Charles Manson returned to prison after stay at Bakersfield hospital

Official: Charles Manson returned to prison after stay at Calif. hospital

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.

EARLIER:

Mass murderer Charles Manson was taken from a Central Valley prison in California to a hospital for an undisclosed medical issue, two sources familiar with the situation said.

One of the sources said Manson was seriously ill but could not provide specific information.

Officials with the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation declined to comment, citing federal and state laws and saying inmates' medical information is private.

"We do not disclose inmate movements for safety and security reasons," said Terry Thornton, a spokeswoman for the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

However, she said: "He is alive."

Manson and other members of his so-called family were convicted of killing actress Sharon Tate and six other people during a bloody rampage in the Los Angeles area during two August nights in 1969. Prosecutors said that Manson and his followers were trying to incite a race war that he believed was in the Beatles' song "Helter Skelter."

Tate, the wife of director Roman Polanski, was 8{ months pregnant when she was killed at her hilltop home in Benedict Canyon on Aug. 9, 1969. Besides Tate, four others were stabbed and shot to death: 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 along with his followers to the Los Angeles-area home of Leno and Rosemary LaBianca, then left three members to kill the couple.

Manson, now 82, has had "hundreds" of rules violations, prison officials say, and has been in trouble for having a cellphone and a homemade weapon while incarcerated. Manson has been denied parole 12 times. His next parole hearing is scheduled for 2027, when he will be 92. He has been in prison since 1971 and is serving his time at Corcoran State Prison.

In 2014, Manson and Afton Elaine Burton, a 26-year-old Manson devotee, were granted a marriage license, but it expired before the two could marry.

Last week, state parole officials postponed a decision on setting free Patricia Krenwinkel, a Manson follower and convicted killer, after the woman's attorney made new claims that she had been abused by Manson or another person.

Krenwinkel was sent to death row in 1971 after a Los Angeles jury convicted her of killing Tate and six others.

© Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images Charles Manson sits in the courtroom during his murder trial in Los Angeles in 1970.


Charles Manson returns to prison after stay at hospital, report says

Mass murderer Charles Manson has returned to prison after he was taken to a hospital earlier this week, a corrections official told the Los Angeles Times.

Terry Thornton, a spokeswoman for the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, said on Friday that Manson was back in jail.

“Inmate Manson is at California State Prison-Corcoran,” she said in an email, without elaborating.

On Wednesday, Manson, now a grizzled, shuffling 82-year-old, lay hospitalized with an undisclosed illness after being taken from the prison, where he was serving a life sentence, according to news reports that correction officials would not confirm, citing privacy laws.

Manson was convicted of orchestrating the 1969 murders of pregnant actress Sharon Tate and six others. The cult leader attracted disaffected young people who lived in a commune, followed his orders and were ultimately turned into killers.

After attracting a few dozen followers from San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury district, many of them young women, runaways or other lost souls, he took them to an old movie ranch on the edge of Los Angeles that he transformed into a commune of sex, drugs and music. On Aug. 9 and 10, 1969, he sent some of his devotees out on a murderous mission to two of Los Angeles’ wealthiest neighborhoods, where they killed Tate, several of her society friends and others. Most of the victims, including coffee heiress Abigail Folger, were stabbed.

Tate’s husband, Oscar-winning director Roman Polanski, was out of the country at the time.

Authorities would learn that Manson had hoped the killings would touch off a race war. He had apparently gotten the idea from a twisted reading of the hard-rocking Beatles song “Helter Skelter.”

Both TMZ and the Los Angeles Times reported on Tuesday that Manson had been hospitalized. TMZ said he had been taken to a medical center in Bakersfield, about 60 miles south of the prison in Corcoran.

Two vans from the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation were parked early Wednesday outside Bakersfield’s Mercy Hospital Downtown, where state prisoners have been treated before. Thornton then said that Manson was alive and assigned to the prison in Corcoran. She had declined to say whether he was at the hospital in Bakersfield, citing safety privacy laws prohibit her from discussing an inmate’s medical situation.

Tate’s sister Debra Tate told The Associated Press on Tuesday night that, as a Catholic, she makes “no ill wishes” for the people who killed her sister, and will reserve her feelings until hearing Manson has died.

“I would probably say a prayer for them and shed a tear and ask God to have mercy on their souls, but so far I haven’t allowed myself to feel anything because it’s unsubstantiated,” Tate said. “I’m not allowing myself to feel anything until I know that it’s true.”

Manson and three female followers, Susan Atkins, Patricia Krenwinkel and Leslie Van Houten, were convicted of murder and sentenced to death for killings at two gruesome scenes in the summer of 1969. Another defendant, Charles “Tex” Watson, was convicted later.

All were spared execution when the California Supreme Court overturned the state’s death penalty in 1972 and all existing death sentences were commuted to life in prison even though capital punishment was later reinstated. Months later the U.S. Supreme Court also temporarily banned the death penalty.

The Los Angeles County district attorney’s office, which prosecuted Manson, has objected to his release. He was most recently up for parole in 2012 - his 12th bid for freedom.

The California State Prison, Corcoran, has medical facilities to treat inmates requiring urgent or emergency care as well as in-patient hospital stays.

“In general, inmates are sent to outside hospitals if they need surgical services, emergency care, or diagnostic services of an acute nature,” said Joyce Hayhoe, a spokeswoman for the federal receiver who controls prison medical care. “These services are not provided in state prison facilities.”

In November, the state inspector general, which monitors the corrections system, characterized care at Corcoran as “inadequate.”

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