Charles TEX Watson...
Charles Tex Watson (Tried Separately)
of Charles "Tex" Watson's former neighbors in Collin County, Texas described
him as "the boy next door." Watson was an "A" student in a
high school. He held the state record in the low hurdles. According to his uncle,
Watson's problems started when he began taking drugs in college. In 1966, he dropped
out of college and the next year he was in California, using and dealing drugs.
Watson joined the "Family" in 1967, and soon became Manson's
right-hand man. Family member Al Springer told police that "Charlie and Tex
are the brains out there" on the ranch. Springer described Watson as "just
like a college student." He said Watson "kept his mouth shut" and
enjoyed working on dune buggies.
In August 1969, Watson became the principal
killer in the Tate-LaBianca murders. Announcing his arrival at the Tate residence,
Watson said, "I am the Devil and I'm here to do the Devil's business."
He shot Steven Parent and Jay Sebring, and stabbed to death Voytek Frykowski,
Abigail Folger, Sharon Tate, and Leno LaBianca. After the Tate murders, Watson
told Manson, "Boy, it sure was helter skelter."
to McKinney, Texas after the Tate-LaBianca murders. He was arrested in Texas on
November 30, 1969, after local police were notified by California investigators
that his fingerprints were found to match a print found on the front door of the
Watson fought extradition to California long enough that he
was not included among the three defendants tried with Manson. Instead, Watson
went on trial separately in August 1971. His defense attorneys produced eight
psychiatrists to prove the glassy-eyed Watson was insane at the time of the murders--or
at least suffered from severely diminished capacity. On the witness stand, Watson
tried to portray himself as Manson's unthinking slave. (He also testified that
the victims at the Tate residence were "running around like chickens with
their heads cut off.") The jury convicted Watson of first-degree murder.
who now resides at the Mule Creek State Prison in Ione, California, has renounced
Manson and expressed "deepest remorse" to his "many victims."
In 1975, Watson became a born-again Christian and, in 1983, an ordained minister.
He married a Norwegian wife and has three children. In 1978 he co-wrote a book,
Will You Die For Me?