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One of the most deranged, psychopathic killers in U.S. history is dead at the age of 83. Charles Manson died of natural causes at 8:13 p.m. Sunday night at a Kern County hospital, the California Department of Corrections said in a press release.
On November 15, TMZ reported that Manson had been taken to a hospital in Bakersfield. Manson had been serving his seven life sentences at Corcoran State Prison in central California. The former leader of the 1960s cult, the Manson Family, had been battling various health issues for a few years.
Manson’s next parole hearing was set for 2027. He had been in prison since 1971.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. A Source Had Said When Manson Was Hospitalized; ‘It’s Just a Matter of Time’
The TMZ report says that Manson was being guarded by five cops at the time of his death. He was admitted to Mercy Hospital in Bakersfield on November 12. A source told the gossip website that “it’s not going to get any better for him. While adding, “It’s just a matter of time.”
Manson was seen being wheeled into the hospital looking ashen on a stretcher and covered in blankets, according to TMZ.
A public mugshot of Manson was released in August 2017, three months before his death.
Prison officials have been calling the families of Manson’s victims to notify them of his death, Debra Tate told TMZ.
2. In January 2017, Manson Had Been Deemed to Weak for Surgery
In January 2017, Manson was hospitalized in Bakersfield after a doctor discovered a sigmoid lesion and lower gastrointestinal bleeding, reported the Fresno Bee at the time. At the time, Manson was signed into Mercy Hospital as John Doe. After being examined, it was determined that Manson was too weak for surgery and he was sent back to Corcoran prison.
Manson’s grandson, Jason Freeman, told the Los Angeles Times in January 2017 that, “I think at age 82, he’s in pretty good shape. For being 82 and locked up, he’s kept himself together well physically. Old age is setting in. Nature is taking its course. There will be a day where he doesn’t wake up again.”
Manson had at least three children, who you can read about here, but he previously said he could have other children he doesn’t know about.
3. Sharon Tate’s Sister Said She Would Reserve Judgement for Manson Until After He Died
When Manson was hospitalized in January 2017, Sharon Tate’s sister, Debra, said that she would reserve her judgement on Manson until after he dies. In speaking to the Associated Press, Debra Tate spoke about the other members of the Manson family, “I would probably say a prayer for them and shed a tear and ask God to have mercy on their souls, but so far I haven’t allowed myself to feel anything because it’s unsubstantiated. I’m not allowing myself to feel anything until I know it’s true.”
Manson has been behind bars for several decades.
“Inmate Manson was admitted to state prison from Los Angeles County on April 22, 1971, for seven counts of first-degree murder and one count of conspiracy to commit murder for the August 1969 deaths of Abigail Ann Folger, Wojciech Frykowski, Steven Earl Parent, Sharon Tate Polanski who was eight months pregnant, Jay Sebring, Leno La Bianca and Rosemary La Bianca,” the DOC said in a statement. “Inmate Manson had been housed in the Protective Housing Unit at California State Prison-Corcoran since 1989. The unit houses inmates whose safety would be endangered by general population housing. He had also been housed at San Quentin State Prison, California Medical Facility, Folsom State Prison and Pelican Bay State Prison.”
After Manson’s death, Debra Tate told People, “I said a prayer for his soul. Each one of these people and myself now have are spirits or our wills are slightly entangled,” she told People about Manson and his followers.
4. His Former Follower Leslie Van Houten Was Granted Parole a 2 Months Before His Death
In September 2017, the youngest Manson follower Leslie Van Houten was granted parole in Los Angeles County. He release is still pending approval from California Governor Jerry Brown. Brown vetoed Van Houten’s parole in April 2016 saying that the former family member was “an unreasonable danger to society if released from prison.
After the parole was granted in 2017, Van Houten’s lawyer, Rich Pfeiffer, told the Los Angeles Times, “She’s very thankful and relieved. She’s going home. There’s no question she’s going home. The only question is when.”
Debra Tate, Sharon’s sister, told People she also prayed for the soul of Manson follower Susan Atkins, when she died of cancer in 2009. She earlier told the magazine she would do the same after Manson’s death.
“My cross in my bedroom still has the flowers that I slipped into Jesus’s feet when Susan died,” she said. “I cried a tear and I asked for forgiveness on her soul. I’ll do the same thing when Charlie dies.”
Debra Tate told the magazine that while she believes God will take care of the souls of Manson and his followers after their deaths, she wanted to make sure they remained in prison while alive.
“These are sociopaths,” she told People. “They’re no less violent today then they were then.”
5. During His Life, Manson Was Diagnosed as Being ‘Paranoid’ & ‘Schizophrenic’
An October 2013 feature on Manson on the Huffington Post mentioned that before the Manson Family killings, he had already been diagnosed as being an “ambulatory schizophrenic.” The diagnosis noted that Manson had exhibited manipulative behavior.
In the book, Manson in His Own Words, the killer appeared to accept his diagnosis as being paranoid and being a schizophrenic. Manson said, “Sure I’m paranoid. I’ve had reason to be ever since I can remember. And now I have to be, just to stay alive. As for schizophrenia, take anybody off the streets and put them in the middle of a prison yard and you’ll see all kinds of split personalities. I’ve got a thousand faces, so that makes me five hundred schizophrenics. And in my life, I’ve played every one of those faces. Sometimes because people push me into a role, and sometimes because it’s better being someone else than me.”
Manson was profiled for a piece in Psychology Today in March 2014.
While a spokeswoman for the California Department of Corrections told the Los Angeles Times, “Suffice it to say that [Manson] cannot be described as a model prisoner.”