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Subject: Charles Manson through the decades

Written By: MaxwellSmart on 10/26/07 at 1:43 am

I've been thinking a lot about this over the past few weeks after MSNBC ran a special on Manson, and I talked to my sister about our once-removed connection to the Manson Family.

You see, my family knew Linda Kasabian.  You couldn't do it nowadays with the 24-hour-news cycle and nonstop image bombardment, but in the early '70s even a notorious person could go incognito.  However, one as notorious as Linda could not for very long.

After Kasabian established that she had not taken part in any gruesome slaying, she just drove the car, Linda was granted immunity in return for testifying against the others.  She did and was set free.  She returned to her homestate of NH with three kids in tow at the age of 22.  She settled a little farther south in our town.  She wanted to resume life as a peaceful hippie chick in the hippie circle in the area.  My parents were in it, so this Linda and her husband Bob who loved in a geodesic dome in the woods the next town over became a familiar presence in my parents' social life.  She lived under a different name and her kids were toddlers about our age. She babysat for us several times.

My own hazy memories of Linda demonstrate a sweet, kind, and gentle girl with a touch of sadness about her.  She was always even- tempered and decent to us, more than I could say for my own parents. 

Soon the past came storming back.  Rumors made the circuit.  One day my 12-year-old sister's friend Christina called up and told her, "You're friends' a murderer you know.  Yeah, she was with Charles Manson when they cut up all those peple."  The local-yokels milled around her job as a short order cook and jokingly asked for a "Kasabian," like it was a sandwich.  The rumors started, such as the one about Linda getting drunk, decapitating a chicken, and drinking its blood in the middle of Route 101.  My sister dumbly told me and my other sister what Christina had told her, even though our ears were to young to cope with it.  My mom explained the best she could that Linda did not do anything, she was just lost and needed guidance, but sometimes the people we turn to when we need help might be the wrong people.  Still to heavy to hear at age six.  The wrong people might be killers?  That wrong?  But she said that Linda did the right thing and told the govenment about the bad things her friends did so these bad people couldn't hurt anyone else,  and Linda would never have hurt us and she's sorry every day for all the people her friends hurt.

Though mother tried to assure us Linda was OK and wasn't really a bad person, my circuits went haywire.  I had nightmares.  Not of Linda, but of evil people kidnapping me and taking me to dark and vile places.  I overheard my parents discussing the case when they thought I was asleep.  I saw media pictures of Manson and his bloody crew, and the aftermath of the crimes, which my parents failed to conceal  The image of Charles Manson seered into my consciousness and branded the menacing image in my head.  I didn't want to see it, but the more I fought it, the more the image morphed into malevolant icon.

Linda was still in town, but even though my mom said she was a good person, we never saw her nor her children again.

Life went on.  I had more childhood tribulations on the horizon, which were all about as unhealthy.

My parents never told me what happened to Linda. 

In my early 30s my curiousity led me to research.  She fled in 1975.  Manson disciple Lynette "Squeaky" Fromme made a failed assassination attempt on President Ford.  The FBI came down like a ton of bricks on any name ever associated with Manson.  Linda became a fugitive, not from justice, but from decent society.  Linda ended up in the Seattle area, terrified and broke....and angry because she was rejected.  She fell in with the underworld engaging in cocaine dealing and petty thievery.  When her daughter got old enough to jackroll tricks for their money and watches, she did.  That's what became of the sweet little angel I built sandcastles with.  I hear rumors and see the occasional police report about Kasabian and her children in New Hampshire and Washington.  The woman is in her 60s now and gets no break from it.


Some of you will ask, "Wasn't it her responsibility?  She sought Charlie out, Charlie did not seek her out."
You know who else says that?  Charles Manson.

Every time Manson got in front of a camera from the late 1960s to the early 1990s when the press was forced to quit him, Charlie would spout self-righteous invective, talking in circles and riddles, and turning every inquiry into his own misdeeds into a screed on how the establishment chewed up and spat out him and "the children," and recited weak jeremiads about truth, freedom, wildlife, soil, air, and water.
Charlie Maintains he forced nobody to do anything.  In his words, "I said I'll be your friend, I'll be your brother, I'll be your lover, I'll even by your guide if you want me to, but YOU do what YOU want.  YOU do what YOU think is right.  I never encouraged those girls to do a single thing they didn't want to do themeselves!"

The plain truth is, Charlie is a con artist.  He's like the pimp at the bus station who snags young girls and promises them the good life. Girls such as Linda were wanderng California in 1968 in a fog of drugs, hunger, pennilessness, chaotic crashpads, anonymous sex, and STIs. 

Charlie brought them to an abandoned ranch in the godforsaken desert and told them they were beautiful childrne of the Earth, he became both Jesus and the main lay.  Charlie would feed the girls LSD and play mind control games on them.

Charles Manson is in the business of hurting people.  After he forced them to cook, sew, clean for him, and have sex with him seven times a day, he turned confused teenage girls into savage murders.  They're old enough to be your grandmother now, and they're stil in prison paying for their crimes.  Think of the pain of nearly 40 years for the famiies of Van Houten, Krenwinkle, Atkins, Tate, LaBianca, Severing, Hinman, and others.  How many other children were like me haunted by that image of Manson?  That's what Charlie likes.  He likes to inspire fear, pain, grief, and horror in as many people as possible. 

His IQ is perhaps 140 and he maintained a magnetic charisma into his '70s.  Even when he was uttering complete BS, he could get you to inch towards his point of view.

Manson became a culture icon, a folk hero, and an object of sick jokes.  I see his core: A dangerous, lying sociopath with a flare for the dramatic, and nothing more.

Subject: Re: Charles Manson through the decades

Written By: Davester on 10/26/07 at 2:05 am

  Never paid much attention to the Manson thing, but I understand that Charlie Manson never killed anyone himself and wasn't even at the crime scene...

  Like you said he brainwashed vulnerable young women.  Sounds like an accessory, to me.  Five years in state prison...

  Then again, anyone with a swatstika carved into their forehead can't be all  bad...

Subject: Re: Charles Manson through the decades

Written By: danootaandme on 10/27/07 at 3:38 pm

Whew...The only thing I can wonder is what the real story was.  You saw Linda through the eyes of a child, so you really don't know if she is as nice, at that time, as you remember her.  She was all messed and Manson was able to cash in on that to a point, but in her heart there was still something there.  We cannot say what was going on with her and the family before she was outed in New Hampshire, it is possible she was holding her own and the town gave her a push over the edge, it is also possible that things were going on in the home that would have lead to her ending up the way she did regardless, we will never really know.

Subject: Re: Charles Manson through the decades

Written By: holicman on 10/28/07 at 9:48 pm

What do you think would happen If Manson was released from prison in the near future ??

Do you think he wouldve changed or do you think he has been devising things awaiting the day he is released ? (if ever).

Will he pose a threat to society or will he live his life out as an old man keeping a low profile not causing problems?

Subject: Re: Charles Manson through the decades

Written By: Brigitte on 10/28/07 at 10:48 pm

I really doubt Charlie will ever get out of prison but if he did I think he would commit more crimes. He is a career criminal and a delusional paranoid on top of that!
At his last parole hearing he showed no indication of rehabilitation either.

Subject: Re: Charles Manson through the decades

Written By: La Roche on 10/28/07 at 11:23 pm

I often say very bad people are 'brutal' and 'very metal', 'righteous dudes' etc... but that's often in jest and is usually just to get a rise out of people. Charles Manson however is simply this - A very very interesting, intelligent and calculating individual that I hope stays locked up for the rest of his life. I'd love to talk to him but it would be pointless because there's no way I'd get anything out of a conversation with a man working that many moves ahead.. and that's exactly what he does, he works a dozen moves ahead and anticipates the possible outcomes.

Subject: Re: Charles Manson through the decades

Written By: Foo Bar on 10/29/07 at 10:32 pm

His IQ is perhaps 140 and he maintained a magnetic charisma into his '70s.  Even when he was uttering complete BS, he could get you to inch towards his point of view.

Manson became a culture icon, a folk hero, and an object of sick jokes.  I see his core: A dangerous, lying sociopath with a flare for the dramatic, and nothing more.

Karma for a fascinating story.  Manson and Jim Jones are the bookends to sociopathy in the 60s/70s.  In alternate universes, they'd be high-ranking politicians.  Jones came frighteningly close to pulling it off.

But you left out one bit about Chuck.  He's also a really great source for samples in industrial music.  Which brings me to work last week.  Co-worker and I were talking about horror vs. sci-fi.  (Specifically, why the syndicated local channels think that Stargate:SG-1/Atlantis ought to be run alongside something like Poltergeist).

"But dude, they're both about weird paranormal things that never happened in real life!"
"Yeah, but one's trying to make you wonder about weird stuff, and the other's just trying to horrify you with weird stuff."
"Well, don't people like to be scared too?"
"Sure, but I can get better horror off the news every night."
"Yeah, sure.  But still, what's so lame about horror?"

I have a playlist queued up full of industrial/EBM beats that help me concentrate, and slipped him Birmingham 6's A Good Day from 1996.  How convenient!

"Hey, you do techno sometimes, right?"
"Try some of this.  This track's ten years old.  We danced our asses off to this one."

  ((  Audio:  Your basic solid, Belgian EBM beat, if you've heard anything by Front 242, you've got the idea.  ))
  ((  Vocals:  "A good day, the American way."  ))

"Not bad..."
"Give it a minute."

  ((  Samples:  A few 30-40 second excerpts, plus some loops, all from the interview that Maxwell cited. 
      Long enough that you get an idea that he was actually presenting some sort of case, some sort of
      argument for the proposition that everyone ought to just go out and pick up where he left off.  ))

"Dude, WTF?  Those samples are so creepy.  What the hell freaky movie did they come from?"
"Not a movie.  Some dude interviewed Charlie Manson way back when."
"Happy Hallowe'en, dude.  Oh, and -"
"- Have a good day." :)

Does anyone have a version of the "The Top 1319 Sample Sources" (version 60, 1 September 2004) or "The Top 1119 Sampling Groups" (version 38, 1 September 2004)?  According to those lists, as of late 2004, he'd found his way into at least 22 tracks by 20 groups, with 50 samples total.  The original site/database at has gone down, and those are the latest versions I was able to find. 

Which really sucks, because it was a fantastic resource for answering the hardest question in most industrial/EBM music -- namely "where the hell did that sample come from?". 

Subject: Re: Charles Manson through the decades

Written By: HawkTheSlayer on 10/30/07 at 2:37 am

The man is a complete dufus.

He behaves normally unless he's going to Parole Commission.
Then he becomes the devious genius behind the Manson Family.

He's a fraud, who's afraid of having to be an actual person, plain and simple.

Subject: Re: Charles Manson through the decades

Written By: MrCleveland on 10/31/07 at 3:54 pm

Dennis Wilson and the Beach Boys knew Manson.
And Marylin Manson used the last name of Charles Manson. He acts less like Marylin Monroe and more like Charles Manson.

Subject: Re: Charles Manson through the decades

Written By: MaxwellSmart on 11/04/07 at 6:43 pm

Yes, Foo Bar, Manson is a favorite for industrial music sampling.  Two of my favorites, Skinny Puppy and Cabaret Voltaire used Manson samples.  And thanks for the Karma.

Manson will never get out.  He likes it better in prison.  Some criminals really cannot handle life on the outside.  Buried under the sociopathy there was hurt and scared little boy who was truly terrified of the world.  Prison for Manson is a safe, structured, predictable environment.  For all his anti-authoritarian talk, Manson is an authoritarian.  He exercised complete control over his "family," and anybody who disobeyed him got kicked out (if they were lucky).  One of the few things Manson said that I believe is he prefers the authority in prison because it is what it is and there's no BS politics; no games, the C.O.'s don't manipulate you into obeying them, they just tell you straight up; you f*ck with the wrong guy, you're dead.  That's prison.  They asked Manson when he was going back in the joint how he was going to deal without all those young ladies, Manson said: "There's plenty of sex in prison."  Uncle Charlie was happy to swing either way.

Another thing to remember, Manson is now 73 years old.  It seems unjust for the dirty rat bastard to live so long when so many beautiful souls get so much less.  They say the good die young, maybe ther's something to that.  Anyway, chances are he'll go within the next 15 years. 

I don't think they're going every going to grant parole to Patricia Krenwinkel, Susan Atkins, Leslie Van Houten, and certainly not Lynette Fromme.  The two I still wouldn't trust are Fromme and Atkins.  Van Houten seems like very nice lady who could not be more contrite, but I think the crimes she committed when she was 20 warrant a full natural life incarcerited.  She knows it too. 

If Manson himself got out somebody might whack him.  Anyway, where would he go?  What would there be for him to do? Can you picture Charlie sacking groceries at the supermarked like Brooks from Shawshank Redemption? 
He might try to make trouble, but at his age I don't know how effective he'd be.  Besides, one wrong move and the parole board would send him right back.  Perhaps some sick, rich bastard like Larry Flynt would support him in his waning years. 

No, he's not going to get out.

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