Charles Manson is still alive, official says

Charles Manson (File, AP)
Charles Manson (File, AP)

Corcoran — A California prison official says cult leader Charles Manson is alive following reports that he was hospitalised.

TMZ reported on Tuesday that Manson was taken to a hospital in Bakersfield, close to the California prison where he has been incarcerated.

California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation spokesperson Terry Thornton declined to say whether the leader of the notorious Manson family has been hospitalised.

Thornton said Manson, 82, is still assigned to the prison in Corcoran, but she declined to say whether he's there, citing safety and security protocols.

Privacy laws prohibit her from discussing an inmate's medical situation, Thornton said.

Manson was convicted of orchestrating the 1969 murders of pregnant actress Sharon Tate and six others.

Sarah Ardalani of the Los Angeles County district attorney's office said in an email that the agency had no information on Manson. The office prosecuted Manson and has objected to his release. He was most recently up for parole in 2012 — his 12th bid for freedom.

The California State Prison, Corcoran, has medical facilities to treat inmates requiring urgent or emergency care as well as in-patient hospital stays.

"In general, inmates are sent to outside hospitals if they need surgical services, emergency care, or diagnostic services of an acute nature," said Joyce Hayhoe, a spokeswoman for the federal receiver who controls prison medical care. "These services are not provided in state prison facilities."

In November, the state inspector general, which monitors the corrections system, characterised care at Corcoran as "inadequate."

Manson was convicted of leading a cult in which disaffected young people living in a commune followed his orders and were ultimately turned into killers.

Manson and three female followers, Susan Atkins, Patricia Krenwinkle and Leslie Van Houten, were convicted of murder and sentenced to death for killings at two gruesome scenes in the summer of 1969. Another defendant, Charles "Tex" Watson, was convicted later.

All were spared execution when a US Supreme Court ruling temporarily banned the death penalty in 1972.

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