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prisons Famous Inmates at San Quentin State Prison

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List Rules Notable prisoners at San Quentin

List of Famous Inmates at San Quentin State Prison ranked by fame and notoriety. San Quentin State Prison is a corrections and rehabilitation state prison located in California. In 1969, Johnny Cash played the famous “At San Quentin” concert at the prison. He performed his anti-prison song “San Quentin” twice during the set as it was met with huge cheers and applause.

Who is the most famous inmate at San Quentin State Prison? Manson family leader Charles Manson tops our list. Manson has been transferred to many different prison facilities throughout his sentence. He famously filmed a 1987 interview with the “Today Show” during his time at San Quentin. The full interview footage wasn't seen by audiences until MSNBC aired “The Mind of Manson” in 2007.

Serial killer William Bonin also spent time at San Quentin State Prison. Bonin, known as the Freeway Killer, committed the rape, torture and murder of at least 21 boys and young men. He was executed at San Quentin by lethal injection in 1996. He was the first person to be executed in this manner in the history of California.

What do you think of the famous inmates of San Quentin State Prison? Share your thoughts in the comments section.
Charles Manson is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Famous Inmates at San Quentin State Prison
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Charles Milles Manson is an American criminal and musician who led what became known as the Manson Family, a quasi-commune that arose in the California desert in the late 1960s. In 1971 he was found guilty of conspiracy to commit the murders of seven people, actress Sharon Tate and four other people ...more

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Age: 82

Birthplace: Cincinnati, Ohio, United States of America

Profession: Musician, Singer-songwriter, Criminal

Credits: Citizen Shane, Charles Manson Superstar, The Manson Family, Helter Skelter

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William Bonin is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Famous Inmates at San Quentin State Prison
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William George Bonin was an American serial killer and twice-paroled sex offender, who committed the rape, torture and murder of a minimum of 21 boys and young men in a series of killings between 1979 and 1980 in southern California. He is sometimes referred to as "The Freeway Killer", a nickname he ...more

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Age: Died at 49 (1947-1996)

Birthplace: Connecticut, United States of America

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Henry Cowell is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Famous Inmates at San Quentin State Prison
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Henry Cowell was an American composer, music theorist, pianist, teacher, publisher, and impresario. His contribution to the world of music was summed up by Virgil Thomson, writing in the early 1950s: Henry Cowell's music covers a wider range in both expression and technique than that of any other ...more

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Age: Died at 68 (1897-1965)

Birthplace: Menlo Park, California, United States of America

Profession: Impresario, Pianist, Music Theorist, Author Composer, + more

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Hans Reiser is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Famous Inmates at San Quentin State Prison
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Hans Thomas Reiser is an American computer programmer, entrepreneur, and convicted murderer. He is the creator and primary developer of the ReiserFS computer file system, which is contained within the Linux kernel, as well as its attempted successor, Reiser4. In 2004, he founded Namesys, a ...more

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Age: 53

Birthplace: Oakland, California, United States of America

Profession: Programmer, Software Engineer

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Randy Steven Kraft is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list Famous Inmates at San Quentin State Prison
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Randy Steven Kraft is an American serial killer known as the "Scorecard Killer" and the "Freeway Killer" who committed the rape, torture, mutilation and murder of a minimum of 16 young men in a series of killings spanning between 1972 and 1983, the majority of which had been committed in California. ...more

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Age: 72

Birthplace: Long Beach, California, United States of America

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Charles Ng is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list Famous Inmates at San Quentin State Prison
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Charles Chi-Tat Ng is a Hong Kong serial killer. He is believed to have raped, tortured and murdered between 11 and 25 victims with his accomplice Leonard Lake at Lake's cabin in Calaveras County, California, in the Sierra Nevada foothills 150 miles east of San Francisco. After a lengthy dispute ...more

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Age: 56

Birthplace: Hong Kong, China

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Michael Morales is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list Famous Inmates at San Quentin State Prison
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Mike Morales is a producer on "The Howard Stern Show."  Morales, nicknamed "High Pitch Mike" because of his high voice, makes regular appearances on the show as himself. Morales acknowledged that he is gay on Stern's show on December 1, 2008. ...more

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Profession: Radio producer

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Richard Chase is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list Famous Inmates at San Quentin State Prison
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Richard Trenton Chase was an American serial killer who killed six people in a span of a month in Sacramento, California. He was nicknamed "The Vampire of Sacramento" because he drank his victims' blood and cannibalized their remains. ...more

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Age: Died at 30 (1950-1980)

Birthplace: California, United States of America

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