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LOS ANGELES (AP) – Cult leader Charles Manson, whose followers killed actress Sharon Tate and six others in 1969, has died. He was 83.

A spokeswoman for the California Department of Corrections says Manson died of natural causes Sunday night.

The gory slayings horrified the world and revealed a violent underbelly of a counterculture that preached peace and love.

The killings occurred on successive August nights and terrorized the city of Los Angeles.

Tate, who was nearly nine months pregnant, was found stabbed repeatedly in her Hollywood mansion, along with several of her friends. Other victims included coffee heiress Abigail Folger and celebrity hair stylist Jay Sebring.

The next night a wealthy couple was killed in a similar fashion.

Investigators learned Manson sent a group of disaffected young followers to commit murder as part of a twisted, quasi-religious belief that it would launch a race war.

(Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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