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Why Prosecutor Of Manson Family Murders Stephen Kay Still Looks Over His Shoulder 50 Years Later

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Who Is Stephen Kay? New Details On The Prosecutor Of Manson Family Murders Who Still Looks Over His Shoulder/

This year, 2019, is the 50 year anniversary of the vicious, brutal murders committed by the Manson family, filling every household in not only Los Angeles, but the whole country with terror. 50 years ago, Charles Manson ordered his followers to enter the home of Sharron Tate and Roman Polanski and murder everyone inside. One of the prosecutors on the case was Stephen Kay. At just 27 years old he stepped into his career defining moment and helped convict the killers and keep them locked up for good. Kay says he still looks over his shoulder, in fear of Manson's followers. 50 years later and he still doesn't feel safe. I think everyone is asking themselves the same question.  Who is Stephen Kay? 

1. The Manson Family murders

The first victim of the Manson clan was Stephen Parent, an 18-year-old who was leaving the Tate house right at the time the murderers were approaching. He was shot to death by Charles "Tex" Watson. Voytek Frykowski, a childhood friend of Polanski was murdered along with his long time girlfriend and coffee heiress Abigail Folger. They were both stabbed to death, and Frykowski was also shot. Jay Sebring, an ex-boyfriend of Tate's, was also in the house that night. He lost his life in an attempt to save Tate. Sharon Tate was the Manson's most famous murder. She was found with a rope around her neck, and ex carved on her stomach and one of her breasts cut off. She was pregnant at the time she was killed.

Victims of the Manson's that were not in the Tate-Polanski household were Gary Hinman who was a friend of the Manson family. He was tortured for days as they tried to get him to join their cult, so they could take his money. He was eventually stabbed to death. There was also the murders of Leno and Rosemary LaBianca. They were the owners of a chain of grocery stores. The couple was tied up by Manson, and killed by his followers. The murder of Donald "Shorty" Shea was said to have happened because the Manson family suspected him to be an informant to the police. His body was found eight years after his murder.


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2. The trial of the century

The Manson trial was "definitely the most bizarre" case that Kay had ever been a part of, adding that "it was almost a circus." It began with Manson and his followers carving Xs into their foreheads, to show their outrage at society. There are reports of Manson getting out of his chair and lunging over his table, shouting that the judge should cut off his head. He also held up a newspaper headline shouting that President Richard Nixon had already decided he was guilty. The case was out of control.


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RELATED: Ava Roosevelt Escaped The Manson Family Murders Thanks To Car Trouble And Slams 'Once Upon A Time In Hollywood'

3. Threats from prison

During the trial, some of Manson's followers gathered outside of the courthouse and sing songs and threaten to set themselves on fire. Two young women sought out Kay and followed him. "They said they were going to do to my house what was done at the Tate house" said Kay. It was after that when he and Vincent Bugliosi hired body guards.

After his conviction, Charles Manson threatened Kay's life from time to time while in prison. 


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4. Keep them all locked up

Today, Stephen Kay feels the same way we all do about the Manson murderers. He thinks they should live the rest of their lives without the chance of parole. Some suggest with the years that have passed, and the death of Charles Manson, perhaps its time to revisit the sentencing.  Leslie Van Horton for instance is said to be the perfect prisoner, even earning her degree behind bars. Some people think there is a case for her to apply for parole. Kay says, “I admit that she’s a model prisoner, and I commend her for that, and I think she should keep doing her good work in prison. But you know, the victims in this case were dead and buried in 1969. They don’t get any parole.”


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RELATED: 'Once Upon A Time In Hollywood' Tells Story Of Linda Kasabian Who Gave Testimony That Put Charles Manson In Jail For Life

5. He is still in touch with Tate's sister

After all of these years, Kay has developed a friendship with the late Tate's sister. The whole family grew close with Kay during the trial. Tate and Kay have kept in touch after all of these years. Trauma of that nature experienced together, brings about a deep connection built on the grounds of mutual understanding.

6. Kay is hopes the case will be forgotten.

Kay hopes that one day the case will be lost in everyone's memory. "It's the case that never goes away" he says. With all of the books, movies, TV series and music that these crimes have inspired, I doubt that it will ever be completely erased from our memories.


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 Kaitlin Kaiser is a writer who writes about love, relationships, self-care, spirituality and astrology.