Charles M. Manson

Allen Azar
Mrs. Kardos
Term Paper

In this world there are cults everywhere. Whether they\'re in the US,
China, or maybe next-door there is always one common factor, control. Charles
Manson was a cult leader in southern California during the sixties. Like all
cult leaders Manson had his own small band of followers. His influence was so
great that his followers were willing to kill for him at his smallest whim.
Charles Manson was very paranoid and was under the influnce that there
was to be an upcoming race war. He called this race war “Helter Skelter”.

Page 1

Charles M. Manson was born in Cincinnati on November 11, 1934. His
mother Kathleen Maddox, a teenage prostitute, his father was a man remembered as
“Colonel Scott.” In order to give her bastard son a name she married William
Manson. He quickly abandoned the both of them. In 1939 Kathleen Maddox was
arrested for robbery and Charles was sent to live with his aunt and grandmother.
Charles remembered his aunt as a harsh disciplinarian and favored is uncle
because he gave him money for the movies and took him on frequent fishing trips.
Only when his uncle became ill did his unfit mother come and reclaim her
unwanted son and moved to Indianapolis.
When Mrs. Manson reclaimed her son she promised that she would take care
of him and provide for his every need. Unfortunately, all these promises were
soon shattered by liquor and men. She frequently neglected Charles by telling
him she would be back in an hour and then not show up for the rest of the night.
Sometimes when her guilt took her over she would give him fifty cents and
another promise; and at other times she just abused him.
When Mrs. Manson got fed up with taking care of Charles she arranged to
have Charles put in a foster home, but arrangements fell through. As a last
resort she sent Charles to Gibault School in Terre Haute. Mrs. Manson couldn\'t
keep up the payments and once again Charles was sent back to his mother\'s abuse.
At only fourteen Manson rented himself a room and supported himself with odd
jobs and petty theft. His mother turned him into the juvenile authorities.
Once there Manson met Rev. George Powers who had him sent to Boys Town near
Omaha, Nebraska. Charles spent a total of three days in Boys Town before
running away with his new friend Blackie Neilson. They were arrested in Peoria,
Illinois for robbing a grocery store and returned back to Indianapolis. Charles
was then sent to the Indiana Boys School in Plainfield where he ran away another
eighteen times before he was caught and sent to the National Training School for
Boys in Washington D.C.
After his release in 1954 he went to West Virginia and not before long
married Rosalie Jean Willis. She became pregnant and Charles started stealing
cars. By the time the baby was born he was in a Los Angeles jail.
Rosalie moved to California to be near Charles. Her mother-in-law had a
seldom streak of maternal sympathy and came to help care for her grandchild.
In 1958 Charles got out of Prison his wife, child, and mother had left
him alone again. Several arrests for car theft and pimping followed; in 1960,
Charles was given ten years for forging government checks. While he was serving
his ten year sentence at McNeil Island Penitentiary he studied philosophy, took
up guitar, and taught himself sing and compose songs. He was constant probation
violator and was not eligible for parole. He served seven years until his
release in March, 1967.
This long stretch had left its mark. “If Charlie has any roots in the
penal system,” Said one acquaintance (New York Times Magazine January 4, 1970).
“Inside, you have to be aware of everything, and when he came out,
Charlie was like a cat. Nothing got by Charlie if something happened within a
hundred miles of him, he made sure he knew about it. Every time he came into a
room, he cased it, like an animal. Where were the windows? What was the
quickest way out? He never sat with his back to the door.”

Soon after his release, Manson went off to Haight Ashbury, where the
hippie movement was coming about. At the time the true hippies, the gentle ones
who believed in peace, love, and sharing with others, were like a primitive
tribe suddenly exposed to civilization. As the media spread their story, the
hippies became overwhelmed with teenyboppers, motorcycle gangs, and a wide
variety of the mentally deranged.