december memories / 24



24th December, 1969 : Today, more than four months after brutal slaying at a house in Los Angeles shocked America, four members of so-called hippie commune have been arrested and charged with the first degree murder Sharon Tate, a pregnant wife of the movie director Roman Polanski, supermarket tycoon Leno LaBianca and five others. The commune, which calls itself “The Family”, is led by a veteran convict Charles Manson, aged 35 who preyed on the young drifters of Los Angeles, wooing them from the streets and taking them to a hideout in the desert, 20 miles from the city. The commune members are mainly teenage girls, all absolutely devoted to Manson, and three of them – Patricia Krenwinkel, Susan Atkins and Leslie van Houten – are to be tried alongside him. One male member, Charles “Tex” Watson is also charged. Little is known as yet about “The Family”, but investigators have already uncovered tales of bizarre and perverted goings-on. Manson, who calls himself “Jesus Christ”, apparently used his own charisma, mixed with liberal doses of LSD and other drugs, to orchestrate an orgiastic lifestyle notorious in the hippie circles for mingling satanism with other fantasies.

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