Articles News by Hamilton Strategies November 30, 2017
(This post originally appeared in cnsnews.com | Image from cnsnews.com)
By Dr. Alex McFarland
For many Americans, the name Charles Manson conjures vivid images and unsettling memories. Boomers remember the 1976 TV miniseries that depicted the cult, the murders and trials in surrealistic darkness. Vincent Bugliosi’s book on Manson became almost required reading for teenagers in the late 1970s. Through 500-plus pages, “Helter Skelter” was horrifying, revolting, salacious and instructive in one riveting volume.
As a teenager, I remember noticing how the Manson legacy seemed a sort of hub for a surprising number of cultural spokes. The phenomenon spawned countless conversations about problems with youth, law enforcement, the legal system, the death penalty, sexual immorality, Roman Polanski, Communist plots, the Beatles, the degrading influence of rock and roll music, pornography, hippies, drugs, cults and more. Beach Boy Dennis Wilson even testified at the trial.
Manson’s parole hearings would come and go, and though he—predictably—was never released, they did make news. Prior to several of the parole meetings, Manson published lists of who he would have killed, if let out. These proposed victims included whoever happened to be president at the time, people Manson believed had slighted him and even a promise to kill the Rev. Billy Graham. Manson’s documented history, the threatening, rambling interviews he would occasionally grant journalists, plus his immeasurably sinister demeanor all led to one conclusion: This guy is evil personified.