tv Dateline MSNBC September 14, 2019 11:00pm-12:00am PDT
. i'm craig melvin. and i'm natalie morales. hello, i'm craig melvin. >> i'm natalie morales. and this is "dateline". it's not a play, isn't it? >> are you sane? >> sane? that's relative. >> guilty, hmm. i wouldn't do anything i felt guilty about. >> you may think you know the charles manson story, but not like this. >> things that police had never seen before. >> sharon tate begged him, please don't kill me. >> he was trying to take advantage of peace and love, flower power. >> even now, decades later the world is still fascinated by charles manson and his crimes. we take you inside his world of
drugs. >> he would dose them with lsd. >> sex. >> he slept with all those girls. >> and rock 'n' roll. >> they really did listen to the "white" album over and over. >> with new interviews. >> he says, gary, this is your last chance. >> and new details. >> he would always frame his statements. this is what i believe and the girls all believed it. >> the murders. >> these people were brutally butchered. >> the mayhem. >> charlie was acting meaner towards the girls. >> the madman. >> maybe i should have killed, four, 500 people, then i would have felt better. >> he symbolizes the horror that can be possible in this world. >> hello, welcome to "dateline." charles manson was a man of small stature and monstrous delusions.
the one-time amateur musician believed he would be bigger than the beatles. after that dream was crushed, he was replaced with a nightmarish prophecy that put him on the throne of a post-armageddon world. this is the story of how a career criminal calling himself jesus convinced his young followers to slaughter innocent victims, delivering charles manson the fame he craved. here's keith morrison with the as i remember of manson. >> all the remains are ruins. the ram shackled barker ranch is long gone. only the fitful baking death valley wind left now to stir the faded bits, the rusted junk. the artifacts from another time when this was ground zero for one of the most infamous crimes in history.
the hideout of a living personification of evil. >> you got it stuck in your brain that i murdered somebody. >> charles manson. one hot, dry weekend in los angeles, august, 1969, a pregnant movie star slaughtered, along with four others in her home, across town a couple butchered in theirs. >> these were brutal crime scenes. things that the police had never seen before. >> reporter: murder so bloody, so ugly, they rewrote history. they became a kind of bookmark as an optimism ended. >> the '60 came to a close, 1969, that was the curtain the final curtain. >> who could make sense of it? >> are you sane? >> sane? >> yes.
>> that's relative. >> two, even now. >> how do our kids end up doing this kind of incredibly violent crime? how did that happen in. >> we'll do our best to answer that question. to get past the myths that have clouded the story of charles manson and with the help of those who witnessed finally explain the chaos, the crimes the horror. it's a story that begins at a small mill town on the banks of the ohio river, mcmechen, west virginia. where the myth manson had his beginning. >> manson had told his own life story that he was a child nobody wanted. his mother is a career criminal and prostitute. >> but manson lied this is jeff gwynn author of "manson," the man whose research revealed the facts behind the myths.
>> manson was raised by a very loving family. his uncle and aunt and his grandmother. these were folks that were very religious. which they of course wanted charlie to go to church, which he hated. but he had an amazing knack to memorize scripture. >> he was fascinated particularly with the book of revelation, which he learned to quote at great length. but he did not learn to be good. >> he constantly stole. he lied. he picked on people. he was fascinated with knives and nothing you would do to try to discipline him worked. >> finally, manson was sent to reform school. eventually prison. by 32, he had spent half his life locked up. >> he was immediately struck by the pimps. from them, he learned how to
control woman who were -- and this is his quote -- bent but not broken. >> manson also became fascinated with a popular book by dale carnegie called. >> "how to win friends and influence people." >> this is so strange to hear that he red dale carnegie. >> not only read dale carnegie, absorbed it. >> that wasn't the only thing manson picked up in prison. another inmate gave him guitar lessons and one day in a prison workshop a radio was blaring the top 40 of 1964. >> he hears the song by the beatles, so he sets a goal for himself of becoming even better than the beatles and he starts writing songs and performing in prison shows. >> and so, by the time charlie manson was released in prison on parole, his fantasy was very strong. >> he would be signed to a contract, would become world famous, rich and have all the women and drugs he wanted. >> the fantasy and charles
manson, himself, would almost certainly remain anonymous, a complete unknown had it not been for this. [ music playing ] >> san francisco's haight district. at that moment bus loads of kids were arriving to what they thought would be a new world of peace and love. >> there would be hundreds of people sitting on the sidewalk and they'd go, grass, acid, speed. >> roger smith was manson's parole officer in san francisco. >> and into that scene walked charlie manson? >> he did. he could somehow identify the ones who could be tricked, coerced, drawn in. >> bent, but not broken. troubled young women like susan atkins. she left home as a teenager and drifted, washed up in the haight. she worked as a topless dancer,
quit and then fem under manson's spell. he nicknamed her sade. later, leslie van houghten and met him. "people" magazine's elaine arididas met manson. >> he slept with those girls right away making a connection with them and they felt this man gets me. >> he kept adding women to his entourage. he went with them everywhere. even to meet and flirt with his parole officer who heard first hand manson's preaching to his flock. an oddball mix of free love, and apocalyptic prophecies. >> i found this silly. he would frame his statement, this is what i believe and the girls all believed it. >> reporter: the girls hung on every word he spoke, seemed ready to do anything he asked. like when he told them to have
sex with men he wanted to win them even. when he told them he was destined to be bigger than the beatles. >> manson fully intended to become a rock 'n' roll star and didn't think it was going to be very hard. >> the summer of love was over. manson loaded his family about a dozen on to a school bus to los angeles. he was a still a long-time criminal with a dream. but not for long. >> a most unlikely pair. a beachboy and charles manson. coming up -- >> dennis was convinced he could make charlie a star. >> and manson's strange hold on his family. >> he dances, he sings, he looks beautiful and he looks happy and he draws a lot of people. >> when "dateline" continues. with uncontrolled moderate-to-severe eczema, or atopic dermatitis, you feel like you're itching all the time.
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stop cleaning. start swiffering los angeles, 1968. the center of the rock 'n' roll universe. here was capital records the beatles record company. the sunset strip and here the producers who could make charles manson a star. he positioned his family out here in the wood haven of alternative living could topanga canyon. >> he lived in topanga canyon, it was a burned out house. >> he told us in his first
interview how he got to know manson and his very available young women. >> they would come over to take showers and stuff. >> and stuff, as he said. >> sade was called sexy sade and not without cause. >> it wasn't exactly eric's shower or house to mind you. the main occupant of the house in which eric was livings with a soft spoken music guy gary hinman. >> he was just generous. >> he never charged me rent whatsoever. >> when some of the women were busted for a spree of minor crimes. >> charlie came over and asked gary if he could help him. he said, what's the bail? >> gary hinman, as he generously paid the bail had no idea how manson would return his favor. manson and the family moved to a defunct movie location spahn's
ranch, manson told another follow lower, nannette froome, nicknamed squeaky to keep the octogenarian over and he got to live there for free. ♪ ♪ and manson -- >> he dances, he sings. he looks beautiful. he looks happy. and he draws a lot of people just like people are drawn to little baby. >> they scrounge for food in dumpsters. >> it was fun. ha, ha, ha ha. stores used to throw away good stuff, good vegetables. you'd find all kind of good treasures out there. >> but the family didn't just live on scavenged vegetables. they stole cash and credit cards and cars. manson taught them a skill
called creepy crawling, entering houses without waking the sleeping people inside and he used his women to advance his dream of becoming famous. >> he sends them out into the martz of los angeles that are known as areas where the rockstars live, to find some of them. do what it takes and get them to take charlie on as sort of their project that they will introduce him to the right people. [ music playing ] >> ridiculous? of course. but then, the most extraordinary thing -- it worked. >> dennis picked up a couple of girls on sunset. they were hitchhiking. >> dennis was dennis wilson of the beach boys. at the time america's answer to the beatles. ray jacobson was a music producer and friend of dennis
wilson's. >> they went to dennis' house, had a good time, played music, all the things they would do. >> manson system worked like a charm, offering his young women as sexual favors to get what he wanted. before the day was out. he and most of the family had moved right into the dennis wilson's house. >> dennis used to call me up, calm down, man, wear partying, all these girls are here, you have to meet charlie the wizard. den necessary was convinced he could make charlie a star. >> so improbable as it seems, dennis took manson to his brother brian's studio, that's brian wilson to record some of his songs. here's manson sing during that session. ♪ restless as the wind ♪ this town is killing me >> but when the other beachboys heard that. >> they didn't have a high opinion of the music, or charlie. >> the session fizzled.
but the beach boys did play one of manson's songs on the mike douglas tv show. but dennis rewrote the words and the title. >> oh, charlie was so angry that anybody would dare to change the lyric or anything he said. it was like misquoting him. >> so the beach boys were not the answer to manson's dreams. but there was one more chance. greg jacobson knew a man in los angeles who could snap his fingers and get him a contract. his name was terry melcher. one of l.a.'s top music producers. in the late spring of 'kind, melcher agreed to come to spahn ranch to hear him sing. >> charlie expected somebody to come out with a pen and say now here you have a contract with colombia records. >> but there was to be no contract. because later, terry melcher politely but firmly rejected
charlie manson. >> charlie was really crushed. >> he would not be a rock 'n roll star. he would not be rich and famous. he was a failure, which to manson, said his parole officer. >> charlie was in serious danger of losing the family. he did something that politicians are masterful at. >> that is he creates this horrible thing out there. there's going to be a race war. >> it was a time of racial strife in america. especially in l.a. and manson blended that information somehow with the book of revelation. he called it helter skelter after one of the songs on the beatles "white" album. his followers believed it. but did he?
roger smith isn't so sure. >> i think it was basically used to keep them focused and maybe even divert attention from the fact that he was not doing well, if terms of realizing his dream. >> time to move, he told his family, gather money, cars. get to the desert to wait out the war between the races. where again, the manson story might have disappeared from history, without a ripple or a trace. except -- >> coming up -- a day in the life of the manson family. >> every day, he would gather everyone together and dose them with lsd. >> and the killing begins. when "dateline" continues. from the couldn't be prouders
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charlie manson had come to los angeles with a plan, to be bigger than the beatles. by the summer of '69, he knew that wasn't going to hasn't. that when manson told his followers they had to ignite something he called helter skelter, an imminent destroying race war, which he named for reasons only he knew after a song on the beatle's white album. >> they were going to go in the desert, stay there 150 years while the black man takes over him then they will need him later. that's when he will come out as the master race and be the leader of everyone. >> this sounds ridiculous, of
course. >> it is ridiculous. but combination of drugs, being isolated, he had them all convinced that this was real. >> he was serious about this? >> yeah. he believed it. >> or so he persuaded his followers. he told them he needed complete loyalty and complete control. >> every day, he would gather everyone together and dose them with lsd and he would talk for a while. >> that's when, for his bent but not broken flock, manson portrayed himself as the new jesus, but not a sweet and kindly version of jesus. >> charlie was acting meaner towards the girls. >> and if they failed no follow his directions. >> he'd hit you in the head with a stick. >> he went from good charlie to bad charlie? >> yeah. he really got mean. >> desperate to find the money and cars to take his family to death valley. where he told them they'd wait
out helter skelter. and who had money and cars? his music teacher friend. gary hinman. >> charlie knew that. he was telling gary it's time for him to join the family, because this whole helter skelter was coming and that he needed to cash out all of his investments and go with the family and go out to the desert. >> gary told manson no. but the man who became used to getting what he wanted persisted. >> he said, gary, this is your last chance. if you do not do this, i will not be responsible for the karma you will invoke upon yourself. >> karma, manson sometime. then he sent a friend of the family bobby bosolay and susan atkins and mary bruner to shake down gary. >> beausoliel shakes him down. >> eventually beausoleil calls
manson. >> manson comes down. he's wearing a sword and waving it around. >> charlie actually slices part of his ear off. departs again. >> manson's followers tortured gary hinman for three days until he finally signed over the pink slips for his cars. then he threatened to call police. >> beausoleil calls manson, what are we going to do? manson says, you know what you have to do. >> beausoleil stabbed gary hinman and then mary brunner and susan atkins finished him with a pillow over his face. gary died because he didn't want to give up his money and the cars? >> yes, but it was equally important he become a part of. >> or kill you. >> the revolution is coming, a lot of people are going to die. >> manson had a term for these people, pig gis, another part of
the album. >> if you want to be a piggy, today's pork is tomorrow's bacon. >> tomorrow, on the wall of his house they wrote the word political piggy and left a paw print, all in the blood. hopefully to lead police to think it was black panther. >> police think it's a murder, they don't link it to a black revolutionary execution. >> manson's misdirection failed. in less than a week, bobby beausoleil was pulled over driving one of gary hinman's cars, where police found a bloody knife. beausoleil called manson from jail demanding help saying he hadn't ratted on him yet. just when they believe manson decided on a plan to spring him and save his own skin. >> family members at spahn ranch
are talking about bobby. he's if prison, what's going to happen? how can we break him out? >> they hatched a plan so horrible that the man charlie manson would be famous, all right. not as a star, but as a symbol of evil. >> coming up -- helter skelter, a night of madness and murder. >> sharon tate quite naturally is screaming. she's begging not for her life but for her baby's. system naturally. and it doesn't cause bloating, cramping, gas, or sudden urgency. miralax. look for the pink cap. so you have ten years experience... i do. but no phd? i do have a masters in early childhood development. you don't mind if i record this, do you? uhh, no!
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hoouty rebels have claimed what could impact global oil supplies. now, back to "dateline." august 6th, 1969, bobby beausoleil was if jail accused of murdering gary hinman. charlie manson was afraid bobby might talk, implicate him in the family. but then an idea. a crazy, horrible idea. >> they're watching some old james cagny movie where he's in jail for these murders and they do these copycat murders to prove he's not the one. >> and that's when charlie manson decided to commit murder so similar to what they did to hinman that the cops would have to think the real killers were
on the loose, if they thought that, they'd release bobby beausoleil, but the key to these killings, manson decided, was to find a high profile victim. >> if it's somebody famous and the newspapers and the tv are making a big deal out of it, then it will work. they'll have to let bobby out. >> free bobby and maybe touch off helter skelter in the bargain by framing the black panthers. on this date, 1969, late, susan atkins, sexy sade dressed in black. >> she yelled out the car window we're going to kill some [ bleep ]. >> also in the car, their target, whoever lived in the house recently vacated by terry melcher who months earlier had blown off manson's hope force a record deal. >> whoever is living there now could be rich and famous. nobody else could afford a house
like that. >> manson had actually been at the house earlier that year looking for terry melcher. he moved out. but manson encountered the present a sharon tate, the wife of roman polanski. they cut wires to the house. a young man the property care taker was headed out of the driveway. tex confronted him with a five, then shot him several times the killing had begun. with one standing guard the others went inside the house, polanski was out of the country that night but his friend was asleep on the couch. tex kicked him. susan atkins went to see who else was there. >> she starts down the hallway. there is a guest bedroom. there is a woman sitting up in bed.
it's abigail folger. >> heiress to the folger coffee fortune. >> she thought she was a friend of sharon and waves to her. susan atkins gives the finger wave back and continues down the hall. >> in the bedroom, she found per sharon tate and tate's former boyfriend, she herded them in the room. >> at a certain point watson turned his back and he charged and he shot him and watson started stabbing and kicking. >> sharon tate quite naturally is screaming. krokowski and folger break out a side door. they chase after them.
>> soon, everyone was left for dead, except sharon state. >> she's begging, not for her life, but for her baby's. susan atkins says, bitch, i have no sympathy for you and she's slaughtered. >> then susan atkins wrote the word pig in blood on the front door to make sure cops would connect these murders to gary hinman's murder. >> they arrive bag at the ranch, charlie manson is waiting for them, what did you do? tell me about it. and they tell him. and he's furious. from their description, he doesn't think they've left the house appalling enough that it will get the attention they want. >> so, said gwynn, manson, himself, returned to the house, and draped in an american flag near sharon tate's bid to. >> manson with a sense of
theater that would be the thing that would really, really make everybody gasp and pay attention. >> a movie actress and four of her friends were murdered and the circumstance were lured. >> the family was mutilated. >> this, i'd rather fought discussion. >> nobody related this to hinman. beausoleil remained in jail. >> charlie was furious. they had screwed up. >> he blamed them? >> very much so. if they had done it right. >> they had to do it again. >> this time i'm going with you to make sure it gets done properly. >> he took his bank of killers on a tour of los angeles, looking for just the right innocent victims. there was a street manson knew, he had been to a party there in l.a. he picked the house next door. no idea who lived there. it was the home of leno and
rosemary labianca. >> charlie says he'll go in, check it out. charlie comes back out, gets text watson. they go if, first they catch lena labianca. they ask if anybody else is here? my wife is in the bedroom. >> then he gets the others who had begged to go with him this time. >> charlie tells them, go in there. do what you need to do. he drives off in the car. >> the labianca's died as brutally as those the night before. found blindfolded and gagged. the crime scene created to horrify. >> with blood the killers had controlled, death to pigs. >> helter skelter, misspelled had been written in blood on the refrigerator and carved into lena labianca's torso, there was
one word, war. surely, no one could miss that message. coming up -- the killing still wasn't over. >> this was the murder that manson was firstly involved in. >> how a jailhouse chat finally buys the nightmare to an en. when "dateline" continues. smalh can be a big bad problem for your grandchildren. babies too young to be vaccinated against whooping cough are the most at risk for severe illness. help prevent this! talk to your doctor or pharmacist today about getting vaccinated against whooping cough. with the world's first invisible trailer. invisible trailer? and it's not the trailer right next to us? this guy? you don't believe me? hop in. good lookin' pickup, i will say that. oh wow. silverado offers an optional technology package with up to 15 different views - including one enhanced view that makes your trailer appear invisible. wow. - that's pretty sweet. - that's cool. oooohh! that's awesome.
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that week in the summer of '69, too many. one for the beautiful sharon tate. >> many of hollywood's elite turned out for the funeral despite the fact it was billed as a private family affair. >> families watched the shocking news on tv, including the manson family. and follower barbara hoyt. >> i remember being scared by that. >> how did they react to the news? >> they laughed. it didn't bother them at all. >> charlie manson thought they had hoodwinked people before that they to the the people that killed the ones before and would free bobby beausoleil. even though there was talk that they might be connected to each other -- >> police today could but speculate whether these two crimes had been done by the same person. >> no one connected them to the hinman case.
the plan failed. bobby beausoleil stayed in jail and if that wasn't frustrating enough for manson, just six days after the labianca murders, more than 100 deputies descended on the family. >> they decide they're going to have a huge raid on spahn ranch. they're going to arrest everybody in it. >> but, the raid turned out to be good news for charlie manson. because it didn't have anything to do with murder. the warrant was for auto theft. totally unrelated. and even that charge didn't stick? manson uses this as a great example. see how powerful he is? they arrested all of us, but i used my power and they're letting us go. >> the "l.a. times" ran a small story about the car theft raid, along with an article about the tate murders and labianca murders.
each story completely separate. manson was on edge after he found a ranch hand was trying to get the family kicked out of spahn ranch. barbara hoyt remembers what happened next. i heard a scream. i bolted up. >> is there anything to describe what that sounded like? >> pure horror. >> you knew who it was? >> i knew it was shorty. i recognized the voice. >> this was the one that manson was involved in. shea was sort of hacked to pieces. >> manson decide it was time to get out of l.a. maybe he was feeling the heat or wanted a more remote place to keep his family under his control.
>> to him, the whole idea of control is not just having people worshipping you, but having people follow your orders in ways that contradict common sense. >> that is, fleeing an apocalyptic race war, helter skelter. he moved them out to an old homestead called barker ranch. over 200 miles from los angeles, now a part of death valley national park. yes, death valley. >> during this war, he will lead his family into death valley where there is a bottomless pit in a city underneath the surface. they will go down there and be safe. >> he seriously thought there was something beneath the earth where all of you go and hide. >> mm-hmm. >> and escape the world. >> mm-hmm. rivers of honey and trees with fruit. >> she said she overheard susan atkins gleefully describing the murder of sharon tate and suddenly feared for her own life. >> i knew i had to get out of there. >> so early one morning, barbara
and a friend took a huge risk. >> we walked out. >> you walked out in. >> yes, we walked out. >> into the heat of death valley. they walked for miles to the nearest ranch, said barbara, she eventually reunited with her real family. but the rest of the manson family stayed busy in the desert. >> the family is up to its old tricks. there's cars stolen, different desecration of national monument areas. >> all of which, once again, drew the notice of law enforcement. during two raids in october, they rounded up most of the family, the last to be captured was manson, himself, hiding under the bathroom sink. he told authorities she was manson aka jesus christ, god. the charges were auto theft and arson. they'd faced similar charges before, had beaten the rap before. this time, something unexpected,
completely out of manson's control. somebody in the family squealed about susan atkins and her role in gary hinman's murder so atkins was moved from a jail near death valley to los angeles. >> she couldn't stay quiet. she started sharing this incredible and unbelievable story. >> atkins boasted to a fellow inmate, virginia graham, about the sharon tate murders. >> she said, you know who did it, don't you? and i looked at her and said, no, i don't. she said, her word were, well, you are looking at her. >> atkins told virginia grey every hideous detail, mocking one of her victims. he was screaming, hem, help, somebody help me and she said, nobody came and we killed him. virginia told the cops. >> police got the break in the tate case when susan atkins was arrested and told about the
killings. >> four months, charles manson and several of his followers were indicted for murder. he had come to l.a. seeking fame him he was about to find it. >> coming up -- what if the manson family hadn't been stopped? who might have been next? >> elizabeth taylor? steve mcqueen and frank sinatra. >> when "dateline" continues. i think dentists will want to recommend sensodyne rapid relief because it's clinically proven to work in 3 days. which means for patients that they get relief very fast. ...work in harmony.ody... like you, they get hungry. feed them... ...with new centrum® multigummies® specially crafted for men and women 50 and over. so you're ready for anything. centrum®. feed your cells today. who got an awful skin condition.
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good day. >> i don't have any guilt. i know what i've done. it's all a play, isn't it? >> banter from a man on one of the most notorious killing sprees. >> i think mr. manson feels he is a product of our society. >> the case went to the late vincent bulosie. >> i used to have conversations with manson. charlie, i'm going to convict you but after you get a fair trial. >> he tried to flip family members to testify against manson. most stayed ferociously loyal and some of those not charged staged demonstrations outside the courthouse. even shaved their heads in a show of solidarity. >> you know, we'd die. we'd do anything for our brother. >> chatty susan atkins was supposed to be a key witness. she had bragged about the
killings in jail, then told the whole story to a grand jury. >> now that you've had a chance to get it off your chest, describe to me how you feel. >> dead. >> dead? >> what kind of feeling is that. >> but atkins recanted so he turned to virginia graham, one of the two fellow jail inmates atkins had confessed to. graham told the jury how atkins described the murders. >> there wasn't a sign of remorse of anything. in fact, it was almost very boastful. >> and atkins vowed they were just getting started, said graham. they had a plan to murder a-list celebrities. >> it was tom jones, elizabeth taylor, steve mcqueen and frank sinatra. they were going to skin him alive and make purses out of it and sell it on hollywood boulevard. >> virginia graham's testimony made the front page, one of many headlines, in a trial that
lasted some seven months. >> the jury hearing the charges against charles manson and three girl members of his so-called family brought in its verdict this afternoon. all were found guilty of murder in the first degree. >> manson and several members of the family were sentenced to death for the tate and labianca murders. a career making victory who was emphatic that the sentence was richly deserved. >> in view of the incredible brutality of these savage nightmarish murders, the death penalty was unquestionably the right verdict. >> then it changed. >> the california supreme court ruled that the death penalty was unconstitutional. >> there would be no death penalty for manson or any of his convicted family members. >> do you believe that there should be a death penalty? >> aren't we all born to die? we're born with a death penalty. >> in a gas chamber.
>> i believe what i'm told to believe. don't you? >> because of that california state supreme court ruling, the sentences were reduced to life in prison with the possibility of parole even for manson. and that touched off a debate that still rages decades later. can people like these be rehabilitated? should they ever be released? >> there's so many reasons why. >> anthony has spent most of his adult life fighting parole for the killers of his uncle. >> i've changed, i've rehabilitated. well, you might have, but your victims are dusty and rotting in a grave. >> over the years manson, techs watson, patricia and susan atkins all have parole hearings. each time they were quickly denied but leslie seemed to have some hope of being paroled.
this was her hearing in 2000. >> it's really hard to live with the murder. >> she had been a model prisoner earned two degrees behind bars, runs a self-help group for inmates, has expressed removers for decades. >> i accept responsibility. i know that what i did is inexcusable. >> in 2016 she was recommended for parole but it was vetoed by the governor. sharon tate's sister deborah strongly opposes her release. >> i don't think she deserves it. these people were brutally butchered. there has to be some kind of accountability in this world. there just simply has to be. >> and it doesn't stop when a person is 65? >> no. >> and the man behind it all who wanted so desperately to be famous. after nearly 50 years in prison charles manson has become a shelf his former self, frail and
in ill health. one of his friends told us they believe he is suffering from dementia. in november of 2017 charles mills manson died of natural causes. up until his last day on earth never even a hint of remorse. >> i haven't done anything i'm ashamed of. >> guilty. h'm. i wouldn't do anything i felt guilty about. >> manson and his family still seem to occupy some dark corner of our imagination, but, said jeff quinn, it's time to strip away the mystery and stot burn fishing the legend of charles manson. >> we can't stop what manson did. we can't stop his fate. if he's notorious, let him be notorious for what he is. this horrible sociopath. >> a small man who used his talents, such as they were, to
become not just a symbol of the loss of innocence or naivete but an enduring lesson in how not to be a human being. >> that's all for this edition of "dateline." i'm natalie moralis. thanks for watching. i'm craig melvin. >> i'm natalie moralis. >> and this is "dateline." she can lie to you, make love to you, kill you, all in the same week. and not even cry at the funeral. >> she was living that dream california lifestyle. you talk about "housewives of orange county." she could have been on the show. she wrapped him around her finger. just like she wrapped so many men around her finger. >> reporter: she had it all, waterfront home, fancy cars, millionaire boyfriend. quite the life. until -- >> the shots were in sets of two. he saw his attacker. >> reporter: her lover gunned down. who waed