Charles Manson, the sinister hippie cult leader who declared himself “the Devil” and dispatched his followers to commit a series of Hollywood murders in 1969 that shocked the country, died Sunday night in a California hospital, state officials told NBC News. He was 83 years old.
Manson died at 8:13 p.m. (11:13 p.m. ET) at a hospital in Kern County, said a spokeswoman for the state Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.
Debra Tate, the sister of one of the Manson family’s victims, the actress Sharon Tate, told NBC News that authorities called her about 8:30 p.m. to inform her that Manson was dead.
“One could say I’ve forgiven them, which is quite different then forgetting what they are capable of,” Tate said. “It is for this reason I fight so hard to make sure that each of these individuals stays in prison until the end of their natural days.”
Michele Hanisee, president of the Association of Deputy District Attorneys for Los Angeles County, said Sunday night: “Today, Manson’s victims are the ones who should be remembered and mourned on the occasion of his death.”
For many Americans, Manson became the living embodiment of evil, and he was once dubbed by Rolling Stone magazine “The Most Dangerous Man Alive.”
Even behind bars, he exerted an almost magnetic influence over other members of the “Manson Family,” and the madness and depravity of his crimes continued to intrigue generations of people who were born long after “Helter Skelter” became part of the vernacular.
Manson was sentenced to death in 1971 for directing the brutal murders of Tate and six other people, but he was spared two years later and was sentenced to life behind bars when California did away with the death penalty.
Later, Manson survived being severely burned by another inmate who poured paint thinner on him and set him ablaze. But in the end, the incorrigible inmate who repeatedly ran afoul prison officials for drugs and other offenses.
By law, Manson was required to have a parole hearing every seven years. But it was such a given that Manson would never be allowed to leave prison that he stopped attending them.
ORIGINAL STORY 11/20/17
Mass murderer Charles Manson died Sunday of natural causes at the age of 83, after being admitted last week to a Kern County hospital in Bakersfield, California, according to NBC News.
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