BRADENTON (FOX 13) - Charles Lewis Scott Manson: Just the mention of his name brings images of a notorious criminal linked to pure evil. But that name brings a different feeling for Jason Freeman.
"If he wasn't family, trust me I wouldn't be there," Freeman told FOX 13 on Tuesday.
Freeman, who lives in Bradenton, is Manson's grandson. He's been fighting for control of Manson's remains since his death in November.
"Of course I know society is looking at me going, ‘What the heck is this kid thinking?’" said Freeman.
Freeman makes no excuses for his grandfather, the cult leader who orchestrated the murders of actress Sharon Tate and six others during a two-day span in 1969.
In fact, Freeman said, Manson brought darkness to his family. With his death, he hopes that darkness will begin to fade.
Freeman intends to cremate the body and scatter the ashes in an undisclosed location, bringing an end to a haunting chapter of history. He says Manson's remains will not be brought back to Florida.
"When he is put to rest, just know that the next generation is stepping up to help equip our next generation," Freeman offered.
He knows he can never correct the evil deeds his grandfather inflicted on so many, but Freeman hopes to prevent future generations from following the path Manson took. He volunteers with a youth ministry, helping keep kids off the streets and helping troubled teens clean themselves up.
By intervening in their lives now, he hopes to bring light to those living in the dark.
"I just really hope that society sees and understands my heart," Freeman added.