Lone survivor of Manson killings lived 40 mins from Columbus

Though Charles Manson has passed, his legacy will forever haunt one late Lancaster native.

William Garretson was 19 years old when he lived in the Manson House. He hitchhiked all the way to California to get a job as a caretaker in the house after graduating from Lancaster High School in 1967. He was paid 35 dollars a week plus free lodging. 

August 8, 1969 was a night Garretson will not forget. Police arrested him as a suspect for the five murders that took place outside the house. He was later released after passing a lie-detector test and after two more murders happened while he was in police custody. After being released Garretson returned back to Lancaster.

His former high school classmates said he did not talk much about the murders. 10TV reports  that his friends claim Garretson was a victim of being at the wrong place at the wrong time.

Throughout his life, Garretson’s was offered thousands of dollars to tell his story. He died of cancer last year.

Visit 10TV for the full story.

Photo courtesy


Mark J Suplicki Portraits

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