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9 Bizarre Facts About Charles Manson's Childhood, Life And Death — Including His Creepy Last Words

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9 Charles Manson Facts And Details About His Childhood, Life, Death, Last Words And Marriages

Charles Manson, a notorious man linked to cult murders carried out by members of The Manson Family in the 1960s, recently died, prompting a mass search for details about his past and death. The cult leader who inspired his followers to kill seven people in 1969, died Nov. 19, 2017.

Manson was charismatic and had such devout followers that he didn't have to stab a single person. They did the dirty work for him, but the murders were linked to him as the leader who orchestrated the 1969 bloodbath in Los Angeles.

"If you're going to be evil, you have to be off-the-charts evil, and Charlie Manson was off-the-charts evil," Laurie Levenson, a professor at Loyola Law School who follows high-profile cases, told CNN in 2009.

Over the course of two nights, seven people were murdered, thanks to Manson’s instruction. His followers invaded actress Sharon Tate’s home August 9, 1969, and killed the pregnant actress, along with celebrity hairstylist Jay Sebring, Abigail Folger, writer Wojciech Frykowski, and Steven Parent.

The following night, the group — which was later nicknamed the Manson Family — killed their final two victims, Leno LaBianca and his wife, Rosemary.

The Manson Family used the victims’ blood to write “Rise”, “Death to Pigs”, and “Healter Skelter” on the walls. They misspelled “Helter Skelter”, a reference to a Beatles song. The “family” inflicted 169 stab wounds and seven .22-caliber gunshot wounds.

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The Manson Family — Susan Atkins, Patricia Krenwinkel and Leslie Van Houten — were put on trial after Atkins bragged about the murders while in prison, leading to the capture of the murderous cult members and their leader.

The family made a scene at the court while on trial, singing, laughing, and carving X’s into their foreheads and were all convicted and sentenced to spend most of their lives behind bars.

Manson had been in prison since then, serving out nine life terms for his crimes and was never allowed parole.

A friend of Manson’s didn't think he deserved life in prison, though. “The other scumbags that were part of his group - yes they deserved to be there - but him it’s a different story he never put a knife in anybody - and you can’t make somebody do something like that,” Manson’s longtime friend Ben Gurecki said. “I’m sorry but you can't.”

He died Sunday of natural causes at the age of 83, according to the California Department of Corrections. Here are 9 things to know about Manson's life and death: 

1. He spent almost his entire life in and out of prison and reform schools, starting at 12 years old.

Manson was no golden child. When he was just 12 years old he was caught stealing and sent off to Gibault School for Boys in Terre Haute, Indiana. From then on, he went from prison to reform school to prison. "I spent the best part of my life in boys' schools, prisons, and reform school because I had nobody," he said in an interview in 1987.

2. He wrote music and one of his songs was picked up by the Beach Boys.

Manson listened to the radio a lot as a kid in prison and really got into the Beatles. He wrote his own songs and performed in prison shows.

When he later moved out to California he met the Beach Boys' songwriter and drummer Dennis Wilson. Wilson apparently stole Manson’s song, “Cease to Exist,” which is known as “Never Learn Not to Love” by the Beach Boys, but never gave Manson any credit.

3. He married  TWICE.

The cult leader somehow got two women to wed him, although each marriage was short-lived.

From 1959 to 1963, Manson was married to Candy Stevens. Manson later married Rosalie Jean Willis in 1955, but that union ended in 1958.

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4. He wanted to start a race war.

At the time, the Black Panther movement was big and Manson thought the murders his followers committed would be blamed on the Panthers. There were so many race riots and race crimes that Manson was sure it would be pinned as a hate crime.

The man believed the end of the world was coming and that the Beatles’ White Album was sending him a message: The blacks were going to begin a race war and overthrow the establishment. Manson wanted to speed that process up because he and his followers would survive and emerge as the white leaders.

5. He told his followers he was Jesus Christ and Satan put together.

Manson has such loyal followers in his cult family. He had convinced them that he was both the devil and Jesus at the same time, and they seemingly believed it. "I was mesmerized by his mind and the things he professed," one of his followers, Leslie Van Houten, said once.

Not only would they listen to his prophecies and conspiracy theories, they killed for him. A former member of the Manson Family, Barbara Hoyt said, "They worshiped Charlie like a god."

6. Manson was originally supposed to die via the death penalty.

Photo: California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation

His original sentence was the death penalty. Before it could be carried out, California abolished the death penalty so Manson’s sentence was changed to life in prison. He was denied parole 12 times during his time in prison.

7. His last words to his friend were super creepy, according to one of his "friends."

On Nov. 12, Manson called his friend of over 20 years, Ben Gurecki. Gurecki says he is going to release the recording of the call on his YouTube channel at a later date, as it’s too soon after Manson’s death right now. But the longtime friend gave a transcript of the phone conversation to The Sun.

“Gone in the sky the dead but never die.

“Not yet found just a dream of hearsay. Who’s, what’s, why’s, for what? 

“We each can makeup our own dreams with the story line as soon as we are no where we can change. 

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“As soon as I get up, out, around me will become a team. The beast, a priest, midnight and not as much as all. 

“Nothing with everyone and everything over and gone to start backwards again and again to nowhere and nothing again. 

“To where you know it all as forever and some more, nothing again to where you know it all as forever and some more. Love for all. You are or could maybe and more. Not at.........”

It was cut off by the prison, said Gurecki.


8. He believed he’d be reincarnated as a scorpion or a crow.

According to The Sun, Gurecki said Manson didn't want to be remembered – at all.

“He wouldn't like to be memorialized in any way good or bad,” Gurecki said. “Maybe as a crow or a scorpion because he believed he would walk around in the next life as a scorpion or a crow. He sometimes talked about reincarnation and things like that but he’d also say things like he was never truly alive or dead - so it’s hard to explain what he was thinking.” 

9. He never wanted to die in prison, and he didn't.

His friend, Gurecki, also told The Sun that he won in this sense.

“But you know he won because he didn't die in prison which he didn't want to do,” Gurecki said, “He didn't feel he should have been there for that long.”

He died at at a hospital in Kern County, California. 

Sarah Gangraw is a writer with a degree in journalism. She writes about all things news, entertainment and crime.