People across the Southland and the nation are using the occasion of mass murderer Charles Manson’s death to call for renewed mourning for the victims of Manson and his infamous cult “family.”
“Manson was a pathetic, cowardly con man & should be remembered for that alone,” Los Angeles City Councilman Mitch O’Farrell tweeted. “The lives he and his followers mercilessly cut short are deserving of having their stories told.”
Death came to the 83-year-old Manson at 8:13 p.m. Sunday in a Kern County hospital, according to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.
On Thursday, it was reported that Manson was near death in a Bakersfield hospital, but the department of corrections was tight-lipped about further details citing federal and state medical privacy laws.
In January, Manson was taken to Mercy Hospital in Bakersfield for what authorities at the time would describe only as a serious medical problem.
Manson and members of his outcast “family” of followers were convicted of killing actress Sharon Tate — who was eight months pregnant — and six other people during a bloody rampage in the Los Angeles area in August 1969.
Prosecutors said Manson and his followers were trying to incite a race war he dubbed “Helter Skelter,” taken from the Beatles song of the same name.
The Manson clan also stabbed to death grocery magnate Leno La Bianca and his wife Rosemary La Bianca the night after the Tate murders.
Manson was convicted of seven counts of first-degree murder and one count of conspiracy to commit murder in the deaths of Tate, the La Biancas, and four other people at the Tate residence — coffee heiress Abigail Ann Folger, photographer Wojciech Frykowski, hairdresser Jay Sebring and Steven Earl Parent, shot and killed in his car on his way to visit an acquaintance who lived in a separate rented guest house on the Tate property.
Manson and followers Charles “Tex” Watson, Leslie Van Houten, Patricia Krenwinkel and the late Susan Atkins all were convicted and sentenced to state prisons in 1971. Manson also was convicted in December of that year for first-degree murder for the July 25, 1969, death of Gary Hinman and the August 1969 death of Donald Shea.
He and the others originally were sentenced to death, but a 1972 state Supreme Court decision caused all capital sentences in California to be commuted to life in prison. There was no life-without-parole sentence at the time.
Vincent Bugliosi, the chief prosecutor of Manson and his acolytes, described him as “an evil, sophisticated con man with twisted and warped moral values.”
Bugliosi died June 6, 2015.
Michele Hanisee, president of the state Association of Deputy District Attorneys, said on Twitter that Manson would not be mourned.
“Today, Manson’s victims are the ones who should be remembered and mourned on the occasion of his death,” Hanisee said.
“I said a prayer for his passing,” said Debra Tate, sister of Sharon Tate. “One could say I’ve forgiven them, which is quite different then forgetting what they (were) are capable of.”
During his imprisonment, Manson was incarcerated at San Quentin State Prison, the California Medical Facility, Folsom State Prison and Pelican Bay State Prison, before he was housed in the Protective Housing Unit at the Corcoran State Prison in 1989, where inmates whose safety would be endangered in the general prison population are kept.
Manson remained at Corcoran for the duration of his term.
Manson was denied parole 12 times between Nov. 16, 1978 and April 11, 2012. He was not eligible for another parole hearing until 2027, corrections officials said.
The last parole hearing Manson attended was March 27, 1997.
Prison officials have not said what they will do with Manson’s remains. He is not known to have any next of kin.
—City News Service
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