Реферат: Charles Manson- Origins Of A Madman

Charles Manson- Origins Of A Madman Essay, Research Paper

Charles Manson: Orgins of a Madman

Charles Manson is known as one of the most sinister and evil criminals of all time.

He organized the murders that shocked the world and his name still strikes fear into

American hearts. Manson’s childhood, personality, and uncanny ability to control people

led to the creation of a family-like cult and ultimately to the bloody murders of numerous

innocent people.

Charles M. Manson was born in Cincinnati, Ohio on November 11, 1934. His

mother, Kathleen Maddox, was a teenage prostitute. Manson’s father walked out on the

still pregnant Maddox, never to be seen again. In order to give her bastard son a name,

Ms. Maddox married William Manson. He soon abandoned the both of them.

Manson’s mother often neglected Charles after her husband left her. She tried to

put him into a foster home, but the arrangements fell through. As a last resort she sent

Charles to school in Terre Haute, Indiana. Mrs. Manson failed to make the payments for

the school and once again Charles was sent back to his mother’s abuse. At only fourteen,

Manson left his mother and rented a room for himself. He supported himself with odd

jobs and petty theft. His mother turned him into the juvenile authorities, who had him sent

to “Boys Town,” a juvenile detention center, near Omaha, Nebraska. Charles spent a total

of three days in “Boys Town” before running away. He was arrested in Peoria, Illinois for

robbing a grocery store and was then sent to the Indiana Boys School in Plainfield,

Indiana, where he ran away another eighteen times before he was caught and sent to the

National Training School for Boys in Washington D.C. Manson never had a place to call

“home” or a real family. He spent his childhood being sent from one place to another, and

trouble always seemed to follow him. His mother’s negligence left Manson without a

home and without much of a future. Manson turned to crime to support himself, and he

soon became very good at it. When just a child, he became a criminal and spent his last

years of childhood in a correctional facility.

After his release from the training school in 1954, a new period of Manson’s life

began. He went to West Virginia and soon married a girl named Rosalie Jean Willis. She

became pregnant and Manson had a child. This was Manson’s first real family, but he

didn’t stray from the criminal lifestyle. He started stealing cars to make the money

necessary to support his new family. By the time the baby was born, Manson was in

prison on Grand Theft Auto charges.

In 1958 Charles was released from prison. His wife and child had left him, leaving

Charles alone once again. Several arrests for car theft and pimping followed; in 1960

Charles was given ten years imprisonment for forging government checks. While he was

serving his ten year sentence at McNeil Penitentiary, he studied philosophy, took up guitar,

and taught himself sing and compose songs. His newfound musical skills would later

attract followers. His study of philosophy helped create some of his outlandish ideas that

later appealed to his would-be followers. Manson was released in March, 1967 after

serving seven years. By the time Manson was thirty-two years old, he had spent seventeen

years, more than half of his life, in prison.

This long stretch of incarceration had left its mark. “If Charlie has any roots,

they’re in the penal system,” 1 said one acquaintance.

“Inside, you have to be aware of everything, and when he

came out, Charlie was like a cat. Nothing got by Charlie if

something happened within a hundred miles of him, he

made sure he knew about it. Everytime he came into a

room, he cased it, like an animal. Where were the

windows? What was the quickest way out? He never sat

with his back to the door.”

Soon after his release, Manson traveled to Haight Ashbury, where the “hippie”

movement was in full force. At this time, hippies were gentle people, believing in peace,

love, and sharing with others. This was a perfect environment for Manson to gain

followers. Manson’s probation officer remembers he was “shaken” by the friendliness of

the hippies, but before long, Manson learned how to exploit it. He started to collect a

retinue of impressionable girls searching for a community of love. With a guitar, a

pleasant voice, sinuous mannerisms, and sweet talk with empty promises, Manson

convinced many young-adults to leave their lives and families to be with him. The

beginnings of his “Family” took shape.

Whenever Manson succeeded in gaining one of these followers, the first thing he

did was to deprogram both their ego and their “hang ups,” about conventional society. By

“hang ups,” he meant anything he did not like. Richard DeMargeno, a criminologist,

believed Manson was able to control these people by replacing their father figures.

“It wasn’t a very difficult process. He was dealing with

lonely insecure people in need of a father figure, people who

didn’t have much ego to begin with. What he did, in effect,

was to tear down that ego and substitute himself, thus

gaining enormous control over his followers.” 2

To his girls, Charles Manson was a “beautiful man who loved us all

totally.” Later, a group of young women outside of Manson’s murder trial replied, “We’re

waiting for our father to be set free,” when asked why they sat on the street-side corner.

Manson had obviously replaced these girls’ father figure, placing himself at the center of

their lives. Manson soon recruited dozens of girls into his “Family.” Yet, many outsiders

found him to be a relentless recruiter who came on strong with every girl he met, a cynic

who treated his followers like possessions and seldom showed any real affection to them.

Alan Springer, a man Manson once tried to recruit, said, “In away he was very frank and

truthful, but in away he was very treacherous with words.”3 Dr. David Smith, founder and

director of the free clinic in Haight Ashbury, thought that these two sides of Charles

Manson were not contradictory:

“To take an example, if you get to know any paranoid

schizophrenics it won’t puzzle you at all. The schizophrenic

usually believes in a mystical system in which he is right,

and he can plan in the most calculating and cunning way

possible. He himself does not really know he is a con man,

or whether he really does love the girls. He vacillates

between one emotion and the other, one of the

characteristics of a schizoid personality is the inability to

sustain one emotion. It doesn’t confuse me that he would be

able to convey sincere emotion and carry on in a very

plotting way. Of course, he would hide the cunning side as

much as possible from those he wanted to involve in his

system.” 4

When a new girl came into Manson’s group, their biggest conflict was the idea of

sex on demand. Charles could be very brutal when necessary and any girl that stayed with

him accepted the idea of having sex with him or anyone else he wanted. He preached that

women should be submissive to men. Surprisingly, these girls came to believe as he did.

Obviously, Charles had an unbelievable talent of manipulating people. According to Paul

Watkins, a one time follower of Manson, he soon had almost complete control over his


“I lived with Charlie for about one year straight and on and

off for two years. I know Charlie. I know him inside and

out. I became Charlie. Everything I once was, was Charlie.

There was nothing left of me anymore. And all of the

people in the Family, there’s nothing left of them anymore,

they’re all Charlie too.” 5

Charles packed his crew of fourteen, consisting of nine girls and five boys, into an

old school bus and headed south in the spring of 1968. The “Family” settled at Spahn

Ranch in the Santa Susana Mountains, just north of San Fernando Valley. The owner of

the Ranch, eighty five year old George Spahn, was blind and feeble and allowed the family

to stay with him. Manson ordered one of his girls to care for the man so that the “Family”

could might stay there as long as they wished. Mr. Spahn soon grew desperately afraid of

Manson and only allowed him to stay because he enjoyed the attention he got from the

girls who cooked and cleaned for him. It was at this ranch that Manson seriously started

developing his cult.

Manson’s following grew and many more people were recruited in the “Family.”

He started preaching to his followers in bizzare ways. He would have the group take acid

trips then listen to him as he spun twisted stories that put ideas into their heads. Charles

would reenact the Crucifixion of Christ, trying to instill upon his follower’s minds that he

was Jesus Christ, that he was a higher power that they all needed to follow

unquestionably. Manson convinced his followers that a war of the races was coming,

which he named Helter Skelter. He got the name from a Beatles song, and had his

followers prepare for the upcoming war by collecting guns and other weapons. Manson

turned the ranch into a fortress. He started to change his following from being a group of

freedom searching people into an organized army-like force. A prosecution witness in the

later murder trial said, “…, he [Manson] wants to build up a thing where he can be leader

of the world. He’s crazy.” 6 The men would target practice and guards were posted.

Escape routes to the desert were planned. Caches of gasoline and other necessities were

buried all over the Death Valley area. Then Manson had his followers start the crimes,

then he had them start the killings.

On August 9th, 1969, Manson ordered a party of his followers to burglarize a

residence in the Los Angeles. All of the people going knew they were supposed to kill

everyone there, yet they didn’t think twice about doing it for Manson. Before they left,

Manson told the party, “If you’re going to do something, leave something witchy.” 7 This

order was later followed to a hideous extent. The residence targeted by Manson for the

robbery and murders belonged to Roman Polanski, a movie director, and his pregnant wife

Sharon Tate, an up-and-coming movie star. Mr. Polanski was in Europe. His wife had

Abigail Folger and Voytek Frykowski staying with her until his return.

That night, Jay Sebring and Steven Parent were visiting Mrs. Tate. Manson’s

followers broke into the residence, and viciously murdered everyone there. They were very

brutal in the slayings, acting without remorse or guilt. Manson had them believing there

was nothing wrong with murdering these people. One of Manson’s girls, Sandra Good,

said, “Whatever is necessary, you do it. When somebody needs to be killed, there’s no

wrong. You do it, then you move on.” 8 Manson’s followers mutilated the bodies, Ms.

Folger’s corpse was so bloody that her once white night gown appeared to be red. Sharon

Tate’s body was no different. She was covered in stab wounds and had a rope tied around

her neck that ran over a rafter in the ceiling and was bound to Mr. Frykowski’s neck. The

word ‘PIG’ was scrolled with blood on the front door of the home, thus Manson’s orders of

leaving something “witchy” were followed.

Susan Atkins, one of Manson’s followers, claimed to have almost enjoyed these

murders, saying it gave her a sort of trip.

She had wanted to cut out the baby, Susan said, but there

hadn’t been time. They wanted to take out the eyes of the

people, and squash them against the walls, and cut off their

fingers. “We were going to mutilate them, but we didn’t

have a chance to.” 9

The next night following the Tate murders, Manson and his followers struck again.

The target was the home of Mr. and Mrs. LaBianca. This time, Manson himself

accompanied his family members to the residence. After the group broke into the home

and detained the LaBianca’s, Manson issued orders to kill the couple and then left.

Manson’s followers stabbed Mrs. LaBianca fourty-one times, stabbed her husband to

death, left a fork and a knife in his chest, and carved the word “WAR” into his stomach.

The words “RISE”, “HELTER SKELTER”, and “DEATH TO PIGS” were scribbled on the

walls and the refrigerator in the victims’ blood. These brutal slayings demonstrate the evil

in Manson’s warped mind. He was able to convince normal human beings to commit

unspeakable acts of violence the likes of which the world had never seen. In a sense,

Manson molded his followers’ beliefs and values to represent his own. He had once again

ordered his “Family” members to slay innocent people in his name and they gladly did so.

It wasn’t long before Manson and his followers were arrested for the savage

murders. Manson carved an “X” into his head, that he later turned into a swastica,

claiming that he “X’d” himself from our world. Many of his women quickly followed suit.

Even when faced with the death penalty for the murders, Manson’s followers still believed

in and loved their leader. The murder trial attested to Manson’s twisted mind even more.

He often burst out with strange comments or demands, and freely spoke of his strange

ideas in front of the jury. It soon became obvious that Manson had some sort of

psychological problam. Yet, through the whole trial, Manson contested that he was

innocent, that he didn’t force any of his followers to do anything. This showed he had no

love for his followers, he didn’t care what happened to them. Manson said to the

prosecuting attorney, “You know, I only made love to her [a women follower] two or three

times. After she had her baby and lost her shape, I couldn’t have cared less about her.”10

The prosecution attorney did an excellent job of proving the murderers’ guilt, and

all persons charged, including Manson, were found guilty. The jury sentenced all of the

murderers to be put to death, but because the state of California soon after abolished the

death penalty, the sentences were commuted to life imprisonment.

To this day, Manson and his followers are still in prison. Manson is eligible for

parole, and has had several hearings. He still claims that he wasn’t responsible for the

murders and acts as if the bloody slayings were of no importance.

Manson was a criminal to the core. In his life he had committed almost every

crime imaginable. His life of crime developed a warped mind that he used to sinister ends.

His never having a loving family deadened him to having any morals or guilty feelings.

He felt no remorse for the killings and acted as if the people he had killed did not deserve

to live. His uncanny ability to control people allowed him to gather the followers he

needed to accomplish his devilish tasks. He was able to convince these followers into

sharing his beliefs and used these people as killing machines. The murders of numerous

innocent people were a direct result of Manson’s ability to control people and his corrupted

childhood that created created his criminal mind.


1Steven Roberts, “Charles Manson: One Man’s Family,” New York Times, January 4,



3Eve Babitz, The Manson Murders, W.W. Norton & Company Inc., 1974, p. 113.

4Ibid. p. 87

5Vincent Bugliosi, Helter Skelter, Bantam Books, October 1975, p. 623.

6Ibid. p. 122.

7″The Manson Women: Inside the Muders,” Turning Point, ABC, New York, November


8Bugliosi, p. 624.

9Bugliosi, p. 114.

10Bugliosi, p. 415

Babitz, Eve, The Manson Murders, New York, W.W. Norton & Company, Inc., 1974.

Bugliosi, Vincent, Helter Skelter, Bantam Books, October, 1975.

Roberts, Steven, “Charles Manson: One Man’s Family,” New York Times, 45:1-3,

January 4, 1970.

Sanders, Ed, The Family, New York, E.P. Dutton & Co., 1971.

“The Manson Women: Inside the Murders,” Turning Point, New York, ABC, November

9, 1994.

The Internet (Universal Relay Languange Addresses Available.)

Unknown, “The Power of a Cult,” Glamour, 11:160-183, January, 1995.

Encyclopedia of Occultims and Parasychology, Gale Research, Inc., 1991.

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