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Charles Manson grandson wins battle over cult leader’s body

The grandson of cult leader Charles Manson has won a four-month court battle over the rights to his body.

Jason Freeman, a former professional mixed martial arts fighter and the son of Manson’s offspring with his first wife, can now retrieve the body and choose to either bury or cremate it.

Mr Freeman previously said he would cremate Manson and spread the ashes, putting to rest “this so-called monster, this historical figure that shouldn’t have been blown up as big as it was for all these years”.

Manson died in a hospital in Bakersfield in November, while serving life sentence for orchestrating the murder of pregnant actress Sharon Tate and eight others.

A vicious court battle over his corpse ensued, with three supposed heirs to Manson fighting for the fate of his body.

:: Charles Manson’s life and crimes: A timeline


DATE IMPORTED:25 August, 1989Charles Manson talks during an interview August 25, 1989. Reuters/Calvin Hom CP

Video:
Charles Manson: The life of a serial killer

The legal battle started as the same parties claimed rights to Manson’s estate, including songs written by the criminal.

On opposing camps were Freeman, Michael Brunner – a man who said he was fathered by Manson – and Michael Channels – a pen pal who collected Manson memorabilia and claimed to have his will.

Over lack of evidence from the other two men, Mr Freeman was awarded custody of the body, with Mr Channels ultimately saying he just wanted to “take the dude’s ashes and dump them in the desert where he wanted”.

Sharon Tate with film director Roman Polanski
Image:
Sharon Tate with her husband, film director Roman Polanski

Mr Brunner was backed by another purported son, Matthew Lentz, who claims he was fathered by Manson during a Wisconsin orgy.

Nearly all interested parties have suggested others want to profit off Manson’s death by selling photos of the corpse to tabloid publications.

Mr Freeman has denied having a deal to sell photos of the body, but has showed interest in having a public ceremony to scatter the ashes, possibly documented by a film crew.

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