Everyone knows the name Charlie Manson, even those born well after Manson and his followers were convicted of killing seven people over two nights — plus two other murders at other times — in the Los Angeles area. The story of the Tate-LaBianca murders is well documented, with Manson and his followers first receiving death sentences for the murders.
Those were commuted to life sentences when the death penalty was ruled unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court and then the California Supreme Court in 1972. All of the convicted murderers are still in prison, but on Tuesday Charles “Charlie” Manson was moved from Corcoran State Prison to a hospital in nearby Bakersfield, CA.
State prison officials say they cannot disclose any prisoner’s medical information, but sources confirmed to various news organizations that Manson was taken to the hospital and some sources saying he was seriously ill with a stomach ailment.
If Manson were to die many people in California would rejoice. His legacy, which has carried on long after he first went to prison for these crimes, is a stain on the state and humanity. For the majority of people, Charles Manson and his followers — his family, as they are referred to — are nothing more than murderers who deserve to die behind bars. Even those Manson followers who have, to all appearances, rebuked Manson and expressed sincere remorse for their crimes. Charles Manson and his fellow murderers have consistently been denied parole.
Then there are the acolytes who have glamorized Manson, who in his time before the murders, convinced enough people he was a spiritual messiah who would lead the group into a new society after a predicted race war would plunge humanity into chaos and anarchy.
You can still buy T-shirts with Manson’s picture on them. Music groups record covers of Manson’s songs that he wrote and recorded before the murders; some of those songs written when Manson was in prison earlier in his life. Like Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow (Bonnie and Clyde) 30-plus years earlier, Charles Manson has become a cult figure — a cult hero — and as a result a cultural icon.
The fact that several major television networks have broadcast interviews with the imprisoned murderer only adds to his cult status. He acts crazy — and he just might be, considering several correctional institutions around the country have conducted psychological tests on Manson in the years prior to the mid-to-late 1960s when he first began gaining a following in California. He is wild-eyed and says wild, crazy things during these television interviews, which makes for great entertainment.
His current “fans” comment on the various YouTube videos featuring the killer, making misinformed comments about Manson never having committed any murders, or that he had such a terrible childhood, growing up in state and federal institutions. That his mother was a prostitute and rejected the teenaged Charles Manson. These are the reasons, they believe, Manson is an innocent man.
We should never forget Charles Manson is responsible for the killings of at least nine people.
Top photo of Manson from the Diane Sawyer documentary about Manson, “Charles Manson: Journey Into Evil.” (YouTube)
Tim Forkes started as a writer on a small alternative newspaper in Milwaukee called the Crazy Shepherd. Writing about entertainment, he had the opportunity to speak with many people in show business, from the very famous to the people struggling to find an audience. In 1992 Tim moved to San Diego, CA and pursued other interests, but remained a freelance writer. Upon arrival in Southern California he was struck by how the elected government officials and business were so intertwined, far more so than he had witnessed in Wisconsin. His interest in entertainment began to wane and the business of politics took its place. He had always been interested in politics, his mother had been a Democratic Party official in Milwaukee, WI, so he sat down to dinner with many of Wisconsin’s greatest political names of the 20th Century: William Proxmire and Clem Zablocki chief among them. As a Marine Corps veteran, Tim has a great interest in veteran affairs, primarily as they relate to the men and women serving and their families. As far as Tim is concerned, the military-industrial complex has enough support. How the men and women who serve are treated is reprehensible, while in the military and especially once they become veterans. Tim would like to help change that.