The world’s most notorious murderer, Charles Manson, has died, according to TMZ. He was 83.
The site attributed the news to Debra Tate, the sister of his most famous victim, actress Sharon Tate. Debra was contacted by the prison and told Manson died at 8:13 p.m. local time.
- Born November 12th, 1934 in Cincinnati.
- Gathered a group of individuals known as the Manson Family.
- Led a killing spree with his “family” on multiple California families over two nights in 1969.
- Sentenced to life in prison in 1972.
Manson was responsible for sending the so-called Manson Family on a killing spree in 1969 that took the life of actress Sharon Tate, among others. He later became a pop culture icon, with numerous musicians recording his songs and goth rocker Marilyn Manson even co-opting the name for his stage moniker.
Born in 1934 in Cincinnati, Manson spent much of his early life in and out of jail. He married and fathered children with two women, but his criminal past caught up with him in California in 1959 and he was sent to prison. He was released in 1966 and moved to Berkeley, California, where he became part of the hippie counter-culture and started laying the groundwork for his Family.
In 1968, he worked himself into the life of Beach Boys drummer Dennis Wilson and became a peripheral figure in the California music scene. As he began to install various Family members at Wilson’s home, Dennis had his manager evict Manson and company. Around that time, Manson also heard The Beatles’ “Helter Skelter” and thought it was predicting a race war.
On the night of August 8th, 1969, Manson directed members of his Family to the home of Sharon Tate and husband Roman Polanski, who was in London at the time. He advised them, “Now is the time for Helter Skelter.” The estate used to be the home of record producer Terry Melcher, who Manson had met through Dennis Wilson, but he knew that Melcher no longer lived there. Nonetheless, he ordered his followers to slaughter everyone in the residence, including an eight-months-pregnant Sharon Tate. The other victims that night were Steven Parent, coffee-empire heiress Abigail Folger, Tate’s former lover Jay Sebring and Polanski’s friend Wojciech Frykowski.
The following night, the Family murdered supermarket executive Leno LoBianco and his wife Rosemary. Manson and some of the Family were arrested in mid-October for the murders. He was convicted in January 1971 and sentenced to death, but that was commuted to life in prison when California outlawed the death penalty in 1972.
Manson periodically came up for parole and stayed in the public eye with a handful of interviews. The Family also regained prominence when member Squeaky Fromme attempted to assassinate President Gerald Ford. At the time of his death, he was receiving more mail than any prisoner in the United States.
Manson was hospitalized this week in Bakersfield, California, but officials were tight-lipped on his condition. He was 83.