Mary Brunner, aka Mother Mary, is a former member of the Manson Family. Brunner met Charles Manson shortly after moving to California, at age 21 in ’67. Brunner has become known as the first member of what would become the Manson family.
After Brunner met Manson, she left her job, hit the road with Manson, and the family was born. On April 1, 1968, Mary gave birth to Valentine Michael Manson, aka “Pooh Bear”, the son of Charles Manson.
Brunner was a participant in the murder of Gary Hinman. On August 8, 1969, a week after Hinman was found dead, Brunner and Sandra Good were arrested for using stolen credit cards in a department store.
While Brunner and Good were in police custody, Charles Tex Watson and other family members committed the Tate/LaBianca murders.
Brunner and Susan Atkins were subsequently charged along with Bobby Beausoleil for the murder of Gary Hinman. Brunner later received immunity from prosecution to testify against both Beausoleil and Atkins.
20 Years To Life
After the Manson Family went to prison in 1971, Brunner and others hatched a bizarre hijacking plan to force Manson’s release, but they were all arrested and jailed.
Brunner was convicted and received a sentence of 20 years to life, She was sent to the California Institution for Women, where Leslie Van Houten, Susan Atkins and Patricia Krenwinkel were serving their sentences for their participation in the Tate-LaBianca murders.
Brunner disappeared from the public eye after being paroled in 1977.
Today Mary Brunner lives a quiet life somewhere in Wisconsin.
Related: The Hinman Murder