Charles Manson’s cause of death has been revealed less than a day after he died at the age of 83.
Authorities said Manson died of “natural causes,” which is a stock phrase often used to describe celebrity deaths, according to Newsweek.
It means that a person wasn’t killed and didn’t die from anything other than disease or another natural process. Namely, the person didn’t overdose, they weren’t murdered, and they didn’t kill themselves.
It’s unclear exactly what killed Manson. Unconfirmed reports earlier this week said that he suffered a heart attack.
Ben Gurecki, a Manson groupie who regularly posts prison calls with Manson on his YouTube channel, said Manson was brought to Mercy Heart Hospital with heart failure, the New York Daily News reported.
Vicky Waters, a spokeswoman for the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, said Manson died at a Kern County, California, hospital of natural causes, and that there will be no autopsy, People reported on Monday, Nov. 20
Officials told the Los Angeles Times last Wednesday, Nov. 15, that he was hospitalized, but they would not elaborate as to why, citing inmate privacy laws. Manson was also sent to the hospital in January for unknown reasons.
TMZ reported that Manson died in a Bakersfield, California, hospital, and that his body was taken back to Corcoran State Prison. It will be there for the next 10 days, and if nobody claims it, officials said that he’ll be cremated.
“Our sources say Manson did not designate a person to take possession of his body. Under California law, if the body is unclaimed for 10 days the prison will have him cremated. The prison has the option to bury Manson, but we’re told cremation will be Manson’s fate,” TMZ reported.
The state of California will take possession of the property that he left behind. Any money that he has will be used to cover the costs of his cremation.
In 1969, actress Sharon Tate, who was pregnant, hairstylist Jay Sebring, heiress Abigail Folger, writer Wojciech Frykowski, and teenager Steven Parent were stabbed under Manson’s command.
The following night, members of Manson’s group stabbed grocery owner Leno LaBianca and his wife, Rosemary, to death, using their blood to write, “Death to Pigs” and “Healter Skelter”—a misspelled reference to the Beatles song “Helter Skelter”—on the walls and refrigerator door.
Prosecutors said Manson gave out knives and told his followers to kill them to start a race war.
Although Manson did not personally kill any of the seven victims, he was found guilty of ordering their murders, Reuters reported.
In 1971, Manson was sentenced to death for ordering the murders. He was spared in 1972 when the California Supreme Court ruled the death penalty unconstitutional, and Manson was sentenced to life behind bars. While he was in prison, he carved an “X” in his forehead before changing it to a swastika.
Long after Manson had largely faded from headlines, he loomed large as a symbol of the terror he unleashed in the summer of 1969.
Reuters contributed to this report.
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