“I don’t wanna take my time going to work, I got a motorcycle and a sleeping bag and ten or fifteen girls. What the hell I wanna go off and go to work for? Work for what? Money? I got all the money in the world. I’m the king, man. I run the underworld, guy. I decide who does what and where they do it at. What am I gonna run around like some teeny bopper somewhere for someone elses money? I make the money man, I roll the nickels. The game is mine. I deal the cards”
Once Manson was released from prison, he went to Berkeley, California where he met Mary Brunner, who would become the first member of the Manson Family. Mary was working as a library assistant at University of California, Berkeley. Manson moved in with her and convinced her to allow 18 other women to live with them.
During this time, Manson established himself as a guru. It appears that his philosophy was borrowed from Process Church of the Final Judgement. He taught his followers that they were the reincarnation of the original Christians and that the Romans were establishment. Around 1967, he started using the alias Charles Willis Manson (Charles’ Will is Man’s Son).
Soon after, the family stole a bus and painted it black. They then took the bus up and down the Pacific coast. In 1968, Mary Brunner gave birth to Valentine Michael, who was another child of Manson’s.
In 1968, Dennis Wilson of the Beach Boys picked up two hitchhiking women who were a part of the Manson family. He brought them to his house where they had sex. The next day he returned home to be greeted by Manson in his own driveway. When he entered his house, there were twelve people, mostly women, who were all topless.
Wilson became a member of the Manson family and hosted the family in his house. During his involvement with Wilson, Manson recorded several songs. The family accumulated damages close to $100,000 before Wilson’s manager discouraged Wilson’s involvement.
The family then established a base at Spahn Ranch. They also occupied other little ranches during this time.
In 1968, the group became obsessed with The Beatles “White Album” and would begin to read into the lyrics. The group interpreted the lyrics to “Helter Skelter” to be about a rebellion and uprising caused by the blacks in America. Manson suggested that black people would take over, but they would not be accepted as leaders, so the Manson family would have to lead the country. Many suspect these beliefs as the reasoning for the murders.
A member of the Manson family, Bobby Beausoleil, along with others of the Manson family tortured and killed Beausoleil’s music teacher, Gary Hinman. This was the start of the murders committed by the Manson family.
(13:46) “I dunno, that seems like an odd person to kill to try to start a race war.” “They just wanted money.”
On August 8th, 1969, Manson directed Susan Atkins, Linda Kasabian, Patricia Krenwinkle, and Charles Watson to commit a murder. Whether he wanted the group to attack the Tate household specifically is unclear. The group murdered a very pregnant Sharon Tate (actress), Jay Sebring (hair stylist), Abigail Folger (Folger Coffee heiress), Wojciech Frykowski, and Steven Parent. As they were leaving, Atkins wrote “pig” in Tate’s blood on the front door.
Manson was disappointed in the group and called their work “sloppy.” The next day, Manson led Charles Watson, Leslie Van Houten, Steve “Clem” Grogan, and Patricia Krenwinkle to the house of Leno and Rosemary LaBianca. Manson tied up the LaBiancas using cords and covered their heads with pillowcases. Manson left but gave instructions to kill the couple. Leno LaBianca was stabbed a total of 12 times and the word “WAR” was carved into his abdomen. Rosemary was stabbed 41 times. The group wrote “Rise,” “Death to pigs,” and “Healter [sic] skelter” on the walls and fridge.
Linda Kasabian became the star witness during the case and was granted immunity. The members involved in the killings all received death sentences, however, the next year the death sentence was abolished so they were granted life sentences instead.