Strangely enough, if Roberts' story is ever confirmed, the proof will likely come from the head of the Family himself—a DNA sample or a scrap of info that unlocks the mystery. Sitting outside a café in downtown Los Angeles, Roberts reaches into a sheaf of letters that he's received from Manson. He selects a piece of lined paper and reads the jagged scrawl aloud. "'You never heard the song I did for you before you were born.'" Roberts begins to recite the lyrics—I'll never say never to always/ It's inside yourself for your father/ I will find you somewhere on a sunshine beam—and as he does, the experience seems to bring him to an odd kind of reverie. "This is a beautiful song," he says. "It's really nice poetry. And this to me shows some real, you know, love."

Therein lies the conundrum: If Charlie Manson is your dad, are you supposed to love him? "I feel empathy for him," Roberts muses. "And that's very similar to love, in my world. But I don't necessarily need him to love me. I just accept it. It wasn't like I was loved and then my parents took their love away from me. When I came to know them, they were unlovable."

Matthew Roberts and New Rising Son will perform at Bar Sinister in Hollywood CA on Feb 27 at 11.30 PM.

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