Grandson of Charles Manson Hopes to Bury Cult Leader: 'I'll Fight For You'
The grandson of Charles Manson hopes to claim the late cult leader’s remains to give him a “proper burial,” according to reports.
Jason Freeman, 41, will fly to California later this week in an attempt to prove his next-of-kin status to prison officials in claiming the body of his dad’s father, Charles Manson, he told the New York Daily News.
Manson’s body is in the possession of the Kern County Coroner and unless a legally approved relative steps forward, his remains will be considered unclaimed. He will then likely be cremated and interred at Union Cemetery.
But Freeman hopes to ensure Manson has a “proper burial.”
“I will definitely speak with the inner circle of people who love my grandfather and who may know more of where he would want to be,” the married father of three, who now lives in Florida, told the paper. “I’m working on doing my part.”
Freeman’s father, Charles Manson Jr., was the only known child of Manson and his first wife, Rosalie.
He changed his name to Jay White after Rosalie and Manson divorced. He killed himself in 1993, while he was in his late 30s.
“He couldn’t live down who his father was,” Freeman said of his own father’s battle with his parentage in a 2012 interview with CNN.
Though Freeman said he had very little contact with his dad, he was always aware of his grandfather’s identity.
“I struggled for many years with unanswered questions,” Freeman wrote in a blog post. “I felt like I was constantly running from the ‘Manson Curse’ that seemed to plague my bloodline.”
Freeman reportedly blamed Manson for his own father’s death, until he started speaking with the cult leader by phone eight years ago.
On social media, Freeman appeared to embrace and eventually come to support Manson, calling into question the legitimacy of his trial and conviction.
“The denial of Charles Manson’s right to represent himself during his trials is a fatal flaw in the legitimacy of those trials and Manson’s convictions, and his present incarceration, are illegal,” Freeman, who goes by “Jason Freeman Manson” on Facebook, wrote in July.
Manson’s grandson lobbied for the right to visit him in prison but the pair never met, he said, telling The News that Manson himself never approved of such a meeting.
“He wanted to protect me, keep me out of all the pressure and hatred the world has,” Freeman said.
Freeman said his grandfather was unfairly convicted in the murder of Sharon Tate and the four others who were at the pregnant actress’ Los Angeles home during the August 1969 slaughter.
Manson orchestrated but wasn’t present during the killings.
The next night, he and several other followers broke into the home of Leno and Rosemary LaBianca, whom they bound and covered before stabbing the couple to death.
“If he was there chopping people up, that would make a big difference in how I look at him, but him not having his hands (physically) there, I don’t believe he should have spent almost 50 years in prison,” Freeman told The News.
Freeman has claimed to know a different side of Manson, writing in an April Facebook post: "Society knows him as a cult leader- A grandson knows him as a Grandfather.”
Several months later, in a letter to Manson, he wrote: “I want you to know I’m not going anywhere. While your (sic) still alive I’ll fight for you and beside you. The blessings of God are on my head and the weight of the world is not on my shoulders.
“Love, Jason FreeMan-son.”