Infamous cult leader Charles Manson dead at 83 of 'natural causes'

By Ray Downs  |  Nov. 20, 2017 at 1:10 AM
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Nov. 20 (UPI) -- Charles Manson, the former cult leader whose followers killed seven people during a two-day killing spree in 1969, died Sunday after 46 years in prison. He was 83.

The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation said Manson died of "natural causes" at 8:13 p.m. PST on Sunday at a hospital in Kern County, Calif.

Debra Tate, the sister of actress Sharon Tate, one of Manson's victims, received a phone call Sunday night from prison officials confirming his death.

Manson was in grave condition Sunday as he was taken to a hospital in Bakersfield, Calif., with five police escorts. After his death, prison officials contacted family members of all five victims.

Manson had been in state prison since April 22, 1971, for seven counts of first-degree murder and one count of conspiracy to commit murder for the August 9, 1969, deaths of Abigail Ann Folger, Wojciech Frykowski, Steven Earl Parent, Jay Sebring, and Sharon Tate Polanski, who was eight months pregnant.

Manson's followers also killed Leno La Bianca and Rosemary La Bianca the next day.

On Dec. 13, 1971, Manson was also convicted for the July 25, 1969 murder of Gary Hinman and the August 1969 murder of Donald Shea.

Manson was originally sentenced to death but it was commuted to life in prison with the possibility of parole. However, he was denied parole 12 times and his next hearing wouldn't have been until 2027.

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