Transcript for Charles Manson dies in prison at 83; Ex-Manson member recalls life in the family
because some of America's most chilling murders. Charles Manson died Sunday night at age 83. He created the Manson family cult attracting a group of devoted young followers, some of whom would ultimately kill for him. You know, a long time ago being crazy meant something. Nowadays everybody's crazy. In August of 1969 Manson directed his followers to brutally murder seven people over two nights in Los Angeles. Voight ak frykowski, actress Sharon Tate, Steven parent, Jay Sebring, Abigail follower and the la be anabiancas. I didn't tell anybody to do anything other than what they wanted to do. If they wanted to do murder, that had nothing to do with you. That's not my business, woman. I'm a convict, a rebel, I'm not a Sunday school teacher. Manson is a case study in the ability of one person to get others who you wouldn't think would do something like this to do the most horrible things imaginable. I think that people find that to be both scary and sort of horribly interesting. Former Manson follower Diane lake did not participate in the murders but told my colleague Amy robach that she knew a different side of Manson. Did you love him? Yes. I did. Did he love you? I always thought he did. Now I'm not so sure. She says she was 14 when she met Manson, a man nearly 20 years her senior. She says within hours of meeting he had sex with her. It seemed very natural and loving. Were you attracted to him? He was cute, impish. You know, fun. I needed that love and attention and affection. And he gave it to me. But in late 1968 she says her relationship with Manson began to change. He had anal sex with me which I had never experienced before. It was rape. I didn't think of it that way until, you know, many years later, but the result of that was that I wanted to commit suicide. By the summer of 1969, Manson, she says, was becoming increasingly violent. ??? Helter-skelter ??? Convinced the beatle's song "Helter-skelter" was warning of a looming race war. How concerned were you when you saw that evolution? It didn't feel right, but yet the evidence seemed to be overwhelming that this is the way the world was going, that these were true propheprophecies. Lake says she was out in the desert at the time of the murders but later some of the Manson family members behind the grisly crimes confessed to her. What I remember is they gave me the gory details with a certain amount of glee or almost like bragging. If Charlie had asked you to, wo you have killed for him? No. I couldn't have. Manson and several of his followers were initially sentenced to death in 1971. But a year later the California supreme court abolished the death penalty. The sentences were then commuted to life in prison. My colleague David Wright spoke with Sharon Tate's sister Debra in 2016. She was just 16 when her sister was murdered. Would it have been easier for your family if they had been put to death? Absolutely. We can breathe a sigh of relief and go about your life. Five Manson family members remain behind bars serving life sentences. All five are eligible for parole. The Tate family has regularly attended those hearings. It's always struck me that this has really been a life sentence for you as much as for them. Absolutely correct. In a statement to ABC news today Debra Tate said in part these are individuals that are still brutal monsters capable of committing heinous crimes. Although I've forgiven, I've not forgotten and I feel it's very important that they stay exactly where they are until they die. If Manson and his followers had been convicted today, there would be no possibility for parole. Because of when the crime was committed and the changes that occurred in the law in the 1970s, Manson's followers will constantly be eligible for parole. Almost all of them will consistently be rejected without a question. Manson himself served 46 years of a life sentence for first degree murder, denied parole 12 times.
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