New reports say cult leader and convicted murderer Charles Manson, who died on November 19 at age 83, created a will while in prison-- and now his pen pal might stand to inherit his estate. The alleged will is dated February 14, 2002; the note is typewritten, but also has some handwriting on it that resembles Manson's penmanship. The will leaves clothing, image rights, money, and music catalog rights to the pen pal. Furthermore, the will asks that Manson's body go to the pen pal as well.
The pen pal asked entertainment news outlets not to name him. He and Charles Manson allegedly struck up a friendship sometime in the 1990s after he reached out to Manson about 50 times through letters and finally got a response. Eventually, the pen pal visited Manson at Corcoran State Prison in California in 2002.
The same year, Manson crafted the will, which TMZ says includes all of the benefactions mentioned above, including the music rights which might include the song Manson put together for the Beach Boys. It is not clear if the pen pal plans to follow through with picking up Manson's corpse from the prison. However, the man should act quickly if he decides to do so, because the prison's protocol is to wait ten days for the collection of the body. And if nobody claims it, the prison must cremate it.
It is worth noting there apparently are other people standing in line for a chance to get Charles Manson's remains. Manson's grandson, Jason Freeman, began a Gofundme campaign to raise money to claim and bury his grandfather. However, the crowdfunding website axed the campaign. Freeman told Daily News,
If we can't raise money with GoFundMe, we'll find another way. It will definitely be a group effort. It's not just one person, it's a lot of people holding hands.
Hmm. Maybe we could have done without that last freaky-deeky sentence from Charles Manson's grandson, especially considering he was talking about a dead cult leader who used his influence to kill a bunch of people.
Anyway, it turns out the pen pal set to acquire Charles Manson's belongings is not the only person who communicated via letters with Manson. You might have guessed as much, considering it took about 50 tries for this pen pal to get a response from Manson. In fact, a woman who told reporters her name was "Star" said in 2013 that she had been sending letters to Manson since she was in high school, and they had married. Manson later denied that rumor, but two years later Manson and "Star" reportedly did get a marriage license, so says CNN.
A jury found Charles Manson guilty of first-degree murder and conspiracy to murder in the deaths of seven people, including filmmaker Roman Polanski's pregnant wife, Valley of the Dolls actress Sharon Tate, and Manson received a death penalty sentence on March 29, 1971, although his sentence was changed to life in prison when California abolished the death penalty in 1972. The same happened to the punishments of the other Manson Family cult members who initially received the death penalty.
So, whether the recipient of Charles Manson's belongings and remains is the pen pal, the family member, or somebody else, that person should act responsibly. The last thing we need is a macabre museum dedicated to the murderer's stuff, or even worse, his remains.