Mass Murderer Charles Manson Gets Marriage License in Prison

By Brett Snider, Esq. on November 18, 2014 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Charles Manson, who was responsible for organizing a mass murder in the late 1960s, is getting legally married behind bars.

The now 80-year-old killer obtained a marriage license on November 7 to marry his 26-year-old girlfriend Afton Elaine Burton. The bride-to-be told The Associated Press that they would "be married next month," although the license technically allows them to get married anytime within 90 days after its issue.

So Charlie Manson's getting married, while still in prison, after being responsible for several murders.


Bride-to-Be Moved From Midwest to Be Near Manson

Manson, who still has a swastika tattooed on his forehead, is currently incarcerated in state prison in Corcoran, California. But that isn't stopping him from tying the knot. According to the AP, Burton (who also goes by "Star") moved out to Corcoran from her Midwestern home as a teenager to "be near Manson."

Although gay couples who haven't been responsible for multiple murders are still prohibited from marrying in many states, prisoners in every state are typically allowed to marry opposite-sex spouses -- with a bit of paperwork. In California, since gay marriage is legal, the only thing a prison may need to verify is whether the couple is eligible to marry (i.e., not related or currently married to other people).

Burton told the AP that she and Manson were waiting for California prison officials to process their marriage paperwork, and that they hope to be married in an inmate visiting room at the prison.

Why Marry Manson?

We can leave the psychological reasons for marrying a mass murderer to the experts, but there are a few legal reasons Burton wants to tie the knot with a killer. As Manson's wife, Burton would likely be entitled to a significant chunk of Manson's estate if he died without a will. We aren't certain that Manson actually still owns anything worth coveting, but Burton seems to know something.

According to the AP, Burton opined that "[t]here's certain things next of kin can do," but she still maintains his innocence.

However, since Manson is a "lifer," even after they are married, Burton and Manson will not be getting any conjugal visits.

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