The Tate-LaBianca Murders
Susan Atkins Leslie Van Houten
Patricia Krenwinkel Charles “Tex” Watson
On August 9, 1969 the seven innocent victims of the Tate-LaBianca murders were senselessly slain by a vicious cult and their leader Charles Manson…
Manson’s childhood was a troubled one, he was born Charles Milles Maddox on November 12, 1934 to sixteen year old Kathleen Maddox in Cincinnati, Ohio. Shortly after his birth, his mother married William Manson which gave him the name that is so well known today. Manson never knew his birth father. Not much is known about him other than he was a “Colonel Scott” of Ashland, Kentucky. In 1939, Kathleen was sentenced to prison for armed robbery, and a young Charlie spent the majority of his youth living in the homes of relatives and numerous boys homes. At the age of nine Charlie started his criminal career by burglarizing homes and stealing cars.
Manson’s first violent offense came in 1952 when he sodomized another boy while holding a razor blade to his throat during his stay at a reform school. He was released in 1954 at the age of nineteen and met a young woman named Rosalie Willis. They married in 1955 and a year later had a son, Charles Manson Jr. One month after the birth of his son, Manson was arrested for stealing cars and sentenced to three years which he served in San Pedro, California; his wife filed for divorce.
After his release in 1958, Manson made a living by pimping, stealing checks, and conning women out of money. During this time he met and married a woman by the name of Leona and had a second son named Charles Luthor Manson. Leona divorced Manson after he was arrested yet again in 1960 and sent to McNeil Island Penitentiary.
While serving his six year sentence Manson met a man by the name of Alvin “Creepy” Karpis, who happened to be a former member of Ma Barker’s gang. Karpis taught Manson to play the steel guitar which led to his obsession with music. Manson devoted much of his time in prison to practicing and writing music and held the belief that he would be a famous musician. Upon his release on March 21, 1967, Manson moved to San Francisco, California and began to collect a following of people. In 1968, Manson and several of his followers drove to Southern California where he met Dennis Wilson of The Beach Boys. Through Wilson, Manson was introduced to Doris Day’s son Terry Melcher. Manson believed that Terry was just the person that could help further his music career and was very upset when things did not work out.
During this time the Manson Family moved into Spahn Ranch where Charles started piecing together his own philosophy based on a number of different religions. According to his interpretations of Revelations 9 and the Beatles’ song Helter Skelter, Manson also believed that there was a race war that was to take place in the summer of 1969 during which all of the black people were going to slaughter the white people. When this “war” did not take place Manson told his Family that they should “show the blacks how to do it”. (Rosenberg, 2010) On August 8, 1969, Manson ordered several of his Family members to kill any people inside the house at 10050 Cielo Drive. This house formerly belonged to Terry Melcher but was now being rented by Sharon Tate and her husband Roman Polanski, who happened to be in Europe on business at the time. Manson told his followers to “do something witchy”. After midnight on August 9th, Tex Watson, Susan Atkins, Leslie Van Houten, Patricia Krenwinkel, and Linda Kasabian walked up to 10050 Cielo Drive where they brutally shot and stabbed their first five victims; Steven Parent, Voytek Frykowski, Abigail Folger, Jay Sebring and Sharon Tate. Tate was...