Crime History: Charles Manson & The Manson Family Murders Continue To Inspire Pop Culture

It’s been 47 years since the horrific murders of Sharon Tate, Abigail Folger, Jay Sebring, Wojciech Frykowski, and Steven Parent on Ceilo Drive in Los Angeles. The brutal massacre thrust the Manson Family into the spotlight, putting Charles Manson and his followers among the most notorious spree killers of all time. The Manson Family’s hippie cult origins and bizarre belief system have at times overshadowed the savagery of their crimes, making them ready fodder for pop-culture references. Here are just a few recent pop-culture moments featuring Manson, his Family, and their victims.

Charles Manson from South Park episode
Early on, the long-running series South Park turned Manson into one of their characters. “Merry Christmas Charlie Manson!” saw the animated Charlie, signature swastika etched between his brows, escaping from prison with Cartman’s uncle. The episode riffs on the classic Peanuts cartoon, as the animated cult leader learns the true meaning of Christmas. If you have a Hulu subscription, you can watch the episode here.

The second season of the NBC historical fiction series Aquarius began on June 16, 2016, and stars David Duchovny as LAPD Detective Sam Hodiak, who learns that a missing teenage girl has joined Charles Manson and his Family. By the way, Game of Thrones fans, Renly Baratheon himself, Gethin Anthony, is playing Charles Manson in the series. Check out a few episodes of Aquarius over at

Aquarius promotional art [NBC]

Aquarius promotional art [NBC]

Emma Cline’s novel The Girls is one of this summer’s hottest reads, even making the New York Times best-seller list. Before it was even published, there was a bidding war over the movie rights for this coming-of-age story about a lonely California girl who becomes infatuated by the free-spirited allure of a soon-to-be notorious cult leader and his followers. Loosely based on the Manson Family, the book is available via the author’s website.

Last but not least, drag performer and recording artist Sharon Needles just dropped the video for her new single “Hollywoodn’t,” which includes a scene in which Needles is done up to look like pregnant Sharon Tate – and then is stabbed repeatedly her in the abdomen:

Watch Investigation Discovery’s Manson: The Prison Tapes on ID GO now!



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