Some thought he was a religious guru, spreading his chilling apocalyptic warnings of a pending race war that would inevitably lead to the end of mankind as we knew it. To others, he was a monster who was responsible for ordering the murders of seven people and personally ushering in the death of the “peace and love” era of the 1960s. For the rest of us too young to remember, the deputy district attorney who prosecuted Manson, Vincent Bugliosi, summarized him best: “Manson was an evil, sophisticated con man with twisted and warped moral values.”
Spending his life in prison after being handed six consecutive life sentences, Charles Manson has been a cult-like figure who has both perplexed and terrified us. Love him, hate him, or simply fascinated by him he was one of the most famous inmates currently being housed within a correctional facility. Now, reports say that Charles Manson is dead at the ripe old age of 83.
The LA Times reports that Manson died of natural causes Sunday evening at Kern County Hospital. It was confirmed that Manson had been hospitalized last Wednesday, but very little information on Manson’s condition had been released to the press.
This marked the second time Manson had been hospitalized this year. Last January it was revealed that Manson had been taken to a hospital in Bakersfield, possibly suffering from a “serious illness.” Citing federal and state medical privacy laws, authorities and hospital spokesmen refused to comment on Manson’s past prognosis.
Michele Hanisee, president of the Assn. of Deputy District Attorneys, said in a statement, “Today, Manson’s victims are the ones who should be remembered and mourned on the occasion of his death.”
Manson had been connected to the murders of Sharon Tate, Jay Sebring, Steven Parent, Leno LaBianca, Rosemary LaBianca, Abigail Folger, and Wojciech Frykowsky. Manson was also tentatively connected to the deaths of Gary Hinman and Donald “Shorty” Shea, though he was never formally charged in their murders. He was originally sentenced to death but after California abolished their death penalty, he was then sentenced to the six concurrent life sentences he was serving at the time of his death.
No word on what the arrangements will be for Manson’s final rights.