Second Charles Manson Will Surfaces Sparking Feud Over Remains, Estate

By Tom Ozimek
Tom Ozimek
Tom Ozimek
Tom Ozimek has a broad background in journalism, deposit insurance, marketing and communications, and adult education. The best writing advice he's ever heard is from Roy Peter Clark: 'Hit your target' and 'leave the best for last.'
November 25, 2017 Updated: November 25, 2017

Two separate individuals are in contention for the estate and remains of recently deceased mass murderer Charles Manson, according to Daily News.

Reports of two different wills surfaced on Friday, Nov. 24, and along with them, two competing claims for Manson’s estate–including for control over what to do with the dead man’s remains.

“Matthew and I will be there next week in person,” Ben Gurecki, a friend of Manson’s, told the Daily News. “Charlie will be given a headstone, a proper burial where people will be able to grieve, or deface it as they see fit.”

Gurecki told the Daily News that Manson gave him a will in January 2017 and he, in turn, handed it over to Matthew Roberts, who claims to be Manson’s son.

Roberts was reportedly told by his mother in 1998 that Manson was his father, reports Fox.

“I can assure you Matthew will be handling this,” the Daily News reports Gurecki as saying. He added that Roberts figures in the will as the main beneficiary.

TMZ meanwhile reported that Charles Manson left his estate to his pen pal, who did not want his identity disclosed.

The unnamed pen pal “began writing Manson in the ’90s and the 2 exchanged letters and phone calls for 2 decades,” and he “even visited Manson in prison from time to time.”

A copy of Manson’s will was left behind. The will was typed but some parts were written by hand. “We checked the handwriting in the will against Manson’s known handwriting, and they appear very similar,” TMZ reported.

The will was dated February 14, 2002, and it leaves all of the killer’s personal belongings, including cash, image rights, and clothing to the pen pal. It also leaves behind his music catalog to the man.

Epoch Times Photo
Charles Manson in March of 2009. (California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation via Getty Images)

The will also stipulates that his body should be turned over to the pen pal, and he has 10 days after his death to handle it, according to California state law. If he doesn’t act within the 10-day period, the state will hire an undertaker and cremate him.

According to TMZ, Manson “specifically disinherited his known children, ex-wives, in-laws, lawyers, friends, prisoners, inmates, cops, guards, and the State of California.”

The pen pal, who asked not to be named, told TMZ he began writing to Manson in the 1990s out of curiosity. After more than 50 letters, Manson finally wrote back in 1997. Later, they spoke over the phone and the two met in 2002—the same year the will was created.

The man said that he visited Manson on Oct. 21—just about a month before his death at age 83.

The will includes a note from the killer, which says, “I’m not in the best spot to rest in peace.” It also contains his signature.

Gurecki told Daily News that he doesn’t know the identity of the pen pal, but the more recently signed will that he was given would override any earlier ones.

According to Daily News, the pen pal said he plans to meet Roberts in Kern County, Calif., next week.

“There are plans for Charlie’s remains to be handled with dignity and not by the Kern County Coroner,” Gurecki told the Daily News. “(I) will absolutely not let this continue to be a circus.”

There are also several men who claim to be the grandsons or sons of Manson. According to the will held by the pen pal, Manson didn’t leave anything to them.

Epoch Times Photo
The most recent image of Charles Manson, taken in August (L)(Courtesy of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation). Hollywood in Los Angeles (Top R). (Oreos via Wikimedia Commons CC BY-SA). Manson’s followers killed actress Sharon Tate (pictured with her husband Roman Polanski) in her Los Angeles Home along with four others on Aug. 9, 1969 (Bottom R). (Photo by Evening Standard/Getty Images)

Manson died of natural causes on Nov. 19 at a Kern County hospital. A statement by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation gave no further details of the circumstances surrounding his death.

He had been serving a life sentence at the nearby Corcoran State Prison for ordering the murders of nine people, including actress Sharon Tate.

Later, Manson seemed resigned to a life of incarceration, ceasing to even attend his parole review hearings after 1997.

“What would I want out for?” he said in a telephone interview with the Los Angeles Times. “This beats an old folks’ home.”

In April 2012, Manson was quoted by parole officials as having told a prison psychologist the previous fall: “I have put five people in the grave. I’ve been in prison most of my life. I‘m a very dangerous man.”


Reuters and NTD contributed to this report.

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Tom Ozimek
Tom Ozimek has a broad background in journalism, deposit insurance, marketing and communications, and adult education. The best writing advice he's ever heard is from Roy Peter Clark: 'Hit your target' and 'leave the best for last.'