Charles Manson was always the story that I refused to see. I spent a long time knowing little facts about the murders committed by the “Manson Family” because I found the events too chilling to think about. Any televised reenactments of these crimes were the catalyst for the off switch. Good night TV!
Now the bastard is dead! Charles Manson lived a full life. Sadly, Charles Manson was safer in prison than most American citizens are who choose to roam the streets in broad daylight. Nor am I naïve enough to believe that it is mere coincidence that the death of Charles Manson comes in the same year of the Las Vegas and Texas murders.
Charles Manson wanted to start a race war and blame the Black Panthers for the killings. Today, these same views are embraced by millions of working-class Americans, a corrupt police department, and a generation of politicians that think it’s a crime to propose legislature for free education and healthcare. (Fact Check: Manson never saw Beyonce’s halftime performance at the Super Bowl 50.) In the end, Donald Trump’s generation failed to build a wall that could contain Charles Manson’s influence over America’s future:
- According to reports by the American Psychiatric Association, a U.S. youth will have seen 16,000 simulated murders and 200,000 acts of violence by eighteen years of age.
- The total number of gang homicides reported by respondents in the NYGS sample averaged nearly 2,000 annually from 2007 to 2012. During roughly the same time period (2007 to 2011), the FBI estimated, on average, more than 15,500 homicides across the United States (www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2011/crime-in-the-u.s.-2011/tables/table-1). These estimates suggest that gang-related homicides typically accounted for around 13 percent of all homicides annually.
- As of 1998, an estimated 17.7 million American women had been victims of attempted or completed rape. The 2016 Uniform Crime Report (UCR), which measures rapes that are known to police, estimated that there were 90,185 rapes reported to law enforcement in 2015.
- Only 457 hate groups existed in the U.S. back in 1999, and their numbers hit an all-time high of 1,018 in 2011.
- In 2016, Human trafficking in the United States rose 35.7 percent from the previous year, according to data from the National Human Trafficking Hotline.
A lot of things evolved out of the 1960’s for the good. However, if America never comes to terms with its shadow side, criminals like Charles Manson will continue to be the crying game of post-life laughter.