One of the best cultural examinations of the late Charles Manson in recent memory just became its own series.
In 2015, the podcast You Must Remember This, which explores “the secret and/or forgotten histories of Hollywood’s first century,” dedicated an entire season to Manson, who died on Sunday. If that pairing of concept and subject seems surprising, it’s because Manson’s personal connections to Hollywood, its influence on him, and his manipulation of its culture have been largely written out of his legacy as a fringe megalomaniacal cult leader.
In fact, for a heady time between 1968 and 1969, Manson was something of a Hollywood insider, primed to coast his way to music industry success. The podcast series, written and hosted by Karina Longworth, delved into sides of Manson that rarely get discussed today: his early life, his dreams of Hollywood stardom, his ability to manipulate his way into favor with Hollywood’s elite — usually offering the bodies of his female followers in exchange for the notice.
Now, in the wake of Manson’s death, the Panoply podcast network has released the Manson season of You Must Remember This as its own podcast: You Must Remember Manson.
The 12-episode series revisits the making of Manson and homes in on the turbulent two years leading up to the infamous, brutal murder of seven people, including actress Sharon Tate, by members of the Manson Family. The series also explores the lives of the many Hollywood players who were directly or indirectly linked to the Manson Family, from Doris Day, whose son became Manson’s best path to success, to cult filmmaker Kenneth Anger, who collaborated with Manson Family member Bobby Beausoleil for his outsider short film “Lucifer Rising.”
If you’ve never taken the time to think about how society grooms cult leaders like Manson, or if you just like fascinating stories of Hollywood’s dark underbelly, You Must Remember Manson is a can’t-miss series.