Cult leader Charles Manson has died aged 83, leaving behind a legacy of bloody mayhem and unanswered questions.
Manson died in the early hours of Monday, November 20, having been hospitalised last week for an undisclosed ailment.
At the time of his death, the 83-year-old was serving nine life sentences at Corcoran State Prison.
Manson made headlines all over the world in the 1960s as the leader of the Family, a semi-religious hippie drug cult guilty of a string of horrific murders.
In 1969, Manson ordered several members of the group to carry out a string of murders at an affluent-looking property in California.
Sharon Tate, the then-pregnant wife of film director Roman Polanski, was among the group’s victims, as one of four people stabbed to death at the house.
The Manson Family went on to kill a further three people over the course of August 1969 before finally being apprehended.
One of the Family went on to testify that Manson had been the driving force behind the murders.
In court, the prosecution was able to successfully argue that Manson, by now deranged and increasingly obsessed with The Beatles’ song Helter Skelter, orchestrated the murders with a view to sparking a race war.
Manson protested his innocence and has refused to openly discuss the claims over the course of the decades that followed.
Convicted of the murders and sentenced to death in 1971, Manson’s sentence was commuted to life imprisonment after the California supreme court ruled that the death penalty was unconstitutional.
Despite spending the remainder of his life behind bars, Manson’s version of events has never been forthcoming.
Now the surviving friends and family members of those who fell victim to Manson’s group will probably never get the truth from the mastermind behind the crimes.