Charles Manson, Satanic Cult Leader, Has Died

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Charles Manson, the ultra-violent, mentally controlling and deeply disturbing, 1960's Satanic Cult leader and head of the Manson family has died after a brief illness and a lifetime of incarceration in the California Prison system. He was 83.

Manson, who has been serving a life without parole sentence for his role as the mastermind in the Tate-LaBianca murders that terrified 1969 Los Angeles as his devoted followers committed the murders on his orders.  

The Beginning

Before understanding his power to control those of a weaker mind and will, the Ohio born Manson arrived in Los Angeles with the hope of becoming a musician after learning the steel guitar during a prison stint in San Francisco.

Upon his release Manson used his new skill to beg on the streets of Haight-Asbury, the mecca for the 1967 Hippie. He attracted a "wholesome" Mary Brunner, a graduate from the University of Madison-Wisconsin working as a librarian, who apparently fell for the "bad boy" type. She and Manson moved in together.


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With her traditional upbringing Brunner had hoped to start a normal family with Manson who clearly had other ideas. Soon he had convinced her to allow other women to live in her home also.

The group of nearly 20 women, including Brunner who stayed with Manson, moved from San Francisco to various location throughout southern California until settling on a Topanga Canyon deserted ranch. The family became squatters essentially at every location they lived in with Manson "ordering" the women to pay for services with sex. They would comply.

Mind Control, LSD and Indoctrination

Soon Manson was understanding his ability to control the minds of these followers and while history indicates various 1960's philosophies were part of his methodologies essentially he was a masterful con artist who drew in those who were lacking some essential need and exploited that absence.

With a doomsday belief the followers, like any modern cult, distanced themselves for external competing information or voices, in order to be completely "indoctrinated" to Manson beliefs and pursuits. For those who waivered they became special.

His control feed him, in his own eyes he was Satan incarnate, and could "order" the apocalypse. He had the ultimate control over more than two dozen people who would act upon his order. And he increased the boundary line with each order. What would normally be taboo, when ordered by Manson was complied without thought. Tearing down the traditional upbringing for the women allowed him to instill in them his philosophy and in return they were totally devoted to him. It has origins in the Stockholm syndrome.

The Murders

Then through a LSD induced belief of immortality Manson ordered his followers to commit murder. Most believe in the abbreviated version that the Manson followers stumbled upon the home of Actress Sharon Tate and her husband, Director Roman Polanski, and murdered the pregnant Tate, her unborn child and several guest including Abigail Folger, the heir to the Folger Coffee Fortune.

What few know or remember is that Manson had come to the Polanski-Tate residence, while Mr. Polanski was out of the country scouting locations, asking for a Terry Melcher, who had once complimented his music.

Unable to find him, Manson returned twice to the residence to secure information on Melcher's new address. That was March 1969.

After five months of frustration, Manson had been unable to secure anyone interested in his music. In July 1969, he had attempted to muscle an inheritance from Gary Hinman, an acquaintance. He was held hostage, mutilated and stabbed to death.

Five months after the first encounter at the Polanski-Tate residence, Manson ordered his followers to return to the Benedict Canyon home and murder everyone. Under the cover of darkness the followers cut the telephone lines, entered the home and systematically murdered all; Sharon Tate, who was two weeks from delivering her unborn child, Abigail Folger, Make-up artist Jay Sebring, a friend and writer Wojciech Frykowski and a guest, Steven Parent, who had stopped by to visit the property's caretaker.

The violence was deeply disturbing, shocking, gruesome and for the time, the 1960's Summer of Love, Peace and the Hippie Generation, a betrayal of all decency, the actions of a satanic and depraved mind.

Charles Manson, a bloodthirsty, evil, Satanic, hater who begrudged anyone who had attained some level of entertainment success, as he believed he was just a shy of being part of the California sound, and felt it was conspiracy to keep him from his destiny and they would pay.

Within a week, the group would again strike returning to a location in Loz Feliz near where they had once stayed and entered the home of grocery store Executive Leno LaBianca and his wife, Rosemary, co-owner of a dress shop. The victims were repeatedly stabbed, with 41 of Mr. LaBianca's wounds coming post mortum. The crime scenes, at both residences, were slaughter houses.

Recently crime scene photos have surfaced depicting savage, frenzied, killings.

With limited success the mentally disturbed leader found commune life and living out the freedoms of the 1960's psychedelic generation, group sex, LSD fueled hallucinogenic enlightenments, a belief of ultimate power worked well for his belief about himself and life.

Manson Sentencing; Followers Now

Manson was arrested along with his followers and all sentenced to life in prison where he stayed until his death.

Lynette Squeaky Fromme, who had not been involved in the Tate-LaBianca Murders attempted to assassinate President Gerald Ford. She and a fellow Manson Family member, Sandra Good who had moved to be near the incarcerated leader were both arrested and sentenced to lengthy prison terms. Fromme was released on 2009, after serving 35 years, and Good released in 1985 after serving ten years.

Susan Atkins, who had admitted being involved with both the Tate and La Bianca Murders was sentenced to life in prison. She died September 24, 2009 after serving nearly forty years in prison.

Tex Watson, 71, who also admitted to participating in both the Tate and La Bianca Murders, was sentenced to death. This was eventually converted to Life in Prison. He has repeatedly requested and been denied parole. His last request, October 27, 2016, resulted in a five year denial.

Patricia Krenwinkel, 69, who also admitted to participating in both the Tate and La Bianca Murders remains incarcerated in Chino California. She had been repeatedly denied parole as an unacceptable risk to society and her last parole hearing, June 22, 2017, resulted in a five year denial.


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Leslie Louise Van Houten, 69, who admitted to participating in the La Bianca Murders, has served nearly forty years, and according to a parole board has radically changed her life within the confines of a system that allows few and limited boundaries, almost as much of a  cult existence as her Manson life. Her 21st attempt for parole on September 6, 2017 was approved and must be approved by Governor Jerry Brown who has denied her previous approved parole board decision in 2016.

Can This Happen Again

Could this happen today? Without a doubt, the modernized version of Charles Manson, the ability to control the thoughts and actions of others with the promise of a future; a person who begrudges those with favor or success, someone frustrated over his inability to access the right combination to secure entry; hiding behind professions considered unimpeachable, Police Officer, Preacher; the ability to know the law and stage a scene, a modernized version of Manson, someone who would leave no clues, even to the point of re-creating some of those most notorious crimes and still not attracting suspicion. 

Sources: Wikipedia; Image: Stock

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