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Charles Manson Facts

Charles Manson: The Infamous Cult Leader Who Terrorized Hollywood

Who was Charles Manson?

Charles Manson was an American criminal and leader of the Manson Family cult, infamous for the gruesome murders committed by his followers. Born on November 12, 1934, in Ohio, Manson grew up in a rough environment and spent most of his life in and out of jail. He became a cult leader in the 1960s, while chasing his dream of becoming a musician in Hollywood. Manson’s legacy as a cult leader and murderer still haunts American culture today.

Early Life and Criminal Record

Manson’s childhood was marred by severe neglect and abuse from his mother and the several stepfathers he obtained over the years. When he was only nine years old, Manson was sent to the Gibault School for Boys in Terre Haute, Indiana, where he developed a love for music and learned how to play the guitar. Over the years, Manson racked up numerous criminal charges, including auto theft, check forgery, and pimping. He spent fifteen years in prison for federal and state crimes.

The Manson Family and the Tate-LaBianca Murders

In the 1960s, Manson moved to California and started to build his cult following. He convinced his followers that he was a messiah-like figure who held the key to a race war he called “Helter Skelter.” In August 1969, Manson directed his followers to commit the brutal Tate-LaBianca murders, in which the actress Sharon Tate, four other people, and the wealthy couple, Leno and Rosemary LaBianca, were killed. The murders shocked the world and changed the way Americans thought about crime and cults.

Trial and Imprisonment

Manson and his followers were arrested soon after the murders, and in 1971, they were found guilty of the killings. Manson was sentenced to death, but his sentence was commuted to life in prison when California abolished the death penalty in 1972. He was incarcerated at the California State Prison in Corcoran, where he spent most of his life behind bars. Manson died on November 19, 2017, at the age of 83.

The Dark Side of Manson’s Music Career

Despite his criminal lifestyle, Manson was always fixated on his dream of becoming a musician in Hollywood. He recorded numerous songs and released his first album, “Lie: The Love and Terror Cult,” in 1970, a year after the infamous murders. Manson’s music was never a commercial success, but it was often praised for its eerie and disturbing qualities. Many artists have covered Manson’s songs over the years, including Guns N’ Roses and Marilyn Manson.

The Legacy of Charles Manson

Decades after his death, Manson’s crimes continue to captivate and terrify the public. His name is often invoked in discussions about cults, fear, and the dark side of the American psyche. Manson’s story has inspired countless books, movies, and TV shows, including the famous TV series “Mindhunter” and the movie “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.” Although he is long gone, his legacy lives on as a cautionary tale about the dark depths of human depravity.


Charles Manson was a terrifying and charismatic cult leader who left a dark legacy of violence and death. Although his music career was never a commercial success, his songs continue to haunt and inspire listeners. Manson’s story is a cautionary tale about the dangerous allure of charisma, power, and violence. As we remember Manson’s life and crimes, it’s important to stay vigilant against the dangers of cults and the dark side of human nature.

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