Lifetime's latest original movie, "Manson's Lost Girls," explores a previously unexamined tale of the many women recruited and radicalized by Charles Manson. While a majority of Americans in the late 1960s had been captivated by the hippie movement, Manson was making a name for himself as the stern leader of a bizarre and grim cult called the Manson Family.
The Ohio native reportedly organized and handed down plans for brutal murders to those in the Manson Family, never actually getting involved in the crimes himself. Of his 12 members, seven were women; While some members of the organization, namely Susan Atkins and Leslie Van Houten, are well-known by the public, there are several facets of Manson Family life, especially for female members, brought to light in "Manson's Lost Girls" that may have shocked viewers.
Here are the 21 craziest moments from "Manson's Lost Girls":
- Charles Manson's (Jeff Ward) followers in "Manson's Lost Girls" believe he is omnipotent. He often picks up on things about them without them having shared. For Linda (Mackenzie Mauzy), it is her issues with her father.
- Sex is a major aspect of life on the ranch. Members of the Manson Family frequently shack up together, whether one-on-one or in groups. The women of the Manson Family frequently engaged in sex with the few male members, their leader, and each other.
- Several children live on the Manson Family ranch. Many of them came there with mothers who had left their biological fathers. Charlie is looked at as a father figure, at least "spiritually" according to Susan Atkins (Eden Brolin).
- The women in "Manson's Lost Girls" are forced to go out and "hustle" for money. They steal or dig through trash for food and other belongings.
- Female members of the Manson Family are urged to separate from their children in "Manson's Lost Girls." Linda is forced to adopt a detached parenting style, spending only a specific amount of time with her young daughter Tanya (Tess and Stella Gordon) and no longer sharing a bed with her.
- Fame is a major motivator for Charlie. In one scene a few of the girls claim that he will be "bigger than The Beatles" one day in reference to his music career.
- Charlie often covers himself in blood, sporting a crown of thorns, reinforcing the idea that he saw himself as the Messiah.
- Charlie believes that The Beatles predicted a race war. He is certain that black people will rise up, which will lead to rioting and he wants himself and his members to brace for that.
- The Manson Family leader is prone to aggressive outbursts. He frequently erupts on members of his cult over simple things, like taking "more than your share" of food.
- Charlie is certain that the moon landing is "a government PR stunt" to distract Americans from focusing on the war in Vietnam and "Helter Skelter." He calls his followers his "soldiers," reminding them that they must be fully committed to the cause.
- Charlie is threatened by anyone more talented than him. During one scene in particular he walks in on Susan, who has learned a song of his. He questions the performance, telling her "maybe you should get a record deal."
- He killed for the first time during a business transaction gone wrong. He met up with Lottsapopsa (LeJon) for a big score, which quickly goes wrong. The Manson Family then grow scared that the Black Panthers, which Lottsapopsa belonged to, will pursue them.
- After the incident Charlie tells his followers the race war he, and The Beatles, predicted is upon them. Before preparing for "battle" they throw one major party during which Charlie repeatedly asks them if they would die for him, reassuring them that he would for them if it came down to it.
- Charlie wasn't afraid to use violence on his members, women included. During one scene, Leslie Van Houten (Greer Grammer) questions him for practicing on Patricia Krenwinkel (Isabel Shill). He then punches Leslie, reminding her that he does "the thinking."
- Manson's second kill was Gary Hinman (Christopher Redman). Atkins sets the stage for the murder to look like the Black Panthers did it. Bobby Beausoleil (Garrey Coffey) feels remorse after the killing, growing fearful that they'll be caught.
- After leaving the ranch temporarily, Bobby is found by police and arrested. Susan worries that the Manson Family's involvement in the murder will circle back to them.
- In an effort to free Bobby, Susan suggests that the Manson Family kill again, leaving the same markings on the wall. She says that doing so will turn the cops off Bobby's scent.
- Linda was pegged as the lookout in the first of the Manson Family murders. She watches as other members of the Manson Family kill Sharon Tate (Jhemma Ziegler), who pleads for her unborn child's life, and friends.
- Throughout the film Charlie seems to believe he is doing his victims a favor. He tells Linda at one point that he feels bad for them because "dying is easy."
- Susan creates a long list of famous people the Manson Family could kill to gain notoriety. The list includes Liz Taylor, Walt Disney, Sandy Colfax and more.
- While confessing, Linda explains to police that Manson's power over his followers was in that he had felt like nothing, and so had they. Charlie provided a feeling of belonging for all of them, which is why they agreed to follow him so loyally.
As is revealed at the end of "Manson's Lost Girls," Linda is granted full immunity for her confession. She and her daughter were placed under witness protection and moved to the Pacific Northwest. Manson Family member Susan was sentenced to life in prison. She died of brain cancer in 2009. The rest of the Manson Family, Charles himself included, remains in prison.
"Manson's Lost Girls" will be available for a second viewing Sunday, Feb. 7 at 12 a.m. on Lifetime.