Criminal Justice

'Helter Skelter' Slayer Charles Manson Chats on 'Cell' Phone, Gets Extra 30 Days on Life Term

Among the thousands of contraband cell phones confiscated from California prison inmates in recent years was one found under the mattress of Charles Manson, the notorious architect of the 1969 slayings of pregnant actress Sharon Tate and others at her home.

It is a concern that an inmate convicted of persuading others to kill—reportedly perhaps motivated by a desire to create “Helter Skelter” chaos—was able to speak freely with individuals outside the prison walls, a department of corrections spokeswoman tells the Los Angeles Times.

However, state officials are at a loss to deal with the rapidly increasing influx of prohibited electronic devices: They don’t want to strain already-crowded California prisons further by making it a crime to have a cell phone within the walls, as the feds have done in their penal facilities, the newspaper reports. And scrambling the airwaves to prevent calls from going through is opposed by federal officials.

Manson, who is now 76, was given an extra 30 days on his life term due to his use of the prohibited phone. Even before the additional month was added, it appeared unlikely that he will ever be released.

Additional coverage:

40 Years After (Houston Chronicle, Aug. 2009): “Sharon Tate, Charles Manson and ‘Helter Skelter’ “

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