My father is the jailhouse. My father is your system. I am only what you made me. I am only a reflection of you.
I have ate out of your garbage cans to stay out of jail. I have wore [sic] your second-hand clothes. I have done my best to get along in your world and now you want to kill me, and I look at you, and then I say to myself, you want to kill me? Ha! I’m already dead, have been all my life. I’ve spent twenty-three years in tombs that you built.
Sometimes I think about giving it back to you; sometimes I think about just jumping on you and letting you shoot me… If I could I would jerk this microphone off and beat your brains out with it, because that is what you deserve, that is what you deserve…
If I could get angry at you, I would try to kill every one of you. If that’s guilt, I accept it.
[…] It’s all your fear. You look for something to project it on, and you pick out a little old scroungy nobody that eats out of a garbage can, and that nobody wants, that was kicked out of penitentiary, that has been dragged through every hell hole that you can think of, and you drag him and put him in a courtroom.
You expect to break me? Impossible! You broke me years ago. You killed me years ago.
–Charles Manson’s testimony during the Tate-LaBianca murder trials. From Helter Skelter, by Vincent Bugliosi and Curt Gentry.
Manson family member Susan Atkins’s mug shot. Atkins was convicted for her participation in eight murders, the most notorious of which were the Tate murders where she, and other members of the Manson family, murdered pregnant film star Sharon Tate. Atkins was originally sentenced to death, but her sentence was commuted to life when the California supreme court overturned the death penalty.