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Charles Manson, Cult Leader Behind Tate-Labianca Murders, Dead at 83
Charles Manson, the cult leader of the Manson family who masterminded the Tate-LaBianca killings of 1969 and one of the most reviled and fascinating figures in American pop culture, died Sunday night, CBS Los Angeles reports. He was 83. Manson had been rushed to a Bakersfield, California hospital from Corcoran State Prison earlier this month for an undisclosed medical issue.
Manson died of natural causes at Kern County hospital, according to a California Department of Corrections statement.
A career criminal, amateur musician, enigmatic cult leader and unrepentant racist, Manson became synonymous with the dark underbelly and ominous end of the Sixties. The two-day killing spree he orchestrated in August 1969 left seven people dead and, as legend has it, sprang from his mad interpretation of the Beatles' White Album – specifically the song "Helter Skelter" – which he believed foretold a coming apocalyptic race war.