Infamous mass murder Charles Manson – whose “Manson Family” cult terrified the nation – has been hospitalized for an undisclosed ailment, TMZ reported.
Manson is 82-years-old. The Los Angeles Times reported that Manson is “seriously ill” and the Hollywood Reporter characterized him as “gravely ill,” but prison officials were not more specific because inmate medical information is private under the law.
The serial killer was born November 12, 1934 in Ohio to a prostitute and alcoholic.
His gruesome crime spree, which took the life of a pregnant actress among others, inspired fear in part because of his charismatic ability to manipulate the minds of his young followers in the late 1960s.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Manson Is Temporarily Out of Prison Under Close Watch at a Hospital
Manson, who is serving multiple life prison sentences, was taken from Corcoran State Prison in central California to a Bakersfield hospital, reported The New York Daily News.
On Twitter, people wrote that they would not be sad to see Manson go, after all of the tragic celebrity deaths of 2016. The phrase “Charles Manson out of prison,” however temporary, still sounded pretty frightening, though.
The hospital where Manson was taken is about an hour away from the prison.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, if Manson dies, the prison system will release that information after his next of kin is notified.
The prison has hospital services, and inmates aren’t taken to the hospital unless they need surgery, emergency care, or acute diagnostic services, The Sacramento Bee reported.
2. The Manson Cult Murdered Nine People, Including a Hollywood Actress
The cult of young people Manson led gruesomely murdered the pregnant actress Sharon Tate, and eight other people, including four people in her home. Tate, who was married to famed director Roman Polanski and was pregnant with his child, was stabbed 16 times.
One of the victims was a coffee heiress named Abigail Folger. The day after the Tate massacre, the Manson Family killed grocer Leno LaBianca and his wife, Rosemary.
The 1969 slayings turned Manson into one of the most feared killers in history. The murders inspired the book, Helter Skelter.
According to the Los Angeles Times, “Prosecutors said that Manson and his followers were trying to incite a race war that he believed was in the Beatles’ song Helter Skelter.”
The scenes were gruesome; Los Angeles County prosecutors say the Manson Family “carved the word ‘war’ into Leno LaBianca’s stomach then wrote ‘Helter Skelter’ in blood on the couple’s refrigerator,” CBS News reported. The family members also wrote the words “death to pigs” in blood.
3. Manson Took Out a Licence to Get Married in Prison in Recent Years
Although Manson has faded from the American consciousness over the years, he did take out a license to get married to a 26-year-old, prompting headlines around the world. The license expired before the marriage happened, though.
Afton Elaine Burton had even moved close to the prison to be near to Manson and visited him for seven years, reported the Los Angeles Times. However, the newspaper reported that Manson called the marriage claims “garbage.”
TMZ says Manson has a “reputed biological son” named Matthew Roberts. Manson was once married, to a woman named Rosalie, with whom he had a son, Charles Manson, Jr., who committed suicide in the 1990s.
4. Manson Family Members Have Suffered Different Fates Over the Years
According to Brittanica.com, Manson “attracted a small but devoted group of followers from among the city’s bohemian youth culture. By 1968 he had become the leader of the ‘Family,’ a communal religious cult dedicated to studying and implementing his eccentric religious teachings, which were drawn from science fiction as well as the occult and fringe psychology.”
Some members of that family are also now elderly and have sought parole. One of Manson’s followers, Lynette “Squeaky” Fromme, then 60, was released from prison in 2009. She was convicted in 1975 of pointing a gun at President Gerald R. Ford, CNN reported.
Another member of the “Family,” Susan Atkins, who helped kill Tate, died in prison of brain cancer in 2009 at age 61. Patricia Krenwinkel, another Manson Family member, who is California’s longest-serving female prison inmate, is seeking parole but a parole board delayed its decision in late December 2016 so it could research battered women’s syndrome and whether it applied to Krenwinkel’s case, reported CBS News.
5. Manson Was Originally Sentenced to Death but the Sentence Was Commuted
Manson’s death sentence was overturned when the death penalty was abolished in California in 1972.
He’s been eligible for parole in 1978 but has been denied each time. The California Supreme Court had ruled the death penalty was unconstitutional, according to Reuters.
Manson is serving nine life sentences. A trip to the hospital is almost certainly going to be Manson’s only chance to see the outside of prison walls.