Jan 7, 2017

Charles Manson is returned to prison after stay at Bakersfield hospital

Richard Winton and Kim Christensen
Los Angeles Times
January 7, 2017

Mass murderer Charles Manson, who was hospitalized this week with a serious medical issue, has been returned to the Central Valley prison where he is serving his life sentence, a corrections official confirmed Friday.

The Times reported this week that Manson, 82, had been taken to a hospital for treatment of an undisclosed but serious medical problem. Officials with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation have declined to comment on Manson’s condition, citing federal and state privacy laws.

But Terry Thornton, a spokeswoman for the department, confirmed Friday that Manson was back behind bars.

"Inmate Manson is at California State Prison-Corcoran,” she said in an email, declining to elaborate in a follow-up phone call: "He is at the prison. I don't know how much plainer it can be."

Manson had been admitted to Mercy Hospital in downtown Bakersfield, according to sources who requested anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly about the matter. Officials at the hospital, which often treats inmates for life-threatening illnesses or injuries, would not say whether Manson was there.

It’s unclear exactly what treatment Manson got at the hospital.

Manson and members of his “family” of followers were convicted of killing actress Sharon Tate and six other people during a bloody rampage in the Los Angeles area in August 1969. Prosecutors said Manson and his followers were trying to incite a race war he dubbed “Helter Skelter,” taken from the Beatles song.

Tate, the wife of director Roman Polanski, was 8½ months pregnant when she was killed at her hilltop home in Benedict Canyon on Aug. 9, 1969. Four others were stabbed and shot to death the same night: Jay Sebring, 35; Voytek Frykowski, 32; Abigail Folger, 25, a coffee heiress; and Steven Parent, 18, a friend of Tate's caretaker. The word "pig" was written on the front door in blood.

The next night, Manson rode with his followers to the Los Feliz home of Leno and Rosemary LaBianca, then left three members to kill the couple.

Manson was initially sentenced to death. But a 1972 ruling by the California Supreme Court found the state’s death penalty law at the time unconstitutional, and his sentenced was changed to life in prison with the possibility of parole. He has been denied parole 12 times.

During his four decades of incarceration, Manson has been anything but a model prisoner. Among other things, Manson has been cited for assault, repeated possession of a weapon, threatening staff and possessing a cellphone, Thornton said this week.


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