Charles Manson: 'Dateline' NBC Takes A Closer Look At Cult Leader Through Rarely Seen Footage From NBC's Archives

Traciy Reyes

Charles Manson, aka Charlie Manson, will be the topic of Dateline NBC's next episode this week. Usually shown on Friday, Dateline airs tonight at 8/7 p.m. Central. For decades, Charles Manson has intrigued and evoked interest in the general public since his grisly crimes in California in 1969 when pregnant Hollywood actress Sharon Tate and her unborn baby were slaughtered to death in their home, along with four other visitors. Then, in a home on the other side of town a beloved couple was brutally murdered. The killers, a bunch of sweet-faced youths who were all under the spell of the ringleader, Charles Manson, were all arrested and convicted of murder.

Dateline will reveal that Charles Manson's background is troubling. His mother was considered a loose woman who did not want Charles Manson in her life. She would often walk off and abandon him for days, leaving his family members with the task of trying to find him. His grandmother was considered a strict, religious fanatic, and it is believed that mental illness or emotional issues could have been inherited from family members, according to TwistedMinds.

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Seeking out his own path in life, Manson took the knowledge that he learned from the streets and combined it with his own way of thinking to come up with a bizarre, but a somewhat truthful, philosophy on life.

In and out of prison since his teen years, Charles Manson finally found his voice after leaving prison for the last time in the 1960s and heading to San Francisco. It was there that he started realizing the power he had over people.

Despite his unkempt look, women found him to be mesmerizing. Even being in Charles Manson's presence made women feel as though they were sitting before a god of some sort. He had a cool way about him, too. The way he walked, the intense look in his dark eyes, and his bold air of confidence was very attractive to impressionable people, according to a transcript found at MReplay.

"There were all these young people looking for something many of them using drugs. He gave them what they were looking for. He said free food. Free lodging. Free sex. Free love as it was called then. All just flowed because he played a guitar. He sounded like he knew what he was talking about. To an 18, 17-year-old run away who might have -- wow, this guy is really something. And the family grew."

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Charles Manson has always denied having any part in the killings or enticing anyone to kill, according to his court testimony found at Law2.

"There has been a lot of charges and a lot of things said about me and brought against the co-defendants in this case, of which a lot could be cleared up and clarified. Most of the people at the ranch that you call the Family were just people that you did not want, people that were alongside the road, that their parents had kicked out, that did not want to go to Juvenile Hall. So I did the best I could and I took them up on my garbage dump and I told them this: that in love there is no wrong."

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