The leader of the Manson Family cult, which was behind the horrific murders of at least nine people in 1969 in the United States, has died at the age of 83 of natural causes.

Charles Manson in prison

Charles Manson in prison Photo Credit: Reuters/ Channel 2 News

Charles Manson, who was convicted of murder in the United States after the “family” that he led murdered nine people in the 1960s, died this morning (Monday) at the age of 83. Authorities in California announced that Manson died of natural causes in a local hospital.

The infamous Manson was born in Ohio in 1934. He was arrested for the first time at the age of 15 and had since been involved in a series of criminal acts. In 1969, Manson became known as the leader of the Manson family- a cult which primarily consisted of estranged young women who followed his criminal lead.

Manson was convicted of murdering nine people, including the pregnant actress Sharon Tate, who was married to the famous director Roman Polanski. Over the years, there have been many rumors about additional victims of his “family,” among them travelers who came to their farm and were never seen again, as well as young people who ran away from home to join the cult but decided to leave. Because the bodies were never found, however, the rumors were never investigated.

The Manson murders caused major shock in the United States and around the world. Despite the fact that he himself did not participate physically in the murders, Manson was convicted of orchestrating them. He and four others originally received the death penalty, but were instead sentenced to life imprisonment when capital punishment was outlawed in 1972.