A lawyer seeking to administer Charles Manson’s estate for the benefit of the man who says he is the mass killer’s grandson alleges in new court papers that a rival who purports to be Manson’s son is not an heir under the law.
Jason Freeman maintains he is Manson’s grandson. Lawyer Dale Kiken has filed court papers seeking to administer Manson’s estate on Freeman’s behalf, but is competing with Michael Brunner, who says he is Manson’s son, and longtime Manson pen pal Michael Channels.
Freeman won a significant court victory when a Kern County Commissioner ruled Monday that he was entitled to Manson’s remains. The same day, Kiken filed court papers stating that any relationship Brunner had, if any, with Manson was severed when he was adopted.
“Brunner is not an heir of the decedent’s … estate and has no standing herein,” according to Kiken’s court papers.
Manson told third parties before he died that Brunner was not his “biological child,” Kiken’s petition states.
“Brunner has never sought to determine his biological paternity although he has had decades to do so,” Kiken’s petition states.
Brunner has said in media interviews that he feels he has “no connection” to Manson and that he resisted any contact with him, according to Kiken’s petition.
Like Freeman, Kiken maintains that a 2002 Manson will Channels alleges he possesses is a forgery.
Channels said Manson’s 2002 will, filed in Kern County in November, names him the executor of Manson’s estate and gives him control of what to do with the convicted killer’s remains.
But Kiken said the alleged will does not “contain the affirming signature” of Manson.
“If ever executed, the 2002 will was revoked,” according to Kiken’s court papers.
Manson, who spent nearly 50 years behind bars and was denied parole a dozen times, died Nov. 19 at age 83 at Bakersfield Mercy Hospital of heart failure triggered by colon cancer that had spread to other areas of his body.
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 he 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, celebrity hairdresser Jay Sebring and Steven Earl Parent, who was 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 of first-degree murder for the July 25, 1969, death of Gary Hinman and the August 1969 death of Donald Shea.
Manson 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.
—City News Service