Charles Manson Reign of Terror: 40 Years Later

The Family began in San Francisco during the 1967 "summer of love" when Manson, then living with new girlfriend Mary Brunner, invited other women to live with the couple. Brunner would go on to bear Manson's third son, Valentine Michael "Pooh Bear" Manson.

Bugliosi said he did not believe Manson intended to use his Family as a killing machine in the beginning, but rather realized his power over its members later as a vehicle to carry out his rage.

As the group expanded and Manson gained more influence over it, it toured the West, possibly picking up more members.

A brief friendship with former Beach Boy Dennis Wilson began the downward spiral that culminated with the Manson murders. Manson, who was said to have genuine musical talent, had struck up a business and friendly relationship with Wilson.

Manson's songs have been recorded by the Beach Boys, Guns 'n Roses and shock rocker Marilyn Manson. His love for music, particularly the Beatles, would come into play during the next few years as he and his followers believed the rock group was sending the Family messages through their lyrics. "Helter Skelter," made famous by Manson, was actually taken from a Beatles song.

Manson took advantage of his friendship with Wilson in 1968 moving into the singer's Los Angeles house with several members of the Family. That summer, after Wilson tired of Manson and his followers and had them removed from his house, the Family took up residence at the Spahn Ranch owned by the elderly George Spahn, who was reportedly placated by sexual services provided by the Manson women.

It was at the Spahn ranch where Manson and some of his most infamous cohorts -- Charles "Tex" Watson, Susan Atkins, Lynette "Squeaky Fromme and Linda Kasabian -- began acting out Manson's plan for "Helter Skelter."

Bugliosi said he believes Manson was angry at the so-called entertainment establishment because he never hit it as big as his idols the Beatles. Manson believed, he said, that given the chance he could even surpass the Beatles accomplishments.

The group's first killing was on July 25, 1969, when Manson reportedly ordered the murder of Hinman, a friend, in order to get money the man had gotten through an inheritance. Family member Bobby Beausoleil was arrested for the crime.

Less than two weeks later, a larger group of Manson followers would show up at the home of Sharon Tate and her husband, director Roman Polanski, eager to kill for "Charlie." Manson had met Tate earlier that year when he visited their home, thinking a family friend lived there.

"The home, I think, was symbolic of the establishment and the establishment's rejection of him," Bugliosi said.

Determined to jump-start a racial war through "Helter Skelter," Manson sent Watson, Atkins, Kasabian and fellow Family member Patricia Krenwinkel to 10050 Cielo Drive and told them to kill everyone they could in the most gruesome manner possible.

What resulted was a blood splashed free-for-all that shocked the nation.

Manson, Followers Shock Nation With Violent Murders

Inside the Tate house, the group rounded up Tate, Sebring, Frykowski and Folger, and brought them into the living room. Sebring and Tate had ropes tied around their necks. Sebring was shot, and later stabbed repeatedly as he pleaded for Tate's safety.

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