August 1st 2008 03:43
Charles Manson is these days a very widely known name. This is due to his killings, the fame of his victims, and his flair for showmanship, and association with alternative cultures.
Manson had been in trouble with the law a good deal before his murders, but for predominantly minor misdemeanours. He began his career in music, but was never particularly renowned for musical talent, despite an association with LA fringe music culture, a result of a chance meeting with Brian Dawson of the Beach Boys.
His association with rock culture, through his obsession with the Beatles is one of the primary factors in his continuing fame, and dominance as a pop culture icon.
‘The Family’ was the name of his small group of teenagers with whom he instructed murders, including the best documented killing of Sharon Tate. With the killing of Sharon Tate, messages were written in blood on the walls with references to ‘Piggies’ – a Beatles song
Contrary to popular belief, he did not himself actually kill anyone directly.
The murders were committed for the purposes of executing an apocalyptic plan known as Helter Skelter, another Beatles song. The intention was to use the murders committed by ‘The Family’ to incite racial tensions, and ultimately racial war.
Manson remains an icon of pop culture. He has been consistently refused bail, though his next chance to qualify is in 2012.
Image by Mshades on a Creative Commons Attribution License.