This past November, mass-murderer and cult leader Charles Manson died of natural causes at age 83. Immediately following his long-awaited death, several people started fighting over the infamous killer’s body — and now we finally know who gets it.
On March 12, TMZ reported that Jason Freeman, a man who claims to be Mason's grandson, has been given custody of the body. However, that doesn't mean that the battle is over. Michael Brunner, son of Manson follower Mary Brunner, filed legal docs looking into whether or not Jason is actually related to Mason. He apparently refused a DNA test, which makes him look suspect.
It's no surprise that there would be some fighting over the estate, because it comes with the rights to the Manson name. Think books, movies, and TV shows… yeah, there could be a lot of money involved.
Several people had filed for custody of the body, which seemed just plain weird to us. Like who would want to be linked to a savage murderer? “This is a really weird legal case,” Bryan Walters, a deputy attorney in the county counsel’s office, told Los Angeles Times at the time. “We’ve had pen pals that claim they have written wills. It’s like a circus, and nothing is clear where we should hang our hat on.” Two months later, TMZ reported that three people were still in the running when it came to taking home the serial killer's remains — and it would come down to a judge's decision, which Jason won.
So, who are the other totally sane individuals who wanted to take home the body? There was Michael Channels, who was the first to file a will from Manson. However, it was hardly legible, according to the outlet, and Michael was listed as one of the witnesses on the document, which is a legal no-no. Then there was Matthew Robert Lentz, who claimed to be Manson's son. There are also problems with the will he submitted since there was only one witness signature. It would seem obvious that Jason would get the body, and it would have been if Manson didn't tell prison officials he had no family before his death. The judge definitely had a tough decision to make.
As previously reported, Manson passed away on Nov. 19, after spending 46 years behind bars. His health first started to decline last January when doctors discovered a lesion in his intestines. Though he had internal bleeding and was in need of surgery, medical staff deemed Manson too weak to operate on — and he was sent back to prison.
Prior to his decades-long prison stint, Manson’s followers killed nine people under his instructions in the 1960s. He was sentenced to the death penalty in 1971, but his life was spared when California abolished capital punishment just one year later. Some of his most well-known victims include actress Sharon Tate, celebrity hair guru Jay Sebring, and coffee heiress Abigail Folger.