Photo of Charles Manson taken in March this year. Picture: AFP
Photo of Charles Manson taken in March this year. Picture: AFP

What finally killed Charles Manson in prison

DERANGED death cult leader Charles Manson died from cardiac arrest and complications over his battle with colon cancer, it has emerged.

The twisted killer, who was serving a life sentence for murdering pregnant actress Sharon Tate and six others, died at the age of 83 on November 19.

He was the infamous leader of the 1960s "Manson Family" cult, directing his followers to carry out brutal killings to spark a race war.

But his sick plot failed after he and several of his disciples were jailed in 1971, reports The Sun.

 

Charles Manson, pictured 1971.
Charles Manson, pictured 1971.

Reports surfaced in January that Manson, who was caged in Corcoran State Prison in California, was gravely ill but he survived the health scare.

However in November, the notorious murderer was rushed to hospital after his health took a turn for the worse.

Celebrity website TMZ has obtained Manson's death certificate which lists cardiac arrest as the immediate cause of his death in a hospital in California.

TMZ reports the death certificate did not list his mother and father's names.

The body of Manson was barely cold when competing bids began for his remains and belongings among relatives and longtime associates.

In this 1969 file photo, Charles Manson is escorted to court in Los Angeles during an arraignment phase. Picture: AP.
In this 1969 file photo, Charles Manson is escorted to court in Los Angeles during an arraignment phase. Picture: AP.

Their plans have not been divulged, but some fear they might create a shrine for those who are still fascinated by the man behind the bizarre celebrity slayings that terrorized Los Angeles nearly a half-century ago.

Manson - who got engaged to fan Afton "Star" Burton, 26, in 2014 - told a friend over the phone he was in good health just days before he died.

But Manson was refused a wish to father his fifth child with Ms Burton.

Manson began to build his cult in 1967 when he started gathering his small group of young, largely female devotees - mainly from broken middle-class homes.

In the summer of 1969, he directed his followers to murder in what was part of a plan to incite a race war, according to prosecutors.

Charles Manson, age five, in a picture taken just before his first day at elementary school. Picture: Supplied
Charles Manson, age five, in a picture taken just before his first day at elementary school. Picture: Supplied

He ordered four of his followers - Susan Atkins, Linda Kasabian, Patricia Krenwinkel and Charles 'Tex' Watson - to the Beverly Hills address of movie actress Sharon Tate with the instruction to kill everyone inside.

Less than 24 hours later, the gang tortured, murdered and mutilated wealthy LA couple Rosemary and Leno LaBianca.

 

Manson and his accomplices were all sent down for the murders, apart from Kasabian who testified against them and played no direct part in the killings.

Manson was originally sentenced to death but was spared execution and his sentence was converted to life in prison after the California Supreme Court declared the death penalty unconstitutional in that state.

More than 40 years later, the killing spree by Manson's "Family" continues to stir morbid fascination, fuelled by books, songs and tourist routes, websites and films.

This article was first published in The Sun.

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