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Although decades have passed since The Manson Family ceased to exist, the carnage they unleashed on their unsuspecting victims remains a terrible remembrance. The Manson family committed a string of murders that were well-publicized in 1969 especially because there was no particular motive rather than the orders they received from the leader of the family cult who was a psychopath. This eccentric group created a name for themselves which is hard to forget. More so, the many innocents who were murdered during their reign of terror make it impossible for the history books of America to not have a place for them. Read on as we bring you all the facts concerning who The Manson family members were, what became of each one of them and where they are now.
Who are the Manson Family Members?
The Manson Family leader, Charles Manson lived about half of his life in and out of prison by the time the “family” started to form in 1967. This alleged family that was later formed became notable for committing various crimes, including petty theft, assaults, and murders. However, their most popular murder was that of the heavily pregnant actress and wife of film director, Roman Polanski, Sharon Tate.
Some of their key members including those convicted for Sharon Tate’s and other deaths include the following:
1. Dennis Wilson
Born as Dennis Carl Wilson in Inglewood, California on December 4, 1944. Wilson was one of the founding members of the American rock band, The Beach Boys. He was introduced to by Patricia Krenwinkel and Ella Jo Bailey who told him about their talented guru in 1968. Later on, Wilson introduced Manson to some people in the music industry including producer Terry Melcher. Wilson was also the one footing the bills of all the members staying in his household until he moved out of the house after a fall out with the Mason family members in late 1968.
2. Susan Atkins
Atkins was born on May 7, 1948, in San Gabriel, California to alcoholic parents. Her life got disrupted when her mother died of cancer in 1963. Atkins went from being a middle-class girl who sang in the choir to a criminal convicted of eight counts of murders after she met Manson who she thought was Jesus.
3. Tex Watson
This notorious Manson family member was born as Charles Denton Watson Jr. in Farmersville, Texas on December 2, 1945. Watson was an editor, athlete and honor student in high school before he was introduced to Manson by some of his women in 1967. Watson led the group responsible for the Tate and LaBianca murders.
4. Patricia Krenwinkel
Krenwinkel was born in Los Angeles on December 3, 1947, and during her growing years, she was often teased for being excessively hairy and overweight which resulted in low self-esteem. Krenwinkel received validation for the first time in her life when she met Charles Manson in 1967. She eventually became one of his most devout followers and was one of the perpetrators of the Tate – LaBianca murders.
5. Mary Brunner
The first recruit in the Manson Family, Brunner was a 23-year-old Ph.D. student when she met Manson. He started the family in her residence in 1967 after he left prison. Soon, over 20 people were living in Brunner’s apartment in San Francisco with Manson until they moved to Spahn Ranch. Brunner later had Manson’s son on April 15, 1968, and named him Valentine Michael. She was not involved in the group’s murders but was arrested for a series of offenses like armed robbery and credit card theft.
6. Bobby Beausoleil
Born in Santa Barbara, California on November 6, 1947. Beausoleil was sent by his catholic family to a reform camp for juvenile delinquency at age 15. Afterward, he moved between San Francisco and Los Angeles and took an interest in music. He joined the Manson family through his roommate, Gary Hinman whose life he later took on Manson’s orders.
7. Leslie Van Houten
Born in California in 1949, Leslie started taking drugs as early as age 15 and was forced to have an abortion at age 17 by her mother. She joined the Manson family in 1968 and was charged for the LaBianca murders the following year, at age 19.
Other known members of the Manson family are Gary Hinman, Steve “Clem” Grogan, Bruce Davis, Linda Kasabian, Lynette ‘Squeaky’ Fromme, and Catherine Share.
Where Are The Mason Family Members Now?
All the Manson family members that were involved in the murder sprees the engaged in were sentenced to death however when the death penalty was abolished in 1972 by the California Supreme court, their sentences were then converted to life sentences.
Atkins was still in jail when she died of brain cancer in 2009, Hinman was killed while Wilson drowned in 1983. The Manson family member Watson is now a born again Christian in prison, Van Houten is eligible for her 21st parole attempt in 2020 and Beausoleil sells art and creates music in prison. Brunner was released from prison on parole in 1977 but her whereabouts today is unknown.
Patricia Krenwinkel who is still serving her life sentence holds the record of the longest-serving female inmate in California. Grogan was released on parole in 1985 while Catherine Share is now a follower of Jesus Christ and she speaks against cultism. On November 17, 2017, their leader, Charles Manson succumbed to colon cancer at age 83 after serving 48 years in California State Prison.