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10 Weird Facts About Charles Manson’s Childhood

Published by Paula Mitchell Bentley in People
September 7th, 2008

Interesting, weird and bizarre tidbits about Charles Manson’s childhood. How did he become the man he is today?

While reading about Charles Manson for another article (Self Portrait of a Madman: Charles Manson), I ran into several interesting facts about him that I had never heard before.  His life has been under extreme scrutiny in the last four decades since he has been incarcerated for multiple killings.  I guess people just want to have some sort of understanding of how someone could become like him.  This article and the facts within it are not an excuse for the kind of person he has become merely a list of weird facts of his childhood.  While there has been much rumor and speculation of his life, I’ve tried to ensure that the list only contains items which have been reported by multiple sources, hopefully Manson himself.

Charles Manson is not the name he was born with

In fact for the first few weeks after he was born, he was known as “No Name Maddox”.  When his mother did get around to legally naming him, his name was Charles Milles Maddox.  His last name did not become Manson until after his mother married William Manson and his mother gave him the surname.  While the marriage did not last, his last name did.

He was once traded for beer

Manson relates the following story:  “Mom was in a cafe one afternoon with me on her lap. The waitress, a would-be mother without a child of her own, jokingly told my Mom she’d buy me from her. Mom replied, ‘A pitcher of beer and he’s yours.’ The waitress set up the beer, Mom stuck around long enough to finish it off and left the place without me. Several days later my uncle had to search the town for the waitress and take me home.”

He wore a dress on his first day to school

After his mother was incarcerated for robbery, Charles was shuffled off to various relatives.  The uncle that he was living with when school started decided he was too feminine and made him wear a dress to school.  Manson wrote:  “Grandmom said I don’t fight – I didn’t fight – my uncle beat me with a douch bag and no fight.  Then he put a red dress on me and said if you gonna be a girl, dress like a girl.  If I remember fighting and fighting and fighting.  Reckon I’ll ever get this red dress off.”

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20 Comments
  1. Haley blair
    Posted April 2, 2009 at 11:37 am

    I read these some of these are funny and some are not like when he had to wear that dress to school…That must have been awfull. I am doin a report on Charles Manson and the stuff i read here really helped. :) Thank You!!!

  2. Wow
    Posted April 16, 2009 at 12:19 am

    Your mean

  3. Posted May 10, 2009 at 7:25 am

    Though I had read most of this over the years, it certainly is more powerful when all put together like this. Perhaps, his mother should have spent some time in jail herself.

  4. Anon
    Posted July 24, 2009 at 5:37 pm

    That bit about “No Name Manson” is only a myth. Check his birth certificate. And his mothering even confirmed that this was a myth. (probably started by Charlie himself)

    I’ve always suspected that Manson was part black, maybe not half, but perhaps a quarter. People say that he doesn’t have “Negroid” features but if you actually know and see some mixed people, some of them look like Charlie. He becomes very edgy when people try to bring up possible black ancestry… it’s very suspicious. It’s self-hate. Of course, people who are racist and idolize him will vehemently deny this without thinking it through thoroughly.

  5. Posted August 14, 2009 at 6:38 pm

    His father is not a black man. Charlie’s mannerism’s are pure Caucasian, even if an insane Caucasian.

  6. Posted November 14, 2009 at 4:24 pm

    Alabama football and Charlie are o.k with me

  7. paul
    Posted November 26, 2009 at 3:05 am

    I highly doubt Manson was fathered by a black man. He has absolutely no african american characteristics. His hair, features, skin tone, etc. If he is in fact african american what difference would that make anyways?

    I’ve also read that his i.q. was actually slightly higher than mentioned in the article. I’ve also read that his mother was a prostitute as well, but maybe this is common knowledge.

  8. Anon 2
    Posted December 2, 2009 at 3:25 pm

    I feel sorry for Charles Manson. He really never had love in his life and had no one to understand him and with what he’s been put through, I truly feel sorry for him.

  9. Jayycie
    Posted December 22, 2009 at 11:32 am

    He never killed anybody, he just proved how easily it is to talk people into something. Im not saying he’s a good guy, and I believe that his charges are correct, he deserved life in prison, but I mean, he proved how dumb people really are

  10. Emil
    Posted February 11, 2010 at 7:34 pm

    Sub-sahara African ancestry isn’t always visible, he’s phenotype is caucasian, still that doesn’t mean he can’t possible have some black ancestry in his background, perhaps 1/16. His father might have been alight-skinned black man meaning he was part white, which may explain why Charilie looks 100 percent white.

  11. Henry
    Posted March 13, 2010 at 1:03 pm

    A probable majority of black people in America has Caucasian ancestry, but many don’t have any distinctly Caucasoid features. The same can go for white people with African ancestry. I wouldn’t even say his phenotype is completely ‘white’ something about the eyes and nose could be african.

  12. Da Boss
    Posted March 16, 2010 at 8:56 pm

    I think he’s asian

  13. Posted July 8, 2010 at 12:31 am

    what is good for some is bad for others, what is right for some is wrong for others, from what i can tell life treated him like garbage since birth, say he had left the cynical, critical people in his life behind, who knows he may have been able to develope the self-esteem to be a bill gates or a fireman or president or at least a senator. look into the story trading places, it is a shame people are dealt such cruelty at such a young age. i do believe God is supreme, The almighty has an understanding and purpose for us all. why he has chosen some people and not other to go thru his gates is beyond me. i do not believe because a man spends his entire life incarcerated that will keephim out of heavn. i do believe that people who belittle otehr people will be sweating at the pearly gaqtes!

  14. Posted July 8, 2010 at 12:36 am

    what is good for some is bad for others, what is right for some is wrong for others, from what i can tell life treated him like garbage since birth, say he had left the cynical, critical people in his life behind, who knows he may have been able to develope the self-esteem to be a bill gates or a fireman or president or at least a senator. look into the story trading places, it is a shame people are dealt such cruelty at such a young age. i do believe God is supreme, The almighty has an understanding and purpose for us all. why he has chosen some people and not other to go thru his gates is beyond me. i do not believe because a man spends his entire life incarcerated that will keephim out of heavn. i do believe that people who belittle otehr people will be sweating at the pearly gates!

  15. Only an idiot would want to know my name
    Posted September 17, 2010 at 4:28 pm

    Charles Manson is black. Have you ever seen the size of that guy’s penis???

  16. Posted October 2, 2010 at 10:57 am

    Justadriveby

  17. Posted October 2, 2010 at 11:15 am

    I think Manson had native routes through his father. He always wanted control and power. African people probably scared him and his uncle was probably H.A.

  18. dustin
    Posted November 12, 2010 at 8:44 pm

    @martie: His mother did spend time in jail, maybe you should read up on things next time before you comment.

  19. Roman
    Posted November 5, 2012 at 10:52 pm

    Maddox’s are Welsh by heritage- My mom’s side of the family is Maddox. They moved up with Daniel Boone who was semetic, and the reasons they went along with him through the Cumberland Gap
    into Speedwell and up Kentucky were because of persecution of their race. My family comes from Speedwell, Tn, Speedwell was a name of the boat that carried the Hollanders from their port to Plymouth England- and because the boat leaked they all moved onto the Mayflower, if they didn’t travel back to Holland. Portuguese, Spanish and sephardic Jews were on that ship. This was the reason they traveled with Daniel Boone. There were Moors as well as Sephardic Jews. All originated from Spain. The Welsh also many centuries ago came into Briton from Spain as did the Scottish and Irish. Charles Manson is from the prison system. it’s mostly black in the prison system. He knew black muslems, and saw the race war as the black vs. White war because the only muslems he knew were in Prison. He was in Prison since he was 9 years old. We are in a war with Arabs, and we use his model of dune buggies in special forces operations overseas. The Motorcycle was a german invention for war in the desert. Most of the German vehicles like the Volkswagon beetle was built for operations in the Desert. the Germans created vehicles with the V shaped haul along time before America caught on to the technique to combat IEDs. Manson’s vision of the Apocalypse is the one that’s going on right now. He’s not the character played up in the movies. I’ve been studying him long and hard. The Girls knew alot about the world they made the decision to kill. He only wanted to be accepted and didn’t want them to leave him as he has these issues with attachment. Lynnette Fromme is much more a dangerous character than Manson. Susan Atkins, Charles Watkins and Linda Kasabian all caused trouble for the family. If you watch the movies Van Houten is played up to be dumb as a rock. Can you believe anyone is that stupid? I.E. if you were of some kind of intellegence and you had a guy who wanted to be accepted, never snitched on anyone and didn’t really want to be in society in the first place- and you wanted to pin the murder rap on him Charlie is your fall guy. Just as he was the fall guy for the Vietnam war, and all the other shit that’s been going down the past 42 years since he’s been locked away. He didnt lie about Global warming- the politicians have been though. Wake up.

  20. Mark
    Posted December 7, 2012 at 6:38 pm

    The mythology of Manson as a charismatic leader, brainwashing his followers to commit murder is bullshit. Many people walked away from Charlie and thought he was nuts. The motorcycle gang, Straight Satans, that hung around the family, laughed at him, as did Wilson and Melcher. It was the personalities of these few demented followers that led to murder, Charlie knew they would do it as murder was already a part of them. But they would like you to believe otherwise…it was Charlie’s fault. Susan Atkins was a criminal like Charlie long before meeting him, stealing cars and credit cards, as was Grogan. Several of the family were x-cons and the others raise with fanatical religious beliefs like Tex. Charlie the con man used this, changing his pitch to each as necessary.
    Without meeting Charlie I would expect to see Atkins, Davis, and Grogan in prison for something criminal and violent, Pat and Leslie following some fanatical religious faith healer as Watkins prob would have been out bombing abortion clinics…it is what they are! All Charlie had to do was convince them to do such things for him. Charlie did murder himself as well.
    Charlie was delusional and some say schizophrenic…but without a doubt, much like his mother, criminally anti-social. Nature or nurture? I say nature, that led him to be abused and discarded when young as his genetic nature of manipulation led him to be unliked, even by his relatives.
    Charlie did spend much time in conservative Indiana as a child, including their religious based reform schools. Indiana also created the fanatical Jim Jones, the four teen girls who kidnapped, tortured, and burned alive 12-yr-old Shanda Sharer, and the religious monsters who tortured for weeks, and killed, the young girl Sylvia Lykens. There is something wrong with Indiana and their religious, conservative nurturing, family values environment. They are creating monsters that affect the rest of the nation.

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