Young Charlie


            A boy with NO NAME



His mother, Kathleen Maddox, is often described as being a prostitute. According to Mr. Bugliosi’s book, Helter Skelter: the True Account of the Manson Murders, she was a heavy drinker who lived on the margins of society with a series of men.

Thus Manson never knew his biological father, if even Kathleen remembered his name.   She often disappeared for long periods — when Charles was 5, for instance, she was sent to prison for robbing a gas station — leaving him to bounce among relatives in Ohio, West Virginia, and Kentucky. When she was paroled, Charles was 8 and she took him back,  but kept him for only a few years.  At some point she married William Manson, and it was from him he got the name that has become emblazoned in American pop culture:  Charles Manson.

                     The prison finale

On Sunday on November 19, 2017 a week after his 83rd birthday in a hospital in Kern County, Calif., north of Los Angeles, Manson died.  Unrepentant, bitter and angry, he has been behind bars for most of his life.

The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation announced his death in a news release. Under federal and state privacy regulations, they gave no cause but had been  hospitalized in January for intestinal bleeding.  Surgery was recommended, but Manson was ruled too frail to undergo it..

Mr. Manson was a semiliterate habitual criminal and failed musician before he came to irrevocable attention in the late 1960s as the wild-eyed leader of the Manson family, a murderous band of young drifters in California. Convicted of nine murders in all, he was known in particular for the seven brutal killings collectively called the Tate-La Bianca murders, committed by his followers on two consecutive August nights in 1969.

                  Killing Spree

Sharon Tate being carried out of the house

Shortly after midnight on Aug. 9, 1969 Susan Denise Atkins aka Sadie Mae Glutz, Patricia Dianne Krenwinkel aka Marnie Reeves and Charles Denton Watson aka Tex, entered the house at 10050 Cielo Drive, Bel Air, a wealthy suburb of Los Angeles where Sharon Marie Tate, age 26, and her husband Roman Polanski, 33, lived.  Tate was heavily pregnant and due at the end of August. 


Linda Drouin Kasabian waited outside. Through a frenzied combination of shooting, stabbing, beating and hanging, they murdered Ms. Tate and four others in the house and on the grounds:
  • Jay Sebring, a nom de plume, age 35 was a Hollywood hairdresser and a good friend of actor Steve McQueen.  Sebring, his professional name, had also been Mrs. Polanski’s former lover. 
  • Abigail Folger, age 25, an heiress to the A. J. Folger coffee fortune;
  • Voytek (also spelled Wojciech) Frykowski, age 32 Ms. Folger’s boyfriend and a friend of Polanski’s from Poland.
    • They had been house sitters while the Polanskis were in Europe
  • and Steven Earl Parent, an 18-year-old visitor.

Ms. Tate’s husband, Mr. Polanski, was in London at the time scouting for his next film, the Day of the Dolphin.  His business manager, William Tennant, called to tell him the news.

Before leaving, Ms. Atkins scrawled the word “PIG” in blood on the front door of the house, reminiscent of the Passover blood in Exodus that marked the Egyptians for doom and saved the Hebrews, and then tasted it in some mockery of Holy Communion.  There had been no sexual molestation on the bodies but plenty of stab wounds.  In Mr. Manson’s peculiar logic, the killings, the police said it was more like a massacre there was so much blood on the premises, were supposed to look like the work of black militants.  Nothing was stolen, but lots of victims drug paraphernalia abounded.

The next night, Aug. 10, Mr. Manson and a half-dozen followers drove to a Los Angeles house he appeared to have selected at random. Inside, Mr. Manson tied up the residents — a wealthy grocer named Leno LaBianca and his wife, Rosemary — before leaving. After he was gone, several family members stabbed the couple to death. The phrases “Death to Pigs” and “Healter Skelter,” misspelled in a perverse pun of HELL and HEAL, were scrawled in blood at the scene.


The seven murders went unsolved for months, during which Polanski thought Bruce Lee had done it. Then, in the autumn of 1969, the police closed in on the Manson family after Ms. Atkins, jailed on an unrelated murder charge, bragged to cellmates about the killings, and how she had stabbed Sharon Tate multiple times.

Charlie has no shame and faces the camera head on.
Charles Manson being taken to jail months after the brutal killings of seven people in Los Angeles in 1969. CreditBettmann

On June 15, 1970, Mr. Manson, Ms. Atkins, Ms. Krenwinkel and a fourth family member, Leslie Van Houten, went on trial for murder. Linda  Kasabian, who had been present on both nights said she had not participated in the killings, became the prosecution’s star witness and was given immunity. Mr. Watson, who had fled to Texas, was tried and convicted separately.

During the trial, the bizarre became routine. On one occasion, Mr. Manson lunged at the judge with a pencil. On another, he punched his lawyer in open court. Then  Manson appeared in court with an “X” carved into his forehead; his co-defendants quickly followed suit. Mr. Manson later carved the X into a swastika, which remained flagrantly visible ever after.

Outside the courthouse, a small flock of chanting family members, as the cult called themselves, kept vigil. One of them, Lynette Fromme, nicknamed Squeaky, became their spokesman and the new head of the family.  Later in 1975,  after Manson et alia were convicted, she tried to assassinate President Gerald R. Ford in a wild devotional act to show Manson that while he was not physically present; he was still very much a spiritual and romantic force in her life.

            No Sense Makes Sense¹

On Jan. 25, 1971, after nine days’ deliberation, the jury found Mr. Manson, Ms. Atkins and Ms. Krenwinkel guilty of seven counts of murder each. Van Houten, who had been present only at the LaBianca murders, was found guilty of two counts. All four were also convicted of conspiracy to commit murder.

On March 29, the jury voted to give all four defendants the death penalty, but in 1972, California outlawed capital punishment and their sentences were reduced to life in prison.

The Manson Family Girls
Patricia Krenwinkel, Susan Atkins, & Leslie Van Houten
Patricia Krenwinkel, left, and Susan Atkins, center, guilty of seven counts of murder each. Leslie Van Houten, right, was found guilty of two counts.  Years later, they admitted they were entranced by Charlie and totally addicted to acid, an extremely potent hallucinogenic.

Mr. Manson was convicted separately of two other murders: Gary Hinman, a musician killed by Manson family members in late July 1969 who had wanted to join the family,  and Donald Shea, a Barker Ranch stuntman killed late that August. This later death gets no publicity, and so why or how he was murdered is unknown.  Nonetheless, Mr. Manson and seven family members, six women and Tex Watson, were eventually convicted of one to nine murders apiece, but California never tried many others members as an accessory after the fact, and remained free disappearing in the San Francisco haze.

Incarcerated in a series of prisons over the years, Mr. Manson passed the time by playing the guitar, doing menial chores and making scorpions and spiders out of thread from his socks. His notoriety made him a target: In 1984, he was treated for second- and third-degree burns after being doused with paint thinner by a fellow inmate and set ablaze.

Mr. Manson was turned down for parole a dozen times, most recently in 2012. Most of the other convicted family members remain in prison. Ms. Atkins died in prison in 2009, at 61, of natural causes.  Squeaky lives outside of Syracuse, New York, having been paroled by federal parole commission after just 34 years.


                             Manson denies it all

To the end of his life, Mr. Manson denied having ordered the Tate-LaBianca murders. Nor, as he replied to a question he was often asked, did he feel remorse.

from the above 1986 prison interview with television journalist Charlie Rose

“So you didn’t care?” Mr. Rose asked, invoking Ms. Tate and her unborn child.

“Care?” Mr. Manson replied. He added, “What the hell does that mean, ‘care’?”

Charles Manson and Charlie Rose

I supposed Rose could have cited the 1828 Webster’s Dictionary and told him “CARE or Concern; anxiety; solicitude for another.”  But I doubt that would have mattered either.


Mapping No Name 


Charles Manson has an ascendant of 06 Taurus or the Hyperion symbol of a “pride of lions on the veldt, ” highlighting his capacity for organization. He has some rather interesting fixed stars that support that idea, like the fixed star Unukalhai whose aspect is akin to the marriage of Saturn and Mars and gives the individual a boldness and fierce nature conjunct his Sun at 19 Scorpio 50.  Alas Unukalhai also emphasizes a cruel nature and shows up heavily in criminals.

Charles-manson’s birthchart

The other fixed star, Albireo,  is conjunct his Moon at 04 Aquarius 00 and thus also conjunct his Midheaven, though wide, making him sexually appealing and alluring to women, while charismatic to men. That could explain how a man 5’2 had such a Svengali effect on his “family.”  

Geometrically though, it’s hard not to notice that his planets gather into small groups and have little relationship with anything else except that overarching Grand Square that dominates his chart.  Starting with Uranus in Aries, we go counterclockwise to Pluto in the fourth.  Another ninety degrees and we just get Mercury in the seventh house but in Scorpio and so out of quadrature but within orb.  Finally, we go the last ninety degrees and get to the Moon in Aquarius in the tenth.  As we do notice the squares are also the groups, Uranus and the Ascendant, Pluto and the Part of Fortune, Mercury and Jupiter and finally Moon and the Midheaven.  This makes the outside five, those not connected, striking in themselves, because each planet is paired but for Saturn, which gets paired in its own distorted way with its essential rulership in Aquarius.

Another way to view his chart is almost two grand squares competing for prominence, one cardinal and the other fixed highlighting his Svengali allure and then the fixed, his mental instability.  Then we look at his chart again, and everything is off, a bit skewed from normal, with the exact orbs all to minor points and parts, and that’s when you realize his chart is like Manson himself — distorted and dangerous.  

A Lion’s Pride by the painter Johan Hoekstra’s Wildlife Series. All rights reserved by Mr. Hoekstra and his beneficiaries. .

download the chart of charles-manson

No matter which of the methods you used to view’s Manson’s chart, Pluto in Cancer in the fourth is indicative of the hippie generation who created new “families” for themselves where they felt more comfortable and nourished. For Charlie because that Pluto right on the cusp of a fourth house of the father figure he never had, its trine to both Venus and the Sun make all women into caricatures of his mother, with Mary Theresa Brunner aka Mother Mary,  as mother of his son, had almost a deific position in the group and was most akin to his own mother, Kathleen with the rest of girls like a lair at his disposable. 

While the pack may not have physically slept with Charlie, they were all by their own accounts in love with him and “totally bought into the idea” he was the living god.  Thus, as Uranus 28 Aries conjunct his Taurean ascendant had made Charlie believe in his own deluded exaltation of himself as god, “his women” agreed, metamorphosed by his tenacious self-belief that was skewed by the myopia of drug induced dreams where the family morphed into a lion with his pride.



  1.  No Sense Makes Sense, a Charles Manson aphorisms.  From Helter Skelter: the True Story of the Manson Murders by Vincent Bugliosi c. 1974 W. W. Norton & Company, NYC


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