One of the most notorious criminal figures in the last century, Charles Manson, has died in hospital of natural causes.

While he spent parts of his adolescent and early adulthood in jail, his role as the leader of the cult known as the Manson family is what sparked his notoriety.

The commune was born in the late 1960s in California during what was called the 'Summer of Love'.

Charles Manson

Credit: PA

He became a self-styled guru and borrowed bits from different religions, but taught his followers that they were the reincarnation of the early Christians and he was none other than the second coming of Jesus.

He gained control of his followers using his natural charisma and a combination of drugs.

Manson had such influence of his Family that he was able to convince them to murder people at his whim. He first sent three of his followers to retrieve money from Gary Hinman, but when he failed to turn over the cash, the Family members kept him hostage for two days before eventually stabbing him to death.

A month later, five people were murdered, including Roman Polanski's then wife, Sharon Tate, who was eight months pregnant. One of the followers also wrote the word 'pig' on the front door with the victim's blood.

Charles Manson

Credit: PA

The following night, Manson rode with several followers to a property owned by supermarket executive Leno LaBianca and his wife.

They used a chrome-bayonet to stab the occupants dozens of times and Manson insisted every one of the Family members present be involved in the murders.

He was eventually convicted of all the murders and sentenced to death in 1971.

Charles Manson

Credit: PA

But before his sentence could be carried out, California banned the death penalty and Manson instead spent the rest of his days behind bars. He applied for parole no less than 12 times and was denied every attempt.

They cited his ongoing mental health issues including schizophrenia and paranoid delusion as reasons, as well as his lack of remorse, lack of plans if released, history of controlling behaviour and also his bad behaviour as a prisoner. Because of his repeated attempts at freedom, he was prevented from reapplying for parole until 2027.

At the start of the year, Manson was taken to hospital after suffering from gastrointestinal bleeding and there was rumours he was too sick to even have surgery. He was reportedly taken to Bakersfield Hospital again five days ago, however because of privacy laws, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation refused to confirm this.

Sources: BBC, CNN

Featured Image Credit: PA

Stewart Perrie

Stewart Perrie is a Trending Journalist at LADbible. His first job was as a newsreader and journalist at the award winning Sydney radio station, Macquarie Radio. He was solely responsible for the content broadcast on multiple stations across Australia when the MH17, Germanwings and AirAsia disasters unfolded. Stewart has covered the conflict in Syria for LADbible, interviewing a doctor on the front line, and has contributed to the hugely successful UOKM8 campaign.

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