Analysis of Charles Manson Activities Through Crime Theories

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Many crime theories have been created in attempt to explain what causes people to get involved in criminal behavior. Many have been applied some to notorious cult leader Charles Manson. Manson’s cult was his “family” as they called it, this seems to be Charles making the family he never had.

Manson was born to a single mother of 16 with an absentee father. His life of crime began at the young age of 9 and didn’t seize until his death. Most of his childhood was spent in juvenile reformatories and soon prison. His mother no longer wanted him and sent him to an all-boys reform school where he was sexually assaulted. Charlie’s uneasy childhood made it easier for him to be open to a life of crime. Most of the crimes he committed in adolescence were things such as petty larceny, armed robbery, and auto theft. When he was older and released from prison that brought him to San Francisco, where he first tried hallucinogenic drugs. This is where he started to build his “family” Manson had a psychological bond and hold on members. He used hallucinogenic drugs, alcohol, and sex to lure in mostly women. He soon taught his “children” the act of “Helter Skelter” where he would attempt to begin his race war. His obsession of “Helter Skelter” began with the Beatles song and his dream of becoming a musician. “He preached the coming of an apocalyptic race war that would devastate the United States and leave the “family” in dominant power”. Given that his followers would do anything for their father he encouraged his children to engage in the “creepy crawly”. They would sneak into local neighborhoods and simply watch residents sleeping. This was just the beginning of their rain of terror which soon would end up in Los Angeles, CA. Although it just began with minor things it soon advanced further into more gruesome crimes. His terror ended with the tragic Tate-LaBianca murders.

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Manson himself convinced follower Tex Watson to oversee the night of terror and act as if he were the devil himself tonight. The destination was the estate of Roman Pulanski and Sharon Tate. Manson’s orders resulted in the taking of four lives including upcoming actress who was with child Sharon Tate. Charles was soon convicted in 1970 for conspiracy to commit murder as well as first degree murder. He was sentenced the death penalty until it was soon abolished but yet later died in prison. Manson just as any serial killer had an aggressive personality along with the textbook absent father. Also, personality is a major motivational factor, it is the source of motive and drive. Manson didn’t have the most pleasurable personality he was aggressive and spoke simply crazy. Though he was crazy to most people his followers found him charismatic and compelling to listen to. His followers gave him the confidence he never received from others.

Manson’s crime seems to originate from both biological and sociological theories. The biological theory is the thought that criminals are simply born from psychological causes. Biologically Manson was not quite right in his head. He had a lack of remorse and felt absolutely no empathy for anyone he hurt. The sociological theory is criminals are made based on conditions they grow up in and are surrounded by. Crimes usually result from abnormal, dysfunctional, or inappropriate mental processes. Manson grew up in the ideal home to create the monster he was. With an absent father and neglectful mother Charles really had no one to look up to and learn from. Only surrounded by guards in juvenile prisons growing up gave him no parental figures beginning at just 9. Manson’s hunger for power and a “family” very well could’ve been a result of an unsettled childhood. Manson’s sociopathic criminal behavior shows through the fact he is unable to seek remorse for others and has the inability to empathize. Manson never had a problem inflicting pain and engaging in cruelty to other humans. In one of his well know interviews Charles Manson states “I could take this book and beat you to death with it, and I wouldn’t feel a thing its like walking into a drug store”.

Most experts in either sociological, biological, and many other theorists believe only one theory should be applied to a single criminal. Primarily it is believed Manson’s behavior is a result of the biological theory. The thought that no one normal would want to begin a race war and having a following. Theorist believe clearly there must be something wrong with his head. Proven in Charles actions he was simply insane. He has never felt any ounce of remorse from birth all the way to death. His life was just a series of unfortunate events resulting in terror amongst LA stars. Charles did just was he wanted he became famous and will always be remembered. To theorists this all seems to have been a result of chemical imbalances creating a monster.

My opinion on crime theories is that not just one can be applied to a single person. Charles Manson is a prime example that not just one can be used. I believe his rage was both sociological and biological causes. His unfortunate home life along with a personality and aggression only science can explain. Another factor that may have contributed was his failed music carrier after being so close and even meeting the Beatles. All Manson wanted before his “family” was to become famous, so all could hear his voice. Manson was constantly denied by music producers which was just another thing that added o his rage. Charles was always seen as a disappointment to other, so he wanted to make something of himself. His mother not wanting him around made he feel unwanted and useless. He was never needed by anyone and never missed. Sociological factors such as those in the long run can turn into biological ones. Criminals themselves can change the theory being applied to them the long someone is a criminal the more time they have to evolve into their true self. Manson started out with just petty crimes that soon escalated into felonies and murder.

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