Manson, who was convicted of the brutal slayings of actress Sharon Tate and several others in 1969, and 26-year-old Afton Elaine Burton, who goes by the name Star, were issued a marriage license on Nov. 7, the Associated Press reports. They must marry within 90 days for it to be official. Because he is serving a life sentence in prison, Manson isn’t allowed conjugal visits, but the two are allowed to invite someone to officiate the ceremony and up to 10 outside guests may attend. Here are five things to know about the woman he might marry:
They got in touch when she was 17 years old. Burton began corresponding with Manson after a friend showed her some of his environmental writings, Rolling Stone reported in 2013. She used the $2,000 that she saved from working in a retirement home kitchen to move from her home in Illinois to Corcoran, Calif., where she has been visiting Manson in jail since 2007. She would visit him on Saturdays and Sundays for hours at a time.
She believes Manson is innocent. Burton, who runs a few pro-Manson websites, said she would like to work on his case and that marrying him would allow her access to information and documents restricted to family. “There’s certain things next of kin can do,” she told the AP.
Her relationship with her parents is fairly positive. Burton told British newspaper the Daily Mail in an email, “I was forcefully excommunicated from my friends for a long period of time in my teen years. I couldn’t have any contact at all with any of them. It had a big effect on my life.” (Her father, Phil, said she was never forced to spend time in her room.) Now, she says she has a “positive relationship” with her devout Baptist family and is regularly in touch with them. Though her father says Manson is not welcome in their home and that he “won’t be hopping on a plane” to attend a wedding ceremony, he says, “We have not, we are not going to and we never will, no matter what she does in her life, disown our daughter. I love my kids more than life itself.”
Burton and Manson haven’t always agreed on marriage. She told Rolling Stone that the two of them would definitely marry. Manson, however, said at the time that those plans were “a bunch of garbage.” “That’s trash,” he said. “We’re just playing that for public consumption.”
Many people have pointed out her resemblance to Susan Atkins. Known as “Sexy Sadie,” Susan Atkins was a convicted murder member of the Manson family who was incarcerated for nearly 40 years until her death in 2009. Burton, however, was not a fan: “That bitch was f-cking crazy,” she told Rolling Stone. “She was a crazy f-cking whore. ‘Oh Charlie, I did this for you.’ She didn’t know what she was doing.” Still, in one photo Burton appears to have carved an “x” into her forehead, something female Manson family members did during his trial in the 1970s.