Charles Manson Dies; Notorious Murderer Was 83
Charles Manson–arguably the most notorious criminal of the 20th century–has passed away at the age of 83.
News of Manson’s death was revealed by Debra Tate, the sister of his most famous victim, who says she was notified by officials from Corcoran State Prison on Sunday night.
TMZ confirmed the news of Manson’s passing moments ago.
Manson was transported to a hospital in Bakersfield, California last week after suffering intestinal bleeding.
It was his second hospitalization in the past year, and on both occasions, doctors reported that the longtime inmate was too weak for surgery.
“It’s just a matter of time,” one hospital source told TMZ on Tuesday.
Manson’s crimes and subsequent trial captivated millions of Americans in the late 1960s and early ’70s.
Though he was never accused of taking a life with his own hands, the magnetic cult leader was convicted of conspiracy to commit murder in connection with the 1969 deaths of actress Sharon Tate and six others.
For many, Manson became a living symbol for the death of the 1960s hippie movement and its culture of pacifism and free love.
In the decades since his arrest, his name has become synonymous with evil.
Born to an unmarried 16-year-old runaway in 1934, Manson was placed with an aunt and uncle following his mother’s imprisonment for robbery when he was just 5 years old.
His life of crime began at an early age, and he was first imprisoned at the age of 13 following a string of robberies.
After a youth spent primarily in detention centers, Manson was transferred to Terminal Island prison in Los Angeles in 1967.
Following his release, Manson experienced a modicum of success as a musician, recording an album’s worth of folk songs and collaborating with members of the Beach Boys.
Fame eluded Manson as a singer and songwriter, but his role as a sadistic cult leader would make him a figure of international infamy.
It was at Spahn Ranch in Chatsworth, California that Manson attracted a “family” of drifters and outsiders who, under his instruction, carried out the murders of Sharon Tate, Abigail Ann Folger, Wojciech Frykowski, Steven Earl Parent, Jay Sebring Leno, and Rosemary La Bianca.
At the time of her death, Tate–the wife of famed film director Roman Polanski–was pregnant with her first child.
Nearly fifty years after the murders that made him infamous, Manson’s hold on the public’s imagination is such that he became the number one trending topic on Twitter within minutes of the announcement of his death.