How Spahn Ranch Became a Headquarters for the Manson Family Cult
Spahn Movie Ranch was once used as a Hollywood TV and movie set for family-friendly productions, including “Bonanza” and “The Lone Ranger,” but the isolated, run-down property may be best known for playing a role in one of America’s most notorious real-life crimes. After being ...read more
Charles Manson cult kills five, including actress Sharon Tate
On August 9, 1969, members of Charles Manson’s cult kill five people in movie director Roman Polanski’s Beverly Hills, California, home, including Polanski’s pregnant wife, actress Sharon Tate. Less than two days later, the group killed again, murdering supermarket executive Leno ...read more
How Charles Manson Took Sick Inspiration from the Beatles' 'Helter Skelter'
Innocent song using the symbol of a playground slide as a metaphor, or subliminal lyrics inciting a race war and murder? Ask Paul McCartney what he was thinking when he wrote the Beatles’ “Helter Skelter,” and it’s the former. But, according to Charles Manson, the “White Album” ...read more
Life as a 14-Year-Old Manson Girl: A View From Inside the Murderous Cult
What was it like to be barely a teenager amid the soon-to-be notorious Manson family, living as part of the cult leader’s harem? 1967 was the Summer of Love, but in sunny southern California something sinister was brewing. There, in the desert foothills of the Santa Susana ...read more
How Charles Manson Got Under America’s Skin—For Nearly 50 Years
To understand why Charles Manson has remained such a riveting figure in American popular culture for five decades, it helps to go back to mid-April 1969, when Manson, then 34, called his three dozen or so followers together on the isolated Spahn Ranch outside Los Angeles. It was ...read more
Charles Manson Was Sentenced to Death. Why Wasn’t He Executed?
In 1971, cult leader Charles Manson was sentenced to death for murdering two people and orchestrating the killings of seven others in August of 1969. But why, if he received the death penalty all those years ago, did he spend his life in jail, dying of natural causes in 2017? It ...read more
Lynette “Squeaky” Fromme sentenced to life for assassination attempt
A federal jury in Sacramento, California, sentences Lynette Alice Fromme, also known as “Squeaky” Fromme, to life in prison for her attempted assassination of President Gerald R. Ford. On September 5, a Secret Service agent wrested a semi-automatic .45-caliber pistol from Fromme, ...read more
Charles Manson and his followers convicted of murder
In Los Angeles, California, cult leader Charles Manson is convicted, along with followers Susan Atkins, Leslie Van Houten, and Patricia Krenwinkle, of the brutal 1969 murders of actress Sharon Tate and six others. In 1967, Manson, a lifetime criminal, was released from a federal ...read more