Jason Freeman, whose grandmother was Manson's first wife, making him Charles Manson's grandson, has won the legal right to dispose of the criminal’s body, reports NPR in “Charles Manson Grandson Wins Legal Battle Over Cult Leader's Body.”
Manson, who died in November, was serving a life sentence for coordinating the notorious “Helter Skelter” killing spree in Los Angeles in 1969. Since his death late last year, his body has been on ice at California's Kern County Coroner’s Office while the legal battle ensued. Manson's cult viciously murdered seven people over the course of two nights in 1969, including actress Sharon Tate, who was pregnant at the time of her death.
Freeman has not stated his intentions for disposing of the body, according to The Associated Press, but he has "previously said he would cremate and spread the ashes of Manson and put to rest 'this so-called monster, this historical figure that shouldn't have been blown up as big as it was for all these years.'"
Kern County Superior Court Commissioner Alisa Knight stated in her ruling that Freeman is Manson's "surviving competent adult next of kin," which means that he will get to decide what happens to the remains.
A man named Michael Channels submitted a purported 2002 Manson will, according to court documents.
The media has reported that Channels claimed to be a pen pal of Manson’s, who collected and sold Manson memorabilia.
The purported will left all of Manson's estate to Channels, and the probate court found some aspects of it require further proof, including the fact that he was also one of the witnesses to the will.
A purported son of Manson, Michael Brunner, objected to Freeman's claim. However, Brunner later admitted that he was legally adopted by his grandparents, the court ruling states. That disqualifies his claim, the court said.
Dale Kiken, the attorney representing Freeman, expects that Freeman will scatter Manson’s ashes over a body of water. He told an AP reporter that he thinks a public scattering of his ashes will create finality for relatives and everyone who had been affected by Manson.
Reference: NPR (March 13, 2018) “Charles Manson Grandson Wins Legal Battle Over Cult Leader's Body”