"Inmate Charles Manson..died of natural causes at 8:13 pm on Sunday, November 19, 2017, at a Kern County hospital," the California Department Of Corrections and Rehabilitation said in a statement.
The Helter Skelter cult mastermind spent 47 years in prison before his death, after he was found guilty of orchestrating the murders of Sharon Tate and eight other innocent victims in a crime spree in 1969 that shocked the nation.
He was taken from the Corcoran Prison to a Bakersfield hospital a few days earlier.
Tate's sister, Debra Tate, confirmed that a prison official notified her of his death.
On August 9, 1969 Manson directed his followers, Tex Watson, Patricia Krenwinkel, Susan Atkins and Linda Kasabin to the home and told them to kill everyone there.
Pregnant Tate, Jay Sebring, Abigail Folger, Wojciech Frykowski and Steven Parent were all slaughtered in the home. Watson tied Tate and Sebring together in the living room of the home and shot Sebring. Atkins wrote the word "Pig" in blood on the front door of the home after the murders. Krenwinkel stabbed Folger so many times that when police found her they thought her white night gown was red.
The following night Manson went with the group to commit another murder. He picked Rosemary and Leno LaBianaca's home, which was next to a home where the group had attended a party the previous year. Manson entered the home with Watson, Atkins, Kasabin, Krenwinkel and Leslie Van Houten and watched as they were tied up and pillow cases placed over their heads. He then left and the group stabbed the couple, killing Leno with a bayonet, and Rosemary with a knife from her kitchen. Krenwinkel wrote "Rise" and "Death to pigs" in the LaBianca's blood and misspelled "Helter Skelter" on the refrigerator door.
Manson stood trial from June 1970 to January 1971 with Atkins and Krenwinkel . On July 24, 1970 he appeared in court with an X carved into his forehead, prompting Atkins and Krenwinkel to carve X's into their own heads. Manson was denied permission to question a witness on October 5 and jumped at the judge, attempting to attack him. Atkins and Krenwinkel stood chanting in Latin in the court. Manson testified but the jury was not present.
On January 25, 1971 Manson, Atkins and Krenwinkel were found guilty on all counts. During the penalty phase Manson shaved his head and shaped his beard into a fork. Manson told the press "I am the devil, and the devil always has a bald head."
The jury sentenced him to death. Manson was eligible for parole beginning in 1978, but all 12 of his requests were denied.
Manson was born on November 12, 1934 in Cincinnati, Ohio to an unwed mother who was in and out of jail herself . He was first arrested at the age of 17 for stealing a car in Utah and driving it to California, a felony, and was placed in a Federal Reformatory in 1951 and paroled in 1954.
He married a woman named Roalie Jean Willis in 1955 but he was arrested again for stealing a car while she was pregnant. He went sent to prison in 1956 in California and while there Willis gave birth to their son, Charles Manson Jr.
Manson was in and out of prison for the next decade for multiple federal and state offenses, but was released in 1967 from a California prison and began forming the "Manson Family."
A charismatic drifter, Manson initially lived in San Francisco and Berkeley after prison, recruiting women and men to join his cult , intending to overthrow the government and start a race war.
Manson and his followers moved to Southern California to Spahn Ranch in 1968. Two of Manson's "family" members, Patricia Krenwinckel and Ella Jo Bailey were hitchhiking and were picked up by the Beach Boys' Dennis Wilson.
Manson was a song writer, hoping to incite the race war and uprising through his music.
Manson convinced his followers that the apocalypse was approaching and he named the movement "Helter Skelter" after the Beatles song. Music producer Terry Melcher was one of Wilson's friends whom Manson believed was going to help him get his music and message out to the world.
However, Melcher did not record the group for a record deal and Manson made the deranged decision to kill him. He began looking for Melcher at the home where he believed he lived, on Cielo Drive in Beverly Hills, but Melcher had moved out and director Roman Polanski and wife Tate had moved in.
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