1971: Charles Manson is sentenced to death. Manson was born in Cincinnati, Ohio in 1934. His mother was just 16 and his father was not named. She would later file a paternity suit against Colonel Walker Scott. She was briefly married to William Manson and her son was given his name. His childhood was troubled and he spent much of his early life being shuffled between relatives. He ran away and was robbing stores to pay for food and lodging. He was first arrested at the age of 13 and sent to the Indiana Boys School where he was abused, physically and sexually. He escaped there after three years and was soon caught and arrested again for robbery and grand theft auto. He was again sent to a Boys School, a juvenile detention center. He was considered to be “dangerous” and transferred to prison. He was paroled in May 1954.
He tried living within the law, unsuccessfully, and was arrested again in March 1956 and sentenced to prison. He was paroled in September 1958. Still in trouble with the law, he was in and out of prison, paroled, violated parole, and constantly living outside the law. He was released from prison in March 1967 and given permission to move to San Francisco. He moved in with Mary Brunner, a library assistant, and soon had himself and 18 women living in her house. He set himself up as a guru/hippie and the group soon came to be known as the Manson Family. They followed a haphazard composite philosophy of various fringe belief systems.
Over the course of five weeks in 1969, the Family committed a series of nine murders at four locations. The most famous of these was the Tate murders committed on the night of August 8-9, 1969. Sharon Tate, wife of film director Roman Polanski, was eight months pregnant. She was hosting a party at her house when the Manson Family arrived and killed the four people in the house after having already killed a visitor in the driveway as they approached the house. Investigations finally led to the capture of the murderers and the group went on trail beginning in June 1970. Manson along with Susan Atkins, Linda Kasabian, and Patricia Krenwinkel were charged with seven counts of murder and one of conspiracy. Kasabian was the prosecution’s main witness and by all accounts she had not participated in the killings.
On January 25, 1971 the jury returned guilty verdicts against all four defendants on each of the 27 counts against them. During the penalty phase, Manson’s presentation of “explanation” was put forth. They were copycat murders to lead police astray. The ploy did not work and Manson was not exonerated for a “copycat” scenario. On March 29, 1971 the jury returned verdicts of death against all four defendants and on this day, Judge Older sentenced them to death. In February 1972, all four death sentences were changed to life in prison as California abolished the death penalty. Manson has applied for parole twelve times since 1972 and been denied each time. He remains in prison at the age of 82. He is eligible to apply again in 2027 when he will be 92 years old.
I am the Devil, and the Devil always has a bald head. – Charles Manson, after shaving his head during the penalty phase of his trial for murder
You know, a long time ago being crazy meant something. Nowadays everybody’s crazy.
From the world of darkness I did loose demons and devils in the power of scorpions to torment.
Living is what scares me. Dying is easy. – all from Charles Manson