Charles Manson


     On Saturday, August ninth, nineteen sixty-nine, all hell broke loose with
more than six dozen plunges of a carving fork and knife, and the peaceful dyll
was shattered. Out of the chaos caused by the senseless, horrific murderers,

Charles Manson emerged as one of the most feared notorious criminals of all
time. In the twenty-nine years since the so-called "Tate-La Bianca"
murders, many people have speculated about what caused Charles Manson to become
the monster he turned to be. To be able to fully comprehend what could cause an
innocent child to evolve into a ruthless calculating cold- blooded killer, one
must completely examine the events of his life. Charles Manson was born Charles

Milles Maddox, the son of an unwed mother, in Cincinnati Ohio on November
twelfth, nineteen thirty-four. His father, he stated in his autobiography, was a
"young drugstore cowboy", a transient laborer who abandoned Charles'
mother when he learned that she was pregnant. Shortly after Charles' birth,

Kathleen Maddox lived with a man named William Manson, and they eventually got
married. William Manson gave his new stepson his name, although the marriage
dissolved shortly thereafter. Raised in a strict, religious home, Kathleen

Maddox- Manson rebelled after the breakup of her marriage. She reveled in her
newfound freedom by drinking a lot and loving freely. Like many young mothers,

Kathleen was not yet ready for the responsibilities that go along with the
raising of a child. She had fled a stifling home life and rushed into marriage,
and she had a lot of living to do before she settled down. Charles was passed
from relative to relative to baby-sitter, and was soon sold to a waitress in a
restaurant in exchange for a pitcher of beer. An uncle tracked him down and took
him home several days later. When Charles was five years old, his mother and a
man were convicted of robbing a service station in Charlestown, West Virginia.

They'd used a Coke bottle to knock the attendant unconscious. Caught and
sentenced to five years in Moundsville Prison, her work assignment was near
death row. West Virginia was a hanging state at that time, and part of

Kathleen's job was to clean the area that included the scaffold. One day as she
was cleaning, she saw a man being escorted to the scaffold. Normally on hanging
days, nobody except the person to be executed and the prison officials were
allowed near the hanging area, but on that day, by accident or oversight, the
prison officials neglected to inform Kathleen of the day's plans. Afraid she
might be in trouble for being in the vicinity, she hid in a nearby broom closet.

When the trap sprung, the inmate's weight and sheer velocity caused the rope to
sever his head, and as Kathleen opened the door to get a glimpse of the hanging,
it promptly rolled to kathleen's hiding place. She told Charles years later that
mans eyes were still wide open and death literally stared her in the face.

Twenty-seven years after that incident, Charles Milles Manson was placed on

Death Row. In his autobiography, "Manson: In His Own Words", he
explained a sobering moment."I looked at the gas chamber. The rooms two
viewing windows looked like two huge eyes of death. Instantly my mind flashed to
my mother, and I had a vision of her looking into the eyes of death. During that
moment, I understood more about my mom than any other time in my life".

Charles' mother was released from prison when he was eight years old, and again
he was either being passed from relative to relative, or they moved around a
lot. Eventually, when Charles was twelve years old, his mother found a steady
boyfriend. He soon tired of having Charles around and gave Kathleen an
ultimatum: him or Charles. Charles was placed in the Gibault Home for Boys in

Tierre Haute, Indiana. It was a strict Catholic religious-oriented school, and
the punishment for even the tiniest infraction was either a wooden paddle, or a
leather strap. Eventually, living at Gibault got to be too much for Charles, and
he ran away. He slept in the woods, under bridges, and wherever else he could
find a place. He finally reached Indianapolis where he burglarized a grocery
store for something to eat. He found the cash register change in a cigar box
under the counter. It was slightly over a hundred dollars, and the first thing
he did was rent a room in Skid Row, and eat as much as he could possibly handle.

A few days later he was broke and tired so he'd steal whatever he could to
accumulate a little extra money. One day he stole a bicycle and was eventually
arrested, the police realized he was a runaway and located his mother. Unable to
provide a stable home life, Charles was placed in Father Flanagan's Boy's Town.

Four days later, he and another boy ran away. They stole a car and wrecked it,
followed by committing a few robberies resulted in their arrest, and they were
placed in a juvenile home. Charles' stay there was a repeat of his stay in the
previous homes, and he was placed in a bonafied reform school. It was at the

Indiana School for Boys at Plainfield that Charles Manson was beaten and raped
repeatedly for over three years. He finally escaped successfully when he was
sixteen years old. Headed towards California, he and a friend stole cars and
robbed stores along the way. Again he was arrested, and during the next
thirty-eight months he spent time in four different institutions. In May of
nineteen fifty-four, at the age of nineteen, he was finally paroled. Shortly
thereafter he was married. Working at a race track at the time, he stopped by a
card room and played a few hands of poker. He racked up quite a pile of winnings
and was surrounded by a group of girls. Paying them no attention, he caught the
eye of a girl across the room. She was with her father, a coal-miner. Later,

Charles managed to speak a few words to her. They started dating, and married
shortly thereafter, in January of nineteen fifty-five. She became pregnant
almost immediately. Desiring to head to California but needed a car to take him
there, Charles stole a '51 Mercury. Predictably, he was caught. He was sent to
the Federal Penitentiary at Terminal Island, San Pedro. He was, by then,
twenty-one years old. Those first few months in prison, Charles had a positive
outlook on life, with thoughts of leading a straight, crime-free life when he
was paroled. Before the baby-little Charlie-was a year old, Charles' wife
stopped visiting. He heard from his mother that his wife had left the state with
her new boyfriend, a trucked. Devastated, he wrote her several letters begging
her to return, but to no ovail. In his autobiography, Charles Manson states,
"when I gave up on her, my attitude of wanting to be Mr. Straight left me.

I went back to being bitter and hating everyone". Shuffled from home to
home as a child, knowing his prostitute mother never wanted him, being in and
out of juvenile homes and adult jails, Charles Manson was becoming the Charles

Manson we've all heard about and feared. He was released from Terminal Island
and served several years. Paroled in nineteen sixty-seven at age thirty-two, he
asked if he could stay. "You know what, man, I don't wanna leave! I don't
have a home out there! Why don't you just take me back inside? I'm serious man!

I mean it! I don't wanna leave". He did, however, leave Terminal Island
that day. It was March twenty-first, nineteen sixty-seven, and the last time
he'd pass through those doors. Charles Manson headed to San Francisco. Once
there, he liked to hang out at the University of California-Berkeley campus and
play his guitar. One day, while doing so, he was sitting on the grass when a dog
started sniffing his feet. He raised his foot as if to kick it, and it's owner
appeared. Her name was Mary Theresa Brunner, and she would become the first
member of his "Family". She was tall and thin, a straight-laced
redhead. Charles convinced her to let him stay with her, but there was to be no
sex involved. Eventually, however, the situation changed. Charles somewhat
changed Mary's personality. She let her guard down and became more open-minded.

She quit her job as the University of California-Berkeley librarian and she and

Charles stole a car and traveled. They slept at waysides and such and they'd go
to beaches where occasionally they would find a homeless girl. The girl would
then join the group. Thus began the Manson family. The family soon grew to more
than thirty people. They moved into Spahn's Movie Ranch, just outside of

Chatsworth California. Few of the Family members actually held jobs, so they had
to scrounge for food in the dumpsters at local supermarkets. Their only other
needs or desires were sex and drugs, both of which were readily available in the
nineteen sixties. Charles Manson and the Family lived at the ranch until the
arrests and convictions of those hideous crimes in August of nineteen
sixty-nine. Los Angeles Police Department officers were called to 10050 Cielo

Drive in Bel Air. They were met with a crime scene so horrible and bloody that
it might well have come from a Hollywood movie. There were five victims, all
viciously slain. They were Abigail Folger, Voytek Frykowski, Jay Sebring, Steven

Parent, and Sharon Tate-Polanski. On the door to the home where they lost their
lives, a word was written on the door: PIG. It was later established to be
written in the blood of Sharon Tate. The Family members physically involved in
the killings were Charles "Tex" Watson, Patricia "Katie"

Krenwinkle, Susan Atkins, Leslie Van Hueten, and Linda Kasabian. As the five
about-to-be killers started to walk up the driveway, they saw headlights. A car
appeared and the killers crouched down in the shrubbery. When the car stopped,

Tex Wattson approached the driver, Steven Parent. Watson pulled out his
twenty-two caliber Buntline revolver and shot Parent. They then pushed the car
back off the driveway. Assured that the shots fired hadn't alerted neighbors or
authorities, they entered the house. A man, Voytek Frykowski, had fallen asleep
with the lights on. Shouting "wake up", Tex Watson approached him and
shot. Susan Atkins, meanwhile, had been exploring the rest of the home. Tex
ordered her to bring the rest of the occupants of the house to the living room.

Folger, Sebring, And Tate herded into the room. Tex ordered Susan Atkins to tie
a rope around the prisoners' necks, and the Sebring lunged at Watson, Tex
stabbed her and she fell to the floor. Susan was adding more bonds to Frykowski
when she was ordered by Tex, "kill him" she stabbed away, while he
struggled. Somehow he escaped and Watson chased him into the yard, delivering
the fatal thrusts. Reentering the house, he hit Folger on the head with his
revolver. Dead she fell to the floor. Sharon Tate was still frozen with fear and
stupefaction. Remembering her, Tex Watson and Susan Atkins ignored her pleas for
her unborn child's life and stabbed her to death. The killers then scribbled
messages such as "HELTER SKELTER" and "PIG" everywhere,
using their victims blood. The next night, the grisly horror was repeated at the
home of Leno and Rosemary La Bianca. Leno La Bianca was dead as a result of
twenty-six stab wounds. A fork protruded from his stomach, and a knife from his
throat. When his body was discovered, Rosemary La Bianca had been found stabbed
forty-one times. Again messages were scrawled on the walls in the victims blood:
"DEATH TO PIGS", "RISE", and "HELTER SKELTER" A
couple of months later, all of the hands-on killer's, plus Charles Manson were
arrested. Ultimately tried and convicted, all spent many years in prison, with
the exception of Linda Kasabian. She became the prosecutions star witness and
was given immunity in exchange for her testimony. The rest of the killers were
sentenced to death. Shortly thereafter, however, the state of California revoked
the death penalty and their sentences were communed to life. To date, one of the
women has been released, the remaining two are still in prison, and of course ,
so is Charles Manson. Even now, twenty-nine years after the terrible tragedies,
people still speculate as to why Charles Manson turned into such an inhumane
monster. His past speaks for itself but all I have to say is, parents: take care
of your children. Stand up for them, lead them, teach them, and don't turn away
from them, maybe that way, you won't be responsible for what might happen to
them.