Manson, who was convicted in 1971, had been serving multiple life sentences in Corcoran State Prison in California. He has never admitted the true reasons for the evil killings. Manson was originally sentenced to death but California backdated a ban on the death penalty in 1972, sentencing the maniac serial killer to life imprisonment instead.
Manson suffered numerous illnesses in old age. Manson believed in what he called “Helter Skelter”, a term he took from the Beatles’ song of the same name. At the time the Family began to form, Manson was an unemployed former convict, who had spent half of his life in correctional institutions for a variety of offenses. Before the murders, he was a singer-songwriter on the fringe of the Los Angeles music industry. In June 1970, Manson was the subject of a Rolling Stone cover story, “Charles Manson: The Incredible Story of the Most Dangerous Man Alive.” The story of the Family’s activities inspired John Moran’s opera The Manson Family and Stephen Sondheim’s musical Assassins.