A few moments ago it was announced what had been waiting for a long time, Charles Milles Manson has died, the controversial character has died in the city of Los Angeles at the age of 83 due to illnesses that had been weakening him since the beginning of the year.

Since 1969 (almost 50 years) Charles Manson has remained in the collective imagination as the personification of evil, some even consider him a kind of antichrist. From time to time there are notes about this controversial character and they are always accompanied by the headline: serial killer. However Charles Manson never killed anyone, not at least with his own hands, so how can we consider it, is Charles Manson a serial killer or is he not? And if not, what was Charles Manson?

Born in Cincinnati on November 12, 1934, under the name Charles Milles Maddox. His mother was a young girl of just 16 years of age who is presumed to be an alcoholic, although she never met his biological father, shortly after his birth his mother married a worker named William Manson who gave the boy his surname. The information about Manson’s early years is unreliable since much of it came from him, but being a recognized mythomaniac not all the details of his history can be considered even credible, however, there are records is from that when he was 5 years old, his mother was arrested for what he was sent to live with his uncles, where he was allegedly mistreated and systematically abused, even dressing him as a girl and sending him to school, to be the mockery of all the others.

When his mother was released, the child was sent back with her, however, his mother did not want to take care of him so she tried to give him up for adoption on several occasions until the state sent him to a kind of boarding school. for minors in Indiana, from where he ran away 10 months later to try to return to his mother, but she rejected him, all this when he was just 13 years old.

From that moment, Charles Manson began his criminal career, he committed a series of robberies that earned him his first arrests in Indiana, after several escapes and recaptures he was sent to an institute for minors in Indiana where later, he would tell, he was a victim of various sexual assaults and abuse by other boys, until he escaped in 1951 at the age of 17. The years that followed for Manson were more of the same, misdemeanors, arrests, and moving from prison to prison. In 1955 he married Rosalie Jean Willis with whom he had a son named Charles Manson Jr., although at first things were looking good for the newly formed family, soon Manson returned to his criminal career to support his family, which was worth going to jail in San Pedro, California, while he was in prison, his wife left with another man taking the child with her.

Manson’s life continued along the same path, misdemeanors and imprisonment, from car theft to becoming a pimp, it was at this time that he met his second wife, Leona who also had a son with him named Charles Luther, without Yet she also left him while he was in prison, by the time Manson was released in 1967 he had already spent more than half of his 32 years in prison.


After being released from jail, he moved to San Francisco, where he found the full height of free love and the hippie revolution, at last, Charles Manson found a place to feel at home. He immediately began to form what would be known with the mythical nickname of «The Family», recruiting mostly women. Among those who were joining his family, Manson spread his crazy ideas that were based on Scientology – a religion that Manson claimed to practice – little by little the group became more numerous and Manson began to stand out in certain circles in San Francisco.

As a result of his recent notoriety, Charles Manson befriended Dennis Wilson of the Beach Boys. Impressed by what he considered a great songwriting talent, Wilson introduced Manson to producer Terry Melcher. At this point in his life, Manson convinced himself that he would soon become a great star, unfortunately, things were not like that, what at first they believed would be a great talent was not that bad, for what they began to reject him after having recorded several of his songs in the Wilson brothers’ studio. Dennis even recorded one of Manson’s songs for the Beach Boys – Never Learn not to Love – but gave him no credit to the contrary, appropriated the song, and signed it as his own, sparking Manson’s fury, arriving even to threaten him with death.

At that time the Manson family lived on a Wilson property, however with the breakup between their leader and the musician they were thrown out of there so they moved to a semi-abandoned ranch, where Manson, full of resentment and frustration, began to plan. their crimes. It was on that ranch where Manson began his obsession with The Beatles, especially with the “White Album”, he began to develop a theory according to which a great war between black and white would soon take place and of which he was the chosen one. To guide the survivors, all this according to him was encrypted in a message from the song Helter Skelter. Even without giving up his dreams of fame and stardom, so he convinced the family that they had to write a series of songs to convince the world of it, he tried to make producer Melcher listen to the songs, at first he seemed delighted With them, although it is not known if it was real or just a lie to get rid of them, he finally did not record the songs and Manson realized that he had been rejected once again.

From that moment, the family put to work in their plan to start the war between blacks and whites, they decided to commit a series of crimes that they planned to blame on blacks to incite the great war, the «Helter Skelter». Although most people believe that the Manson family only murdered actress Sharon Tate and 4 other people who were with her that night, in reality, it is estimated that they were able to commit more than 30 murders, some of them even with Manson already in prison.


On the night of August 9, 1969, two weeks after the man reached the moon, Manson ordered Charles «Tex» Watson, Susan Atkins, Linda Kasabian, and Patricia Krewinkel to go to Terry Melcher’s home and murder Everyone they found there, the group arrived at the house located at 10050 de Cielo rodeo drive and murdered the five people who were there, thus fulfilling the orders of their leader, what they did not count on is that at that time that It was no longer Terry Melcher’s home, but at that time those who lived there were director Roman Polanski and his wife Sharon Tate. On the night of the murders Polanski was not at home, however, his wife, the well-known actress, was there since she was eight months pregnant, this heinous crime was the one that gave the family notoriety and made Manson famous. that he craved so much.

The fact that Manson decided to carry out the crimes at Melcher’s house greatly undermines the nonsense with which he convinced the family to follow him unconditionally since it is clear that far from believing in his theory of «Helter Skelter» and in Being the one chosen to guide them, all he was seeking was revenge for being scorned by the music producer and a complete lack of ability to deal with failure and admit that he was neither talented nor anyone special like he was convinced he was.

The following night Manson ordered his family to murder the LaBianca couple, 6 members of the family were in charge of this task, the four who had committed the murders at the Sharon Tate house, in addition to Leslie Van Houten and Steve Grogan.

These two crimes, which are not the only ones in the family, earned them fame and subsequent conviction, however, what landed them in jail was the first murder ordered by Manson, that of Gary Hinman, a friend of the family. that he refused to give Manson the inheritance he had just received. Susan Atkins was arrested for this murder and inside the jail she began to boast to the other inmates of being a member of the Manson family and of the crimes she had committed together with them, some of the inmates decided to talk to the police to benefit with their collaboration and this was what led to the arrest of the entire group at the end of 1969.

In 1970 the group was brought to trial, although some family members who were not related to the massacres in the house of Sharon Tate and the La Bianca couple remained at large and are suspected of continuing to commit crimes under the orders of Manson, one of them the murder of their lawyer. During the trial, Manson realized that he was facing his golden opportunity to gain the stardom that he so longed for, he turned each participation in court into a performance beginning by engraving an X on his forehead – which all the members of the family imitated- and that would later turn into a swastika. During the trial he resorted to his cowardice again, after all, he was not present in any of the crimes and he used his group of fans to commit what he was not capable of doing, but he also tried to convince the jury that he had not ordered the murders and that it was Tex Watson who lied and decided to commit them.

In 1971 the members of the Manson family, led by Charles, were sentenced to the death penalty, however, none of them was executed as the supreme court determined that the death penalty was unconstitutional so their sentences were replaced by life imprisonment Later this court decision was modified and the death penalty was reinstated, however, the sentences of the Manson family had already been commuted.

Manson became something of a cultural icon almost immediately, inspiring musicians, writers, and filmmakers over the years. Among the films that have been created around this controversial figure, the following stand out: Helter Skelter (1976), Manson Superstar (1989), and The Manson Family (1997).

The icon of popular culture has therefore died, he always mistakenly classified as a serial murderer, but who in reality was nothing more than a coward who hid behind a group of young people to commit the crimes that he did not dare to commit and that they were nothing more than revenge for being rejected, for his inability to face his failure and his lack of talent, the showman, the guy who turned every aspect of his life into a performance for the public and who paradoxically through his failure achieved the fame and notoriety he had always dreamed of, a guy who earned immortality at the cost of the death of others.



Written by Alex De Saro