Charles Manson On Saturday, August ninth, nineteen sixty-nine, all hell broke loose with more than six dozen plunges of a carving fork and knife, and the peaceful dyll was shattered. Out of the chaos caused by the senseless, horrific murderers, Charles Manson emerged as one of the most feared notorious criminals of all time. In the twenty-nine years since the so-called “Tate-La Bianca” murders, many people have speculated about what caused Charles Manson to become the monster he turned to be. To be able to fully comprehend what could cause an innocent child to evolve into a ruthless calculating cold- blooded killer, one must completely examine the events of his life. Charles Manson was born Charles Milles Maddox, the son of an unwed mother, in Cincinnati Ohio on November twelfth, nineteen thirty-four. His father, he stated in his autobiography, was a “young drugstore cowboy”, a transient laborer who abandoned Charles’ mother when he learned that she was pregnant.
Shortly after Charles’ birth, Kathleen Maddox lived with a man named William Manson, and they eventually got married. William Manson gave his new stepson his name, although the marriage dissolved shortly thereafter. Raised in a strict, religious home, Kathleen Maddox- Manson rebelled after the breakup of her marriage. She reveled in her newfound freedom by drinking a lot and loving freely. Like many young mothers, Kathleen was not yet ready for the responsibilities that go along with the raising of a child.
She had fled a stifling home life and rushed into marriage, and she had a lot of living to do before she settled down. Charles was passed from relative to relative to baby-sitter, and was soon sold to a waitress in a restaurant in exchange for a pitcher of beer. An uncle tracked him down and took him home several days later. When Charles was five years old, his mother and a man were convicted of robbing a service station in Charlestown, West Virginia. They’d used a Coke bottle to knock the attendant unconscious. Caught and sentenced to five years in Moundsville Prison, her work assignment was near death row.
West Virginia was a hanging state at that time, and part of Kathleen’s job was to clean the area that included the scaffold. One day as she was cleaning, she saw a man being escorted to the scaffold. Normally on hanging days, nobody except the person to be executed and the prison officials were allowed near the hanging area, but on that day, by accident or oversight, the prison officials neglected to inform Kathleen of the day’s plans. Afraid she might be in trouble for being in the vicinity, she hid in a nearby broom closet. When the trap sprung, the inmate’s weight and sheer velocity caused the rope to sever his head, and as Kathleen opened the door to get a glimpse of the hanging, it promptly rolled to kathleen’s hiding place.
She told Charles years later that mans eyes were still wide open and death literally stared her in the face. Twenty-seven years after that incident, Charles Milles Manson was placed on Death Row. In his autobiography, “Manson: In His Own Words”, he explained a sobering moment.”I looked at the gas chamber. The rooms two viewing windows looked like two huge eyes of death. Instantly my mind flashed to my mother, and I had a vision of her looking into the eyes of death. During that moment, I understood more about my mom than any other time in my life”.
Charles’ mother was released from prison when he was eight years old, and again he was either being passed from relative to relative, or they moved around a lot. Eventually, when Charles was twelve years old, his mother found a steady boyfriend. He soon tired of having Charles around and gave Kathleen an ultimatum: him or Charles. Charles was placed in the Gibault Home for Boys in Tierre Haute, Indiana. It was a strict Catholic religious-oriented school, and the punishment for even the tiniest infraction was either a wooden paddle, or a leather strap. Eventually, living at Gibault got to be too much for Charles, and he ran away.
He slept in the woods, under bridges, and wherever else he could find a place. He finally reached Indianapolis where he burglarized a grocery store for something to eat. He found the cash register change in a cigar box under the counter. It was slightly over a hundred dollars, and the first thing he did was rent a room in Skid Row, and eat as much as he could possibly handle. A few days later he was broke and tired so he’d steal whatever he could to accumulate a little extra money.
One day he stole a bicycle and was eventually arrested, the police realized he was a runaway and located his mother. Unable to provide a stable home life, Charles was placed in Father Flanagan’s Boy’s Town. Four days later, he and another boy ran away. They stole a car and wrecked it, followed by committing a few robberies resulted in their arrest, and they were placed in a juvenile home. Charles’ stay there was a repeat of his stay in the previous homes, and he was placed in a bonafied reform school. It was at the Indiana School for Boys at Plainfield that Charles Manson was beaten and raped repeatedly for over three years.
He finally escaped successfully when he was sixteen years old. Headed towards California, he and a friend stole cars and robbed stores along the way. Again he was arrested, and during the next thirty-eight months he spent time in four different institutions. In May of nineteen fifty-four, at the age of nineteen, he was finally paroled. Shortly thereafter he was married. Working at a race track at the time, he stopped by a card room and played a few hands of poker.
He racked up quite a pile of winnings and was surrounded by a group of girls. Paying them no attention, he caught the eye of a girl across the room. She was with her father, a coal-miner. Later, Charles managed to speak a few words to her. They started dating, and married shortly thereafter, in January of nineteen fifty-five. She became pregnant almost immediately.
Desiring to head to California but needed a car to take him there, Charles stole a ’51 Mercury. Predictably, he was caught. He was sent to the Federal Penitentiary at Terminal Island, San Pedro. He was, by then, twenty-one ye …