While in prison in Washington state in the early 1960s, Manson befriended Alvin "Creepy" Karpis, who had been allied with the deadly Barker bank robbery gang in the 1930s. Karpis taught Manson to play guitar and in a 1980 memoir he described "Little Charlie" as lazy but having "a pleasant voice and pleasing personality, although he's unusually meek and mild for a convict."
The powers of manipulation that Manson used on his followers were honed in prison when he took a class based on "How to Win Friends and Influence People," the 1936 book by self-help guru Dale Carnegie, according to the biography "Manson."
Hoping to boost his music career, Manson became friends with Beach Boys drummer Dennis Wilson and producer Terry Melcher. He later became upset with Melcher, who was the son of actress Doris Day, because he did not make a record with him. The first round of murders by Manson's followers occurred in the house where Melcher had previously lived.
Before the killings, the Beach Boys recorded a song Manson wrote titled "Never Learn Not to Love." Later, Guns N' Roses recorded his "Look at Your Game Girl" and Marilyn Manson, whose stage name was partly inspired by the killer, used lyrics from Manson's "Mechanical Man" in his song "My Monkey." Trent Reznor, front man for the band Nine Inch Nails, lived in the house where the Tate murders occurred.
According to movie lore, Anthony Hopkins studied videotapes of Manson in preparation for his role Hannibal Lecter in "Silence of the Lambs," but Hopkins denied it.
(Compiled by Bill Trott; Writing by Bill Trott; Editing by Jonathan Oatis, Diane Craft and Nick Macfie)
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