Personality Analysis of Charles Manson

Topics: Charles Manson, Susan Atkins, Paul Watkins Pages: 15 (5234 words) Published: January 15, 2013


Manson is a convicted serial killer who has become an icon of evil. In the late 1960s, Manson founded a hippie cult group known as "the Family" whom he manipulated into brutally killing others on his behalf. "Helter Skelter," Manson believed, was going to occur in the summer of 1969 when blacks were going to rise up and slaughter all the white people. He told his followers that they would be saved because they would go underground, literally, by traveling to an underground city of gold located in Death Valley. However, when the Armageddon that Manson had predicted did not occur, he said he and his followers must show the blacks how to do it.

The reason why I chose Manson for my analysis is because this man is an obviously highly disturbed individual. Also, being from Los Angeles where most of his crimes occurred, I’ve seen first-hand some of the crime scenes and heard personal stories from family members about encounters. When my mother was a young teenager, she lived near Manson’s Spahn Ranch in Chatsworth, CA and used to hike the trails alongside his house. No one knew until later that he was actually living there at the time.


Charles Manson was born on November 12, 1934 in Cincinnati, Ohio to a 16 year old Kathleen Maddox. His mother was a well-known promiscuous girl who was heavily involved in crime and alcoholism. She was briefly married to a man named William Manson which is the reason why his last name was changed. In 1940, when Manson was only 6 years old, Kathleen was found guilty of armed robbery and sent to prison.

"Mom was in a cafe one afternoon with me on her lap. The waitress, a would-be mother without a child of her own, jokingly told my Mom she'd buy me from her. Mom replied, 'A pitcher of beer and he's yours.' The waitress set up the beer, Mom stuck around long enough to finish it off and left the place without me. Several days later my uncle had to search the town for the waitress and take me home."

During this time, Manson was sent to live with different relatives. His grandmother subjected him to heavy religious standards, one uncle decided he acted too feminine so he dressed him as a girl for his first day of school, and another uncle committed suicide while Manson was under his care. Due to all these varied styles of living, Manson never had any steady modes of style of being raised. This dysfunction in his life was carried over into adulthood.

After her release from prison, Manson’s mother continued to date. When her current boyfriend made her choose between him or her son, she made the decision to give up her son. After Manson was rejected from foster care, he lived on his own and stole as a means for survival. He ended up being sent to the Gibault Home for Boys in Indiana. Some speculate that his lust for stealing stemmed from his desires to have something that he could call his own and it allowed him to create his own identity.

He spent much of his teen years in and out of different reform schools. He stole cars to get around and robbed in order to get money. He was never able to be out on his own for very long as he was always caught and sent back to an institution. Manson claims he was repeatedly raped during his time at the Indiana School for Boys. The first prison sentence came from driving a stolen car across state lines. His first year there resulted in assault charges. He was released in 1954 after being transferred to another prison.

A year after his release when he was 21, he married a 17 year old girl named Rosalie Jean Willis. The two traveled to California in a stolen car and the only thing that kept Manson from another prison sentence was that Rosalie was pregnant with his child. He eventually failed to meet his requirements for probation and was sent to Terminal Island Prison for 3 years. Rosalie gave birth to their son, Charles Manson Jr., while he was in prison and he never heard from...
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