Tex Watson – full name “Charles ‘Tex’ Watson” – is one of the more colorful Manson Family members in the Quentin Tarantino movie, Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood.
Watson is a rare male member of the family, and he’s seen in control at the George Spahn movie ranch property where the Manson Family took up shop. Tex Watson is also seen in charge of a group of murderers who show up at the Sharon Tate property. However, what’s the real story of Tex Watson, and where is the Manson Family member today?
Here’s what you need to know:
Tex Watson Was Denied Parole in 2016 – Again
Tex Watson was denied parole in 2016 at age 70. According to the Los Angeles Times, he was originally sentenced to death for the murders of Sharon Tate and six other people. However, in 1973, when the state Supreme Court found the death penalty unconstitutional, his sentence was converted to a life term, the Times reported.
The 2016 parole denial was the 17th time that a parole board had rejected Watson’s request to be freed. He’s eligible again in 2021. In 2011, at a parole hearing for Watson, Deputy Dist. Atty. Patrick Sequeira described Watson as the leader of the Tate massacre, claiming he told his victims: “I am the devil. I am here to do the devil’s business.”
“His role within the family was a significant one,” Sequeira said, according to the Times. “He was essentially the main hit man…. These weren’t impulsive actions. Murdering seven people on two subsequent nights were not impulsive actions.”
However, in 2011, according to the Times, Watson claimed: “My heart is filled with remorse for the tragedy I caused so many people. I’m so deeply sorry that I allowed myself to get to the place of not valuing life.”
In 2018, a Huffington Post writer described a prison meeting with Watson, writing, “He was well-groomed and clean-shaven, his posture arguably better than mine as I sat hunched over my writing pad and pencils.”
Watson was only 23-years-old when the murders occurred in 1969.
In 2013, Watson was attacked in prison. An inmate stabbed him in the back.
According to Rolling Stone, Tex Watson was a former high school football star from Dallas, Texas, who dropped out of college, and journeyed to California. His life changed when he met Charles Manson, and he did, in fact, live on the Spahn Movie Ranch.
In prison, he started Abounding Love Ministries. According to Texas Monthly, while behind bars, Watson “married, fathered four children, and founded a prison-cell ministry.” That was before conjugal visits were banned for people serving life prison terms. He was married to wife, Kristin.
According to Oxygen, Kristin Joan Svege met Watson by writing him in prison. They had four children together but divorced in 2003.
His website goes into great detail about his transformation. “My irrational thinking caused a chain of destructive emotions and sinful behavior. Beginning with Eve in the Garden, thoughts of not having or being enough, or of missing out on something important, caused the first couple to hide from God in fear, guilt and shame, with feelings of rejection,” he wrote.
The website’s biography page explains, “Charles was born in 1945 in Dallas, Texas. He grew up in Copeville, 35 miles north of Dallas. He left for California in 1967, believing that out west promised satisfaction through drugs, sex and rock ‘n roll.”
In California, though, “he enrolled in college and secured a job, but soon dropped out in exchange for the fast life. He met Manson and ended up becoming a member of the ‘Manson Family.’ He was part of this group for a year. Manson offered a utopia, but in reality he had a destructive worldview which Charles ended up believing in and acting upon. His participation in the 1969 Manson murders is a part of history that he deeply regrets.”
The website continues, “Christ came into his heart and called him into the ministry. He began ministry training and co-authored the book ‘Will You Die For Me?’ in 1978. This book has touched thousands of prisoners spiritually. He founded the original Abounding Love Ministries in 1980, and became an ordained minister in 1981. He has spent all these years ministering to prisoners and to others around the world.”