Charles Manson died in prison of natural causes on Sunday night, November 19 just one week after he turned 83 years old on November 12. His death was confirmed by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. The notorious cult leader of the 1960s was serving nine life terms.

At the time of his death, Manson had already served 46 years in prison. Over the years, he had been denied parole 12 times. He did not attend his last parole hearing in 2012. CNN reported that the attorney who represented him at the panel of only two people had never met the man who was described as one of the most notorious murderers.

No death penalty

The question had been asked why he received nine life sentences for organizing the Hollywood murders instead of getting the death penalty. After a seven-month trial, Manson and his followers were originally sentenced to death in 1971, but the death penalty was briefly invalidated in California in 1972. Therefore, all of their concurrent sentences were commuted to life in prison.

Manson did not directly kill the people himself, but he ordered the murder of seven innocent people that came to be known as the Tate-LaBianca murders, committed by his followers on two consecutive nights in 1969. Two other people were also killed in 1969 that brought the overall total to nine. That's why Manson received nine life sentences.

The killing spree

The killing spree began on August 9, 1969.

The first person killed was actress Sharon Tate who was eight and a half months pregnant at the time. Four others were killed at the same time at Tate's Benedict Canyon home. The others included Jay Sebring, Abigail Folger, Wojciech Frykowski, and Steven Parent.

The killings continued on the next day in another location. Supermarket executive Leno LaBianca and his wife, Rosemary, were killed at their home. Nothing was ever revealed to link the two crime scenes. Law enforcement did report that during the two-night killing spree, there had been 169 stab wounds and seven gunshot wounds.

Manson and those who followed his orders spent most of the lives in prison. Susan Atkins, Patricia Krenwinkel, and Leslie Van Houten went on trial on June 16, 1970. Atkins bragged to a fellow inmate that they wanted to commit a crime that would shock the world.

Dark inspirations

As dark as the killing sprees were that shocked the world, some people have used them and Manson's name in the news for almost five decades. For examples, there have been songs, movies, an opera, a documentary, websites, t-shirts, children clothing, books, and a well-known rock star changed his stage name to Marilyn Manson.

Over the years, Manson showed no remorse for the murders. His followers who are still in prison believe they stand a better chance of being paroled now that their leader has died.