Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

Editor: Gerry W. Beyer
Texas Tech Univ. School of Law

Saturday, April 17, 2021

DNA Testing Denied in Charles Manson Estate Litigation

MansonA claimed grandson of Charles Manson attempted to have DNA testing in order to be recognized as an heir of Manson's estate. However, in In Re Estate of Charles M. Manson, DNA testing was rejected. 

After Charles Manson died in 2017, Jason Freeman petitioned the court to be recognized as the sole adult next of kin of Mr. Manson. Michael Channels, the sole named beneficiary of one of Manson's wills objected. 

Charles Manson and his wife Rosalie Handley had a son named Charles Manson, Jr. In 1986, an Ohio court determined that he was the natural father of Jason Freeman. Manson Jr. committed suicide in 1993. 

"In a dispute regarding the disposition of the remains of Manson (Sr.), the trial court ruled that Freeman is the sole surviving adult next of kin." The trial court granted the genetic testing and further ruled that that the 1986 decision of the Ohio court was not binding. 

The appellate court vacated the order requiring genetic testing and found that there was no reference to genetic testing in California Statute Section 6453. 

The appellate court also rejected genetic testing under California's Family Code, because "the statute does not authorize testing to determine a grandparent–grandchild relationship. . ." 

See DNA Testing Denied in Charles Manson Estate Litigation, Probate Stars, April 15, 2021. 


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