For a guy who is most famous for a murder spree he didn’t even participate in, Charlie Manson is about as creepy as they come. In 1967 the former juvenile delinquent started the “Manson Family”, in the Haight Ashbury neighborhood of San Francisco and the group eventually migrated south and settled at Spahn Ranch. Spahn Ranch was a 55-acre ranch in Los Angeles County used for movie sets and horseback riding for locals. When the Manson family moved in, they helped with the horseback riding business in exchange for living on the property rent free.
The culmination of the Manson Family was in July and August of 1969, the end of “the summer of love”, when Family members murdered nine people as part of a gruesome crime spree they hoped would please Charlie. For his role, Charlie Manson was convicted of first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder. When California took away the death penalty, his sentence was commuted to life and he eventually died in prison. Before the summer of 1969 murders, Manson had already spent half his life in correctional institutions. After his 1971 conviction, he became one of the longest incarcerated people in U.S. history.
Brian Cranston, most famous for his role as Walt White in Breaking Bad, was only 12 that summer. He grew up in Hollywood, the son of an actor and an actress. Brian and his cousin used to ride horses at Spahn Ranch, where he encountered “crazy Charlie” of the Manson family. He recently told the story on The Dan Patrick Show:
The interview took place in 2017, shortly after Charlie Manson died in prison. Manson’s death prompted Cranston to remember the creepy man he’d encountered in his childhood. Of Manson, he says, “I’ll never forget that face.”