Charles Manson, the infamous cult leader whose followers committed a series of brutal murders in 1969, is dead. Manson died at 8:13 p.m. Sunday night at a Kern County hospital, California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation officials told the Los Angeles Times.
Manson was originally sentenced to death in 1971 after his Manson Family followers murdered pregnant actress Sharon Tate and six others in Los Angeles. California later ruled the death penalty unconstitutional, resulting in Manson's sentence being changed to life in prison.
"One could say I've forgiven them, which is quite different than forgetting what they are capable of," Debra Tate, Sharon Tate's sister, told NBC News Monday. "It is for this reason I fight so hard to make sure that each of these individuals stays in prison until the end of their natural days."
Across two nights in August 1969, members of the Manson Family murdered Tate, Jay Sebring, Abigail Folger, Voytek Frykowski, and Steven Parent. Shortly after, the Manson Family killed Leno and Rosemary LaBianca. "Today, Manson's victims are the ones who should be remembered and mourned on the occasion of his death," Michele Hanisee, president of the Association of Deputy District Attorneys, said in a statement Sunday night.
Manson died Sunday of "natural causes," authorities said. He had been admitted to a Bakersfield-area hospital Wednesday, with California prison officials declining to comment on his condition. However, during a previous hospitalization earlier this year, sources claimed he had a "serious illness." His next parole hearing, according to the Times, had been set for 2027.