BAKERSFIELD (CBS/AP) — Cult leader Charles Manson is back in a Central California prison after a reported hospital stay for an unspecified medical problem.
Manson, 82, was at California State Prison, Corcoran as of Saturday, said Jeffrey Callison, a spokesman for the state Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.
“We never stated he was anywhere else,” Callison said in an email. “Medical privacy laws do not allow (the department) to discuss inmates’ medical issues, if any.”
The department has declined to comment on reports from TMZ.com and the Los Angeles Times that earlier in the week Manson was taken to a hospital in Bakersfield, 60 miles south of the prison.
While the prison has medical facilities, California prisoners generally are sent to outside hospitals if they need “surgical services, emergency care, or diagnostic services of an acute nature,” Joyce Hayhoe, a spokeswoman for the federal receiver who controls prison medical care, said Tuesday.
Manson is serving a life sentence for orchestrating the 1969 murders of pregnant actress Sharon Tate and six others in Southern California. Messages like “Pigs” and a misspelled “Healter Skelter” were scrawled in the victims’ blood on their walls and doors.
The cult leader had attracted disaffected young people who lived in an old movie ranch on the edge of Los Angeles that Manson turned into a commune. Prosecutors said Manson and his “family” of followers were trying to incite a race war he dubbed “Helter Skelter,” taken from the Beatles song.
Manson, followers Susan Atkins, Patricia Krenwinkel, Leslie Van Houten and Charles “Tex” Watson were convicted of murder and sentenced to death.
All were spared execution when a U.S. Supreme Court ruling temporarily banned the death penalty in 1972.
Another Manson Family member, Lynette “Squeaky” Fromme, was never charged in the murders but went to prison later for trying to assassinate President Gerald Ford in 1975. Fromme, whose gun didn’t fire, was paroled in 2009 after 34 years behind bars.
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