Mass Murderers…

Well, Manson’s dead.  Good.  That will save the state some money in the future.  Manson was blamed for the deaths of nine people, though he wasn’t actually present for all of the killings.  He bravely convinced other people to do his actual dirty work.  His final conviction count was nine, total, but it was seven for which he was most infamous.  Those came to be known as the Tate-LaBianca killings.

California would have killed him back but the death penalty was temporarily halted and his sentence was commuted to nine life terms.  (I guess he won’t be serving the next eight…)  Manson claimed he was attempting to “start a race war.”  More likely, he was just a psychopathic narcissist, seeking revenge on people he thought had “wronged” him somehow.  Truthfully, the only time I regret not being part of an organized religion is when I’d like to take comfort that some evil scumbag is rotting in hell…

Manson was a scary sumbitch.  Crazy.  I think prison was the perfect place for him.  But nine?  He didn’t even kill them all and he gets nine life sentences?  I think it’s because, for many of us, Manson was our “first.”  We remember him differently than the others.  It seemed more…intense.  Manson introduced many of us to thoughts and feelings we had never felt or even considered.

Society was horrified, outraged.  People struggled to comprehend what the murders meant both in the moment and for the long term future of the country.  We locked those people up and threw away the key, confident that the heavy hand of the law would stop things like that from ever happening again.

But, as usual, time and experience have shown us that our original perceptions were based, mostly, on our own innocence.  I’ll tell you this: these days, I find myself wishing that nine was the highest body count in a mass killing…

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