How Charles Manson Ruined Dennis Wilson's Life

By Sarah Norman | October 22, 2023

No One Knew How Dangerous Manson Was

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(shindig magazine)

We're aware of all this today, but back in the spring of 1968, when Dennis Wilson let the Manson Family into his life and his home, the group's darkest deeds were still a year off. While living with Dennis Wilson, Charles Manson and his swarm of STD-infested scavengers relentlessly took advantage of Wilson’s kindness. They destroyed his home, his cars, and his credit. Wilson, who died in 1983 after a long struggle with addiction, never recovered from his time spent living with the family, and blamed himself for the deaths that occurred after the Manson Family moved from his home in the Palisades to the emptiness of Spahn Ranch. 

Two Hitchhikers Introduced Wilson To Manson

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(getty images)

Dennis Wilson may never have met Charles Manson if he hadn’t been so prone to picking up hitchhikers, especially young female hitchhikers. In the spring of 1968 Wilson saw Patricia Krenwinkel and Ella Jo Bailey thumbing it on the side of the road and brought them home for milk and cookies. This act of kindness turned his life upside down.