Charles Luther Manson was one of the most notorious criminals of the 20th century, and his infamous crimes are still remembered and discussed today. From his troubled early life to his diabolical criminal activity, Charles Luther Manson was a figure of fear, fascination and curiosity- a representation of the dark side of human nature. In this article, we explore the criminal activity and the heinous murders committed by Charles Luther Manson, as well as his eventual prosecution, conviction and death.
Charles Luther Manson was one of the most notorious criminals in US history. He was most well-known for leading a cult-like group of people, collectively known as the Manson Family, to commit a string of nine brutal murders in Los Angeles in 1969. The Manson Family gained notoriety for their brutality and Manson’s charismatic personality.
Although Manson was initially a petty criminal, he later formed a commune and began persuading his followers to commit a string of increasingly violent crimes. His earliest victims were actress Sharon Tate, who was murdered in her home in Bel Air, and her friends who were also present at the time. These first murders were meant to be a message to the world of Manson’s increasingly sinister behavior.
Following these murders, Manson instructed his followers to commit a series of other murders throughout LA. These victims were mostly young, affluent people and included the LaBiancas and Gary Hinman. In each of these murders, Manson’s followers wrote messages on the walls and belongings of the victims to “send a message” to their intended targets.
Despite being apprehended and charged with murder, Manson was able to avoid the death penalty by skillfully exploiting the legal system. To this day, Manson remains in a California state prison, despite repeated attempts at parole. He is currently serving multiple life sentences without the possibility of parole.
Although Manson has been behind bars for decades, he still retains a dark and sinister aura. Manson’s criminal activities are a stark reminder of how quickly a seemingly unassuming person can become a violent and dangerous criminal. He is one of the most chilling examples of the dark side of humanity.
The Tate Murders
On August 9th, 1969, seven people were brutally murdered at the home of actress Sharon Tate, in what would become one of the most notorious and gruesome acts of violence in recent history. Behind this heinous act was Charles ‘Tex’ Manson, an American cult leader and instrumental instigator of The Tate Murders.
Manson orchestrated a plan to break into the mansion, with the intention of using horror films as his ‘blueprint’. He supplied his followers, the notorious ‘Manson Family’, with weapons and instructed them to commit the murders. At the scene of the crime, the group tied up the people inside and proceeded to stab them multiple times. Tate, who was eight and a half months pregnant, was found strangled in the living room, while others were found in various rooms.
The case caused a media storm and brought attention to Manson’s cult and its violent and gruesome practices. Manson was arrested shortly after the crime and sentenced to death, but in 1972, his sentence was changed to life in prison. Since his arrest, Manson has been a source of fascination, with theorists and academics exploring the psychological motivations behind his actions.
The Tate Murders serves as a dark reminder of the gruesome acts that Manson and his followers were capable of. It is a reminder of how easily even the most seemingly normal of people can be dragged into the underworld and become a part of incomprehensible acts of violence. Manson, as well as the Manson Family, remain symbols of horror and will continue to evoke fear in the minds of many for years to come.
The LaBianca Murders
On the night of August 9th, 1969, Charles Luther Manson and his followers, often referred to as the “Manson Family”, committed one of the most heinous and notorious double murders in American history. The victims, Leno and Rosemary LaBianca, were brutally murdered in their Los Feliz home by Manson’s followers. The grisly details of the LaBianca murders have become a part of Manson’s dark legacy.
To put the crime into context, Manson had ordered his followers to kill the LaBiancas earlier that night, as part of a plan to instill fear in the Los Angeles community. It should be noted that although Manson did not physically participate in the murders, he had ordered and encouraged his followers to commit the act.
The LaBianca murders began at approximately 10:30pm when four of Manson’s followers – Steve Grogan, Susan Atkins, Tex Watson, and Linda Kasabian – entered the LaBianca’s home. After entering the house, the four began to brutally attack Leno and Rosemary, stabbing them both multiple times. Forensic evidence and witness testimony revealed that the four spent a considerable amount of time in the home, as they looted and pillaged the house, leaving behind a message written in Leno’s blood.
The aftermath of the LaBianca murders was devastating. Leno and Rosemary had been brutally murdered and the police were unable to find any leads or suspects. It took months of hard detective work before the police were able to eventually trace the murders back to Manson and his followers. In 1971, Manson was found guilty of first-degree murder and was sentenced to life in prison.
The dark legacy of Manson and the LaBianca murders still haunt the Los Angeles community today. The murders have become a symbol of the chaotic and destructive power of a cult-like figure such as Manson. The details of the crime and the aftermath have become an ever-present reminder of the dark side of Charles Luther Manson.
Prosecution and Conviction
The trial of Charles Luther Manson began in June 1970, and it was the longest trial of its time in California. Manson and three of his female followers were charged and prosecuted for the murders of Sharon Tate and four others on August 9, 1969. The state argued that Manson masterminded the slayings from his Spahn Ranch compound and had committed “Helter Skelter”—a misspelling of the Beatles song—in order to spark a race war between blacks and whites.
Manson argued that he did not kill anyone and endeavored to prove that all of the murders were committed by his “family” of followers. He was represented by attorney Irving Kanarek who used a variety of legal tactics to delay the process throughout the first trial. The defense strategy was to portray Manson as a scapegoat in order to shift the blame away from him and onto his followers.
The prosecution presented evidence of physical evidence found at the crime scenes that implicated Manson and his followers, such as fingerprints, footprints, and tire tracks. It also introduced testimony from Manson’s associates and followers, including a confession by Susan Atkins that she was present at the murder of Sharon Tate and she also stated that Manson was present and orchestrating the crime.
The jury found Manson guilty of conspiring to murder seven people in the first degree after only one day of deliberation. Manson, Atkins and Van Houten were sentenced to death, Krenwinkle and Watson were sentenced to life without parole, and the remaining family members were convicted on lesser charges.
Although the death penalties were later commuted to life in prison for all five defendants, Manson died in prison in 2017. To this day, he is remembered as one of the most notorious serial killers in American history. As well as his notoriety, his dark story serves as a cautionary tale of violence and manipulation.
Imprisonment and Death
Charles Luther Manson was sentenced to imprisonment in 1969, when he was convicted on seven counts of first-degree murder following a gruesome campaign of violence between 1969 and 1970. He was also convicted of several other felonies including conspiracy to commit murder, arson and burglary. With these convictions, Manson was sent to the California State Prison in Corcoran, where he would spend the remainder of his life.
Manson’s incarceration was mired in controversy and allegations of mistreatment. In 1994, a federal lawsuit was filed against the California Department of Corrections alleging that Manson’s treatment by guards included excessive handcuffing, hog tying, and solitary confinement for years. In addition to this, Manson developed a reputation for stirring up racial tensions in the prison, which often resulted in violent outbursts. All of these issues, combined with Manson’s history of mental illness, made his imprisonment incredibly difficult and controversial.
Manson eventually died in prison on November 19, 2017, at the age of 83. While details regarding his death are sparse, his death certificate lists the cause of death as cardiac arrest, with complications from bronchopneumonia and prostate cancer listed as secondary causes. His death marked the end of a long, tumultuous life filled with controversy and violence.
Manson’s life and death remain a matter of fascination for many people. He is still remembered as an iconic figure in American culture, and his death marked the end of an era. Even though he was incarcerated, Manson’s legacy continues to live on and his dark deeds still reverberate throughout America and the world.