The leader of the Manson cult was locked up in the San Quentin prison when Beausoleil requested “to talk to him,” according to transcripts of his January 3, 2019 parole hearing obtained by Radar.
In the documents Beausoleil described why he said: “Charles is my friend” and what they discussed after they were imprisoned for the shocking Helter Skelter murders. Click through the gallery for Radar’s exclusive details about Manson’s clandestine meeting with one of his cult followers behind bars.
Beausoleil was recommended for release from prison by the State of California Board of Parole in January 2019 after he served 50 years for the killing of Gary Hinman at the behest of Manson. Hinman was tortured for three days in the summer of 1969 and Manson cut off his ear with a sword before Beausoleil stabbed him to death. This sparked the Helter Skelter killings that led to Sharon Tate, the LaBianca’s and six other murders in Los Angeles.
“We were in separate areas and this was at that time because he was a codefendant and I was floundering,” Beausoleil said about Manson during his parole hearing, according to a transcript obtained by Radar. “I was looking for some kind of way to make sense of everything that had happened. I was still trying to figure out what had happened.”
The conversation didn’t yield many answers Beausoleil said. “He just gave me the runaround as usual. Just talked in circles,” he said about Manson.
Beausoleil explained how he had to convince the warden that it was safe for him to meet with Manson. “I was originally denied to have a meeting with him because it was feared that I would be, uh -- he and I were -- would be enemies and that, uh, he and I or one or the other might try to harm the other. So I was, um -- I wrote back to the -- I think it was the deputy warden and explained that no, we’re friends. Uh, um, you know, I am not going to -- you know, I was trying to reassure him. That’s where those comments came from was to try to convince him that I was not going to try to do any harm to Manson and I didn’t fear for my own life.”
“I really had no interest in Charlie per se himself other than wanting to see if there was a way to put a book out or something that would somehow explain what had happened in a way that made some kind of sense because what was out,” Beausoleil said about his motivation behind the prison meeting.
“I was trying to figure out how I was going to reconcile my own involvement with him, my own decisions in killing Gary with who I believed myself to be,” Beausoleil said about his meeting with Manson.
Beausoleil was asked if he thought of Manson as an “adversary” when they met, and he told the parole board: “Somewhat. Yes.”
“I deeply regret, am very sorry, for what I did to Gary,” Beausoleil said at his parole hearing according to the transcript obtained by Radar. “I will regret that all of my days. He was a good man. He was a good man and did not deserve what I did. He doesn’t deserve to be killed by me and as I said it destroyed me, it devastated me because it is so unlikely who I am at my center and I lost my way.”
Manson died in prison in 2017. California Governor Gavin Newsome had 120 days from the January ruling by the parole board to make a decision regarding Beausoleil’s release.