Cult leader Charles Manson was the mastermind behind the brutal murders of nine people – seven occurring over a two-night killing spree in Los Angeles in 1969, including pregnant actress Sharon Tate. Two years later, Manson and many of his followers were found guilty of some of the most vicious murders in California’s history.
The two-part special “Manson Speaks: Inside the Mind of a Madman” presents a new theory on Manson’s motives that does not align with the “Helter Skelter” theory he was prosecuted under; brings forth eye witnesses who are speaking publicly about Manson for the first time; and makes contact with the only convicted Manson Family killer who is currently out of prison and living under a pseudonym.The special also examines 26 hours of exclusive never-before-broadcast phone conversations with Manson that may change the scope of his crimes, almost five decades later.
Cliff Shepard, a retired cold case and robbery-homicide detective with the Los Angeles Police Department who is responsible for catching some of LA’s most dangerous serial killers – has been haunted by the Manson murders his entire career. Convinced that Manson’s crimes extend beyond the nine murders for which he was convicted, Shepard, alongside researcher Charlie Cook, has launched his own investigation to uncover the truth.
Key to Shepard’s efforts is unparalleled access to 26 hours of never-before-broadcast audio recordings of Manson and confidant-turned-author Marlin Marynick. Marynick recorded his phone calls with Manson over roughly 10 years, and in these conversations, Manson speaks cryptically about Sharon Tate and others. Detective Shepard scours the calls for new evidence as he also investigates two other deaths – the gruesome murder of a 19-year-old girl and a mysterious suicide – that he believes may be connected to the Manson Family.