This murder shocked the whole world. For a long time, the police were powerless to find the perpetrators, and the city was in panic. The crime was discovered completely by accident. The name of the ideological mastermind has become known. It still terrifies many - Charles Manson. Inspired by him, several of his fans, members of the so-called “family,” carefully planned who, when and how exactly to kill. In this regard, there were 5 people. In a drug rampage on August 9, 1969, sectarians committed atrocities. Diletant.media restored the crime scene and the progress of its investigation.
Back in August 1969, most Americans did not hear about Charles Manson. At that time, much more interesting events unfolded in the United States: young people actively protested against the Vietnam War, a noisy festival was held in Woodstock, and American astronauts landed on the Moon. Hippies attracted general attention, preaching free love, drugs and pacifism. But not far from Los Angeles settled sect - its members called themselves "family" - which was not content with all of this. Its leader was 34-year-old Charles Manson. In March 1967, he was released from prison, and before that he had been engaged in pimping, stealing, and counterfeiting bank checks.
Sharon Tate and Roman Polanski, 1968
As a matter of fact, Manson wanted to become a famous rock musician. Gathering around him admirers of his talent, "brothers and sisters," Charles along with them in the summer of 1969 settled on the Span ranch (not far from Los Angeles), which was previously used for shooting westerns.
Discontent grew in Manson's soul; his rock star career did not develop. After repeated unsuccessful attempts to get a contract to record a record, he decided that the public did not understand him and underestimated him. First of all, Charles was filled with hatred of the so-called "upper class", which, as it seemed to him, specifically impedes his progress on the musical Olympus. And the ambitious Manson wanted to gather around him not only a small group of fans, but all of humanity.
He believed that the “Helter Skelter” (“Kawardak”) - the title of the song “The Beatles” from the “White Album” could provide him fame. The text of this song describes the entertainment in one of the British amusement parks, Manson decided that in fact means a public upheaval, a coup, or rather the conflict between the black and white population of the Earth. Charles constantly waited for the beginning of the racial slaughter, as a result of which black would win. However, in his opinion, the Negroes will not be able to establish order on Earth, and the “family” headed by Manson will help them in this. But, despite the numerous clashes of black and white in the late 60s, large-scale slaughter did not occur. That is why in the late summer of 1969, Charles Manson wanted to unleash it on his own.
He decided to act simply: kill some wealthy whites in Los Angeles. The grief-musician believed that the blame for such a crime would necessarily fall on the representatives of the black population.
Charles Manson, 1969
On the evening of August 8, 1969, Manson chose from among his followers several performers of this plan. They were Charles Watson (“Tex”), Susan Atkins (“Sadie”), Patricia Krenuinkel (“Katie”) and Linda Casabian. Taking a few knives, a pistol and a rope, the four of them sat in a yellow Ford in 1959 and went to house 10050 on Cielo Drive. Hollywood producer Terry Melcher, who had the imprudence to deny support for his musical endeavors to Charles Manson, was supposed to live at the address indicated. The failed rock star did not assume that the young actress Sharon Tate, who was in the last weeks of pregnancy, and her husband, director Roman Polanski, who recently achieved world fame thanks to the movie “The Vampire Ball”, where Tate played, lived in this mansion in August 1969 main female role.
The company arrived at the scene, cut the telephone cable and climbed into the mansion through the fence. Before getting into the house, the young people saw a car leaving through the gate. When the car stopped, Watson stepped out of the shadows and shot the driver, who turned out to be Stephen Parent, at close range. The 18-year-old boy had nothing to do with the tenants of the mansion - he came to visit his friend William Garretson, who worked as a cleaner and lived in a guest house. After that, the four broke into the house. At that moment, Sharon Tate was inside, along with her ex-fiancé Jay Sebring, Abigail Folger and Wojtek Frickowski, a friend of Roman Polanski. The director himself was at this time in London.
The investigation did not establish what exactly happened in the next few minutes. It is precisely known that Tate, Frickowski, Folger and Sebring received many knife wounds. At the crime scene, the killers left the inscription "Pig", made by the blood of Sharon Tate.
Roman Polanski at the entrance to his house, where his wife Sharon Tate was murdered by members of Manson’s “family”, 1969
A day later, on August 10, the Manson gang committed another brutal murder. And again in Los Angeles. This time the gang was headed by the ideological mastermind himself. The victims of the “family” were the owner of a network of small shops Leno LaByanka and his wife Rosemary.
After the Los Angeles residents became aware of what had happened, a panic began in the city. Since all the victims belonged to the elite, Hollywood celebrities were especially scared. Those who could, hastily left the city.
Police efforts to catch the criminals in hot pursuit did not lead to anything, because they could not find any witnesses or the motive of the crime. But, as often happens, the case was helped by the investigation.
In November 1969, Susan Atkins was arrested for prostitution and theft. Once in prison, she bragged to a cellmate who was involved in the murder of Sharon Tate. It was this recognition that brought the police to the trail of Manson and his "family." After a while, all the participants in the massacre were arrested, but the police initially could not establish the motive for the crime.
Interrogation of "brothers and sisters" Manson, eventually, allowed detectives to understand the intricacies of the theory "Helter Skelter". So it became clear the meaning of the inscriptions made by the blood of the victims: after all, they were all white, belonged to the ruling class and lived in rich areas of Los Angeles.
Susan Atkins, Patricia Krenuinkel and Leslie Van Houten, 1970
In June 1970, Manson, Atkins, Krenuinkel and Van Houten were brought to trial on charges of brutally killing seven people. Charles Watson managed to flee to Texas, so his case was allocated to a separate production. The process turned into a real show, as the girls completely followed all the instructions of the “father” and copied his demeanor: nodding to Manson’s head, they jumped up from their seats in the courtroom and started frantically screaming; when Charles half shaved his head, the "sisters" followed suit; when the ideological mastermind decided to cut an oblique cross (which later became a swastika) on his forehead, the accomplices did the same. There was no doubt - the organizer of the monstrous crimes - the musician-loser.
As a result of a lengthy legal process, Charles Manson and members of his “family” were sentenced to death in a gas chamber. An exception was made only for Linda Casabian, who acted as the main witness, and according to the law she was immune. In 1972, the US Supreme Court imposed a moratorium on the death penalty, so the sentences were commuted to life imprisonment. In 1978, the death penalty was again introduced in California, but it was not applied to Manson and his accomplices. Until that time, they had repeatedly asked for pardon, but all of them were rejected.
Charles Manson, 2009
Today, Charles Manson is held in California State Prison, in the city of Corcoran under the number B33920. Prior to that, he was repeatedly transferred from one institution to another. A failed rock star spends 24 hours a day in solitary confinement, it is forbidden to communicate with other prisoners.
A cult developed around Manson himself. Charles receives letters from "fans" from around the world. Among them are not unknown people. For example, rock singer Marilyn Manson took the surname of a famous criminal as the stage name, and borrowed the name from actress Marilyn Monroe.