The infamous killer, 82, who directed his followers, dubbed the Manson family, to commit a series of murders in the late 1960s, was transferred from his cell in Corcoran State Prison, California to hospital last week (end08Jan16) after suffering from intestinal bleeding.

Editors at TMZ.com report that doctors at a hospital in Bakersfield, California initially wanted to perform surgery on the criminal, but Manson refused.

He then reportedly had a change of heart and decided he was prepared to go under the knife, but surgeons planning the operation determined the risk of him dying during the procedure was too great.

According to TMZ, the ageing murderer has been returned to jail as a security measure, but an insider told the site he was still severely unwell, saying, "He's not good. His health is failing."

Manson was found guilty of conspiracy to commit seven murders in 1971, having instructed his followers to kill those he targeted.

Notably among the Manson family's victims was the actress Sharon Tate, whose 1969 murder at the home she shared with her husband, the director Roman Polanski, shocked Hollywood.