GREENWOOD Co., SC (WSPA) – An Upstate woman is sharing a letter she says she received from Charles Manson.
A spokesperson for the California Department of Corrections says Manson died of natural causes Sunday night. He was 83-years-old.
Greenwood County resident Dara Bell says the letter still brings back memories.
“I was in the 11th grade back in 1987,” she said.
She says her Ninety Six High School teacher told their psychology class to write letters to Charles Manson.
“He gave us the address and said ‘Hey does anybody want some extra credit?’” she recalled.
Bell says she was the only one in her class who got a response after penning her letter asking Manson why he committed his crimes.
“I was just in shock,” she recalled, adding it was her mother who’d first opened the letter. “She looked at the return mail and she’s like *gasps* this is not a boyfriend this is who I think it is. And she says the hairs after she read it rose on the back of her neck and after that we moved.”
She says Manson talked about himself and society.
“He signed the Manson family,” she read. “He said ‘Did you ever think that the thought in your head may not be yours.’”
The convicted mass murderer was serving a life sentence for orchestrating the 1969 killings of 7 people in Southern California. Bell said she also got a letter from one of his cult members, who was imprisoned at the time. “I hate what he’d done and what they done even though he said he didn’t – you know, it’s just sad,” she said. “He deserves what he got.”
Bell says she has a feeling why she was the only student who got a letter from Manson.
“My dad was a minister and I told him that my dad didn’t raise me to believe that Charles Manson was Jesus Christ,” she said.
She says the letter is something she’ll always hold on to.
“Not many people get a letter from Charles Manson and this is something that I might pass down to my family later on in life,” said Bell. “I didn’t do it to be a spectacle or anything. I just wanted the extra credit.”
She says she hopes his letter can give insight into what went on in Charles Manson’s head.
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