Charles Milles Manson was born on Nov 12th, 1934, in Cincinnati, Ohio, and he grew up as one of America’s most known criminal and cult leader. His illegal and rebellious moves became notable from age 9 when he set his school on fire.

By age 13, Charles had already begun to get into trouble with the court for petty theft and truancy. To curb his actions, he was sent to Gibault School for boys in Terre Haute, Indiana, where strict punishment was given for even the tiniest offense.

In 1947, Charles Manson fled home to his mother, but his mother returned him to the correctional school after the Christmas break.

In 1948, Charles fled Gibault to Indianapolis, where he committed a crime of robbing a grocery store. After a successful attempt at robbery, Charles saw the act as a sustainable means of livelihood. He was caught in 1949 and sent to a juvenile school – Boys Town in Omaha.

Charles continued living his life in and out of Juvenile facilities and prisons for about 20years of his life before forming a cult group known as Manson Family in mid-1967. The family cult comprised of people who were willing to follow his unconventional lifestyle and eccentric religious teachings.

Amongst all he taught, Charles mainly emphasized the apocalyptic race war between the whites and the blacks. He stated that the result of the war would give his family a dominating power.

He believed that his family members are those who would incite the war between the races. So, he instigated them to kill some elite whites and try to frame the blacks for their death.

In 1971, Charles Manson was convicted as the brainwashing leader of the group that murdered elites and socialites. He was found guilty of the charges and sentenced to death.

However, his death sentence was commuted to life in prison when the capital punishment law was abolished in 1972. In 2017, Manson died in prison after spending about 40 years.

Here are 10 terrifying facts about Charles Manson’s imprisonment.

10 A Fanatical Fan Base


Ever since Manson’s death sentence was commuted to life in prison in 1972, he had spent over 40years in the California State Prison. While prison has a way of keeping people oblivious of the outside world, Manson stayed informed.

His fans and devotees kept keeping him occupied with daily emails and daily requests for meet and greet. His fans had been tagged fanatics because of their obsession with his existence, even though he is a crime instigator and a killer.

Their obsession has left many to wonder how people develop such love and loyalty for someone like Manson.

All through the decades he spent behind bars, Manson received over 60,000 mails from his fans annually, thus making him the prisoner with the highest number of mails in the state prison. Being behind bars did not stop him from drawing in more curious fans using his eccentric charisma and his seemingly progressive environmental concerns.

To celebrate his life and to ensure that he was comfortable in prison, a website which contains his mailing address and detailed instruction on how to send money to him was created.

9 Mentally Stability

While most parole hearings end in favor of inmates, Manson’s parole hearings never ended in his favor. For years, the board continued to deny him parole because they felt he was mentally unstable and unreasonably dangerous. More so, granting him parole would mean the endangerment of the lives of other people.

While the board believed that he should remain behind bars, Dejon R. Lewis, Manson’s attorney, believed otherwise. To him, Manson needed a mental hospital and not a prison. Just as the attorney had recommended, the board released Manson to the California Medical Facility at Vacaville for treatment.

After spending nine years, the psychiatric hospital declared him as mentally stable. After this, he was transferred to San Quentin Prison.

Despite the declaration of his mental health, the medical facility has been blamed for inadequate care as Manson showed little or no improvement.

8 Planned Escape

In 1980, while serving his term, Charles Manson took a job in the prison chapel. Everyone thought he was working on being a better version of himself when he took up the job, but the contrary was the case when he became a nuisance to the prison officials.

On a day, one of the correctional officers found out that the chapel door had been locked from inside. As it was unusual, he forced it open and found Manson and other inmates with similar records plotting how to escape from the prison using a large balloon to fly over the prison walls.

The guard found a catalog of hot air balloons and about 30-meters of nylon rope in the Penitentiary’s storage and a blade in Manson’s cell.

No one was surprised as they knew that only Manson could be found nursing a thought as ridiculous as a prison break.

7 Arts And Crafts In Prison

Charles Manson found a way to instill fear in the minds of inmates and prison staff. Probably through what they heard about him or his nuisance acts in prison, no one can say.

But he got to the point where everyone feared him. In a bid to keep the fear, he made a voodoo doll that looked like a guard he hated, recited evil charms on the doll and began to stab the doll.

On days he doesn’t feel like stabbing a doll, Manson was found engrossed in the artwork of scorpions and spiders woven from shreds of cloth.

No doubt, his love for arts and crafts had helped him to express how he feels and what he thinks. Unfortunately for him, none of his works found a way to a gallery as they were continuously seized by guards to prevent another case of attempted murder/murder.

6 Relentless Contraband

Charles Manson did not only have followers, but he also had devotees who would risk anything for him, and Craig Hammond was one. Craig Hammond, who is known as Gray Wolf, is an older follower of Manson who moved to California to serve Manson.

The 63-year old devotee was, however, arrested in 2013 in his attempt to illegally take in a wristwatch cell phone to enable him to talk to his idol. Craig Hammond’s offense wasn’t new to the prison officials because they had caught Manson with various contrabands, including cell phones, on several days.

In 2010, he was caught with a phone he had been using to make calls and to send text messages to his people in British Columbia, California, Florida, and New Jersey. This act cost him a counseling session and an additional 30days to his sentence.

5 Musical Tapes: A Hack Into The Mind

After several denials, Manson was finally permitted to work with other inmates in 1982. Amongst other things, his freedom allowed him to make music. Manson had always been a lover of music. One of his favorite songs, ‘ helter-skelter’ inspired his crazy idea of killing people to rule the world.

However, his freedom to work was short-lived when he was found sending out his musical tapes that contained his music out of the Vacaville medical facility. His plan was for his acquaintances to sell and distribute the musical tape (that contained his ridiculous ideologies) to the world.

His crime was further heightened when guards transferring him to San Quentin found a metal hacksaw in his shoes.

To cover the shame of getting caught, Manson, who had claimed to be invisible and fearless, stated that he wanted the officials to catch him so that he would be placed in the segregated part of the prison.

4 In And Out Of Flames

In September 1984, while working in the medical facility’s hobby shop at Vacaville, Manson’s fellow prisoner, Jan Holmstrom, tried to kill him by setting him on fire after dousing him with paint thinner.

Jan Holmstrom, who was considered to be mentally disordered for murdering his father in their home, tried to set up a bonfire with Manson’s body due to Manson’s threat to hurt him and Manson’s objection to his recitation of Hare Krishna’s chants. Jan Holmstrom had also stated that God told him to kill Manson.

Whether God had incited him to kill Manson or he was just angry at Manson’s attitude towards his religious chants, nothing changes the fact that Manson suffered second and third-degree burns in over 18% of his body – face, hands, and scalp.

Although the attack was severe, his life wasn’t threatened. He was later transferred to another secured correctional center.

3 Prison Drugs

Even though he was locked behind bars, Manson continued to break the laws. He was known as a high-level criminal in and out of prison.

In June 1997, the Corcoran State Prison Officials declared him guilty of drug trafficking after conducting an internal investigation. Before that day, he had tested positive for narcotics on several occasions. So, the prison administrators transferred him to solitary confinement, which limited privileges like visitation and dayroom privileges.

Although it has been challenging to identify the specific drugs involved in the 1997 drug trafficking, marijuana and LSD had been found in Manson’s cell at the psychiatric hospital in 1982.

2 The Cost Of Life

After spending over 40years behind bars, Charles Manson began to fall sick. He was diagnosed with gastrointestinal bleeding. His situation became worse, and in no time, he was diagnosed with colon cancer. Later on, he was transferred to a hospital in Bakersfield, where he died of cardiac arrest and respiratory failure.

While the news of his death sent his devotees into a field of disarray, the California taxpayers didn’t take it lightly as they paid continuously to keep him alive – a payment which was over $2million; twice the amount it would have cost to execute Manson after his first sentence.

A study carried out by Vera Institute of Justice in 2012 revealed that it costs $42,000 to maintain a prisoner per year while it could cost an average of $90,000 to maintain a prisoner on a death row.

Financial analysts have, however, still seek to know whether it costs more to pass a death sentence on a criminal or imprison him.

1 Love Is Blind

When their pending marriage license expired in 2015, Charles Manson’s strange and unexpected relationship with Afton Elaine Burton – Star came to a sudden end. Everyone got to know that the supposed blissful love story between them was built on lies and deceit.

Investigations revealed that Star had intended to marry Charles Manson to gain ownership of his corpse upon his death. Her plan was to display his corpse in a glass crypt for profit.

However, her plans proved unfruitful as Manson felt her reason made no sense considering his belief of being immortal.

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