Cult leader Charles Manson will go down as one of the most evil madmen in American history.
The brutal murders committed by Manson and his 'family' the summer of 1969 shocked the world and prematurely ended the Decade of Love.
In 1971, Manson and four of his followers were sentenced to death for the Tate-LaBianca murders. Their sentences were reduced to life with the possibility of parole in 1972 after the California Supreme Court ruled the death penalty unconstitutional. Members of the Manson Family were also convicted of two other murders committed the same summer. Manson and his followers reportedly claim they killed up to 35 people, but to this day, only the killer crew knows whether or not that is true.
Manson and his followers had a fascination for drugs, crime and music. In fact, they were associated with several now-legendary musicians.
Manson and the Beach Boys
Before Manson recruited his family, he spent most of his life in and out of prison. In 1967, during the Summer of Love, Manson moved to San Francisco after being released from his latest prison stint.
Manson was an aspiring musician who found his way into the life of Dennis Wilson of the Beach Boys in 1968.
Mike Love, Beach Boy member and Wilson's cousin, told ABC News, Wilson was 'enthralled' with Manson and the women who came with him. Wilson met Manson after picking up some of the women in The Family who were hitchhiking. Manson and The Family later ended up moving into Wilson's home, according to Love.
Wilson paid for a lot of the Manson members expenses and grew close enough to the group to catch gonorrhea from them, said ABC News.
Wilson tried to encourage his band members to help Manson with his music career. The band even recorded a song, "Never Learn Not to Love", which was originally written by Manson.
Manson was furious with Wilson when he found out he wasn't credited for the song, according to ABC News.
Wilson introduced Manson to his best friend, music producer Terry Melcher, the son of movie star Doris Day, in hopes of helping him get a record contract. However, Melcher eventually rejected Manson's pursuits, a move that would later be connected to the infamous Tate-LaBianca murders.
Melcher rented a house on Cielo Drive in Benedict Canyon, California. He moved out and actress Sharon Tate and her husband, Hollywood film director, Roman Polanski moved into the home in 1969.
Manson later ordered his followers to kill everyone in that home, resulting in the gruesome murders of eight-month pregnant Tate and four others.
Manson and The Beatles
While it's not fair to blame The Beatles for the horrible crimes committed by the Manson Family, their music played a major role in the Tate-LaBianca murders in the twisted minds of the group.
Manson was a fan of the Beatles, even referring to one of the temporary homes he and his followers lived in as the Yellow Submarine, according to Raw Story.
Manson believed the 1968 self-titled album, known as 'The White Album', was embedded with messages that he thought were speaking directly to The Family. He became convinced the album carried warnings of a race revolt pitting African-Americans against the white establishment. Manson believed the violence and race war would lead to Armageddon.
He referred to his delusional race war as, 'Helter Skelter', after the Beatles track. Manson believed the song, 'Revolution 9', paralleled the Bible's Revelation 9 where all hell breaks loose and the four band members symbolized the four angels in the Apocalypse. “Revolution 9” ends with sounds of gunfire and screaming, and then segues into the lullaby “Good Night.”
During the Tate killings, the Manson followers wrote the word 'PIG' in Sharon Tate's blood on the walls, a reference to the Beatle's song, 'Piggies'.
In the next day murders, the group cut the word 'WAR' into Leno LaBianca's stomach and stabbed a carving fork into his abdomen and a steak knife to his throat. The act was likely a nod to the 'Piggies' line, “Everywhere there’s lots of piggies/ Living piggy lives/ You can see them out for dinner/ With their piggy wives/ Clutching forks and knives to eat their bacon.”
The crew also wrote 'Rise' and 'Death to Pigs' in blood on the walls in the LaBianca home and wrote 'Healter Skelter [sic]' in blood on the couple's fridge.
In 2015, decades after Manson's evil interpretation of 'Helter Skelter', a copy of 'The White Album' signed by Charles Manson and the four followers involved in the Tate-LaBianca murders went on sale for $49,000, according to Uproxx.
The signatures were allegedly obtained by a man who was associated with Spahn Ranch where The Family lived. He visited Susan Atkins, Patricia Krenwinkel, Charles 'Tex' Watson and Leslie Van Houten in their respective prisons to get the signatures.
Manson and his members can't make a profit from the album as it would violate Son of Sam laws.