Nick Ayala

Professor Ramos

English 1B

7 November 2018


Helter Skelter

Charles Manson is one of the most notoriously known monsters of all time. He was born in 1934 on the 12th of November. By the time Manson was around the age of 34 years old he had started a family. This “family” was no ordinary family, it was a cult led by Manson himself. This cult consisted of approximately 100 people. Most of his following consisted of underage girls that he had managed to manipulate while traveling down from San Francisco to the Los Angeles area. Manson once said, “People believe only monsters do bad shit but, really we all are monsters.” Charles Manson is a prime example of a monster for many reasons. He was a master of manipulation, organized the murders of several people, and his failed attempt to start a race war.


According to the Merriam Webster Dictionary the act of manipulation is “to control or play upon by artful, unfair, or insidious means especially to one’s own advantage.” When Manson was putting his “family” together he was conscious of his actions because he knew what he had to do in order to get what he wanted from the members, which was to kill. According to one of the Manson girls Leslie Van Houten, he would place large amounts of LSD in their mouths and reenact the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, while he was somewhat sober. Patricia Krenwinkel stated in a interview with ABC “The crucifixion was done so well we almost thought it was real, that he was our god.” Not only did Manson get direct and command them to do horrible things but he would also tell his followers to forget their birthdays, time and loved ones. This made the Manson family feel like they were in a safe place, surrounded by loving carefree individuals and a “god” like leader. Many psychologists have been studying The Manson Family case for years, not only about the murders that Manson was in charge of but the act of the cult itself. How did Manson manage to manipulate and control teenage runaways so successfully and with such terrible outcomes? Was it really his charisma? Or was he just mentally controlling. In the Truth and Lies Documentary they interview three of the previous Manson girls that were convicted of the murder of famous actress Sharon Tate in 1969 and his charisma was all they seemed to talk about in interviews. It’s insane to think that Charles Manson had hundreds of people look up to him because of the way he presented himself and treated them. Not only were they women, but men really looked up to him as a man. Manson knew what he was doing as soon as he got out of prison because he was studying ways to be a manipulative leader while he was serving his time. Little did we know months later he was going to go down in history as the most well known monster in Southern California.

manson girls

After months of networking with famous celebrities such as The Beach Boys and famous record labels, Manson felt like his music career was not taken serious as he thought it should. Terry Melcher was a famous music producer in the late 60’s who worked with many famous artists back in the day, after having some interest in Charles Manson’s music, Melcher later than declined the offer that was previously offered to Charles and this is what started the fire in the Hollywood Hills . Melcher had lived in a very big wealthy house on Cielo Drive which he moved out of and was leased to famous actress Sharon Tate. Manson was aware that he had moved out before the massacre had happened but he knew someone important and famous was going to be living there and that’s all that mattered, he wanted glorified people dead. On the night of August 9th he had told four of his members to go to the house at the end of Cielo Drive and kill whoever is in there. Every member had a job and a plan and it worked out perfectly in the moment but not so much in the end. After stabbing an 8 month pregnant famous actress and her friends to death they got away and were eventually hunted down by LA sheriffs at their base in Death Valley. Reports state that they found Manson under a cabinet daring for them to kill him, warning they were in effect killing themselves. According to ABC News he stated that “he and the people around him represented the failure of American society and were simply the product of a fractured society that no longer protected its children and simply didn’t care for vast tracts of its poor and disadvantaged.” Manson clearly knows how to get into peoples heads and he does it by using our society as an example of failure. Was Manson really trying to spread a good message? Some may argue but Maybe, but he took it too far, and got out of context when he realized he had hundreds of followers who would do as he said.

Charles Manson’s childhood definitely impacted his poor choices on his future especially when your own mother tries to sell you for a pitcher of beer. He grew up in a broken home in  Ohio, and ended up running away at age fifteen after living with drunk and suicidal relatives. Many people in the east coast at that time were still very racist and Manson turned out to be one of them. He always had predicted a race war for some time before he used the term “Helter Skelter” which was from the famous Beatles song off the “white album”. He was very certain that The Beatles were stating the truth and that everything was going to fall and the blacks were going to rise. Charles thought of the song the other way around, and thought The Beatles were talking about what he had been planning for decades. He was so obsessed with the term he told his members to write it on the wall of the murder scene with blood, to leave the message. Many officials automatically turned to the Black Panthers when they found the term on the wall of Tate’s murder because of the meaning behind the song and what race situations were going on at the time, and that is exactly what Manson planned but he did not execute it very well nor did he start another race war.


Charles Manson and his deadly puppet cult are monsters no doubt, not only because of all the killings they planned out but because of how careless they were in the process of it. Monsters are formally known as big green slimy creatures with scary sharp teeth. Manson and his followers look just like us, and I believe Manson thought “we” were the monsters in the end. After watching many documentaries and reading articles about this evil man I was getting chills because of how crazy his answers were but how true they were. He knew how to get into peoples heads and he definitely had me thinking about certain things about the government and how much we ignore. After his manipulated actions towards his followers and peers, his planned out murders, and his failed attempt at a race war. He still rambled on post interviews about how he is Jesus Christ and how much he hates the government. Although, Charles Manson has been dead for over a year now. Many people still tell his story and famous movie director Quentin Tarantino will be making a movie about his failed attempt to ruin Hollywood. My outtake on Charles Manson is very vague only because I don’t believe in half the stuff he is stating which makes me think he was just psychotic and nothing else, but definitely a monster.  



 Annotated Bibliography

  1. Show, The Infographics, director. Charles Manson. YouTube, YouTube, 13 Oct. 2018, I chose this source because it summarizes why Charles Manson did what he did, it really answered all my questions on the psychology aspect of why he wanted to be the leader in his cult and how much attention he wanted. He had around 20 people in his cult and had a group of girls named “The Manson family” who did everything he said. Why was everyone so obedient to him? It was as if he hypnotized all of them to kill who he wanted. I think this video shows a lot of details and answered most of my questions that i didn’t know about the monster charles manson.
  2. “Manson Family Murders Fast Facts.” CNN, Cable News Network, 5 Aug. 2018, article source shows the facts and statistics about Charles Manson, it’s more of a bibliography of his because it shows his birthplace, family and etc. One thing I found really interesting about this article is the statistics about his killings, and which manson girls took place in which killing. It also shows his court dates and how many have been overturned, he recently died in prison about a year ago.
  3. “Charles Manson Death: Where Are the Family Members Now?” BBC News, BBC, 20 Nov. 2017, I chose this article because it shows you where the rest of the manson family is now, basically all of them have life sentences in prison or they died many years ago. Although there are a couple who changed their names and somehow got freed from prison, are they still considered dangerous? They agreed to be in cult and still took part in the planning of these killings so why aren’t they locked up like the rest?
  4. “Charles Manson Death: Where Are the Family Members Now?” BBC News, BBC, 20 Nov. 2017, This NY times article talked about how Charles Manson died in prison. He was sentenced to life many years ago and after many court dates he still never got released, he ended up just giving up and realized he would never get out.

ser, Super. “The Charles Manson (Tate-LaBianca Murder) Trial.” Famous Trials,  This article shows all of the trials that the manson family had done, it goes really into depth with each case and shows pictures of most of the sick crime scenes.