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July 23, 2019

Charles Manson's Son Michael Brunner Claims His Father Wasn't a Killer

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Charles Manson's son re-emerged to speak out about his father whom he defended. He said the public was "fed some untruths," and does not believe his father was a "mass-murdering dog." 

51-year-old Michael Brunner had his name changed when he was younger as his grandparents feared other kids might tease him once they learned about his infamous father. A clip of the interview is found below.  

Brunner's dad was Charles Manson, the leader of a cult whose members killed nine people across the state of California in 1969. Manson was sentenced to life in prison for the crime, but his son disagrees with both the court and the public's verdict. 

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Charles Manson, former cult leader | Photo: Shutterstock

"I would say 95% of the public looks at Charlie as this mass-murdering dog, and it's really, obviously, just not true," Brunner said in an interview with the LA Times. It's been 26 years since he last discussed his father in public. 

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Brunner stated that Manson was "not the monster that has been described by the mass media," explaining that "he didn't necessarily kill." Manson was convicted of convincing at least four people to commit the horrific acts. Among the victims was actress Sharon Tate, who was eight and a half months pregnant when she was killed. 

According to Brunner, "the public has been fed some untruths, and this whole thing has been glorified and glammified and blown out of proportion." He asked, "I mean, do we believe in brainwashed zombies out killing people?"

Charles Manson, former cult leader | Photo: Getty Images

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He continued

"...Did [Manson] order these crimes? I don't believe that he did. I believe that it was something manufactured after the fact. This 'Helter Skelter' thing, when you look into it deeply, it doesn't make a whole lot of sense."

Manson reportedly believed there was a hidden message in the Beatles song "Helter Skelter." The song was said to foretell a race war between whites and blacks. The killings he inspired were initially blamed on the Black Panthers, inciting civil unrest. 

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Brunner also reflected on how he was raised. Initially named Valentine Michael Manson, he said his grandparents "gave me what I needed to survive and thrive, and pushed me through school and pushed me through sports and made sure that I was doing the right thing."

As a young boy, Brunner was kept hidden from the truth of his father's tainted legacy. He learned what really happened from a friend at school, but said: "she was reading the same narrative that everybody else was at the time."

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He concluded: "It doesn’t matter how deep you bury your head, you’re going to hear about Charles Manson." Manson, who died in 2017, had reached out to speak to his son but was rejected each time. Brunner wishes he had given him a chance.

Manson was 83 when he passed away from cardiac arrest. According to Pop Culture, four people fought over his body, including Brunner. The court ultimately settled on Jason Freeman, who claimed to be Mason's biological grandson. 

Freeman decided to cremate the remains of Manson and invited Brunner, and Manson's other alleged son Michael Channels to the private ceremony. Brunner questioned Freeman's claim and the men are still in a legal battle over the Manson Estate. 

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