Charles Manson, a relatively early beta-test for the now-familiar Joker archetype, is dead at the age of 83. A lifetime convict and two-bit grifter, Manson was accused of masterminding two horrific murder sprees, ostensibly in hopes of triggering a race war he called "Helter Skelter," named after the famous Beatles song off Manson's beloved "White Album."
You probably know the official version of Manson's story and I'd wager quite a few of you are very well-read in the non-official versions as well.
To me, Manson was just a charismatic jailhouse punk who certain parties found useful for a time. He did what he needed to do, was waved around in front of the television cameras and was then thrown back in the can, where he felt most comfortable and secure.