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Charles Manson’s De-Evolution

See his twisted path from infamous cult leader to grizzled convict

Charles Manson's De-Evolution

George Brich/AP

Three days before he ran away from Boy’s Town, an adolescent Charles Manson poses in a suit and tie. Omaha, Nebraska, 1947.


‘I Don’t Have Any Guilt’

On June 18th, 1970, Charles Manson, 35, declared "I don't have any guilt" at a brief press conference in the courtroom where a hearing to continue proceedings in the murder case of musician Gary Hinman was held. Manson's trial for the slaying of actress Sharon Tate and four others on August 9th of the previous year, and the killing of a wealthy supermarket chain owner and his wife the day after the Tate murder, began this same week and forced postponement of the Hinman case. 


Los Angeles, January 1971

Charles Manson is brought into court on January 15th, 1971, to hear the final arguments from the prosecution in the Tate-LaBianca murders in which he and three female defendants are charged with murder. The Manson trial went to jury following seven months of courtroom proceedings. 

AFP/Getty Images

Sentenced to Death

A beardless and sullen Charles Manson arrives at court for sentencing, on March 29th, 1971, in Los Angeles. Manson received the death penalty, which the following year was reduced to life in prison.

Mirrorpix/Courtesy Everett Collection


During the 1960s, Manson scuffled around the margins of the music industry. Here he poses with a guitar in August 1980.


NBC NewsWire/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

Manson and Tom Snyder

Tom Snyder conducting an exclusive interview with Manson for NBC's The Tomorrow Show at the California Medical Facility, June 12, 1981.

AP Photo

More Press

Manson raises an eyebrow during an interview with reporter Geraldo Rivera at San Quentin Prison in Califorina, March 17th, 1988.  

Courtesy of Corcoran State Prison/Reuters


Manson is seen here in a photo taken on March 18, 2009. That's the same year former Manson Family member Lynette "Squeaky" Frome was released on parole after serving 34 years in prison.