He may be a 79-year-old convicted killer carrying out a life sentence in a California prison, but Charles Manson apparently still has the same strange power over women that attracted Manson Family followers in the late 1960s.
“I’ll tell you straight up, Charlie and I are going to get married,” Star (Afton Elaine Burton,) Charles’ devoted follower, told Rolling Stone. “When that will be, we don’t know. But I take it very seriously. Charlie is my husband. Charlie told me to tell you this. We haven’t told anybody about that.”
The 25-year-old Missouri native began corresponding with Charles during high school, when she claims her parents kept her locked in her room the majority of the time. When she was 19, she used the money saved from working part-time at a retirement home to buy a ticket to California. She now lives in the community surrounding Corcoran State Prison and visits Charles every Saturday and Sunday. They are allowed to kiss at the beginning and end of each visit.
“Yeah, well, people can think I’m crazy,” she said. “But they don’t know. This is what’s right for me. This is what I was born for.”
In his first wide-ranging interview in 20 years, Charles agreed that it was Star’s destiny.
“Star! She’s not a woman. She’s a star in the Milky Way,” he said of his fiancée, whom he renamed upon her arrival in California.
Although Star said she’s most attracted to Charles’ pro-Earth, ATWA beliefs, there are still undeniably sinister elements to her idol: In one instance during the interview with Rolling Stone, the man convicted of conspiring in the murder of actress Sharon Tate surprised reporter Erik Hedegaard by touching him on the nose. He then said, “If I can touch you, I can kill you.”
Star recently etched a “X” into her forehead. Grey Wolf, one of the others who remains devoted to Charles, marked his forehead with the “X” at the same time as Star. He then blogged, “Charlie gave us the honor of requesting that we cut our foreheads to make an X, for ATWA.”
Although Charles’ followers in the 1970s mutilated their bodies in the same way, Star hates being compared to the women who came before — particularly Susan Atkins.
“That b***h was f**king crazy,” Star said. “She was a crazy f**king whore. ‘Oh Charlie, I did this for you.’ She didn’t know what she was doing.”
During their months of conversations, Erik said Charles was often eager to discuss the environment. He was also eager to continually wrap their conversations back around to the crimes he claimed to have no part in.
“It’s a Hollywood movie star,” he said of Sharon Tate, who was murdered when she was weeks away from giving birth. “How many people did she murder onscreen? Was she so pretty? She compromised her body for everything she did. And if she was such a beautiful thing, what was she doing in the bed of another man when that thing jumped off? What kind of s**t is that.”
The complete interview with Charles — which was a real feat of journalism — was published on Rolling Stones’ website this morning. The haunting story is sure to attract criticism for both Charles and Star. In a seemingly preemptive strike, Charles instructed Star to share a message on their website hours before the article was published: “All these people are so jealous that they can’t seem to keep their hate to themselves. They wanna hate what they don’t understand.”