Forty-two years ago, Charles Manson orchestrated the murders of eight people, possibly more that have never been discovered. In my best estimate, the thing that should have been done once it was determined that he should spend the rest of his life in prison is that he should not have gotten anything in terms of media attention, interviews, record releases, or anything of the sort. Rather, he should have been put in prison and let to stay there with not so much as any form of contact with the media, let alone a series of interviews that seems to happen every so often.
When you give a madman an interview, in some way you are legitimizing what he is saying and giving a little bit of substance to his words, regardless of how completely without merit they may be. For example, when in the last few months so many people interviewed Harold Camping, who famously predicted that the world would be destroyed in a series of earthquakes on May 21 (you are reading this article after May 21 and the world is still here, free of all of those earthquakes) it gave just a little bit of substance to his words.
There’s a reason that, when a crazy person gets on the subway and starts ranting and raving about anything, people tend to completely ignore the person and it’s not just because they are preoccupied with their reading. Even looking at the crazy person on the train lends some importance to the message of the person and gives the person the idea that what they are saying or doing is important. They think, people are looking at me — I must be doing something right. Similarly, I think it’s far better to direct people who beg for money on the train to organized homeless organizations rather than giving them money directly — it leads to more and more people begging for money on the train which, I believe, ultimately leads to fewer people wanting to take the train and that is not a good path to take.
Charles Manson has numerous fans who would love to see him released from prison. I can only imagine that they would not be so keen on seeing someone released if their own family was brutally murdered on account of his existence. It seems ridiculous that people continue to venerate the words of Manson so much that they create fan sites in his honor and orchestrate petitions to be sent to get him released. Let him stay in prison — without the benefit of even a single glorifying interview.