His victims' families helped get the Victims' Bill of Rights passed in California

Charles Manson, leader of the murderous Manson Family cult whose brutal crimes were an ugly stain on American life at the end of the 1960s, died Sunday, Nov. 19 of natural causes at a hospital in Kern County, California. He was 83.

The death was announced Sunday night by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. Manson had been incarcerated in the California state prison system since 1971, when he was found guilty of nine counts of first-degree murder.

We take this opportunity to mourn anew those who had their lives stolen from them by Manson’s cult in 1969: actress Sharon Tate Polanski, Abigail Ann Folger, Wojciech Frykowski, Steven Earl Parent, Jay Sebring, Leno La Bianca, Rosemary La Bianca, Gary Hinman, and Donald Shea.

The man who directed their killings will not be missed. Los Angeles City Councilman Mitch O’Farrell took to Twitter Sunday night to note that Manson was “a pathetic cowardly con man and should be remembered for that alone.”

Less than a year after Manson was convicted of the murders and sentenced to death, California abolished the death penalty, so Manson's sentence was changed to life in prison. Over the years, he became eligible for parole many times — but he was denied at each of his hearings.

Contributing to the denial of his parole was Doris Tate, Sharon's mother. After her daughter's murder, Tate spoke out strongly against each parole attempt for Manson and the Family, and she lobbied for the passage of a law that would allow the presentation of victim impact statements during parole hearings.

California's Victims’ Bill of Rights was passed in 1982 and had a notable effect, allowing Tate and many others to testify at parole hearings on the effect parole might have on the convicts' victims and their families.


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