A new book, Manson: The Life and Times of Charlie Manson, by former investigative journalist and author Jeff Guinn, reveals details of Manson’s history and direction of the horrific Tate-LaBianca massacres in 1969 and now they were triggered by Manson being snubbed by a record producer. Guinn obtained an exclusive interview with Pat Krenwinkel, one of the four Manson Family members who was part of the massacres.
Guinn explores Manson’s history, from his “graduating” from reform school to his stint in prison, then time off on parole while he married a waitress who gave him a son, Charles Manson Jr. After she left him when he wound up back in prison, Manson married a prostitute.
The book shows the sliminess of the record industry as Manson, who thought he was a musical genius, tried to promote his career. Beach Boy drummer Dennis Wilson owned a huge Sunset Boulevard mansion and found Manson and his pals in his own house. Manson had his women dance topless, and Wilson got so involved that he didn’t tell Manson and Co. to move out of his home. Wilson introduced Manson to other music stars; Manson met with Neil Young, who recommended Manson to Mo Ostin at Warner Records.
When that opportunity didn’t pan out, Manson aimed for Terry Melcher, Doris Day’s son and a successful record producer. Melcher, obsessed with Manson teen-age member Ruth Ann Moorehouse, tried to bring her home as a housekeeper, but his girlfriend Candice Bergen nixed that.
Melcher and Bergen hosted huge celebrity parties at their Cielo Drive mansion, but Manson wasn’t invited. So Manson relocated the Family to Simi Valley, where Wilson and Melcher would drop by to participate in the sex orgies there. But when Melcher embarrassed Manson by not showing up when Manson was going to audition, Manson went to Melcher’s mansion, unknowing that Melcher had moved and Tate and Roman Polanski lived there. He made contact with the people there, and decided he would murder the people there and attempt to implicate the Black Panthers in order to incite a race war he called “Helter-Skelter.”
After murdering a drug dealer to get money, the massacre came to pass. Guinn coolly describes in graphic detail exactly what transpired. Manson, 72, is still in prison.
Photo: AP file via Fox News