Manson's followers continue to claim his innocence as serial killer's health fails

As serial killer and psychopath Charles Manson lies in a California Hospital perhaps nearing death, his deluded fans and followers continue to pretend that he is innocent.

After the Helter Skelter cult killer was removed "seriously ill" this week from his cell at the Corcoran State Penitentiary where he is serving nine life sentences, a rambling message about the state of the 82-year-old's health appeared on one of Manson's Facebook pages.

Posted by "Gray Wolf" who, with Manson's 28-year-old fiancee "Star", is Manson's chief supporter and prison visitor, the message alluded to the killer's reinvented persona on social media as an eco warrior.

Star, whose real name is Afton Elaine Burton, met Manson on a prison visit when she was 19.

Star claims Charles Manson, 82, should be released from prison to save the planet. Photo / Manson Direct
Star claims Charles Manson, 82, should be released from prison to save the planet. Photo / Manson Direct

She moved from her home state of Illinois to the tiny Californian prison town of Corcoran 300km north of Los Angeles to be near Manson, whom she planned to marry in 2013.

Burton appears to run Manson's websites and Facebook and Twitter accounts in his name and under ATWA, which stands for Air Trees Water Animals.

Almost 50 years since Manson directed his Manson Family cult members to carry out nine brutal murders, Wolf and Star have carefully recrafted Manson's image.

According to several websites, the deranged killer is a wrongly and "illegally" convicted prisoner and a passionate protector of the Earth.

Charles Manson's murderous followers, Susan Atkins, Patricia Krenwinkel and Leslie Van Houten before they were sentenced to death. Photo / News Limited
Charles Manson's murderous followers, Susan Atkins, Patricia Krenwinkel and Leslie Van Houten before they were sentenced to death. Photo / News Limited

On the Charles Manson Direct site are numerous photographs of Star with Manson in the Corcoran Penitentiary visitors' section.

The pictures are posted between bad poetry, requests for donations and lengthy, mostly unintelligible rants about ecology and pollution.

On an audio recording of a prison phone call entitled "Emperor" and posted on the site, Manson casts slurs on African-Americans and the US president and talks about white supremacy.

"Put it on the internet that I am running for the white Emperor of the world, and that you're the Queen - you're the Empress.

"That we're being married in the world with the vote - that we need all the white people to vote for us, and make the Golden Emperor of the world."

Afton Burton aka "Star" in white robes. Photo / Supplied
Afton Burton aka "Star" in white robes. Photo / Supplied

Another website "charliesarts" sells paintings, clothing and recordings by and of Manson and other prisoners.

On the Release Charles Manson Now blogspot, Burton claims Manson is a "political prisoner" and was "illegally tried" and imprisoned and asks people to write letters demanding his release.

Burton posts a list of responses from supporters claiming Manson is a "very interesting and intelligent man" who didn't commit any murders.

Apart from posing for numerous photographs of herself embracing Manson, Star also donned a white robe and nun's habit to be photographed on a rock and hugging a giant redwood tree.

In other photographs, she and Wolf have scratched crosses in their foreheads to approximate the swastika carved into Manson's.

Charles Manson in the courtroom at their 1970 trial with Susan Atkins, who died in 2009 in custody from brain cancer.
Charles Manson in the courtroom at their 1970 trial with Susan Atkins, who died in 2009 in custody from brain cancer.
Susan Atkins, who stabbed pregnant actress Sharon Tate through the stomach and tasted her blood, died from brain cancer in prison. Photo / California Dpt of Corrections
Susan Atkins, who stabbed pregnant actress Sharon Tate through the stomach and tasted her blood, died from brain cancer in prison. Photo / California Dpt of Corrections

This mark of devotion to Manson apes the carvings his murderous devotees scratched into their foreheads before carrying out the nine slayings that resulted in their lifetime incarceration.

Star has also shaved her head, which mimics the bald female Manson family members who sat outside the Los Angeles court during Manson's nine-month trial from 1970 to 1971.

Star and Wolf claim Manson's followers, who regarded him as a Christ-like figure, carried out what are known as the Tate-LaBianca murders without his direction.

Manson was 34 years old and had spent half his life in institutions and prisons when the murders took place.

Star poses in Corcoran Prison with Charles Manson. Photo / Manson Direct
Star poses in Corcoran Prison with Charles Manson. Photo / Manson Direct

The illegitimate child of an alcoholic waitress who had been imprisoned for armed robbery when he was 5, Manson became a juvenile thief and then a pimp and an armed robber.

Released from a 10-year prison stint in 1967, Manson headed for Haight-Ashbury in San Francisco, the cultural centre of hippie flower power culture.

Manson fancied himself as a singer-songwriter, but his efforts were rejected or ignored.
He began to collect followers who shared in sex orgies and hallucinogenic drug trips.
Calling them his family, Manson told them what to do and delivered sermons on the hidden meanings in music and saw himself as the second coming of Christ.

One of his themes, which borrowed the title of the Beatles song Helter Skelter was a looming race war.

Manson, whose biological father may have been African-American, predicted that black Americans would declare war on the rest of the country.

The Family travelled together in an old school bus for 18 months, before settling in a ramshackle ranch outside Los Angeles where Manson hatched his "Helter Skelter" plan.
On the evening of August 8, 1969, Manson ordered his offsider Charles "Tex" Watson to take Family members Susan Atkins, Patricia Krenwinkel, and Linda Kasabian to do "helter skelter".

Police found five bodies, including that of pregnant actress Sharon Tate, at the actress' home. Photo / News Corp Australia
Police found five bodies, including that of pregnant actress Sharon Tate, at the actress' home. Photo / News Corp Australia

Just after midnight the four entered the home of Sharon Tate, who was married to film director Roman Polanski, and recently famous for her movie Valley of the Dolls.

The heavily pregnant Tate was at home with three friends while Polanski was away making a film.

First Watson shot 18-year-old Stephen Parent as he drew up in the driveway. Then inside the house Tate, coffee heiress Abigail Folger, her boyfriend, writer Wojciech Frykowski and celebrity hair stylist Jay Sebring were attacked.

Folger managed to escape from the house, but was caught on the front lawn and stabbed 28 times.

Sharon Tate, Stephen Parent and Jay Sebring were murdered at Tate's home. Photo / AP
Sharon Tate, Stephen Parent and Jay Sebring were murdered at Tate's home. Photo / AP

Sharon Tate was the last to die.

She pleaded for the life of her child, but was mercilessly stabbed in the stomach by Atkins who later said she tasted Tate's blood, found it "warm and sticky" and used it to scrawl on the wall the word "PIG".

According to one of the Family member's statements, the Polanski household had been targeted because it represented Manson's rejection by the showbiz world and society.

The following evening, Manson decided to personally oversee the next kill mission.

Petricia Krenwinkel, left, and Lesie van Houten continue to apply for parole. Photos / California Dpt of Correctionis/ AP
Petricia Krenwinkel, left, and Lesie van Houten continue to apply for parole. Photos / California Dpt of Correctionis/ AP

Two additional family members, Clem Tufts and Leslie Van Houten, accompanied Manson and the four from the previous night.

Cruising around looking for victims, they settled on the house of wealthy supermarket executive Leno LaBianca and his wife Rosemary.

Manson sent in Watson with Krenwinkel and Van Houten. Los Angeles Police discovered the appalling scene the following day.

Rosemary LaBianca had multiple stab wounds in her chest and neck. Leno LaBianca had 12 stab wounds, seven pairs of fork wounds and a knife lodged in his throat.
The word "WAR" had been carved into his stomach.

Written in blood on the LaBianca's living room wall, were the words "DEATH TO PIGS" and "RISE."

Written on the refrigerator door was "HEALTER SKELTER" (sic).

Members of the Manson Family sat with shaved heads outside the courthouse where their leader was being tried for multiple murder. Photo / AP
Members of the Manson Family sat with shaved heads outside the courthouse where their leader was being tried for multiple murder. Photo / AP
Charles Manson believed he was the second coming of Christ. Photo / AP
Charles Manson believed he was the second coming of Christ. Photo / AP

It was later revealed that Manson also intended to murder and mutilate other high-profile Hollywood stars including Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, Frank Sinatra, Steve McQueen and Tom Jones.

While on trial for the Tate-LaBianca murders, Manson revelled in media attention along with his followers.

He was convicted of directing all the murders including that of Sharon Tate's child, and of a ninth murder, of Gary Hinman, a man Manson claimed owed the family money and had sold them a bad batch of drugs.

Along with Watson, Krenwinkel, Atkins and Van Houten, Manson was sentenced to death, but this was commuted to life when California abolished the death penalty.

Manson and his followers have made multiple applications for parole in the decades since.

Manson devotee Gray Wolf in costume. Photo / Manson Direct
Manson devotee Gray Wolf in costume. Photo / Manson Direct

In 2013, Burton told Rolling Stone magazine that Manson had obtained a wedding licence.

"I'll tell you straight up, Charlie and I are going to get married," she said.

"When that will be, we don't know. But I take it very seriously. Charlie is my husband.

"People can think I'm crazy. But they don't know. This is what's right for me. This is what I was born for."

On the Release Charles Manson Now blogspot, Burton claims "thousands of people around the world understand that Manson has been illegally tried".

She begs people to write "to the State of California and to the world" for Manson who, she says, is "an honourable man, with much insight and wisdom that is recognised by a great number of people of all ages and cultures".

Charles Manson is now believed to be on his deathbed. Photo / Manson Direct
Charles Manson is now believed to be on his deathbed. Photo / Manson Direct

Instead of talking about a racial war, these days Manson claims "there is a war being waged upon Life" by industry and progress.

Among the loopier claims on the ATWA website is that Manson has invented a "seed gun" to address this.

Manson was reportedly taken from Corcoran prison on Wednesday to a hospital 100km south in Bakersfield.

Star has not commented on the move on any of the Manson social media pages, but Gray Wolf seemed defensive about his idol's failing health.

"How is Charlie doin? He's doing as well as you," Wolf wrote on the ATWA page.
"Well I know how he's doing.

"He's as well as the air and he is as sick as the waters. Your water. Your air.

"He's doing as well as the Tiger, as well as the Elephant and the White Rhino.

"Manson is as well as the California Redwood tree."

- news.com.au

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