By Donna Westfall – November 20, 2017 -One week after his 83rd birthday, Charles Manson has died. In the eyes of the public, he will always be credited with orchestrating the murder of eight 1/2 months pregnant actress, Sharon Tate.
Charles Manson – white, bisexual, charismatic, diminutive stature standing only 5′ 2″ with supposedly a net worth of $400,000 which he could not access, one has to wonder how someone so evil could last as long as he did at the Californian’s taxpayers expense?
The simple reason is because at the time, the California Supreme Court struck down the death penalty, so Manson got life in prison. That has now changed with fast tracking death penalty cases approved by voters on November 8 2016, due to Proposition 66. The new law directs, but doesn’t require that capital cases be resolved within five years.
Let’s remember those who’s lives he was responsible for cutting short on the night of August 9, 1969:
Sharon Tate with movie director husband, Roman Polanski. Picture credit to Getty Images. 26 year old Sharon was murdered by 15 stab wounds. She was an up and coming model and actress. They were expecting a son. She begged for the life of her baby.
Jay Sebring, celebrity hair stylist, who’s birth name was Thomas John Kummer. Died of gun shot and stab wounds at age 35. He was famous for changing the method of men’s haircuts by blow drying, cutting with scissors instead of clippers and using hair spray instead of the then popular Brylcreem. At a time when haircuts cost $1-2, Sebring charged $50. He was engaged to Sharon Tate before she met Polanski.
Abigail Folger, heiress to the Folger Coffee fortune. Died of 28 stab wounds at age 25. She was an avid reader, known to always have her nose in a book, and was at the Tate house that night with her boyfriend, writer Wojciech Frykowski. They had been living at the Tate home house-sitting.
Polish born, writer, Wojciech “Voytek” Frykowski, shot twice, stabbed 51 times. At the time of his death, he and Abigail had been together for about two years. By the time of August, 1969, they were not getting along, fighting constantly and using drugs. (Credit to Cielodrive.com)
Also that night, 18 year old teen, Steven Parent, was the first to die by four gunshot wounds. He was there visiting 19 year old, Bill Garretson, hoping to sell him an AM/FM Sony Clock Radio. Garretson was later arrested on suspicion of murdering Tate and her friends. He was the caretaker of their dogs and property and released the next day. He died of cancer in January, 2017.
The next night, Leno and Rosemary LaBianca were murdered.
In case you weren’t around during the summer of 1969 through the trials lasting into 1971, the reason the Manson followers chose that particular house is because it belonged to Terry Melcher.
Manson considered himself a musician, even writing a song called “Cease to Exit.” Dennis Wilson of the Beach Boys took that song and turned it into “Never Learn Not to Love.” Manson was not given any songwriting credit.
But, Wilson had introduced Manson to Terry Melcher, a record producer. His mother, actress/singer, Doris Day. Terry lived on Cielo Drive with then girlfriend, Candice Bergen. In 1968, Wilson allowed Manson and a couple of his girlfriends to live with him at his house on Sunset Boulevard. Wilson, with a reputation for excess could have been the poster child for sex, drugs and rock and roll. Manson’s lifestyle fed into Wilson’s.
At first, Melcher expressed an interest in filming Manson and his hippie commune along with recording some of Manson’s music. Manson auditioned for Melcher but Melcher did not sign him. The film idea died when Melcher witnessed Manson fighting with a drunken stuntman. Soon after, both Wilson and Melcher severed ties with Manson. Wilson died in 1983 at age 39, and Melcher died in 2004 at the age of 62.
But, Manson, never got over his anger at Melcher. After Melcher and Bergen moved out of the Cielo Drive house, the owner then leased it to Roman Polanski and Sharon Tate. Crazy enough, Manson knew that Melcher had moved out of the house. It came out during Manson family member, Susan Atkin’s grand jury testimony that the place was chosen to instill fear into Melcher. It worked. Melcher hired a bodyguard.
Manson was found guilty of conspiracy to murder. He was sentenced to die in 1971. for the Tate-LaBianca murders, even though he may have been responsible for far more. For 46 years, he was incarcerated costing the taxpayers in excess of $2 million. Some reports say that an extra $90,000/year had to be paid because he had to be constantly watched; at that rate $90k times 46 years equals $4,140,000.
Former LA County District Attorney, Vincent Bugliosi, said it best, “Manson was an evil, sophisticated con man with twisted and warped moral values.”
If no known next of kin, relative or legal representative comes forward within 10 days, the decision to cremate or bury Manson’s body will be left up to the Department of California Corrections.