- "You made your children what they are.... These children that come at you with knives, they are your children. You taught them. I didn't teach them. I just tried to help them stand up.... You can project it back at me, but I am only what lives inside each and every one of you. My father is your system.... I am only what you made me. I am a reflection of you. You made your children what they are.... These children that come at you with knives, they are your children. You taught them. I didn't teach them. I just tried to help them stand up.... You can project it back at me, but I am only what lives inside each and every one of you. My father is your system.... I am only what you made me. I am a reflection of you."
- — Charles Manson
The Family (simply known as the Manson Family) is arguably one of the most controversial and well-known cults of world history and were led by the equally infamous Charles Manson - The Family was always known to be a secretive society but would cross the line when it began to actively engage in murder as part of a plan to begin what Manson described as "Helter Skelter", a type of race war that they believed would signal the end of the present world and the beginning of a new one.
The first murder by the family was of Gary Hinman, a Los Angeles drug dealer and musician. His body was discovered on July 31st, 1969.
The first series of mass murders, called the "Tate" homicides, occurred at the home of Hollywood actress Sharon (Tate) Polanski on August 9th, 1969. Three victims were shot and/or stabbed multiple times on the grounds of the estate. These were Abigail Folger, Steven Parent and Voiytek Frykowski. Sharon Polanski and Jay Sebring were murdered inside the house. Sharon, 8 months pregnant at the time, died from numerous stab wounds, five of which were by themselves fatal; Jay died of blood loss. Both had their necks loosely attached by a single rope over a rafter.
The next homicides, called the "LaBianca murders," occurred two days later in the home of Leno and Rosemary LaBianca. They were found stabbed to death with dozens of wounds.
Finally, Donald Shea was murdered. He was a former stuntman and hired hand at the Spahn Ranch.
The police appear to have been stunned by the horrific details at the mass murder crime scenes. They badly bungled the task of collecting evidence. They were unable to find the clothing worn by the murderers. A television news crew was able to locate the clothing later.
Although Manson is not believed to have killed anyone directly, he ordered his followers to commit the famous Tate-LaBianca murders and other horrendous crimes.
Following their capture and inprisonment, many of Manson's family stopped worshiping Manson and began to express remorse for their crimes (though due to the nature of their actions and behaviour at the time, it is likely they didn't truly feel remorse for their victims). Some like Susan Atkins (Sharon Tate's murderer) and Charles "Tex" Watson (Manson's second in command) converted to Christianity.