On Monday, a California court ruled that the grandson of cult leader, Charles Manson, is to retrieve the serial killer’s body that has been on ice in Bakersfield morgue since he died in November. The decision ends a bizarre battle over who has the right to Manson’s remains.
According to Kern County court commissioner, Alisa Knight, at least five people had petitioned to take possession of the cult leader’s body since his death at age 83 on November 19.
Jason Freeman, a former professional mixed martial arts fighter from Florida was granted permission to retrieve Manson’s body.
Charles Manson had been hospitalized in Bakersfield while serving a life sentence for orchestrating the 1969 murders of pregnant actress, Sharon Tate, and eight others. Manson died of natural causes.
While many had contested the fact that Freeman was actually Manson’s grandson, Knight determined that he was “the surviving competent adult next of kin.”
The fight over Manson’s body transformed into a circus-like battle with friends filing competing wills signed by the late serial killer and kin appearing out of thin air. They not only battled for the rights of possessing the cult leader’s remains but also for Manson’s estate that could include the rights to songs Manson wrote or license his image and other assets.
The case was brought by the coroner’s office, which said that it wanted to urgently dispose of the body because corpses were piling up at the morgue from the methamphetamine and opioid epidemics.
Manson’s grandson described the cult leader as a “kind and giving person” saying that he befriended Manson in a series of phone calls he made to the prison over the past decade.
Manson, who had been serving multiple life sentences in Corcoran, California, struggled with gastrointestinal problems in his later years.
Freeman, a 41-year-old married father of three, said that he just wants to give his grandfather a proper burial.
“I will definitely speak with the inner circle of people who love my grandfather and who may know more of where we would want to be. I’m working on doing my part,” Freeman said.
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