Five people are reportedly fighting to claim infamous cult leader Charles Manson’s remains a month after his death.
According to the Los Angeles Times, issues arose after people in Florida, Illinois, Wisconsin, and California all attempted to claim Manson’s remains. Claimants include Manson’s grandson and the convicted killer’s longtime pen pal and memorabilia collector, Michael Channels.
Kern County County Counsel’s Office filed paperwork in Los Angeles County Superior Court this week asking to be notified about upcoming probate hearings. MyNewsLA.com reported that the Counsel’s Office is acting on behalf of the Kern County Coroner, who is in possession of the inmate’s body.
“We have the following problem we’re trying to cope with here: The Department of Corrections asked the Kern County Coroner to receive the body because we have refrigeration and they don’t,” said Bryan Walters, a deputy attorney in the county counsel’s office.
“When we received it, we thought no one would claim the body. We assumed it would be an easy matter to take care of.”
Channels told The Orange County Register that Manson had disowned his family in a will that Channels said he received in the mail months after meeting the prisoner.
“I have two known children son Michael Brunner and sons Charles Manson Jr. I have disinherited both known sons and any unknown children in the present and in the future from my estate,” the purported will reads.
“I am leaving nothing to any such heirs as, relatives, children, ex-wives, in-laws, lawyers, friends, prisoners, inmates, cops, guards, or the state of California.”
Walters said officials are struggling to determine jurisdiction, as estate hearings are conducted in the county the decedent “domiciled.” Manson, who died November 19 at 83, lived in Los Angeles before his arrest in Inyo County. Though he died in Kern County, Manson was incarcerated at Corcoran State Prison, in Kings County.
Manson spent nearly 50 years at Corcoran State Prison and died at Bakersfield Mercy Hospital, located in Kern County. Reports indicated the cult leader died of heart failure caused by colon cancer that spread to other parts of his body.
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“We included everyone that we know about in our proof of service [for the court filing],” Walters told the newspaper.
“We’ve had pen pals that claim they have written wills. It’s like a circus, and nothing is clear where we should hang our hat on.”
The next hearing will take place January 8 in Los Angeles County Superior Court.
[Featured Image: Charles Manson/Corcoran State Prison]