Notorious cult leader Charles Manson died in prison back in November. He was 83-years-old and left behind a legacy of crime, murder, and fame that led to his extended imprisonment from 1971 to 2017. After his death, there was an issue with deciding who is the legal owner of his estate. Several people came out and claimed various levels of relationship with Manson, thus arguing that they deserved his image and publishing rights.
The group included 4 people originally, but now a Los Angeles judge has ruled that two of them have no legs to stand on. Matthew Lentz and Michael Brunner both are now out of the running for the dark inheritance that they have fought for since Manson’s death.
Musician Matthew Lentz has claimed for years that he’s the illegitimate son of the infamous cult leader. He says that Manson conceived him while attending an orgy all the way back in 1967.
Michael Brunner is the other man that was told he wouldn’t be getting the inheritance. Brunner’s mother was a significant member of the Manson crime family, but it turns out that she didn’t actually conceive Michael with Manson himself.
The two also lost out on the estate’s vast collection of memorabilia, but the publishing and image rights should prove to be far more valuable over the years. There are now two people left that could be the legal owners of the important estate. The biggest unknown in the case is the amount of money that Manson was in possession of when he died last year.
This group includes Michael Channels, a now-famous memorabilia fanatic and “pen pal” with Manson while he was serving his sentence for planning 9 murders in 1969, including pregnant actress Shannon Tate.
Channels has claimed in court that Charles Manson named him the only benefactor of his large estate just last year. Manson apparently did this just before he passed away, but the court seems to feel that he has a legitimate case.
Jason Freeman revealed himself as Manson’s grandson back in 2012. His father was named Charles Manson Jr. until he changed it to try and hide from the shame. Manson Jr. couldn’t deal with the crimes of his father in the end and he committed suicide.
“I’m personally, I’m coming out,” Freeman told CNN back in 2012.
When asked about his father, Freeman was more forthcoming than might have been expected. Freeman lived a bizarre childhood, with paranoia about his grandfather – especially once he was old enough to realize the extent of Manson’s crimes.
“[My father] just couldn’t let it go. He couldn’t live it down. he couldn’t live down who his father was,” he added. “I want him to know… he missed out on a lot.”
Both of these men have been found to have a better case than Lentz or Brunner after a significant investigation. Judge Clifford Klein knows he needs to take his time with this sensitive case.
At the end of the day, any beneficiary of Manson’s fame and fortune will have to deal with the weight of the lives that Manson took directly and indirectly. For Freeman, that means thinking about the death of his father at every stage. For Channels, the presumed loss of a friend and confidant in Manson’s last years.
“Any money should go to the victim’s family,” commented thumbelinas on the Daily Mail article about this new development.
“I don’t care if the estate is worth millions…. I’d be too embarrassed to say I had any DNA from that lunatic!” added Robgintr.
What would you do if you found out you were related to someone like Charles Manson?