Page last updated at 07:24 GMT, Saturday, 10 May 2008 08:24 UK

New hunt at Manson murder ranch

Manson's abandoned Barker Ranch, California, file picture
US police believe more bodies may be buried at Manson's ranch

US police are to carry out excavation work at a Californian ranch to search for more possible victims of notorious mass murderer Charles Manson.

They believe more bodies may be buried at the ranch in the Death Valley national park where Manson and his followers hid after the killings.

Manson was convicted in 1969 of killing seven people, including the actress Sharon Tate, who was pregnant.

She was married at the time to the film director, Roman Polanski.

Initial surveys of the remote ranch some 200 miles (320 km) north of Los Angeles in February proved inconclusive.

"I believe the only way to determine once and for all whether there are bodies buried at Barker Ranch from the time of the Manson family is to proceed with limited excavation in a very few areas," said Inyo County Sheriff Bill Lutze.

The four-day excavation is due to start on 20 May.

Manson and the four of his followers convicted of the spree of murders have reportedly claimed more victims are buried at the ranch.

Manson, 73, is serving a life sentence.

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