Phil Burton is living every parent’s worst nightmare. His 26 year old daughter, Afton Burton, is engaged to notorious serial killer Charles Manson. She had been dating the killer for 7 years when she called her Dad 8 months ago with some devastating news.
“Daddy I’m getting married to Charlie,” she said in a matter of fact tone.
The beautiful Afton began secretly writing to Manson in high school when her class was assigned to write an essay about a famous person. She chose a politician, but a friend of hers decided to write about Charles Manson. After Afton helped with some research, she became fascinated by the dark figure.
Manson became famous in the 1960s for his horrific murder spree that left 7 dead. One of his victims was Hollywood actress Sharon Tate, who was 8 months pregnant and married to director Roman Polanski at the time. He is well known for brainwashing innocent young girls into joining his murderous cult. Afton actually bears a striking resemblance to Susan Atkins, who was one of Manson’s minions.
Phil says that if he had known what was going on he would have put a stop to it, but he didn’t find out about his daughter’s special friend until she was already 18. After graduating high school, Afton left her rural Illinois home to move to California so she could be near Manson’s prison.
“She’s 26 years old. She’s been gone seven years. Seven years is a long time to deal with anything,”
he told The Daily Mail. “If I could have shut it down when it started, of course I would have. But we couldn’t. She was already 18 by the time we found out.”
Now, all Phil can do is wait for his daughter to walk down the aisle with the 79 year old convict. He says that Afron was raised in a deeply Christian home and that he believes her relationship with Manson started as a classic teenage rebellion.
He finds comfort in the fact that though they will be married by law, the pair can never be joined in a physical sense. Prisoners serving life sentences in California are not allowed to receive conjugal visits, so there is no risk of Afton ever having Manson’s child.
“It’s never going to be able to come to fruition. It’s never going to develop into a full blown relationship and I think that may be a part of what eases me a little as a parent.”
Today, Afton supports herself financially while she manages Manson’s website. She has previously worked at Mcdonald’s, but it is unclear where she is employed now.
Phil and his wife Melissa are trying to stay supportive of their daughter. They have never met Manson and have no intention to, but they work hard to maintain a steady relationship with Afton.
“We have not, we are not going to and we never will, no matter what she does in her life, disown our daughter. I love my kids more than life itself. I love my daughter, my wife loves my daughter and I know she still loves us.”
Phil hopes that one day Afton will be free of Manson, and will return home to her family where she belongs.