The Manson Women

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Barely out of their teens, Susan Atkins, Leslie Van Houten and Patricia Krenwinkel, laughed their way through their trial for multiple murder. Did cult tactics make them kill?

Some thirty years on, Charles Manson and his infamous ‘family’ still repel and fascinate us. We can’t seem to forget the trio of hippie girls who laughed their way through their death penalty trial-and offered up bizarre displays of devotion to their scrawny, enigmatic guru.

Barely out of their teens, Susan Atkins, Leslie Van Houten and Patricia Krenwinkel didn’t fit our notions of what brutal killers should look like. All grew up in California’s booming, post-war suburbs. They were children of the middle class who went out into the night and butchered seven people they did not know.

How did it happen? Were they victims themselves, brainwashed by Manson’s personality, and a mix of drugs and sex? And what of the most devoted of Manson’s girls – Lynette “Squeaky” Fromme – who led daily vigils on the sidewalks outside of court? Who was she? How did this brew of personalities lead to the country’s first cult murders?

The Manson Women, 6.1 out of 10 based on 14 ratings

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  • Kjkjkj

    watch the full documentary by parts on youtube:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dtyDchgvfPA

  • Anonymous

    I dont think these women deserve to have spent as long as they have in prison.  Today with the greater knowledge of how and why peoples actions can be severley altered by another person, and the relatively minor role they played in the murders.

    There is little difference between the actions of these women and that of someone who is kidnapped, only different emotion changes this playing field, yet the result is the same.

    The Prison system must be seen to be a system of rehabilitation for those who are willing to rehabilitate.  These women have been model prisoners, embraced learning, helped others with problems, and shown deep remorse.  It is unconstitutional to continue to keep them incarcerated simply due to the media publicity generated, and there evident states of being young, nieve and brainwashed at the time by a seasoned criminal and complete sociopath/phychopath.

    There continued incarceration only serves to make the real perpetrator more powerful, that of Charles Manson, in him having the satisfaction of having destroyed all these lives and continuing to do so.

  • Anonymous

    I dont think these women deserve to have spent as long as they have in prison.  Today with the greater knowledge of how and why peoples actions can be severley altered by another person, and the relatively minor role they played in the murders.

    There is little difference between the actions of these women and that of someone who is kidnapped, only different emotion changes this playing field, yet the result is the same.

    The Prison system must be seen to be a system of rehabilitation for those who are willing to rehabilitate.  These women have been model prisoners, embraced learning, helped others with problems, and shown deep remorse.  It is unconstitutional to continue to keep them incarcerated simply due to the media publicity generated, and there evident states of being young, nieve and brainwashed at the time by a seasoned criminal and complete sociopath/phychopath.

    There continued incarceration only serves to make the real perpetrator more powerful, that of Charles Manson, in him having the satisfaction of having destroyed all these lives and continuing to do so.

  • IrishArmstrong

    Cute looking girls 40 years ago-albeit homicidal psychopaths.
     
     Now,  watching LVH -doing her remorse bit to camera -(as if it  a screen test for morons of Hollywood )-is nauseating.
     
       Both LVH+PK-can collect their Oscars -at the store-in San Quentin

  • IrishArmstrong

    Cute looking girls 40 years ago-albeit homicidal psychopaths.
     
     Now,  watching LVH -doing her remorse bit to camera -(as if it  a screen test for morons of Hollywood )-is nauseating.
     
       Both LVH+PK-can collect their Oscars -at the store-in San Quentin

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ronald-Ferreira/1199611272 Ronald Ferreira

    very beautifdlul women wish i had them but i was born a year erlyier

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Terry-Beaton/100000940529089 Terry Beaton

    I think they could be released in the knowledge that they would not be a danger to society, but I suppose Justice means punishment more than rehabilitation. They were victims of Manson’s diabolical mind control more than anything. I think the ‘family’ dynamic played a role also. When those who you consider your ‘family’ are doing the same thing as you, you lose your sense of personal responsibility. It’s all a bit complicated (and goulish) and American Justice never gets to dainty in how it determines guilt. ‘The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun…’. How about, ‘Rope and brand em, don’t try and understand em’!

  • dudeguy

    So craigzz is telling us that woman are stupid and do not know right from wrong .they didnt have a minor role manson didnt kill anybody at all, they did!! knowing right from wrong.We cant keep leting murders go free becuase of their gender.What if that was somone you loved that got murdered.Murderers belong in prison,period.Because it seems to me they know right from wrong and they knew it then.