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What became of Charles Manson’s ‘family’? A look at the killers’ lives 48 years later

Charles Manson’s infamous “family” numbered around 100 people in 1969, when Manson orchestrated a series of murders in Los Angeles that, over two nights, left seven people dead. 

Nearly five decades later, the names of only a few family members are remembered, mostly due to the grisly nature of the crimes for which they were convicted.

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Here’s where the most notorious Manson family members are now:

Charles Manson

Manson, 83, died Sunday night at a hospital in Bakersfield, California. He was taken there last week for treatment of an undisclosed illness from the California State Prison at Corcoran, where he was serving a life sentence.

Manson, along with several of his followers, was convicted of multiple counts of murder for the Aug. 9, 1969, killings of actress Sharon Tate, celebrity hairstylist Jay Sebring, coffee heiress Abigail Folger, her partner Wojciech Frykowski and Steven Parent, as well as the Aug. 10, 1969, murders of Leno and Rosemary LaBianca. 

Manson was also convicted of the unrelated murders of music teacher Gary Hinman and stuntman Donald “Shorty” Shea. 

Though Manson was not present for the Tate-LaBianca homicides, he was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to death. That sentence was commuted to life in prison in 1972, when the California Supreme Court ruled the death penalty was unconstitutional. 

According to the Los Angeles Times, Manson’s stay in prison was not a peaceful one. He racked up hundreds of infractions and over the years was denied parole 12 times. 

His next parole hearing was scheduled for 2027, the Times said. 

Susan Atkins

Susan Atkins, who was 21 at the time of the crimes, died of brain cancer at the Central California Women’s Facility at Chowchilla in September 2009, just a week shy of 40 years after her conviction. The longest-serving female inmate in California, she was denied compassionate release by the state parole board.

Described by a former prosecutor as the “scariest of the Manson girls,” Atkins played a large role in the murders, particularly that of Sharon Tate, who was nearly nine months pregnant when she was killed. The Times reported that Atkins confessed to stabbing Tate to death as the young actress pleaded for her life and that of her unborn son.

“Woman, I have no mercy for you,” Atkins testified she told Tate. 

Atkins also participated in the LaBianca murders the following night. 

The Manson family became suspects in the murders, in part, due to Atkins’ confession to cellmates while she was jailed on unrelated charges. 

Atkins, who embraced Christianity while incarcerated, married twice while behind bars, the Times said. Despite prison staff advocating for her release as far back as 2005, Atkins was denied parole 13 times before she died. 

Charles “Tex” Watson

Tex Watson, 71, is imprisoned at Mule Creek Prison, where he is an ordained minister, the Times reported. A model prisoner, he works as a janitor at the facility. 

Watson, who described his position in the family as Manson’s “right-hand man,” was the Manson-appointed leader at both the Tate and LaBianca murder scenes. According to testimony in the murder trial, Watson shot Parent, Sebring and Frykowski, who was also pistol-whipped. He also inflicted some of the stab wounds on the victims in the Tate murders.

Manson also put Watson in charge the next night at the LaBianca house, where he killed Leno LaBianca and participated in the slaying of Rosemary LaBianca.

Watson, who was married and divorced in prison, and fathered four children, has his own ministry, Abounding LoveHis website, run by an administrator outside of the prison, states that he “testifies that anyone can be forgiven and transformed by Christ, even a former member of the Manson family.”

Watson has been denied parole 17 times, most recently in October. 

Leslie Van Houten

Leslie Van Houten, 68, remains jailed at the California Institution for Women at Corona, where she has spent her entire sentence as a model prisoner, the Times said. She was convicted of murder and conspiracy in 1978, following her third trial on the charges.

A former homecoming princess and the youngest of Manson’s followers, Van Houten held Rosemary LaBianca down as Tex Watson and Patricia Krenwinkel stabbed her to death. Testimony at trial indicated that Van Houten also stabbed the victim, but did so after she was already dead. 

Van Houten once told a parole board she was “deeply ashamed” of her role in the slayings, the Times reported

“I take very seriously not just the murders, but what made me make myself available to someone like Manson,” she said. 

The state parole board recommended Van Houten for parole in April after 19 previous tries, but California Gov. Jerry Brown reversed the decision. 

The parole board again recommended her for parole in September, and Van Houten is awaiting Brown’s response, the Times said.

Patricia Krenwinkel

Patricia Krenwinkel, who became the longest-serving female inmate in California upon Susan Atkins’ death, remains at the California Institution for Women at Corona, where she works in the prison’s rehabilitative programs, the Times said. She has condemned Manson in the years since the murders.

“What a coward that I found myself to be when I look at the situation,” Krenwinkel told the New York Times in 2014. “The thing I try to remember sometimes is that what I am today is not what I was at 19.”

Krenwinkel participated in the murders at both the Tate and LaBianca murder scenes. Testimony at trial showed that she chased an injured and screaming Abigail Folger from the house onto the expansive lawn, where she continued to stab her 28 times, CNN reported

The following night, Krenwinkel stabbed Rosemary LaBianca to death, testimony showed. She later scrawled “Death to Pigs” on the wall in Leno LaBianca’s blood.

Krenwinkel has been denied parole 14 times, most recently in June. 

Linda Kasabian

Linda Kasabian, who drove the killers to both the Tate and LaBianca scenes because she was the only family member with a valid driver’s license, was offered immunity from prosecution in exchange for her testimony at trial. 

Kasabian, who Watson ordered to remain outside during the Tate murders, later recalled seeing some of the victims run screaming from the house, followed by their killers. She also remained outside at the LaBianca house. 

The Times reported that, as of 1994, Kasabian was a mother of four. She was believed to be living on the East Coast. 

Robert “Bobby” Beausoleil and Bruce Davis

Bobby Beausoleil, 70, who was convicted of murdering Gary Hinman on Manson’s orders, is housed at California Medical Facility in Vacaville, according to CNN. In jail awaiting trial for Hinman’s slaying in August 1969, he was not involved in the Tate-LaBianca murders. 

Bruce Davis, 75, is imprisoned at the California Men’s Colony at San Luis Obispo, where he is serving a life sentence in the murders of Hinman and Shorty Shea. Davis, who the Times reported has been denied parole 30 times, became a born-again Christian in prison and earned a doctoral degree in religious philosophy. 

Steve “Clem” Grogan

Clem Grogan, who rode along with Manson and the other killers the night of the LaBianca murders, did not participate in the killings. He did help Manson, Watson and Davis kill Shorty Shea, however. 

Grogan, who was convicted and sentenced to life in prison, was released on parole in 1985 after he helped authorities recover Shea’s remains by drawing a map to where the stuntman’s body was buried. 

Lynette “Squeaky” Fromme

Squeaky Fromme, who was one of Manson’s most devoted followers, did not participate in the murders, but was present outside the courthouse every day during the murder trial of Manson and the other defendants. 

Fromme achieved her own notoriety in 1975 when she attempted to assassinate then-President Gerald Ford during a visit to Sacramento. Her gun did not fire and Secret Service agents wrestled her to the ground. 

The Times reported that Fromme, who was sentenced to life in prison, escaped from a West Virginia federal prison in 1987, but was recaptured two days later. She continued to write to Manson while in prison. 

Fromme, now 68, was paroled in August 2009 after serving 34 years in prison, the newspaper said. 

Mother of 5 shot, killed in front of her family

A Georgia woman is dead and a manhunt for the father of her children is on after she was shot Sunday in front of her family, police told WSB-TV.

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Justin Cox, a felon, is accused of shooting Felicia Miller, 34, and leaving her in a vehicle on the driveway of a home in Marietta, Georgia.

“Mr. Cox is believed to still be armed with a handgun and is not yet in custody,” Marietta police Officer Chuck McPhilamy said. 

Officers were dispatched about 4 p.m. after multiple shots were reported in the area, McPhilamy said.

When they arrived, they found Miller -- a mother of five, according to WSB-TV — sitting in a parked Dodge Charger.

Relatives told the news station that Cox, 40, walked up to the car and fired through a window.

"He stood right there and he looked me dead in my face and unloaded the gun again on her," the victim's mother, Gloria Blaylock, said.

Miller was taken to WellStar Kennestone Hospital with multiple gunshot wounds, and she later died of her injuries, police said.

Anyone who sees Cox is asked not to approach him but to call 911. Anyone with information is asked to call Marietta police at 770-794-5345.

‘I’ve forgiven, I have not forgotten’: Sister of Charles Manson ‘family’ victim speaks

Charles Manson is dead, but the sister of a victim of the string of murders he orchestrated in 1969 Los Angeles said upon his death that he is the “least of (her) worries.”

“Right now, we have one Manson family member on deck who has been granted a parole date,” Debra Tate, sister of slain actress Sharon Tate, told ABC News. “It’s important for people to know that these are individuals that are still brutal monsters capable of coming heinous crimes.”

“Although I’ve forgiven, I have not forgotten, and I feel it’s very important that they stay exactly where they are until they die.”

Manson, who died Sunday night at age 83, became one of the most infamous criminals of the 20th century when, in the early morning hours of Aug. 9, 1969, he armed a group of his followers and ordered them to go to 10050 Cielo Drive, a secluded home in Benedict Canyon. There, they brutally murdered Sharon Tate, celebrity hairdresser Jay Sebring, coffee heiress Abigail Folger, Folger’s partner, Wojciech Frykowski and Steven Parent, a teenager who had stopped by to visit the caretaker of the property, who was later found unharmed in the guest house.

Tate, the wife of famed director Roman Polanski, was nearly nine months pregnant when she was murdered. Their baby, a son named Paul, also died when Tate was stabbed to death.

“People are saying that this should be some kind of relief, but oddly enough, it isn’t,” Debra Tate told ABC News. “While Charlie may be gone, it’s the ones that are still alive that perpetrated everything, and it was up to their imaginations for what brutal things were going to be done. In an odd way, I see them as much more dangerous individuals.”

The Manson family’s murder spree continued the following night, Aug. 10, 1969, when Manson and his followers went to the Los Feliz neighborhood of Los Angeles, to the home of grocer Leno LaBianca and his wife, Rosemary. After tying the couple up, Manson left and the others in his group stabbed the couple to death.

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Manson and four others -- Charles “Tex” Watson, Susan Atkins, Leslie Van Houten and Patricia Krenwinkel -- were subsequently convicted in the Tate-LaBianca murders. Linda Kasabian, another Manson follower initially charged with murder, received immunity for testifying against the others at trial. 

The trial ended in death penalties, but the sentences were commuted to life in prison in 1972, when the California Supreme Court abolished capital punishment. 

Charles Manson death: Notable reactions on social media

Charles Manson, the cult leader who led followers to kill actress Sharon Tate and six others, is dead at age 83, the California Department of Corrections said late Sunday.

>> Charles Manson dead at 83

>> PHOTOS: Charles Manson through the years

>> PHOTOS: Notable deaths 2017

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Here’s what public figures, celebrities, and other notable people and organizations were saying about his death:

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Police: Florida woman kills husband, hides his duct taped body in closet

A 65-year-old Florida woman was arrested and accused of murdering her husband and then hiding his duct-taped body behind a brick wall she built inside a closet. 

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Barbara Wozniak, of Shalimar, was charged with second-degree murder Friday night while she was already in the Okaloosa County jail on another charge of tampering with evidence.

Deputies made the discovery on Nov. 15 when they were called to Wozniak’s house on suspicion of a possible homicide, according to a sheriff’s news release

Investigators obtained a search warrant and found a fake brick wall inside a closet under a stairway. After breaking through the wall, they found the body of 72-year-old Alfred Wozniak. 

A tarp was wrapped around his body, and his wrists and feet were bound with duct tape, police said.

A medical examiner later said that a “projectile,” a bullet, had traveled through his skull. 

Further investigations revealed that Barbara Wozniak on Nov. 10 had bought $130 in supplies from a Fort Walton Beach business. The items included a large tarp, plastic sheet, 20 pounds of repair mortar, Clorox and tape.

Meanwhile, according to investigators, her adult children told detectives that she confessed to shooting her husband. claiming she did so after he had tried to choke her. 

Lena Dunham slammed for defending 'Girls' producer accused of rape

Social media users are slamming actress and “Girls” creator Lena Dunham after she defended one of the show’s producers, Murray Miller, following allegations that he raped a teen actress, Page Six reports.

>> On Rare.us: Lena Dunham responds to backlash after she announced she had to give up her dog, Lamby

“Life comes at you fast @lenadunham,” S.E. Cupp tweeted with a screenshot of one of Dunham's previous tweets, which reads, “Things women lie about: what they ate for lunch. Things women don’t lie about: rape,” side by side with her defense of Miller.

After actress Aurora Perrineau accused Miller of raping her when she was 17, Dunham and co-showrunner Jenni Konner responded in a joint statement, saying, “While our first instinct is to listen to every woman’s story, our insider knowledge of Murray’s situation makes us confident that sadly this accusation is one of the 3% of assault cases that are misreported every year. It is a true shame to add to that number, as outside of Hollywood women still struggle to be believed. We stand by Murray and this is all we’ll be saying about this issue.”

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Dunham continued her thoughts on Twitter, later writing, “I believe in a lot of things but the first tenet of my politics is to hold up the people who have held me up, who have filled my world with love.”

However, that was also met with the ire and mocking from users:

In her statement, Perinea, now 23, claimed she woke up in Miller’s bed after consuming alcohol with him at a hotel, and he was “having sexual intercourse with me.” On Friday, she filed a police report in regard to the incident. Miller has since “categorically and vehemently” denied the allegation.

Venus Williams' Florida home burglarized, $400,000 in goods stolen during U.S. Open

The Florida residence tennis star Venus Williams calls home was burglarized as she played in the U.S. Open in September, according to a Palm Beach Gardens police report released Thursday.

>> Watch the news report here

Though what was taken from the home at BallenIsles Country Club is redacted from the report, police indicate more than $400,000 worth of items were taken from the residence.

>> Serena Williams shares wedding photos in new interview

Palm Beach Gardens police indicate in the report that the last time the items were known to be in the home was Sept. 1, the day Williams’s sister, Serena, gave birth to her first daughter, Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr.

That was the same day Williams beat Greek tennis player Maria Sakkari in the U.S. Open in New York. Williams made it to the semifinals where she lost to U.S. player Sloane Stephens in three sets on Sept. 7.

The burglary was reported on Sept. 5, according to the report.

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This is not the first time this year Williams has been part of a Palm Beach Gardens police report. On June 9, Williams collided with Linda and Jerome Barson at an intersection near her home. Jerome Barson died weeks later from complication of blunt traumatic injuries.

Williams was not charged in the crash, but Barson’s family has filed a civil lawsuit against her.

Police: Man swipes keys off store counter, steals manager's car, guns

A business owner was helping a customer when a man grabbed his keys and stole his car and guns Thursday. 

The alleged thief also got away with thousands of dollars worth of merchandise, the manager told Fox13Memphis.com.

Superior’s store manager, T. Ginem, was helping a customer when the crime took place.

"While our attention was towards the other customers, [the man] reached over the counter and took the keys," Ginem said.

The incident was caught on a security camera. 

On the surveillance video, one of Ginem’s employees is seen walking into the store and setting the car keys on the counter.

Minutes later, a man snags them from the counter and takes off. 

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"He power walked out of here. We didn't realize the vehicle was gone until half an hour later,” Ginem said. 

The man can be seen on outdoor surveillance camera video hopping into the car and speeding off. The manager was not just upset with the car being stolen, he also had thousands of dollars in merchandise taken along with multiple guns.

"I had an AK-47, a 9 mm, and a 40 mm,” Ginem said.

This year, more guns have been stolen from cars than any other location.

According to Memphis Police Department numbers obtained by Fox13Memphis.com, in June and July alone, there were more than 100 guns stolen each month in the city.

"[I’m] extremely worried about the guns, man, because you don't want them in the wrong hands,” Ginem said.

A quick crime map of the area surrounding the store revealed eight carjackings and roughly 100 auto thefts in the last two months.

Ginem said multiple people have already told him who committed the theft.

"He just recently got out of jail. He has nothing to lose,” he said.

Memphis police are now trying to make an arrest.

Ginem said he is going to be thinking about the whole ordeal for a while.

"We are looking at least $12,000 [lost], so it is going to hurt my pocket, but it's a lesson learned,” he said.

Fox13Memphis.com was unable to confirm the suspect’s identity with police but authorities are asking for the public's assistance. Anyone with information about where the man is, or where the stolen items are located, is asked to call police.

Ginem said he is offering a $1,000 reward to the person who leads police to an arrest.

Former Washington State high school employee accused of rape

A former employee at a Washington State high school was charged Thursday afternoon with allegedly raping a 15-year-old student.

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Kristal M. Gamble, 33, was employed as an office assistant at Kent Meridian High School when she allegedly initiated an illegal sexual relationship with a boy last spring.

According to Detective Melanie Robinson, the boy’s parents allegedly found sexual photos and messages on their son’s cellphone, so they contacted the Kent Police Department in September.

By that time, Gamble was no longer working for the Kent School District, according to a spokesman.

Gamble was arrested Wednesday. She is being held at the Norm Maleng Regional Justice Center with bail set at $10,000.

Pittsburgh hospital employee accused of exposing himself to patient

A food server at a Pittsburgh hospital is accused of exposing himself in front of a patient. 

Police said Michael Booker, 37, a dietary server at University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Mercy, approached the female patient at the walking bridge that joins the parking garage and the hospital. 

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WPXI reported that the woman told investigators Booker approached her, said something vulgar and started fondling himself. 

Booker is facing charges that include open lewdness. Officials said he has since been terminated from his position as a server. 

Booker faces a preliminary hearing next month.

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