word. The Indians spoke with it. They could explain to you with motions what they felt. This is what I intended to do if I could represent myself.

Explain to you what is inside of me, how I feel about things. Because words are your words. You invented the words, and you made a dictionary and you gave me the dictionary and you said, “These are what the words mean.” Well, this is what they mean to you, but to someone else, they have got a different dictionary.

And things mean different things to different people, and to match the symbols up as you talk back and forward. Then you put a witness up here to say what you said. I could never say what someone else said. I could only say what I said.

You tell me something and, tomorrow, I try to repeat it, if I didn’t write it down, I couldn’t tell you what you said. Let alone a year ago, let alone eight months ago, let alone a week ago. I am forgetful. I forget one day to the next. I forget what day it is or what month it is or what year it is.

I don’t particularly care because all that is real to me is right now. But then, the case is real to me, and I say, “What do I have to do to make you people let me go back to the desert with my children?”

You have your world. You are going to do whatever you do with it. I have got nothing to do with it. I don’t have the schooling in it. I don’t believe in your church. I don’t believe in anything you do.

I am not saying you are wrong, and I hope that you say I am not wrong for believing what I believe in. Murder? Murder is another question. It is a move. It is a motion. You take another’s life. Boom! and they’re gone. You say, “Where did they go?” They are dead. You say, “Well, that person could have made the motion.” He could have taken my life just as well as I took his.

If a soldier goes off to the battlefield, he goes off with his life in front. He is giving his life. Does that not give him permission to take one? No. Because then we bring our soldiers back and try them in court for doing the same thing we sent them to do. We train them to kill, and they go over and kill, and we prosecute them and put them in jail because they kill. If you can understand it, then I bow to your understanding. But in my understanding I wouldn’t get involved with it.

My peace is in the desert or in the jail cell, and had I not seen the sunshine in the desert I would be satisfied with the jail cell much more over your society, much more over your reality, and much more over your confusion, and much more over your world, and your word games that you play. And each witness got up here and only testified for what was best for them, they did not testify for what was best for me. They testified for what was best for them, their own benefit.

So you say, “Okay, and then what else did she say?” She said, “You only see in me what you want to see in me.” you only see in her what you put in her, because when you take LSD enough times you reach a stage of nothing. You reach a stage of no thought.

An example of this: if you were to be standing in a room with someone and you were loaded on LSD and the guy says, “Do you like my sports coat?” And you would probably not pay any attention to him.

About two or three minutes later the guy loaded on LSD will turn around and say, “My, you have a beautiful sports coat” because he is only reacting. He is only reacting to the individual terminology, the person that he has in the room. As you would put two people in a cell, so would they reflect and flow on each other like as if water would seek a level.

I have been in a cell with a guy eighty years old and I listened to everything he said. “What did you do then?” And he explains to me his whole life and I sat there and listened, and I experienced vicariously his whole being, his whole life, and I look at him and he is one of my fathers. But he is also another one of your society’s rejects.

Where does the garbage go, as we have tin cans and garbage alongside the road, and oil slicks in your water, so you have people, and I am one of your garbage people. I am one of your motorcycle people. I am one of what you want to call hippies. I never thought about being a hippie. I don’t know what a hippie is.

A hippie is generally a guy that’s pretty nice. He will give you a shirt and a flower, and he will give you a smile, and he walks down the road. But don’t try to tell him nothing. He ain’t listening to nobody. He got his own thoughts. You try to tell him something, and he will say, “Well, if that’s your bag.”

He is finding himself. You, those children there were finding themselves. Whatever they did, if they did whatever they did, is up to them. They will have to explain to you that. I’m just explaining to you what I am explaining to you. Everything is simple to me. It is what it is because that is what it is. It doesn’t go anv farther. What? That is all there is. Why? Why?

Why comes from your mother. Your mother teaches you why, why, why. you go around asking your mother why and she keeps telling you, “Because, because” and she laces your little brain with because and: “Because.” “Why?” “because.” “Why?” And you don’t know any different. If you had two mothers, one to tell you one thing and one to tell you another, then your mind might be left where mine was.

If you had a dozen parents that you went around with and couldn’t believe anything you were told and then you couldn’t disbelieve anything you were told. And it’s the same thing with this court. I don’t believe what these witnesses get up here and say but I don’t disbelieve them either. I won’t challenge them. If the guy says, “You’re no good,” I say, “Okay.” If that’s what you want me to believe it’s okay with me.

I don’t care what you believe. I know what I am. You care what I think of you? Do you care what I think of you? Do you care what my opinion is? No, I hardly think so. I don’t think that any of you care about anything other than yourselves because when you find yourself, you find that everyone is out for themselves anyway.

It looks that way to me here, the money that has been made, the things that I cannot talk about, and I know I can’t talk about, I won’t talk about and I will keep quiet about these things. How much all money has passed over this case?

How sensational do you think that you have made this case? I never made it sensational. I was hiding in the desert. You come and got me. Remember? Or could you prove that? What could you prove?

The only thing you can prove is what you can prove to yourselves, and you can sit here and build a lot in that jury’s mind, and they are still going to interject their personalities on you. They are going to interject their inadequate feelings; they are going to interject what they think. I look at the jury and they won’t look at me. So I wonder why they won’t look at me. They are afraid of me. And do you know why they are afraid of me? Because of the newspapers.

You projected fear. you projected fear. You made me a monster and I have to live with that the rest of my life because I cannot fight this case. If I could fight this case and I could present this case, I would take that monster back and I would take that fear back. Then you could find something else to put your fear on, because it’s all your fear.

You look for something to project it on and you pick a little old scroungy nobody who eats out of a garbage can, that nobody wants, that was kicked out of the penitentiary, that has been dragged through every hellhole you can think of, and you drag him up and put him into a courtroom.

You expect to break me? Impossible! you broke me years ago. You killed me years ago. I sat in a cell and the guy opened the door and he said, “You want out?” I looked at him and I said, “Do you want out? You are in jail, all of you, and your whole procedure. The procedure that is on you is worse than the procedure that is on me. I like it in there.”

Charles Manson during the later days of court - after shaving his head and cutting off his beardI like it in there – it’s peaceful. I just don’t like coming to the courtroom. I would like to get this over with as soon as possible. And I’m sure everyone else would like to get it over with too.

Without being able to prepare a case, without being able to confront the witnesses and to bring out the emotions, and to bring out the reasons why witnesses say what they say, and why this hideous thing has developed into the trauma that it’s moved into, would take a bigger courtroom, and it would take a bigger public, a bigger press, because you all, as big as you are, know what you are as I know what you are, and, I like you anyway. I don’t want to keep rehashing the same things over, There are so many things that you can get into, Your Honor, that I have no thoughts on. It is hard to think when you really don’t care too much one way or the other… (An Interruption.)

I was released from the penitentiary and I learned one lesson in the penitentiary, you don’t tell nobody nothing. You listen. When you are little you keep your mouth shut, and when someone says, “Sit down,” you sit down unless you know you can whip him, and if you know you can whip you stand up and whip and you tell him to sit down.

Well, I pretty much sat down. l have learned to sit down because I have been whipped plenty of times for not sitting down and I have learned not to tell people something they don’t agree with. If a guy comes up to me and he says, “The Yankees are the best ball team,” I am not going to argue with that man. If he wants the Yankees to be the best ball team, it’s okay with me, so I look at him and I say, “Yeah, the Yankees are a good ball club.”

And somebody else says, “The Dodgers are good.” I will agree with that; I will agree with anything they tell me. That is all I have done since I have been out of the penitentiary. I agreed with every one of you. I did the best I could to get along with you, and I have not directed one of you to do anything other than what you wanted to do.

I have always said this: You do what your love tells you and I do what my love tells me. Now if my love tells me to stand up there and fight I will stand up there and fight if I have to. But if there is any way that my personality can get around it, I try my best to get around any kind of thing that is going to disturb my peace, because all I want is to be just at peace, whatever that takes. Now in death you might find peace, and soon I may start looking in death to find my peace.

I have reflected your society in yourselves, right back at your- selves, and each one of these young girls was without a home. Each one of these young boys was without a home. I showed them the best I could what I would do as a father, as a human being, so they would be responsible to themselves and not to be weak and not to lean on me. And I have told them many times, I don’t want no weak people around me.

If you are not strong enough to stand on your own, don’t come and ask me what to do. You know what to do, This is one of the philosophies that everyone is mad at me for, because of the children. I always let the children go. “You can’t let the children go down there by themselves.” I said, “Let the children go down. If he falls, that is how he learns, you become strong by falling.” They said, “You are not supposed to let the children do that. you are supposed to guide them.”

I said, “Guide them into what? Guide them into what you have got them guided into? Guide them into dope? Guide them into armies?” I said, “No, let the children loose and follow them.” That is what I did on the desert. That is what I was doing, following your children, the ones you didn’t want, each and every one of them. I never asked them to come with me—they asked me.

[Court recess]

MANSON: There’s been a lot of tank about a bottomless pit. I found a hole in the desert that goes down to a river that runs North underground, and I call it a bottomless pit, because where could a river be going North underground? You could even put a boat on it. So I covered it up and I hid it and I called it “The Devil’s Hole” and we all laugh and we joke about it. You could call it a Family joke about the bottomless pit. How many people could you hide down in this hole?

Again you have a magical mystery tour that most of the time there’s forty or fifty people at the ranch playing magical mystery tour. Randy Starr thought he was a Hollywood stunt man. He had a car all painted up and like never done any stunts. Another guy was a movie star, but he had never been in any movies, and everybody was just playing a part, you know, like most people get stuck in one part, but like we were just playing different parts every day.

One day you put on a cowboy hat and say, “Shoot somebody,” or the next you might have a knife fighter, or go off in the woods for a month or two to be an Indian, or just like a bunch of little kids playing. Then you establish a reality within that reality of play acting. And then you get to conspiracy.

The power of suggestion is stronger than any conspiracy that you could ever enter into. The powers of the brain are so vast, it’s beyond understanding. It’s beyond thinking. It’s beyond comprehension. So to offer a conspiracy might be to sit in your car and think bad thoughts about someone and watch them have an accident in front of you. Or would it be a conspiracy for your wife to mention to you twenty times a day, “You know, you’re going blind, George, you know how your eyes are, you’re just going blind; we pray to God and you’re going blind, and you’re going blind.”

And she keeps telling the old man he’s going blind until he goes blind. Is that a conspiracy?

Is it a conspiracy that the music is telling youth to rise against the establishment because the establishment is rapidly destroying things? Is that a conspiracy? Where does conspiracy come in? Does it come in that?

I have showed people how I think by what I do. It is not as much what I say as what I do that counts, and they look at what I do and they try to do it also, and sometimes they are made weak by their parents and cannot stand up. But is that my fault? Is it my fault that your children do what they do?

Now the girls were talking about testifying. If the girls come up here to testify and they said anything good about me, you would have to reverse it and say that it was bad. you would have to say, “Well, he put the girls up to saying that. He put the girls up to not telling the truth.” Then you say the truth is as I am saying it, but then when it is gone, tomorrow it is gone, it changes, it’s another day and it’s a now truth, as it constantly moves thousands of miles an hour through space.

Hippie cult leader; actually, hippie cult leader, that is your words. I am a dumb country boy who never grew up. I went to jail when I was eight years old and I got out when I was thirty-two. I have never adjusted to your free world. I am still that stupid, corn-picking country boy that I always have been.

If you tend to compliment a contradiction about yourself, you can live in that confusion. To me it’s all simple, right here, right now; and each of us knew what we did and I know what I did, and I know what I’m going to do and what you do is up to you. I don’t recognize the courtroom, I recognize the press and I recognize the people.

THE COURT: Have you completed your statement, Mr. Manson?

MANSON: You could go on forever. You can just talk endless words. It don’t a mean anything. I don’t know that it means anything. I can talk to the witnesses and ask them what they think about things, and I can l bring the truth out of other people because I know what the truth is, but I cannot sit here and tell you anything because like basically all I want to do is try to explain to you what you are doing to your children.

You see, you can send me to the penitentiary, it’s not a big thing. I’ve been there all my life anyway. What about your children? These are just a few, there is many, many more coming right at you.

THE COURT: Anything further?

MANSON: No. We’re all our own prisons, we are each all our own wardens and we do our own time. I can’t judge anyone else. What other people do is not really my affair unless they approach me with it.  Prison’s in your mind … Can’t you see I’m free?

Cross-examination by Vincent Bugliosi:

BUGLIOSI: You say you are already dead, is that right, Charlie?

MANSON: Dead in your mind or dead in my mind?

BUGLIOSI: Define it any way you want to.

MANSON: As any child will tell you, dead is when you are no more. It is just when you are not there. If you weren’t there, you would be dead.

BUGLIOSI: How long have you been dead? . . To be precise about it, you think you have been dead for close to 2,000 years, don’t you?

MANSON: Mr. Bugliosi, 2,000 years is relative to the second we live in.

BUGLIOSI: Suffice it to say, Department 104 is a long way from Calvary, isn’t that true? The jury in this case never heard a single, solitary word you said. . .Mr. Manson, are you willing to testify in front of the jury and tell them the same things that you have testified to here in open court today?

Judge Older asks  Manson if he wished to testify before the jury.

MANSON: “I have already relieved all the pressure I had.”

Paul Watkins testimony

BUGLIOSI: “During your association with Charles Manson, did he frequently discuss Helter Skelter with you?”

WATKINS: “Constantly.”

BUGLIOSI: “He used the word ‘Helter Skelter’ constantly?”

WATKINS: “I wouldn’t go so far as to say constantly. He did not say, ‘Helter Skelter, Helter Skelter, Helter Skelter.’ But he did quite a bit, yes, it seemed to be the main topic.”

Paul WatkinsOn How Helter Skelter Would Start

WATKINS: “There would be some atrocious murders; that some of the spades from Watts would come up into the Bel-Air and Beverly Hills district and just really wipe some people out, just cut bodies up and smear blood and write things on the wall in blood, and cut little boys up and make parents watch.  So, in retaliation-this would scare; in other words, all the other white people would be afraid that this would happen to them, so out of their fear they would go into the ghetto and just start shooting black people like crazy. But all they would shoot would be the garbage man and Uncle Toms, and all the ones that were with Whitey in the first place. And underneath it all, the Black Muslims would-he would know that it was coming down.”

BUGLIOSI: “Helter Skelter was coming down?”

WATKINS: “Yes. So, after Whitey goes in the ghettoes and shoots all the Uncle Toms, then the Black Muslims come out and appeal to the people by saying, ‘Look what you have done to my people.’ And this would split Whitey down the middle, between all the hippies and the liberals and all the up-tight piggies. This would split them in the middle and a big civil war would start and really split them up in all these different factions, and they would just kill each other off in the meantime through their war. And after they killed each other off, then there would be a few of them left who supposedly won.”

BUGLIOSI: “A few of who left?”

WATKINS: “A few white people left who supposedly won. Then the Black Muslims would come out of hiding and wipe them all out.”

BUGLIOSI: “Wipe the white people out?”

WATKINS: “Yes. By sneaking around and slitting their throats.”

BUGLIOSI: “Did Charlie say anything about where he and the Family would be during this Helter Skelter?”

WATKINS: “Yes. When we was [sic] in the desert the first time, Charlie used to walk around in the desert and say-you see, there are   places where water would come up to the top of the ground and then it would go down and there wouldn’t be no more water, and then it would come up again and go down again. He would look at that and say, ‘There has got to be a hole somewhere, somewhere here, a big old lake.’ And it just really got far out, that there was a hole underneath there somewhere where you could drive a speedboat across it, a big underground city. Then we started from the ‘Revolution 9’ song on the Beatles album which was interpreted by Charlie to mean the Revelation 9. So-”

BUGLIOSI: “The last book of the New Testament?”

WATKINS: “Just the book of Revelation and the song would be ‘Revelations 9: So, in this book it says, there is a part about, in Revelations 9, it talks of the bottomless pit. Then later on, I believe it is in 10.”

BUGLIOSI: “Revelation 10?”

WATKINS: “Yes. It talks about there will be a city where there will be no sun and there will be no moon.”

BUGLIOSI: “Manson spoke about this?”

WATKINS: “Yes, many times. That there would be a city of gold, but there would be no life, and there would be a tree there that bears twelve different kinds of fruit that changed every month. And this was interpreted to mean-this was the hole down under Death Valley.”

BUGLIOSI: “Did he talk about the twelve tribes of Israel?”

WATKINS: “Yes. That was in there, too. It was supposed to get back to the 144,000 people. The Family was to grow to this number.”

BUGLIOSI: “The twelve tribes of Israel being 144,000 people?”

WATKINS: “Yes.”

BUGLIOSI: “And Manson said that the Family would eventually increase to 144,000 people?”

WATKINS: “Yes.”

BUGLIOSI: “Did he say when this would take place?”

WATKINS: “Oh, yes. See, it was all happening simultaneously. In other words, as we are making the music and it is drawing all the young love to the desert, the Family increases in ranks, and at the same time this sets off Helter Skelter. So then the Family finds the hole in the meantime and gets down in the hole and lives there until the whole thing comes down.”

BUGLIOSI: “Until Helter Skelter comes down?”

WATKINS: “Yes.”

BUGLIOSI: “Did he say who would win this Helter Skelter?”

WATKINS: “The karma would have completely reversed, meaning that the black men would be on top and the white race would be wiped out; there would be none except for the Family.”

BUGLIOSI: “Except for Manson and the Family?”

WATKINS: “Yes.”

BUGLIOSI: “Did he say what the black man would do once he was all by himself?”

WATKINS: “Well, according to Charlie, he would clean up the mess, just like he always has done. He is supposed to be the servant, see. He will clean up the mess that he made, that the white man made, and build the world back up a little bit, build the cities back up, but then he wouldn’t know what to do with it, he couldn’t handle it.”

BUGLIOSI: “Blackie couldn’t handle it?”

WATKINS: “Yes, and this is when the Family would come out of the hole, and being that he would have completed the white man’s karma, then he would no longer have this vicious want to kill.”

BUGLIOSI: “When you say ‘he,’ you mean Blackie?”

WATKINS: “Blackie then would come to Charlie and say, you know, ‘I did my thing, I killed them all and, you know, I am tired of killing now. It is all over.’ And Charlie would scratch his fuzzy head and kick him in the butt and tell him to go pick the cotton and go be a good nigger, and he would live happily ever after.”

On Manson and Death

WATKINS: “We was sitting around on acid, and I was getting kind of-I was feeling really weird, getting really stoned, and I was reacting quite a bit. And Charlie was telling me to die. He was just saying ‘Die,’ just ‘Die.’ And I didn’t just die. So he jumped up and started choking me. At first I sort of fought it. I mean, I was going to physically fight it. Then I knew there was something else going on, so I didn’t. I just laid there. But I was emotionally fighting it. In other words, I was scared, and really, really afraid. He was laying on top of me, looking into my eyes, and he was actually overpowering me. My throat wasn’t strong enough to overcome the strength in his hands, and I noticed that there was a relationship between my fear and how strong his hands were on my throat, because it puzzled me that he could overcome me like this. So then it was going on for quite a while, in other words I was really running out of air, and then he smiled and looked in my eyes and he says, ‘I’m going to kill you now.’  And at that point I thought I was dead anyway so I just says well, I couldn’t talk, but I just sort of mentally said, ‘Okay, I give up, go ahead.’ And he jumped off and he sat back and smiled and said, ‘Then if you are willing to die, then you don’t have to die.’ Then he said, ‘Come on and make love with me.’ “

Virginia Graham testimony

BUGLIOSI: “What were the circumstances leading up to the conversation about the Tate murders?”

GRAHAM: “Well, we started talking, we were talking about many things, and then the conversation drifted on to LSD, which I, myself, had taken one time, and we discussed LSD for a while. And then I warned Sadie that she talked entirely too much. I told her that I didn’t care particularly what she had done, but I didn’t think it was advisable for her to talk so much. She told me that she wasn’t really worried about it. And she also told me that she could tell by l.ooking at me, my eyes, that I was a kind person; and that she wasn’t worried about it anyway. And that the police were on the wrong track about some murders. And I said, ‘What do you mean?’ And she said to me, ‘The murders at Benedict Canyon.’ And just for a moment I didn’t quite snap to what she meant, and I said, ‘Benedict Canyon?’ And she said, ‘Yes. The Tate murders.’ And she said, ‘You know who did it, don’t you?’ And I said, ‘No, I don’t.’ And she said, ‘Well, you are looking at her.’ ”

BUGLIOSI: “When she told you this, I take it you were probably somewhat shocked, is that correct?”

Virginia Graham - jailmat of Susan Atkins (whom Atkins revealed Tate murder details to)GRAHAM: “Yes.”

BUGLIOSI: “Well, what did Susan Atkins tell you with respect to the Tate murders, taking it trom the very beginning?”

GRAHAM: “She said that after she entered the house, the Tate house, she proceeded toward the bedroom. She noticed a girl sitting in a chair reading a book; the girl didn’t look up and notice her. She continued toward the bedroom and she reached the bedroom door. Sharon Tate was sitting in bed with a pillow propped up behind her and Jay Sebring was sitting at the side of the bed and they were engrossed in conversation, and at first she wasn’t noticed.”

BUGLIOSI: “Did you ask her how Sharon Tate was dressed?”

GRAHAM: “Yes, I did. She said she had a bikini bra and pants on.”

BUGLIOSI: “Did she identify the person who was seated at the bed with Sharon?”

GRAHAM: “Yes, she did.”

BUGLIOSI: “What name did she give?”

GRAHAM: “Jay Sebring.”

BUGLIOSI: “Did she say whether or not Sharon Tate and Jay Sebring eventually entered the living room of the Tate residence?”

GRAHAM: “Yes, she did.”

BUGLIOSI: “After Sharon Tate and Jay Sebring entered the living room, what did Susan Atkins say took place?”

GRAHAM: “She said that the other man-”

BUGLIOSI: “Now, when you say ‘other man,’ did she indicate that this was a man other than Jay Sebring?”

GRAHAM: “Yes, sir, she did.”

BUGLIOSI: “What did she say about this other man?”

GRAHAM: “She said that the other man ran past her, and as he ran past her she stabbed him four or five times. He got to the door and he started screaming for help. He got out onto the front lawn and he was screaming, ‘Help, help, somebody please help!’ And with this she put her hand on her hip and she said to me, ‘And would you believe that he was screaming “Help, help,” and nobody came?’ ”

BUGLIOSI: “This is what Susan Atkins told you?”

GRAHAM: “That’s right.”

BUGLIOSI: “What else did Sadie say she did?”

GRAHAM: “She said she was holding Sharon Tate’s arms behind her, and that Sharon Tate looked at her and she said she was crying and said to her, ‘Please, please don’t kill me, I don’t want to die. 1just want to have my baby.’ She said, ‘And I looked Sharon straight in the eye and I said to her, “Look, bitch, you might as well face it right now, you’re going to die, and I don’t feel a thing behind it,” and in a few minutes she was dead.’ ”

BUGLIOSI: “Did Susan Atkins say whether she in fact killed Sharon Tate?”

GRAHAM: “Yes, she did.”

BUGLIOSI: “What did she say?”

GRAHAM: “She said, ‘I killed her.’ ”

BUGLIOSI: “Did Miss Atkins say anything about blood at that point?”

GRAHAM: “Yes, she did.”

BUGLIOSI: “What did she say?”

GRAHAM: “She said that she had blood in her hand and she looked at her hand and she took her hand and she put it up to her mouth and she said, ‘To taste death and yet give life, wow, what a trick.’ ”

BUGLIOSI: “Did Miss Atkins ask you if you had ever had that type of experience with blood?”

GRAHAM: “Yes, she did. She asked me in was interested in blood, and I said that I had seen it, and she said that it was really beautiful; that it was warm and sticky.”

BUGLIOSI: “Did she say anything about the eyes of the people there at the Tate residence?”

GRAHAM: “Yes, she did. She told me that she wanted to take their eyes out and squash them against the wall, and cut their fingers off, but that she didn’t have time.”

BUGLIOSI: “Did Miss Atkins tell you anything about who was the last to die at the Tate residence?”

GRAHAM: “Yes, she did.”

BUGLIOSI: “What did she say?”

GRAHAM: “She told me Sharon was the last to die.”

BUGLIOSI: “Did she say anything about a knife of hers?”

GRAHAM: “Yes, she did. She told me that she lost her knife up there; that she looked for it for a few minutes but could not find it, and then she said she thought the dog had taken it outside and buried it.”

BUGLIOSI: “As Miss Atkins was discussing these murders with you, did she say anything about how it felt to stab a human being with a knife?”

GRAHAM: “Yes, she did.”

BUGLIOSI: “What did she say?”

GRAHAM: “She said that when the knife went in, it felt soft and that it was quite a thrill.”

BUGLIOSI: “Did you ask Miss Atkins if she knew the people who lived at the Tate residence?”

GRAHAM: “Yes, I did.”

BUGLIOSI: “What did she say?”

GRAHAM: “She said no, that she did not know the people that lived there, but that it did not matter who was there because they would all die.”

BUGLIOSI: “Did you ask Miss Atkins how she felt after these murders?”

GRAHAM: “Yes, I did.”

BUGLIOSI: “What did she say, if anything?”

GRAHAM: “She said that she was tired but she felt elated and at peace with herself.”

BUGLIOSI: “During your conversation with Miss Atkins did you again remind her that she should not tell people about what she was telling you?”

GRAHAM: “Yes, I did.”

BUGLIOSI: “What did she say, if anything?”

GRAHAM: “She smiled and she told me that she wasn’t worried about it; that she knew how to play crazy and how to act like a little girl, and besides that, she had an alibi anyway.”

BUGLIOSI: “Would you describe for the judge and the jury in your own words Sadie’s demeanor, Susan Atkins’s demeanor, when she spoke to you about these murders?”

GRAHAM: “Well, I would say she was highly excited about it, and was very intense about it, almost to the point of reliving it again and enjoying it.”

BUGLIOSI: “Did she speak to you loudly when she told you about these murders?”

GRAHAM: “Yes, she did, she raised her voice quite a bit. In fact, a few times I told her to lower her voice.”

BUGLIOSI: “Did Miss Atkins say that she was sorry or had any remorse for these murders?”

GRAHAM: “Absolutely no remorse, nothing.”

Manson’s interpretation of Beatles Songs

Revolution 1

LYRICS: You say you want a revolution/ Well you know/ We all want to change the world/ You tell me that it’s evolution/ Well you know/ We all want to change the world/ But when you talk about destruction/ Don’t you know that you can count me out (in).

Don’t you know it’s gonna be all right/ All right, all right/ You say you got a real solution/ Well you know/ We’d all love to see the plan.

The Beatles White AlbumMANSON: Beatles commanding a revolution. Charles Manson has the solution.

Blackbird

LYRICS: Blackbird singing in the dead of night/ Take these broken wings and learn to fly/ All your life/ You were only waiting for this moment to arise.

MANSON: Beatles commanding black people to rise and revolt against the white establishment.

Piggies

LYRICS: Have you seen the little piggies/ Crawling in the dirt/ And for all those little piggies/ Life is getting worse/ Always having dirt to play around in.

Have you seen the bigger piggies/ In their starched white shirts/ You will find the bigger piggies/ Stirring up the dirt/ Always have clean shirts to play around in.

In their styes with all their backing/ They don’t care what goes on around/ In their eyes there’s something lacking/ What they need’s a damn good whacking.

Everywhere there’s lots of piggies/ Living piggy lives/ You can see them out for dinner/ With their piggy wives/ Clutching forks and knives to eat their bacon.

MANSON: Piggies, the establishment, need a “damn good whacking”.

Helter Skelter

LYRICS: When I get to the bottom I go back to the top of the slide/ Where I stop and I turn and I go for a ride/ Till I get to the bottom and I see you again.

Do you, don’t you want me to love you/ I’m coming down fast but I’m miles above you/ Tell me tell me tell me come on tell me the answer/ You may be a lover but you ain’t no dancer./ Helter skelter helter skelter/ Helter skelter.

Will you, won’t you want me to make you/ I’m coming down fast but don’t let me break you/ Tell me tell me tell me the answer/ You may be a lover but you ain’t no dancer./ Look out helter skelter helter skelter/ Helter skelter.

Look out, cause here she comes./ When I get to the bottom I go back to the top of the slide/ And I stop and I turn and I go for a ride/ And I get to the bottom and I see you again./ Well do you, don’t you want me to make you/ I’m coming down fast but don’t let me break you/ Tell me tell me tell me the  answer/ You may be a lover but you ain’t no dancer./ Look out helter skelter helter skelter/ Helter skelter/ Look out helter skelter/ She’s coming down fast/  Yes she is/ Yes she is.

MANSON: Helter Skelter is coming down. According to Manson, “The Beatles are telling it like it is.”

Revolution 9

Song is a collection of odd sound bites.

MANSON: Felt this was a parallel of the Bible’s Revelation 9 and that it was a prophecy of the upcoming black revolution.

I Will

LYRICS: Who knows how long I’ve loved you/ You know I love you still/ Will I wait a lonely lifetime/ If you want me to–I will….

And when at last I find you/ Your song will fill the air/ Sing it loud so I can hear you/ Make it easy to be near you/ For the things you do endear you to me/ You know I will/ I will.

MANSON: Felt this was the Beatles command for the Manson Family to make an album so people could “find” him.

Honey Pie

LYRICS: She was a working girl/ North of England way/ Now she’s hit the big time/ In the USA/ And if she could only hear me/ This is what I’d say./ Honey pie you are making me crazy/ I’m in love but I’m lazy/ So won’t you please come home.

Oh honey pie my position is tragic/ Come and show me the magic/ of your Hollywood song/…Oh honey pie you are driving me frantic/ Sail across the Atlantic/ To be where you belong./ Will the wind that blew her boat/ Across the sea/ Kindly send her sailing back to me./ Honey pie you are making me crazy/ I’m in love but I’m lazy/ So won’t you please come home.

MANSON: Felt the references to USA and Hollywood were directed at the Manson Family and that the song meant the Beatles would soon join the Family. He felt the Beatles line “I’m in love but I’m lazy so won’t you please come home” indicated the Beatles knew Manson was Jesus Christ but were too busy to come see him right now.

Manson’s interpretation of the Bible’s Revelation 9

Revelation 9 (NIV version)

The fifth angel sounded his trumpet, and I saw a star that had fallen from the sky to the earth. The star was given the key to the shaft of the Abyss. 2 When he opened the Abyss, smoke rose from it like the smoke from a gigantic furnace. The sun and sky were darkened by the smoke from the Abyss. 3 And out of the smoke locusts came down on the earth and were given power like that of scorpions of the earth. 4 They were told not to harm the grass of the earth or any plant or tree, but only those people who did not have the seal of God on their foreheads. 5 They were not allowed to kill them but only to torture them for five months. And the agony they suffered was like that of the sting of a scorpion when it strikes. 6 During those days people will seek death but will not find it; they will long to die, but death will elude them.

7 The locusts looked like horses prepared for battle. On their heads they wore something like crowns of gold, and their faces resembled human faces. 8 Their hair was like women’s hair, and their teeth were like lions’ teeth. 9 They had breastplates like breastplates of iron, and the sound of their wings was like the thundering of many horses and chariots rushing into battle. 10 They had tails with stingers, like scorpions, and in their tails they had power to torment people for five months. 11 They had as king over them the angel of the Abyss, whose name in Hebrew is Abaddon and in Greek is Apollyon (that is, Destroyer).

12 The first woe is past; two other woes are yet to come.

13 The sixth angel sounded his trumpet, and I heard a voice coming from the four horns of the golden altar that is before God. 14 It said to the sixth angel who had the trumpet, “Release the four angels who are bound at the great river Euphrates.” 15 And the four angels who had been kept ready for this very hour and day and month and year were released to kill a third of mankind. 16 The number of the mounted troops was twice ten thousand times ten thousand. I heard their number.

17 The horses and riders I saw in my vision looked like this: Their breastplates were fiery red, dark blue, and yellow as sulfur. The heads of the horses resembled the heads of lions, and out of their mouths came fire, smoke and sulfur. 18 A third of mankind was killed by the three plagues of fire, smoke and sulfur that came out of their mouths. 19 The power of the horses was in their mouths and in their tails; for their tails were like snakes, having heads with which they inflict injury.

20 The rest of mankind who were not killed by these plagues still did not repent of the work of their hands; they did not stop worshiping demons, and idols of gold, silver, bronze, stone and wood—idols that cannot see or hear or walk. 21 Nor did they repent of their murders, their magic arts, their sexual immorality or their thefts.

Manson’s interpretation of the Bible’s Revelation 9

Verse 1: Manson believed he was the fifth angel referenced in this verse, and that he would be given the key to the abyss (the underground lair somewhere beneath Death Valley).

Verse 3: Although this verse mentions locusts pouring from a fire, Manson believed this was a reference to The Beatles.

Verse 4: Manson noted that this verse commanded them to not harm any living thing with the exception of men who did not have the mark upon their foreheads. It was known that Manson often chastised Family members for killing insects or snakes.

Verse 7: The reference to the locusts wearing crowns of gold, long hair like women, but with faces like men confirmed to Manson that this was a reference to The Beatles. He felt the reference to “iron breastplates” was a reference to their guitars while the smoke pouring from their mouths were the powerful lyrics to their songs.

Verse 11: Manson noted that the fifth angel was a “king”, or leader of others

Verse 15: This verse was key to Manson who felt it referred to Helter Skelter, the revolt of blacks that would result in the murder of one-third of the world’s population. This is the command that he sought to turn loose via the Manson Family killings.

Verse 16: Manson believed the number of persons here were bikers.

Charles Manson Timeline

November 12, 1934 Charles Manson is born in Cincinnati, the illegitimate son of a sixteen-year-old girl named Kathleen Maddox.  His father, who Manson never met, was a “Colonel Scott” from Ashland, Kentucky.

1939 Manson’s mother sentenced to prison for armed robbery.

1947 Manson’s mother tries to send Charles to a foster home.  A court orders him sent to the Gibault School for Boys in Terre Haute, Indiana.

1948 Manson commits his first known crime, the burglary of a grocery store.  He is caught and sent to a juvenile detention center.  He escapes and commits two armed robberies.  Apprehended again, Manson is sent to the Indiana School for Boys in Plainfield, where he spends the next three years–except for brief periods of freedom during eighteen escapes.

1951 Manson escapes from the School for Boys and heads west in a stolen car, burglarizing 15 to 20 gas stations along the way.  He is caught in Utah and sent to the National Training School for Boys in Washington, D. C.  A psychiatrist calls Manson a “slick” but “extremely sensitive” boy.

1952 In his last act of criminal violence before the 1969 murders, Manson sodomizes a boy while holding a razor to his throat.  He is transferred to Federal Reformatory at Petersburg, Virginia. Later in 1952, Manson is moved to a more secure reformatory at Chillicothe, Ohio.

1955 Manson marries Rosalie Willis, a waitress from Wheeling.  The couple produces a child, Charles, Jr. Manson works as a parking-lot attendant and busboy–and steals cars.  In October, he is arrested for auto theft and sentenced to five years probation

1956 Manson is sentenced to three years imprisonment at San Pedro, California for violating the terms of his 1955 probation.

1958 Manson is divorced.  His ex-wife retains custody of their child.  Manson is released on parole and becomes a pimp in southern California.

1959 Manson is arrested for forging a treasury check.  He is given a ten-year suspended sentence.

1960 In January, Manson marries again–this time, a nineteen-year-old.  In April, he is indicted on federal Mann Act charges.  He is arrested in Laredo, and brought back to California where is ordered to prison to serve the ten-year sentence that had been suspended in 1959.

1961 Manson is transferred to a federal penitentiary at McNeil Island, Washington.  He claims to be a Scientologist.  Prison psychiatrists say he has “deep-seated personality problems.”

1963 After fathering a second child, Charles Luther Manson, Manson is again divorced.

1964 Manson becomes obsessed by the music of the Beatles.  He learns to play a steel guitar.

1966 Manson aspires to be a song writer, and devotes most of his spare time in prison to the task.

March 21, 1967 Manson asks prison officials to let him remain in prison, but having completed a ten-year prison term, he is released.  He heads for San Francisco.

Summer 1968 Manson and a number of his followers, now called “The Family,” move into Spahn ranch in southern California.

December 1968 The Beatles release their White Album, which proves to be a great influence Manson’s thinking.

March 23, 1969 Manson visits 10050 Cielo Drive (the Tate residence) looking for Terry Melcher, who he hoped might publish his music.  Tate’s photographer curtly tells Manson to leave by “the back alley,” possibly supplying a motive for the later attack at the Tate home.

July 31, 1969 A music teacher named Gary Hinman is stabbed to death.  On the wall near the body, in Hinman’s blood, was printed “political piggy.”

Susan AtkinsAugust 8, 1969 Manson tells Family members, “Now is the time for Helter Skelter.”  That evening he tells Patricia Krenwinkel, Susan Atkins, Tex Watson, and Linda Kasabian to get knives and changes of clothes.  As he sends them from the ranch on their mission, he tells them “to leave a sign –something witchy.”  Watson drives to the Tate residence.

August 9, 1969 Shortly after midnight, the brutal attack on residents at the Tate residence begins.  In all, 102 stab wounds are inflicted on four victims; a fifth victim is shot.  Left dead are actress Sharon Tate, Jay Sebring, Voytek Frykowski, Abigail Folger, and Steven Parent.  The murders are discovered by housekeeper Winifred Chapman the next morning.  The four Family members return to Spahn ranch, where Manson criticizes them for doing a messy job.  That night, Manson, along with Patricia Krenwinkel, Tex Watson, Leslie Van Houten, Linda Kasabian cruise around, looking for potential victims.

August 10, 1969 In the early morning hours, Family members stab to death Leno and Rosemary LaBianca.  The words “Death to Pigs” and “Healter [sic] Skelter” are found printed on a wall and a refrigerator door.

September 1, 1969 Under a bush near his home, a ten-year-old boy finds the gun used in the Tate murders. The boy’s father turns the gun over to the LAPD.  The LAPD fails to do a proper investigation.

October 12, 1969 Manson is arrested at Barker Ranch in Death Valley and charged with grand theft auto.  He is put in jail in Independence.

November 6, 1969 While incarcerated in Los Angeles on other charges, Susan Atkins tells a fellow inmate, Virginia Castro (Graham), that she participated in the Tate murders.  She tells Castro of a “death list” of celebrities targeted by the Family, including Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, Tom Jones, Steve McQueen, and Frank Sinatra.

November 12, 1969 Al Springer, a visitor to the Spahn ranch, tells LAPD detectives that on August 11 or 12 Charles Manson had bragged about “knocking off five” pigs the other night.

November 17, 1969 Danny DeCarlo implicates Manson in the Spahn ranch murder of Shorty Shea, and also suggests that persons at the Spahn ranch might also have been responsible for the Tate murders–but, he tells detectives, he would be afraid to testify.

November 18, 1969 Prosecutor Vincent Bugliosi is assigned the Tate-LaBianca case.

July 24, 1970 The Tate-LaBianca murder trial, with defendants Charles Manson, Susan Atkins, Patricia Krenwinkel, and Leslie Van Houten, opens in Los Angeles.

August 10, 1970 Judge Older grants Linda Kasabian immunity from prosecution for the Tate-LaBianca murders in return for agreeing to appear as the prosecution’s star witness at the Manson trial.

November 16, 1970 The state rests its case in the Manson trial.

November 19, 1970 The defense announces, without having presented any evidence, that it also rests.

November 20, 1970 Manson announces that he wishes to testify.  He makes a strange statement, saying “The children that come at you with knives are your children.  You taught them.  I didn’t teach them.  I just tried to help them stand up….”  On cross-examination, Bugliosi asks Manson if he thinks he is Jesus Christ.

November 30, 1970 Defense attorney Ronald Hughes fails to show up in court.  He is never seen again, leading to speculation he was murdered by The Family.

January 15, 1971 Vincent Bugliosi presents the prosecution’s closing argument in the Manson trial.

January 25, 1971 The jury convicts all Tate-LaBianca defendants of first-degree murder.

March 29, 1971 Concluding the penalty phase of the trial, the jury fixes the penalty as death for all four Tate-LaBianca defendants.

April 19, 1971 Judge Older sentences Manson to death.  Manson is ordered sent to San Quenton’s death row.

October 1971 Charles “Tex” Watson is convicted on seven counts of first-degree murder.

February 18, 1972 The California Supreme Court declares the death penalty unconstitutional and Manson’s sentence is automatically reduced to life in prison.

October 1972 Manson is transferred to Folsom Prison.

May 1976 Manson is sent to Vacaville prison, where he remains for the next nine years.

September 25, 1984 Another inmate, claiming “God told me to kill Manson,” sets Manson on fire, causing serious burns on large parts of his body.

July 1985 Manson is transferred to San Quentin Prison

1988 In a televised interview with Geraldo Rivera, Manson warns, “I’m going to chop up more of you m—–f—-ers.  I’m going to kill as many of you as I can.  I’m going to pile you up to the sky.”

March 1989 Manson is transferred to Corcoran Prison.

1994 The house at 10050 Cielo Drive, formerly rented by Sharon Tate and Roman Polanski, is demolished.

March 1997 Manson is denied parole (for the ninth time) in a hearing broadcast live on Court TV.  Manson responds by saying, “That’s cool….I’m not saying I wasn’t involved [in Helter Skelter].  I’m just saying that I did not break God’s law….Thank you.”

April 2002  Manson is refused parole for the tenth time at a hearing he refused to attend.

May 23, 2007  Manson is refused parole for the eleventh time.  Manson, now 72, will next be up for parole in 2012.

July 15, 2008  The parole board denies Susan Atkin’s request, based on the fact that she has terminal brain cancer and only months to live, for a compassionate release.  Atkins will now almost certainly die in prison.

September 24, 2009 Atkins dies. Her husband releases the following statement: “Susan passed away peacefully surrounded by friends and loved ones…Her last whispered word was ‘Amen.’ No one on the face of the Earth worked as hard as Susan did to right an unrightable wrong.”

November 19, 2017 Charles Manson dies in prison of natural causes. He was 83 years old.

Sources: CNN

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