Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Preparing to meet a murderer - Aquarius revealing a monster or misunderstood victim?

"A gritty 1960s cop drama about a cop who goes undercover to track Charles Manson and the Manson Family before their infamous murder spree."

I was excited to see that David Duchovny is starring  in a more crime based show, being a huge fan of his X Files persona and an added inducement  to get my goggle eyes on this show is the inclusion of the lovely Aussie Actress Claire Holt who is a firm favourite with fans of The Vampire Diaries and The Originals, so really looking forward to seeing what she can do in a much more grown up role.

I am ashamed to say I did not really know a great deal about the Manson Phenomenon, so in preparation for the show, I did a bit of a read around...

Charles Manson , born in Ohio in 1934 is notoriously connected to the brutal slayings of actress Sharon Tate and other Hollywood residents. I had never realised that he was never actually found guilty of committing the murders himself, particularly as eerie pictures of his eyes seem to pop up everywhere that serial killers are discussed.

 The Manson Family—including Charles Manson and his young acolytes are thought to have carried out  35 killings. Most were never tried, either for lack of evidence or because the perpetrators were already sentenced to life for the Tate/La Bianca killings. 

In 2012, Manson was denied parole for the 12th time. I doubt even Red in The Shawshank Redemption went in front of the board so often!!

He was described by probation reports as suffering from a "marked degree of rejection, instability and psychic trauma" and "constantly striving for status and securing some kind of love." Other descriptions included "unpredictable" and "safe only under supervision."
From 1958, Manson was in and out of jail for a variety of offenses, including "pimping" and passing stolen cheques . He already showed flashes of terrible violence  by this time raping a fellow male prisoner while brandishing a razor.Manson was released on March 21, 1967, and the following year he would spearhead a murderous campaign that would make him one of the most infamous figures in recent history
After 1967, Manson collected a following of social outcasts,who shared his passion for unconventional and anti establishment lifestyle, habitual use of hallucinogenic drugs, LSD and magic mushrooms. "The Family," as they became known, moved to San Francisco and later to a deserted ranch in the San Fernando Valley. His followers, numbering around 100, also included a small hard-core unit of impressionable young women.They began to believe mindlessly in Manson's claims that he was Jesus and his prophecies of a war between races.
And eventually, in August 1969, was to mastermind a series of Hollywood murders  which would  shock the world and tarnish the tenets of 1960's free love. Targeting Entertainment elite , the "beautiful people." The act would shock the world. 

The first victims targeted were on August 9, 1969, at Roman Polanski's Home.The victims inside the house, actress Sharon Tate; writer Wojciech Frykowski and his partner, the coffee bean heiress Abigail Folger; and celerity hairstylist Jay Sebring, had returned to the Polanski residence after dining out. Polanksi himself was away in London shooting a film.
The first victim of the night was 18-year-old Steven Parent. He was shot as he drove up to the house and was spotted by the intruders. Manson had instructed everyone present to be killed.According to one of the Family member's statements, the Polanksi household had been targeted because it represented Manson's rejection by the showbiz world and society. 
Jay Sebring was shot as he attempted to defend Sharon Tate. Frykowski and Folger managed to escape from the house initially, but were caught and stabbed to death. At the trial, Kasabian described how she saw Frykowski staggering out of the house covered in blood and was horrified at the sight. She told him she was "sorry," but despite her pleas to his attacker to stop, the victim was bludgeoned repeatedly. Folger had already suffered injuries, but was caught on the front lawn and stabbed 28 times.
Most infamous, the murder of Sharon Tate, who despite pleading for the life of her unborn child was mercilessly stabbed in the stomach by Susan Atkins. Atkins then used Tate's blood to write  word "pig" on the front door. The following night, on the August 10, 1969, Manson took Family members Watson, Krenwinkel and Leslie Van Houten to the Los Feliz address of wealthy supermarket executive Leno LaBianca and his wife, Rosemary, and the couple was murdered in a similarly horrifying fashion.

Manson truly believed  he was a prophet, focusing on our  planet's future, in much the same way that cult and evangelist figures today claim prophetic knowledge of the world's end, Believed by many to be  a living embodiment of evil, I look forward to seeing how  British actor, Gethin Anthony  ( previously seen on Game of Thrones) plays this icon of badness and how this time prior to the most famous murders in modern criminal history might have unfolded, after all he obviously had charisma to attract such zealous followers.

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