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Notorious US killer Charles Manson taken to hospital in California - reports

Manson was sentenced to death in 1971 for a killing spree that left seven people dead.

Charles Manson, 1970s
Charles Manson, 1970s
Image: PA Archive/PA Images

NOTORIOUS US KILLER Charles Manson, who led a California cult that killed pregnant Hollywood star Sharon Tate, has been hospitalised, the Los Angeles Times is reporting.

Kern County Sheriff’s Bill Smallwood confirmed to the newspaper that Manson (83) is at a local hospital but could not comment further.

A spokesperson for the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation declined to comment, citing federal and state medical privacy laws that prevent the centre from commenting “on protected health information from any inmate in our custody”.

Manson was hospitalised in January for severe intestinal bleeding. He needed surgery to fix a lesion, but doctors deemed him too weak and sent him back to prison.

One of the most famous criminals in the United States, Manson has been behind bars for more than four decades.

He was sentenced to death in 1971 along with four of his followers for the August 1969 bloody killing spree that left seven people dead – including Tate, who was the wife of filmmaker Roman Polanski. She was heavily pregnant at the time.

Their sentences were later commuted to life imprisonment.

In prison, Manson was granted permission in 2014 to wed the then 26-year-old Afton Elaine Burton, who had been visiting him. But the 90-day license expired without the ceremony going ahead.

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The criminal’s “family” set up a base on a ranch in California’s Death Valley in the 1960s.

Describing himself as a reincarnation of Jesus Christ, Manson arranged a series of murders in a bid to provoke a war between whites and blacks. He assumed that the former would win and take him on as their leader.

More than 40 years later, the killing spree by Manson’s “family” continues to haunt the public psyche and stir morbid fascination, fueled by books, songs and tourist routes, internet sites and films.

With reporting by AFP

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