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The Manson Family Tree

A guide to the key players in Charles Manson's orbit
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Ferd Kaufman/AP Images

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Tex Watson

Former high school football hero, drug dealer, speed freak and sporadic Spahn Ranch resident, Watson led the killing at Cielo and Waverly. His accomplices: Susan Atkins the first night, Van Houten and Krenwinkel the second night. (Atkins, Kasabian, Manson and Clem Grogan rode along in the car to Waverly, but weren't present for the murders.) He fled back to his parents' house in Collin County, Texas, protected by family connections — his cousin was the sheriff. Astoundingly, he remained in Texas for nearly a year, kept far from the courtroom and out of the headlines. He wasn't extradited to California until the Manson trial was under way — and didn't even go on trial until after Manson was convicted. Became a Christian minister in prison.

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