The fight over the body and possessions of apocalyptic cult leader Charles Manson has fragmented into at least three camps competing over an estate that could cash in on songs he wrote that were used by the Beach Boys and Guns N' Roses. Manson, 83, died in November, nearly a half-century after he orchestrated the 1969 killings of pregnant actress Sharon Tate and eight other people. A Los Angeles Superior Court judge on Monday will try to sort out at least two conflicting wills and claims by a purported son, grandson, and pen pal who all seek control of an estate that includes commercial rights to his name, image, and mementos that can fetch thousands of dollars from "murderabilia" collectors. The hearing seeks to name an attorney to administer Manson's estate on behalf of purported grandson Jason Freeman, who claims to be the rightful next of kin.
Court documents show Freeman is the son of the late Charles Manson Jr. and the grandson of Charles Manson and his first wife, Rosalie Willis. That lineage is disputed by Matt Lentz, a Los Angeles-area musician who wants a DNA test of Manson's remains, which are still being held by the Kern County sheriff-coroner, to prove he is kin and Freeman is not. Lentz was adopted by an Illinois couple as a newborn and plans to file a will Monday that Manson purportedly signed in January 2017 and gave to friend and memorabilia collector Ben Gurecki. It names Gurecki as executor and Lentz as beneficiary. If valid, it could supersede a 2002 will filed in Kern County by longtime Manson pen pal Michael Channels that disinherits Manson's natural born children and names him as executor and heir, reports the AP.
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