Fight over Manson's remains continues

Judge decides grandson will get Charles Manson's body

California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation via Getty Images

A freakish court battle over the remains of United States cult leader and killer Charles Manson has been won by his grandson, who's now free to pick up the body. The fight for Manson's remains was waged between Freeman, a man who claims he was fathered by Manson before his followers carried out the heinous slayings, and a pen pal who collects so-called Manson memorabilia.

Manson, 83, had been hospitalized in Bakersfield while serving a life sentence for orchestrating the 1969 killings of pregnant actress Sharon Tate and eight others.

The dispute over the body foreshadows a similar fight over his estate in a Los Angeles courtroom.

On March 7, the Kern County court said a decision would be released in a few days.

A grandson of cult leader Charles Manson has won the freakish California court battle for the killer's corpse.

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The three all tried to cast doubt on the authenticity of the competing claims and Freeman largely won out because of problems with the other petitions.

Knight said the will submitted by Channels was problematic, in part, because he was one of the two witnesses while also sole beneficiary.

Charles Manson's remains are staying in the family. "I'm irate. That Jason Freeman, he just pulled the wool over the whole system's eyes". Knight said Brunner had shown evidence he was fathered by Manson, but he lost his right to be deemed an heir because he was adopted by his maternal grandparents.

Freeman, a former mixed martial arts fighter from Florida, is now responsible for burying Manson's body, which has remained at the Kern County morgue since November.

Manson was convicted of seven counts of first-degree murder and one count of conspiracy to commit murder in the deaths of Tate, the La Biancas and four other people at the Tate residence - coffee heiress Abigail Ann Folger, photographer Wojciech Frykowski, hairdresser Jay Sebring and Steven Earl Parent, who was shot and killed in his vehicle on his way to visit an acquaintance who lived in a separate rented guest house on the Tate property.

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Although some raised questions about whether Freeman was really Manson's grandson, Knight determined he was "the surviving competent adult next of kin". The 2002 will he filed names him as the executor and sole beneficiary of the estate.

But Knight rejected those claims.

Some adversaries have suggested others want to profit off the death by selling morbid photos of the corpse to tabloid publications. Freeman said in January he should have the rights to his grandfather's remains.

Freeman has denied having a deal to sell photos of the body.

"From a logical standpoint, there's a great benefit to a public scattering of his ashes, not just for finality for his relatives but to everyone affected by Mr. Manson", Kiken said.

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