Marriage is fertile ground for betrayal; no matter how well you think you know a person, the intricacies of your partner's mind are ultimately a mystery. Love may not be what it seems, and not even Charles Manson can escape this complex emotional reality.
In November 2013, Afton Elaine Burton—who goes by the name Star Manson—declared that she was Charles Manson's girlfriend and that they intended to marry. In fact, Mrs. Manson, then 25 years old, already considered the octogenarian to be her husband. Manson declared the whole thing to be "a bunch of garbage," but that didn't stop the two from getting a marriage license a year later in November 2014. Alas, their license expired last week. In a Facebook post written in the third person, Star denies that this is the end of their road. "They plan on renewing the license, and things will move forward in the coming months," she writes. Though maybe not, if Charles gets word of Star's alleged motives.
According to journalist Daniel Simone, homegirl is a first-rate businesswoman. Star was thinking about the long game here. Death is the longest game of all, and Star is allegedly after Manson's corpse. Simone says that her grand plan was to display Manson's corpse in a glass tomb—the Lenin treatment, essentially, for a very different type of "revolutionary." Star would then open the crypt for public viewing and, she believed, make serious bank on admissions fees.
Distasteful? The word is irrelevant here; that train left the station decades ago. Though obviously the moral compass turns far away from the glorification/deification of a murderous icon—particularly when it would likely cause considerable emotional distress to the families of Manson's victims.
But if you can forget for a moment that this is all sorts of fucked up and look at the scheme objectively, it's actually kind of clever. Assuming that it's legal (and it might be, if it was a registered business that was run out of a privately owned home…though with California's byzantine health codes, who knows), it's a great business plan! There are plenty of people who'd pay for a glimpse of one of the most notorious sociopaths in history. Macabre tourism is a brisk business, there are plenty of sociopaths who idolize Manson, and there will always be an endless supply of disaffected pseudo-goth teens who'd clamor at the chance to gawk at the remains of an infamously horrible individual. My 13-year-old self, deeply ensconced in a dark NIN phase, would've loved it.
Image via AP/California Department of Corrections