A few world-changing events happened in the summer of '69: Hippies had their shindig at Woodstock, a man walked on the moon, 9-year-old Bryan Adams was probably a solid year or two away from getting his first boner, and in Southern California Charles Manson and his band of drug-fueled acolytes horrifically murdered eight complete strangers in the hopes of starting a pseudo-apocalyptic race war. (It didn't work.) Without getting knee-deep into the horrific, grisly details that surrounded the actual killings, the key to remember about what became known as the Tate-Labianca murders is that Manson himself didn't commit them. His followers did, under his guidance and insane instructions. The other thing to remember is that Mr. Manson couldn't pull this shit off anywhere else in the world. Not a chance.
Why Location Mattered
Take a guy like Manson and plop him down in regular ol' middle America, and he's just a crazy guy with a wonky eye and a motormouth. In fact, Manson was a run-of-the-mill screw-up his whole life -- in West Virginia; Ohio; Indiana; Washington, D.C.; and Florida. But then something happened -- he was arrested in California. And it was California that put Manson in prison for seven years in the 1960s, and California where he was paroled in 1967.
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He was free only for about 33 months.