Charles Manson Dead at 83
A man who became one of the 20th century's most feared and hated cultural icons has passed away.
The Los Angeles Times reports that Charles Manson died of natural causes at 8:13 PM Sunday at the age of 83.
Manson had been hospitalized in Kern County, California with a "serious illness", which officials could not comment upon due to patient privacy laws.
According to the LA Times, Michele Hanisee, who was part of the team which prosecuted Manson, had this to say:
Manson was an evil, sophisticated con man with twisted and warped moral values.
Today, Manson's victims are the ones who should be remembered and mourned on the occasion of his death.
In the late 1960's, Manson led a quasi-communal religious cult which became known as the Manson Family. He claimed to be a messiah who would lead his followers in a race war that would be called 'Helter Skelter' - a term he bastardized due to his belief that the popular Beatles' song of the same name contained hidden prophetic messages about such a war.
Manson's followers committed a series of 9 murders between June and August of 1969, the most high profile of which was the murder of actress and model Sharron Tate in her home.
In 1971, Manson was found guilty of of first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder in connection to the killings carried out by his followers. He was initially sentenced to death, but the sentence was commuted to life imprisonment at a state prison after California invalidated its death penalty statute in 1972.