Court asks Charles Manson's grandson to take DNA test to prove link to cult leader before inheriting his estates
On August 30, the Supreme Court granted a motion filed by memorabilia collector and the pen pal of Charles Manson, Michael Channels, ordering Jason Freeman the supposed grandson of the notorious killer, to take a DNA test that would establish "probative and relevant evidence" showing that the latter was biologically related to Manson.
Freeman is seemingly the son of Manson's only legitimate son, Charles Manson Jr.
The results of the DNA test would once and for all settle the question of who would inherit the cult leader's estates after he died in 2017. The only people vying for his remains and assets are Freeman and Channels.
According to court documents filed in Kern County in November 2017, Channels claimed that he had been friends with Manson for over 30 years and that the deceased's 2002 will, named him as the executor of Manson’s estate.
After a Kern County commissioner ruled in March 2018 that Freeman was entitled to Manson’s remains, Dale Kiken, an attorney who was given the authority to protect Freeman’s interests in August 2018 is currently the temporary special administrator of Manson’s estate. One of the tasks that Kiken is trusted with is to recover the property, on behalf of Freeman.
Both Freeman and Kiken believe that a 2002 Manson will that Channels claims to make him the inheritor of his property was a forgery.
In February 1986, an Ohio judge found that Freeman was the son of Charles Manson Jr. Freeman had said back in December 2005 that while he would not voluntarily take a DNA test to prove his kinship to the convicted murderer, he would do so if ordered by the court.
"There are people on the other team (Channels and his lawyers) who are trying to build a case against me. They think that a DNA test would prove something different," Freeman told Daily Mail at the time. "If the DNA test was a match nothing changes. If it's not a match, it does not take away the fact that this man I knew all my life was my grandfather."
"If the court ordered me to take a DNA test I would. I am confident that a DNA test would prove that I am Charles Manson's grandson. In my eyes, my father was Charles Manson Jr. It's an open and shut case," the father of four added.
Charles Manson Jr, also known as Charles Jay White, committed suicide 1993 and hence, his DNA was not available for testing. As a result, although the California Family Code allowed DNA testing to establish parent-child relationships and not grandparent-grandchild relationships, an exception will be made in this case.
"It is also impossible to consider evidence that either Manson as the grandparent or Charles White as the parent held out the child [Freeman] as that parent’s own due to the grandfather’s life imprisonment and Charles White’s death in 1993," the judge said.
He added: "Technically speaking, the parentage of Freeman could be established by genetic DNA evidence acquired during the parent’s lifetime, as such evidence from the decedent Charles Manson most likely would have been acquired during the lifetime of Charles White."