Charles Manson

Air section of southern California. On Saturday, August

ninth, nineteen sixty-nine, all hell broke loose with more than

six dozen plunges of a carving fork and knife, and the

peaceful dyll was shattered. Out of the chaos caused by the

senseless, horrific murderers, Charles Manson emerged as one

of the most feared notorious criminals of all time.

In the twenty-nine years since the so-called "Tate-La

Bianca" murders, many people have speculated about what

caused Charles Manson to become the monster he turned to

be. To be able to fully comprehend what could cause an

innocent child to evolve into a ruthless calculating cold-

blooded killer, one must completely examine the events of his


Charles Manson was born Charles Milles Maddox, the son

of an unwed mother, in Cincinnati Ohio on November twelfth,

nineteen thirty-four. His father, he stated in his

autobiography, was a "young drugstore cowboy", a transient

laborer who abandoned Charles\' mother when he learned that

she was pregnant. Shortly after Charles\' birth, Kathleen

Maddox lived with a man named William Manson, and they

eventually got married. William Manson gave his new stepson

his name, although the marriage dissolved shortly thereafter.

Raised in a strict, religious home, Kathleen Maddox-

Manson rebelled after the breakup of her marriage. She

reveled in her newfound freedom by drinking a lot and loving

freely. Like many young mothers, Kathleen was not yet ready

for the responsibilities that go along with the raising of a

child. She had fled a stifling home life and rushed into

marriage, and she had a lot of living to do before she settled

down. Charles was passed from relative to relative to

baby-sitter, and was soon sold to a waitress in a restaurant

in exchange for a pitcher of beer. An uncle tracked him down

and took him home several days later.

When Charles was five years old, his mother and a man

were convicted of robbing a service station in Charlestown,

West Virginia. They\'d used a Coke bottle to knock the

attendant unconscious.

Caught and sentenced to five years in Moundsville Prison,

her work assignment was near death row. West Virginia was

a hanging state at that time, and part of Kathleen\'s job was

to clean the area that included the scaffold. One day as she

was cleaning, she saw a man being escorted to the scaffold.

Normally on hanging days, nobody except the person to be

executed and the prison officials were allowed near the

hanging area, but on that day, by accident or oversight, the

prison officials neglected to inform Kathleen of the day\'s

plans. Afraid she might be in trouble for being in the

vicinity, she hid in a nearby broom closet. When the trap

sprung, the inmate\'s weight and sheer velocity caused the

rope to sever his head, and as Kathleen opened the door to

get a glimpse of the hanging, it promptly rolled to kathleen\'s

hiding place. She told Charles years later that mans eyes

were still wide open and death literally stared her in the


Twenty-seven years after that incident, Charles Milles

Manson was placed on Death Row. In his autobiography,

"Manson: In His Own Words", he explained a sobering

moment."I looked at the gas chamber. The rooms two viewing

windows looked like two huge eyes of death. Instantly my

mind flashed to my mother, and I had a vision of her looking

into the eyes of death. During that moment, I understood

more about my mom than any other time in my life".

Charles\' mother was released from prison when he was

eight years old, and again he was either being passed from

relative to relative, or they moved around a lot. Eventually,

when Charles was twelve years old, his mother found a steady

boyfriend. He soon tired of having Charles around and gave

Kathleen an ultimatum: him or Charles. Charles was placed in

the Gibault Home for Boys in Tierre Haute, Indiana. It was

a strict Catholic religious-oriented school, and the

punishment for even the tiniest infraction was either a

wooden paddle, or a leather strap.

Eventually, living at Gibault got to be too much for

Charles, and he ran away. He slept in the woods, under

bridges, and wherever else he could find a place. He finally

reached Indianapolis where he burglarized