LOS ANGELES — Charles Manson’s death came with a string of unanswered questions, from whether the notorious cult leader left a will to what, if any, possessions he left behind. The convicted killer, 83, who once aspired to musical fame and dabbled in art, died Sunday after spending nearly half a century in prison.

WHAT WILL HAPPEN WITH MANSON’S BODY?

According to the state penal code, if no claim is made for an inmate’s body by a family member or appointed representative, the remains will be cremated or buried “no sooner than 10 calendar days” after the death.

The state may waive the 10-day period if confirmation is received that the inmate’s family or appointed representative refuse to take possession of the body.

Vicky Waters, a spokeswoman for the state Corrections Department, said she could not confirm if the agency was aware of a family member. Manson was born in Cincinnati on Nov. 12, 1934, to a teenager, possibly a prostitute. “My father is the jailhouse,” Manson once said in court.

WILL THERE BE AN AUTOPSY?

That was unclear Monday.

Authorities attributed Manson’s death Sunday to natural causes. The state Corrections Department referred questions about a possible autopsy to the Kern County coroner, a branch of the county sheriff’s department.

The state Corrections Department “does not have jurisdiction over autopsies,” Waters, the spokeswoman, said in an email. But the sheriff’s department said the inquiry should be directed to the state.

WHAT WILL BECOME OF MANSON’S PERSONAL POSSESSIONS?

The state did not disclose what, if anything, the convicted killer left behind in his cell, citing rules that limit information that can be released about inmates.

Waters said she could not say if Manson left a will. If one is located, state officials must, within 30 days after the death, deliver the will to the court having jurisdiction of the estate. If an executor is named in the will, that person would be notified.

If no one comes forward after an inmate’s death, all money and personal property would be inventoried. Those funds would be used to cover cremation or burial expenses and related charges.

If no claim is made for any remaining funds or property, state rules outlined a procedure of steps:

—Any remaining money or other personal property would be held for one year, for heirs or others who might come forward.

—After a year, the money would be sent to a state fund for unclaimed property, a kind of storehouse where banks or insurance companies typically turn over orphaned money or property. If unclaimed, those funds would revert to the state after five years, according to the state controller’s office.

—Remaining property could be auctioned. Property that is unsold, or deemed valueless, could be destroyed.

Author photo
The AP is one of the largest and most trusted sources of independent newsgathering. AP is neither privately owned nor government-funded; instead, as a not-for-profit news cooperative owned by its American newspaper and broadcast members, it can maintain its single-minded focus on newsgathering and its commitment to the highest standards of objective, accurate journalism.