Because California is nothing if not a cosmic magnet for the weirdest shit imaginable, so much so that there’s bound to be some overlap between beloved actors who also make incredible doughnuts and one of history’s most reviled murderous narcissists, it should come as no surprise that a young Danny Trejo once met a young Charles Manson.
Before Charles Manson was an abusive cult leader who had a lot of people murdered because Doris Day’s son wouldn’t give him a record deal, he was a runty little person doing jail time in Los Angeles. According to his new memoir, Trejo, that is where actor Danny Trejo met him in 1961 when he was a young guy battling drug addiction. Per Page Six:
“The “Heat” star says he felt sorry at the time for Manson, who was so small, he needed protection. A couple of days after they met, the notorious criminal told Trejo and his pals that he had hypnotic powers and ‘could get us high.’”
And according to Trejo, Manson did have a talent for convincing people of a different reality, which tracks with other people’s accounts of spending time with him and the fact that he talked a bunch of other troubled kids into doing murder. Trejo says though that all Charles Manson talked him into doing was feeling high without using:
“Manson first talked the group into thinking they were smoking weed and then heroin. ‘By the time he described it hitting my bloodstream, I felt the warmth flowing through my body,” Trejo remembers. “If that white boy wasn’t a career criminal, he could have been a professional hypnotist.’”
That is certainly better than alternative propositions Manson often introduced while using his apparently remarkable powers of persuasion. Additionally, I am glad Danny Trejo escaped Manson and his difficult past, not only for all he’s contributed by way of acting but also by way of taquitos and doughnuts available at his various L.A. restaurants even if the line is far too long on Saturdays.