Charles Manson, who orchestrated the murders of eight people, including an unborn child, in the hope of inciting a race war between blacks and whites, has died of natural causes unlike his cult’s victims.
The 83-year-old Manson died November 19 in a Kern County hospital in Corcoran, California.
Manson initially was sentenced to death in 1971 for the August 1969 murders of Abigail Folger, the coffee of heiress, Wojciech Frykowski, Steven Earl Parent, actress Sharon Tate Polanski, who was eight months pregnant, Jay Sebring, and grocery store owners Leno and Rosemary LaBianca. In 1977, Manson’s death sentence was changed to life in prison.
The slayings were referred to as the “Tate-LaBianca Murders.”
The LaBiancas were found murdered on April 10, 1969, in their home in Las Feliz, California, a Los Angeles suburb.
The night before Tate and the others were murdered in the Benedict Canyon home of film director Roman Polanski, Tate’s husband.
At the scene of both murders, the misspelled word “Healter Skelter,” for Helter Skelter, was written on the LaBianca’s refrigerator and on the walls of the rooms where Sharon Tate was killed and the other murders occurred. The words “Pigs” and “Rise” were also written in blood on the walls of Polanski’s home.
Manson believed police would blame blacks for both murders.
“Helter Skelter: The True Story of the Manson Murders” is the title of a terrifying 1974 book written Vincent Bugliosi, who prosecuted the “Manson family members” for the murders. Helter Skelter is the title of a song on the Beatles 1968 “White Album.”
Helter skelter means period of confusion and for the diminutive Charles Manson it meant a war between blacks and whites with blacks winning. Manson believed he would end up running the country because blacks did not know how to govern.
The Mansion Family, or cult, was comprised of Charles “Tex” Watson, now 71, Leslie Van Houten, now 68, and Patricia Krenwinkel, now 69. Krenwinkel stabbed Folger 28 times and wrote “Death to Pigs” in blood on the walls of the LaBianca’s home.
All are still in prison after having been denied parole many times. Susan Atkins, 61, died in 2009. She stabbed to death Sharon Tate.
Manson, a failed songwriter, organized the murders but he did not participate in them.