With the news of his death breaking across the world this afternoon, you’d be hard pressed to find a human over the age of 30 who hasn’t heard of Charles Manson. Of all the crimes in history, the brutal Tate/LaBianca murders at the hands of the Manson ‘family’ has held my attention for the longest and I couldn’t tell you how many articles I’ve read and YouTube clips and docos I’ve watched about what happened on the night of August 9, 1969 at 10050 Cielo Drive in the Benedict Canyon area of L.A.
On that awful night, Manson family cult members Tex Watkins, Susan Atkins, Patricia Krenwinkel and Linda Kasabian drove to the Cielo Drive home and ended the lives of five people in a frenzied attack that left LA, and indeed the world, reeling. Steven Parent (who was shot in his car as he was leaving the caretaker’s property) was the first and then Abigail Folger, her boyfriend, Wojciech Frykowski, hairstylist Jay Sebring and actress Sharon Tate were viscously stabbed to death. Sharon was married to director Roman Polanski, who was overseas at the time, and according to her killers, begged for the life of the eight and a half month old baby growing in her womb, but her pleas fell on deaf ears as her life was taken. The baby, a boy, died with his mother and was later named Paul Richard Polanski.
The following night, in an equally horrifying event, grocers Leno and Rosemary LaBianca were tied up and stabbed to death in their home. Both murders were ordered by the leader of the Manson family cult, Charles Manson. How does this happen? How does one man, tiny in stature and clearly insane of mind, hold so much power over the people that followed him? A new podcast digs deep into Manson’s childhood and aims to uncover HOW this little boy became the raging psychopath that he is.
Wondery’s ‘Young Charlie’ delves into Manson’s youth and peels back the layers on the makings of a mind and life that so many of us struggle to wrap our heads around. The six-part series, of which only two eps have dropped so far, goes back and forth between the Tate/LaBianca murders and Charlie’s youth; his parents, his school life and the crimes he committed long before his name was splashed across every newspaper on the globe – and it is FASCINATING.