Saturday, June 11, 2011

Tex Watson: Will You Die For Me

For your edification, I give you, the autobiography of mass murderer turned born again Christian,Charles “Tex” Watson, Will You Die For Me? 

"Tex" has always been the more or less forgotten Manson killer. This is sort of odd when you take into account that it was Watson who physically committed the majority of the killings on those two summer nights back in 1969. 

Where Manson was charismatic and the girls had a certain hippie girl sexiness to them that got the attention of the press and the public, Tex has always been more or less ignored as Charlie’s proxy. 

Like the rest of the Manson gang, when the Supreme Court temporarily banned the death penalty during the early 1970’s, Watson’s deaths sentence was commuted to life in prison. And it was there that he become a dedicated born again Christian, even founding his own ministry that is still active in prisons to this day. 

And who’s to say that his conversion isn’t dedicated and sincere? 

After all, in almost 40 years of life in prison, Watson hasn’t been in trouble, has married and fathered children (this is conjugal California after all), and been the classic example of the “good” prisoner.

There are even those who have championed the idea of giving Tex parole.

Of course it wasn’t anyone named Polanski.

With all of that in mind, when I saw this beat up copy of Tex’s 1978 autobiography, as told to “Chaplain” Ray, I had to pick that sucker up right away.

Although it wasn’t written very well, it is a fascinating little book if for no other reason then Tex stating that the entire “Helter Skelter” motive was bull and the killings at the Tate house were revenge for a drug deal gone bad and the killings on the second night were an attempt at misdirection to throw police off track, and it was just the bad luck of the people in the two houses that they weren’t the people that were the intended victims.

There are all sort of quotable lines in this one, but honestly I don’t really want to mock what Watson says are the last words of the victims. But still this is a book that really needs to be read to be believed. On the one hand it is a gripping first person account of a series of horrific, brutal killings, and on the other it’s the self-serving “confession” and “conversion” of the man who did the crime.

Keep in mind that this book was published 9 years after the killings and only about 3 years after his death sentence was overthrown, so Watson making his case for parole is pretty damm ballsy, born again or not.

I do want to give one quote though, just to show how galling this book can be……


I don’t say any of this to exonerate Charlie or the rest of us. I only want to place our terrible crimes in their proper context: a world that worships death and sin instead of turning to life and light. Charlie, like the others before him, just broke down the facades and let the vile and demonic truth run loose for all to see.

But God and His love is greater then Charlie’s madness or the world’s madness disguised as the way things are.

That kind of hubris makes me want to go visit ol’ Tex at the men’s colony, just to give him a good kick right in the balls.

Still, I highly recommend the book to all fans of good solid trash.


  1. Why do people always trash the deliverance of God? All through the Word; Gods Holy Word, he saves the vilest of sinners. I haven't read Charlie's book yet however it does make me ill ... people judging when they don't know the heart of the man they are trashing. We all will face God on judgement and only Charlie and God knows what is truly in his heart. So if you haven't read the Bible in its entirety I would recommend it. Its an awesome read and who knows maybe Rick Diehl will have his heart changed. I really don't have a view really on whether Charlie is truly saved or not heart leans more to yes because one sin is no greater than the other! God forgives PERIOD! all sin; big and small ..........example: judging/lying/ I have no doubt believing that he can forgive murder as well. I may also add that if you have slandered or spoken maliciously against anyone that is also considered Murder...(you'll see that in the Bible too) Remember Life and death is in the one should think before speaking ill against his brother!

  2. Dear anonymous, I appreciate the lesson in Christian forgiveness, but I was raised in a Christian home and am well versed in the Holy Bible. As I am sure you know, the most important thing about bringing Jesus into your heart is that you've got to mean it. In the case of Tex Watson, this is not just a man who has supposedly brought Jesus into his life. This is a man who less then 6 years after butchering seven people was not just starting a ministry, but who has used that ministry consistently ever since in an attempt to "prove" he deserves to be set free. The one group of people who the Lord holds in special contempt are the hypocrites who pretend to have grace in their hearts, but instead wallow in their sin.