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Infamous Cult Leader Charles Manson Dies at 83

Infamous Cult Leader Charles Manson Dies at 83

Infamous Cult Leader Charles Manson Dies at 83

Charles Manson (right) being escorted to the courtroom by a sheriff’s deputy (August 11, 1970)

Charles Manson is best known as the leader of a murderous 1960s cult died today in prison at the age of 83. The infamous king of the “Manson Family,” Charles orchestrated murders, but never directly participated in them. The first brutal Manson killing occurred on August 9, 1969 at the home of actress Sharon Tate and her husband, Hollywood director Roman Polanski. Manson lived in a home with a group of 18 women that listened to his every word and even killed for him on command. Manson directed “the family” to kill everyone on the premise at 10050 Cielo Drive, the former home of record producer Terry Melcher and current home of Tate and Polanski. Tate, 26, at the time was 8-months pregnant and was stabbed to death while pleading for her life and the chance to give birth to her child.

Manson had tried using that night’s murders and the following evening’s murders of supermarket executive Leno LaBianca and his wife Rosemary to start a race war and blame the scenes on the Black Panther group. On June 16, 1970, Manson and three of his followers, Susan Atkins, Patricia Krenwinkel and Leslie Van Houten went on trial in Los Angeles following the incidents. Manson was sentenced to death, but the death penalty was briefly abolished in the state and his sentences were transitioned into life without parole.

Manson died of natural causes in California State Prison at the age of 83 and while most of the “Manson Family” remain in prison with continuous denial of parole. Van Houten’s parole was granted by a panel in September of this year, but is pending review. She participated in the murders of the LaBianca family. The actress and victim Tate was survived by her mother and sisters who have long fought to deny Manson family members parole. Her mother Doris Tate was a big influence in allowing victim’s to write or speak during the trial of the accused.