CHARLES Manson — the charismatic cult leader convicted in the deaths of actress Sharon Tate and eight other victims — might not be guilty, according to New York journalist Daniel Simone.
“The reader will walk away with doubts,” Simone says.
“Of Manson’s 37 prior arrests, none involved violence. And [almost] every single witness who testified against him was a convicted felon or facing trial.”
Manson wasn’t even at the scenes of the Tate-LaBianca murders but was convicted because he told his co-conspirators to do it.
Manson, who gave the authors 12 hours of prison interviews, has authorised the tome.
“He not only signed off on it, he placed his thumbprints beneath his signature in case someone questions its authenticity,” Simone said. “He’s quite clever.”
But Manson wasn’t clever when he insisted on representing himself at his 1971 murder trial. Simone says a good lawyer would have argued in a pre-trial motion that there was no proof Manson had directed his followers to kill.
“He probably could have gotten the case dismissed based on the lack of evidence,” Simone said.
As for Manson, who famously has a swastika scratched into his forehead, “At times he’s completely incoherent,” Simone said. “Other times, he’s articulate and made a lot of sense ... I am sure he is using illegal narcotics.”
Manson’s engagement to a woman 53 years his junior was called off in February after Simone claimed the convicted killer’s fiancee, 27-year-old Afton Elaine Burton, known as Star, planned to profit from his death.
Manson apparently got cold feet after learning of Star’s alleged plot to take ownership of his corpse and put it on display in a wild, money-making scheme.
“He’s finally realised that he’s been played for a fool,” Simone said. Also, Manson believes he is immortal.
“He feels he will never die. Therefore, he feels it’s a stupid idea to begin with.”