by TV News Desk Mar. 27, 2019
THE JOURNEY of Charles Manson's grandson Jason Freeman who fought to control the notorious cult leader's body and funeral. What unfolds confounds Freeman as he wrestles with the duty of caring for a deceased relative who also happens to be one of the world's most vile criminals.
"This documentary shows the unusual real story confronting Jason Freeman who struggles to comprehend his role in a situation that involves family, infamy and the inevitable event of death," said Rob Swartz, SVP of REELZ Development and Production. "Freeman's story will no DOUBT leave viewers asking themselves what they would do if faced with similar circumstances."
Years before Charles Manson became the cult leader in California he was married to a woman in Ohio and had a son named Charles Manson Jr. who would later father Freeman. Since Freeman's mother and father were never married Freeman kept his mother's maiden name though the specter of the Manson name still loomed large throughout his life. When Freeman was only 16 years old his father committed suicide leaving him with complex emotions about his lineage and eventually increasing his CURIOSITY about his infamous grandfather and what it all means for his own young family.
"We wanted to explore the incredibly complicated choices in Jason Freeman's story," said Buddy Day, director of 'Charles Manson: The Funeral'. "What goes through your mind when this evil person who hardly anyone wants to be associated with is your grandpa and now you have his body? Do you ignore it? Embrace it? At the end of the day Manson was still a family member and despite the menacing Manson cloud Freeman grew up with he still feels his grandpa deserved a proper burial."
"Charles Manson: The Funeral" follows Freeman as he comes to terms with a legacy haunted by his grandfather's heinous deeds and the weight of the Manson name. The documentary goes inside the funeral with the first-ever footage of the service and cremation and shows viewers what happens when Freeman crosses paths with Manson supporters who want to say goodbye and add their own disturbing touch to his memory. In an effort to try and comprehend who his grandfather was Freeman meets with Dianne Lake, former member of the Manson Family, who gives him insight into what life was really like at Manson's Spahn Ranch. Throughout it all is Freeman's wife who finds herself thrust into the spotlight once her husband attracts media attention in his bid to claim Manson's body.
Sharing her first hand story is Freeman's mother Shawn Moreland who discusses her efforts to shield a young Freeman from Manson's evil only to see him come face to face with the grim obligation of burying the cult leader. Additional interviews include attorney Dale Kiken who helped Freeman secure Manson's body, pastor Mark Pitcher at Porterville's Church of Nazarene who performed Manson's funeral service and Manson supporters who attend the funeral John Michael "J.J." Jones, Craig "Gray Wolf" Hammond and Billy Gram.
Viewers will also hear from Stephen Kay, former prosecutor of Manson Family members, Caitlin Rother, co-author of "Hunting Charles Manson" and reporters who have covered Manson throughout the years including Emmy Award(R) winning investigative reporter Mike Deeson, Sarasota Herald-Tribune reporter Chris Anderson and Pittsburgh Post-Gazette columnist Tony Norman. "Charles Manson: The Funeral" is produced by MY Entertainment with executive producers Michael Yudin and Joe Townley.