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Aging Charles Manson captured in prison photo


California corrections officials released a photograph taken today of aging convicted mass murderer Charles Manson, replete with receding hairline, fading forehead Swastika carving and a thick, heavily graying beard.

The photograph of the 74-year-old cult leader was taken at Corcoran State Prison, where he is serving a life sentence and is part of periodic updates of inmate images by prison officials, said Terry Thornton, a spokeswoman for the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

This August marks the 40th anniversary of the Manson killings, which stunned the nation and effectively marked the end of the counter-culture, "flower power" era of the 1960s.

Manson and other members of his so-called family were convicted of killing actress Sharon Tate and six other people during a bloody rampage in the Los Angeles area during two August nights in 1969. Prosecutors said that Manson and his followers were trying to incite a race war that he believed was prophesied in the Beatles' song "Helter Skelter."

Tate, the wife of director Roman Polanski, was 8 1/2 months' pregnant when she was killed at her hilltop home in Benedict Canyon on Aug. 9, 1969. Besides Tate, four others were stabbed and shot to death including Jay Sebring, 35; Voytek Frykowski, 32; Abigail Folger, 25, a coffee heiress; and Steven Parent, 18, a friend of Tate's caretaker.  The word "Pig" was written on the front door in blood.

The next night, Manson rode along with his so-called family members to the Los Feliz home of Leno and Rosemary LaBianca, then left three of them to commit the murders. "Death to pigs" was written on a wall, and "Healter Skelter," which was misspelled, on the refrigerator door.

Manson was also convicted of the earlier murder of musician Gary Hinman in his Topanga Canyon home, and the slaying of former stuntman Donald "Shorty" Shea at the Spahn movie ranch in Chatsworth, where Manson had his commune.

Manson initially was sentenced to death. A 1972 ruling by the California Supreme Court found the state's death penalty law at the time unconstitutional and his death sentence was changed in 1977 to life in prison with the possibility of parole.

The septuagenarian has made 11 failed bids for parole since 1978, the last in 2007 when he was ordered to continue serving life sentences. Manson's next parole hearing is scheduled for 2012.

--Andrew Blankstein

Photos: Charles Manson in a 1968 booking photo, left, and a photo taken today at Corcoran State Prison. Credits: Ventura County Sheriff’s Department, California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation

Comments () | Archives (77)

another thing..thats the dumbest thing ive ever heard that killing someone costs more than to feed them for 50 years..china has trial, after conviction they are killed the next day and the bill for the bullet is sent to their family..we dont have rules so people take advantage of it..such as psychos like manson..







It really does cost more to put a man on death row then life in prison. It's not the actual killing, but the monstrous appeals that are required beforehand. That, in addition to the fact that the person is STILL fed, housed, and given medical treatment. AND the fact that they spend almost the equivalent of a lifetime in prison before execution is finally carried out. Plus the cost of the death drugs, and the people doing the killing have also got to be paid.

The reason China doesn't have this problem is because they keep it simple. Court finds you guilty, you're drug to the firing line and WHAM. Two bullets tops, and it's over, Most families there pay for the bullets because they know the hell they catch if they don't. Considering they have 1 billion people, their system is quite efficient. Barbaric, but efficient.

I don't know which is more barbaric. The murders themselves, the death penalty in general, or keeping a person locked up in a cage for decades on end. Dogs that viscously maul children or babies are given more humane treatment then that.

I must admit, I am glad that the death of at least ONE unborn baby is getting the reaction it deserves. When will we start reacting that way to the millions of others?

I think for one Charles Manson is one of the most notouris mass murders of all time I'm a senior in high school I'm eighteen year's of age but i have done manyof reports over him, even had to dress up as him and pretend to be him and the stuff i read online that has came from his mouth scared my classmates as well as myself.Charles manson is a legend.I dont look up to him but he is definitly a charismatic leader.

Wow he got old, execution would be a weste of time now.

I am pretty sure that Charles Manson is SAFER in prison then out. He does not deserve to be free. He knew what he was doing the whole time. He knew between right and wrong, In my mind, he should die how all the others died, and even then it still would not be not justice. It's pathetic, no one has ever said they were sorry to the family and friends to the victims. They say they accept responsibility, but never appologize for what they did. Whatever.

As I was reading through all of your comments, I couldn't believe some of the arguments you came up with saying, He should be out, etc. How would you feel if someone murdered the woman you loved and your son in the gruesome way they were killed, or in any way? What if your family members were the victims? I doubt you'd be saying he needs to be let out. He still seems unrepentant for what he did. Those who feel no remorse are those who are criminally insane and would be a danger to society, no matter their age.

I was 14 years old when Charles Manson and his cronies put his mark on this world. He says he didnt kill any of them but he did. He may have not touched any of his victims but he is guilty and should never be released none of them should be. I have this feeling that SATAN is waiting for them with open arms.

FREE CHARLES!!!!!! :)hehehehe

Charles we all love you and are waiting for you to come home!!! ps we miss you and will always be waiting for you here on earth or home in heaven..

Wow I look sexy in this photo.

How disturbing... To look into the eyes of that soul and know a young man's mistakes have cost him his freedom for life. Rightly so, that crime, insanity, lanacy does not pay... but still disturbing.

Posted by: Bob in Los Angeles | March 19, 2009 at 08:54 AM

didnt realize insanity was a choice? Evil...guy has messed up wires in his brain...all of you judging him should thank their lucky stars the dice rolled the way they did and you didnt end up like him :)

How disturbing... To look into the eyes of that soul and know a young man's mistakes have cost him his freedom for life. Rightly so, that crime, insanity, lanacy does not pay... but still disturbing.

Posted by: Bob in Los Angeles | March 19, 2009 at 08:54 AM

didnt realize insanity was a choice? Evil...guy has messed up wires in his brain...all of you judging him should thank their lucky stars the dice rolled the way they did and you didnt end up like him :)

"Never, never let him out of prison, don't even give him medical treatment if he becomes ill!" Posted by Feeling That

This is inhumane. You are a monster for saying these things.

People need to realize that the incarceration system in America serves the purpose of holding "bad people" behind bars until they change. It would be unconstitutional to keep a changed man in jail and watch him die. If any of you believe that the "evil" Charles Manson cannot change, then why are our tax dollars going toward sustaining his life? Yes, I'm aware he would have gotten the death penalty if it hadn't been abolished, but I'm glad it was abolished. Someone out there is telling us that this is a man with a stroke of luck, and I think he deserves a second chance. Who cares about what he did 40 years ago? We should care about what he's doing NOW.

Unfortunately, the only reason I wouldn't want Manson out of jail is because I know the day he becomes a free man is the day some other guy takes him out with a sniper rifle.

Come on, people. 2012 will be the year of his 12th parole hearing. Charles Manson will be what? 79 years old? 80? If I were Charles Manson and I actually thought I had a sliver of a chance at release, I'd take it, and I'd behave.

The best thing we as a nation can do for Charles Manson...
(who has been left in a cell for LIFE, and who spends every day thinking about the things he did that got him put there)
...is let him die outside of jail, the same way every other person (who Manson was responsible for killing) did.

If there is one thing I want the jury to see on Manson's 12 parole hearing in 2012, it's that there are just as many people wanting to see Manson get out as there are people wanting to see Manson stay in. The thing you need to ask yourself is, does Manson pose a threat? Or are we just keeping him locked up because we hate him? And do we hate the same Charles Manson now, or do we hate the evil Charles Manson from 40 years ago? People can change. Here we have a man who has to live the rest of his life with the curse of what he did.

Here's what I believe should happen. Charles Manson should be released and kept on some form of house arrest. He should be allowed to live a semi-normal life, and if he ever commits a crime after his release, he should die in prison. I believe, as an old man, even Charles Manson deserves a chance to die peacefully. This would be the one great thing America can do for the most notorious serial killer of the 20th century. We can show him that people can change and we want to give them an honest chance to change. Otherwise, letting people rot in jail for their crimes half a century ago is truly pointless.

If I knew I had NO chance at getting out and leading an honest life, I'd rather die than live in a cell for the rest of my life.

There is always more that one opinion when you get people involved.
The reason is, from the beginning of the story there are two sides. In this case you have the side of the people of California ( better known as the sheep) and then you have the side of the accused ( better known as The Family). Think about that for a moment. The state of CA vs The Family, the case was over before it started. The books were being proof read, the prisons were fighting over who gets to house the Devil and his followers and the public ate this up like raw meat. 40 years later Charlie still has followers that will help him in any way and that in it self gives the press an open door to continue to profit. It also give people like you a place to wine about the issues you really no nothing about. How many of you have had a family member killed by a true serial killer I have and I have seen what it does to all involved. Charlie was no serial killer he was and continues to be a person of interest in many things so keep reading
and continue to comment i enjoy how you turn the stories to suit your own believes.


This man is sick even to this day. I don't know why we are wasting tax payer money to keep this crazy, OLD, UGLY man alive. Only in America do criminals have rights. It is sick, I hope Manson reads this some day. I am sick idiots like him thinking they are God and can get away with murder. I hope your ready for punishment when you die buddy, God will make sure of that!

I am so in the middle with this. Both sides of the "put to death" issue make very good arguements. I am confused. All I know is that if Charles was released and moved to my town, first I would move far away 2nd I wouldnt feel safe again ever.It might be wrong but I am being honest. For you who think he should be set free,would you care if he moved next door to you? I do on the other hand feel he was a victum of child abuse and the system let him down before he had a chance to be productive..You see I have worked in the system and it is anything but 'Rehabilation" and it is crooked as anything you can imagine.Once he was first in trouble and his mom had left him all alone instead of punishment and making this person feel guilty,the system should of placed him in ahome before he got worse and in deeper with different crimes. They can make up anything and no one listens.Yes he did this horriable things and yes he should pay.It is too late to really think that Charles could lead a productive life.He needs to finish his life in prison. But the guilt goes back to those who closed their ears to Charlie way before his crimes.Those people are very guilty as well.But yet free for their next victum and the next and the next.DANA

please put my comments on Thank you but one more thought..Does anyone think that "Charles Manson" was ever loved by anyone? Whar kind of person would you expect to be like if you dont really know that emotion or felt Loved. I am talking about as a achild...The whole life of Charles was doomed at birth. The lives of innocent people was taken away because of it. as I said who is really to blame? Where was his Help as a child? until we start helping instead of punishing these abused kids..get ready for plenty more repeats of such violent crimes.

I think Charlie is telling the truth when he said he didn't kill anyone. As for the people he was with From, Watson... and so on. In that '88 interview with Geraldo he said to Geraldo "You don't even know what that means..." concerning the swastika on his forehead. As for his drugged up cronies they probably did do anything he implied. But I don't call Charlie totally innocent either.

Isn't it nice we have an admirer in "Ted" to point out the genius and truth of Charles Manson. Thats just great.

I personally do not believe in capital punishment. It costs more money than this baby killing murderer is worth. He deserves to rot in prison for the rest of his miserable life. And theres no way in hell he should have the possibilty of parole. If Manson gets out he will be killed within minutes of walking out of the gates of Corcoran.

Major Adam Henry. He wasn't sold by his mother for sex.. He was sold for alcohol. She was a chrnoic alcoholic.

If Charles manson has fail 11 parole attempts apparently he is not going to change and prison did him no good and parole would be a waste of time I don't want to be free and feel like my community is threatened by him not knowing of I will live to see tommorow odds are small but he doesn't deserve parole if he can do everything he did and still sleep and night and feel no remorse if he is let out I hope no one lives by him and if he does kill again that it is taken more serious and he gets the needle its just dumb that someone could let him on parole he took peoples lives and they don't get a second chance why should he!!!!!!!!

Ted- he may not have killed anyone himself but having it done for him is the same concept that's like saying hitler is innocent when he ordered people to kill. Its manipulation of the brain, so therefore its the manipulators fault the people are just a puppet on a string

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