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Ex-Strikeforce fighter awarded custody of former cult leader Charles Manson’s remains

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The late Charles Manson’s grandson, a former MMA fighter, is triumphant after a bizarre and drawn out legal affair.

News: Charles Manson Sipa USA-USA TODAY NETWORK

In November, 2017 notorious cult-leader Charles Manson died in Mercy Hospital in Bakersfield, CA after being transferred from California State Prison, Corcoran. Manson had been serving a life sentence in California since 1972 for his role in the Manson Family Murders that killed at least 9 people, including Hollywood actress Sharon Tate.

Since his death, Manson’s body has been on ice while various interests fought a legal battle over the rights to his remains and his estate. But after four months of court proceedings, last week a decision was finally made over who gets to decide what happens with Manson’s corpse.

That decision was ruled by Kern County in favour of Jason Freeman, Manson’s grandson and a former professional mixed martial artist. Freeman is the son of Charles Manson Jr., who died from suicide in 1993. Manson Jr. was the son of Charles Manson and his first wife Rosalie Willis. Manson and Willis divorced in 1958 before the formation of The Manson Family cult.

Freeman, who is 41 years old, last fought at Strikeforce: Feijao vs. Henderson (2011). At that event he defeated Jason Riley by submission (punches). That win took Freeman’s record to 6-4 (1 NC). Freeman also fought in the King Of The Cage and North American Allied Fight Series promotions. His fight nickname is recorded on Sherdog as ‘Charlie Manson III’.

Freeman’s path to acquiring both his grandfather’s body and his potentially lucrative estate (which includes ownership of songs recorded by The Beach Boys) was being blocked by a number of parties who each claimed to be the infamous killer’s heir. Matt Lentz, a musician from Illinois, claimed to be descended from Manson. He said he had a signed will naming him as beneficiary and memorabilia collector Ben Gurecki as executor. Michael Channels, a former pen pal of Manson’s, also claimed to have a will stating that Manson wanted to disinherit all his natural born children and name him as his heir.

But none of those individuals were able to prevent Freeman acquiring the rights to Manson’s body. Freeman has since stated that he wishes to cremate his grandfather.

“I am a grandson working to take the proper steps to show my respect to my grandfather and his true close friends,” said Freeman in an interview with Rolling Stone. “I’m not only doing this for me. It’s for everyone who stands firm in the truth of life. I’m just a tool walking this part of my journey out. It has brought a lot of hardship on my life and family at home.”

The recent Kern County decision did not make any ruling on who is the rightful heir to Manson’s estate.