When I was a kid, I vividly remember finding a copy of the book Helter Skelter. That book, published in 1974, is a comprehensive and disturbing account of Charles Manson and his Manson Family.  I vividly recall two crippling fears from my childhood.

I remember watching The Exorcist when I was a kid and being completely traumatized by it. It was terrifying to me and I refused to sleep in my own room after watching the movie because I was convinced that my bed was going to start levitating and I was going to be possessed by the devil.  As an adult, I can look back and admit that's just ridiculous.  My other fear wasn't so absurd, because it was rooted in reality, not fictionalized supernatural fantasy.

That other fear I vividly recall?  That book!


As a kid, I never even made it past the cover of Helter Skelter. I didn't have to. I knew who it was about and I knew that I was terrified of him.

When I was growing up, I didn't know Charles Manson was raised here in Kentucky.  If I had known that, it likely would have made my fear of him worse.

California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation/Getty Images
California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation/Getty Images

Charles Manson was indeed born in neighboring Ohio in 1934, but spent some of his childhood in eastern Kentucky.  He lived with his mom in Ashland. Here's some video of the house where the two lived.

Lex18 News shared video of the house several years ago on their newscast. The truly disturbing thing about it is the fact that it looks like a home that any of us could have grown up in.  It's looks like your run-of-the-mill, typical suburban home. This particular one though somehow spawned a murderer and one of the most infamous criminals in modern American history.

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Charles Manson and his Manson Family are responsible for the 1969 murder of actress Sharon Tate and others at her home in Los Angeles.

Lynette Fromme, another member of the Manson cult, attempted to assassinate President Gerald Ford in 1975. She served nearly 34 years in prison.

As for Charles Manson, there's no doubt that his story captivated the country and mass media, albeit in a weird sort of way.  Consequently, he was no stranger to television interview and the spotlight.

Manson died on November 19th, 2017 at a hospital in Bakersfield, California. He was 83-years-old.

There's no doubt that this man, this reviled cult leader, had early roots in Kentucky. But, who could have predicted that young Charles, growing up in that rather typical and modest suburban house in Ashland, would eventually turn into a monster?

KEEP READING: Scroll to see what the big headlines were the year you were born

Here's a look at the headlines that captured the moment, spread the word, and helped shape public opinion over the last 100 years.

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