Here is some background information about Charles Manson, who is serving a life sentence for nine murders committed in July and August of 1969 near Hollywood, California. Manson did not actually commit any of the murders, but orchestrated the killings. He was initially sentenced to death, but his sentence was commuted when California's death penalty was overturned in 1972.
Personal: Birth date: November 12, 1934
Birth place: Cincinnati, Ohio
Birth name: Charles Milles Maddox
Father: Father's name unavailable publicly
Mother: Kathleen Maddox
Marriages: Rosalie Jean (Willis) Manson (1955 - divorce date unknown); also was married to a woman named Leona in the early 1960s, whose last name is not publicly known.
Children: At least two: with Rosalie Jean (Willis) Manson: Charles M. Manson, Jr. (1956-1993); with a woman whose name is not publicly known: Charles Luther Manson.
Other Facts: Reportedly, during his childhood, Manson's mother sold him for a pitcher of beer to a woman who wanted to have children. His uncle had to find the woman so that he could get his nephew back.
He later took his stepfather William Manson's last name.
According to the California Parole Board, Manson has a history of manipulation, controlling behavior and mental illnesses which include schizophrenia and paranoid delusional behavior.
The killings inspired the best-selling book, "Helter Skelter," written by prosecutor Vincent Bugliosi.
Timeline: 1947 - At age 12, Charles Manson is sent to Gibault School for Boys in Terre Haute, Indiana, for stealing. Over the next twenty years, he is in and out of reform schools and prison for various crimes.
March 21, 1967 - Manson is released from prison. He tells the prison officials that he doesn't want to be released, "Oh, no, I can't go outside there...I knew that I couldn't adjust to that world, not after all my life had been spent locked up and where my mind was free." After his release, he moves to San Francisco.
1967-1968 - Manson meets Gary Hinman, a music teacher who introduces him to Dennis Wilson of the Beach Boys.
-- Manson attracts a group of followers. The group moves to the isolated Spahn Ranch, outside of Chatsworth, California.
-- Dennis Wilson introduces Manson to record producer Terry Melcher, the son of actress Doris Day. After initially showing interest in Manson's music, Melcher declines to work with him further.
-- Melcher later moves out of his home on Cielo Drive, and the house is then leased to film director Roman Polanski and his wife, actress Sharon Tate.
July 1969 - Gary Hinman is killed by Manson follower Bobby Beausoleil, accompanied by Manson Family members Mary Brunner and Susan Atkins. The murder is committed at the behest of Manson.
August 8-9, 1969 - At Manson's command, a small group of his most ardent followers brutally murder five people at the Benedict Canyon home of director Roman Polanski, near Hollywood. The victims are Polanski's pregnant wife, actress Sharon Tate, writer Wojciech Frykowski, coffee heiress Abigail Folger and celebrity hair stylist Jay Sebring. Also killed is Steven Parent, who was a friend of the family's gardener. The murders are committed by followers Tex Watson, Susan Atkins, and Patricia Krenwinkel. Linda Kasabian accompanies them as a lookout.
August 9-10, 1969 - Manson, displeased at the sloppiness of the previous night's murders, accompanies a group of followers on a search for victims. In the car are: Watson, Atkins, Krenwinkel, Kasabian as well as Leslie van Houten and Steve "Clem" Grogan. After several hours, the group comes upon the house of supermarket executive Leno LaBianca and his wife, Rosemary. The couple are brutally murdered by Watson, Atkins, Krenwinkel and Van Houten.
October 1969 - Manson and his followers are arrested at another remote location, called Barker Ranch, on suspicion of auto theft.
November 6, 1969 - Manson Family member Susan Atkins, already charged in the murder of Gary Hinman, tells inmate Virginia Castro that she killed Sharon Tate, "Because we wanted to do a crime that would shock the world, that the world would have to stand up and take notice."
November 12, 1969 - The L.A. Sheriff's detectives interview Al Springer, motorcycle gang member who had some association with Manson. Springer tells them that Manson told him about killing people days after the Tate murders.
November 16, 1969 - The LAPD interviews inmate Ronnie Howard about her conversation with Susan Atkins concerning the Tate/LaBianca murders.