By Lily Rothman
July 6, 2015

There was no shortage of violence in America in the 1970s. But few criminals captivated attention like Charles Manson, as shown in this clip from the upcoming episode of CNN’s The Seventies, which airs on Thursday evening at 9:00 Eastern.

Manson’s hold on the popular imagination has endured long past the end of the 1970s. In 1994, for example, TIME noted that “America’s romance with real-life mass murder was going mainstream.” The proof? “Charles Manson has earned some $600 in royalties from a line of caps, surfer pants and T shirts adorned with his image and such studiously ironic slogans as support family values and charlie don’t surf,” the article continued. “Sales took off after Guns N’ Roses singer Axl Rose began wearing the T shirts in concert and covered a Manson song on a recent album.” And, just this summer, Lifetime greenlit a movie about Manson followers and NBC launched Aquarius, a Manson-adjacent thriller series.

Read more: Who Is Charles Manson?

Write to Lily Rothman at lily.rothman@time.com.

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