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Charles Manson, no mystic of the macabre, was just another killer

By in Press Enterprise on November 20, 2017

By David Whiting

Charlie Manson, Helter Skelter, fame? Give us a break.

Death couldn’t come soon enough for a man who doesn’t deserve to be called by his last name.

For decades, a small slice of our tax dollars paid to give old Charlie – who died Sunday, Nov. 19 in a Bakersfield hospital, prison officials told the Associated Press – three hots and a cot.

If it weren’t for some fluky stuff with the death penalty, the 83-year-old serial killer would have been gone long ago.

Even writing a column on Charlie is lionizing this sociopath too much. But with legend mixing with truth and kids today memorializing places Charlie and his tribe are said to have lived but never did, it’s time we bury the myths.

I’ve been told, for example, that Charlie and his collection of sociopaths lived on a ranch in Orange County’s Blackstar Canyon.

Sorry folks. The Spahn Ranch was near Topanga and that was only a temporary hangout.

Charlie and his so-called followers were arrested in the fall of 1969 at Goler Wash near Death Valley. No ranch. They just squatted in some old shacks.

Stooped, slight and with a bushy beard, Charlie first appeared in handcuffs in public on Dec. 3, 1969, at the Inyo County courthouse in Independence.

If you’ve driven to Mammoth, or most anywhere in the Owens Valley, you’ll recall the building. It’s the huge, seemingly out of time structure with majestic steps leading up to an impressive portico with four huge, stately columns that dwarfed the 5-foot-2 misfit.

At the time, Sheriff’s deputy Merrill Curtis described Charlie as a leader with intelligence and a good vocabulary. Curtis didn’t say “loser,” but he might as well have.

“We find Manson a model prisoner,” Curtis said. “He should be. He’s been in and out of jail since he was 15 years old.”

Curtis continued, “Manson is […]    

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