Charles Manson orchestrated some of the most notorious murders of the 1960s. Born in Ohio in 1934, he had a troubled start in life, spending the majority of his early years in prison before founding the notorious Manson Family in 1967.

Manson had outlandish ideas which appealed to misfits who rallied around him in San Fransisco. They gained worldwide notoriety after Manson ordered them to commit a series of murders in the summer of 1969, resulting in the deaths of seven people.

Now it has emerged that Manson has died after spending more than 40 years behind bars.

The case has fascinated generations because Manson was convicted of murder despite not being present at any of the murder scenes. He was initially sentenced to death, but his sentence was changed after the death penalty was briefly outlawed in California.

Manson’s crimes were all the more difficult to fathom because they were committed by young women who came from seemingly stable middle-class backgrounds. However, Manson was able to warp their minds and inspire them to do the unthinkable.

One of their victims was 26-year-old movie star Sharon Tate, pictured below, who was eight months pregnant at the time of her death.

Manson was convicted of murder along with four of his followers in 1971 – Tex Watson, Susan Atkins, Patricia Krenwinkel and Leslie Van Houten. The three women are pictured below singing one of Manson’s songs during their trail.

Their notorious killing spree began on the night of August 8, 1969, in Los Angeles. Under Manson’s orders, Tex Watson took the three women to Tate’s residence and ordered them to “totally destroy everyone in [it], as gruesome as you can”.