Barbara Hoyt dies: How Did Ex-Manson Family Member Die?

Barbara Hoyt, a crucial witness in the historic trial of Charles Manson and his gang for the 1969 murders of Sharon Tate and four others, passed away at age 65 on December 3, 2017 due to natural causes. Hoyt bravely identified Manson and his accomplices as the group responsible for the murder of her friend Gary Hinman, and testified that Manson had threatened her life if she did not comply with his wishes. With the help of Hoyt’s testimony, the convictions of Manson and his followers were made possible. Her legacy will never be forgotten.

Barbara’s life took a drastic turn when she was just 17. In April 1969, she had a fight with her dad and ran away from home, ending up at the notorious Spahn Ranch in California. It was there that she met Charles and his followers. The first night was surreal: everyone sat on the floor, sharing casseroles and salads and passing around joints. They ate with the same utensils out of the same bowls – a true reflection of the communal lifestyle that was so prevalent in those times.

When Barbara heard Charles sing, she felt an overwhelming sense of love and acceptance. To her, Charles was larger than life- revered by everyone who knew him. Drawing from Scientology and other sources, he passionately shared his vision of the world with others. According to Charles, we must let go of our knowledge in order to truly live. It’s no surprise that those around him considered him a pure soul- he was unlike anyone else they’d ever met.

Months after their first encounter, members of the Manson Family committed horrific acts of violence at various locations. Pregnant actress Sharon Tate and four others were brutally killed on August 9, 1969 by cult members. Barbara recalled how she was asked to bring dark clothing before the murders, but arrived too late. She became suspicious when other Family members eagerly watched news reports of the killings.

Barbara recalled a disturbing incident with the Manson Family, where they called Charlie “The Soul” and laughed at her expense. Later, she overheard Susan Atkins confessing to involvement in the Sharon Tate murders. Feeling uneasy, Barbara left the Family with a fellow member.

When Charles and his fellow criminals were finally caught, Barbara played a vital role by giving crucial testimony. Although she was hesitant to take the stand, the Family offered to cover her travel costs to Hawaii. It was there that Barbara revealed how Ruth had tried to prevent her from testifying by feeding her a hamburger spiked with 10 LSD tabs. Miraculously, Barbara survived the poisoning and bravely testified, resulting in the imprisonment of those responsible.

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