What’s in a name? When the name is Manson, Charles Manson, that’s a lot to bear on your shoulders, and for the son of America’s greatest criminal mastermind it was much more than he could bear.
Unable to live with his terrible legacy, Charles Manson Jr. ended up taking his own life.
When the media talks about the Manson Family it refers to his numerous followers, some of which he ordered to commit the terrible Tate-LaBianca murders of 1969, but Charles Manson had at least three children of his own, and they were not happy with their father.
Being Charles Manson’s Firstborn
Charles Manson Jr. Was born in 1956. His mother was a teenager named Rosalie Jean Willis, Charles Manson had met and seduced when she was only 15.
Manson’s biographers like to point out that it was probably Manson’s only shot at a normal life and he blew it.
The 20-year old had just been released from a federal correctional facility when he met Rosalie, the daughter of a coal miner who was working as a hospital waitress.
They were married in 1955 and Manson tried supporting his family with odd jobs, but that didn’t earn him enough so resorted to petty crimes.
When Rosalie was about three months pregnant, Manson stole a car and the two drove from Ohio to California.
It didn’t take long for the police to find them and Manson was arrested for the first time as an adult.
Rosalie found herself in a difficult situation. She’d been married for one year and there she was going through the pregnancy alone and having to support herself.
Totally unexpected, she found help from her mother-in-law, Kathleen Maddox, who’d been in a similar situation when she was pregnant with Charles Manson.
Although Charles Manson always loved her as a child, Kathleen had been a terrible mother, totally out of her depth and unable to care for her son.
When Charles Manson Jr. Was born, his mother and grandmother took him to visit Manson in jail, but the arrangement could not work long term.
When she’d married Manson, Rosalie had high hopes he could change, but with him behind bars it was becoming increasingly obvious that was not going to happen.
In 1957, she moved in with another man and one year later filed for divorce. Charles Manson was out of her life, or so she thought.
Trying To Escape His Father’s Legacy
The only father Charles Manson Jr. really knew was Jack White, his mother’s second husband. Little is known about Junior’s childhood, but at least he had a stable home, and soon he got two step-brothers Jesse J. and Jed White.
Charles Manson Jr. didn’t want to have anything to do with his biological father and changed his name to Jay White.