Who Was Charles Manson? Cult Leader's Wicked Killing Spree Re-created in 'The Haunting of Sharon Tate'

Cult Leader Charles Manson has been remembered as one of the most twisted minds in American history, perhaps most widely known for the murder of pregnant Hollywood starlet Sharon Tate. The Haunting of Sharon Tate, out Friday, promises to recreate the events of that sinister night, when Manson and his "family" took the lives of Tate and four others on August 9, 1969.

The next night, Manson's "family" of cult followers killed two more people. On both heinous occasions, Manson didn't kill anyone himself. Instead, he ordered his devotees to commit the crimes, and they obeyed with no questions asked.

Manson went to prison for the murders in 1971 with an original sentence to death until the death penalty was abolished in California in 1972. Although the death penalty was later reinstated in the state, Manson was given a parallel sentence of life in prison. He was given chances to apply for parole, but was denied freedom 12 times.

What Manson was best known for using a kind of mind control to bring people into his inner circle quickly, while inspiring them to regard him as a God-like figure. It's how he created his infamous, cruel "family," who lived together in a commune-type atmosphere on an abandoned movie set in California. There, Manson hosted sermons, in a typical cult-like structure, and conducted orgies. The whole time, Manson was aiming to become a famous musician and to create art that would skyrocket him to fame.

Long before Manson's family was established, young Manson was in and out of prison for various crimes, including theft. When he was not behind bars, Manson attended a reform school.

Manson's actions have led him to be one of the most talked-about cult leaders in American history. In 2019 alone, three box office movies about Sharon Tate's murder are scheduled to be released: The Haunting of Sharon Tate will be followed by Once Upon A Time In Hollywood, staring Margot Robbie as Tate, and Tate, which will star Kate Bosworth. Ghost Adventures host Zak Bagans will also release a documentary on the aftermath of Manson's death, Charles Manson: The Funeral, on April 13.