Charles Manson has been cremated and his ashes scattered following a brief, private funeral four months after the death of the man who gained worldwide infamy for the 1969 Los Angeles killings of actress Sharon Tate and others that he hoped would spark a race war.

The memorial was held on Saturday at a funeral home in the California city of Porterville, according to Mark Pitcher, pastor of the Church of the Nazarene.

Pitcher, who presided, said about 20 to 25 people attended, among them Manson's grandson, Jason Freeman, and Freeman's wife, Audrey. first reported the funeral at the Porterville Funeral & Cremation Center and its story included a photo of Manson in an open casket.

Pitcher said he agreed to the funeral home's request to conduct services after he was told Freeman and his wife are Christians and that Freeman wanted his grandfather to have "a proper burial" despite his notoriety.

The pastor declined to reveal who else attended, but said some were friends of Manson, the ersatz hippie leader who inspired, with drugs and charisma, a rag-tag band of young followers to murder Tate and six others during two bloody nights in August 1969 that terrified Los Angeles.

The Porterville Recorder newspaper reported the attendees included Manson follower Sandra Good who, although she was not implicated in the 1969 killings, served 10 years in prison for sending hundreds of threatening letters to corporate executives. Also there, the newspaper said, was Afton Elaine Burton, a woman Manson took out a licence to marry in 2014 when he was 80 and she was 26. The couple never wed.

The Manson Family, as the cult leader's followers were called, slaughtered five of its victims on August 9, 1969, at Tate's home. They included the actress who was eight months pregnant, coffee heiress Abigail Folger, celebrity hairdresser Jay Sebring, Polish movie director Voityck Frykowski and Steven Parent, a friend of the estate's caretaker.

The next night, a wealthy grocer and his wife, Leno and Rosemary LaBianca, were stabbed to death in their home across town.

Prosecutors said Manson ordered the killings to launch a race war he believed was prophesied by Helter Skelter, a Beatles song about a popular British playground slide.

Australian Associated Press

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