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Battle erupts over control of Charles Manson’s remains, estate

This photo provided by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation shows Charles Manson in August 2017 in Bakersfield, Calif. (California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation/Zuma Press/TNS)

There’s a battle brewing over the remains and estate of mass murderer Charles Manson.

Reports of two unverified wills surfaced Friday, with each leaving the killer’s estate to a different person.

Manson friend Ben Gurecki told the New York Daily News he obtained a January 2017 will from Manson and passed it along to Manson’s self-proclaimed “son” Matthew Roberts in March.

He said Roberts was named as the main beneficiary.

“I can assure you Matthew will be handling this,” Gurecki told the Daily News on Friday.

“Matthew and I will be there next week in person,” he claimed. “Charlie will be given a headstone, a proper burial where people will be able to grieve, or deface it as they see fit.”

Meanwhile, said Friday it obtained a February 2002 will from an unidentified Manson pen pal that disinherited all Manson relatives.

The mysterious pen pal said he is the sole beneficiary and plans to claim Manson’s body before a 10-day deadline expires next week, TMZ reported.

Gurecki said he doesn’t know who the pen pal is but that the more recent will allegedly signed this year supersedes any that came before it.

The Chicago resident, who has posted recent prison calls with Manson on his YouTube channel, said he plans to meet Roberts in Kern County, Calif., next week.

“There are plans for Charlie’s remains to be handled with dignity and not by the Kern County coroner,” Gurecki told the Daily News. “(I) will absolutely not let this continue to be a circus.”

Manson, 83, died of natural causes at a hospital in Bakersfield, Calif., on Sunday.

He spent most of his life in prison for the murders of nine people in 1969, including pregnant actress Sharon Tate.

Roberts, 49, is a Los Angeles musician who looks like Manson and was adopted as an infant. When he found his birth mother in 1998, she told him Manson was his father, according to CNN.

Gurecki claimed he and Roberts have a Tuesday appointment with Hillcrest Memorial Park in Bakersfield. He said they hope to transfer Manson’s remains from the Kern County coroner to Hillcrest for a “respectful and dignified” cremation paid for by him.

He said calls to coroner fell “on deaf ears” this week, so they hope an in-person visit will “resolve this situation.”

He said they plan to inter Manson’s ashes somewhere the public can visit.

“This is my personal last attempt to help a friend have the proper resting place that he deserves.”

Beyond the two alleged wills, Manson’s grandson Jason Freeman told the Daily News earlier this week he also is interested in claiming Manson’s remains. A GoFundMe account set up this week to underwrite his efforts was shut down Thursday.

Prior attempts to establish a genetic link between Freeman and Roberts were unsuccessful, CNN reported in 2012.

State officials have so far declined to comment on any final wishes left by Manson.

Manson’s estate reportedly could have some value.

The convicted killer was a musician who wrote a Beach Boys song and worked on other projects, including an album released through Gurecki.

Manson’s followers killed six people during a terrifying two-night murder spree in August 1969.

Tate, who was 8 1/2 months’ pregnant, begged for her life as she was stabbed repeatedly inside her Los Angeles house along with coffee heiress Abigail Folger, celebrity hair stylist Jay Sebring and two others.

The next night, Manson’s gang chose another house at random and brutally murdered wealthy grocer Leno LaBianca and his wife, Rosemary.

Manson was eventually convicted of nine murders in all and spent nearly a half century in prison.

He was sentenced to death originally, but that was commuted to life with the possibility of parole when the death penalty was briefly outlawed in 1972.

Prosecutors said Manson and his followers were trying to incite an Armageddon-like race war named after the Beatles’ song “Helter Skelter.”

Manson was denied parole 12 times between November 1978 and April 2012.


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