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Judge Rules On Who Gets Charles Manson's Body, But His Assets Are Still Up For Grabs

LA Times

It has been four months since notorious cult leader Charles Manson passed away, yet his name continues to make headlines.

Manson spent more than 40 years behind bars for a series of murders. He was the leader of a cult called "Manson Family" in the 1960s, who gained infamy for the murder of pregnant actress Sharon Tate and eight others.

When the 83-year-old man died from cardiac arrest on November 19th, multiple people surfaced, what seemed like out of nowhere, to compete for the right to Manson's estate.

The problem here was that Manson didn't leave a will before he died, so his corpse, estate, and all his lucrative assets were up for grabs.

Multiple friends claimed to own Manson's will, but none of them held up in court.

Many people have been fighting over the right to Manson's assets, including his longtime pen pal Michael Channels, a musician named Matt Lentz, who claims to be the murderer's son, and Jason Freeman, who turned out to be Manson's biological grandson.

Those three are the main parties involved, but Rebecca Evans, Matthew Roberts, and Michael Brunner also argue they are Manson's biological children and have tried to take the place of next of kin.

After a lengthy legal battle, Kern County Superior Judge Alisa Knight made a decision...

Knight ruled on Monday that Manson's grandson, Jason Freeman, could do what he pleased with his grandfather's corpse.

“No sufficient probative evidence was provided to this court to refute Freeman's claim," Knight said.

The other parties failed to provide solid proof of entitlement. Lentz was adopted at a very young age and there wasn't much evidence that he had much of a relationship with his biological father. Brunner was also adopted, which wouldn't make him entitled to the corpse either.

According to CNN, Freeman felt tormented throughout his life for being related to the Manson family. He called it a "family curse" that caused him to be teased in school, and which led his father to change his name to Jay White so that Freeman could have a better life.

But Freeman said he has gotten to know his grandfather for the last eight years of his life and considers him a “kind, giving person."

Freeman plans on cremating his grandfather's remains and holding a small family ceremony.

The ruling on the corpse had to be decided as soon as possible because there was a lack of space in the morgue.

However, the rights to his image, songs, estate, and other possessions may be a decade-long battle, and there may not be any winners, considering Manson's crimes.

Does Charles Manson deserve a funeral? Should his belongings be donated to the victim's families or a family heir?

Moojan has been a writer at Shared for almost a year. When she's not on the lookout for viral content, she's looking at cute animal photos. Reach her at moojan@shared.com.