Charles Manson Essay

1322 Words6 Pages
An Assessment of
Charles Manson: Two Points of View on a Killer’s Personality
Crystal L. Boyanski
Columbia College

There are many theories about what shapes an individual’s personality and when following these approaches, sense can be made of a certain person’s behavior. Charles Manson is a well-known serial killer whose personality is reflective of two specific personality theorists’ views. Sigmund Freud, whose psychosexual stages of development could explain some of the traits held by Manson. Karen Horney was another theorist whose views on childhood love and nurturing, or lack of it, could explain Charles Manson’s personality. Gathered information on
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Charles Manson ended up on the streets and this led to his life of crime. By 1952, Charles had spent 17 years, which was half his life, imprisoned. He had 8 assault charges already. While in prison, Charles Manson was known as a model inmate and he even got released against his wishes because he felt he could not adjust to the world. (Rosenberg, 2009) He also fathered two children, one by his ex wife and one by another woman.
In the 1960’s, Manson gathered hundreds of followers which he called “The Family.” They lived on a deserted ranch. Most of Manson’s followers were impressionable young females and he used LSD and amphetamines to help manipulate and convince them to act out his wishes. He slowly broke down his follower’s beliefs and made them believe that he was Jesus and that a race war was impending. Eventually Manson’s most loyal followers carried out his acts of violence and left seven people dead. In 1969, police raided the ranch on suspicions of vandalism, unaware of the murders committed until after the arrests. Charles Manson has been labeled “The Icon of Evil.” (Rosenberg, 2009)
Charles Manson had a long history of neglect and abandonment since his childhood and this may have played a role in the development of his personality. The psychoanalytic analysis could argue that since he spent his childhood and feeling he had no control of his life due to the instability, this could have led to his personality traits.

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