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Helter Skelter

The True Story of the Manson Murders

Bugliosi, Vincent

(Book - 1994)
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
Helter Skelter
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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 : Norton, c1994
ISBN: 0393322238
Branch Call Number: 364.1523 Bu
Characteristics: 687 p. : ill. ; 21 cm
Additional Contributors: Gentry, Curt 1931-

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Sep 08, 2012
  • pronto1961 rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

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

Sep 07, 2012
  • rosefeliciano rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

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.

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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