LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — A key person who put away Charles Manson for life is recounting the haunting words the cult leader told him 45 years ago.
Vincent Bugliosi, the Manson trial prosecutor, spoke with CBS2 Anchor Pat Harvey about the notorious killer.
“At the beginning of the trial, I said ‘Charlie, I’m gonna convict you,’ but I said, ‘After you get a fair trial,’ ” said Bugliosi.
“And he says, ‘You know, you haven’t accomplished anything at all. All you’ve done is send me back where I came from,’ ” Bugliosi recounted.
Manson is serving a life sentence in Corcoran State Prison. After a nine-month trial, he was convicted of seven counts of first-degree murder for the 1969 killing spree in Los Angeles. Manson’s followers, who were dubbed “the Family” were also convicted of first-degree murder.
Bugliosi described members of “the Family” as young kids from average American homes.
“Fairly good backgrounds. Their cradle was to murder as many people as they could,” he explained.
Bugliosi continued “Every member of his family, before they met him, had already dropped off society. He reprogrammed them to be his slaves and to be his followers. So I would say that sex, drugs and sermonizing to his family on a day-to-day basis were the main techniques that he used to gain control.” It was a humanity where Manson believed he could trigger an apocalyptic race war. He called it Helter Skelter, a term he took from the name of a Beatles song.
On Aug. 9, 1969, Manson ordered the killings, and it was then when his followers went to a home in Benedict Canyon and violently murdered pregnant actress Sharon Tate, her unborn child and four friends. The next evening, they tortured Leno and Rosemary LaBianca and stabbed the pair to death in their Los Feliz home.
“The Manson family may have murdered 35 people, and they had plans to murder prominent personalities like Frank Sinatra, Liz Taylor, Richard Burton, Steven McQueen, Tom Jones,” Bugliosi said.
“He has a charismatic personality. He’s very evil, sophisticated conman, who cleverly masqueraded behind the common image of being a hippy,” Bugliosi said.
He added: “The very name Manson has become a metaphor for evil. He has come to represent the dark and malignant side of humanity. Some people are just bad, bad human beings, and Manson is one of them.”
Manson’s next chance at parole isn’t until the year 2027, when he will be 92 years old.