August 3rd, 2009
04:51 PM ET

Charles Manson: From troubled child to murderous cult leader

[cnn-photo-caption image="http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/CRIME/06/05/california.manson.family.hearing/art.manson.courtesy.jpg" caption="Charles Manson was sentenced to life in prison in 1970."]

from InvestigationDiscovery.com


Charles Manson is born on November 12 in Cincinnati, Ohio to 16-year-old Kathleen Maddox and is named Charles Miles Maddox. For a short period of time after Manson’s birth, Kathleen Maddox is married to William Manson, and Charles adopts his last name. Manson’s biological father is “Colonel Scott”; it is unclear whether Manson ever met him.


Manson commits a string of burglaries which provide the cash to rent a room. During one robbery, he steals a bicycle, gets caught and is sent to a juvenile detention center where he spends one day before escaping. Manson is recaptured and placed in Father Flanagan’s Boys Town, where he remains for four days before escaping with another boy.


Manson is released on March 21.  By this point, he has spent more than half of his 32 years of life in prisons and other correctional institutions.  Manson asks authorities to let him remain in prison, arguing that it has become his home.

View the full timeline here...

Filed under: 360º Follow • Crime & Punishment
soundoff (24 Responses)
  1. Alexus

    Charles Manson has elevated himself to a cult status and should never be released hence he recieves a following that is similar to The Branch Davidian Cult or worse, Jim Jones. The commercial exploitation (books, t-shirts, hats, movies,articles) of Manson is really what is so disturbing. The sensational storyline is not helped by the mention of the Beach Boy singer and the Folger heiress who played parts in this drama. I compare his evil state of mind to that of Hitler and we must show no sympathy for him. If anything we must forget him and push him to the outer confines of history lest there be copycat killers. My advice is to jus' let him rot in prison,.....

    August 4, 2009 at 6:10 am |
  2. lupe

    None of the killers deserve to have freedom, they all took part in the killings and its still fresh on thier minds, no matter how much changing they say they made, they still may be loyal to thier leader and may form a plan to get him out.

    August 4, 2009 at 5:57 am |
  3. Evelyn

    The child is father of the man.
    Consider this: good begets good
    evil begets evil. The good book says, "train up a child in the way he
    should go, when he is old he will not depart from it"
    Mr Manson's history is a sad one but just think of what he might have
    become with good early training; possibly another Bill Gates.


    August 4, 2009 at 4:15 am |
  4. Edward Boston ,Mass

    Judgement day comming soon for Mr. Manson, and I meen real soon ....he looks so frail....I just hope he goes out screaming like his victims did , ....if you can do me a favor .. why your briefly at the pearly gates ...say hi To Saint Peter for me .

    August 4, 2009 at 3:21 am |
  5. Ellen

    An Eye for an Eye

    This horrific event happened when I was still living in Chicago, however, I felt as if I was right there, in Los Angeles. I remember what I was doing when the bulletin came on the TV. I will never forget August 9th, 1969...the day that the horrific news broke. I couldn't get this out of my mind...then, the next night..The Labianca's. I couldn't imagine how many people in LA wanted to flee the state. I couldn't sleep for months.

    I moved to LA in 1978. I met someone, who went to school with Leslie Van Houton. 40 years later, this is a permanent scar on all of us, who till this day, can't conceive of these brutal, senseless murders.

    I have seen the Tate house (The one that replaced the original). I was right at that gate. It was chilling, just knowing...the horror that happened on that property.

    I hope & pray that all of the murderers are NEVER set free.

    August 4, 2009 at 3:17 am |
  6. betty

    evil evil evil-that is the face of evil'he is scary lookin.
    they should of givein charles manson the death penalty!!!!!!lonng ago.alls hes doin is takeing up space'n costing the state hes in to feed hes worthless ass.he so dose not desrve to be alive today.he dose not feel bad at all.for the lives he took-n the people he brainwashed.
    n as for the women -who say they changed'
    tooo bad' toooooooo late' they murdered tooo many for forgiveness.
    the people they murdered'had their whole lives ahead of em.to live'n cause of them.they lost that. n thier families had to live thier lives witout them. everyone knows the 10 commandments-n thou shall not kill.is one of em. them women do not deserve their freedom!!!!!!!let them live the rest of thier lives in jail. knowing the reason they lost their freedom-is cause they taken so many precious lives!i have no remorse for murdering monsters!!!!!!

    August 4, 2009 at 3:11 am |
  7. laura

    i was nine years old when these crimes were commited.i remember how facinated people were as they still are today. if there is any such thing as life in prison these people deserve it!

    August 4, 2009 at 2:13 am |
  8. Camuso

    Unfortunately, any attention that the media provides, continues to reward the efforts of this sociopathic individual. I think that we as a society have provided him with enough. Time to move on.

    Camuso in PA

    August 4, 2009 at 2:06 am |
  9. Ginger

    Why waste time with parole hearings, attorney fees and paying prison officials to talk about something that's never going to happen? California is never going to let Charles Manson or any of his followers out to reak havoc on our society again. Why is Californians still haveing to foot the bill for these maniac's. It's just wrong....


    August 4, 2009 at 12:24 am |
  10. Elaine

    Sharon Tate's baby would be 40. Ms. Tate would probably be a grandmother, what a wonderful thing grandparenting is! I really don't care about the 'family', whether they get out, whether they are pleading for freedom.

    I was 11, I've listened to stories on Manson all my life...time for American Journalist to let go!

    August 4, 2009 at 12:02 am |
  11. philip B

    manson and his thugs makes death penalty looks like a blessing they must rott in jail

    August 4, 2009 at 12:00 am |
  12. mohamed yasin

    hey im sayin free him because mayb he has changed

    August 3, 2009 at 11:53 pm |
  13. shona

    I think it was a horrible crime. But since 1970 the murders today has been just as horrible and they less sentence. Can anyone tell me the difference?

    August 3, 2009 at 11:53 pm |
  14. Omar Haleem

    I hope he does'nt die, If he does, there's no tellin where he might end up..seriously, this guy was online, and he ws using some very bad vibes, He still has it in him, whatever the hell it was, it's still there, it's evil, I'mglad they did'nt kill him, I mean, one look into his eyes, he can mesmerize..one can imagine what it must've been like to be unde his spell..What they did was unbelievable..This is a very different kind of madness..or an expeiment gone terribly wrong.

    August 3, 2009 at 11:25 pm |
  15. marie Johnson


    I belive that blue dog dems, are only under cover republicans,because if they were really dems, then,they would try to help the president, get health care pass, for the millions who dont have any insurance. However we the poor have one thing they need, it is call a vote, and we will remember them in 2010.

    God bless.

    August 3, 2009 at 11:21 pm |
  16. Sabrina In Los Angeles

    Psycho and Evil incarnate.

    August 3, 2009 at 11:16 pm |
  17. Tina

    I agree – some people are just born with evil hearts

    August 3, 2009 at 11:07 pm |
  18. Brent Mukai

    Just a little mistake in your reporting...please check it out...
    I believe the young man that was murdered in his car in the driveway was a friend of the young caretaker that came to visit him...not the caretaker.
    As a matter of fact, that caretaker was listening to music at the time of the murders so he didn't hear anything...and was even a suspect initially...

    August 3, 2009 at 11:04 pm |
  19. Winny Saperstien

    Gather the "Manson Family" and place them in a very small room douse them with gasoline and light the match and call it a day.

    August 3, 2009 at 11:03 pm |
  20. Donna Nelson

    Elements of your Manson story tonight were factually inaccurate. The person killed in the car was not a grounds keeper – he had just visited with the grounds keeper. The LaBianca's were not tortured before being killed.

    August 3, 2009 at 10:58 pm |
  21. Josh

    Too bad...if he and his followers want to get out of prison...the people they killed will never leave their graves....

    Remember, Manson escaped the death penalty....so he and his followers sentences should now be 'you leave prison dead'..

    Any parole board that turns these people loose should have to take them into their homes.....

    August 3, 2009 at 10:57 pm |
  22. Annie Kate

    Some people are just evil – Charles Manson is one of them. Its too bad that California abolished the death sentence before these monsters could be put to death – even that was probably more mercy than they had shown their victims.

    August 3, 2009 at 9:17 pm |
  23. pat ... wisconsin

    I totally agree its always oh poor me I had a bad childhood. Doesn't make it ok to kill people thats for sure.

    August 3, 2009 at 6:28 pm |
  24. Cindy

    I've seen many docs and specials on Manson and his killings. Charles Manson is just a nut plain and simple. Lots of people have horrible childhoods yet don't go out and commit gruesome murders like he had done. People need to own up to what they do and stop blaming their childhood. It's getting old.


    August 3, 2009 at 4:58 pm |