Charles Manson’s Future Mother-in-Law Says the Wedding Is Still On
Update: In her first TV interview, Charles Manson’s fiancée says the wedding is still on. “I think he’s the most handsome man in the world,” Afton Burton told Inside Edition.
Melissa Burton was on Facebook Monday morning when she came across a headline that has reverberated throughout the Internet echo chamber: “Report: St. Louis-area woman wanted to marry Charles Manson for his corpse.” While most readers took the story with an appropriate amount of bemusement and curiosity, it was more personal for Burton, whose 26-year-old daughter Afton has been dating Manson, now 80, and is planning to get married to the notorious criminal in the near future.
As first reported by the New York Post, the story claims that Afton Burton and a friend had been scheming for years to profit from Manson’s death by putting his body on display in the vein of Lenin’s Tomb. The article cited journalist/author Daniel Simone as the original source for the story. Simone, alongside collaborator and Manson friend Heidi Jordan Ley, detail the nefarious alleged plot in the manuscript for The Retrial of Charles Manson, a new as-yet-unpublished book focusing on issues and alleged inconsistencies regarding Manson’s original murder trial in 1970.
Reached by phone, Simone tells Rolling Stone that the primary source for the story was a letter Manson’s friend and former cellmate Frank Reichard had written to the journalist in 2011. “He sent us a letter stating that on one occasion in the visiting room of the prison, he overheard Ms. Burton and her boyfriend Craig Hammond discussing this possible plan to gain possession of Manson’s body upon his death,” says Simone. Simone claims that Ley had spoken to Reichard by phone last month and confirmed his statement.
“There is nothing in [the story] that is true,” Melissa tells Rolling Stone. “This is tabloid crap. It’s totally false and totally ridiculous. It’s bad enough that all this is being publicized, but to have something so outrageously stupid as that is pretty upsetting.”
According to Burton, Ley had previously attempted to contact her daughter and Manson under false pretenses. “Heidi was acting as if she was visiting another inmate and Afton helped her try and get visitation with this person,” Burton says. “She wasn’t there for what she was saying she was there for. She was there to speak with Afton and Manson. She claims she met with Charlie and she never did. He had never seen her. She’s just a liar; she’s one of those trash, tabloid [people].” Multiple attempts to reach Ley were unsuccessful, though Simone tells Rolling Stone that he is representing her on behalf of his book.
Asked to respond to the elder Burton’s allegations that the story was false, Simone says, “My response to her would be, ‘Why else would a normal, young woman — somewhat attractive — want to marry an 80-year-old convict who is allegedly the most dangerous mass murderer in the world?'”