Hippie cult leader Charles Manson, who became the face of all things evil in America died on Sunday, 19 November. Manson was charged with the gruesome murders of pregnant actress Sharon Tate and six others in Los Angeles in 1969. He spent nearly 50 years moving in and out of prison. He was 83.
Manson started off as a petty criminal, burglarizing liquor stores and stealing bicycles. He was sent to juvenile centers but managed to escape several times. He soon moved on to stealing vehicles and a number of other serious offences, following which he was caught and sent to a secure facility.
Manson soon became a cult figure and attracted runaways and others who were drawn to him. The result was one of America’s most infamous murders of all time. Though Manson was not directly involved in the murders, he did send his disciples to go around town and butcher some of Los Angeles’s rich and famous. According to reports, prosecutors believed that Manson wanted to start a race war, based on ideas he got from a twisted reading of the Beatles song "Helter Skelter."The slayings shocked the world and, together with the deadly violence that erupted later in 1969 during a Rolling Stones concert at California's Altamont Speedway, exposed the dangerous underside of the movement.
Known as the Manson Family, his followers slaughtered several people including a pregnant Sharon Tate in her own estate, coffee heiress Abigail Folger, celebrity hairdresser Jay Sebring, Polish movie director Voityck Frykowski and Steven Parent, a friend of the estate's caretaker. The next night a few others were also killed.According to the New Indian Express, the killers scrawled such phrases as "Pigs" and "Helter Skelter" in blood at the crime scenes. As if like a show of defiance, Manson carved an ‘X’ on his forehead, which he later turned to a swastika. Despite all the evidences against him, Manson maintained during his tumultuous trial in 1970 that he was innocent and that society itself was guilty.
A film on the life of Manson and the bloodbath he orchestrated is in production and is being directed by Quentin Tarantino.