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10 Creepy Unsolved Mysteries Surrounding The Manson Family

The Manson Family committed one of the most reviled crimes in modern American history: the Tate-LaBianca Murders, which brutally ended the life of actor Sharon Tate (wife of director Roman Polanski) when she was eight-and-a-half months pregnant, along with four of her friends and her gardener's son. The next day, married couple Leno and Rosemary LaBianca were murdered by the Manson Family in equally brutal fashion, this time with Charles Manson himself helping commit the crime. The cult had hoped to frame a Black man for the killings to spark race riots in Los Angeles, which they believed would usher in the apocalypse.

While the facts of this case are well-documented, the Manson Family lies at the center of many other mysteries, as well, including several similar but unsolved murders. Other stories about the Manson Family have circulated for years, including several conspiracy theories that make them agents of the CIA or members of a secret Satanist network (or both!). This list looks as some of the most compelling unsolved mysteries and conspiracy theories surrounding Charles Manson and his cult of killers.

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  • The Manson Family May Have Been Satanic Killers-For-Hire

    If it's not the CIA behind everything, it must be Satanists.

    There's a conspiracy theory out there that the Manson cult was part of a nationwide network of Satan-worshiping assassins for hire. This Satanic murder network, operating primarily in California, New York, and Texas, was supposedly behind the Son of Sam killings as well as the Helter Skelter crimes of the Mansons, plus numerous other murders of the time, many of them ritualistic in nature. They hired themselves out to drug dealers and other illegal power brokers, getting not just money out of it, but access to lots of sacrificial victims too.

  • A Possible New Manson Victim Was Found Near Their Compound

    Video: YouTube

    On November 16, 1969, the body of an unidentified young woman was discovered by a bird watcher, dumped on an embankment off Mulholland Drive in Los Angeles. She had been stabbed 157 times. Known simply as "Sherry Doe," she went unidentified for 46 years, until a mortuary sketch of the victim was recognized by family friends of Reet Jurvetson in 2016.

    The MO of her murderer was very similar to the "overkill" employed by the Manson Family, so even before she was identified, police suspected that she had been a Manson victim. After her identification, detectives questioned now-81-year-old Manson in prison, but the cult leader proved unhelpful. 

    There is another suspect in the case, an unidentified man whom Reet had left home to meet, but Manson's silence on the issue doesn't mean much. Throughout his incarceration, Manson liked to play mind games, so Reet's family and the police may never know who really killed her.

  • A Second Body Also Appeared Along Mulholland Drive

    Photo: Charles O'Rear / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain

    Marina Habe was kidnapped from her mother's driveway shortly after Christmas Day in 1968 by at least two people driving a black sedan. Two days later, her body was discovered in the underbrush off Mulholland Drive; she had been murdered, the victim of multiple stabbings. The medical examiner ruled that she had been stabbed by more than one person.

    Strangely, one year later, Reet Jurvetson's body would be dumped on almost the exact same spot - as if someone who killed young women had come to like that particular stretch of Mulholland Drive.

    Because of the very similar MOs of Habe's and Jurvetson's murders, their proximity to the Spahn Ranch, and their similarity in turn to the Manson family's infamous "overkill," it has always been suspected that Habe was a Manson victim along with Jurvetson. But there has been little evidence to go on, and her case has never been solved.

  • The Murder Of Charles Manson's Kentucky Uncle Remains Unsolved

    Photo: FCI Terminal Island / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain

    Charles Manson's biological family was a mess. Born in Ohio to an teen mother, he was raised by his aunt and uncle, and he never knew his real father. But his birth mother did sue a man named Walker Scott for child support two years after Charles was born.

    Scott's brother, Darwin Scott, would therefore have been Manson's uncle by blood. Which makes his 1969 murder in Ashland, KYall the more suspicious. Like many of Manson's known and alleged California victims, Scott was killed by multiple stab wounds. And there was a group of hippies in town at the same time, led by a man called "Preacher" who had been handing out LSD to locals until their house got burned down.

    All of that happened while Manson was on parole and out of touch with his parole officer. So while the connection may be circumstantial, the similarities are intriguing, especially considering that Scott's murder, like so many others with possible connections to Manson, remains unsolved.