Charles Manson passed yesterday. He was an American cult leader who led what became known as the Manson Family, a quasi-commune that arose in California in the USA in the late 1960’s. Manson’s followers committed a series of nine murders at four locations in July and August 1969.
In 1971 he was found guilty of first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder for the deaths of 7 people (including the actress Sharon Tate). He was sentenced to death, but his sentence was converted to a life sentence in 1972. He died whilst serving his sentence in a California prison. He was 83 years old.
Manson learnt how to manipulate people by reading the Dale Carnegie Institute book How to Win Friends and Influence People whilst in prison. He deemed Scientology “too crazy” for him after undertaking 150 hours of a Scientology course.
He selected half a dozen young women who became part of the Manson “family”. All of the women were from middle class backgrounds and fell for Manson’s manipulation skills, and he exploited their daddy issues. The women moved in with Manson in Spahn Ranch, and he went onto ban books, wristwatches, calendars and clocks. He also banned them from wearing glasses, believing their vision was their natural way to see the world around them.
The Manson women attempted to kill a key witness in the trial, after luring her to a restaurant in Hawaii. They bought her a hamburger and as she swallowed the last bite, one of the women casually said “just imagine if there were 10 tabs of acid in that”. The witness managed to beg a stranger to call the prosecutor and she survived. The girls who gave her the hamburger were charged with attempted murder.
Manson received more mail than any other inmate in history. He is thought to receive up to 60,000 letters per year. He was interviewed tons of times over the years and managed to wiggle his way into popular culture in the 20th century. He will be remembered for his radical views and some of the really crazy things that he’s said – here’s a list of 10 of them:
- “You know, a long time ago being crazy meant something. Nowadays everybody’s crazy.”
- “Remorse for what? You people have done everything in the world to me, doesn’t that give me equal right? I can do anything I want to you people anytime I want to because that’s what you’ve done to me! Maybe I should’ve killed 4 or 500 people then I would’ve felt better. Then I would’ve felt that I really offered society something. You’ve got it stuck in your brain that I murdered somebody. What do you want to call me a murder for? I’ve never killed anyone! I don’t need to kill anyone! I think it! I have it here!”
- “Just because you’re convicted in a court room doesn’t mean you’re guilty of something.”
- “Living is what scares me. Dying is easy.”
- “I’m probably one of the most dangerous men in the world if I want to be. But I never wanted to be anything but me.”
- “I can’t dislike you, but I will say this to you: you haven’t got long before you are all going to kill yourselves, because you are all crazy. And you can project it back at me, but I am only what lives inside each and every one of you.”
- “These children that come at you with knives, they are your children. You taught them. I didn’t teach them. I just tried to help them stand up.”
- “I can’t judge any of you. I have no malice against you and no ribbons for you. But I think that it is high time that you all start looking at yourselves, and judging the lie that you live in.”
- “I have killed no one and I have ordered no one to be killed.”
- “We’re not in Wonderland anymore Alice.”
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