Charles Manson Never Killed Anyone

“From the world of darkness I did loose demons and devils in the power of scorpions to torment.” —Charles Manson

In a Nutshell

Charles Manson, widely considered among the most notorious serial killers of all time—in fact, practically synonymous with the term- never actually killed anyone, only directed others to do so.

The Whole Bushel

The so-called “Manson Family” were essentially a cult that came into the orbit of Charles, a charismatic and talented man (he even wrote a song that was recorded, with altered lyrics, by the Beach Boys). It was four of these “family members”—Susan Atkins, Charles Watson, Patricia Krenwinkel, and Linda Kasabian—who descended upon the house previously owned by record producer Terry Melcher on August 6, 1969 (Manson knew Melcher from his brief foray into the music business). He instructed them to “totally destroy everyone… as gruesome as you can”—and they did nothing if not comply. Actress Sharon Tate and coffee heiress Abigail Folger were among five dead, counting Tate’s unborn child (she was eight months pregnant).

The very next night, the same four plus two more- Leslie Van Houten and Steve Grogan- were accompanied by Manson to the home of Leno and Rosemary Bianca, randomly chosen for being rich (some family members had recently been to a party at the house next door). Manson helped tie up the unfortunate couple and gave the order that they be killed- but left before it was carried out.

Sure, judging by the brutal nature of the crimes he gleefully ordered—and as anyone who has listened to him talk for ten seconds can readily agree—Charles Manson is a complete psychopath, and should probably never be allowed in the same room with another human being on general principle. But a serial killer? Far from it- in fact, an FBI criminologist classified the Manson Family’s crimes as being much closer to spree killings—and Manson wasn’t even present for the crimes he is associated with, and never actually killed anyone.

Show Me The Proof

Charles Manson Biography
Huffington Post: Charles Manson Is Not A Serial Killer, Experts Say

  • Phil_42

    A horribly charismatic monster

  • rhijulbec

    Well said…and he’s absolutely a nutter as well. How can so much evil be concentrated in one man??!!

  • J_Doe5686

    I always wondered why people call him a serial killer. I guess he’s in jail because he’s nuts! He can convince people to do stuff that they wouldn’t do without that spark of insanity. He should stay in jail till the end of times.

  • FangDangDingo

    A killer is a killer whether you talk someone else into killing for you or doing the act your self.

    • That was definitely the conclusion of the judge and jury in this case as he was found guilty of murder despite not killing someone.

    • Scraphead

      I think everyone agrees on that, but this article was just to clear up the misconception that Charles Manson physically killed people with his own hands. 🙂 Of course he is no less evil by making others do it for him.

    • Jake Nelson

      Yea well, it’s two different crimes in the eye of the law and that’s what matters. Soliciting a hitman will get you locked up for a long time, maybe life imprisonment…but it’s not first degree murder. And generally people who commit the former crime rather than the latter, get a comparably lighter sentence.

      Manson is being locked up indefinitely because of the potential public outrage over a case most of the American people are completely ignorant to. Articles like these need to exist just to inform the average idiot out there that Manson didn’t actually physically kill anybody. The truth and facts of the case have become so distorted to the public that it’s impossible for Manson to ever get a decent parole hearing… that’s fucked, no matter what way you look at it. whether he actually should be paroled or not is a different story.

      • Tannim

        Under current law, he would have been a 3 strikes candidate for his felonies prior to the Tate murders, thus getting him LWOP anyway. He had a lengthy record prior to 1967.

        But he’s dead now, making it all moot.

  • PinkPorcupine

    If you have someone murder on your behalf, you are a murderer as well. But besides that, we don’t know if Manson actually killed anyone directly or not. All we know is that he was never charged with a murder that he directly committed. But the whole “family” was so screwed up, and they were doing so many drugs, I wouldn’t be surprised at all if they were responsible for other murders and if Manson was an active participant in any of those. Think of all the missing people and unsolved murders from that time period in the areas they frequented. It’s entirely possible.

  • There actually is considerable suspicion that Manson did kill- but not during the infamous ‘Manson Family’ murders. He is thought to have killed earlier, at the Barker Ranch. It’s circumstantial and will never be proved or disproved.

    • Doctor Satan

      Thank you….

    • Eros

      Yes. Of that there is little doubt.

    • Cindy Araya

      Thank you! I was wondering that myself! Who was it that he is alleged to have murdered at the Barker Ranch?

  • Doctor Satan

    Sorry but I run a serial killer page. Manson not only directed people to kill but on the ranch it is known that Chuck took people into the desert and returned alone. With no water in that area you wont last 48 hours….

    • Scraphead

      Sorry but being suspected and having circumstantial evidence that didn’t hold up does not count as a definite fact. 🙂

    • Eros

      So true.

  • Hillyard

    Charles Manson never personally killed anyone, and Hitler never personally gassed any Jews. Both were responsible for the actions of their followers and just as guilty.

    • C S

      I hear you. Difference (when I ponder it) is that Hitler was the “Head of State” and by his orders his followers didn’t have a choice.

      If…and this is merely me just thinking aloud…if Charles Manson had no legitimate authority over his family….and they were grown adults….how is it that he was held responsible for murders that he didn’t commit?

      Please, dont get angry for me asking this. I’m very versed in what happened at the Tate house and who committed the crimes.

      I also know that the women acted kind of wacky in court…heading into court etc.

      The part I really didn’t get to…or just never really dwelved into was….how did the court finally come to the conclusion that He (Charles Manson) was guilty of those murders? He didn’t have money to offer…it wasn’t a mafia hit…a job with a reward (financial for example). So on what grounds was he guilty for these others actions? Persuasion alone? I mean…even Jim Jones had people shot for trying to leave (clearly guilty there) but there’s the old addage “If I told you to jump off a bridge….”

      So I’m being serious here….again not trying to be offensive as he’s clearly nuts…but how was he found guilty of these murders? Was it as simple as “he told them to do it?” Does anyone know some of the specifics of what happened in court?

      • Hillyard

        You bring up some very valid point.
        In either case the followers of Manson or Hitler could have disobeyed orders. With Hitler the consequences of that were probably 99% sure to be a painful death. Manson was also known for having those that disobeyed or annoyed him killed. I don’t know what happens to free will when someone joins a cult, but I suspect that Manson had the same effect.
        This is just my take on the situation.

        • C S

          Thank you. I suppose in court it could have been said that they were under duress or fearful for their own lives if they didn’t follow through.
          I should look into it more, because my only (vague) recall is of the women talking about his power of persuasion (upon reflection). And when they were still young..on trial…if I remember correctly they kind of paraded into the proceedings gleefully (nuts Lol)…with no show of remorse.
          I can’t imagine ANYONE being drawn to him….I find him to be so annoying (nut job aside). I know that these people found a “family” with him but yikes…I’d rather be alone. Those drugs must have been REALLY good Lol.

      • Mike

        This has long been an interesting subject, in that Manson was not convicted of personally killing anyone, but of directing others to carry out the crimes. If the same standard was applied to actions of past Presidents, Bush and Obama would be in prison.

      • Brian

        No difference.

      • Cindy Araya

        You have a valid point. But although Manson never personally murdered anyone himself, he did order their deaths. I think it’s known as murder by proxy?

      • Because he manipulated others to commit those crimes. Coupled with giving his followers drugs and brainwashing his followers he was able to convince otherwise normal people commit crimes they otherwise would not have committed.

    • Jake Nelson

      Please, thats one of the lamest false equivalencies ever made. Hitler wielded enormous power, Charles Manson was a street bum turned courtroom scapegoat born in a period of ignorance… cause “innocent-looking pretty white women, and an all American college football player cannot kill in cold blood…unless instructed,” and thus the Manson myth was born. They wouldn’t even let the guy testify on his own behalf because of his “mystical mind control powers that could potentially sway a jury in his favor”…if the case happened in 2016 and not 1969, the blame would be placed squarely where it should have always been…on the adults that made an adult decision to break into 2 homes and kill people.

      • Cindy Araya

        So then what do you think made those women and men kill all those people? His followers could have easily have made the decision as well to leave that cult at any point in time, and you know not kill? But my understanding is that when someone joins a cult, you really aren’t given very much choice with anything in regards to control of your life or choices. Just because this psychopath didn’t actually kill anyone himself does not make him any less guilty of the crime of murder, he ordered the executions of the people in the Tate home and the LaBiancas, that is a fact, there is no denying that, and his followers willingly complied. So this psychopath truly is guilty of murder by association, I think it is known as murder by proxy.

    • bruce mcclendon

      You and those who agree with you are as stupid as they come. Sheep/followers of the main stream collective idiots who repeat what they hear others say! I can “tell” someone to go kill a person, but it is up to THAT person to kill or NOT kill! And if they do kill someone on my “say so” then the guilt of that killing falls on the dumb son-of-a-bitch who did the killing, Not ME for telling him to! Manson was mean for sure, but he in fact DID NOT KILL ANYONE! Historical fact. Resonate some understanding in this and quit saying shit that everyone else says just to be included

    • bobfairlane

      Semites are anti European. A. H. Was a national hero.

  • Valkyrie

    Actually Manson did turn up at the house in order to ‘do something’ to Terry Melcher’ as he had been let down on a music deal. Terry Melcher incidently is Doris Days’ son, he was Mansons’ Manager at the time … ( all this from reading Doris Days’ autobiography many moons ago 😉

    • Cindy Araya

      I remember hearing about the fact that Terry Melcher had let down this psychopath on a music deal. Don’t remember if I ever heard that he was at the house to ‘do something’ to Terry Melcher though. What was he supposed to have planned on doing to Mr.Melcher?

      • Valkyrie

        I read it in Doris days autobiography apparently her son was a manager of small bands at the time..and mansons manager. Melcher wasn’t there that day.

  • arevr18

    Read “Helter Skelter”. There are eyewitness statements and merely circumstantial evidence (as others have pointed out) that Manson murdered at least 3 people by his own hand. He also attempted to kill a Black Panther with a gutshot.
    Manson let his followers carry out the most infamous murders because he was smart, not because he was afraid to do it himself.

  • Spike Valentine

    He is no serial killer, though he was the one that killed Leno LaBianca in order to show the girls how to do it, according to what I have read. I believe the correct definition for Manson is “cult leader”.

  • Mr President

    Any serial killers here should let themselves be known and I will pay attention, as for the other self entitled, over opinionated beings … well!

  • bjw107

    Read the particulars of the LoBianco murders. He went in with another guy and tied them up. When it came to the actual killing, he sent in the girls. And he wasn’t at the Tate killings at all. For all his threats and bombast, he’s a chickenshit little bully who can’t stand the sight of blood.

  • David Drysdale

    Manson was wrongfully arrested, wrongfully convicted and wrongfully imprisoned. Bad man, sure, but honestly…is manipulation a crime punishable by life in prison?

    • Eros

      Wow. You really need to know the facts before you make statements like this-we all know serial killers and other psychopaths who never are caught. He murdered many.

  • Eros

    You’re delusional. This man killed many he hasn’t been given credit for killing. Psychopath.

  • MIchale
  • MIchale
  • MIchale
  • Read the particulars of the LoBianco murders. He went in with another
    guy and tied them up. When it came to the actual killing, he sent in the
    girls. And he wasn’t at the Tate killings at all. For all his threats
    and bombast, he’s a chickenshit little bully who can’t stand the sight
    of blood.

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  • totally agree with you. very true said

  • turn2

    Charles Manson wasn’t convicted of personally killing anyone in the Tate-La Bianca murders, but that’s different from saying he never killed anyone at some other time. That he was never indicted or convicted of such a murder, doesn’t mean he couldn’t have committed one, but gotten away with it. That’s simply an open question. Maybe he did and maybe he didn’t.

    What we know is that he shot drug dealer Bernard “Lotsa Poppa” Crowe. More than one video exists of Manson admitting doing so, and there is one of Crowe saying Manson shot him. Crowe never pressed charges given the self-incrimination that would have been required.

    Mason videos (two interviews in one link):

    Crowe video:

    Although Manson has denied killing anyone, whether that’s true or not is difficult to say. He is a conman whose superficial charm is conjoined with profound dishonesty. While he may at one time told news reporters he never was homicidal, because he thought it might garner him public sympathy, it would be quite interesting to learn if he’s ever bragged about killing to his fellow inmates to puff up his image as a criminal superstar. And who knows which audience it would be that learned the truth about his secret past.

    Manson continues to exhibit psychopathic traits, including lack of empathy & lack of remorse. Given that, the statement taken from this interview shows a level of depravity that could include murder:


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  • Jim Mullen Tate

    Yeah that always tripped me out, he he never killed a single person but is the epitome of a killer. It reminds me of Dick and Perry (IN COLD BLOOD fame): Perry did the killing and, according to him as told by Truman Capote, Dick orchestrated the end result. Both were hung albeit one did the killings. The one thing that I DO NOT LIKE about the Charles Manson legacy is the killers seem like victims. Sorry but they didn’t have to do what Charlie said. Tons of people back then did tons of drugs and never had that urge. It’s what THEY did and how they did it that is really… the killings, the actual thing that only Manson gets “credit” for. I think Tex Watson should be more notorious than Charles Manson.

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