Charles Manson

"Mr. Scott, Ms. Maddox? Here\'s your baby boy!" These were the first words that Kathleen Maddox heard when she gave birth to a healthy baby boy, to whom she would later give her maiden name. Charles Milles Manson, born in Cincinnati, Ohio, on November 11, 1934 (FAQ\'s 1), seemed to be a normal child, when, in fact, he was trouble from the start. The two had not planned to have a child, and certainly did not expect him to end up being the most notorious killer of the 20th century. In the summer of 1969, Manson made the residents of California afraid to leave their homes (Fillmer 2). Charlie Manson committed grotesque crimes, controlled his trials, and now resides in the California State Prison (FAQ\'s 1).
Manson had a rocky childhood and family life. Some experts say that he was a bad seed because of the fact that he did not know his father (Bugliosi 28). Kathleen Maddox was considered by some to be a teenage whore. About his mother, Manson says, "For Mom, life was filled with a never-ending list of denials…In her search for acceptance she may have fallen in love too easily and too often, but a whore at that time? No!…In later years, because of some hard knocks and tough times, she may have sold her body some…" Charlie lived with his mother until the age of 5, when she was arrested for armed robbery (FAQ\'s 1). She was released from prison in 1942. Manson, after living with various relatives, such as a religious aunt and a sadistic uncle who called him a sissy and made him wear girl\'s clothes on the first day of school ("Charles"), moved back in with his mother for five more years. At that time, she placed him at the Gibault School for Boys in Indiana. After escaping from the School, he committed several burglaries and was placed into the famous Boys Town in Nebraska (FAQ\'s 1). After being arrested several more times, one of which he was caught in a stolen car at a roadblock (Fillmer 2), he was married to Rosalie Willis in 1955.

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Charles\' marriage was only the beginning of his "family." Charlie tended to lure in young women, by saying he could "make them feel like they were on top of the world, like they were floating (Fillmer 3)." Manson used sleep deprivation, sex, food control, and drugs to gain complete control of his followers ("Charles"). The Family tended to hang around the Spahn Ranch, where they used to make old western movies. The ranch is desolate, located 25 miles from downtown LA, with piles of huge red rocks and dark greenery (Klinghoffer 1). In this isolation, with no access to newspapers or even clocks, the Family listened to Charlie speak on theories such as Buddhism, the Beatles, Scientology, and Adolf Hitler (whom Manson refers to as "a tuned in guy") (Klinghoffer 1). Regarding himself as Jesus Christ reincarnated, he promised to lead the drug induced teens to a hold out in Death Valley through which they would "all descend to live with a secret underground civilization (Klinghoffer 1)." Manson\'s Family consisted mainly of Bobby Beausoleil, Mary Theresa Brunner, Patricia Krenwinkel, Leslie Van Houten, Linda Kasabian, Susan Atkins, Charles "Tex" Watson, Suzan LaBerge, and Lynette "Squeaky" Fromme (Nelson 1). There were as many as 50 people in the Family at a time, but these nine and Manson remained constant. These were also the ones who did the killing.
When Manson met with his followers, he would sometimes sit on a rock and preach to them, acting as their God. He would tell them that the reason they were at this ranch jam-packed with stolen goods was to prepare them for Helter Skelter, the nuclear and race wars Manson predicted ("Charlie" 1). He derived the title Helter Skelter from the Beatles song off their White Album (Bugliosi 28). An excerpt from the lyrics of this song are: "Helter skelter, helter skelter, here she comes, here she comes." This, in Charlie\'s mind, was the war against all Jews, blacks, and any race that was not white. Hoping to induce "Helter Skelter", Manson sent Tex Watson,
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Patricia Krenwinkel, Susan Atkins, and Linda Kasabian to film director Roman Polanski\'s home ("Charlie" 1).