Yeah, learning you're Charles Manson's son isn't easy:
Matthew Roberts, profiled in Details, was adopted as an infant, and as a young men sought his birth parents. His mother he found first. And she was...off.
The woman, a Wisconsin native whom he calls Terry, said that his first and middle names at birth had been Lawrence Alexander. According to Roberts, she sent him food in the mail after warning him, in a weirdly winking way, that her own mother had suffered from Munchausen syndrome by proxy, a mental disorder that can lead parents to poison their children. "One time she sent me a jar of, like, mystery juice," Roberts says. "It had things floating in it. Then she asked me, 'Did you drink the juice?' And I said, 'No.' And she said, 'You're smart!' "
The knowledge that he'd been conceived at an LSD orgy - possibly via gang-rape, - and that his mother had continued to use hallucinogens throughout the pregnancy, explained his life-long night terrors, but couldn't have been reassuring in any other regard. When Terry saw Roberts' picture, she knew at once that he was Manson's son - and indeed, from the photos accompanying the article, the resemblance is striking enough that people must have noted it throughout his life. Correspondence with Manson further convinced Roberts of the fact - although some Manson Family historians remain unconvinced.
Far from avoiding the connection, Roberts (who is both an aspiring musician and has been known to pen the occasional thousand-page manifesto) is embracing:
fellow. He wants to develop a "son of Manson" reality show with a production company in Orlando and counts among his close advisers Vicky Hamilton, a savvy West Coast music-biz fixture who helped break bands like Guns N' Roses and Poison. A few years ago Roberts auditioned for Slash in a bid to become the singer for Velvet Revolver. "I've been in seclusion for long enough," he says. "Superstardom would be kind of cool."
Roberts ascribes this to his father's influence. The irony is that, in trying to hitch his wagon to such a dubious star and bask in reflected, um, glory, in fact to the outside observer, it looks much more like he's mirroring his mother's behavior. And one can't help wonder, what of Manson's other children? While the exact number's unknown, he had at least three who presumably grew up with some knowledge of their paternity; his eldest son, Charles Jr., committed suicide in 1993. Several of his former girlfriends went on to change their kids' names. Given the choice, then, to assume this identity, they might wonder at Roberts' enthusiasm.
Image via Tierney Gearon, Details]