Charles Manson has been called many things over the years.
“American icon of evil,” “cult leader,” and “chieftain of hate” are among the words he’s been associated with.
Manson’s bizarre personality, his disdain for authority and his willingness to engage the press are often the highlights of his story, which has been told countless times by the entertainment industry.
Manson was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1934. His mother, Kathleen Maddox, was just 16 years old. Hospital staff initially referred to him as “no name Maddox” until his mother gave him the name Charles Milles Maddox. When she married, her son’s last name was changed to Manson.
Manson was in and out of the juvenile justice system throughout his childhood. He’d committed numerous crimes, including burglaries, armed robberies and auto thefts. By age 18, he’d landed in a federal reformatory in Petersburg, Virginia.
Manson continued to commit crimes after his release from the reformatory and by age 32, he’d spent more than half his life incarcerated.
Manson captured headlines around the world again in November 2014, when Afton Elaine “Star” Burton, then 26, announced she was engaged to the aging killer.
Burton obtained a marriage license, but it expired, and she did not obtain another.
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