Charles Manson's Grandson Wins Court Battle for Killer's Corpse

Jason Freeman, who claims to be Charles Manson's grandson, will take custody of the notorious convicted murderer's body, four months after Manson's death.

Manson died in November 2017 at age 83 from natural causes, a week after he was hospitalized. Since then, his body had been on ice, as four parties fought for custody of the body. Michael Brunner and Matthew Lentz, who claimed to be Manson's sons, made claims for the body. Michael Channels, a friend of Manson's and a memorabilia collector claimed he had the only valid will. Lentz said he had a will that only addresses the Manson estate.

However, on Monday, Kern County Superior Court Commissioner Alisa Knight sided with Freeman, reports CNN. Knight ruled that Channels' 2002 will was not valid because a witness' signature was dated four days before the will was executed and also failed to include directions on what to do with the cult leader's remains. She ruled that Brunner was adopted by his maternal grandparents, meaning he was no longer Manson's son legally.

Freeman told CNN he was notified of the decision by phone.

"I can finally say this part is over," he told CNN. "I never looked at it as being a battle between anybody. This is unreal — this is something I actually played out in my mind ever since I was a kid."

Freeman said he will cremate Manson's remains and will invite Channels and Brunner to a small family ceremony.

However, this does not end the legal wrangling started by Manson's death. A Los Angeles court still has to decide if Channels, Brunner, Lentz or Freeman will keep the rights to Manson's estate. A hearing is scheduled for Friday.

TMZ is also reporting that Brunner filed legal documents in response to the Monday ruling, questioning the validity of Freeman's claim to be Manson's biological grandson.


Manson was in jail for 46 years before his death. He was sentenced to nine consecutive live sentences convicted for his role in the Manson Family murders in August 1969. Nine people were killed, including actress Sharon Tate, the wife of Roman Polanski.

Manson's cause of death was listed as "natural causes," but subsequent reports outlined the specific causes of death. Cardiac arrest was the immediate cause. The underlying health factors included metastatic colon cancer and respiratory failure.