Helter Skelter

Helter Skelter

The True Story of the Manson Murders

Book - 1994
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Prosecuting attorney in the Manson trial, Vincent Bugliosi held a unique insider's position in one of the most baffling and horrifying cases of the twentieth century: the cold-blooded Tate-LaBianca murders carried out by Charles Manson and four of his followers. What motivated Manson in his seemingly mindless selection of victims, and what was his hold over the young women who obeyed his orders? Here is the gripping story of this famous and haunting crime.

Both Helter Skelter and Vincent Bugliosi's subsequent Till Death Us Do Part won Edgar Allan Poe Awards for best true-crime book of the year.
Publisher: New York : W.W. Norton, c1994.
Edition: 25th Anniversary ed.
ISBN: 9780393087000
039308700X
Characteristics: xvii, 528 p. :,ill. ;,24 cm.
Additional Contributors: Gentry, Curt 1931-2014

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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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