Charles Manson was born November 12, 1934 in Cincinnati, Ohio to 15 year old Kathleen Maddox. Until about four months before his birth, she was married to a man named William Manson. Though he was not his biological father, Charles opted to take on his surname, giving us the Manson name we know today. His mother working as a sex worker, was said to not want much to do with her child, rumor even had it, that at one point, she attempted to sell him to a waitress for a pitcher of beer.
In 1939, his mother was sent to prison for five years on armed robbery charges, and Charles was sent to live with his aunt and uncle in West Virginia. He bounced around quite often, not really having a stable home during this time, and would often visit his off the grid uncle in the Kentucky mountains, who would give him the foundation for his later radical ideas and teachings. When Manson was 9 years old he tried to burn down his school and was sent to his first of many reform schools for boys.
During the years of 1942-1947 Manson once again stayed with his mother, later stating that these were some of the happiest times in his childhood, but in 1947 Kathleen was sent back to prison and he was shipped off to his many foster homes where he endured years and years of abuse and rape. Manson eventually running away to find his mother, sadly discovered upon finding her, that she actually wanted very little to do with him. As a result he spent a major part of his youth in a vicious cycle of getting put in a new foster home or reform school, escaping, committing petty crimes, and being put into a new school.
In 1955 at just 20 years old, he married a 17 year old waitress named Rose. Shortly after the nuptials, the young couple ends up pregnant resulting in Manson stealing a car and driving to Los Angeles where he was caught and served 3 years in prison. Though Rose was short lived in his life because as he was serving his time, Rose had the baby, met another man and moved on, while Manson continuing his life of petty crimes, spent a major part of his young adult life in prison, where he learned to play guitar and really discovered his passion for music.
In 1967 he was released from prison and would spend his time playing music on the San Francisco streets. This is where he would meet one of his first followers Lynette Fromme, Soon after he added Pat Krenwinkle, and a man named Tex. Starting to build his following, he lured men into his group with promises of women, promises that were more than easy to fulfill as he had plenty of young ladies under his charismatic spell filled with love and shed of their egos. The most attractive of the women were known as his “Front Street girls” and using them as his ‘recruiters’, it wasn’t long till he had a fairly large ‘family’.