Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Charles Manson’s Cellphone Troubles

Charles Manson wants to reach out and touch people… from prison. The 78-year-old cult leader has been busted with cell phones in his prison cell twice already. This week, a Manson devotee was arrested for trying to smuggle another yet another phone to Manson behind bars.

Craig Carlisle Hammond

Craig Carlisle Hammond, aka 'Grey Wolf'

On Sunday, a regular visitor of Manson’s at Corcoran State Prison named Craig Carlisle Hammond, 63, attempted to sneak a cellphone wristwatch past the prison guards, likely planning to provide it to Manson. But corrections officers noticed the illicit watch and confiscated it. The 63-year-old Hammond was immediately arrested and taken to a nearby jail for booking. He posted $30,000 bail and was released a few hours later with an April court date on charges of possession of an illegal communication device, attempting to bring a cellphone into a prison and conspiracy.

Charles Manson prison photo 2013

Charles Manson prison photo 2013

Back in 2009, a flip phone was found under Manson’s bed after authorities got wind that he’d been calling and texting people across the country and in Canada after a Manson recording was played on the television series Inside Edition. Authorities confiscated another cellphone from Manson in 2011. However, the additional punishment for Manson — who will likely never be set free, although he is eligible for parole — is minimal. He received an additional 30 days of time for the 2009 incident.

Cellphones in the hands of prisoners has been a widespread problem in California jails, and authorities are rightly concerned that inmates might use those phones to intimidate witnesses or to run outside criminal organizations.

In 2011 California enacted a law making it a misdemeanor to possess an unauthorized phone in jail or to bring one into a prison. The penalties for that crime include up to six months in jail and fines of no more than $5000.

Hammond, who was given the nickname “Grey Wolf” by Manson himself, now faces the specter of prison time, just like the criminal mastermind he so admires.

More from Bryan Lavietes:

Mistakes Made in the Manhunt for Christopher Dorner

Unbelievable Rape Ruling in LA Appeals Court

You Charged Me With What?!

We're Following
Slender Man stabbing, Waukesha, Wisconsin
Gilberto Valle 'Cannibal Cop'