Manson Family
Manson Family
“Jails, courtrooms and prisons had been my life since I was twelve years old.” (Emmons and Manson, 21) These are the words of Charles Milles Manson, a convicted serial killer who has never actually murdered a single person in his life. Manson was born “no name Maddox” on November 12, 1934, and has in fact been in prison for more than half of his life. (28) It was 1967, after Manson had just been released from the Federal Penitentiary at Terminal Island, San Pedro, when the “Manson Family” had begun to form. (85) In just two years the family would not only grow to a surprisingly large number, but become nationally known for the brutal murders of Sharon Tate, Voytek Frykowski, Jay Sebring, Abigail Folger, Steven Parent, Gary Hinman, Leno LaBianca, and Rosemary LaBianca. (Bugliosi and Gentry, 558) Although many people know of the “Manson Family”, few are aware of the lives the family members led before 1967; these are their stories.

Mary Theresa Brunner is usually considered to be the first member of the Manson “Family.” She was born on December 17, 1943, to parents John and Evelyn Brunner in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. Shortly after graduating from the University of Wisconsin she moved to California to accept a librarian position at UC Berkeley. It was there, while walking her poodle in the spring of 1967, that she met a man who had only weeks before walked out of a federal penitentiary. (Brunner)

Perhaps the most well known of the “Manson girls” is Lynette Alice Fromme. She was born on October 22, 1948 in Santa Monica, California. Her mother, Helen Benzinger Fromme, was a homemaker and her father, William Millar Fromme, was an aeronautical engineer. Her father was known to be cold and intimidating; his treatment of his growing daughter was very harsh. Upon moving to the LA suburb of Redondo Beach in 1963, Lyns grades began to suffer and she started drinking and abusing drugs. After barely graduating in 1966 she moved out of her parents home and was supporting herself. After only a few months her newfound freedom ended at her fathers insistence. She enrolled at El Camino Junior College and had only been there for a couple of months when a final argument with her father left her out on the streets with no place to go. She went to her boyfriends only to discover that he was not home, so she decided to head up to Venice Beach. Once she got there, she sat down on a bench by the beach and began crying. Almost immediately, a small, somewhat grubby man approached her; his name was Charles Manson. (Fromme)

Patricia Diane Krenwinkel was born on December 3, 1947 to an insurance salesman father and a homemaker mother. At one point in her life she was very overweight, and overcame this problem only after getting hooked on diet pills supplied by her junkie sister. Even after she lost the weight young Patricia still felt very ugly and unloved. This was partly due to an endocrine problem that caused an excess of hair on her body. When Patricia was seventeen her parents divorced, so after graduating from Westchester High School she moved out her mothers home state of Alabama to attend a Catholic college there. She dropped out after her first semester and moved back to California. There she took a job as a secretary and shared a Manhattan Beach apartment with her heroin-addicted sister. Life was obviously less than ideal, and when Charlie Manson came knocking on her door, she readily answered. (Krenwinkel)

The first of five children (two sisters and two brothers), Bobby Beausoleil was born in Santa Barbara, California in 1947. Bobby displayed an interest in music at a very young age and eventually taught himself how to play the guitar. After the death of a grandmother Bobby moved to Los Angeles. There, he briefly played in a band with Arthur Lee, called Grass Roots. Grass Roots would later achieve fame under the name Love. Lee apparently named the group Love as a reference to Beausoleils nickname “Cupid”. Bobby also became friends with Frank Zappa, and can be heard as a backup singer on Zappas first record, Freak Out. However, L.A. became to be too superficial for Bobby, so he traveled north and fell in love with the Bay Area. Bobby was living in the basement of Gary Hinmans Topanga Canyon home when he first ran into Manson and the Family at a house called the “Spiral Staircase”. Bobbys musical talent impressed Charlie and the girls, and Bobby started hanging around with them. (Beausoleil)

Susan Denise Atkins was born on May 7, 1948 in San Gabriel, California, to a lower middle-class family. Her father was a construction worker and her mother took various odd jobs to help support Susan and her two brothers. When Susan was still very young, the family moved to northern California. Both of her parents were alcoholics and often got into

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Bobby Beausoleil And Patricia Diane Krenwinkel. (April 16, 2021). Retrieved from