Although court proceedings are still raging to decide the rightful heir to the murderer’s estate – which some speculate could be worth millions – frontrunner in the case Jason Freeman, Mason’s grandson, has wasted no time in cashing in on the dead cult mastermind.
Freeman and his associate, John Michael Jones, struck a deal with a memorabilia collector to sell some of Manson’s ashes and a yellow rose which was on top of the casket just before he was cremated on March 17.
Those in Manson’s camp are appalled by Freeman, claiming he is exploiting the situation for money and pointing out he has refused to take DNA tests to prove he is the grandson of the hippy leader, who was convicted of seven murders in 1971 after his followers went on a killing rampage in Los Angeles in the summer of 1969.
One of them, who calls himself Stoner Van Houten, exclusively told Radar: “People collecting Charles Manson stuff is fine, but buying up his actual body? That’s too much. This was a back-alley deal, selling the man himself.
“It doesn’t shock me that this is happening, but Freeman is very gullible and very naïve so he’s easy to take advantage of.”
The Manson circle are also suspicious of a documentary crew led by Ghost Adventures host Zak Baggins following Freeman around, and feel he is being paid to turn Manson’s death into a spectacle for TV or a movie.
It has been argued the rightful heir to the estate is Mike Brunner, widely believed to be Manson’s biological son, who was reluctantly dragged into the affair but has since withdrawn from legal proceedings.
In a private message to a Manson group which has been forwarded to Radar, he wrote: “Charlie and I tried through the years to make a connection. I regret being very half-hearted about this. I would have liked to have some sort of relationship with my father but I looked at the act as opening Pandora’s Box.
“I decided to get involved when the talk of selling of ashes, tattoos, pictures and video started up. I didn’t want any attention, I just wanted some control to protect my father.”
The scathing message goes on to say how Freeman demanded an open casket at the funeral so he could take pictures to sell and scattered Manson’s ashes on a nearby hillside, instead of in Death Valley as the murderer had requested, because it fitted better with the film crew.
He added: “We know the video is coming and we know the estate portion of the circus is right around the corner. If I had to guess, Jason will use his attorneys and his thin thread to my father to take his art, his music, and his name.
“Riding his coattails for as long as possible. I’m sure they have thought up interesting ways to squeeze every penny from his soul.”
The wrangling over Manson’s estate has seen three separate wills being produced and a number of claimants including Freeman, Brunner, another supposed grandson, Matthew Roberts, and memorabilia collector Michael Channels.
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