The internet erupted after learning Charles Manson, 80, was granted a license to marry 26-year-old Afton Elaine Burton, who prefers the name “Star,” because Manson says she’s a “Star in the Milky Way.”
A mousy young woman, Star looks eerily similar to one of Manson’s most fanatical murderous followers, Susan “Sadie Mae” Atkins.
Not eligible to apply for parole again until he’s 92 in 2027, Charles Manson is arguably among the world’s most famous prisoners, and by rights shouldn’t be alive for his present-day notoriety. Sentenced to death in ‘71 with four followers, they lucked out when California’s death penalty was nixed in 1972. Those on Death Row were given a stay of execution and death sentences commuted to life in prison. Within six years, death was back on the books and is still in effect today, but Manson and his “Family” stayed blessed with the gift of life behind bars.
Marriage, some argue, is a basic human right. I would agree, and have long supported that premise in support of LGBTQ seeking marriage rights. But you need to be human before you deserve basic human rights, and Manson is far from.
To understand why some are so outraged about this “right” being extended to Charles Manson, we need to start at the beginning.
The Formative Years
Manson’s criminality and depravity began young. Born to a partying teen mom who’d get in trouble with the law later, Charlie grew up fascinated with guns, smitten with stealing, and constantly in trouble with authorities. By 13, he ran away from Boy’s Town, where it’d been hoped he’d find a better path. His would be a life of reform schools and prison then on.
READ THE REST over at the Vancouver Observer. Click here.
This op-ed assumes you know that: Roman Polanski was convicted of “unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor” in ’78, in which he admitted plying a 13-year-old full of Quaaludes & booze with the intent of having sex with her in every manner possible. He pled guilty, public opinion came against the law who were going to let him off with a lenient punishment, and he fled to France, where he has lived pretty much ever since, enjoying their non-extradition policies. Upon showing up in Switzerland to collect a lifetime achievement award recently, he was finally arrested and will face sentencing for the conviction he’s been on the run from for 31 years.
I love the sense of ironic humour in how Roman Polanski was arrested for his 1977 rape at long last — he shows up to collect a lifelong achievement award, and the cuffs get slapped on. Beautiful. A crime he’s spent 30+ years evading, he’s finally going to be held accountable for. It’s existential poetry. Justice comes at last.
The reaction on the Polanski thing baffles me. Many in the public — probably because they actually KNOW the one in four people who’ve likely been raped — seem elated Polanski’s going to receive sentence for a crime he was long ago convicted for. Hollywood seems to be rallying behind their chosen director-boy.
Like Whoopi Goldberg on The View. Whoopi, in her infinite hit-the-nail-on-the-head articulate genius, said: “I know it wasn’t rape-rape. I think it was something else, but I don’t believe it was rape-rape.” Continue reading →