As known, Charles Manson is “famous” for creating a cult of followers intent on starting a race war, using the Tate murders of 1969 as the catalyst. Of course, the fictional battle he called “Helter Skelter” never sprung to life and in 1971 Manson was sentenced to life in a California prison where he died this past November.
During this time, Manson sent the St. Louis-native prison kites consisting of autographs and drawings. As well as calling Dickerson up to three times a day some weeks. This made for a variant of conversations, which Dickerson of course recorded.
“I set the school on fire in third grade and I ain’t been back since,” Manson said on one of the tapes, in addition to telling Dickerson that he “loves him, brother.”
When asked if why he would want to talk to such a menacing figure, Dickerson’s response doubled-down on his fascination with the murderer. “He was there, he was alive, he was someone of importance to history,” Dickerson explained. “I just separated the two.”
Dickerson concluded his interview by reaffirming his relationship with one of the most notorious men in American history.
“I don’t know the right word to use,” Dickerson described. “But it did feel like I lost a friend.”