Charles Manson, imprisoned mass murderer, is getting married to a young women who claims he is “innocent” and was “railroaded.” But is it “LOVE?”
They say love is blind, but is it stupid? Not so clear in the case of Afton Elaine Burton, 26, who plans to marry the man she loves, mass murderer Charles Manson, age 80—54 years her senior. The Kings County marriage license was issued November 7th, and according to Terry Thornton, California Department of Corrections spokeswoman, had been transmitted to the prison for processing. The prison holds weddings (approved as “a tool of family reunification and social development,” which is clearly not applicable in this case), on the first Saturday of each month. The “happy couple” will have to bring an officiant from outside the prison and can invite ten non-inmate guests.
Burton, who also goes by the name Star, says she loves Manson and wants to marry him
“Y’all can know that it’s true, it’s going to happen. I love him, I’m with him. There’s all kinds of things.”
When asked why she wants to marry a man she can never be with, she added that she wants to work on his case and marrying him would allow her to get information not available to non-relatives. Burton moved from the Midwest nine years ago and has been trying to help exonerate Manson even since, including maintaining several websites (mansondirect.com being a major one), advocating his innocence.
While many gay couples are still unable to get married and the “marriage is for one man and one woman” debate still ranges on by several segments of the population, Charles Manson got his marriage license and is set to “go down the aisle” with his 26 year old bride. Important to note (for all those arguing marriage is for reproduction and raising kids and a family), Mason is not allowed conjugal visits and this marriage will not be consummated (no doubt a good thing).
Sharon Tate and Roman Polanski
Charles Manson and his followers (Leslie Van Houten, Patricia Krenwinkel, Susan Atkins, Charles “Tex” Watson, Bruce Davis and Robert Beausoleil) were convicted of the gruesome murders, on August 9, 1969 (many years before his young bride was born), of Sharon Tate (wife of Roman Polanski and pregnant with his child) and four guests in their home, as well as the murder of Leno and Rosemary LaBiance, the following night. Manson will be eligible for parole in 2027 and has spend the most of his life in prison.
“Some believe they can change a man as cruel and powerful as a serial killer. Others ‘see’ the little boy that the killer once was and seeks to nurture him. Then there’s the notion of the ‘perfect boyfriend.’ She knows where he is at all times and she knows he’s thinking of her. While she can claim that someone loves her, she does not have to endure the day-to-day issues involved in most relationships…keeping the fantasy charged up for a long time.”
As reported by the US Department of Health and Human Services, there is a role reversal that takes place when men are incarcerated:
“The psychological changes necessary to survive in prison may impede the development of intimate relationships.”
In addition, mental health experts have likened this infatuation to extreme fanaticism, which attracts insecure women who cannot find love elsewhere. Surprisingly, that is not always the case. There are cases of “strikingly beautiful, educated, and even married” women, including lawyers, psychologists, and judges who have married killers.
According to Psychology Today, such women are usually in their thirties or forties and
“Although their motives for getting so passionately involved vary, they share in common a fierce sense of protection over the relationship. Some know that their incarcerated spouse is guilty, but others insist on his innocence–despite clear evidence to the contrary.”
Part of the attraction appears to be from a biological impetus, operating apart from logic. Primate research finds that females prefer the larger, louder, more aggressive males who show clear markers of their maleness. In humans, then, certain women “might sense in an aggressive male, a larger-than-life companion who can deliver more than an ordinary man could.”
One can only wonder how the fact that he is in prison and might never get out, plays into this scenario.
Charlie Manson, mass murderer and Svengali, is getting married and we can only wonder what, if anything, this means to us. The lives he so brutally took are long gone. The lives of his followers “family” were destroyed by him so completely. Chances are he will never get out of prison, and this “marriage” will be as meaningless and as insignificant as his life has been before and after he committed his heinous crimes.