'Just a matter of time': Serial killer Manson close to death
ASHEN. Gaunt. Weak.
Charles Manson, the once charismatic leader of a 1960s cult embroiled in a series of high-profile murders is reportedly on death's door.
TMZ states it has been told 83-year-old Manson was rushed from prison to a Bakersfield hospital three days ago.
He's apparently been receiving treatment since - under the close supervision of five attending police officers.
TMZ cites a source as saying: "It's just a matter of time."
It's not Manson's first death scare.
In January he was hospitalised for internal bleeding, and was judged too weak for surgery by doctors.
But he bounced back.
Manson was convicted for masterminding the August 1969 murders of nine people across Los Angeles, including pregnant actor Sharon Tate.
He is serving a life sentence.
Manson was released from a 10-year jail sentence in 1967 before heading to San Francisco and embracing the rise of flower-power culture.
His efforts to sell himself off as a singer-songwriter failed in professional circles, but he soon grew a loyal following of fans - particularly among young women.
Embarking on a life of sex and drug orgies, the charismatic leader called his followers his "Family" - preaching a vision of an impending race war and the messianic role he was supposed to play in it.
His desire to spark that race war - as well as possibly avenge insult for refusals for recording contracts - saw him order his followers to conduct several brutal killings.
The most famous of these was on August 8, 1969, when he ordered Charles "Tex" Watson, Susan Atkins, Patricia Krenwinkel and Linda Kasabian to target the Polanski household.
Sharon Tate, heavily pregnant at the time, was among those killed.