Charles Manson was an unlikely figure to evolve into the personification of evil. A few inches over five feet, he was a petty criminal and small-time hustler. And his followers bore little resemblance to the stereotypical image of hardened killers. Most were in their early twenties, middle-class white kids, hippies and runaways who fell under his charismatic sway.
But in the summer of 1969, Manson masterminded a string of bizarre murders in Los Angeles that both horrified and fascinated the nation and signified to many the symbolic end of the 1960s and the idealism and naiveté the decade represented.
According to the LA Times, Manson committed hundreds of rule violations while being held at the Corcoran state prison and was denied parole 12 times, with his next hearing set for 2027.
He’d been in failing health for months and was first hospitalized back in January, reportedly with serious gastrointestinal problems.
Manson — who infamously wore a swastika tattoo between his eyebrows — had spent more than 45 years in prison after being convicted of directing his “Manson Family” clan of troubled, mostly female, followers to kill seven people in California in the summer of 1969. The dead included actress Sharon Tate, the pregnant wife of director Roman Polanski, who was stabbed 16 times.
In the decades since the murders, Manson has become an icon for troubled youth and a fixture in pop culture. Charles Manson, the sinister hippie cult leader who declared himself “the Devil” and dispatched his followers to commit a series of Hollywood murders became an emblem of insanity, violence and the macabre. Whether he was Satan, the spawn of Satan or a Demon himself, he is Burning in Hell as he deserves to be.
Considered one of the most infamous criminals of the 20th century, Manson died of natural causes at a Kern County Hospital at 8:13 p.m Sunday, according to Vicky Waters, a spokeswoman for the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. He was 83.
Without doubt, this man committed so many Sins in his lifetime. But, one tends to question, was he born that way, was it his environment or was it the Music?
His Other Legacy
Main article: Charles Manson discography
On March 6, 1970, the day the court vacated Manson’s status as his own attorney, an album of Manson music, was released. This included “Cease to Exist”, a Manson composition the Beach Boys had recorded with modified lyrics and the title “Never Learn Not to Love”. Over the next couple of months, only about 300 of the album’s 2,000 copies sold.
Since that time, there have been several releases of Manson recordings – both musical and spoken. One of these, The Family Jams, includes two compact discs of Manson’s songs recorded by the Family in 1970, after Manson and the others had been arrested. Guitar and lead vocals are supplied by Steve Grogan; additional vocals are supplied by Lynette Fromme, Sandra Good, Catherine Share, and others. One Mind, an album of music, poetry, and spoken word, new at the time of its release, in April 2005, was put out under a Creative Commons license.
American rock band Guns N’ Roses recorded Manson’s “Look at Your Game, Girl”, included as an unlisted 13th track on their 1993 album “The Spaghetti Incident?””My Monkey”, which appears on Portrait of an American Family by Marilyn Manson (no relation, as is explained below), includes the lyrics “I had a little monkey / I sent him to the country and I fed him on gingerbread / Along came a choo-choo / Knocked my monkey cuckoo / And now my monkey’s dead.” These lyrics are from Manson’s “Mechanical Man”, which is heard on LIE. Crispin Glover covered “Never Say ‘Never’ To Always” on his album The Big Problem ≠ The Solution. The Solution = Let It Be released in 1989. Transgressive punk rock performance artist GG Allin covered “Garbage Dump” (from LIE) on his album You Give Love A Bad Name.
Several of Manson’s songs, including “I’m Scratching Peace Symbols on Your Tombstone” (a.k.a. “First They Made Me Sleep in the Closet”), “Garbage Dump”, and “I Can’t Remember When”, are featured in the soundtrack of the 1976 TV-movie Helter Skelter, where they are performed by Steve Railsback, who portrays Manson.
According to a popular urban legend, Manson unsuccessfully auditioned for the Monkees in late 1965; this is refuted by the fact that Manson was still incarcerated at McNeil Island at that time.
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