Charles Manson
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. Mansonís 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. Mansonís 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. Mansonís
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 motherís
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 motherís 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 Mansonís 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 Mansonís first real family, but he didnít
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,
theyíre 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. Mansonís 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