EXCLUSIVE: The man who claims he has Charles Manson's will is fanatical collector who keeps a secret shrine to the cult leader and says 'he'll go into the ring' if anyone challenges the document
- Michael Channels is the secret pen pal who claims that Charles Manson left his entire estate to him, DailyMail.com can exclusively?reveal
- Manson died on November 19 while serving time in prison for the murders of actress Sharon Tate, her friends and Rosemary and Leno LaBianca
- Channels had been a long-time pen pal of Manson's and first wrote to him in the 1990s and received?a response back from the killer in 1997
- The 51-year-old runs a Manson memorabilia website and has photos with the cult leader on the site while visiting him in prison in California
- He also keeps a secret shrine dedicated to the cult leader and only allows a few people to tour his private collection
- Channels says he'll fight against anyone who challenges his claim - although nobody has so far
The man who claims he will inherit Charles Manson's entire estate and has the only copy of the cult leader's will, is memorabilia fanatic Michael Channels, DailyMail.com can exclusively reveal.
The Manson collector and expert is a long-time pen pal of the late serial killer and had been communicating with him for 20 years.
In 2002 Manson drafted the will, which has remained largely unchanged in 15 years, and handed it to confidante Channels.
The killer – who was serving a life sentence for the murders of pregnant actress Sharon Tate and six others – entrusted his estate to the 51-year-old after the pair became close.
TMZ first reported that Manson had left 'everything' to a pen pal, but did not identify him. Manson's estate could be worth millions, some claim, and would include his artwork, music rights and memorabilia.
Channels, who runs a memorabilia site called www.mansonsbackporch.com, first began writing to Manson in the 90s and finally got a letter back in 1997 from the cult leader.
Fives years later he visited the serial killer in prison, and that meeting went so well it seems that Manson drafted the will, which is dated February 4, 2002.
Charles Manson's secret pen pal who claims he has his will is Michael Channels, DailyMail.com can reveal. The 51-year-old is a Manson memorabilia collector and first visited him in prison in 2002, and shortly afterwards Manson had his will written to leave his estate to Channels
Channels?keeps a secret shrine dedicated to the cult leader (pictured). He first began writing to Manson in the 90s and finally got a letter back in 1997 from the cult leader
?Manson, who died on Sunday, November 19, at the age of 83, stated in the will that he disinherited his two known children, grandchildren, friends and other family members
One final goodbye: The pair last spoke on the phone back on October 21, Channels said
The will was sent to the warden at California State Prison Corcoran on Valentine's Day of that year.
Manson, who died on Sunday, November 19, at the age of 83, also stated in the will that he disinherited his two known children, grandchildren, friends, other family members and the state of California.
Manson wrote in the hand-written document that his wishes for his death had been stated to the pen pal, though eight days after he died his body is still with the state of California.
If his body is not claimed after 10 days he will be cremated by the state.
Later in the will, Manson noted: 'I'm not in the best spot to rest in peace.'
Channels touts himself as a Manson expert, appearing on several documentaries and TV shows talking about his 'investigations' into the Manson Family. He sells Manson memorabilia online.
He also posts videos on YouTube and operates a blog about the Manson Family history.?
Channels touts himself as a Manson expert, appearing on several documentaries and TV shows talking about his 'investigations' into the Manson Family. He sells Manson memorabilia
Channels (pictured posing at the Los Angeles Police Museum) posts videos on YouTube and operates a blog about the Manson Family history
DailyMail.com tried to reach the former bankrupt Channels, who according to records once owned a construction company and lives in Newhall, California, for comment, but he wasn't available.?
Instead DailyMail.com spoke to his cohort and apparent business partner Stoner Van Houten, also a Manson collector and the man who runs tours around the infamous Manson Ranch in Los Angeles.
Van Houten, who said Channels was standing next to him while he spoke on the phone, initially said he 'cannot confirm nor deny' that Channels is the man named on Manson's will.
But when asked whether Channels has a genuine document, he confirmed Channels was involved.
Van Houten, who also claims to be a Manson expert and is the caretaker at Spahn Ranch, added: 'You're playing with the big boys and if you don't have the big bucks there's really no point in calling us.'
Manson orchestrated the murders of seven people in the 1960s by his devoted followers in a bid to start a race war.
Manson was jailed after he was found guilty of orchestrating the murders of seven people in the 1960s by his devoted followers in a bid to start a race war.?Charles Manson's will goes to penpal with shrine to killer
Susan Denise Atkins, (left), Patricia Krenwinkel and Leslie Van Houten,(right), laugh after receiving the death sentence for their part in the Tate-LaBianca killing at the order of Manson
On August 8, 1969, he sent Susan Atkins, Linda Kasabian, Patricia Krenwinkel and Charles 'Tex' Watson – to the Beverly Hills address of movie actress Sharon Tate with the instruction to kill everyone inside.
Less than 24 hours later, the followers – plus Leslie Van Houten and Steve 'Clem' Grogan – savagely tortured, murdered and mutilated wealthy LA couple Rosemary and Leno LaBianca.
In the will Manson identified himself as a 'single man' with two known children, sons Michael Brunner and Charles Manson Jr.
Brunner, who was named Valentine Michael Manson at birth, is still alive and has no association with his father, having been raised by his grandparents after his mother Mary was arrested along with other members of the Manson family.
Mary served a brief sentence for credit card theft and forgery before moving back to Wisconsin and changing her name.
She was present the night that Gary Allen Hinman was murdered, but played no role in the actual killing of any individuals.
Charles Manson Jr. committed suicide in 1993 at the age of 37, with the cause of death a self-inflicted gunshot wound.?
?Family: Matthew Roberts (left) claims to be the cult leader's son and Jason Freeman (right) claims to be his grandson
His mother, Manson's ex-wife Rosalie Jean Willis, changed her son's name to Jay White after she divorced the cult leader.?
Charles Manson Jr.'s son, Jason Freeman, is still alive, but said he never had the chance to visit his grandfather in prison.
Manson does have another 'son', a musician called Matthew Roberts who believes he's Manson is rightful heir.
Roberts, who has only come forward in recent years, was not mentioned in the 2002 will.
He was adopted and grew up in Rockford, Illinois, and was told that Manson was his real dad, after he tracked down his biological mother in 2001.
She told Roberts that she was raped by Manson during a drug-fueled orgy nine months before he was born in 1968 – but she later claimed it was not rape but 'vigorous sex'.
Attempted DNA tests have proved inconclusive and Roberts never was able to meet his dad in person.
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