Posts Tagged ‘Murder’

HISTORY – The Manson Murders

Sadly, flashing back to this city’s past isn’t always going to be beach parties and good times. Perhaps no crimes will ever stop the heart of Los Angeles the way the Manson murders did, and in honor of their 40 year anniversary, Los Angeles Magazine is currently featuring a web exclusive primer on Manson, including an oral history of interviews with the people involved.

Exactly forty years ago today – July 1, 1969 – a 34 year-old racist ex-convict and wanna-be folk singer named Charles Manson shot a black drug dealer by the name of Bernard “Lotsapoppa” Crowe in an apartment building that once stood where the Magic Castle Hotel now resides. As the story goes, mistakenly believing that he had committed murder and that Crowe was a member of the Black Panther Party, Manson expected retribution from the gang. So throughout the summer of 1969, Charles Manson orchestrated the grisliest murder spree in Los Angeles history partly in an effort to frame the Panthers and force the police to arrest them. With these murders, Angelenos were consumed with pure confusion and terror. The wealthy, the famous and the beautiful had suddenly become innocent victims of horrific, unsolved violence… and if the privileged weren’t safe, who WAS? Los Angeles filled with fear, and its collective perspective on the face of evil changed the second Charles Manson and his unique brand of scary entered their radar six months later. In December 1969, Manson and several of his followers were arrested. The trial began on July 24, 1970. On January 25, Manson was found guilty of first degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder. On March 29, 1971, Manson was sentenced to death. And there he remains, on death row.

The videos I’m including after the jump are in chronological order and, obviously, not for the faint of heart. They are as follows:

  1. Footage featuring original CBS news coverage of the Tate and LaBianca murders;
  2. News report filmed 8 weeks after Manson’s arrest with an eyewitness account of Spahn Movie Ranch;
  3. Charles Manson in all his crazy glory on the Today Show in 1994;
  4. A History Channel Series which followed the later lives of the people most affected (for the full 5-part playlist, click here);
  5. Diane Sawyer interviewing repentant and dying Family member Susan Atkins in 2008. (Atkins’ next parole hearing is set for September 2nd, 2009.)

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