Manson was convicted of leading a cult in which disaffected young people living in a commune followed his orders and were ultimately turned into killers. He is pictured being taken to jail in 1969 by a group of police officers
With a Swastika tattooed on his forehead, Charles Manson was the very embodiment of evil.
The notorious 'mad eyed' killer from Cincinnati languished in prison since 1971 when he was convicted for conspiracy to commit murder.
He directed his mostly young, female followers to murder seven people including actress Sharon Tate, the pregnant wife of filmmaker Roman Polanski.
'Maybe I should have killed 500 people, I would have felt I really offered society something,' he said after he was sent down.
Manson's life of crime began at an early age. At 12 he had been sent to reform school. He started by robbing stores to stealing cars and eventually orchestrating seven murders. He is pictured in 1966
Manson was in reform schools and juvenile centers from the age of 12.
His career of crime started with robbing liquor and grocery stores before he stole cars, pimped women, and committed forgery. He ended up orchestrating cold-blooded murders.
'I'm special,' Manson said. 'I'm not like the average inmate. I have spent half my life in prison. I am a very dangerous man.'
Patricia Krenwinkel (center) with Manson Family members Susan Atkins (left) and Leslie van Houten in 1969. All three were convicted of murder
Manson was an accident, born to 16-year-old Prostitute Kathleen Maddox on November 12, 1934.
The alcoholic often left her young son in a relative's care so she could continue with her wild lifestyle.
At one point the teenage mother allegedly sold Manson to another woman for a pitcher of beer.
Manson possibly never met his father Colonel Walker Scott as his mother married laborer William Eugene Manson after his birth.
Manson showed 'dangerous' signs of his penchant for violence at the start of his adulthood.
After serving a 10-year sentence for check forgery in the 1960s, Manson was said to have pleaded with authorities not to release him because he considered prison home.
'My father is the jailhouse. My father is your system,' he would later say in a monologue on the witness stand. 'I am only what you made me. I am only a reflection of you.'
Cult leader Charles Manson (pictured left in August 2017) has died aged 83