NAME: Charles Manson
CONVICTIONS: First-degree murder, conspiracy to commit murder
SPAN OF MURDERS: July and August 1969
NUMBER OF VICTIMS: 9
SENTENCE: Sentenced to death (commuted to life with the possibility of parole)
DATE OF BIRTH: 12/11/1934
STATUS: Died in prison on 19/11/2017
MORE INFO: One of the most notorious American serial killers of all time, Charles Manson was an unemployed ex-convict and aspiring singer-songwriter who formed and led a cult called the Manson Family, a commune of misfits who lived a hedonistic lifestyle immersed in sex and drugs. Manson believed there was an impending apocalyptic race war which the African Americans would win before turning to him to be their leader.
To help hasten the start of the war, Manson instructed his devoted followers to go on a killing spree in the summer of 1969 in and around Los Angeles. They committed nine murders, the most famous of which was actress Sharon Tate, the wife of director Roman Polanski, at 10050 Cielo Drive, Beverly Hills.
Although he was not present at any of the killings, Manson was convicted of seven counts of first-degree murder and one count of conspiracy to commit murder in 1971 as Californian law allows murder conspirators to be culpable via vicarious liability. He was sentenced to death but, when the death penalty was ruled unconstitutional in California in 1972, he was resentenced to life with the possibility of parole. Becoming a famous symbol of madness, manipulation and murder in popular culture, Manson, spent 46 years behind bars until his death in 2017 at the age of 83.