Charles Manson's son killed himself because 'he couldn't live down who his father was', claims grandson

Charles Manson's son killed himself because 'he couldn't live down who his father was', claims grandson
Charles Manson (Source : Getty Images)

The name of infamous cult leader Charles Manson casts a long shadow on those close to him. No one knows this fact better than Manson's grandson Jason Freeman.  In an interview with CNN back in 2012, he spoke about what it was like growing up under a "family curse" that was started by his grandfather and the Manson Family. Manson had often claimed that he had no idea how many children he had fathered but it has been confirmed that he had at least three boys.

His eldest son, Charles Manson Jr., was born in 1956 when the criminal mastermind became a first-time father with his first wife Rosalie Jean Willis. He was, however, not the most present father and left the family home when his son was still very young.

As Manson Jr. got older, he struggled to come to terms with the heinous crimes his infamous father had committed. This made such an impact on him that he unofficially changed his name to Jay White so that other's would not associate him with his father. 

Freeman, who is a 6-foot-2 kickboxer and cage fighter, told CNN in the interview: "I'm coming out." He also said that he was doing it because he wanted the real Manson family members to stop hiding. Freeman also said that he wanted to understand his roots and himself better.

He knew when he was very young that Charles Manson was his grandfather but it did not mean anything to him until one day, in his 8th-grade history class. Freeman said: "Our teacher was talking about Charles Manson and I'm looking around like, are there people staring at me?"   

He was then banned from talking about his cult leader grandfather to his school friends to prevent them from teasing or taunting him. This made him always feel different from the other children and even inside his own home the talk of his grandfather was not allowed. Freeman was also not allowed to talk to his grandmother, Rosalie, about her husband, whom she married in 1955. It was definitely a skeleton in the closet through most of his life.

More than anything in this world, Freeman wanted to connect with an absent father whom he only knew through a rare letter that was sent to him. He believes that Manson Jr. changed his name to Jay White just so that he could stay away from his father and to not blemish his son's childhood the same way his childhood had been. Freeman told CNN in 2012: "He just couldn't let it go. He couldn't live it down. He couldn't live down who his father was."


White, who was unlucky enough to get the name Charles Manson Jr., took his own life on June 29, 1993, on a lonely stretch of highway in Burlington, Colorado, which is a little to the west of the Kansas state line. The death certificate seems to give a few hints as to why he chose the particular spot and what it was that finally pushed him to commit suicide. The document has also indicated that the suicide happened at around 10:15 am from a "self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head" at "exit 438 on Interstate 70".

Freeman, who is an avid wrestler, fighter, and tattoo lover, works on oil rigs in western Pennsylvania to provide for his family. He is generally a tough guy but always gets very emotional when it comes to the father he never met. This is the case especially when it comes to what he went through as a child. He reportedly fought back tears when asked what he would like his father to know and said: "I want him to know that he missed out on a lot."


Freeman specifically says that he wished his father was there to meet his grandchildren and see the life that his son has managed to build for himself. He concludes the interview by saying: "I see my kids, you know, and that's kinda where I get shook up. I would hate to see them grow up without a father. That's important. Very important."

The two-hour documentary, 'Charles Manson: The Funeral', premieres on Saturday, April 13, 2019, at 8 pm ET/ 5 pm PT. 

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