Where Are The Members Of The Manson Family Now?

The Manson Family is not your typical brood, considering the group's infamous late '60s Southern California crime spree. Led by mastermind Charles Manson, the group's mission culminated with a terrifying murder spree in 1969. According to ABC News, "actress Sharon Tate, who was 8 1/2 months pregnant, and four others — including celebrity hairdresser Jay Sebring, coffee heiress Abigail Folger, filmmaker Voityck Frykowksi and 18-year-old Steven Parent — were brutally murdered at the Beverly Hills home of Tate and her husband, director Roman Polanski." There were reportedly "169 stab wounds between the five." The next night, the group randomly selected the home of "wealthy grocers Rosemary and Leno LaBianca" to continue the carnage, reported ABC News.

Mind you, Manson and his followers were called a "family," but they weren't necessarily related by blood. Most of Manson's loyal, brainwashed supporters were sent to prison (for life) for their roles in those grisly murders. They would have been put to death had California not temporarily done away with capital punishment in the early '70s. Nearly 50 years later, many members of the Manson Family are still kicking, albeit under the custody of the California penal system. Let's take a look at where the key members of the Family are now.

Susan Atkins

Susan Atkins, one of the most devoted Manson Family members, was also among its most violent, contributing to the murders of Gary Hinman and to Sharon Tate in 1969, according to Biography.

After a troubled childhood (she had alcoholic parents and was sexually abused by a relative, according to The New York Times), she left home at age 18 and soon fell in with the Manson group. In October 1968, Atkins, whom Manson had renamed "Sadie Mae Glutz," gave birth to a son that Manson saddled with the name Zezozose Zadfrack Glutz. According to LAist, Manson is not believed to be the father of lil' Zezozose. A man named Bruce Hall, who was briefly a member of the Manson Family, may be the biological dad. 

After Atkins' conviction, her child was placed up for adoption, and, as recounted by Atkins in a 2002 interview with Diane Sawyer, Atkins had no further contact. She did say her son remained "unscathed" by "this" — meaning her life choices and their consequences, and she said she was grateful for that. Atkins passed away from brain cancer at age 61 in 2009, while serving a life sentence.

Leslie Van Houten

Leslie Van Houten's parents divorced when she was 14, and that reportedly threw the young teenager for a psychological loop. According to NBC News, she adopted a hippie lifestyle, hanging out with misfits at her suburban Los Angeles school before hitting the road, at age 17, with her boyfriend to trek up to San Francisco — hippie central in 1967 for the "Summer of Love." Living an itinerant lifestyle in California, she met Manson and apparently fell under his spell.

According to NPR, 19-year-old Van Houten took an active role in the killings of the LaBiancas in August 1969. She reportedly held down Rosemary LaBianca while other Family members repeatedly stabbed her. Then Van Houten stabbed the victim a dozen times and smeared blood on the walls. Van Houten was sentenced to death for her crimes (later changed to life in prison.) 

In September 2017, Van Houten and her attorney stood before a California state parole board for the 21st time. That was the second time a panel recommended she be released ... and the second time Gov. Jerry Brown ordered Van Houten to stay behind bars, explaining that her decades spent behind bars and the abuse inflicted on her by Manson were "outweighed by the negative factors that demonstrate she remains unsuitable for parole."

Charles 'Tex' Watson

Every criminal overlord and cult leader needs a right-hand man, and for Charles Manson, that loyal lieutenant was Charles Watson, nicknamed "Tex" because he was from Texas. According to Texas Monthly, Watson "shot and stabbed Tate, a fellow Dallas native; her three houseguests; and a teenager who had stopped by." He also helped end the lives of Leno and Rosemary LaBianca. In the aftermath of the murders, as authorities closed in on the Manson Family, Watson reportedly fled California for Texas, but he eventually headed back to Los Angeles to face the music. After a brief stay in a mental health facility, Watson was tried on seven counts of murder, convicted for his crimes, and sentenced to death (later commuted to life in prison when California eliminated the death penalty).

Watson still managed to become a "family man" in prison, marrying a woman named Kristin Joan Svege in the late '70s, reported Cipher magazine. Via conjugal visits, the couple spawned four kids while Watson was incarcerated, but having more was rendered impossible in 1996, when the California corrections system banned conjugal visits for prisoners serving life sentences. Watson and Svege split up in 2003, and he remains behind bars.

Linda Kasabian

Linda Kasabian served as a lookout for the Manson Family while members murdered the LaBiancas, Sharon Tate, and others, and she avoided jail time by testifying as a witness to the state, reported Rolling Stone. At the time of the killings, Kasabian had reportedly just joined the gang, arriving at the Family's ranch the month before with her 1-year-old daughter, Tanya, in tow. Linda had apparently had a falling out with her husband, Robert Kasabian. The same day she arrived at the commune, according to LAist, Linda slept with Tex Watson. The next day, she supposedly slept with Manson. In early August, she learned she was pregnant, so, feasibly, the father could have been Robert, Watson, or Manson. She gave birth to a son she named Angel.

A few days after the Tate-LaBianca murders, Linda extracted herself from the Family and reunited with her husband. As for the kids, Tanya (whose name is sometimes spelled Tonya) was reportedly placed into foster care, but Linda later regained custody. Angel was given up for adoption, according to LAist. At the time of this writing in 2018, Angel is reportedly in his late forties and, according to the Daily Mail, he goes by the name Nathan and tries to maintain a private life. As for Linda, she reportedly lives as Linda Chiochios in Tacoma, Wash. She's been arrested several times for offenses such as meth possession, DUI, and indecent exposure, reported the Daily News., but did make a rare, partially disguised, appearance on Larry King Live (pictured right) in 2009.

Dianne Lake

Dianne Lake was the youngest member of the Family. According to Newsweek, she met Charles Manson when she was just 14 years old in 1967. How did a child fall in with such a bad scene? According to her 2017 memoir, Member of the Family (via Newsweek), her parents fully embraced the '60s counterculture and encouraged her and her siblings to do drugs, which left her so emotionally vulnerable that she was easy pickings for Manson.

Lake didn't have a hand in the Tate-LaBianca murders, but she reportedly did know enough about them (along with the horrifying inner workings of the Manson collective) that she served as a star witness at Manson's trial, the one that resulted in his death sentence. Police detective Jack Gardiner and his wife took in Lake as a foster child, and from there, she had a fairly normal upbringing. She finished school, got married, and started a family ... all while trying to put that very dark period of her life behind her. She reportedly wrote the memoir as a way to heal and to help others. "People who have been victimized as children can carry that shame around like an awful weight as adults, and they don't have to," Lake said.

Patricia Krenwinkel

One of Sharon Tate's party guests on that horrible night in 1969 was Abigail Folger, heir to the Folgers coffee fortune. According to the Los Angeles Times, Folgers died at the hand of Manson devotee Patricia Krenwinkel, who would later testify that she chased her with a knife and stabbed her 28 times. When the Manson Family continued its reign of terror at the home of the LaBiancas, court documents indicated that Krenwinkel acted on orders to kill Rosemary LaBianca. (She also used the blood of the dead to write "Death to all Pigs" and "Helter Skelter" on the walls.)

Like the other Manson Family members involved in the killings, Krenwinkel received a death sentence that was later commuted to life in prison. When Susan Atkins died in 2009, Krenwinkel became the longest-serving female inmate in California. Over the last 40-odd years, Krenwinkel has been denied parole 14 times. Her next parole hearing is scheduled for 2022.

Lynette 'Squeaky' Fromme

A professional dancer as a child, Fromme left home after high school for Venice Beach, Calif., which is where she met Charles Manson and became a lifelong acolyte, according to Biography. In the late '60s, she moved onto the Spahn ranch where the Family lived, which is where she got her nickname, "Squeaky," reportedly because of the sound she'd make when landowner George Spahn would touch her. 

Fromme wasn't involved in the Tate LaBianca murders, so she escaped prosecution and jail time (for that), but she was a constant presence at the courthouse during Manson's trial. She "regularly held vigil outside of the courthouse and argued against his incarceration," reported Newsweek

In 1975, Fromme landed behind bars for reportedly pointed a gun at U.S. President Gerald Ford. At her trial, she said she'd just wanted to talk to the president and merely used the unload gun to get his attention. She got his attention, all right, and was sentenced to life in prison for it. In 1987, she briefly escaped and was found wandering just a couple of miles away from the correctional facility. In 2009, she was paroled and has reportedly lived a quiet life since, although when Inside Edition (via the Observer-Dispatch) found her at a Walmart in Rome, N.Y. in 2010, she tried to knock down the camera.

Charles Manson…and his sons

Charles Manson was sentenced to death for his role in the aforementioned killings, but after the California state Supreme Court ruled the death penalty unconstitutional, he spent the rest of his life in prison instead (via the Los Angeles Times). Before the start of his long incarceration and before his death in November 2017, at age 83, Manson reportedly fathered three sons.

According to Newsweek, Charles Manson, Jr. was born to the elder Manson's first wife, Rosalie Jean Willis, after they married in 1955. Manson, Jr. took his stepfather's name when his mother later remarried, rechristening himself Jay White. In 1993, White took his own life — the death certificate lists the cause as a self-inflicted gunshot wound. "He just couldn't let it go," White's son, Jason Freeman, told CNN, referring to what he called a "family curse" of being related to the Mansons. "He couldn't live down who his father was."

Like some kind of evil George Foreman, Charles Manson also named his second son after himself. Charles Luther Manson was reportedly born to Manson's second wife, Leona "Candy" Stevens, in 1959, according to the International Business TimesAt the time of this writing, his whereabouts are unknown.

Manson's third alleged son, Valentine Michael Manson, was born in 1968 to Mary Brunner, an early member of the Family, according to the International Business Times. He was reportedly raised by his maternal grandparents in Wisconsin under the name Michael Brunner.