The fight over Charles Manson’s remains is threatening to spiral out of control, with four people claiming their rights to his body and belongings in two California courts
The fight over Charles Manson’s remains is threatening to spiral out of control, with four people claiming their rights to his body and belongings in two California courts.
The claimants and their seven lawyers argued their cases to a Los Angeles judge in a hearing Friday, and disputed each other’s claims in front of a gaggle of news cameras outside the court.
Fighting over the remains of the notorious serial killer are two of his alleged children, a grandson, and a prison pen pal and murder memorabilia collector.
Accountant and part-time actress Rebecca Evans was revealed today by DailyMail.com as one of the latest claimants, a potential daughter of Manson.
Evans was rescued as a baby in 1969 from Spahn Ranch, the location of Manson’s hippy commune in Chatsworth, California, and is seeking a DNA test to prove Manson is her father.
She joins her alleged half brother, Matthew Roberts – real name Matthew Robert Lentz – who has already filed a will in California courts with Manson’s signature, claiming he is Manson’s son.
Accountant and part-time actress Rebecca Evans was revealed today by DailyMail.com as one of the latest claimants, a potential daughter of Manson. She is seen arriving at the Los Angeles courthouse for the hearing
She joined her alleged half brother, Matthew Roberts – real name Matthew Robert Lentz – who has already filed a will in California courts with Manson’s signature, claiming he is Manson’s son
Charles Manson’s grandson, Jason Freeman talks to the media outside Stanley Most courthouse in Los Angeles
He claims that Manson never wrote a will, and says that he has the right to take control of the murderer’s body and belongings
Speaking outside the courtroom, Freeman hit out at his rivals, claiming that Channels ‘always used my grandfather for a paycheck’, and that Lentz has a ‘made up, fraudulent will’
A second rival will has also been filed by murder memorabilia collector and Manson pen pal Michael Channels, which entitles him to all of Manson’s personal belongings, including cash, image rights and clothing.
But Manson’s grandson, Jason Freeman, is disputing both documents. He claims that Manson never wrote a will, and says that he has the right to take control of the murderer’s body and belongings.
Speaking outside the courtroom, Freeman hit out at his rivals, claiming that Channels ‘always used my grandfather for a paycheck’, and that Lentz has a ‘made up, fraudulent will’.
‘I love my grandfather,’ Freeman told DailyMail.com. ‘Everybody makes mistakes, I’m not passing judgement. He did his time.
‘I want to claim my grandfather’s body, have him cremated and spread his ashes… If there’s any money at the end of this I’m going to give it away. I want to support local ministries across the US.’
Freeman stands outside court with a friend reading through what appear to be his legal papers
Michael Channels, former pen pal of cult leader Charles Manson is seen walking away from the court at the end of the hearing
Manson walks with public defender Fred Schaefer (in suit) as they attend preliminary hearings, making their way past photographers, Independence, California, December 1969
Freeman said he will give the money from Manson’s estate to J3-16 Ministries, a church in his hometown of Bradenton, Florida.
Freeman pleaded with Judge David Cowan to reach a speedy resolution. ‘We could be looking months down the road. While my Grandfather has been on ice for over 60 days,’ he said.
Judge Cowan today decided to split the Manson court case. The LA courts will rule on who gets Manson’s estate, because he lived in LA county before he was imprisoned.
But what happens to Manson’s remains will be decided by the courts in Bakersfield, California, where Manson languished before his death last November.
Both courts will now have to decide separately which of the wills – if any – are valid.
One of Freeman’s three lawyers, Alan Davis, said Freeman may have problems staking his claim, now that the case has been split between two counties.
‘Jason doesn’t have a will, but he’s more than likely related to Manson and as a relative he has a claim. But his claim might be lower though than somebody who has a will. That’s going to be interesting to see how the judge in Kern County looks at that.’
‘There’s one will that I know of, that’s the Channels will. There’s a section in there that says what to do about the remains,’ said Davis.
‘That would have priority if the judge up in Kern Country decides that it’s valid.’ Davis said the will that Channels filed is ‘questionable’, as Manson’s signature doesn’t have its usual swastika, and there weren’t enough witness who signed it.
Freeman said: ‘It’s hard to understand the court system while my grandfather is still on ice. If my mother died we would come together as a family and take care of everything.
‘I’m standing here now to take care of everything for my grandfather. I just want to see a proper burial, and family comes first.’
Freeman said he had a relationship with his grandfather for eight years. He added that it was ‘by no means an easy, smooth relationship,’ but said that he couldn’t judge him.
THE ‘CHILDREN’, ‘GRANDSON’ AND MEMORABILIA COLLECTOR WHO ARE FIGHTING FOR CHARLES MANSON’S BODY AND ESTATE
Charles Manson died in November and since then, two of his ‘children’, a ‘grandson’ and a memorabilia collector have turned up in Los Angeles to claim the cult leader’s body and his estate.
Evans, 48, only recently stepped forward to stake her claim on Manson’s corpse and estate.
She says she was born at the Spahn Ranch and was given up at birth by her mother Andrea Kavakow, only discovering who her father was at age 15.
Evans told DailyMail.com: ‘It’s something I’ve had to grow to live with. I’ve got as much right as the next person to stake a claim to his estate.’
Roberts is a musician who lives in LA. He was adopted and grew up in Rockford, Illinois, was told that Manson was his real father, after he tracked down his biological mother in 2001.
She told Roberts she was raped by Manson during a drug-fueled orgy nine months before he was born in 1968 – but she later claimed it was not rape but ‘vigorous sex’.
Although attempted, DNA tests have proved inconclusive, and Roberts claims that Manson knew he was his son – and even sent people to find him.
Roberts claims to have a new typed will that was signed by Manson before he died.
Channels is a well-known Manson collector and historian, was a long-time pen pal of the cult leader and had been communicating with him for 20 years.
He claims that in 2002 Manson drafted a will and handed it to him.
However, Roberts’ lawyers have said that Channels’ will might not be authentic because Manson’s signature lacks a swastika – something that he normally signs with.
Freeman, 41, a Florida oil rigger, claims to be Manson’s grandson and next of kin.
He has filed documents to prove he’s Charles Manson Jr.’s son but the claim has not been confirmed.
Freeman said if he received Manson’s remains, he would cremate them and spread them secretly so the location couldn’t be turned into a morbid tourist destination.