Charles Manson Jr. was the oldest son of infamous cult leader Charles Manson. Despite changing his name, starting a family, and not having any relationship with his notorious father, Charles Manson Jr. could not handle the weight of his father's crimes.
Manson Jr. took his own life when he was only 37. This is a brief look into his short life, haunted by the sins of one person he should've been able to trust the most.
Manson Was 20 When He Married Rosalie Willis
Charles Manson was 20 years old when he married Rosalie Willis, a 15-year-old waitress, in 1955. Though brief, their marriage was a happy one, according to the cult leader.
Manson was on probation, which he violated and ended up in prison at Terminal Island in San Pedro, California, in 1956.
At the time, Willis was three months pregnant with Charles Manson Jr., and she eventually gave birth the same year. A baby named Charles Manson Jr. was born while his dad was doing time.
Becoming Jay White
Charles Manson Jr. had little interaction with his father. His mom knew that her marriage was over after she had Manson's first son, and soon enough, she remarried to Jack White.
With a new father figure, Charles Manson Jr. decided to change his name to Jay White. He also had two siblings, Jesse J. White, born in 1958, and Jed White, born in 1959.
All Rosalie's children led short lives and not entirely happy ones.
She divorced White and remarried again, this time to Warren Howard Handley.
The first tragedy happened in 1971. Jed, the youngest child, died of an accidental gunshot wound at the age of 11.
Jesse overdosed in 1986. Finally, Charles Manson Jr. ended his life by shooting himself in the head in 1993.
Inside The Life Of Charles Manson Jr.
Everything we know about Charles Manson's oldest son is thanks to his son, Jason Freeman.
Jason was 16 when he lost his father, and he never lived with him. However, he remembers stories others told him, and these helped him understand his dad.
Apparently, Charles Jr. never felt a sense of belonging and was tortured by guilt throughout his life.
That caused tensions between him and his family, and he even lived on the streets at some point.
Despite trying to get away from his father's shadow, Charles Manson Jr. would end up selling drugs and getting into physical altercations.
When his son was only six months old, the family fell apart. Freeman's mom later remarried, and he was always closer to his stepfather than to his father.
Freeman only remembers one occasion where he was spending time with his biological father, and he was only 11. Despite their lack of communication, if Charles Manson Jr. had lived, perhaps things would've been very different.
However, he was reckless, and on top of that, judged by society, despite the name change.
He ended his road of self-destruction, but it feels like he was never indeed given a chance for life.
Charles Manson's oldest son and his father didn't talk. He only wrote to him briefly before Jr. committed suicide.
In many ways, this man was another victim of the cruel Manson Family.
Jason Freeman Wishes He Could Turn Back Time
Despite trying to be more like his stepfather, Charles Manson Jr. didn't know how to escape the ghosts of his father's cult.
Jason Freeman talked about what it was like growing up under the "family curse," as he called it. Kickboxer and cage fighter Freeman told CNN:
"Our teacher was talking about Charles Manson, and I'm looking around like, are there people staring at me?"
Clearly, Freeman had the tools to deal with the teasing and understand that he is not responsible for his grandfather's doing.
Freeman expressed his sadness over his dad's destiny. He is also the only person who gave us an insight into the mind of Charles Manson Jr.:
"He just couldn't let it go. He couldn't live it down. He couldn't live down who his father was."
Fighting tears, Freeman added:
"I want him to know that he missed out on a lot."
"I see my kids, you know, and that's kinda where I get shook up. I would hate to see them grow up without a father. That's important. Very important."
Charles Manson Jr. tried but couldn't beat the demons. He died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound on June 29, 1993, on an isolated stretch of highway in Burlington, Colorado.
Ironically, Charles Manson Jr's Son Buried Charles Manson
Unlike his father, Freeman, who lives in Florida, learned not to shy away from his tragic family history. After notorious cult leader and murderer Charles Manson passed away in prison in November 2017, Freeman took over his body.
He gave him a proper burial and closed an important chapter of his family's past.
In the end, Charles Manson got more than his oldest son.
However, it is interesting that no one heard anything from the other sons of Charles Manson or their children. Not that much is known, but apart from Freeman, most of those related to Manson remains tight-lipped.
Michael Brunner allegedly wanted to take his father's body, but it is unclear what happened.
What we understand is that Freeman was included in Charles Manson's will and even profited from the movie Once Upon A Time... In Hollywood.
Speaking of this movie, Freeman stated after watching it:
"I can actually hold my head high when I walk out of the movie. It doesn't portray my grandfather as brutally killing all those people, the way it's been for the last 50 years."
Charles Manson's Children
Charles Manson Jr. was born in 1956. Manson's second child, Charles Luther Manson, was born in the late 50s to Candy Stevens.
The actual date is not officially confirmed, and not much is known about Manson's second son or his mother. Some suggest that, like his half-brother, he also passed away in his adulthood.
Valentine Michael Manson's mom is Mary Brunner, one of the first members of what came to be known as the Manson Family.
He was born on April 15, 1968, and even before the arrests of the Manson Family, the child ended up living with his maternal grandparents. He stated he had a happy childhood, unlike his father.
Infamously, Valentine declared that his father was misunderstood. However, it is hard to have an ounce of sympathy for someone responsible for numerous deaths, most notably on August 9th and 10th 1969, when the Tate–LaBianca murders took place.
Though not final, these three men were officially sons of Charles Manson. Whether there were more remains a mystery. After Manson's death, several people claimed to be his children, most notably Matthew Lentz, who claimed he was fathered by Manson at a 1967 orgy.
It is not impossible to think that there are many other Manson children out there. However, it is now clear that people are after the family fortune since Charles Manson left behind over 400,000 dollars, music, books, and it is clear that the interest in his life won't die anytime soon.