Will Manson Family Member Bobby Beausoleil Ever Be Free?

Musician was Convicted of Murder Along With Charles Manson

Jon Hopwood
3 min readMay 15


California Dept of Corrections & Rehabilitation

Bobby Beausoleil, whose youthful association with Charles Manson led to a lifetime behind bars, was denied parole in July 2020. It was his 20th hearing since being convicted of murder in 1970.

Beausoleil was more of an associate of Charles Manson than an actually Family member, “The Family” being a monikker put on Manson’s followers by the press and prosecutor Vincent Bugliosi. In fact, Charles Manson called those who had congregated with him the “Garbage People.”

Both men were convicted of the murder of music teacher Gary Hinman, a petty drug dealer who had incurred their wrath.


The musician who was called “Cupid” was born Robert Kenneth Beausoleil on November 6, 1947 to a large, working-class family from Santa Barbara, California.

Beausoleil’s father worked as a milkman for twenty years for a dairy company before being promoted to a managerial position. Young Bobby was a good-looking boy with a pronounced musical talent, but his curiosity and rebelliousness got him into minor scrapes with the law, and he was sent to reform school at age 15. Shortly thereafter, Bobby drifted down to Los Angeles, where he played music and became immersed in hippie culture. The wandering minstrel also was an actor, and eventually would appear in two Kenneth Anger films.

In 1966, Beausoleil joined a rock band called The Milky Way, and befriended with one of its guitarists, an ex-con named Charles Manson who was an aspiring songwriter. When the band broke up, Bobby moved to San Francisco. A short time later, he and Manson reunited and Beausoleil became a member in good standing of what became known in the media as The Manson Family.

Manson and Family member Charles Watson (known as “Tex”) also dabbled in drug dealing, Watson more seriously than Charlie. This likely led to the murder of Hinman, Bobby’s friend, a crime for which Bobby was arrested and charged with. The arrest of Beausoleil helped doom the Manson Family, and he was eventually sentenced to death and spent two years on death row until the death penalty was abolished in California.

Beausoleil spent his time in prison playing his guitar and composing songs. He has recorded two albums while imprisoned, both of which are on sale on his Web page. In 1982, Beausoleil married; his wife, Barbara is the operator of the “Beausoleil Island” web page.

Bobby Beausoleil is still behind bars, but with the release of Steve Grogan, another Manson follower, Beausoleil may one day be released on parole as he did not play a role in the horrific Tate-LaBianca murders, which continue to horrify people due the brutal murder of movie star Sharon Tate and her unborn baby by director Roman Polanski. The Tate-LaBianca murders, which were committed by Tex Watson and other members of the Manson Family, were crimes which shocked the world and continue to do so.



Jon Hopwood

I am a writer who lives in New Hampshire