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Artículo The Manson Family, 50 years after their bloody killing spree Articles


The Manson Family, 50 years after their bloody killing spree



Playground Traduccion

13 Febrero 2017 17:40

Most of them, including Charles Manson, are still in prison.


They murdered nine people in Beverly Hills in 1969. This is what they look like now.

In 1969, the Manson Family, led by ex-convict Charles Manson, shook California with a killing spree that left nine people dead. They became particularly notorious for the brutal murder of actress Sharon Tate, pregnant wife of director Roman Polanski, and for the killing of Leno and Rosemary LaBianca the following day.  

Manson convinced his followers to help him start a race war that would, he believed, lead to apocalypse and Manson world domination. Intoxicated with his vision, Manson's followers did whatever he commanded them to.

Almost five decades have passed since those atrocities put paid to the idealistic hopes and dreams of the 1960s.

Where are the Manson Family and those affected by them now?

Charles Manson

He wasn't present at the murders, but he was the mastermind behind them. He was declared guilty of homicide and sentenced to death, which was commuted to life in prison.

Currently 82 years old, he's serving his time in Corcoran, California. He has been denied parole 12 times and, according to officials, frequently violates prison rules.

He is next up for parole in 2027, when he'll be 92. But it's looking increasingly likely that he'll never even get that chance to taste freedom: he was taken to hospital with a serious illness on 3 January.

Leslie Van Houten

In 1978, Van Houten was convicted of conspiracy and for the murder of the LaBiancas. She has claimed that she committed the crimes because she thought Manson was some kind of 'Jesus Christ'.

Last April, California Governor Jerry Brown denied a request for her release. In October, Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge William C Ryan, upheld the revocation on the grounds that there is 'some evidence' that she continues to represent a danger to society. 

She is currently 67 years old and is serving her time in Corona, California. In 2002, she claimed that she was 'deeply ashamed' of what she did, but it doesn't look like she will be freed any day soon.

Charles Watson

Considered Manson's right-hand man, he was sentenced to death for his part in the killings, although this was later commuted to life in prison. Since he didn't know if he'd ever leave prison, he decided to build a new life for himself behind bars instead: he married, divorced, and fathered four children with his ex-wife during conjugal visits. He also founded Abounding Love Ministries.

He is now 71 and incarcerated at the penitentiary centre in Ione, California. According to his ministry's website, Charles works as a custodian, attends Bible studies and services at the prison chapel. He also explains that he believed that 'Manson offered  utopia', but that over time he understood that he'd made a terrible mistake in following him.

His most recent parole hearing was on 27 October 2016. As with the previous 39, it was decided that Charles was not ready to come out. He will have to wait at least another 5 years at least.

Susan Atkins

She was one of the most faithful followers of Manson and willingly confessed to having killed Sharon Tate. When she was given her death sentence, Atkins threatened the jury, saying: 'you'd best lock your doors' and 'watch your own kids.'

Atkins, described by one of the prosecutors as 'the scariest of the Manson girls', was diagnosed with brain cancer in 2008. The illness spurred her to seek parole in 2009, but this was denied. She died behind bars at the age of 61.

Patricia Krenwinkel

She was convicted of seven murders, including the LaBiancas. After killing them, she wrote 'death to pigs' in blood on the wall of their home. 

She is now 69 and doing time in Corona, California. Her attorney recently alleged that Krenwinkel had suffered abuse at the hands of Manson. This allegation pushed officials into proposing her release. However, whether or not this is successful will depend on an investigation that will probably take many months to complete.

Lynette Fromme

In 1975, she was sentenced to life imprisonment for the attempted murder of President Gerald Ford. She frequently corresponded with Manson during her incarceration.

Despite a brief 1987 escape, Fromme was released in 2009. She was 60 and had spent more than half her life in jail. According to reports, she was planning to move north of New York.

Bruce Davis

At left, Bruce Davis in 2014 in a California Department of Corrections image, and in 1970 in a photo made by Harold Filan.

In 1972 he was convicted of participating in the murder of aspiring musician Gary Hinman, as well as the manager of the ranch where the Manson family were staying, Donald 'Shorty' Sea.

He is currently 74 and is incarcerated at San Luis de Obispo, California. He has been denied parole on 30 occasions – the last time in January 2016, when he was classed as still a danger to society. 

Robert Beausoleil

Also known as 'Bobby', Beausoleil was convicted of the murder of Gary Hinman. Like the others, he had his death sentence reduced to life imprisonment, which has given him the opportunity to father four children and become a member of the Aryan Brotherhood. He has reportedly been involved in numerous fights while in prison and suffered injuries as a result.

In 2015, he was moved to a Medical Facility in Vacaville, California, where, at the age of 69, he was recently denied parole.

Linda Kasabian

She was the only Manson family member not to have taken part in the murders, because – as the only one with a valid driver's license – she was more useful as a getaway driver. She drove Family members to the Tate house, and to the home of the LaBiancas the next day.

She was also the first to realise that what they had done was terribly wrong. She testified against Manson – standing in the witness box for over two weeks – in exchange for her own immunity. She was last found living in a trailer park.

Roman Polanski

Polanski was in Europe when the Manson Family murdered his wife, Sharon Tate. She was 8 months pregnant when the Family broke in and stabbed her to death.

In 1978, Polanski was forced to flee Los Ángeles after being found guilty of having sexual relations with a 13-year-old girl. He has lived in France ever since.

Last year, US officials pressured Poland to extradite the director, who was attending the inauguration of the Museum of the History of Polish Jews in Warsaw. Judges denied the request.

In spite of everything, Polanski continues to make critically-lauded films, such as The Pianist and Chinatown. His next, Based on a True Story, is due to be released in 2017.