Tex Watson

I’m the devil and I’m here to do the devil’s business

Charles Watson, a former member of the infamous Manson Family, was convicted on seven counts of first-degree murder and one count of conspiracy to commit murder. Watson received the death penalty, which was later converted to life imprisonment.

Charles Watson, aka Tex Watson, was born in Farmersville, Texas on December 2, 1945. He was the youngest of three children. He grew up in Copeville where he attended the Methodist church and also participated in church activities. His parents ran a gas station where Watson also regularly helped out. He did well in school and participated in several school sports, including football and basketball.

He started to change when he entered North Texas State University in 1964. He was more interested in girls and started experimenting with different kinds of drugs. During his senior year, Watson visited a frat brother in California. He had such a good time there that he decided to stay in California.

One day Watson picked up a hitchhiker. The hitchhiker turned out to be none other than Beach Boys drummer Dennis Wilson. Wilson invited Watson to his home on Sunset Boulevard. Charles Manson and his family stayed at Wilson’s house that summer.

Dennis Wilson had previously picked up two hitchhiking girls himself. The two hitchhikers turned out to be members of the Manson family, and Wilson and Manson became friends. Watson got to know Manson through Dennis Wilson, and Watson and Manson became friends.

Murder and Conviction

On August 9, 1969, Watson, Atkins and Krenwinkel murdered pregnant actress Sharon Tate and four other people at 10050 Cielo Drive. The next night, Watson participated in the murders of Leno and Rosemary LaBianca. Watson was also involved in the murder of Donald Shea.

In October 1969, Watson fled the Spahn Ranch, the Manson family hangout, and returned to his home state, Texas. On November 30, 1969, Watson was arrested for the Tate/LaBianca murders. Watson fought his extradition to California for nine months. After his extradition to California, Watson went into shock, he seemed to realize what he had done and what punishment he could receive for his actions.

Watson stopped talking and eating, lost 55 pounds, and slowly slipped into a catatonic state. He was admitted to the State Hospital to see if he was mentally fit to stand trial. In February 1971, it was decided that Watson was mentally fit to appear in court. Watson was found guilty of murder and sentenced to death. His death sentence was later commuted to life imprisonment.

Suzan LaBerge

While in prison, Watson befriended Suzan LaBerge, the daughter of one of his victims, Rosemary LaBianca. LaBerge visits and writes to Watson regularly and even advocated for his release (see video above).

LaBiancas Granddaughter Found Murdered in Bed

In 2020, Suzan LaBerge’s daughter, Ariana Wolk, was found murdered in her bed. She was lying in a pool of blood and had been repeatedly stabbed in the neck. A post-mortem also found Wolk with several defensive stab wounds to her arms and hands. Jose Sandoval-Romero, 24, has been charged with her murder.

Fun Fact

Tex Watson’s murder victim, Jay Sebring, was Leno LaBiancas hairdresser. Leno LaBianca, also killed by Watson, is the grandfather of the recently murdered Ariana Wolk.

Related: The Tate Murders | The LaBianca Murders | Tate Homicide Report