At least, for now.
The couple applied for the marriage license on Nov. 7. Burton, better known as “Star,” vowed the couple would wed the next month in an inmate visiting room inside the prison, an all-male facility between Bakersfield and Fresno. She was planning to change her name to Afton Elaine Manson, according to the marriage license. She thought the union would help her to work on his case by giving her access, as his wife, to his most personal information.
But Manson never seemed keen on the idea. When Burton told Rolling Stone magazine about their wedding plans back in 2013, Manson denied it, grumbling: “That’s a bunch of garbage. You know that, man. That’s trash. We’re just playing that for public consumption.” When later asked about Manson’s remarks, Burton argued, “None of that’s true.”
After the couple obtained the marriage license last year, she seemed convinced of his commitment. “Y’all can know that it’s true,” she said. “It’s going to happen.”
Now that it hasn’t, Burton told James McGrath, a New York City photo agency editor, that she plans to get another 90-day license and follow through with it.
If the couple does decide to get hitched, they could have a small ceremony at the prison. Manson can have “contact visits,” meaning no glass would separate them during their vows, according to the Los Angeles Times. They could invite a few guests. He could wear a wedding ring. However, there would be no honeymoon — he’s not permitted to have conjugal visits.
In August 1969, Manson ordered his “family” of devoted followers to invade a mansion in Benedict Canyon near Los Angeles, where director Roman Polanski and his pregnant wife, actress Sharon Tate, lived. The Manson family murdered Tate and four others. The next day, they killed a married couple, Leno and Rosemary LaBianca. The Manson clan was convicted in 1971.
Manson is now serving a life sentence in prison. He has been denied parole a dozen times. His next hearing is set for 2027. He would be 92 years old.
For nearly a decade, Burton has made it her mission to free him. An infatuated teenager, she wrote him letters, studied his case and then moved from Illinois to California to be near him. Manson later gave her the nickname “Star.”
“People can think I’m crazy,” Burton told Rolling Stone in 2013. “But they don’t know. This is what’s right for me. This is what I was born for.”