Charlie Manson and The Family

Charlie Manson
Charlie Manson. Mug Shot

Spahn's Movie Ranch:

As the family grew, they moved like gypsies, eventually ending up at Spahn's Movie Ranch in Chatsworth. On April 1, 1968 Brunner gave birth to Manson's third son, Valentine Michael Manson, who he named after a character in Robert Heinlein's book "Stranger in a Strange Land." Manson, elated at having a son to carry on his legacy, made it known he wanted more family children. Brunner, now mother to Manson's child, grew even more loyal to his ideas and to the growing family.

Moving Around Hollywood's Elite:

Manson was a small wry man, who was generally unattractive which, further enhanced by his poor personal hygiene, yet he was able to manueveur his way into what is generally known as closed doors in Hollywood. He was hired by Universal Studios to consult on a movie because of his ability to quickly quote passages in the Bible. He and the Family were invited to parties given by wealthy famous people. As he moved along those with astounding wealth, his dreams of becoming a famous musician grew.

Denis Wilson and Terry Melcher:

Through a mutual friend, Manson met Dennis Wilson, drummer for the Beach Boys. Wilson and Manson became friends and Manson and his girls spent a lot of time hanging around Wilson's mansion, driving his cars and using his personal belongings, even while Wilson was out on the road. Son of actress Doris Day, Terry Melcher, was a record producer and friend of Wilson.

Melcher and Manson met and Melcher showed interest in producing one of Manson's songs, but the deal never materialized.

Rejected From Hollywood:

Dennis Wilson eventually pulled away from the family. He had his manager handle the dirty business of getting rid Manson and his followers. The opened doors to the mansion were suddenly shut, especially after rumors involving the daughters of famous people doing drugs and having sex on the property.

For Manson, the rejection from Hollywood's elite and the failed production of his music taped into his anger and jealousy of those who were rich and famous.

The Bible and The Beatles:

Manson was an advid reader of the Bible and often quoted from the Book of Revelation. In December 1968, he and Charles Watson listened to the new Beatle's album, The White Album, and Manson became obsessed with some of the songs, especially Helter Skelter and Revolution 9. His interpretation of the lyrics, woven in with his view of Revelations, resulted in a philosophy which envisioned an apocalypse brought on by a race war of blacks killing whites.

According to his philosophy, the blacks would win, but would ultimately turn to Manson and The Family to help lead the new world.

The Fifth Angel:

If Charlie actually believed in his teachings or if he just thought it all sounded impressive, is not known. What is known is that he convinced many that he was "the fifth angel" (Verse 1 of the Book of Revelation) who would be given "the key to the pit of the abyss." The only problem was that the revolution was taking too long and Charlie was getting anxious. In 1969, he began introducing his new theory that the blacks needed help to kick off the race war and it was up to the family to help.

Bernard Crowe:

In the summer of 1969 Manson's message became darker as his followers' loyalty increased. This loyalty was constantly tested by Manson, as his instructions to his inner circle became increasingly violent in nature. It was also during this summer that Tex Watson stole $2,000 from drug dealer, Bernard Crowe, who in return threatened to retaliate. Manson ended the threats by shooting Crowe in the stomach. Manson thought he killed Crowe, but he survived and never reported the shooting to police.

Paranoia Runs Deep:

After the shooting of Crowe, many of the closer Manson followers became paranoid that The Family's safety was in jeopardy. They armed themselves with guns and knives and kept a supply of ammunition around the ranch. Manson's teachings grew concerning where the world was headed and how important it was for the family to survive through the doomsday revolution of the near future.

He confided in them that he was Jesus and they were his chosen disciples. And many believed him.

Gary Hinman - The First Known Murder:

Gary Hinman was a music teacher who was working on his Ph.D. in Sociology at UCLA. He met some of the Manson family members and allowed them to sometimes stay at his Topanga Canyon home. He was also an alleged manufacturer of synthetic mescaline. On July 25, 1969, Manson sent family members Mary Brunner, Susan Atkins and Bobby Beausoleil to get cash from Hinman.

There are two stories as to why Manson wanted the cash from Hinman. One involves a bad drug buy and the other was because Manson thought Hinman had inherited $20,000 and he wanted the money. Hinman refused to turn over the money and Manson and Bruce Davis joined the other family members to convince him otherwise. An argument erupted between the two and Manson pulled out a sword and cut off Hinman's ear.

Afterwards, Manson and Davis left in one of Hinman's cars and the three left behind were instructed not to let Hinman go until he turned over the money. The group held Hinman for three days, finally stabbing him to death as he begged them to go away. The killing was said to be ordered by Manson.

Afterwards, to make the police believe it was the work of the Black Panthers, the group wrote the words "Political Piggy" in Hinman's blood next to a bloody paw print on the wall.

On August 6, 1969, Bobby Beausoleil was arrested for Hinman's murder after police stopped him while driving one of Hinman's cars.

Some believe his arrest was the real motivation behind the killing spree that began a few days later. The plan was to murder wealthy white people and make it look like the murders were committed by blacks. This would confuse investigators and they would release Beausoleil from prison.

Others believe the murders began because it was time for the revolution to begin, the beginning of Helter Skelter.

The Murders, Trial & Today

Manson's Early Years

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Montaldo, Charles. "Charlie Manson and The Family." ThoughtCo, Jul. 10, 2013, Montaldo, Charles. (2013, July 10). Charlie Manson and The Family. Retrieved from Montaldo, Charles. "Charlie Manson and The Family." ThoughtCo. (accessed November 17, 2017).