Wednesday, 5 August 2009

Charles Manson (Part 1)

Charles Milles Manson (born November 12, 1934) is an American criminal who led what became known as the Manson family, a quasi-commune that arose in California in the late 1960's. He was convicted of conspiracy to commit the Tate/LaBianca murders, carried out by members of the group at his instruction. He was found guilty of the murders themselves through the joint-responsibility rule, which makes each member of a conspiracy gulty of crimes his fellow conspiritors commit.At the time the Family began to form, Manson was an unemployed ex-convict, who had spent half his life in correctional institutions for a variety of offences.Manson's death sentence was automatically reduced to life imprisonment when a 1972 decision by the Supreme Court of California temporarily eliminated the state's death penalty.


Manson was born to unmarried, 16-year-old Kathleen Maddox. For a period after her son's birth Kathleen Maddox was married to a labourer named William Manson, whose last name the boy was given. According to Manson, his mother, alleged to be an alcoholic, once sold him for a pitcher of beer to a childless waitress, from whom his uncle retrieved him some days later. In 1939, Manson went to live with an aunt and uncle in McMechen, West Virginia. In 1947, Kathleen Maddox tried to have her son placed in a foster home but failed because no such home was available.
By burgling a grocery store, Manson obtained cash that enabled him to rent a room. A string of burglaries followed, ending when he was caught in the act and sent to an Indianapolis juvenile centre. He escaped after one day and was moved to Boys Town, four days later he escaped again with another boy. At the age of 13 Manson was sent to the Indiana School for Boys. He escaped again with two other boys in 1951. Manson was eventually caught, driving a stolen car from Utah to California, and was sent to the Washington, D.C. National Training School for Boys. In 1952 Manson was sent to the Federal Reformatory, Petersburg, Virginia, after threatening a fellow-inmate with a razor blade. By this time Manson had been diagnosed as aggressively antisocial.
Through good work habits and a rise in his educational level, Manson won parole in 1954. In January 1955 he married a hospital waitress by the name of Rosalie Jean Willis. Around October, and with Rosalie Jean pregnant, Manson stole a car and was sentenced to three years imprisonment at Terminal Island, San Pedro, California. Meanwhile, Rosalie gave birth to a son Charles Manson Jr.
In 1958 Manson received five years parole, that same year he and Rosalie divorced. By November Manson was pimping a 16-year-old-girl. In 1959 he received a 10-year suspended sentence for cashing a forged US Treasury check after a prostitute made tearful plea that her and Manson were deeply in love and wanted to marry. The woman, whose name was Leona but used the name Candy Stevens, did, in fact marry Manson. The couple, together with another woman moved to New Mexico for the purpose of prostitution. Manson then disappeared in violation of his probation. In 1960 a warrant was issued for his arrest. He was arrested and ordered to serve his original 10 year sentence. In 1961 Manson was sent to the United States Penitentiary at McNeil Island. In June 1966, for the second time in his life Manson was sent to Terminal Island, in preparation for early release. By March 21, 1967, his release day he had spent more than half his 32 years in prisons and other institutions.
On release Manson was granted permission to move to San Francisco. Manson established himself as a guru in San Francisco's Haight-Ashbury, which during 1967's 'Summer of Love', was emerging as the signature hippie locale. Expounding a philosophy that included Scientology he had studied in prison, he soon has his first group of young followers, most of the female. The Manson 'family' was born.

(The concluding part of the Charles Manson story will continue in tomorrows Journal).

Witty Bits

My God carries a hammer. Your God died nailed to a tree. Any questions?
Sarcasm helps keep you from telling people what you really think of them.
Actual Headline: Typhoon Rips Through Cemetery; Hundreds Dead.
If you think things can't get any worse it's probably only because you lack sufficient imagination.
A train station is where the train stops. A bus station is where the bus stops. On my desk, I have a work station .........


Why Do We Say That

Once knuckle meant any joint, including the knee. To knuckle under meant to kneel in submission.

In the ancient world winning athletes and other heroes and distinguished people were given wreaths of laurel leaves. If you are resting on your laurels you are relying on your past achievements. If you need to look to your laurels it means you have competition.

This old saying probably comes from a Medieval law which stated that peasants could use branches of trees for firewood if they could reach them with their shepherds crook or their billhook.

In the past all kinds of food went into a big pot for cooking. If you sat down to a meal with a family you often had to take 'pot luck' and could never be quite sure what you would be served.

This is a corruption of eke name. The old word eke meant alternative.

Poem (An Extract From Summoned By Bells) John Betjeman

The 'Percival Mandeville' extract from Summoned By Bells comes from the beginning of the chapter about going to private boarding school. The lie Betjeman told to get out of fighting reflects with great credit on Mandeville, who, strong and clever though he was, would never 'hit a chap when he was down'.

Extract from Summoned By Bells

Percival Mandeville, the perfect boy,
Was all a schoolmaster could wish to see-
Upright and honourable, good at games,
Well-built, blue eyed; a sense of leadership
Lifted him head and shoulders from the crowd.
His work was good. His written answers, made
In a round, tidy and decided hand,
Pleased the examiners. His open smile
Enchanted others. He could also frown
On anything unsporting, mean or base,
Unworthy of the spirit of the school
And what it stood for. Oh the dreadful hour
When once upon a time he frowned on me!

Just what had happened I cannot recall-
Maybe some bullying in the dormitory;
But well I recollect his warning words:
"I'll fight you, Betjeman, you swine, for that,
Behind the bike shed before morning school."
So all the previous night I spewed with fear.
I could not box: I greatly dreaded pain.
A recollection of the winding punch
Jack Drayton once delivered, blows and boots
Upon the bum at Highgate Junior School,
All multiplied by X from Mandeville,
Emptied my bladder. Silent in the dorm
I cleaned my teeth and clambered into bed.
Thin seemed pyjamas and inadequate
The regulation blankets once so warm.
"What's up?" "Oh, nothing." I expect they knew ...

And, in the morning, cornflakes, bread and tea,
Cook's Farm Eggs and a spoon of marmalade,
Which heralded the North and Hillard hours
Of Latin composition, brought the post.
Breakfast and letters! Then it was a flash
Of hope, escape and inspiration came:
Invent a letter of bad news from home.
I hung my head and tried to look as though,
By keeping such a stiff upper lip
And just not blubbing, I was noble too.
I sought out Mandeville. "I say," I said,
"I'm frightfully sorry I can't fight today.
I've just received some rotten news from home:
My mater's very ill." No need for more-
His arm was round my shoulder comforting:
"All right, old chap. Of course I understand."

John Betjeman
Extract from Summoned By Bells

That's When The Fight Started

I retired recently, and went to the Social Security office to apply for benefits. When the woman behind the counter wanted to verify my age I realized I'd left my wallet at home. I told the woman I would have to come back later.
"Unbutton your shirt," she said
So I opened my shirt revealing silver hair.
"That's proof enough for me," she said, and she processed my Social Security application.
When I got home, I told my wife what happened.
She said, "You should have dropped your pants. You could have gotten disability, too."

That's when the fight started .....

Who Am I?

Can you work out who the mystery celebrity is in today's Who Am I puzzle. Study the ten clues given below and see who you think it is.

01 I was born on 18 September 1958.
02 My place of birth was Palmers Green, London.
03 My husband is Samuel Kane.
04 I have two children Lucy and Jack.
05 I have appeared in The Bill, Brookside and Emmerdale.
06 I regularly appear in pantomime with my husband.
07 In January 2008 I appeared in Dancing On Ice.
08 I won Celebrity Come Dine With Me.
09 I once dialled '999' after getting stuck in a traffic jam on my way to a pantomime appearance.
10 You may have seen me on Page 3 of a newspaper.

Who do you think our mystery celebrity is? Answer in tomorrows Journal.