A Los Angeles Superior Court judge said Monday that more information is needed before a court can decide which county should decide probate issues involving mass-murderer Charles Manson and who is entitled to obtain his remains.

Judge David Cowan scheduled a hearing on both issues for Jan. 26. Cowan was sitting in for Judge Clifford Klein, who will ultimately decide if the probate proceedings should take place in Los Angeles County, where Manson once lived; in Kings County, where he was imprisoned before his death; or in Kern County, where he died.

Manson spent nearly 50 years at the Corcoran prison and died Nov. 19 at age 83 at Bakersfield Mercy Hospital. His heart failure was triggered by colon cancer that had spread to other areas of his body.

Former Manson pen pal Michael Channels and Manson’s grandson, Jason Freeman, are both trying to obtain control of the killer’s remains.

After Monday morning’s hearing, Channels said he has a copy of Manson’s will and that the cult leader left no property of any significant value. Channels said he has no financial motives in getting involved in the probate case and that he is not looking for attention. He said he only wants to see Manson buried in a place where spectators won’t vandalize the gravesite.

“It’s not about money,” Channels said. “What I’m trying to do is put the man to rest.”

Channels, who is representing himself, said he has tried to hire an attorney to help him in the probate proceedings, but no one has accepted the job.

“Half of them hang up on me,” Channels said.

Channels said he has numerous letters Manson wrote him over the years and that he penned about 50 messages to Manson before he ever responded.

Asked why he began his pen pal-like relationship with Manson, Channels replied, “I’m just curious.”

Channels said he and Manson also grew up in the same general area of the Midwest. He said he last spoke with Manson 19 days before the killer’s death.

Channels told the judge that Manson’s body is “frozen in Kern County” and that he has already filed some probate papers there.

–City News Service

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