Charles Manson dead at 83; here’s why his health crisis was shrouded in secrecy


Mass killer Charles Manson died of natural causes Sunday evening at a Kern County hospital, authorities said.

The 83-year-old cult leader died at 8:13 p.m., according to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

Michele Hanisee, president of the Association of Deputy District Attorneys, issued a statement Sunday saying that Vincent Bugliosi, the deputy district attorney who prosecuted Manson, “provided the most accurate summation: ‘Manson was an evil, sophisticated con man with twisted and warped moral values.’

“Today, Manson’s victims are the ones who should be remembered and mourned on the occasion of his death,” Hanisee said.

WHY WAS SO LITTLE INFORMATION RELEASED?

Local law enforcement in Bakersfield confirmed Wednesday that he had been hospitalized, but state prison officials had declined to comment on his condition, citing federal and state medical privacy laws that preclude the agency “from commenting on protected health information for any inmate in our custody.”

This marked the second time Manson, an inmate at Corcoran State Prison, was hospitalized this year. In January, he spent several days in a Bakersfield hospital. The prison system would not comment on his condition, but sources at the time said he had a “serious” illness.

HOW DOES CALIFORNIA DEAL WITH SICK INMATES?

Though officials did not comment on where specifically Manson was being treated or why, the corrections department’s regulations provide a glimpse of how tightly coordinated the process must be.

“They remain under CDCR custody and 24-hour supervision during this time,” said Vicky Waters, a department spokeswoman. “CDCR also notifies and works with hospital security and law enforcement.”

Inmates are “routinely” taken to outside hospitals for medical care ranging from scheduled surgeries to emergency trauma, she said. The department’s protocol provides up to four levels of review by a medical services committee for cases in which an inmate receives emergency care outside the prison walls.

California Correctional Health Care Services has contracted with several Central California hospitals to provide services to prisoners, including Adventist Medical Center Hanford, Bakersfield Memorial Hospital and Mercy Hospital Bakersfield.

No Bakersfield hospital would comment. But some reporters in Bakersfield last week saw a prison department van parked in front of Mercy Hospital.

WHAT DID WE KNOW ABOUT SECURITY MEASURES FOR…



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