Charles Manson in non-USA societies?

The Charles Manson story and its horror imposed on America in 1969-1970 is well documented.

In the United States, the murders committed by the Manson family and the subsequent trial are arguably one of the most socially and aesthetically disturbing crimes ever committed in America. An actress and her unborn baby slaughtered with knives, with their blood smeared in menacing messages all over their house; a crazed ringleader and his band of crazy-eyed female followers, all even going to the length of having their heads shaved and carving symbols into their foreheads. Surely, the Manson crimes on the heels of 1969 horrors such as Altamont were the epitome of ultimate, anti-American, Satanic evil.

Were other countries just as disturbed? Or are there other countries that suffered equally or worse “shock crimes” similar to the Manson murders? How was the Manson family debacle treated across the world, and are their other non-USA examples of murder that shocked other societies just the same or even more so?

Manson’s certainly well-known in Scandinavia, I can tell you that much.

There was this one guy…

I’m not sure I follow your logic. The USA has had its share of incredible psychopaths for a long time - for example H. H. Holmes -

Similarly, I would argue Jack the Ripper has had a bigger impact on media and mass consciousness for much longer.

I suppose the only thing to note is that this would only be shocking in a country with established order; there are some countries where lawlessness and death are commonplace, and it would be harder to get away, because “beyond a reasonable doubt” is unnecessary for justice to be seen to be done - either by the police or by irate neighbours.

Regarding the OP’s question, the “See Also” on that article will lead you to a list of serial killers by country:

Some of them probably caused quite a lot of shock. You will note that most of that list is 19th - 21st centuries, but includes Elizabeth Bathory and Gilles De Rais, stories of whom survive precisely because they were so shocking:

Note also that Bathory and Gilles De Rey were able to carry out their crimes in such large scope and escape “summary” or any other form of justice for a long time because they were privileged aristocrats.

Certainly the Manson killings received wall to wall coverage in the Australian media. Firstly in the press and on TV and later magazine style coverage in all media formats. Of course there were far fewer outlets in those days but the crimes were an absolute sensation world wide. There had been similar events before them such as the Moors murders and the assassination of JFK. There have been other touchstone crimes since: 9/11, Columbine and others too numerous to mention.

The Manson crimes were committed at exactly the right time in history and dominated media coverage. The worst school massacre in US history received relatively little coverage. It was ahead of its time and overshadowed by Charles Lindbergh’s crossing of the Atlantic.

Jack the Ripper in the Uk, and Breivik in Norway probably had a similar shock effect, and Breivik got a harsher punishment.

For those interested, don’t ask is referring to the mass murder at the Bath Consolidated School, in Bath Township, Michigan in 1927. Andrew Kehoe set bombs in the school (the dynamite in one wing of the school failed to explode) and in his truck, killing 38 children and six adults.

These were each notorious British criminal cases in their day:

Yea, even in the States I’m not sure Manson is seen as particularly worse or more sensational than various other mass-killers. I’d say Jeff Dahmer, Harris and Kebold, Timothy McVeigh, Gacy and Kazcynski probably have at least as large a hold on the public conciousness, and bin Laden certainly more.

Manson kind of fit into the fears of the time, which is why it seemed like such a big deal circa 1970 (not that it wasn’t sensational in its own right). Nowadays no ones really afraid that Hippies leading bands brainwashed murderous teenagers is going to be a big problem, so he’s kinda been merged with the various other sensational serial killers.

Plus all those oddball interviews Manson has given over the years has made him more the object of mockery than fear. I’d say Ted Bundy (the “perfect guy” turned serial killer), Jeffrey Dahmer (cannibalism is inherently shocking), and John Wayne Gacy (the guy who almost singehandedly created the “clowns are evil” meme, plus pedophilia is the ultimate taboo) are more iconic symbols of evil than Manson.
I think a more interesting question is “who is your country’s most iconic murderer”. From what I’ve read, Myra Hindley is the UK’s ultimate symbol of evil. Would you say that’s accurate?

“Most iconic” may not even be someone whose name people know. The Spanish word sacamantecas, lit. “removes-fat”, is both a name for a bogeyman and used to describe a leech, someone who takes a lot and never gives: I give you not one, but two serial murderers who did exactly that. But while I knew that the name was linked to actual cases thanks to a documentary I watched just a few weeks back, I doubt most people will be able to name either case - even those who live in the areas where the murders took place.

Technically, Manson was never convicted of actually killing anyone…

I dont know if you are American or not, but here, the Manson murders still resonate and NO ONE has no clue who the fuck hell HH Holmes is, regardless of his crimes.

As for Jack the Ripper, at this point he is a menacing historical icon transcending true crime, in any English speaking culture so to compare Charles Manson with Jack the Ripper is a bit unfair, in this context of course…

As for other American Psychos mentioned, Jeffrey Dammer is perhaps the only name recognized by most Americans; Ted Bundy and John Wayne Gacy are mere serial killer asterisks at this point, remembered only by those 50 and over.

I would say most Americans despite their age know how horrible Charles Manson was, even in 2015.

The majority of these responses are comparing Manson to serial killers, but he was much more than that. He was a psychopathic serial killer, he was a chauvinistic cult leader, he believed that the world would end in an impending apocalyptic race war after hearing a Beatles song and convinced a great number of people to worship him. Manson was THE figure that represented the darkness in american culture. With Charles Manson, it goes MUCH deeper than being just a serial killer.

Perhaps that’s the point: what is it that leads to the perception of some such crimes as emblematic of something deeply wrong in a society, and others (however gruesome and catastrophic for the victims) as just another example of individual human squalor and moral/mental failure (in British terms, compare and contrast Jack the Ripper, Peter Sutcliffe, Dennis Nilsen, David Copeland, Colin Ireland, Fred West - or indeed the Moors Murderers)?

Is some of the fascination around the Manson case the Hollywood connection, some sense of a dark underside to all the new ideas of the 60s (or just a kneejerk reaction from those who couldn’t cope with them)? Or is it - dare I say it - a rather warped variation of American exceptionalism that assumes there has to be a broader meaning to something like this?

Again, can Manson be a serial killer without having actually killed anyone?

The Manson case is replete with deeper meaning for society. He took advantage of the drug culture to make a group of weak unwanted people bend to his will. His tribe was able to escape notice by blending in with the larger hippee movement. He used economic and cultural stereotyping that allowed otherwise ordinary peoiple to kill…their victims were pigs afterall.

This was no ordinary bunch of killings.

I don’t know about American exceptionalism but there is a link between Manson’s reputation then and now and a strong healthy, or indeed, unhealthy media. A similar individual as Manson in much of the world would not have recieved half as much coverage. One reason Jack the Ripper was so famous is precisely because a free press was outdoing itself in attempting to report the gruesome and titillating details. In fact Jack the Ripper was almost certainly a name coined by a journalist pretending to be the murderer.