I really powered through the remaining part of this book - mostly because it was the trial and sentencing. I really have to feel bad for Bugliosi for putting up with Manson's trial attorney. What a complete asshole, who bogged down the trial, everyone's time, and taxpayers' money with absurd objections and meritless motions. I have to deal with that every single day for the nine month trial would have been absolutely maddening for anyone in that courtroom. Even Manson begged him to sit down and shut up. To make it clear, Manson had asked numerous times to defend himself. The judge would not allow it. After going through quite a few attorneys in the preliminary stages, Manson was finally stuck with Irving Kanarek, who had quite the reputation in the legal community. He certainly lived up to that reputation, and then some, often keeping witnesses on the stand for cross-examination much longer than necessary. One witness was questioned for 18 days. Seriously! Manson and his faithful followers also kept the trial "interesting" with their own antics - at one point, Manson hopped over the defense table and lunged at the judge with a pencil. There were constant threats by the followers of jail breakouts or some unknown "doom" on what they deemed "judgment day". This all lead to heightened security at the courthouse. After the prosecution rested their case, it was finally Manson's day to present his side of the story. Many wondered if he would take the stand in his own defense. His trial attorney stood up and simply said "the defense rests." They didn't even put on a case! They moved for a dismissal on the grounds that the prosecution had not provided sufficient proof to warrant a conviction. One of the countless motions denied. Rightfully so.
Ultimately, Manson and the other three ladies on trial were all sentenced to death. Two years later, the state of California reversed all death penalty convictions and reverted them to life sentences. The three ladies, naturally, all found Jesus in jail and are "model" inmates. They renounced any association with Manson. They have all come up for parole numerous times - all denied. Susan Atkins (the most creepy, in my opinion) died in 2009 of brain cancer.
Manson, 80 years old, is still serving his life sentence at Corcoran State Prison in California in protective custody. He has never been in general population. There are many websites and Facebook pages dedicated to his "cause" and his "wrongful conviction". He changed the X on his forehead (self-carved during his trial, and copied by the three women defendants) to a swastika. Charming. He has a lady "friend" who has moved across the country to Corcoran to be near him. She visits every weekend and is in charge of the various websites dedicated to Manson. She claims she wasn't drawn to him by the serial killer stigma, but by his pro-Earth environmental beliefs. She also claims that one day, they will be married. Honey, he's all yours.
The house where the Tate murders occurred has been demolished. A new house has been built, but it stands empty as no real estate agent will list it.
Manson claims that we (the American people) made him this way. Before he was released prior to the Tate murders, he asked the jail staff to let him stay in prison. It's all he knew. He was completely institutionalized. It's the people's fault for letting him out. And it's our fault that the fascination with him continues. He flat out said in one interview, I don't ask for all of these people to write me, to create websites dedicated to me, to come visit me. They do it on their own. You all are as sick as I am.