Charles Manson: what attained him a criminal? – podcasts of the week


    The Hollywood& amp; Crime podcast uses painstaking research to retell the Manson story, while other selections include a gala of wedding equality in Australia

    Pick of the week: Young Charlie

    There has been much noise about Charles Manson in the wake of his death, and Young Charlie ( Wondery/ iTunes ), the new podcast from Hollywood& Crime, is a timely look at what stimulated him such a dangerous man.

    It is a comprehensive retelling of Manson’s story, and absorbing from the beginning. Regular listeners to the intriguing Hollywood& Crime will be familiar with its ability at putting listeners in the moment and grisly but non-sensational details about brutal killings.( If you are yet to listen to the series on the Black Dahlia murders in 1940 s Hollywood, start at the beginning .)

    Narrator Tracy Pattin voices strangely thrilled to be telling Manson’s story, but makes the right note when it comes to respecting the seriousness of her subject and responsibly delivers the painstakingly researched facts. Co-host Stephen Lang fills in Manson’s past and constructs it painfully clear that the seeds of his crimes were sown in his horrific childhood. In 1939, Manson’s mother Kathleen was jailed for robbery. Charlie was just five, a” runt of a kid, all big eyes and matted hair” who liked to be the centre of attention.” And, oh, he’s got a way with terms ,” notes Lang.” Even at five he always seems to know just what to say .”

    Manson appears a disturbed son, crying on the way home from his first day at school, getting picked on by the big children, then get his own gun at 13. He was able to concentrate in music class and knew how to charm his fellow pupils, as well as psychiatrists, later blaming his mental state on years of incarceration. Lang exposes the fullest extent to which he manipulated to survive.” With the incentive of a wife and fatherhood he may be able to straightened himself out ,” was one psychiatric assessment.

    Young Charlie pinpoints Manson’s hypnotic power over his followers and the way the assassination of Sharon Tate and four others sent Hollywood starrings into concealing, persuaded they would be next.

    Your pickings: The truth about tendencies, how it feels to be a single parent and ragtime constructed fun

    Understand before you judge … Spencer and Heidi Pratt talk about fame and misfortune on the Why I’m Not podcast Photograph: Christian Bladt

    Why I’m Not

    Why I’m Not is a light-hearted weekly podcast in which presenter Brant Pinvidic explores topics that he doesn’t fully understand by interviewing the people who do. Fads, trends or cravings are investigated from all sides, with Brant always reminding you … before you judge it, try to understand it. My favourite episode was when Brant pulled back the curtains on the nation’s billion-dollar weight-loss industry by bring back guests JD Roth, creator of US present The Biggest Loser, and hypnotist and writer Paul McKenna. I feel that by listening every week, I stay one step ahead of the topics and issues that matter in a fun and inventive way. Recommended by David Basulto

    Heartening tales … grandmother Jo Whiu from the Flying Solo podcast Photograph: RNZ

    Flying Solo

    The break up of any relationship is painful, but when children are involved you can’t simply move on and mend in the usual styles. There’s a great deal of remorse, disgrace and worry that comes with it. Fathers, especially when hard-pressed with work and financial burdens, can rapidly become isolated from their children. That’s why I was heartened to listen to the Flying Solo series in which parents of both genders unselfconsciously discussed their new lives and how they’d adjusted. In particular, Warren’s story left me renewed and determined to stay as involved with my children as day lets. Recommended by Duncan Gray

    Come for the piano, stay for the gags … Ethan and Kate Uslan from the Carolina Shout Podcast Photograph: LunahZon Photography

    The Carolina Shout

    My family are big fans of the Carolina Shout podcast. Presenter Ethan tricks his listeners into learning something new, when they think they are just having fun listening to a cheerful old-timey piano guy – very clever of him! My eight-year-old son loves the humorous approach to piano music and can’t wait to get skilled enough to play some ragtime himself. Ethan’s music choices are fun and accessible for anyone who’s curious about styles of music popular from the late 1800 s to the early 1930 s. We loved the episodes where Ethan played a Scott Joplin march with fiery develop accidents written right into the music( episode 25) and when he sang a cheese-themed parody of Cole Porter’s You’re the Top( episode 7 ). I appreciate the exposition and fun historical tidbits given before the songs. Everyone should listen: come for the piano, bide for the jokes and learn something, too! Recommended by Liane Weber

    Guardian picking: Same-sex marriage- turning the vote of the Australian people into law

    Australians collect to hear the results of the wedding equality survey.
    Photograph: Scott Barbour/ Getty Images

    Australian Politics Live

    In this edition of Australian Politics Live, the Guardian Australia’s political editor, Katharine Murphy, discusses the profound result of the postal survey with Labor senator Penny Wong and Liberal senators Dean Smith and James Paterson. three parliamentary players set to shape the law that will bring about matrimony equality.

    It’s a truly historic moment for Australia, and human rights in general, which makes this a podcast not to miss. Recommended by Rowan Slaney

    If you’ve got a podcast that you love, send your recommendations to rowan.slaney @theguardian. com

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