Becoming Mrs. Charles Manson: 26-year-old insists it’s happening


Charles Manson is getting married, insists his bride-to-be. And Afton Elaine Burton, 26, plans to take her new husband’s last name.

A look at the couple’s marriage license shows it’s Burton’s first marriage and Manson’s third, and Manson is listed at an address in Santa Barbara, where he reportedly lived for a short while in 1969 before moving to Los Angeles. It was in L.A. that Manson orchestrated the stabbing and shooting deaths of seven people over two nights in August 1969.

Manson previously denied he’d be marrying this devoted fan, who is 54 years his junior..


Believe it, Burton told the Associated Press, they’re getting married. County officials who issued the license say the couple has 90 days before they have to apply for a new license.

Manson has been in state prison since 1971 and was sentenced to death for his role the 1969 slayings of pregnant actress Sharon Tate and six others. But California abolished the death penalty for a time in the 1970s, and his sentence was changed to life in prison. Denied parole repeatedly, he has another hearing in 2027, when he would be over 90.

A wedding coordinator was assigned by Corcoran State Prison to process the documents for the event. There will be no consummation of the vows for Burton and her groom; Manson is not allowed conjugal visits. But Burton seems matter-of-fact about what she wants out of this marriage. She told AP that as Manson’s wife she would better be able to work on his case.

That’s perhaps one of the less romantic reasons given by women for marrying notorious killers.

Doreen Lioy in 1996 talked to the Los Angeles Times about falling in love with the man known as the Night Stalker.

Richard Ramirez, who died in 2013 while on death row in San Quentin Prison, married Lioy that year. Ramirez paralyzed Los Angeles with fear during a crime spree in 1984 and 1985 that left 13 people dead. Lioy recalled seeing his photo on TV: “They showed his mug shot in the middle of ‘Dallas,’ and I saw something in his eyes. Something that captivated me. It wasn’t as if I knew him. But there was something in his eyes ... maybe the vulnerability, I don’t really know.”

Here are four other infamous love stories from prison:

Hillside Strangler Kenneth Bianchi married his pen pal Shirlee Joyce Book, of Louisiana. Bianchi and fellow Hillside Strangler Angelo Buono were convicted of the kidnapping, rape, torture and murder of multiple women. Yet Bianchi found a bride. At the 1989 wedding, he wore a black tux and Book was in white with a small veil.

James Earl Ray married and divorced on death row. Ray, sentenced to 99 years in prison for assassinating Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., married Anna Sandhu Ray in 1979. She asked for a divorce in 1993, saying she thought when they were married that his prison release was imminent -- because he had new evidence to prove his innocence. The judge who granted the divorce said the marriage “was doomed from the beginning.”

Ted Bundy and Carole Ann Boone declared themselves wed after a proposal during court proceedings in 1980. She later had a baby, and named Bundy as the father even though conjugal visits were prohibited on Florida’s death row.

Erik and Lyle Menendez, serving life sentences for the 1989 murders of their parents inside their Beverly Hills mansion, married women they met while in jail. Tammi Menendez told NBC News in 2005 that husband Erik was her best friend. “I know his heart, I know his soul, and I do know what happened that night. And I do understand.”

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