Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Look closely...

do you recognize this young lad?

How about now?
Photo taken December 17, 1970

Surely you must now?

The swastika tattooed on his forehead is a dead giveaway.

Charles Manson

Corcoran State Prison

Photographed March 19, 2009

74 years old

If I didn't notice the swastika I might not have known who this was. Maybe I'd have thought he was an older, scruffy gentleman who was down on his luck. But nope, this is the latest photograph of Charles Manson released last month by the prison.

Manson was the leader of a cult/family of impressionable young people. For some reason they followed his every word. August 8, 1969 he sent Tex Watson, Linda Kasabian, Patricia Krenwinkel and Susan Atkins to 10050 Cielo Dr with the instructions to kill everyone inside. They did, gruesomely. The next night the same four as well as Leslie Van Houten and Clem Grogan were sent out to murder again. This time their victims would be Leno and Rosemary LaBianca.

Now at this time news didn't travel like it does today, news and pictures for the Vietnam War sometimes didn't get to the American public for weeks or months. I hadn't heard of this happening plus I was just 11 years old. Fast forward to 1974 when the prosecutor of Manson, Vincent Bugliosi wrote the book Helter Skelter, the story of Manson and his rise and fall.

I enjoy reading and no romance novels for me! My favorite type of books to read are eerie ones ala Dean Koontz and Steven King as well as murder mysteries and crime books. I read Helter Skelter shortly after it came out and it scared the crap out of me. Manson may be evil and crazy but crazy like a fox. He's smart, sly and cunning. The way he got into people's minds, controlled them and got them to do his bidding is frightening. I was so scared after reading it I told my parents if Manson was ever released from prison and relocated east of the Mississippi we'd have to move.

Helter Skelter and The Exorcist are the two scariest books I've ever read. I find books to be scarier than movies. There's something about reading the words and using your own vision and imagination rather than Hollywood's that makes it more spine chilling.

I think I'll go to the library tonight and check out Helter Skelter to reread 35 years later.
Oh and an interesting tidbit about Charles Manson. He was sentenced to death but they were commuted to life in prison but not for murder. For conspiring to commit the murders.


Nobody™ said...

Sounds like an interesting read, I may check it out myself.

About 15 years ago I worked in a TV repair shop, I remember one set that our senior tech said couldn't be fixed. He joked that he didn't want to call the owner of the set to tell him. I looked at the service ticket to see what the guys name was. Charlie Manson. We all had a good laugh about it.

Kitten Herder said...

I too was fascinated with the Manson story. My mom was engrossed in the book when it came out, and we watched the made-for-tv movie they did of it. Totally freaky.

I too love King and Koontz. Favorite King novels: The Stand, It, and the Dark Tower series. Favorite Koontz novels: Watchers, By the Light of the Moon, and the Odd Thomas series.

Have you read the Dexter books yet (Showtime series is based on them ... the books are way creepier and better, though I do like the show)

bft4evr said...

Summer, when you get a chance check your email from your other blog.