commentary by Patrick H. Moore
Last November, the media was awash with stories about an idealistic young girl known only as Star whose idealism had somehow become fixated on the old Murder Manager himself, Charles Manson, to such a degree that she had decided that she and Manson were going to be married. In a post we ran on All Things Crime Blog, we wrote:
It’s now reported that Manson not only has a young female admirer but that she is determined that he and she will “walk down the aisle together” or however marriages are handled in the notorious California State Prison system. Her name is Star and she is a 25-year-old brunette who’s been loyally visiting Manson in jail since she was 19 years old. She maintains several websites devoted to defending her man and his pro-Earth environmental causes. Star told Rolling Stone that she became enchanted with Manson’s environmental stance, which he calls ATWA — air, trees, water, air — when she was only 19.
As for Star herself, she stated:
“I’ll tell you straight up, Charlie and I are going to get married. When that will be, we don’t know. But I take it very seriously. Charlie is my husband. Charlie told me to tell you this. We haven’t told anybody about that.”
Manson, however, in his typically cynical fashion, refused to corroborate Star’s impassioned statement. “Oh that,” he says. “That’s a bunch of garbage. You know that, man. That’s trash. We’re just playing that for public consumption.”
On another occasion he told Rolling Stone: “Star! She’s not a woman. She’s a star in the Milky Way!”
Now, however, almost one year later, it appears that Star’s glorious dream of marrying Manson may soon come true after all. Linda Deutsch and Scott Smith write for AP:
Mass murderer Charles Manson has gotten a license to marry a 26-year-old woman who visits him in prison.
The marriage license obtained Monday by The Associated Press was issued Nov. 7 for the 80-year-old Manson and Afton Elaine Burton, who left her Midwestern home nine years ago and moved to Corcoran, California — the site of the prison — to be near Manson. She maintains several websites advocating for Manson’s innocence.
Deutsch and Smith state that the license does not have a specific wedding date and that the December-May couple must be lawfully wed within a 90 day window, or else they will need to reapply.
“Y’all can know that it’s true,” she said. “It’s going to happen.”
“I love him,” she added. “I’m with him. There’s all kinds of things.”
When asked about Manson’s obnoxious and rather deprecating “trash” and “public consumption” comments, Star was unphased:
“None of that’s true.” She then added that she and Charlie are waiting for the prison to process their paperwork.
When approached by the AP, Terry Thornton, a California Department of Corrections spokeswoman, confirmed that the prison had received the license.
Thornton explained that each California state prison designates an employee to be a marriage coordinator. Said official processes the paperwork which is generally approved because the CDC (California Department of Corrections) considers such weddings to serve as “a tool of family reunification and social development.”
Admittedly, though, Manson’s case is somewhat unique. In a moment of candor, Star explained that the wedding might have happened sooner “if Manson did not have “some situations” at the prison.
Specifically, according to Spokeswomen Thornton the “situations” include three violations of prison rules on Manson’s part, which suggests that Star’s betrothed is still marginally incorrigible, although at this late date, he probably doesn’t really pose much of a threat to anyone. But you be the judge. The violations which date back to February are:
1) possession of a weapon
2) threatening staff
3) refusal to provide a urine sample.
Star is confident that she and Charlie’s nuptials will go forward as planned. Prison marriages occur on the first Saturday of each month and she expects the ceremony will be held in an inmate visiting room.
According to prison rules, Star and Charlie can ask someone from the free world to preside over the ceremony and they are allowed to invite up to 10 non-inmate guests.
Once they are lawfully wed, the couple will not be allowed to engage in conjugal (family) visits because Manson is serving life and has never succeeded in convincing the parole board to give him a parole date
This does not appear to bother Star, though, who intends to work on his case and help him eventually obtain release. As Manson’s wife, she will have the legal right to obtain information not available to non-relatives.
“There’s certain things next of kin can do,” said Star who maintains that Manson is innocent and will ultimately be granted a new trial. As things stand presently, Manson will not be eligible for parole until 2027.
Manson has been incarcerated since 1969. He was convicted of master-minding “the gruesome killings of actress Sharon Tate and four others at her estate on Aug. 9, 1969, and grocers Leno and Rosemary LaBianca who were killed the following night.”
Unlike Manson, who will probably never be (or seem) completely redeemed, most of his imprisoned followers became model prisoners. Yet, they allowed themselves to be led terribly astray by Manson and his peculiar charm which led to the murders and their imprisonment in the first place. Thus, Star is simply the latest young woman to be swept off her feet by Charlie. The old boy, alas, still has the knack.
Fortunately, it seems quite unlikely that he will try to manipulate Star into killing someone on his behalf. But, of course, you never know for sure.
Click here to view out earlier Charles Manson posts:
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