Manson Family Member Asks Wikipedia To Edit His Page

It’s one of those things you should never be caught doing: Googling your own name. Ok, so it might be a little different if you’re a celebrated author, or a musician, or a reality TV star. Then you might, you know, check in occasionally to ensure no one's faked your death online. But what if you’re serving life in prison for multiple murders as a former member of the notorious Manson Family? Well, apparently it turns out you might have some interest in your online presence too.

In 1971 Charles “Tex” Watson was jailed for the murders of seven people including the actress Sharon Tate. The Californian inmate is reported to have contacted Wikepedia’s Volunteer Response Team with a print out of his Wikipedia page with annotated notes scrawled over it. The five page document, reportedly posted out from the prison Mule Creek, near Sacramento, requested a few modest changes to his online biography.

According to the original Wikipedia page “Tex” was arrested in 1969 after breaking into a Beverly Hills mansion with other members of the Manson Family gang screaming, “I’m the Devil and I’m here to do the Devil’s business” before tying up the then-pregnant Sharon Tate and murdering her and four other people at the property. They continued their bloody spree the subsequent evening when they slaughtered a supermarket worker called Leno LaBianca and his wife Rosemary.

Tex’s requested edits are strange and chilling. They include asking the website that his name be reverted back to “Tex Watson” instead of Charles “Tex" Watson, that they remove “Mad Charlie” as his nickname (he disputes he was ever referred to as such), and to reintroduce a reference to the 1978 book Will You Die For Me ? that consists of recordings of conversations between himself and his lawyer. Then he appeals that they include his stint at an “onion packing plant” as a young adult saving for college, that the gender of his four children be removed, and that fellow gang member Patricia Krenwinkel was the primary murderer of Abigail Folger, although he admits that he “assisted”. Finally he disputes reports that he stole $70 (£49) from Folger’s purse.

He also denies that Sharon Tate’s last words were “Mother, Mother!” and he has written the words “citation needed” next to the claim that he stabbed her seven times. She was 26 when she was murdered, and just weeks away from giving birth to director Roman Polanski's child.

While the page remains listed as ‘Tex Watson’, people are disputing the legitimacy of the document, which you can read online. However the PDF comes from an official Wikipedia channel, suggesting legitimacy.

The cult, founded in the Californian desert in the late 1960s by leader Charles Manson, who is currently serving nine concurrent life sentences at Corcoran State Prison in California, caused mass hysteria. Manson escaped the death penalty after its abolition in California in 1972.

The killer made news again in 2014 when he was granted permission to marry a 26-year-old woman who had become infatuated with him in prison. The engagement was called off after revelations that she was simply after his corpse in order to display it posthumously. Manson stands to have his next parole hearing in 2026, when he will be 92 years old. Watson has his in November.

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