• Manson: ‘Didn’t Want to Kill’

Manson: ‘Didn’t Want to Kill’

VACAVILLE, Jul. 10 — In a rare prison interview, convicted mass murderer Charles Manson admits he got in trouble “for cutting people, for shooting people,” but he claims he didn’t want to kill.

“Not because I wanted to, but because I was forced to,” he said in a copyright story Sunday in the Vacaville Reporter.

“That’s part of the game of being an outlaw and I’ve always been an outlaw,” said Manson, 44 and serving a life term for masterminding two Los Angeles mass slayings the Tate-LaBianca killings of 1969 — and two other murders.

The leader of the so-called “Manson family” normally turns down requests for interviews, prison officials said, but agreed to meet with reporter Chris Weinstein because of a recommendation from another inmate.

As for the “family,” many also behind bars for crimes ranging from the Tate-LaBianca killings to the attempted murder of former President Ford, Manson said, “This thing just happened…this person had no place to stay and this person was lost and had no place to stay, and I didn’t have no place to stay.

“They were nobody and I was nobody. They were out in the streets kicked out of their houses and I was kicked out of my house. (It) just happened, and another thing happened.”

Manson would not elaborate on what specifically happened, saying he’s saving that information for a new trial he hopes to get.

He also was critical of suggestions that he had any hypnotic power over Manson family women.

“Charlie’s girls — Charlie never had no girls. All Charlie’s girls belonged to themselves ”

During the interview, he told Ms. Weinstein he doesn’t mind the prospect of spending the rest of his life in prison.

“I like trees and I like to be out where I could be left alone,” he said.

“But when I’m outside…I find it hard to be left alone because all your children don’t have any parents…So I’m stuck running from your children or being responsible for something you don’t want to be responsible for.

“You’re in prison more than I’m in prison,” he told the reporter “It’s all prison. You’ve got more rules to live by than I do. I can sit down and relax, can you?”

Manson is a high security inmate at Vacaville Medical Facility, a California prison about 50 miles east of San Francisco. Under state law, he becomes eligible for parole consideration later this year.

Ms Weinstein said Manson appeared for the three hour interview with a bandana tied loosely around his neck. He had turned up the collar of his neatly pressed shirt. He sports a well trimmed goatee beard and moustache and a casually combed full head of hair.

She said Manson was a bit nervous at the start of the interview, but eventually became more at ease, displaying a dramatic flair that often reflected on his face – sometimes with a smile, sometimes a frown.

“I create my own lifestyle, my own world. You live in the world that was created for you. You accept the things you accept because you don’t know any different,” Manson said

“I don’t accept the things I was taught. I don’t accept the trees being cut down. I don’t accept the water being polluted. You people accept that.”

Finally Manson reflected on his public image.

“If somebody is afraid of Charlie Manson, they’re afraid of themselves.”

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