Charles Manson Criminal Investigation Report Thesis

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Manson

Crime Scene Investigation and Charles Manson

Crime scene investigation is the most important preliminary step in pursuing parties believed guilty of the crime in question. Where the case is murder, the investigation is of a particularly sensitive nature, with the manner in which the act has been committed, the space producing evidence of a homicide and the array of forensic clues made available there helping to fuel the process of apprehension and to build a case for conviction. Murderers who act in a serial nature tend to leave common features that may be seen as 'calling cards,' helping to reveal an identity and provide glimpses into the psyche of the killer. Patterns, preferences and messages can be deciphered in the body of work committed by such an individual. And perhaps few would leave so vexing an apparent motive and so grotesque a body of evidence as Charles Manson. The charismatic and dangerous demagogue who appointed himself a figure of historical and cultural importance in the lives of a number of young female runaways would exploit the naivete and subversive nature of the 1960s to instigate a series of horrific and confusing homicides. The crime scene investigations that would make Manson known to the world would invoke horror and intrigue, with the perpetrators clearly intending to shock the public with the extent of their brutality.Buy full Download Microsoft Word File paper
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Thesis on Charles Manson Criminal Investigation Report Assignment

A particularly disturbing aspect that would make the Manson case so uniquely difficult to diagnose from a crime scene perspective would be the highly convoluted natured of Manson's own motives. These concerned a highly intricate scenario in which Manson himself played a key role in what he claimed was an impending race war in the United States. The crime scenes would contain various clues concerning the details of this imagined scenario as well as a host of evidence as to how Manson ultimately pursued the killings in question. Manson's scenario incorporated some of the realities concerning America's internal strife over the Civil Rights movement with his only highly contrived interpretation of the music of the Beatles and a delusional sense of his own importance in the events of history. This combination of forces which incline Manson's cult of followers toward acts of bloody and horrific murder. According to Linder (2002), "in the twisted mind of thirty-four-year-old Charles Manson, a wave of bloody killings of high-society types in Los Angeles would be the spark that would set off a revolution by blacks against the white establishment. When 'blackie,' as Manson called black people, proved unable to govern, they would turn to Manson and his tribe of followers, who would have survived 'Helter Skelter' by hiding out in an underground cave in the Death Valley area of California while the chaos raged above." (Linder, 1)

This would produce the famous Tate-Labianca murders, which would require a trial holding multiple defendants on multiple counts of first degree murder. The nature of the crime scenes themselves would be of significant importance in building an inherently complicated case. Of note is the fact that the case would be one of the longest and most expensive criminal cases in modern U.S. history, owing the challenge of deciphering degrees of responsibility amongst the members of Manson's cult including Manson himself. The two major crime scenes would be in the Los Angeles area and though the Manson 'Family,' as it was known, is known to have committed other murders, the concentration of evidence would come from these.

In the first, "on August 9, 1969, police in Los Angeles, California, responded to a hysterical call from actress Sharon Tate's housekeeper. When officers arrived at the house rented by Tate and her husband, film director Roman Polanski, they found the corpses of the pregnant actress and three house guests: Jay Sebring, Abigail Folger, and Voyteck Frykowski." (Older, 1) This would be followed immediately thereafter with the discoveries at the Labianca estate, where the residing husband and wife would be found stabbed multiple times and leaving behind a mass of evidence as to motive and the identity of the killers. In both cases, evidence of the multiple participants in the murders would be strewn about the crime scenes, which appeared to revel in the gory detail of the homicides. The Tate house would be distinguished for the brutal and messy fashion in which the victims were left displayed for police but the Labianca house would hold many of the most explicit clues as to the 'motives' for the killings. Here, the bodies would be found with stab wounds in excess of 100 and with the word 'WAR' carved into the stomach of Leno Labianca and a knife lodged in his neck. (Linder, 1)

The words "PIGS," "Rise up" and "Healter Skelter" (sic) would be written in blood on the walls of the house, with the crime scene providing some clear evidence of the contrived race-war motive in which the wealthy white targets of the killings were the 'pigs' against whom the blacks were to mount resistance. These details, instructed to the killers by Manson, would be important for connecting the crimes to the cult demagogue and his contrived motives relating to the songs of the Beatles, and "Helter Skelter" in particular. That said, the handling of the crime scene would be notoriously shoddy, owing to the initial sense that a preemptive awareness of the identity of the killers would be sufficient for prosecution. The length and complexity of the case suggests this to have been a serious miscalculation. Reports tend to indicate that officers arriving on the scene were so deeply disturbed by what they found that investigation suffered considerably in the offshoot.

Accordingly, Robinson (1996) reports that "the police appear to have been stunned by the horrific details at the mass murder crime scenes. They badly bungled the task of collecting evidence. They were unable to find the clothing worn by the murderers. A television news crew was able to locate the clothing later. Although Manson is not believed to have killed anyone directly, he ordered his followers to commit the famous Tate, LaBianca and other murders." (Robinson, 1) This level of involvement on the part of Charles Manson would make prosecution surprisingly complex giving the nature of the crime and the seeming wealth of available evidence. Officers may perhaps be accused of taking for granted the clarity of the case, even in spite of its bizarre motives. The fact that the scene was discovered based on the voluntary confession to a cell-mate of Susan Atkins, a member of the Family and direct participant in the killings, may have created a false sense of confidence in conviction.

However, Manson's role as mastermind would make use of the crime scene both difficult and central to his conviction. All indications at the site of the murders were that those guilty of the crimes had carried them out collectively in an orgy of bloody violence. In addition to the young girls who were a stable of the Manson Family, Tex Watson would be the leader on the site of the Tate household, with crime scene evidence providing the connection to his arrest and conviction. Atkins would then testify against her accomplices in the murder, claiming that she had been unaware of the plot as they approached the Tate house. In response, "Family' members Patricia Krenwinkel and Leslie Van Houten were indicted on murder charges and arrested. Charles "Tex" Watson, whose bloody fingerprint was found at the Tate house, was arrested at his parents' home in Texas. Watson's attorney forestalled his extradition for nine months, arguing that pretrial publicity made it impossible for Watson to get a fair trial in California." (Older, 1)

This obstacle would pale in comparison to the bizarre cloud which hung over the whole proceedings in court. Manson would be tried and found guilty of… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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