Some people mistook Marilyn Manson, pictured on December 5, 2007, in London, for serial killer Charles Manson after the mass murderer died.
Some confused netizens took to social media to mourn the death of “Beautiful People” singer Marilyn Manson. The problem with their bereavement was that the singer hadn’t died. Rather, it was notorious cult leader and mass murderer Charles Manson.
The misunderstanding between Marilyn Manson and Charles Manson, who was imprisoned in 1971 for orchestrating the 1969 deaths of seven people, likely stemmed from the rocker’s stage name. Marilyn Manson, whose birth name is Brian Warner, blended the names of actress Marilyn Monroe and the serial killer to create his public persona.
But some people missed the distinction. “RIP Marilyn Manson” became a top-trending Twitter topic on Sunday.
Trolls slammed people who confused Marilyn Manson for the infamous cult leader.
Marilyn Manson has been making music since 1989 and has been a fixture of the alternative scene since releasing his second album, Antichrist Superstar, in 1996. But it was the 1999 massacre at Columbine High School in Colorado that brought him mainstream attention. He was widely blamed for that school shooting when it was revealed that killers Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris, who killed 13 people, were supposedly fans of Manson’s music, and politicians conducted a modern-day witch hunt against the star.
Marilyn Manson gave a famous response when he was asked what he would say to the students at Columbine. “I wouldn’t say a single word to them,” the singer answered. “I would listen to what they have to say. And that’s what no one did.”
The rocker claimed the shooting ruined his career and denied that his music influenced the killers. “If [the Columbine killers] had just bought my records, they would be better off. Certain people blame me for the shootings at schools—I think my numbers are low, and hopefully they go up on this record,” he said in a September interview with the Guardian. “That’s going to be a great pullquote for you. But, honestly, the Columbine era destroyed my entire career at the time.”
Marilyn Manson did not immediately respond to the people confusing him for Charles Manson.
Charles Manson, the true killer, died of natural causes on Sunday. He was given the death sentence in 1971; when that was deemed unconstitutional, he was sentenced to nine consecutive life sentences.
The sister of Sharon Tate, the actress who was killed by the “Manson Family” when she was eight and a half months pregnant, responded to Manson’s death. “I said a prayer for his soul,” Debra told People magazine on Monday.
Debra didn’t hold a grudge against Manson or his followers Tex Watson, Patricia Krenwinkel, Leslie Van Houten and Susan Atkins, all of whom were sentenced to life in prison. “Each one of these people and myself now have our spirits or our wills slightly entangled,” she said.