All episodes are available for free, with ad-free episodes available for Wondery+ subscribers.
How did Charles Manson become an evil, cunning monster? In August 1969, the world is shocked by the savage murders of movie star Sharon Tate and four others at the sprawling Hollywood Hills estate she shares with film director Roman Polanski. When the following night another couple is brutally slaughtered, panic spreads among Los Angeles residents. Four months later, the mastermind behind these vicious crimes is arrested, and the public learns the name that would haunt it to this day: Charles Manson. But few knew then – or now – the full story behind the making of a mass murderer. In this groundbreaking 6-part series, host Tracy Pattin is joined by internationally acclaimed actor Stephen Lang (Avatar, Don’t Breathe) to take listeners on a unique journey, investigating Manson’s unlikely path from his troubled childhood in rural West Virginia to the night he sent his out his followers to commit the most infamous crime in Hollywood history.
Wondery Presents Against The Odds: Disaster at Sea
Imagine you're on a war ship in the final days of World War Two. The conflict is winding down, and you're excited to get back home soon. But then, disaster strikes. Your ship is struck by enemy torpedoes. And within minutes, you're floating in the ocean, fighting for survival. From Wondery, the new season of the AGAINST THE ODDS podcast puts you in the shoes of the men who experienced the sinking of the U.S.S. Indianapolis, and their fight to stay alive.
This is just a preview of Against The Odds, but you can listen to the full episode at wondery.fm/ATO_YoungCharlie.
Introducing Families Who Kill: The Donut Shop Murders
In the era of some of the most heinous serial killers of all time — one murderous family went curiously unnoticed: The McCrary’s. Led by a psychopathic patriarch and his cunning son-in-law, this Texas clan roamed the country robbing, kidnapping, and killing up to 20 people, most of them taken from donut shops. “Families who Kill: The Donut Shop Murders” recounts the wild and deeply disturbing story of an unhinged American family and the terrible brutality they unleashed. The podcast features the taped confessions of one of the killers, given when he was serving a life term in Colorado.
Listen to the rest of this episode at wondery.fm/DSM_YoungCharlie.
Coming Down Fast
Susan Atkins horrified the Grand Jury on December 5, 1969 with her vivid, gruesome story of the Tate, LaBianca and Hinman murders. Other witnesses, including fellow Manson Family member Linda Kasabian, backed up and added to Atkins’ disturbing testimony.
Charlie now knows for certain that the Beatles with their White Album lyrics are speaking to him directly and guiding his next moves. One thing leads to another – then on Friday night, August 8, 1969, Charlie tells his right hand man, Tex Watson, to take three of the women and head into L.A. Their assignment – “do something witchy.”
On December 4, 1969, prosecuting attorney Vincent Bugliosi interviewed Susan Atkins and was convinced he had a case to connect Manson and his followers to all the murders. And though Manson wasn’t present at any of the actual killings, Bugliosi knew that somehow Charlie had manipulated it all.
In November 1967 Charlie’s decides to move his growing family of followers to Los Angeles, so he can become more famous than the Beatles. However, his first audition doesn’t go well. Not to worry. He has a direct line to the music industry. Two of his girls have just met drummer Dennis Wilson. A Beach Boy.
Summer of Love
Susan Atkins shared with two inmates the gruesome details of the Tate–LaBianca murders, the murder of Gary Hinman, and her life with cult leader, Charles Manson. One of the inmates decided she had to tell someone and reached to the L.A.P.D.
It’s 1967, and Charlie is right in the middle of San Francisco’s Summer of Love. Just out of prison, he relocates to Haight-Ashbury and starts building his following. His first disciple is the homely Mary Brunner, a lonely librarian from Wisconsin
How to Win Friends and Influence People
In October, 1969, another raid at the Spahn Ranch led to the arrest of a family of hippies tied to a series of crimes. Their leader gave his full name as Manson, Charles M. AKA Jesus Christ, God. One of those arrested, Susan Atkins, told her inmates an unbelievable tale of murder and mayhem. If she were to be believed, “Sexy Sadie,” AKA Sadie Mae Glutz, was one of the Tate, LaBianca and Hinman murderers.
Back in the penitentiary in 1957, Charlie studies Dale Carnegie’s popular self-help book and L. Ron Hubbard’s teachings about Scientology. Charlie will use what he’s learned from them and his fellow inmates in order to become a more successful pimp.