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Charles Manson probate battle narrows to two contenders

Field of presumptive heirs to serial killer Charles Manson narrowed Monday
Two contenders claim the ..

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  • Field of presumptive heirs to serial killer Charles Manson narrowed Monday
  • Two contenders claim the rights to Manson's body and estate, down from five
  • Jason Freeman, 41, claims he is killer's grandson, with documents to back it up
  • Pen pal Michael Channels, 52, says Manson sent will leaving everything to him
  • Judge complicates matters by leaving venue for fight over remains up to debate
  • Meanwhile, Manson's body remains on ice at the Kern County Coroner's Office

By Keith Griffith For Dailymail.com

Published: 17:39 EST, 8 January 2018 | Updated: 17:39 EST, 8 January 2018

The field of contenders for Manson's remains narrowed after a Monday hearing in LA 

The field of contenders for Manson's remains narrowed after a Monday hearing in LA

The fight over control of Charles Manson's estate and remains has narrowed, with a pen pal and purported grandson emerging as the main contenders.

Other contenders did not appear at a hearing Monday in a Los Angeles courtroom, leaving the fight to grandson Jason Freeman, 41, and pen pal Michael Channels, 52, for now.

At one point, the legal battle threatened to become a circus, with as many as five contenders.

Probate Judge David J. Cowan did complicate matters at the hearing though, by telling Freeman and Channels that the question of venue would be up for debate, the LA Times reported.

He also advised Channels, who is representing himself, that he would be well advised to seek a lawyer as the proceedings complexify.

'I called 50 of them,' Channels replied. 'Half of them hung up on me, the other half laughed.'

Grandson Jason Freeman, 41Grandson Jason Freeman, 41Pen pal Michael Channels, 52Pen pal Michael Channels, 52

Grandson Jason Freeman, 41, (left) and pen pal Michael Channels, 52, (right) are the two primary legal contenders for control of Manson's remains after a Monday hearing

Freeman's attorney Alan Davis has until January 12 to file a claim to recover Manson's remains, as well as arguments on the proper court venue for a ruling on the remains.

The court will decide whether venue is proper in Los Angeles, where Manson resided before his arrest in 1969, or in Kings County, where he was imprisoned for orchestrating the 1969 killings of pregnant actress Sharon Tate and eight other people.

Channels, a pen pal of Manson's for 30 years who claims to have the killer's a last will and testament, must respond to Davis' filing by January 19.

Until then, Manson's body is being held on ice by the coroner in Kern County, where he was hospitalized prior to his death on November 19 at age 83.

Channels says he met Manson in 2002 after the two had corresponded through letters and that soon after, Manson sent him a will leaving his entire estate to him.

Before his death in November, Manson was serving a life sentence for orchestrating the 1969 murders of Sharon Tate and eight others in a murder spree  (pictured above in December 1969)Before his death in November, Manson was serving a life sentence for orchestrating the 1969 murders of Sharon Tate and eight others in a murder spree  (pictured above in December 1969)

Before his death in November, Manson was serving a life sentence for orchestrating the 1969 murders of Sharon Tate and eight others in a murder spree (pictured above in December 1969)

Manson's body is being held on ice at the coroner's office (pictured) in Kern County, where he was hospitalized prior to his death Manson's body is being held on ice at the coroner's office (pictured) in Kern County, where he was hospitalized prior to his death 

Manson's body is being held on ice at the coroner's office (pictured) in Kern County, where he was hospitalized prior to his death

Freeman's lawyer is skeptical of the will, since it wasn't even properly signed.

'We are aware that there is a document that is reported to be a will, but frankly we are very suspicious,' his lawyer Davis has said. 'Manson was incarcerated and we are suspicious that someone could get to him and get it signed.'

In the so-called will, Manson cuts out both of his known sons from his estate. But even if it was valid, one legal expert says that Freeman would still be the likely beneficiary since the will doesn't mention his grandchildren specifically, just the sons.

'The grandson was not disinherited in the will,' Jack Barcal, a specialist in probate and trust law, previously told the OC Register. 'The property should go to his grandson or whoever the grandchildren are.'

While Channels' alleged will gives him the right to all of Manson's estate – including the rights to cash in his prison account, and the rights to his prison and police records and his image, music, printing, movie and publishing rights, he says it has been more of a hassle than anything.

'It turned into something I have never expected,' Channels said. 'It's a nightmare all the way around.'

Freeman said if he received Manson's remains, he would cremate them and spread them secretly so the location couldn't be turned into a morbid tourist destination.

Channels has said something similar in prior interviews.

'Cemeteries don't want him,' he said. 'They think if they take him, they will pollute the whole ground.'

Channels claims Manson gave him a will not long after they met in 2002, leaving his entire estate to him  Channels claims Manson gave him a will not long after they met in 2002, leaving his entire estate to him  

Channels claims Manson gave him a will not long after they met in 2002, leaving his entire estate to him

 'It turned into something I have never expected,' Channels said of the will. 'It's a nightmare all the way around.' 'It turned into something I have never expected,' Channels said of the will. 'It's a nightmare all the way around.'

'It turned into something I have never expected,' Channels said of the will. 'It's a nightmare all the way around.'

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Australia

Sydney seaplane crash: Exhaust fumes affected pilot, report confirms

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The pilot of a seaplane that crashed into an Australian river, killing all on board, had been left confused and disorientated by leaking exhaust fumes, investigators have confirmed.

The Canadian pilot and five members of a British family died in the crash north of Sydney in December 2017.

All were found to have higher than normal levels of carbon monoxide in their blood, a final report has found.

It recommended the mandatory fitting of gas detectors in all such planes.

British businessman Richard Cousins, 58, died alongside his 48-year-old fiancée, magazine editor Emma Bowden, her 11-year-old daughter Heather and his sons, Edward, 23, and William, 25, and pilot Gareth Morgan, 44. Mr Cousins was the chief executive of catering giant Compass.

The family had been on a sightseeing flight in the de Havilland DHC-2 Beaver plane when it nose-dived into the Hawkesbury River at Jerusalem Bay, about 50km (30 miles) from the city centre.

The final report by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) confirmed the findings of an interim report published in 2020.

It said pre-existing cracks in the exhaust collector ring were believed to have released exhaust gas into the engine bay. Holes left by missing bolts in a firewall then allowed the fumes to enter the cabin.

“As a result, the pilot would have almost certainly experienced effects such as confusion, visual disturbance and disorientation,” the report said.

“Consequently, it was likely that this significantly degraded the pilot’s ability to safely operate the aircraft.”

The ATSB recommended the Civil Aviation Safety Authority consider mandating the fitting of carbon monoxide detectors in piston-engine aircraft that carry passengers.

It previously issued safety advisory notices to owners and operators of such aircraft that they install detectors “with an active warning” to pilots”. Operators and maintainers of planes were also advised to carry out detailed inspections of exhaust systems and firewalls.

Read from source: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-australia-55862128

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Australia

Australia unlikely to fully reopen border in 2021, says top official

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Australia is unlikely to fully open its borders in 2021 even if most of its population gets vaccinated this year as planned, says a senior health official.

The comments dampen hopes raised by airlines that travel to and from the country could resume as early as July.

Department of Health Secretary Brendan Murphy made the prediction after being asked about the coronavirus’ escalation in other nations.

Dr Murphy spearheaded Australia’s early action to close its borders last March.

“I think that we’ll go most of this year with still substantial border restrictions,” he told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation on Monday.

“Even if we have a lot of the population vaccinated, we don’t know whether that will prevent transmission of the virus,” he said, adding that he believed quarantine requirements for travellers would continue “for some time”.

Citizens, permanent residents and those with exemptions are allowed to enter Australia if they complete a 14-day hotel quarantine at their own expense.

Qantas – Australia’s national carrier – reopened bookings earlier this month, after saying it expected international travel to “begin to restart from July 2021.”

However, it added this depended on the Australian government’s deciding to reopen borders.

Australia’s tight restrictions

The country opened a travel bubble with neighbouring New Zealand late last year, but currently it only operates one-way with inbound flights to Australia.

Australia has also discussed the option of travel bubbles with other low-risk places such as Taiwan, Japan and Singapore.

A vaccination scheme is due to begin in Australia in late February. Local authorities have resisted calls to speed up the process, giving more time for regulatory approvals.

Australia has so far reported 909 deaths and about 22,000 cases, far fewer than many nations. It reported zero locally transmitted infections on Monday.

Experts have attributed much of Australia’s success to its swift border lockdown – which affected travellers from China as early as February – and a hotel quarantine system for people entering the country.

Local outbreaks have been caused by hotel quarantine breaches, including a second wave in Melbourne. The city’s residents endured a stringent four-month lockdown last year to successfully suppress the virus.

Other outbreaks – including one in Sydney which has infected about 200 people – prompted internal border closures between states, and other restrictions around Christmas time.

The state of Victoria said on Monday it would again allow entry to Sydney residents outside of designated “hotspots”, following a decline in cases.

While the measures have been praised, many have also criticised them for separating families across state borders and damaging businesses.

Dr Murphy said overall Australia’s virus response had been “pretty good” but he believed the nation could have introduced face masks earlier and improved its protections in aged care homes.

In recent days, Australia has granted entry to about 1,200 tennis players, staff and officials for the Australian Open. The contingent – which has recorded at least nine infections – is under quarantine.

Read from source: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-australia-55699581

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Australia

Covid: Brisbane to enter three-day lockdown over single infection

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The Australian city of Brisbane has begun a snap three-day lockdown after a cleaner in its hotel quarantine system became infected with coronavirus.

Health officials said the cleaner had the highly transmissible UK variant and they were afraid it could spread.

Brisbane has seen very few cases of the virus beyond quarantined travellers since Australia’s first wave last year.

It is the first known instance of this variant entering the Australian community outside of hotel quarantine.

The lockdown is for five populous council areas in Queensland’s state capital.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced the measure on Friday morning local time, about 16 hours after the woman tested positive.

Ms Palaszczuk said the lockdown aimed to halt the virus as rapidly as possible, adding: “Doing three days now could avoid doing 30 days in the future.”

“I think everybody in Queensland… knows what we are seeing in the UK and other places around the world is high rates of infection from this particular strain,” she said.

“And we do not want to see that happening here in our great state.”

Australia has reported 28,500 coronavirus infections and 909 deaths since the pandemic began. By contrast, the US, which is the hardest-hit country, has recorded more than 21 million infections while nearly 362,000 people have died of the disease.The lockdown will begin at 18:00 on Friday (08:00 GMT) in the Brisbane city, Logan and the Ipswich, Moreton and Redlands local government areas.

Residents will only be allowed to leave home for certain reasons, such as buying essential items and seeking medical care.

For the first time, residents in those areas will also be required to wear masks outside of their homes.

Australia has faced sporadic outbreaks over the past year, with the most severe one in Melbourne triggering a lockdown for almost four months.

A pre-Christmas outbreak in Sydney caused fresh alarm, but aggressive testing and contact-tracing has kept infection numbers low. The city recorded four local cases on Friday.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s government has pledged to start mass vaccinations in February instead of March as was planned.

Lockdown interrupts ‘near normal’ life in Brisbane

Simon Atkinson, BBC News in Brisbane

At 8:00 today I popped to the local supermarket for some bread, milk – and because it’s summer here – a mango. I was pretty much the only customer.

When I went past the same shop a couple of hours later it was a different story – 50 people standing in the drizzle – queuing to get inside as others emerged with bulging shopping bags. “Heaps busier than Christmas,” a cheery trolley attendant told me. “It’s off the scale”.

Despite the “don’t panic” messages from authorities, pictures on social media show it’s a pattern being repeated across the city.

While shutdowns are common around the world, the tough and sudden stay-at-home order for Brisbane has caught people on the hop here after months of near normality.

But while such a rapid, hard lockdown off the back of just a single case of Covid-19 will seem crazy in some parts of the world, I’ve not come across too many people complaining.

And I don’t think that’s just because Aussies love to follow a rule. This is the first time the UK variant of the virus has been detected in the community in Australia.

And nobody here wants Brisbane to go through what Melbourne suffered last year. Even if it means going without mangoes.

Read from source: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-australia-55582836

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