He spent the last five decades of his life behind bars, but Charles Manson still managed to capture public attention.
There was always something unexpected in the life of America’s most famous criminal mastermind – up to his death in 2017 and even after that when a legal battle over his body began. Who’d want Manson’s remains and why?
Back in the day, all the Charles Manson wanted was to be famous. He tried his luck as a wannabe rock star and failed miserably.
Then he started what became known as the Manson Family, grouping drug-addled teenagers who worshiped him.
He continued to attract teenagers even in his 80s, like the girl who wanted to marry him in prison. Manson was flattered but did not fall for it.
How Charles Manson Became (In)Famous
Manson hated the term family, saying that what drove so many young people to his California ranch was the desire to cut all ties with their families. However, he enjoyed having them all under his spell and doing his bidding.
Charles Manson gained his place among America’s greatest criminal masterminds for the so-called Tate-LaBianca murders of 1969.
The reason Manson ordered the brutal killing of seven people he did not even know remains unclear to this day.
On the one hand, the murders can be seen as a test of his followers blind trust in him, but what he stood to gain from the killings is hard to say.
At the 1970 trial, the prosecution spoke of Manson’ s Helter Skelter plan to ignite a racial war which would have allowed him to rise to power and rule the world, or at least the US.
How exactly would have played out nobody really knows and if Manson really concocted such a plan he must have been drugged out of his mind.
Whatever it was that prompted the murders, Manson and all the followers involved were sentenced to death in 1970, but luckily had their sentences commuted to life in prison when California outlawed the death penalty.
Manson Finds Love Again
The phenomenon of impressionable women falling in love with convicted criminals is not new. It’s bizarre, but rather common and Charles Manson got his fair share of admirers.
None, however, was as determined as Afton Elaine Burton, who was 53 years younger than Manson.
She started writing to Manson in 2005 when she was just 17, attracted at first by his environmentalist ideas.
Few people know that besides murderous plots and talks of world domination, Manson was also interested in the environment.