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Charles Manson hospitalized in Bakersfield; prison officials say he's still alive

Authorities confirmed Wednesday that mass murderer Charles Manson is back in a Bakersfield hospital, though the severity of his condition is unclear.

Kern County Sheriff’s Lt. Bill Smallwood confirmed that Manson is at a local hospital but could not say more.

Vicky Waters, a spokeswoman for the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, declined to comment, citing federal and state medical privacy laws that preclude the agency “from commenting on protected health information for any inmate in our custody.”

Waters did confirm, however, that Manson is alive.

In January, Manson, 83, was rushed to Mercy Hospital in Bakersfield for what authorities at the time would describe only as a serious medical problem.

Related: The Manson Family: Where are they now?

Manson and members of his “family” of followers were convicted of killing actress Sharon Tate and six other people during a bloody rampage in the Los Angeles area in August 1969. Prosecutors said Manson and his followers were trying to incite a race war he dubbed “Helter Skelter,” taken from the Beatles song of the same name.

Tate, the wife of director Roman Polanski, was 8 1/2 months pregnant when she was killed at her hilltop home in Benedict Canyon on Aug. 9, 1969. Four others were stabbed and shot to death the same night: Jay Sebring, 35; Voytek Frykowski, 32; Abigail Folger, 25, a coffee heiress; and Steven Parent, 18, a friend of Tate’s caretaker. The word “pig” was written on the front door in blood.

The next night, Manson rode with his followers to the Los Feliz home of Leno and Rosemary LaBianca, then left three members to kill the couple.

Manson initially was sentenced to death. But a 1972 ruling by the California Supreme Court found the state’s death penalty law at the time unconstitutional, and his sentence was changed to life in prison with the possibility of parole. He has been denied parole 12 times.

During his four decades of incarceration, Manson has been anything but a model prisoner. Among other things, he has been cited for assault, repeated possession of a weapon, threatening staff and possessing a cellphone.

It’s unclear at which hospital Manson is being treated. But a local television reporter tweeted a photo of a prison department van outside Mercy Hospital. A spokeswoman for the hospital declined to comment.

There were no further updates Friday about Manson’s condition from either the hospital or prison system.

alene.tchekmedyian@latimes.com

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UPDATES:

Nov. 17 7:30 a.m.: This article was updated with no comments Friday on Manson condition.

11 a.m.: This article was updated with spokeswoman for hospital.

Nov. 16, 7:05 a.m.: This article was updated with a tweet about prison officials at Mercy Hospital in Bakersfield.

Nov. 15, 7:45 p.m.: This article was updated with a statement from the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

This article was originally published at 6:50 p.m. Nov. 15.

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