Charles Manson has been the ultimate symbol of evil and insanity for three generations. He is dead following a few days of death watch.
His cult murders of Hollywood starlet Sharon Tate (and the gruesome murder of her unborn child) compelled the country during the blockbuster trial of the 20th Century.
Manson was serving nine consecutive life sentences for masterminding the horrible Tate-Labianca murders in 1969 and has surfaced every now and then with some insane rant, nazi reference or violent prognostication.
He'd been denied parole 12 times.
After being treated in prison Wednesday and in very serious condition, authorities confirmed on Thursday that the 83-year-old was still alive and being treated at a Bakersfield, California, hospital, but refused to comment on his condition due to inmate privacy laws. He was moved to an actual hospital and late Sunday night, the most feared and reviled murderer of the past century finally passed into death, where many people hope that he meets a final judgment.
Manson was previously hospitalized in January for similarly unknown reasons. At the time, it was rumored that he needed surgery for intestinal bleeding but was too weak to undergo the operation, though, again, authorities declined to give details.
Manson has been a symbol of everything that went wrong with the countercultural revolution for so long that he has become a kind of shorthand for communes madness and murder.
Its been 48 years since the crimes Charles Manson committed and his creepy menace hasn't subsided a bit. Even at 83, his death compels the attention of the world.
If you haven't read the accounting of the murders, brainwashing and events recounted in "Helter Skelter" its a memorable study in the horror that modern humans are capable of committing.