.. ars old. Those first few months in prison, Charles had a positive outlook on life, with thoughts of leading a straight, crime-free life when he was paroled. Before the baby-little Charlie-was a year old, Charles’ wife stopped visiting. He heard from his mother that his wife had left the state with her new boyfriend, a trucked.
Devastated, he wrote her several letters begging her to return, but to no ovail. In his autobiography, Charles Manson states, “when I gave up on her, my attitude of wanting to be Mr. Straight left me. I went back to being bitter and hating everyone”. Shuffled from home to home as a child, knowing his prostitute mother never wanted him, being in and out of juvenile homes and adult jails, Charles Manson was becoming the Charles Manson we’ve all heard about and feared. He was released from Terminal Island and served several years.
Paroled in nineteen sixty-seven at age thirty-two, he asked if he could stay. “You know what, man, I don’t wanna leave! I don’t have a home out there! Why don’t you just take me back inside? I’m serious man! I mean it! I don’t wanna leave”. He did, however, leave Terminal Island that day. It was March twenty-first, nineteen sixty-seven, and the last time he’d pass through those doors. Charles Manson headed to San Francisco.
Once there, he liked to hang out at the University of California-Berkeley campus and play his guitar. One day, while doing so, he was sitting on the grass when a dog started sniffing his feet. He raised his foot as if to kick it, and it’s owner appeared. Her name was Mary Theresa Brunner, and she would become the first member of his “Family”. She was tall and thin, a straight-laced redhead.
Charles convinced her to let him stay with her, but there was to be no sex involved. Eventually, however, the situation changed. Charles somewhat changed Mary’s personality. She let her guard down and became more open-minded. She quit her job as the University of California-Berkeley librarian and she and Charles stole a car and traveled.
They slept at waysides and such and they’d go to beaches where occasionally they would find a homeless girl. The girl would then join the group. Thus began the Manson family. The family soon grew to more than thirty people. They moved into Spahn’s Movie Ranch, just outside of Chatsworth California. Few of the Family members actually held jobs, so they had to scrounge for food in the dumpsters at local supermarkets.
Their only other needs or desires were sex and drugs, both of which were readily available in the nineteen sixties. Charles Manson and the Family lived at the ranch until the arrests and convictions of those hideous crimes in August of nineteen sixty-nine. Los Angeles Police Department officers were called to 10050 Cielo Drive in Bel Air. They were met with a crime scene so horrible and bloody that it might well have come from a Hollywood movie. There were five victims, all viciously slain. They were Abigail Folger, Voytek Frykowski, Jay Sebring, Steven Parent, and Sharon Tate-Polanski.
On the door to the home where they lost their lives, a word was written on the door: PIG. It was later established to be written in the blood of Sharon Tate. The Family members physically involved in the killings were Charles “Tex” Watson, Patricia “Katie” Krenwinkle, Susan Atkins, Leslie Van Hueten, and Linda Kasabian. As the five about-to-be killers started to walk up the driveway, they saw headlights. A car appeared and the killers crouched down in the shrubbery.
When the car stopped, Tex Wattson approached the driver, Steven Parent. Watson pulled out his twenty-two caliber Buntline revolver and shot Parent. They then pushed the car back off the driveway. Assured that the shots fired hadn’t alerted neighbors or authorities, they entered the house. A man, Voytek Frykowski, had fallen asleep with the lights on.
Shouting “wake up”, Tex Watson approached him and shot. Susan Atkins, meanwhile, had been exploring the rest of the home. Tex ordered her to bring the rest of the occupants of the house to the living room. Folger, Sebring, And Tate herded into the room. Tex ordered Susan Atkins to tie a rope around the prisoners’ necks, and the Sebring lunged at Watson, Tex stabbed her and she fell to the floor.
Susan was adding more bonds to Frykowski when she was ordered by Tex, “kill him” she stabbed away, while he struggled. Somehow he escaped and Watson chased him into the yard, delivering the fatal thrusts. Reentering the house, he hit Folger on the head with his revolver. Dead she fell to the floor. Sharon Tate was still frozen with fear and stupefaction. Remembering her, Tex Watson and Susan Atkins ignored her pleas for her unborn child’s life and stabbed her to death. The killers then scribbled messages such as “HELTER SKELTER” and “PIG” everywhere, using their victims blood.
The next night, the grisly horror was repeated at the home of Leno and Rosemary La Bianca. Leno La Bianca was dead as a result of twenty-six stab wounds. A fork protruded from his stomach, and a knife from his throat. When his body was discovered, Rosemary La Bianca had been found stabbed forty-one times. Again messages were scrawled on the walls in the victims blood: “DEATH TO PIGS”, “RISE”, and “HELTER SKELTER” A couple of months later, all of the hands-on killer’s, plus Charles Manson were arrested. Ultimately tried and convicted, all spent many years in prison, with the exception of Linda Kasabian.
She became the prosecutions star witness and was given immunity in exchange for her testimony. The rest of the killers were sentenced to death. Shortly thereafter, however, the state of California revoked the death penalty and their sentences were communed to life. To date, one of the women has been released, the remaining two are still in prison, and of course , so is Charles Manson. Even now, twenty-nine years after the terrible tragedies, people still speculate as to why Charles Manson turned into such an inhumane monster.
His past speaks for itself but all I have to say is, parents: take care of your children. Stand up for them, lead them, teach them, and don’t turn away from them, maybe that way, you won’t be responsible for what might happen to them.