Everybody’s heard about Charles Manson, the dangerous psycho reviled by the media as Evil incarnated. Oddly enough, the criminal mastermind the establishment painted him to be never committed any actual murder.
He was a small-time crook, a highly delusional man, and, in many ways, he was a victim himself. The real story of Manson is hard to understand as you need to carefully pick fact from myth.
And you have to look at those times as Manson’s story cannot be separated from the social and political climate of the late 1960s.
The flower power movement, the hippies, the Summer of Love sent panic waves through the conservative political establishment of the era. There was a rebellious young generation challenging the system.
Maybe the movement would have died on its own, but it was the emergence of the national bogeyman that sent the flower-power counterculture to an early grave.
Meet No Name Manson, Yours For A Pint Of Beer
He was born under an ill-fated star and the story of his childhood reads like a page from the Making-of-a-sociopath textbook. We called him ‘he’ because they boy didn’t even have a name originally, thanks to a very disturbed and obviously overwhelmed 16-year old mother, Kathleen Maddox, who neglected to give him a proper name.
No Name Maddox was born in 1934, in Cincinnati, Ohio, the product of an affair between a teenage girl and a conman known as Colonel Walker Henderson Scott, who pretended to be an officer when he was just a laborer and a drifter.
Kathleen Maddox would refer to her son as a flower child of the 1930s, but she managed to marry one Eugene Manson shortly before giving birth, so at least the boy would not be illegitimate.
Much good did it do him! The man who happened to give his name to one of America’s greatest criminals filed for divorce when the boy was three, citing his wife’s drinking and ‘gross neglect of duty’ as reasons. Kathleen Maddox did not have what it takes to raise a child.
According to one story, a younger waitress once told her she would buy little Charlie if she could, to which Kathleen replied “A pitcher of beer and he’s yours,” actually leaving the boy behind after gulping down the beer.
Maybe Charles Manson would have had a different path in life had such a sale been possible, but the boy was soon reunited with a messed up mother.
In 1939, Kathleen landed in jail for her role in a robbery, and the boy was sent to live with his very religious grandparents until he was eight.
Little is known about this period, except for the fact that the child would remember the moment his mother came home as the happiest of his childhood.
Repeatedly abandoned and neglect by his mother, Charles Manson would speak highly of her.
“If I could have picked her, I would have. She was perfect! In doing nothing for me, she made me do things for myself.”
Ward Of The State
When Manson was 13, his mother’s boyfriend declared he wanted to be rid of the boy, so Kathleen had him declared a ward of the state and sent to the Gibault School for Boys in Terre Haute, Indiana.
Whatever chances Manson might have had at a normal life, they flew out the window the moment he set foot in that establishment, one of the many institutions he would be locked up in for most of his life.
Life was miserable there so he ran away and went to his mother, only she drove him back to Gibault.
The second time he ran away he went to Indianapolis and lived on the streets until he was arrested for theft and sent to a correctional facility, which was even worse than the first one.
Soon after arriving there, Charles Manson was pinned down by a group of older boys and r*ped multiple times. The boy took his revenge by later beating one of the aggressors within an inch of death.