Wednesday, August 19, 2015
"Face of Evil: The Charles Manson Murders" on CNN
“Face of Evil: The Charles Manson Murders” was a special report on CNN Tuesday night (in line with a similar episode of “The Seventies”). CNN’s promotional video link is here. Somehow the title of the episode reminds me of the classic Orson Welles film "Touch of Evil."
The documentary traced the biography of Charles Manson, said to be the most “evil man of all time” (compared to Hitler or Stalin?) now in prison for life at age 80, having been spared the death penalty by a Supreme Court ruling in 1972. Try CNN's link on "little known facts about the Manson murders" here.
Manson was convicted for murders he plotted without committing with his own hands. Like the two escaped prisoners in New York State recently, he had the false charisma to recruit others, especially women, into “the Family”, into a bizarre cult. He could be compared to the leader of Jonestown.
Manson said he had a horrible mother and childhood, which seems to be true. “I was my own mother.” Yet, as a young man, he was fairly “attractive”.
The documentary opens with an account of the horrific Sharon Tate home invasion and massacre in 1969.
Manson’s plot had been to inspire a “race war”, by targeting privileged white celebrities, and create a scenario where the Black Panthers would be blamed. This was a kind of domestic terrorism which a foreign enemy (even ISIS) could try to mimic today.