Charles Manson’s grandson regrets never meeting the cult leader, hopes to give him proper burial

Charles Manson’s grandson said Monday he regrets never meeting his reviled relative in the flesh — and hopes it's not too late to claim his remains.

“I’m going to move towards having a proper burial,” Jason Freeman, 41, told the Daily News by phone, a day after California prison officials confirmed the cult leader died at a Bakersfield hospital Sunday night.

“I will definitely speak with the inner circle of people who love my grandfather and who may know more of where he would want to be. I’m working on doing my part,” Freeman said.

The married father of three now living in Florida declined to specify what legal steps he’s taking to prove his next-of-kin status to prison officials, but Freeman said he planned to fly to California later this week.

Freeman first stepped forward in a 2012 CNN interview, saying he barely knew his own father, who was the only son of Manson and his first wife, Rosalie.

Born Charles Manson Jr., the estranged dad changed his name to Jay White after his mom divorced the future mass murderer.

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Charles Manson, the cult leader who sent followers known as the "Manson Family" out to commit gruesome murders, currently being held at California State Prison, Corcoran, California, U.S. is seen in this August 2017 photo released on November 16, 2017. Courtesy California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY.
File Photo: Convicted mass murderer Charles Manson is shown in this handout picture from the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation dated June 16, 2011 and released to Reuters April 8, 2012. REUTERS/CDCR/Handout via REUTERS/File Photo ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. EDITORIAL USE ONLY.
CORCORAN STATE PRISON - MARCH 18: In this handout photo from the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, Charles Manson, 74, poses for a photo on March 18, 2009 at Corcoran State Prison, California. Manson is serving a life sentence for conspiring to murder seven people during the 'Manson family' killings in 1969. The picture was taken as a regular update of the prison's files. (Photo by California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation via Getty Images)
Charles Manson reads a statement at his parole hearing in San Quentin. He was turned down for parole for the 6th time.
The Corcoran State Prison compound is seen in central California, where the 12th parole hearing for convicted mass murderer Charles Manson will take place, April 11, 2012. Aging mass murderer Manson, one of America's most notorious convicts, was scheduled for his latest parole review on Wednesday, where he has been serving a life prison term since the 1970s. Manson, 77, has been denied release on parole 11 times before, most recently in 2007. REUTERS/Gus Ruelas (UNITED STATES - Tags: CRIME LAW)
A car enters the Corcoran State Prison compound in central California, where the 12th parole hearing for convicted mass murderer Charles Manson will take place, April 11, 2012. Aging mass murderer Manson, one of America's most notorious convicts, was scheduled for his latest parole review on Wednesday, where he has been serving a life prison term since the 1970s. Manson, 77, has been denied release on parole 11 times before, most recently in 2007. REUTERS/Gus Ruelas (UNITED STATES - Tags: CRIME LAW)
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White eventually killed himself in June 1993 while in his late 30s.

Freeman said he blamed his grandfather for his own dad’s death until he started speaking with Manson by phone eight years ago and reached a place of “forgiveness.”

The madman’s grandson started lobbying for the right to visit Manson at Corcoran State Prison but never succeeded. Asked why a meeting never took place, he declined to get specific but suggested Manson himself never gave the green light.

“I get emotional (talking about this),” Freeman said. “Some stuff is frustrating. He wanted to protect me, keep me out of all the pressure and hatred the world has.”

Freeman lamented waiting so long to reach out to Manson.

“It’s weighing on my shoulders. I should have been faster, should have done more, should have done something different. It’s like I was trying too hard at the end of the marathon and now the marathon is over. That’s what it feels like,” he said. “I don’t want to say I feel defeated, but I feel beat up right now.”

Freeman agreed Manson was a killer but said he was unfairly convicted of murdering Sharon Tate Polanski and the four other people who were at the heavily pregnant actress’ Los Angeles home in August 1969.

Manson was not at the house for the mass slaughter but chose the location and directed his disciples to kill everyone there.

“If he was there chopping people up, that would make a big difference in how I look at him, but him not having his hands (physically) there, I don’t believe he should have spent almost 50 years in prison,” Freeman argued.

"I'm not saying he's not guilty of murder sometime in his life, but the Sharon Tate murder, I don't think he's guilty of that," he said.

Freeman is now working on a documentary with New York based producer Joe Townley and My-Entertainment. The working title is “Manson’s Bloodline,” Townley said Monday.

"As I've learned in past eight years, there's more than one side of the story, and now that he's passed, you'll see a lot more of what really happened in the future," Freeman said.

RELATED: Charles Manson and the Manson family cult

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Photo of Charles Manson

(Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

Bruce Davis is pictured in this undated handout photo courtesy of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. California Governor Jerry Brown denied parole on March 1, 2013, for a member of the Manson Family cult who was sentenced to life in prison for two murders in the 1970s, saying that he remained a danger to the public. In rejecting parole for Davis, who is now 70, Brown reversed the decision of a state parole board that had found him eligible for release after his 27th parole hearing last October.

(REUTERS/California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation/Handout)

Charles Manson is escorted to court for preliminary hearing on December 3, 1969 in Los Angeles, California.

(Photo by John Malmin/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

Here's Charles Manson and his 26-year old girlfriend, who he just got a license to marry: http://t.co/tmLhvgqnlO http://t.co/NU9UuBNz2a

In this handout photo from the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, Charles Manson, 74, poses for a photo on March 18, 2009 at Corcoran State Prison, California. Manson is serving a life sentence for conspiring to murder seven people during the 'Manson family' killings in 1969. The picture was taken as a regular update of the prison's files.

(California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation via Getty Images)

The three female defendants in the Tate/LaBianca murder trial leave the Los Angeles courtroom after being convicted of first degree murder, 25th January 1971. From left to right, Patricia Krenwinkel, Susan Atkins and Leslie Van Houten were found guilty of the murders of actress Sharon Tate and six other people, in collaboration with Charles Manson. (Photo by Bride Lane Library/Popperfoto/Getty Images)

Charles Manson who led a cult that committed murders in Los Angeles in the sixties is clean shaven in closeup photo.

(Bettmann via Getty Images)

Charles Manson talks during an interview August 25, 1989.

(STR New/Reuters)

The three female members of Charles Manson's 'family' ham it up for photographers through the window of the sheriff's van as they arrive at the courthouse to continue the murder trial in the Tate-LaBianca case. Patricia Krenwinkle (left) makes a face as Leslie Van Houten and Susan Atkins (right) smile. August 5, 1970.

(Bettmann via Getty Images)

Charles Manson clowns around as he is led to his cell upon the conclusion of his exclusive interview with Reuters August 25, 1989.

(STR New/Reuters)

Steve Grogan (left) and Bruce Davis (right), defendants in the murder of movie stunt man, Donald (Shorty) Shea are taken into court December 23. Davis, along with Charles Manson (not present) was accused of both the Gary Hinman and Shea murders, while Grogan was a defendant in the Shea case only. Grogan was later paroled, the only member of the 'Manson Family' to be paroled from a murder conviction.

Pittsburg Coroner Dr. Cyril Wecht, MD, JD. is seen in this photo taken January 22, 1998. Dr. Wecht is a nationally-known forensic pathologist who is often consulted on high-profile murder cases such as the John F. Kennedy assassination, O.J. Simpson case, Jon Benet Ramsey and the Helter Skelter murders of Charles Manson. The first non-governmental forensic pathologist to be granted access to autopsy materials in the 1963 Kennedy assassination, he said there was not enough information to challenge the Warren Commission's conclusion that a lone gunman killed the president and that investigators failed to find all those responsible for the killing.

(STR New / Reuters)

Charles Manson is led to court on March 29, 1971.

(Photo by Rick Browne/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

Leslie Louis Van Houghten, (yellow dress), is taken by policewomen to a jail cell in the Hall of Justice, after she and two other girls waive arraignment on murder charges in connection with the Tate-LaBianca slayings. The three allegedly were members of a hippie cult led by Charles Manson.

(Bettmann via Getty Images)

Charles Manson on his way to court in 1970.

(Photo by Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

Leslie Van Houten listens during her parole hearing in Corona, California, June 28, 2002. Los Angeles' top prosecutor on June 28, 2016, urged California Governor Jerry Brown to keep former Charles Manson follower Van Houten behind bars, despite the recommendation of a parole board that she be released.

(REUTERS/DamianDovarganes/POOL)

Charles Manson prior to his appearance in Dept. 106 on March 6, 1970 in Los Angeles, California.

(Photo by Frank Q. Brown/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

One of many historic photos that is part of L.A.'s longest mural, depicting 150 years of history in the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office, at the Clara Shortridge Foltz Criminal Justice Building a.k.a. the Criminal Courts Building, Wednesday afternoon in downtown L.A. The mural covers 2,300 square feet, 18 walls, two floors and has 625 images. This is a photo of Charles Manson as he's escorted back to his cell after his arraignment.

(Photo by Richard Hartog/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

A trio of suspects in the Sharon Tate murder case sing as they march to court for a hearing. Left to right: Susan Atkins, Patricia Krenwinkel and Leslie Van Houten march abreast along a corridor toward the courtroom where Judge William Keene set April 20th as the date for their trial with fellow suspect, Charles Manson.

(Bettmann via Getty Images)

Charles 'Tex' Watson. Watson was convicted of murder for his part in the killings of Sharon Tate and others while a member of the 'Manson Family'

(Bettmann via Getty Images)

Three days before he ran away from Boy's Town, Charles Manson poses in a suit and tie.

(Bettmann via Getty Images)

(Original Caption) Bruce Davis, the Manson Family 'X' carved in his forehead, walks with his attorney Daye Shinn (right) after he surrendered himself to authorities outside the Hall of Justice. Davis is under indictment by the Grand Jury for the 1969 murder of Gary Hinman.

A TV picture of American musician, cult leader and murderer Charles Manson, September 1975. The image was broadcast around the time that Manson acolyte Lynette 'Squeaky' Fromme was arrested after an attempt to kill US President Gerald Ford.

(Ernst Haas/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Charles Manson as an adolescent. He would later become infamous for attempted to foment social chaos by murdering prominent celebrities.

(Bettmann via Getty Images)

Accused murderer being led to and from court house in Inyo County, California. He is Charles Miller Manson, aged 34 years. 

(Photo by Mirrorpix/Mirrorpix via Getty Images)

Accused murderer being led to and from court house in Inyo County, California. He is Charles Miller Manson, aged 34 years.

(Photo by WATFORD/Mirrorpix/Mirrorpix via Getty Images)

Charles Manson sits in the courtroom during his murder trial in 1970 in Los Angeles, California.

(Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

American actress Sharon Tate, on her wedding day to film director Roman Polanski. She was murdered by Charles Manson in California, 1969.

(Photo by © Hulton-Deutsch Collection/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images)

Charles Manson, accused leader of a hippie cult charged with the Tate-LaBianca murders, is heavily guarded as he leaves the Hall of Justice following arraignment December 11th. He is shown being taken to a police van for removal to a jail cell and peering through the barred windows of the police van. Bearded, short of stature, he is wearing a fringed buckskin outfit.

(Bettmann via Getty Images)

Polish film director Roman Polanski with his wife actress Sharon Tate in London. Sharon Tate was murdered in 1969 by Charles Manson and his followers.

(Photo by Hulton-Deutsch/Hulton-Deutsch Collection/Corbis via Getty Images)

Charles Manson, convicted hippie leader, is sullen as he is led back into the courtroom to hear the penalty he and this three female followers must pay for the Tate-LaBianca murders of August 1969. Manson and his followers, Denise Atkins, Patricia Krenwinkel, and Leslie Van Houten were decreed the gas chamber by the jury following a nine month trial.

(Bettmann via Getty Images)

A portrait of American criminal Charles Manson. 1970s

(Photo by Mondadori Portfolio via Getty Images)

Susan Atkins testified before the Los Angeles Grand Jury in December 1969, which indicted five individuals, including Atkins, and Charles Manson for the Tate-LaBianca killings.

(Bettmann via Getty Images)

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Freeman said he got to know “a different man than what my mother always told me” during his phone conversations with Manson.

"He told me he loved me. I told him I loved him. It took five years for that to come out of his mouth," he said.

"Most people in the world wouldn't understand. They wouldn't get what I'm saying. We all look at anybody and everybody who kills as a killer. But all I have is my love," Freeman, who described himself as deeply spiritual, said.

The clock is ticking for Freeman to make his claim on Manson's remains.

The crazed cult leader’s body was in the possession of the Kern County Coroner on Monday, a prison spokeswoman confirmed to The News.

The spokeswoman declined to give a more specific cause of death beyond “natural” or say whether Manson had a last will and testament or someone listed in his file for death notification.

According to state regulations, Manson’s remains will be released to a licensed funeral director unless the coroner makes special arrangements.

Manson might even get a ceremony, if he asked for one.

"A chaplain of the decedent's professed faith may perform a ceremony in accordance with that faith," the California Code of Regulations governing inmate death states.

If Manson legally designated someone for death notification, prison staff will attempt to reach that person with a visit, telephone call or telegram, in accordance with state regulations.

If after 10 days the legally approved person fails to contact the designated funeral director, Manson will be considered unclaimed, the regulations state.

In that case, the funeral home would make arrangements to inter the mass murderer using state resources.

If not already there, Manson would likely be sent to Union Cemetery in Bakersfield for cremation. His ashes would then fit into a container about half the size of a shoebox.

According to the Kern County Coroner's website, unclaimed remains are interred at Union Cemetery.

A Bakersfield Californian report from 2010 said Kern County's unclaimed remains were stacked unceremoniously inside a group vault at Union Cemetery.

That unmarked vault was in the top row of a 90-year-old mausoleum on the property.

To find such unclaimed remains, visitors must consult the cemetery's records to determine location, the newspaper said.

RELATED: Sharon Tate, Charles Manson family murders

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Sharon Tate, Charles Manson family murders
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Sharon Tate, Charles Manson family murders
American actress Sharon Tate (1943 - 1969), circa 1968. The wife of film director Roman Polanski, Tate was murdered by followers of Charles Manson on 8th August 1969. (Photo by Terry O'Neill/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
UNSPECIFIED - JANUARY 01: Photo of Sharon Tate (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)
Headshot of Sharon Tate (1943-1969), US actress, circa 1965. (Photo by Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images)
Sharon Tate (1943-1969), US actress, wearing metallic disc sleeveless top, with a scoop neckline, in an exterior portrait, circa 1965. (Photo by Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images)
American actor Sharon Tate (1943 - 1969), wearing a nightgown, faces herself in a mirror while pouring prescription pills into the palm of her hand in a still from the film, 'Valley of the Dolls,' directed by Mark Robson, 1967. (Photo by 20th Century Fox/Courtesy Getty Images)
UNSPECIFIED - CIRCA 1967: Photo of Sharon Tate Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images
A contact sheet of portraits of American actress Sharon Tate (1943 - 1969), circa 1968. (Photo by Terry O'Neill/Getty Images)
UNSPECIFIED - JANUARY 01: The American Actress Sharon Tate, Wife Of The French Film Director Roman Polanski, In 1969. (Photo by Keystone-France/Gamma-Keystone via Getty Images)
Pregnant film star Sharon Tate in the back of a taxi in London with baby's booties on her hands, 6th August 1969. This picture was taken three days before she was murdered.(Photo by Terry O'Neill/Getty Images)
UNSPECIFIED - CIRCA 1970: Photo of Sharon Tate Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images
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Manson was originally sentenced to death along with several members of his psychopathic cult, but the sentences were commuted to life when the death penalty was briefly outlawed in 1972.

Prosecutors said Manson and his followers were trying to incite an Armageddon-like race war named after the Beatles' song "Helter Skelter."

Manson was denied parole 12 times between November 1978 and April 2012.

The last parole hearing he attended was in 1997.

He was not eligible to have another parole hearing until 2027.

Ben Gurecki, a Manson groupie who regularly posted prison calls with the inmate on his YouTube channel, said Manson recently told him he was suffering from "heart failure."

"I'm tired," Manson said during calls in the last month, Gurecki claimed to The News. "I'm just tired."

Tate's sister Debra Tate has been a vocal advocate for keeping Manson's disciples in prison despite regular parole hearings.

She told The News late Sunday that she actually said a prayer for Manson after getting a call from prison officials about his death.

"I shed a tear for him. When I got the phone call at 8:30 that he had died, I said a prayer, shed a tear, stuck a flower under my cross in my bedroom and emailed Roman (Polanski)," Debra Tate said.

"I've processed through all of my hate for him. Hate isn't healthy. It won't bring my sister back. One could say I've forgiven him, but there's a difference between forgiving and forgetting," she said.

"He was sociopathic and very dangerous, like his followers. He was the root of the problems, but he was the least of my worries. He wasn't trying to get out of prison," she said, referring to his convicted followers.

"I sit across from these monsters many times a year, and I know very clearly they're still capable of heinous acts," she said. "For that reason, I've dedicated myself to seeing they stay right where they are until they draw their last breath, so they can't hurt anyone else."

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