Charles Manson Cause of Death: How Did the Killer Die?



Charles Manson pictured in 2009.

charles manson

In this handout photo from the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, Charles Manson, then 74, poses for a photo on March 18, 2009 at Corcoran State Prison, California.(Photo by California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation via Getty Images)

Infamous mass murder Charles Manson – whose “Manson Family” cult terrified the nation and who was one of the nation’s most notorious killers in history – has died at the age of 83, TMZ is reporting.

Manson’s death – which was long expected as he had fallen ill several times dating back to at least January 2017 – has a lot of people wondering: What was Manson’s cause of death? How did the cult leader and murderer die? A press release announcing his death labeled the cause “natural causes.” What specifically triggered his last breath, though, remains shrouded somewhat in mystery due to prison rules.

This is what is known. According to TMZ, when Manson was rushed to the hospital several months ago, it was for “intestinal bleeding.” Reported the entertainment site, “Manson was recently wheeled into Bakersfield hospital and escorted by 5 uniformed cops. Our sources had said at the time, “It’s just a matter of time.” He was covered in blankets and looked ashen in the gurney… Manson was taken from Corcoran State Prison to the hospital back in January where he was being treated for intestinal bleeding.”

Corcoran State Prison Gray Wolf smuggles phone Charles Manson Follower smuggles phone into prison Craig Carlisle Hammond

According to the Los Angeles Times, when Manson was taken back to the hospital in November 2017, prison officials wouldn’t say much about his condition. “Details of the illness that brought him to a Bakersfield hospital remain unclear. Vicky Waters, a spokeswoman with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, said only that Manson was still living and that the department could not provide any further details,” The Times reported.

The Los Angeles Times reported last January that Manson is “seriously ill” and the Hollywood Reporter characterized him as “gravely ill,” but prison officials were not more specific because inmate medical information is private under the law.

The serial killer was born November 12, 1934 in Ohio to a prostitute and alcoholic. His horrific crime spree, which took the life of a pregnant actress among others, inspired fear in part because of his charismatic ability to manipulate the minds of his young followers in the late 1960s.

The hospital where Manson was taken is about an hour away from the prison. The prison has hospital services, and inmates aren’t taken to the hospital unless they need surgery, emergency care, or acute diagnostic services, The Sacramento Bee reported.

sharon tate, charles manson victims

Polish film director Roman Polanski and American actress Sharon Tate (1943 – 1969) at their wedding. She was subsequently murdered by members of Charles Manson’s pseudo-religious sect The Family. (Photo by Evening Standard/Getty Images)

The cult of young people Manson led gruesomely murdered the pregnant actress Sharon Tate, and eight other people, including four people in her home. Tate, who was married to famed director Roman Polanski and was pregnant with his child, was stabbed 16 times. One of the victims was a coffee heiress named Abigail Folger. The day after the Tate massacre, the Manson Family killed grocer Leno LaBianca and his wife, Rosemary. The 1969 slayings turned Manson into one of the most feared killers in history. The murders inspired the book, Helter Skelter.

According to the Los Angeles Times, “Prosecutors said that Manson and his followers were trying to incite a race war that he believed was in the Beatles’ song Helter Skelter.” The scenes were gruesome; Los Angeles County prosecutors say the Manson Family “carved the word ‘war’ into Leno LaBianca’s stomach then wrote ‘Helter Skelter’ in blood on the couple’s refrigerator,” CBS News reported. The family members also wrote the words “death to pigs” in blood.

According to, Manson “attracted a small but devoted group of followers from among the city’s bohemian youth culture. By 1968 he had become the leader of the ‘Family,’ a communal religious cult dedicated to studying and implementing his eccentric religious teachings, which were drawn from science fiction as well as the occult and fringe psychology.”

Manson’s death sentence was overturned when the death penalty was eradicated in California in 1972. Manson wass serving nine life sentences.