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Manson's Wives & Legal Troubles

"I married the first girl I came to and stole a car and came to California because that's where she wanted to come and I just followed her around like a blind guy ... I didn't know what California was. You know, I'm this dumb hillbilly."

Soon after Manson's parole he met Rosalie Jean Willis, of McMechen, West Virginia, at a Steubenville card room. The seventeen-year old daughter of a coal miner, worked as a waitress in the hospital cafeteria. They married on January 17, 1955. She became pregnant in April.

Now a family man, Manson worked as a kitchen helper, parking lot attendant, and a variety of odd and illegal jobs, including stealing at least six cars; one he drove to Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

In July 1955, when Rosalie was pregnant, Manson drove her from Bridgeport, Ohio to Los Angeles California in a stolen 1951 Mercury.

In early fall of 1955, Manson plead guilty in federal court to a car theft charge. A psychiatric evaluation was requested prior to sentencing. On October 26, 1955, Dr. Edwin McNiel diagnosed Manson as having an "unstable personality" and recommended probation. Because he was a young family man, the judge sentenced him to five years of probation only, as recommended in his psychological evaluation.

Manson was a free man, aside from following the terms of his probation, and appearing in a Florida court on his other stolen car charge. He had an excellent chance of getting only probation on this charge too. He was a "no show" for the hearing, so he lost by default. As a result his probation was revoked. He was apprehended in Indianapolis and sent to the Los Angeles jail. March 1956, he was sent to Terminal Island Penitentiary in San Pedro, California.

Manson was imprisoned from 1956 until late 1958 .

"So when I got to California, it was all about fighting in the county jail. I wasn't out there on the street but what, maybe two or three weeks before they had me in the jail back in Terminal Island."

Manson's first son, Charles Milles Manson, Jr., was born shortly after his incarceration. His wife and son stayed with his mother in Los Angeles and visited him, until his wife filed for divorce and ran off with a truck driver. He never saw either one of them again.

During his prison stay at Terminal Island Penitentiary, he enjoyed basketball and sex with male prisoners.

"So then when you keep calling me a criminal and keep calling me a bad guy, then I got to be all the things that you think in your mind that I am... You got me being a bastard, you got me being a dope fiend. You got me being everything's bad. I'm only 5' tall. I was 5'7", then 5'6", now I'm down to 5'2". I figure about another 20 years, I'll be about 4' tall, because everybody's just constantly pushing it over on me, like they got permission to get away with doing anything they want to do to me, because I don't have no parents, because I don't have no money, because I don't have no education."

"You've got to have some education or some parents or you're not smart. You've got to be stupid if you don't read and write, you know. You've got to be all the things that are bad if you ain't got nobody to protect you, because you find out in that cell, the only person that loves you, Jesus Christ."

Manson's 1958-1959 prison and probation report:

"Almost without exception will let down anyone who went to bat for him ... an almost classic case of correctional institutional inmate ... a very difficult case and it is almost impossible to predict his future adjustment ... a very shaky probationer and it seems just a matter of time before he gets into further trouble."

After Manson's release, he moved in with his mother and supported himself by pimping and passing stolen checks.

In 1959 he received a suspended ten-year federal sentence for forging a $37.50 treasury check from a mailbox.

Manson and Tony Cassino started 3 Star Enterprises, Night Club, Radio and TV Promotions in Hollywood in late 1959. This was a front for a Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel prostitution service.

in January 1960, he married nineteen-year-old Leona Rae Stevens.

Manson's was indicted on Federal Mann Act charges for the transportation of women and/or girls for prostitution in April 27, 1960 (eventually the charges were dropped).

Manson met and married nineteen-year-old Leona in January 1960 and brought her to California with him. Soon afterwards his 1959 ten-year suspended sentence for forgery of a stolen check was revoked.

On June 1, 1960, Manson was arrested in Laredo, TX. While he was in prison, Leona gave birth to Manson's second son, Luther Manson. She later divorced him while she was living in Denver, Colorado due to his felony convictions and mental cruelty.

June 23,1960, he was sentenced to serve ten years at McNeil Island Federal Penitentiary in Washington State for a violation of parole. Manson studied hypnotism, subliminal motivation, astral projection, magic, ego games, Masonic lore, Scientology, Rosicrucianism and Satanism.

His cell mate, Alvin Karpis, a notorious a 1930s bank robber from Ma Barker's gang, taught him to read music and play the guitar. Manson, obsessed with the Beatles music, and learned the steel guitar.

Prison psychiatrists diagnosed him with "deep-seated personality problems."

Manson's 1961-1966 prison report stated:

"He hides his resentment and hostility behind a mask of superficial ingratiation ... even his cries for help represent a desire for attention with only superficial meaning. Pattern of instability continues ... intense need to call attention to himself.. fanatical interests. Manson is about to complete his ten-year term. He has a pattern of criminal behavior and confinement that dates to his teen years ... little can be expected in the way of change. He had a certain smile that would always get to people. He tried to hypnotize them. He always got other people to supply him with the necessities."

On March 21, 1967, Manson, 32, was released, against his wishes. He had spent half his life in Federal prisons including the six year, nine month sentence had just completed. He begged the warden to let him stay in prison.

Now a free man with $35 and a suitcase of clothes; he had permission from his Federal parole officer to travel to Washington State and Virginia to look for his mother.

The Love Generation

Manson Quotes

"I know more about the economy, more about money, more about the government than any ten presidents you got. you know, in other words, I've sit in solitary confinement and I've watched everything you guys do, and the truth is you're all lying to yourselves, you know. "

"I'm real with you. I don't pretend. I'm not bringing you a bunch of phony garbage. I'm not trying to tell you that I'm a good guy. I'm just myself, whatever that is. I believe in God and I do the best I can everyday by everybody I can, you know. When something bad comes up, I react bad to it, you know. I can fight. I can't read and write too good, but boy I can fight. You wouldn't believe how I could fight because I've been fighting ail my life to survive, and I live right on that edge of survival, you know. I just survive. I play a little music when I'm allowed to. I draw real good, but they took my pencils. Everything I do, if I can do it real good, they'll take it away from me. I used to do- make little dolls of strings, then he come took the string. So I'm not allowed to do anything. I don't have any clothes. I haven't combed my hair in two, three years, you know, I can't comb my hair. I can't do that."

"Remember the old movie where the piper - the pied piper, they said you play all the rats into the river and that they would pay you. And then the people never paid the piper so they always kept losing their children. Well, you've lost six generations of children to me, because you won't pay me what you owe me. Because I didn't break no law. I didn't kill nobody. I didn't tell nobody to get killed. "

"I influenced a lot of people, unbeknownst to my own understanding of it. I didn't understand the fears of the people outside. I didn't understand the insecurities of people outside. I didn't understand people outside. And a lot of things that I said and did effected a lot of people in a lot of different directions. It wasn't intentional and it definitely wasn't with malice or aforethought."

You've been using me ever since I was ten years old. You used to beat me with leather straps, you know. It's like, does anyone have any remorse that I've spent 23 years in a solitary cell and even on Devils Island, you didn't keep anyone over five years. You broke every record that they've ever set in the planet Earth. You only kept Christ on the cross three days.

Sharon Tate, Wall Poster, 23x35

Photographs of Sharon Tate by Walter Chappell

In Big Sur, in 1964, Walter Chappell shot a series of photographs of Sharon Tate frozen by fate, as a tragically and eternally young heroine. For 35 years those photographs remained hidden; here they appear in all their gauzy, morbid beauty. Essay by Richard Howard. 8 x 10.25 in. 4 color, 2 b/w illustrations

The Garbage People: Story of Charles Manson by John Gilmore -- Documenting Manson's life, and mass murders, interviews with Manson.

Charles Manson Love Letters to a Secret Disciple by Sy Wizinsky -- Manson's mail relationship with a 13 year old from behind bars and his relationships with others.

Will you die for me? by Charles Watson -- Tex Watson serving a life sentence for the unprovoked murder of others including a pregnant woman now a father and "minister" tells his story.


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Copyright Kari Sable 1994-2006

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The Zodiac Killer

(Sources for this article.)


Manson in His Own Words
by Charles Manson, Nuel Emmons

From prison Manson tells his story to ex cell-mate Nuel Emmons.

The Family

Ed Sanders

Painstaking research of Manson and his followers. Firsthand accounts of the murders. Completely revised and updated, 25 photos from the investigation.


The Charles Manson Murder Trial: A Headline Court Case (Headline Court Cases) by Michael J. Pellowski

Manson: The Unholy Trail of Charlie and the Family by John Gilmore, Ron Kenner -- Random murder, savage overkill, mind control, trips, Satanism, and witchcraft, Haight Ashbury, rock'n'roll, biker gangs, sexual rebellion, and a Death Valley search for the hole in the earth; Charles Manson and the Family are riveting. An updated edition containing 36 pages of previously unpublished photos. New material on killer Bobby Beausoleil and his occult alliance with experimental filmmaker Kenneth Anger.


Taming the Beast: Charles Manson's Life Behind Bars by Edward George, Dary Matera -- Edward George was Charles Manson's prison counselor for eight years during the late 1970s and early '80s. George conveys his persona of the convicted killer--complex, violent, easygoing, and even sensitive. The portrait of Manson is eccentric, and comical. He goes before parole boards every few years and laughs about it afterward. Charlie's sociopathic nature is obvious. Despite being confined he has powers of persuasion.


Helter Skelter: The True Story of the Manson Murders by Vincent Bugliosi, Curt Gentry


The Long Prison Journey of Leslie Van Houten: Life Beyond the Cult Karlene Faith -- Leslie Van Houten, the most rehabilitated of the girls. Canadian criminology professor, Karlene Faith claim that the women were victims of a controlling man. Van Houten, descent from a middle-class teen into a drug- and sex-crazed freak involved in the murder of Rosemary LaBianca and back to sanity.

The Shadow over Santa Susana: Black Magic, Mind Control and the "Manson Family" Mythos by Adam Gorightly -- Gorightly takes his readers on a black magic carpet ride from the Hollywood "Beautiful People" scene of the late 60's through to the vast desert landscapes of a Death Valley gone nada—with all the love-ins and creepy-crawls that happened along the way.

Charles Manson: Music, Mayhem, Murder by Tommy Udo -- The relationship between Manson and music.

Desert Shadows: A True Story of the Charles Manson Family in Death Valley by Bob Murphy -- Bob Murphy was a Death Valley National Monument Superintendent involved in the raid on the Barker ranch. The criminal history of the Manson family, the supplies, guns and stolen automobiles officers found during their October of 1969 Death Valley Barker ranch raids in. Rare photos

Without Conscience Charles Manson in His Own Words as Told to Nuel Emmons by Charles Manson, Nuel Emmons -- Grade 9 Up- the counterculture of the 1960s. Biographical description of Manson, the Tate-LaBianca murders, police investigation; Manson's desire to represent himself, the defendants attempted to interrupt the trial, Manson's two-hour statement on the witness stand. Useful for school reports. A bibliography of books, videos, and Web sites. Photographs



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