Charles Manson: Early Life

These children that come at you with knives, they are your children. You taught them. I didn’t teach them. I just tried to help them stand up.

Charles Manson

Charles Manson was born November 12th, 1934 to sixteen year old Kathleen Maddox. His biological father is most likely Colonel Walker Henderson Scott Sr. When Kathleen informed Colonel she was pregnant with his child, he claimed he had to return to the Army, even though he had never been a member.

When Charles was five years old, his mother and his uncle attempted to rob someone which resulted in the two of them being sent to jail. During this time, Charles lived with his aunt and uncle.

Once Kathleen was released, they went to West Virginia and then Indianapolis shortly after. While in Indianapolis, Charles played truant and stole. This resulted in his mother sending him to Gibault School for Boys.

He ran away from Gibault months later to return to Indianapolis where he got his own apartment and supported himself by burgling at night. When he was caught, he was sent to a juvenile facility called Boys Town in Nebraska.

He ran away a few days later with a fellow student. The two went to Illinois where they became apprentices to a professional thief. Manson was caught a few weeks later and sent to Indiana Boys School. Manson claims that he was raped by students who were encouraged by the staff. He invented the “insane game” as a self-defense technique.

(07:48) “They used tobacco spit to lubricate…”

He escaped a few months later and was caught taking stolen cars across state boundaries. As a result, he was sent to Washington D.C.’s National Training School for Boys where he was then sent to Natural Bridge Honor Camp after being evaluated by a psychiatrist. His aunt petitioned for him to get parole, but he was caught raping a boy at knife-point.

Manson was then transferred to Federal Reformatory in Virginia. After committing eight serious disciplinary offenses there, he was sent to a maximum security reformatory in Ohio. He was released in May of 1954.

In January of 1955, Manson married Rosalie Jean Willis who would give birth to Charles’ first child, Charles Manson Jr. During the birth of his son, Charles was in prison for failing to appear after taking a stolen car across state lines. During this time, Rosalie left him for another man.

Once Charles was out of prison, he began pimping a sixteen year old girl. Shortly after, he attempted to cash a forged U.S. Treasury check. Charles received a ten-year suspended sentence and probation after Leona made a plea to the court and said that she would marry Charles if he was free. The did marry within the year.

Charles took Leona and another woman to New Mexico for prostitution. He was questioned and shortly after he was indicted for violation of the Mann act. He was violating his probation for the check-cashing charge, so he was ordered to serve ten years.

He was transferred to the United States Penitentiary at McNeil Island in Washington. While there, he took guitar lessons from Alvin “Creepy” Karpis. He spent most of his time writing and performing songs. When it came time to leave prison, he asked to stay.

Listen to this episode on iTunes, Spotify, Google Play Music, Stitcher, and Buzzsprout.

The sources for this episode include Wikipedia (Charles Manson & Manson Family), CNN, and

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