Provided by the California Department of Corrections shows 80-year-old serial killer Charles Manson
CORCORAN, CALIF. (AP) — Mass murderer Charles Manson has gotten a license to marry a 26-year-old woman who visits him in prison.
The Kings County marriage license, viewed Monday by The Associated Press, was issued Nov. 7 for the 80-year-old Manson and Afton Elaine Burton, who left her Midwestern home nine years ago and moved to Corcoran, California — the site of the prison — to be near Manson. She maintains several websites advocating Manson's innocence.
The license does not specify a wedding date and indicates the couple has 90 days to get married or they will have to reapply. Burton, who goes by the name "Star," told the AP that she and Manson will be married next month.
"Y'all can know that it's true," she said. "It's going to happen." "I love him," she added. "I'm with him. There's all kinds of things." Burton gave an interview a year ago to Rolling Stone magazine in which she said she and Manson planned to marry. But Manson, who became notorious in 1969 as the leader of a roving "family" of young killers, was less certain about tying the knot.
"That's a bunch of garbage," Manson said in the December 2013 interview. "That's trash We're playing that for public consumption." Asked Monday about those comments, Burton said, "None of that's true," adding that they're waiting for the prison to complete their paperwork.
California Department of Corrections spokeswoman Terry Thornton confirmed to the AP that the license had been transmitted to the prison. Thornton said each California prison designates an employee to be a marriage coordinator who processes paperwork for an inmate's request to be wed. In most cases, she said, the department of corrections approves of such weddings as "a tool of family reunification and social development." But Manson is a unique case.
Burton said the wedding might have happened earlier if Manson did not have "some situations" at the prison. Thornton explained that in February, Manson had three violations for possession of a weapon, threatening staff and refusal to provide a urine sample. Further details on the violations were not immediately available.
Burton said the prison holds marriages on the first Saturday of each month. She expects to be married in an inmate visiting room at the prison. Thornton confirmed that Manson can have a wedding at the prison and invite an officiate from outside the prison to perform the ceremony.
He and his prospective spouse also would be allowed to invite 10 guests who are not inmates. However, as a life prisoner with no parole date, he is not entitled to family visits, a euphemism for conjugal visits.
Why marry Manson under those conditions? Burton said she was interested in working on his case and helping him obtain possible release. Marrying him would allow her to get information not available to non-relatives, she said without elaborating.
"There's certain things next of kin can do," she said. She said she believes Manson is innocent and will get a new trial. He and two women followers, Leslie Van Houten and Patricia Krenwinkel, remain imprisoned. Another follower, Susan Atkins, died of cancer behind bars.
They were convicted in the gruesome killings of actress Sharon Tate and four others at her estate on Aug. 9, 1969, and grocers Leno and Rosemary LaBianca who were killed the following night. Manson would not be eligible for parole until 2027. He has been a habitual criminal and spent most of his life in prison.