Manson at 77

Charles Manson is up for his 12th parole hearing. In response to a CNN request, the California Department of Corrections posted a fresh mugshot [Via LA Times]



    1. I’m sure the world will cheer for the brave soul who successfully falls a 77 year old mental patient… and stuck it to the ol’ swazi while he was at it.

  1. It’s disturbing that, when you think about it, Manson was an amateur compared to a lot of  psychotic killers today.

    1.  You DO know that Manson didn’t actually kill anyone himself, right? He convinced his followers to do it for him. Unless you’re referring to, say, psychotic killers like Bashar al-Assad and other heads of government.

      1. “He convinced his followers to do it for him.”

        even that is up for debate.  susan atkins may be as much or more to blame than manson ever was.

        i’m not a manson apologist, but i do feel that because of the high-profile victims involved, he didn’t even have a chance of a fair trial.  “manson in his own words” is undoubtably full of a lot of bull from the mouth of a con, but i feel that a lot has been unfairly attributed to him.  *shrug.*

        1. Meh. California didn’t kill him. Life in prison, life until he’s sane. Basically a wash.

          1. He’s spent most of his life in prisons anyway so I doubt he could function in the outside world at this point anyway.

        2. Tex Watson’s book, which is free to be read online (it’s called “Will You Die For Me”), contains the following quote from Manson:

          “What I want . . . I want you to go to that house where Melcher used to live-[we knew that by now Terry had moved down to a beach house in Malibu] – I want you to take a couple of the girls I’ll send with you and go down there . .. and totally destroy everyone in that house, as gruesome as you can. Make it a real nice murder, just as bad as you’ve ever seen. And get all their money.”

          I discovered this book while doing research for my recently completed musical called Manson’s Girls. It’s a fascinating book which I recommend to anyone who wants to try and understand what happened back then. Towards the end of the book, Tex, who committed most of the murders, becomes a born-again Christian in jail and starts to describe his devotion to Christ in terms that are nearly identical to his devotion to Charlie.

          1. thanks, sounds intriguing — i’ll have to give it a read.

            i used to have a theory that the tate-labianca killings might have been done in revenge — roman polanski and sharon tate were part of a group, along with jack nicholson, who were purported to have a sick sexual streak, made and swapped home movies, et cetera — polanski and tate in particular having a rumored habit of picking up young girls and giving them the old in-out real sadistic-like.  so i think, ‘who’s to say that they didn’t get too rough with the wrong girl one night — one of manson’s — and they got them back?’

            then again, i do have a tendency to overthink and such…

          2. Yes! But I think Vincent Bugliosi’s Helter Skelter is the best book I’ve read on the subject.

        3.  Like what? Pretty much all people, both in and out of the Manson cult itself, confirmed he was a very controlling ring leader of his band of creeps.

    1. interesting since he never actually killed anyone

      You know who else never actually killed anyone?

          1. No really, in high school. Laura Bush ran a stop sign and killed a classmate.  She was probably our only first lady to have killed a man.   I don’t think she got a ticket or anything. 

      1. Richard Pearle?
        (BTW, that Manson picture reminded me of him – something about the habitual expression on the right side of the face / left side of the picture seems to match. Pic from Radio Free Europe 6/6/07)

  2. Let’s put a fine point on it. Manson has never been convicted of killing anyone by his own hands. No one but Manson himself knows if he’s ever killed anyone.

    1. No one but Manson himself knows if he’s ever killed anyone.

      Even that assumes he is capable of distinguishing fantasy from reality.

  3. I think the guy should be paroled….only because people who admittedly committed murders have been let out after as little as 10 to 12 years.(with which I don’t agree) I am also no Manson apologist,  I just think he was twisted as a youth and is more mental than anything else.  He should be paroled to a mental hospital.
    Can you imagine the media frenzy that would occur? 
    Can you imagine the books, movies etc that would be generated?
    There are still people who would kill in his name, and others itching to knock him off, for the fame of it.
    He has been segregated the whole time because other inmates want to kill him.
    He is an old old man, conditioned from youth into the prison life.
    The best punishment would be to take away his free room and board.

    1. “He should be paroled to a mental hospital.”

      I would be okay with that, actually.  And most mental hospitals aren’t exactly cushy.  They can be just as bad as prison.  And he’d probably still be separated from the general population most of the time.

      It’s either prison, or the mental hospital, for this guy, though.  He’ll die in confinement. 

      1. i’m with y’all; parole to a mental hospital would be the more humane thing to do.  his rough childhood, combined with possibly organically-generated psychological issues… i think the man would possibly benefit from counseling, medication, what have you.

        i’m not sure he could ever be freed at this point, though.  too high-profile for hat to ever happen, even if it were somehow determined that he was somehow completely innocent (not at all likely; i’m just saying *if*), someone would take him out — i have no doubts about that — because of the media frenzy you mentioned that would certainly occur.

    2. The worst thing you could do to him at this point would be to release him.  I don’t think he could take care of himself in any basic way.  He’s said himself that he’s spent most of his life in prisons.

      I’m sure some sleazeball would pay him a good chunk of change for a book or interview or some-such but he’d probably spend it all on magic beans.

    3. Last thing I heard, Manson was the bitch of his prison’s Aryan Nation head-honcho. Prison has not been kind to him.

      1. “Last thing I heard, Manson was the bitch of his prison’s Aryan Nation head-honcho. Prison has not been kind to him.”

        I imagine, do you have a link for that?

      2. The head-honcho of the Aryan Nation there must be pretty desperate to go after a 77 year old mental patient.

  4. Helter Skelter’s still a rad song. I played it backwards and it gave me a muffin recipe.

    1. But the muffin recipe started “get some followers. Direct them to kill a house full of people . . .”

  5. Strange, if you cover one half of his face he looks very cold and calculating, cover the other side and he is looks sad and feeble.

  6. “Manson never killed anybody.”

    I think the same is true of Hitler. I’m not aware of him personally killing anyone.

    (Does this still count as Godwin’s Law since the person in question has a swastika tattoo? I think that makes the thread pre-Godwin’d, yes?)

    1. I think the same is true of Hitler. I’m not aware of him personally killing anyone.

      Not true. He killed Hitler.

      1. If by “killed” you mean “went to Brazil with” then yes. 

        Kidding. Just kidding.

        It was Argentina.

    2. I know the same is true of me, and think that hopefully it is true of many other readers here. (OMFG we are all like Hitler unless we go kill someone!??!!?).  But what is your point? That Manson should be treated like a murderer by the system because Hitler was evil? 
      He was a cult leader who pushed others to kill, and he should be treated as such. He never killed anybody, it’s a fact and that fact should not be discarded simply because you think he’s evil.

      1. The point is that most of history’s mass murderers never pulled a gun or a knife on anybody; they just told someone else to do it.  The fact that Mr. Manson didn’t physically murder someone no more exculpates him than it would exculpate Mr. Hitler.

      2.  We need to parole mafia bosses too.  They don’t kill people*, they only tell people to kill people. That’s not illegal, rit?

        *Neglecting, for the sake of argument, “making your bones.”

      1. Except Hitler was a messenger runner – a very dangerous job, likely to get yourself killed, but not one that usually puts you in a position to kill other people. So he probably didn’t personally kill anyone in WWI; the messages he was carrying might have resulted in the deaths of others but that’s getting pretty abstruse.

  7. He sent an audition tape to Fox to see if he could get his own opinion show in the 5:00 PM slot, but marketing said he “wasn’t edgy enough.” 

  8. I think that to some extent he IS a political prisoner.

    He never actually killed anyone, and while what he did was surely a crime he has served more time than many actual killers.
    Because he “inspired” mayhem and homicide and is somewhat of a cult figure with groupies.
    In some respects his continued incarceration sends a message that unrestrained speech is more dangerous than actual murder.

      1. Yeah, because issuing military commands killing tens of millions in a war of aggression while slaughtering millions of civilian Jews, Gypsies and dissidents, that is JUST LIKE what Manson did- and if one says otherwise one is supporting nazism or something… sigh….

        1. Nobody’s comparing scale, they’re saying that your “he never killed nobody” argument isn’t a sign of his relative innocence.

    1. Yeah, I agree.  Lock up the killers.  But why are we persecuting people who tell others to kill. What’s our first amendment about if not protecting, admittedly unpopular, freedom of speech?

      1. What’s our first amendment about if not protecting, admittedly unpopular, freedom of speech?

        If you think that the first amendment was intended to protect mass murderers, then you have been utterly failed by everyone involved in your upbringing.

      2. “What’s our first amendment about if not protecting, admittedly unpopular, freedom of speech?”

        It doesn’t cover this form of unpopular speech.

        Er, am I missing very-dry sarcasm?

    2. “he has served more time than many actual killers.


      Because he remains more unhinged than “many actual killers”, and most “actual killers” who have neo-nazi tats and want to make probation have their swastika removed prior to appearing before the board.

  9. A member of the Tate family always shows up to help convice the Board to deny parole.
    He has spent nearly all of his life in reform schools or prison.  He doesn’t know anything else.

  10. Oh, I like the little circle of connected L’s on his forehead, marking him as a four-time Loser. That’s what he should be best remembered as. Loser.

  11. I confess myself stumped.  What exactly is that white frosting/packing material/snow/fur-lined Ice Queen cowl behind his head?  It looks for all the world like the photographer was actively trying to evoke a Father Christmas vibe.

  12. Many years ago, a teacher I had told us about Manson since his brother was a guard at the prison he is held at.  
    As I recall, he said that it appeared the prisoner had despaired and/or was apparently horrified by what he had done.  This was conjecture though, because he wouldn’t communicate, or do anything else.  He said that the guards hated him intensely, not only for what he had done, but because Manson wouldn’t get up out of bed for anything, including to use the toilet.  So they had to clean up after him, hose him/things off or something.  My teacher said the brother and his other guards were completely fed up.  I gathered that he was, by far, the worst part of a difficult job.  That’s what I remember from what my teacher said.  

  13. I usually agree with Antinous but not here. I’m sure Charlie was a total dick but a broken society produces lots of them. In retrospect it seems as though this particular dick reached critical mass at just the wrong time – aimless, wandering hippies looking for a daddy figure etc during tumultuous times. And in a convenient sort of way Charlie became the scapegoat for the flaming wreck of a social ‘experiment’ that was the *shudder* 60s.

    In one fell swoop we were able to lock away for life one guy who symbolized everything we feared.
    “Hippie cult leader? What the hell is a hippie cult leader? Nine dead bodies. How would you play this hand? How would you play this hand here?”

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