PORTLAND, Ore. -- A former local journalist is opening up about her encounter with the notorious cult leader and murderer Charles Manson.
“I hadn’t really talked about it openly,” said Anne Jaeger.
Jaeger said in the summer of 1968, she and her parents went camping in Southern California.
“As we’re pulling up all of these girls start tumbling topsy-turvy out of this weird school bus,” she said. “All of a sudden this guy comes out.”
The guy identified himself only as Charlie. He took a liking to Jaeger’s dad. As the two men got to know each other, one of the girls lured Jaeger away from the campsite and peppered her with questions.
Former KGW reporter shares personal story of Charles MansonPosted by Mike Benner - KGW on Monday, November 20, 2017
“What does your dad do? Where are you going? Where have you been? Do you have a lot of money? Do you have a lot of toys?” Jaeger recalled.
Jaeger was only 10 at the time. She did not think much of it. The two returned to the campsite where Charlie and Jaeger’s dad were still sitting around the bonfire. Jaeger recalls Charlie playing a song called "Cease to Exist." She will never forget the lyrics.
“Lights out, go to sleep, I hope you never wake up,” said Jaeger.
Jaeger eventually went to bed, but before morning she and her parents would take off under the cover of night. It would be decades before Jaeger learned the reason for the quick getaway, but not nearly as long to learn more about the man she knew as Charlie. The very next year Jaeger and her dad were awakened by her frantic mother holding the front page of The Oregonian. Charlie’s face was on it.
“He’s the one who killed all those people in California and that’s when we learned his name was Charlie Manson.”
Manson would spend the next four decades behind bars before dying Sunday. It was not until her own dad was dying just last year that Jaeger asking him why the family raced away from that campsite all those years before. He told her a chilling story of Charlie asking to use the bathroom in the family trailer. Jaeger’s dad told Charlie no. Charlie did not like that and pressed. Jaeger’s dad said something to the effect of, "you’ll have to go through me first."
“And Charlie lightened up the mood and said, ‘that’s okay man I only hurt people who are afraid of me,’” said Jaeger.