Charles Manson hypnotized Danny Trejo in prison

In one of his prison stints, Daniel Trejo met future cult leader Charles Manson, who quickly took to hypnotizing his fellow inmates.

Trejo Manson

We all know that Danny Trejo has spent time in prison, with a criminal record going back to his youth and extending into the ‘60s, long before he got his acting going. And it was during one of his latter stints that Trejo came across a fella who had yet to get his music career off the ground: none other than Charles Manson, who himself was a career criminal when the two encountered each other. Fortunately, Trejo took a considerably different path than being responsible for maybe the most notorious murders of the century…but that doesn’t mean he didn’t have a unique experience with the cult leader.

Danny Trejo recalled meeting Charles Manson in the early ‘60s and even offering him protection. In turn, Manson introduced Trejo to the ways of hypnosis. “There were three people in my cell, and when we found out Charlie could hypnotize us, we said, ‘Well, get us loaded on weed.’ And he did. We were loaded on marijuana. And then after we woke up, I said, ‘Charlie, get us loaded on heroin.’ And he said, ‘Alright.’ So two of us got loaded. Then the other guy, the one that didn’t get loaded, Charlie asked him, ‘Have you ever been loaded on heroin?’ And he goes, ‘No.’ So Charlie said, ‘Your mind doesn’t know how to react.’” Once Manson was found to be tied to the Tate-LaBianca murders, Trejo recalled seeing him on TV. Yeah, small world we have here… 

Charles Manson has quite a list of celebrities he has been linked to, although Danny Trejo is unique in that their encounters came pre-fame and not during, say, From Dusk Till Dawn. Of course there’s The Beach Boys’ Dennis Wilson, who Manson tried to latch onto, but also Cass Elliott of the Mamas and the Papas and even Angela Lansbury, whose daughter was getting close enough to the Manson Family that she relocated her own clan to Ireland.

Danny Trejo recalled even having run-ins with females from Charles Manson’s cult, although they too were far from on the up-and-up. “Instead of all living on the street, they lived out here on Spahn Ranch. I knew a couple of girls that stayed at that ranch, and they said the big thing they would do was pick crabs off themselves. They were all just little freaks.”

Odd celebrity stories such as the Trejo / Manson link are always fun encounters to hear happening, allowing yourself to concoct your own alternate histories with them. Could Trejo have rescued Manson from his future, introducing him to Robert Rodriguez and landing him the Cheech Marin role in Spy Kids? Well, no, but if Quentin Tarantino can change the timeline, what’s the harm in playing our own make believe?

Source: Interview

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Mathew is an East Coast-based writer and film aficionado who has been working with JoBlo.com periodically since 2006. When he’s not writing, you can find him on Letterboxd or at a local brewery. If he had the time, he would host the most exhaustive The Wonder Years rewatch podcast in the universe.