His first studio session is a failure. Manson continues to pursue a music career and continues to fail. About two weeks later, Beausoleil is booked on murder charges. Manson relocates to Death Valley, where he and some of his followers are arrested in October — on suspicion of auto theft. Manson, Watson, Atkins, Kasabian and Krenwinkel are indicted on murder and conspiracy charges in the Tate killings; they are also indicted, along with Van Houten, in the LaBianca murders.
Kasabian eventually becomes a star witness for the prosecution. A jury finds all of the defendants guilty.
A few weeks later, Manson, Krenwinkel and Atkins are sentenced to death. Van Houten is sentenced to death in connection with the LaBianca murders. Watson is tried separately in and is also found guilty and sentenced to death. All of the death sentences are commuted to life in prison after California abolishes the death penalty in She is later retried — twice.
Published: 23 Jul Published: 7 Jul From Chernobyl to concentration camps: why the morbid fascination with places of death and disaster? Published: 2 Jul Top 10s Top 10 books about cults.
Published: 19 Jun California governor rejects decision to free youngest Manson follower. Gavin Newsom said Leslie Van Houten, who was involved in the murder of a couple, is still a threat despite reports of good behavior. Published: 4 Jun First look review Once Upon a Time With Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt playing a TV actor and stuntman who cross paths with the Manson cult, Tarantino has created outrageous, disorienting entertainment.
Published: 21 May Behind the bloodshed: the chilling untold stories about Charles Manson. Published: 15 May She had been arrested a few days earlier with members of "the Manson Family". The arrests, for car thefts, had taken place at the desert ranches to which the Family had moved and where, unknown to authorities, its members had been searching Death Valley for a hole in the ground—access to the Bottomless Pit.
A Highway Patrol officer found Manson hiding in a cabinet beneath Barker's bathroom sink. The officers had no idea that the people they were arresting were involved with the murders. Following up leads a month after they had spoken with Lutesinger, LaBianca detectives contacted members of a motorcycle gang Manson tried to enlist as his bodyguards while the Family was at Spahn Ranch.
On December 1, , acting on the information from these sources, LAPD announced warrants for the arrest of Watson, Krenwinkel, and Kasabian in the Tate case; the suspects' involvement in the LaBianca murders was noted. Manson and Atkins, already in custody, were not mentioned; the connection between the LaBianca case and Van Houten, who was also among those arrested near Death Valley, had not yet been recognized. Before long, physical evidence such as Krenwinkel's and Watson's fingerprints, which had been collected by LAPD at Cielo Drive,  : 15, , , and photographs between —41 was augmented by evidence recovered by the public.
On September 1, , the distinctive. Acting on that same newspaper account, a local ABC television crew quickly located and recovered the bloody clothing discarded by the Tate killers. The trial began June 15, Originally, Judge William Keene had reluctantly granted Manson permission to act as his own attorney.
Because of Manson's conduct, including violations of a gag order and submission of "outlandish" and "nonsensical" pretrial motions , the permission was withdrawn before the trial's start. He issued a statement that he was "considered inadequate and incompetent to speak or defend [him]self"—and had "X'd [him]self from [the establishment's] world. See " Remaining in view ", below. The prosecution argued the triggering of "Helter Skelter" was Manson's main motive. Testimony that Manson had said "now is the time for Helter Skelter" was supplemented with Kasabian's testimony that, on the night of the LaBianca murders, Manson considered discarding Rosemary LaBianca's wallet on the street of a black neighborhood.
Having obtained the wallet in the LaBianca house, he "wanted a black person to pick it up and use the credit cards so that the people, The Establishment , would think it was some sort of an organized group that killed these people. During the trial, Family members loitered near the entrances and corridors of the courthouse. To keep them out of the courtroom proper, the prosecution subpoenaed them as prospective witnesses, who would not be able to enter while others were testifying.
Each of them was also identifiable by the X on his or her forehead. Some Family members attempted to dissuade witnesses from testifying. Prosecution witnesses Paul Watkins and Juan Flynn were both threatened;  : , — Watkins was badly burned in a suspicious fire in his van. There, Moorehouse allegedly gave her a hamburger spiked with several doses of LSD. Found sprawled on a Honolulu curb in a drugged semi-stupor, Hoyt was taken to the hospital, where she did her best to identify herself as a witness in the Tate—LaBianca murder trial.
Before the incident, Hoyt had been a reluctant witness; after the attempt to silence her, her reticence disappeared. This was a reference to a statement made the previous day when U. President Richard Nixon had decried what he saw as the media's glamorization of Manson. Voir dired by Judge Charles Older, the jurors contended that the headline had not influenced them. The next day, the female defendants stood up and said in unison that, in light of Nixon's remark, there was no point in going on with the trial.
On October 5, Manson was denied the court's permission to question a prosecution witness whom defense attorneys had declined to cross-examine.
Leaping over the defense table, Manson attempted to attack the judge. Wrestled to the ground by bailiffs, he was removed from the courtroom with the female defendants, who had subsequently risen and begun chanting in Latin.
On November 16, the prosecution rested its case. Three days later, after arguing standard dismissal motions, the defense stunned the court by resting as well, without calling a single witness. Shouting their disapproval, Atkins, Krenwinkel, and Van Houten demanded their right to testify. In chambers, the women's lawyers told the judge their clients wanted to testify that they had planned and committed the crimes and that Manson had not been involved.
In the prosecutor's view, it was Manson who was advising the women to testify in this way as a means of saving himself.
The next day, Manson testified. Aranda by making statements implicating his co-defendants, the jury was removed from the courtroom. I didn't write the music. As the body of the trial concluded and with the closing arguments impending, defense attorney Hughes disappeared during a weekend trip. This may have occurred because the defendants were acting in collusion with each other and were simply putting on a performance, which Older said was becoming obvious.
On January 25, , the jury returned guilty verdicts against the four defendants on each of the 27 separate counts against them. The killings, they said, were intended to draw suspicion away from Bobby Beausoleil by resembling the crime for which he had been jailed. This plan had supposedly been the work of, and carried out under the guidance of, not Manson, but someone allegedly in love with Beausoleil— Linda Kasabian.
Midway through the penalty phase, Manson shaved his head and trimmed his beard to a fork; he told the press, "I am the Devil, and the Devil always has a bald head. The effort to exonerate Manson via the "copy cat" scenario failed. On March 29, , the jury returned verdicts of death against all four defendants on all counts.
On the day the verdicts recommending the death penalty were returned, news came that the badly decomposed body of Ronald Hughes had been found wedged between two boulders in Ventura County. He was arrested in Texas on November 30, , after local police were notified by California investigators that his fingerprints were found to match a print found on the front door of the Tate home. Watson fought extradition to California long enough that he was not included among the three defendants tried with Manson. Unlike the others, Watson presented a psychiatric defense; prosecutor Vincent Bugliosi made short work of Watson's insanity claims.
Like his co-conspirators, Watson was sentenced to death. In February , the death sentences of all five parties were automatically reduced to life in prison by People v.
Anderson , P. Though he found temporary acceptance from the Aryan Brotherhood , his role was submissive to a sexually aggressive member of the group at San Quentin. The former Kathleen Maddox claimed that, in childhood, her son had suffered no neglect; he had even been "pampered by all the women who surrounded him. Willett was found by a hiker near Guerneville, California. His station wagon was found outside a house in Stockton where several Manson followers were living, including Priscilla Cooper, Lynette "Squeaky" Fromme, and Nancy Pitman.