The recent leak of this Charles Manson mugshot got Microkhan thinking about his youthful obsession with Helter Skelter, still a classic of the true-crime genre. The way that Vincent Bugliosi slowly reveals the paranoia at the Family’s core, as well as the crazy Beatles link, taught us a lot about narrative pacing—not to mention the wisdom of avoiding self-professed messiahs who distribute tabs of LSD and fancy themselves musical geniuses.
Even the updated version of the book contains little information about the Manson children, who perhaps numbered in the dozens. (No one’s totally sure, since the Family’s membership was so fluid, and Manson such a self-styled satyriasist.) The group’s child-rearing practices were a topic of popular interest even before the Tate-LaBianca murders; the Family’s birthing and parenting rituals were the subject of a 1969 study of communal marriage:
One of the most significant characteristics of the communes in general is the return to natural, almost primitive techniques of childbirth and child rearing. This commune was no different. Of the 14 females in the “immediate family,” two were pregnant at the time of our observation. Both said that Manson was the father, although there was no way to verify the claim, as the sexual relations in the group were polygamous. It should be noted that Manson was held in such high regard by the girls that all of them wanted to carry his child.
Microkhan has long wondered what happened to these kids, most of whom were sent to live with relatives after the dissolution of the Family. Our best hint comes from the 1993 TV segment above (actually the back half of a two-parter). Judge for yourself as to whether these young men suffered any adverse affects from having been raised amidst communal insanity.