Forty-four years ago this week Charles Manson, then 34, led what was known as his "family" to the now infamous Los Angeles Hills murders of 1969. In the end, Manson and his followers would be convicted of killing seven people, including Roman Polanski's wife, Sharon Tate, who was eight months pregnant. Manson was spared the death penalty in 1972 after California eliminated capital punishment. He is now 78 and resides in Corcoran State Prison in Kings County, Calif.
A photo provided by the California Department of Corrections shows then 77-year-old serial killer Charles Manson Wed., April 4, 2012. (AP/California Department of Corrections) This Dec. 3, 1969, file photo shows Charles Manson en route to court in Independence, Calif. (Harold Filan/AP) Charles Manson sticks his tongue out at photographers as he appears in a Santa Monica, Calif., courtroom on June 25, 1970. (AP) Actress Sharon Tate is shown in 1965. (AP) This 1992 file photo shows the Benedict Canyon estate, sheltered in the hills of Los Angeles, where actress Sharon Tate was murdered along with four others on the night of Aug. 9, 1969. (Reed Saxon/AP) Polish film director Roman Polanski and American actress Sharon Tate at their wedding in 1968. She was subsequently murdered by members of Charles Manson's pseudo-religious sect The Family. (Photo by Evening Standard/Getty Images) This 1999 file photo shows Charles Manson being escorted to his arraignment on conspiracy-murder charges in connection with the Sharon Tate murder case. (AP Photo, File) Female members of the Charles Manson "family" kneel on the sidewalk outside the Los Angeles Hall of Justice, March 29, 1971, with their heads shaved. They kept a vigil at the building throughout the long trial in which Manson and three other women were convicted of slaying actress Sharon Tate and six others. Left to right: Cathy Gillies, Kitty Lutesinger, Sandy Good, Brenda McCann. Jurors were believed near a verdict on the penalty to be imposed on the defendants. (Wally Fong/AP) Charles Manson followers, from left: Susan Atkins, Patricia Krenwinkel and Leslie Van Houten, shown walking to court to appear for their roles in the 1969 cult killings of seven people, including pregnant actress Sharon Tate, in Los Angeles, Calif., in this Aug. 20, 1970 file photo. (George Brich/AP) Leslie Van Houten, a Manson follower, is seen as former Deputy Distric Attorney Stephen Kay, not seen, describes the 1969 killing scene during a parole hearing Friday, June 28, 2002, at the California Institution for Women in Corona, Calif. Van Houten remains housed in the California Institution for Women in Chino, Calif. (Damian Dovarganes/AP) In this 1986 file photo, Convicted killer Charles Manson is seen during a parole hearing in California. (AP)