Charles Manson, the 80-year-old folk singer-cum-mass murderer, has received a license to marry Afton Elaine Burton, a St. Louis native who moved to Corcoran, California, nine years ago to be closer to him. Burton, who goes by the name Star, was born more than 15 years after Manson was convicted in 1971. She became infatuated with him after coming across some of his environmental writings during her wayward, drug-addled youth.
The Associated Press saw the couple's marriage license on Monday, which was issued on November 7 by Kings County, California. The two have 90 days to take the plunge, although an exact date hasn't been announced. Burton, however, insists the nuptials will happen around 30 days from now. "Ya'll know that it's true," she told the AP. "It's going to happen."
The announcement shouldn't shock anyone who follows the former cult leader closely. Back in December, Burton told Rolling Stone that Manson was "her husband" and that they planned to be married. Manson downplayed the claim at the time, telling the magazine, "That's a bunch of garbage. That's trash. We're playing that for public consumption." But as we noted at the time, that was probably just a bit of macho posturing for his jail bros.
In most circles, the idea of a young woman choosing to give up her life to sit outside a maximum security jail and proclaim the innocence of the leader of a murderous cult is a bit troubling. And marrying someone more than three times your age presents a number of emotional and physical hurdles to overcome. Then again, people serving life without parole aren't allowed conjugal visits, so if the marriage does go ahead, this will be more of an emotional bond than a carnal one.
While the couple will be allowed ten guests at the ceremony, it is not clear who will be attending. But little details like that won't get in the way of true love. As Star told Rolling Stone back in November, "This is what's right for me. This is what I was born for."
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