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Infamous weekend coming upPosted Wednesday, August 5, 2009, at 12:46 PM
This weekend marks one of the most infamous crimes in United States history.
On Saturday, it will have been 40 years since members of the Manson family butchered five people at the home of Sharon Tate and Roman Polanski.
The event began Aug. 8, 1969, and lasted into the following day.
By 1966, Charles Manson had spent 32 years of his life in prison. He begged prison authorities to let him stay but he was released from Terminal Island, Los Angeles, in 1967.
Manson eventually settled in San Francisco, settling in as a resident "guru."
With his followers, Manson and others found a base for his expanding "family" at Spahn's Movie Ranch.
The "family" continued to move around until setting in Death Valley. From here, Manson's vision of "Helter Skelter" came to fruition.
According to reports, Manson's vision of "Helter Skelter" involved a race war. Following the "war," people would come to the family for help.
Growing frustrated, Manson instructed his "family" that "Helter Skelter" may have to be started by them.
Prior to the Tate murders, two others were murdered in hope of starting "Helter Skelter."
Bernard Crowe was shot by Manson himself in July 1969, and later that month, family members held Gary HInman hostage for two days until they killed him.
Then, on Aug. 8, 1969, Manson instructed family members Charles "Tex" Watson, Susan Atkins, Linda Kasabian and Patricia Krenwinkel to a house where musician Terry Melcher used to live.
Melcher no longer lived there.
After arriving at the home, phone lines were cut and the group headed toward the front of the house.
A vehicle approached them as Watson stepped from out of the bushes and shot and killed 18-year-old Steven Parent, who was there visiting the property's caretaker, William Garretson.
Following this, the group of Manson family members slaughtered the occupants in the home, including Tate, who was pregnant.
Also killed were Wojciech Frykowski, Jay Sebring and Abigail Folger.
Only one night later, Manson instructed members of the family to go out again.
This time, he had Watson, Atkins, Kasabian, Krenwinkel and Leslie Van Houten and Steve "Clem" Grogan, go along.
Manson also accompanied the six.
While driving around looking for the right place, Manson had Kasabian stop in front of the home of Leno and Rosemary LaBianca.
The two were butchered.
Eventually, authorities caught up with the family members and in 1971, several of them stood trial for the murders and were found guilty and sentenced to death. However, in 1972, the Supreme Court of California abolished the death penalty, commuting their sentences to life in prison.
Manson currently resides at Corcoran State Prison in California. His next parole hearing is scheduled for 2012.
Atkins currently resides at the Central California Women's Facility. It has been reported she has terminal brain cancer. Her next parole hearing is scheduled for September.
Krenwinkel currently resides at the California Institution for Women. Her last parole hearing took place in 2008.
Van Houten currently resides at the California Institution for Women. She is eligible for parole this year.
Watson currently resides at Mule Creek State Prison. His next parole hearing is in 2011.
Kasabian served as a witness during the trial. She did not serve time in prison as she did not take place in the murders but rather acted as a driver only.
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