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Charles Manson’s future mother-in-law denies daughter has been brainwashed

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Charles Manson and Afton Elaine Burton, known as "Star"

Charles Manson and Afton Elaine Burton, known as "Star"

Charles Manson and Afton Elaine Burton, known as "Star"

Charles Manson’s future mother-in-law has confirmed that she will not attend her daughter’s prison wedding but she said she believes the mass murderer truly loves her daughter.

Mass murderer Charles Manson plans to marry 26-year-old Afton Burton who left her home and has spent the past nine years trying to help exonerate him.

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Charles Manson in 1971

Charles Manson in 1971

Charles Manson in 1971

Afton’s mother told ABC news that no date has been set for the wedding but she believes Manson does love her daughter.

"He does. I think he does," Melissa Burton (48) of Bunker Hill, Illinois, said. "She has been good to him."

"[The wedding is] going to happen," the mother said. "She [Afton] doesn't know when. It's up to the prison to give the date."

Meanwhile, Melissa told The Daily Telegraph: "I don't believe she has been brainwashed. She's a very bright person and she has never done anything she hasn't thought through thoroughly."

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80-year-old serial killer Charles Manson plans to marry a 26-year-old who has helped campaign over his case (AP/California Department of Corrections)

80-year-old serial killer Charles Manson plans to marry a 26-year-old who has helped campaign over his case (AP/California Department of Corrections)

80-year-old serial killer Charles Manson plans to marry a 26-year-old who has helped campaign over his case (AP/California Department of Corrections)

"She had a very stable upbringing, a very normal life. She was raised in a Christian household. She plays the piano and is very musically gifted. I can't say enough good about her, she's a sweet, kind, loving person."

Burton said her daughter, who is also called Star, announced her intention to marry Manson last year.

She admitted being concerned when her daughter announced the engagement.

"She doesn't live close to us," she explained. "We can't be there for her."

Afton Elaine Burton, the bride-to-be, said she loves the man convicted of the notorious murders of seven people, including pregnant actress Sharon Tate.

No date has been set but a wedding coordinator has been assigned by the prison to handle the nuptials. The couple has until early February to get married before they would have to reapply.

The Kings County marriage license was issued on November 7 for the 80-year-old Manson and Ms Burton, who lives in Corcoran - the site of the prison - and maintains several websites advocating his innocence.

Ms Burton, who goes by the name "Star," said she and Manson will be married next month.

"Y'all can know that it's true," she said. "It's going to happen."

"I love him," she added. "I'm with him. There's all kinds of things."

As a life prisoner with no parole date, Manson is not entitled to family visits, a euphemism for conjugal visits.

Asked why she would marry him under those conditions, Ms Burton said she is interested in working on his case and marrying him would allow her to get information not available to non-relatives.

"There's certain things next of kin can do," she said, without elaborating.

Ms Tate's sister, Debra, who acts as a spokeswoman for the families of Manson's victims, said the impending marriage is "ludicrous".

"I think it's insane," she said. "What would any young woman in her right mind want with an 80-year-old man?"

As for Manson's motives, she said: "The devil is alive and well."

Ms Burton gave an interview a year ago to Rolling Stone magazine in which she said she and Manson planned to marry.

But Manson, who became notorious in 1969 as the leader of a roving "family" of young killers, was less certain about tying the knot.

"That's a bunch of garbage," he said in the December 2013 interview. "That's trash. We're playing that for public consumption."

Asked about those comments, Ms Burton said: "None of that's true." She added that they are waiting for the prison to complete their paperwork.

California Department of Corrections spokeswoman Terry Thornton confirmed that the license had been transmitted to the prison.

He said each California prison designates an employee to be a marriage coordinator who processes paperwork for an inmate's request to be wed.

In most cases, she said, the Department of Corrections approves of such weddings as "a tool of family reunification and social development". But Manson is a unique case.

Ms Burton said the prison holds marriages on the first Saturday of each month and she expects to be married in an inmate visiting room at the prison.

Ms Thornton confirmed that Manson can have a wedding at the prison and invite an officiant from outside the prison to perform the ceremony.

He and his prospective spouse would be allowed to invite 10 guests who are not inmates.

He and two followers, Leslie Van Houten and Patricia Krenwinkel, remain imprisoned. Another follower, Susan Atkins, died of cancer behind bars.

Other members of the Manson "family" still behind bars are: Charles "Tex" Watson, Bruce Davis and Robert Beausoleil.

Manson, Watson and the women were convicted in the gruesome killings of Ms Tate, the wife of director Roman Polanski, and four others at her estate on August 9 1969, and grocers Leno and Rosemary LaBianca who were killed the following night.

Manson is not eligible for parole until 2027.

Online Editors