Oxygen's Manson: The Women is a two-hour TV special which interviews some of the women who followed Manson. Lynette “Squeaky” Fromme, Sandra “Blue” Good, Catherine “Gypsy” Share, and Dianne “Snake” Lake will speak in the documentary about their experiences living on Spahn Ranch with Manson, as well as what drove them to follow Manson in the first place.
The Manson family — the name of the cult Manson created around him — were responsible for the murder of actress Sharon Tate as well as four others in her home in August of 1969. Supermarket executive Leno LaBianca and his wife Rosemary were also killed by the family that week. While none of the women in Manson: The Women were active participants in those crimes, Fromme made an assassination attempt on President Gerald Ford on behalf of Manson in 1975. She became a prominent figure during the 1969 murder trials for expressing her devotion to Manson. She was released from prison in 2008.
According to Oxygen's official description, the film will be less focused on Manson and more on the psychology that went into controlling these women.
"In an era where free love fuelled the proliferation of counterculture communes, most of Manson’s loyal followers were young women from middle-class backgrounds whose own home lives did not bring them solace and, instead, pushed them to find acceptance elsewhere," it reads. "This, coupled with Manson’s inflammatory us-vs-the world teachings, ignited a sense of belonging within the women and inadvertently paved the way for their leader’s stronghold."
Manson has become a subject of fascination this year, which marks the 50th anniversary of the Tate-LaBianca murders. Quentin Tarantino's Once Upon a Time...In Hollywood stars Margot Robbie as Tate in the weeks leading up to her death. The film Charlie Says, which stars Matt Smith as Manson, is focused on the women of the Manson family and explores who is really guilty of the crimes committed. More controversially, Hilary Duff plays Tate in The Haunting of Sharon Tate, a supernatural take on the Manson murders.
Manson: The Women debuts on Oxygen Saturday, August 10 in the US. Currently, there is no way we can watch it in the UK, but we will keep you updated.