Who were the Manson family? The real life serial killers in new Tarantino film

They are also in Netflix’s series Mindhunter


Quentin Tarantino's ninth film, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood has just been released. And today, Netflix has dropped season two of the series Mindhunter. Both have something in common: they touch upon the crimes of the Manson family, in particular looking at the group's leader, Charles Manson.

This has brought the 1960 Manson family massacre back into the public eye, but what happened? Who is Charles Manson and what did the Manson family do?

Who were the Manson family and what did they do?

The Manson family wasn't an actual "family" as such, but a cult group led by Charles Manson. The group was made up of around 100 "followers" and they were active in California in the late 1960s.

The group was mainly made up of women, who were radicalised by the teachings of Manson, and drawn into his hippie culture and the hallucinogenic drug use they practiced.

Charles Manson was with his first wife, Rosalie Jean Willis, when he was first arrested for petty crimes. Whilst he was in prison, she gave birth to their first child, Charles Manson Jr. Willis then left Manson for another man, and took the child with her.

Charles Manson went on to be in and out of prison a lot and became obsessed with music, in particularly the Beatles. He began to derive brutal philosophies and ideologies from his interpretations of their lyrics.

After leaving prison in 1967, Manson met Mary Brunner and they had a child together named Valentine Michael Manson. They lived together in San Francisco, and Manson convinced other women taken with the 1960s Summer of Love vibe to move in with them too. This was the beginning of the Manson family.

In 1968, the Manson Family settled at Spahn Ranch, a former movie set owned by the entrepreneur, George Spahn. It was around this time that Charles "Tex" Watson joined the family. He was taken in by Manson, and became his right-hand man. Watson ended up murdering seven in Charles Manson's name.

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A mugshot of Charles Manson taken in 1968

The family was growing vastly, and Manson was brainwashing them into his beliefs. He incited a "race war" and claimed the Beatles album "White Album" was speaking to the family and leading them.

The first murder by the Manson family was on 27th July, 1969. This was the murder of Gary Hinman.

Manson sent three members of the family to Hinman's home. These were Bobby Beausoleil, Mary Brunner, and Susan Atkins. Hinman had befriended some members of the Manson family, but when he didn't cooperate with them, they killed him.

The next crime was the Tate murders. On August 8th 1969, members of the Manson family broke into the home of actress Sharon Tate and killed her. She was eight months pregnant at the time. Manson had told Charles "Tex" Watson to take three family members, Susan Atkins, Linda Kasabian, and Patricia Krenwinkel, there and kill everyone they found. The family members killed Sharon, plus four others. They also killed Jay Sebring, Abigail Folger, Voytek Frykowski, and Steven Parent who were all visiting the home.

The next day, members of the Manson family committed the LaBianca murders. They killed a local grocery store owner, Leno LaBianca, and his wife.

The family are believed to have committed around nine murders in total and Charles Manson was officially convicted of seven murders.

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A later mugshot of Charles Manson shows him with a swastika on his forehead

What happened to Charles Manson and when did he die?

Manson and several other members of the family cult were sentenced to death. However, their sentences were later changed to life in prison when California abolished the death penalty.

48 years after the murders, Charles Manson died. He died of a heart attack on November 19th, 2017 when he was 83-years-old.

The Manson family in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

The Manson family and their crimes are featured in the new Quentin Tarantino film, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.

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Margot Robbie plays Sharon Tate in the film

The new Tarantino film includes a plot line centred on Sharon Tate (played by Margot Robbie). Tate is the actress who was murdered by Manson's followers in real-life. The family also appear in supporting roles during the film.

The Manson family in Mindhunter season two on Netflix

The series Mindhunter on Netflix follows FBI agents Holden Ford (played by Jonathan Groff) and Bill Tench (played by Holt McCallany). They look into the minds of notorious criminals and serial killers, with help from psychology professor Wendy Carr (played by Anna Torv).

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Damon Herriman as Manson in Mindhunter on Netflix

The second season, which has been released on Netflix today, includes an interview with Charles Manson.

Charles Manson is portrayed in both Mindhunter season two on Netflix and Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, by the actor Damon Herriman.

For all the latest Netflix news, drops and memes like The Holy Church of Netflix on Facebook.

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