Charles Manson is an American criminal and musician who led what became known as the Manson Family, a quasi-commune that arose in California in the late 1960s. He was found guilty of conspiracy to commit the 1969 murders of Hollywood starlet Sharon Tate and Leno and Rosemary LaBianca carried out by members of the group at his instruction. Manson believed the murders would help precipitate an impending apocalyptic race war he called “Helter Skelter.” Before the murders, he was a singer-songwriter on the fringe of the Los Angeles music industry, chiefly through a chance association with Dennis Wilson of the Beach Boys. Manson is serving life imprisonment at Corcoran State Prison in California. Now 79 years old, he was born on this day in 1934.