In his latest mug shot, Charles Manson's wild-eyed stare is gone, as is most of his hair. Except for the swastika he carved into his brow during his murder trial, he could be any gray-bearded senior citizen.
If the photo authorities released early this week is any indication, the leader of a murderous band called "The Family," has mellowed some after almost 40 years in a California state prison.
He has had a lot of alone time.
Manson, 74, is locked away in protective custody, according to Sabrina Johnson, a spokeswoman at Corcoran State Prison in Corcoran, about 150 miles northwest of Los Angeles.
Manson has his own cell. His exposure to prison neighbors that include mass killer Juan Corona and Robert F. Kennedy's assassin, Sirhan Sirhan, is very limited, Johnson said.
Manson and four others - Susan Atkins, Patricia Krenwinkel, Charles "Tex" Watson and Leslie Van Houten - were convicted of murder and other charges in connection with a two-night rampage that left pregnant actress Sharon Tate and seven others dead.
Manson and the four "family" members' death sentences were overturned during the 1970s, when the death penalty laws were ruled unconsitutional. He is quietly serving out his life sentence. Although he once frequently gave bombastic rants on national television, he hasn't granted a media interview in years.
Filed under: Crime & Punishment
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