LIKE many adopted children, Matthew Roberts set about finding his biological parents with a mix of nerves and excitement.
In particular, he hoped that discovering his father’s identity would help him to work out what made him the man he had become.
But nothing could have prepared him for being told his dad was… serial killer CHARLES MANSON.
Now Matthew, who was given up for adoption as a baby, has told of his horror at finding out he was the sow Matthew, who was given up for adoption as a baby, has told of his horror at finding out he was the son of a monster.
He says: “I didn’t want to believe it. I was frightened and angry. It’s like finding out that Adolf Hitler is your father.
“I’m a peaceful person – trapped in the face of a monster.”
Matthew grew up in Rockford, Illinois, and didn’t know he was adopted until his sister told him when he was ten.
He loved his adoptive parents but always knew he was different. He says: “My parents were great people, but very conservative.
“They were products of the Fifties and I didn’t relate to them. My biological parents were products of the Sixties and I take on a lot more of those characteristics.”
He also reveals his adoptive father tried to discourage him from getting in contact with Manson, telling him: “Nothing good will come from this.”
… Matthew, who now lives in Los Angeles, began investigating his family history 12 years ago when he contacted a social services agency who located his mother, Terry, in Wisconsin.
He wrote to her straight away and their early exchanges will be familiar to adopted children everywhere.
She confirmed she was his mum and told him she had named him Lawrence Alexander – and that she would tell him his last name in time.
The jigsaw of his life was beginning to take shape but it was still missing a crucial piece – his father.
Terry remained tight-lipped about his identity but after Matthew pressed her for details in a string of letters, she eventually revealed the awful truth.
She said she met commune leader Manson in 1967 – two years before the infamous “Manson Family” murders in Los Angeles for which he is still in jail at the age of 75.
But back in 1967, Terry had been one of many who were transfixed by Manson’s charms.
Her father had tried to chase him away when he met Terry, calling him a “white-trash biker bandit” but she found him charismatic and hypnotizing.