Charles Manson has broken two decades of silence, giving a telephone interview to Spain’s Vanity Fair magazine in which the convicted killer and cult leader called President Obama foolish and expressed fears about the environment.
Manson, who was convicted 40 years ago in the gruesome murders of eight people — among them the pregnant actress Sharon Tate — also talked about killings and his group of followers who came to be known as the “Manson family.”
The cult leader has a new attorney who has asked the president to set Manson free. Asked by the magazine to give an opinion of the president, Manson, 76, called Obama foolish in reference to Wall Street, saying he considered the president “a slave of Wall Street.”
“He doesn’t realize what they are doing. They are playing with him,” he said, according to the magazine.
Manson went on to express fears about the health of the global environment. “If we don’t wake up to that, there’s going to be no weather because our polar caps are melting because we’re doing bad things to the atmosphere,” Manson said in the interview from Corcoran State Prison in California. “We’ve got to put everything in one, everything in one world, everything in one world now. If it doesn’t come to one world now, there’ll be no planet, there’ll be no life on the planet.”
Manson: ‘I’m a Bad Man’
Other comments revealed the familiar, chilling Manson.
“I am a bad man. I’m nasty. I’m in the bull ring. I don’t play. I shoot people … I’m an outlaw. I’m a criminal. I’m everything bad,” he said.
Manson didn’t carry out any of the killings during a two-day rampage in Southern California, but he was sentenced to death for ordering the murders. He’d apparently hoped to use the killings to ignite a race war between blacks and whites.
Murdered on Aug. 9, 1969, were Tate — who was the wife of film director Roman Polanski — and their houseguests, Jay Sebring, a hairstylist; heiress Abigail Folger; writer Wojciech Frykowski and teenager Steven Parent. Leno and Rosemary LaBianca were killed the next day.
All the victims were brutally stabbed to death.
Also attributed to Manson and his followers was the July 25, 1969, death of Gary Hinman. Manson associate Bobby Beausoleil was convicted in connection with the crime. Manson was found guilty of Hinman’s death in a separate trial.
The death sentences imposed against Manson and members of his group were commuted to life sentences when California abolished the death penalty in 1972.
Speaking of his infamous followers, Manson said, “I live in the underworld. I don’t tell people what to do. They know what to do. If they don’t know what to do, they don’t come around me, because I’m very mean. I am very mean. You understand what I’m saying when I say mean?
“We’re told, everybody, that all things are bad. Bad is not good and good is not bad. Bad and good go together. You have to accept one to understand the other. You’ve got to accept yourself as God. You’ve got to realize you’re just the devil just as much as you’re God, that you’re everything and you’re nothing at all.”
In the middle of the interview, Manson began to ramble in Spanish.
“I’m very mal hombre, nasty,” he said, meaning “bad man.”
He added, “La mala hierba nunca muere,” a take on a Spanish phrase that translates as “a weed never dies,” which can be taken to mean that the devil looks after his own.
Asked by the reporter if Manson knew Spanish, Manson replied: “Muy poco, muy poco,” or “very little, very little.”
Manson said he learned Spanish from his fellow prisoners.
He is housed in the prison’s protective unit.