Charles Manson is a notorious American criminal
who masterminded several senseless, brutal
murders, and is considered the personification
of evil by many.
Known primarily for the 1969 Tate-LaBianca
murders, Manson was actually a career criminal
with a record dating back to the late 1940s.
He once claimed he was responsible for dozens
Charles Manson in 2009
Biographical fast facts
Full or original name at birth: Charles Milles Maddox (a.k.a. Charles Milles Manson)
Date, time and place of birth: November 12, 1934,
at 4:40 p.m., Cincinnati General Hospital, Cincinnati, Ohio, U.S.A. *
Date, place and cause of death: (Alive as of 2012)
Wife: Rosalie Jean Willis (m. January 17, 1955 - 1958) (divorced)
Wife: Leona Rae "Candy" Stevens (m. 1959 - 1963) (divorced)
Sons: Charles Milles Manson, Jr. (d. committed suicide in 1993)
Charles Luther Manson
Valentine "Pooh Bear" Michael Manson (b. April 1, 1968,
Topanga Canyon, Los Angeles, California)
Note: Rosalie is the mother of Charles Manson, Jr.,
Leona is the mother of Charles Luther Manson, and
Mary Theresa Brunner (considered to be the first
member of Manson's "Family") is the mother of
"Pooh Bear" Manson.
Father: Colonel Walker Scott (b. May 11, 1910, Pike County,
Kentucky - d. December 30, 1954, King's Daughters' Hospital,
Ashland, Kentucky, of cirrhosis of the liver)**
Mother: Kathleen Maddox (1918-1973)
Note: William Manson was Charles Manson's stepfather.
Error corrections or clarifications
* His birth certificate, on file with the Ohio
Department of Health, Division of Vital Statistics,
clearly shows his date of birth as Nov. 12, 1934.
Manson's birth date is erroneously reported as
"November 11" by many sources, but it is actually
November 12th. Be aware, some of his arrest records
mistakenly show the erroneous "November 11" date
of birth. Also, his middle name is not spelled
"Mills" as a couple of sources mistakenly claim.
Note that some of the early newspaper accounts
of the murders misspell his middle name "Miles."
Understand that like most Americans, Charles Manson
actually has two different "birth certificates."
The first birth certificate is given by the hospital,
and is often called a "souvenir" birth certificate.
These are no longer considered valid in most
jurisdictions for use as identification in obtaining
a drivers license, passport, and such. The second
birth certificate is the one filed with the county
or state government, several days, or in some cases,
weeks after the birth. We raise this issue in light
of the fact many sources claim the name on his birth
certificate is "No Name Maddox." Again, the birth
certificate on file with the Ohio Department of
Health, Division of Vital Statistics, clearly shows
his first and middle name "Charles Milles" not
"No Name Maddox." Manson's mother, Kathleen, addressed
this issue in 1971, saying that she had not decided
on a name, and waited a couple of days until her
mother arrived in Cincinnati (where she'd given
birth) to help her choose a first name for her child.
Thus the officially registered birth certificate
filed on December 3rd, 1934, three weeks after
Manson's birth, indeed does show the name she
NOTE: The hospital made a typographical error when
supplying his birth data to the government, offering
the misspelling "Moddox" instead of the properly
spelled Maddox. So this misspelling appears on the
aforementioned birth certificate.
Colonel Scott's biographical data was confirmed by his death certificate.
Quotes - In his own words:
Manson addresses his birth: "On November 12, 1934,
while living in Cincinnati, Ohio, unwed and only
sixteen, my mother gave birth to a bastard son."
"The child -- me, Charles Milles Manson -- was
an outlaw from birth."
Manson on his mother: "Her name was Kathleen Maddox,
born in Ashland, Kentucky, and the youngest of three
children from the marriage of Nancy and Charles Maddox."
Manson addresses the birth of his son Valentine:
"On April 1, 1968, Mary gave birth to our son
Valentine Michael Manson."
In August of 1969, a crazed, demented career criminal who
led a ragtag band of followers that became known as the
Manson Family, ordered members of his "family" to go to
the former residence of an acquaintance, TV and record
producer Terry Melcher, and massacre all those present.
Manson hoped to become a professional musician-songwriter
and had previously auditioned for Melcher, who had decided
against signing him to a contract. Melcher, the son of
actress/singer Doris Day, had moved from the home months
before, but Manson continued with his plans to kill anyone
found there regardless. His crazed band of hippies did
precisely as the cold-blooded leader had ordered.
Motion picture director Roman Polanski shared the home
at 10050 Cielo Drive, Bel Air, California (just outside
Beverly Hills city limits) with his actress wife, Sharon
Tate. Polanski was best known for his films Repulsion
(1965), and Rosemary's Baby (1968), but would go on
to even greater fame directing Chinatown (1974) and
won the Academy Award for 2002's The Pianist. Actress
Sharon Tate was best known for her work in Valley of the
Polanski was overseas the night of the first Manson
killing spree. His pregnant wife was not so lucky.
Sharon Tate was actually just days away from her
expected delivery date. She was among those murdered,
along with Steve Parent (Steven Earl Parent), Abigail
Folger (heiress to the Folger coffee fortune), Jay
Sebring (b. Thomas John Kummer) an internationally
known hairstylist to the stars, and Wojciech Frykowski
(frequently misspelled "Voytek Frykowski"), boyfriend
of Abigail Folger. Each was killed in a particularly
sadistic manner. The victims at the scene of the Tate
killing spree, received a total of 102 stab wounds.
One day later, it happened again. Rosemary and Leno
LaBianca were brutally murdered in the upper-middle-class
Los Angeles neighborhood of Los Feliz. Leno was the
president and chief stockholder of Gateway Markets,
a small chain of profitable markets in the Los Angeles
area, and his wife Rosemary LaBianca ran a successful
boutique. Their home at 3301 Waverly Drive (address
was later changed to 3311), was the scene of a gruesome
pair of homicides. As with the previous victims,
literally dozens of stab wounds were inflicted on the
The grisly Tate-LaBianca murders resulted in a
high-profile trial that drew international attention
for months. Charles Manson was found guilty and
sentenced to death. Other members of Manson's hippie
cult who were put behind bars for their part in the
crimes included, Susan Atkins, Patricia Krenwinkel
and Leslie Van Houten. Charles "Tex" Watson, was
also found guilty, but in a separate trial. In 1972,
the California Supreme Court abolished the death
penalty and Manson's sentence was automatically
reduced to life in prison. As a result, he's been
up for parole many times, but thankfully the parole
board has wisely denied parole each time.
In September 1975, one of Manson's followers made
headlines following her assassination attempt on
President Gerald R. Ford. Secret Service
agents managed to seize Lynette "Squeaky" Fromme
after she aimed a gun at President Ford, who was
unharmed. She was sentenced to life in prison for
the attempt on his life. Fromme later escaped from
prison--reportedly to be closer to Manson--before
being recaptured and sentenced to additional time
behind bars. Despite receiving life in prison and
additional jail time for her escape, Squeaky Fromme
was actually released on parole in August 2009.
Long before his multiple murder convictions for the
Tate-LaBianca killings, Manson had a lengthy criminal
record stretching back to 1948. His extensive list of
charges included armed robberies, arson, burglary, assault,
mail theft, drug possession, forgery, credit card fraud,
receiving stolen property, pimping, grand theft auto and
numerous parole violations.
Decades later, the Manson murders continue to fascinate new
generations. The Internet seems to have helped generate an
allure and fascination in a generation too young to remember
the bizarre and vicious murders and sensational trial. For
some perverse reason, prisoner Manson has become something
of a folk hero to some young people. He actually receives
fan letters every day from people who oddly identify with
him, or feel the convicted murderer is somehow "misunderstood."
Appallingly there are apologists out there who suggest
neither Manson nor his followers had anything to do with
the killing spree. They claim Manson and his cohorts were
framed. These arguments are, of course, absolute nonsense.
Those convicted of the crimes have offered detailed accounts
of the murders which were substantiated by the evidence found
at each crime scene. Several of the murderers have not only
confessed, but were initially proud of their crimes and had
hoped to commit more murders. Manson himself has boasted of
being responsible for more than 35 murders. Other members
of the Manson Family agree that they killed between "35
to 40 people." When given the opportunity to appear before
the press, the wild-eyed convict, his fanatical behavior
and grand theatrics, still manage to make headlines.
The prosecutor of the case, Vincent Bugliosi, later wrote
the best-selling book Helter Skelter, which offered an
incredibly detailed look at the crimes, the participants,
and subsequent trial. Bugliosi accurately observed, "The
name Manson has become a metaphor for evil, and evil has
its allure. Some people have the same fascination for
Jack the Ripper and Hitler."
The most in-depth of more than four dozen
sources consulted in preparing this profile,
was Helter Skelter: The True Story of the
Manson Murders by Vincent Bugliosi and Curt Gentry (1974)
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