Bryan Cranston crossed paths with infamous cult leader Charles Manson before his murders

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Bryan Cranston says he crossed paths with infamous cult leader Charles Manson before his infamous murders.

The Breaking Bad actor took to his Twitter in light of Manson’s death to recount the time he came across him in 1968 — just a year before Manson ordered some of his followers to commit grisly murders in his name.

“Hearing Charles Manson is dead, I shuddered,” Cranston wrote. “I was within his grasp just one year before he committed brutal murder in 1969. Luck was with me when a cousin and I went horseback riding at the Span Ranch, and saw the little man with crazy eyes whom the other hippies called Charlie.”

“I didn’t actually meet Charles Manson, but I was as close as I am to you,” Cranston said to the interviewer sitting next to him. The actor recalls going with his cousin when he was 12-years-old to Span Ranch, where Manson was eventually captured after the murders. “We were renting the horses and this young guy, bearded guy, came in screaming, ‘Charlie’s on the hill!’ And about a dozen people galloped away.”

After going on about his ride, Cranston says that they then ran into a procession of people going the other way and Manson was in the middle of the group.

“On the horse was this little bearded guy with with big, dark eyes and wild hair. It was crazy. I couldn’t take my eyes off him,” Cranston said, adding that he immediately recognized Manson after his capture.

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Manson died Sunday at 83 while serving nine life sentences in California’s Corcoran State Prison. A career criminal who spent over half his life in prison before masterminding one of the most notorious mass killing sprees of the 20th century, Manson became the leader of a group of young followers he convinced to murder for him and who became known as the Manson “family.”

The savage slayings — committed at Manson’s behest and for which he was found legally responsible but not, technically, committed by him directly — shocked and terrified the nation. The violence was part of Manson’s efforts to launch a race war, which he named “Helter Skelter” after a Beatles song.