Helter Skelter

Helter Skelter

The True Story of the Manson Murders

eBook - 2001
Average Rating:
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In the summer of 1969, in Los Angeles, a series of brutal, seemingly random murders captured headlines across America. A famous actress (and her unborn child), an heiress to a coffee fortune, a supermarket owner and his wife were among the seven victims. A thin trail of circumstances eventually tied the Tate-LeBianca murders to Charles Manson, a would-be pop singer of small talent living in the desert with his "family" of devoted young women and men. What was his hold over them? And what was the motivation behind such savagery? In the public imagination, over time, the case assumed the proportions of myth. The murders marked the end of the sixties and became an immediate symbol of the dark underside of that era.Vincent Bugliosi was the prosecuting attorney in the Manson trial, and this book is his enthralling account of how he built his case from what a defense attorney dismissed as only "two fingerprints and Vince Bugliosi." The meticulous detective work with which the story begins, the prosecutor's view of a complex murder trial, the reconstruction of the philosophy Manson inculcated in his fervent followers... these elements make for a true crime classic. ?Helter Skelter ?is not merely a spellbinding murder case and courtroom drama but also, in the words of ?The New Republic?, a "social document of rare importance."
Publisher: New York : Barnes & Noble Digital, 2001
ISBN: 9780393072365
0393072363
9781401407100
1401407102
9781401400163
1401400167
Branch Call Number: HV6533.C2 B83 2001x
Characteristics: 1 downloadable text file
Additional Contributors: Gentry, Curt 1931-2014

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Opinion

From Library Staff

One of the most well-known pieces of true crime out there about one of the most notorious killers in US history: Charles Manson. Winner of the Edgar Award for Best Fact Crime in 1975.


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w
wintermute_way
Sep 18, 2016

Stories like these have always interested me, and this one was no different. I preferred the 1st section of the book; it summarised the facts of the case itself. When it became more personalised, I momentarily lost interest, but powering through the first slumber-inducing pages on the author's background leads to a thrilling, up close and personal experience of one of the United States most gruesome and confusing crimes. You get an insider look into the Manson Murders case, along with witty comments and facts the organisation would rather not spill. It's great for anyone who has a taste for crime-solving, and is a definite keeper.

PimaLib_DavidaL Jul 20, 2016

Vincent Bugliosi, the prosecuting attorney in the Manson trial, gives a detailed, no-nonsense account of the Tate-LaBianca murders and the cult of Charles Manson. Given the book's reputation, I was pleasantly surprised to find a well-paced police procedural in lieu of a provocative page turner. The subject matter is grisly and obviously not for everyone. However, this book is a classic of the true crime genre precisely because it avoids playing up the sensational aspects of the crimes and focuses on the facts. The truth is shocking enough.

p
PearlyBaker
Mar 15, 2016

Completely unnecessary amount of douche baggery by the DA who prosecuted the Manson Family. I know I've said it before but this guy desperately needed an editor and psychologist to check his uge ego. This guy makes Donald J Trump look like the Dalai Llama. It was about the point Buscaglia or whatever the hell his name is said sotto voce that I regretted the fact that Manson didn't succeed in having him killed too. This was like the War and Peace of crime novels that I had to finish but kind of hate myself for wasting so much of my life. I actually started this book years ago and just finished it on the way to spring break and it almost ruined my trip.

r
rpavlacic
Jan 31, 2016

In the true crime genre, two books stand on top for me. One is this one - a detailed, gory and chilling story about the Manson Family, which was far larger than many may presume (covering five of the eight pages of the list of characters at the front). The other, which I highly recommend, is "Redrum the Innocent" - about the sex slaying of little Christine Jessop and the subsequent wrongful conviction then exoneration of Guy Paul Morin; one of the worst miscarriages of justice in Canadian history, and with it lessons police and prosecutors everywhere could well learn from in similar cases.

t
trotter73
Jan 12, 2016

The incredible true story of the Manson Family murders case, written by the prosecutor Vincent Bugliosi .

t
threelions
Mar 22, 2013

Bugliosi is great

p
pronto1961
Sep 08, 2012

"this book will scare the h*ll out of you."

r
rosefeliciano
Sep 07, 2012

Crazy story. Hard to believe this happened. Well written by the prosecutor as he walks through how they had to investigate/develop the case. Good read but can be a bit unsettling.

t
timtower1
Jul 04, 2011

I am an engineer, and therefore deal with details, of a technical nature. But the details required to prosecute Manson et al amazed me. This is a gripping book - I couldn't wait each evening for my time to read the next installment. The story is a scary one, but not so far fetched - for example, other demagogues in history, such as Hitler and Pol Pot and the Mahdi (recommended: "Three Empires on the Nile"), have similarly instilled blind obedience their followers.
I think Bugliosi did society a great service in having guilty verdicts returned. Contrary to what one may think, this was not a slam dunk. Highly recommended.

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