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Helter Skelter by Vincent Bugliosi
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Helter Skelter (1974)

by Vincent Bugliosi

Other authors: Curt Gentry

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
3,581702,202 (3.95)104
  1. 20
    Columbine by Dave Cullen (kathleen.morrow)
    kathleen.morrow: Both are well-written, intriguing (and chilling) investigations of atrocious crimes. Also, both challenge common assumptions about the crimes they narrate.
  2. 00
    Child of Satan, Child of God by Susan Atkins (KoobieKitten)
  3. 00
    Manson in His Own Words by Charles Manson (KoobieKitten)
  4. 11
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  5. 00
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    Moomin_Mama: Both books stay taut and focused despite the sheer amount of detail involved, and for that they make fascinating and very readable case studies.
  6. 01
    In Cold Blood by Truman Capote (artturnerjr)
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Showing 1-5 of 68 (next | show all)
A compelling coverage of the Manson Family and its murderous ways. Before reading "Helter Skelter", I merely thought they were a truly frightening cult. Since "Helter Skelter", I have realised that my initial thought was way too sympathetic of Manson, Frome, Watson et al.

Bugliosi covers the background of the Manson family members, the events leading up to the murders, the murders themselves and the fallout, all in great detail and with all the visceral horror which makes you feel you were at the murder scenes. As a result, I gained much nightmare fodder which I fear will never leave me.

Bugliosi also posits that some other murders in the years following the Tate/La Bianco murders may have been Manson Family related, including one overseas. I still need to be convinced the Manson Family was coordinated enough to organise a murder or two overseas though. The only reason I'm not giving "Helter Skelter" five stars is that in Bugliosi's recall of the case he never made a mistake. Ever. ( )
  MiaCulpa | Jun 18, 2019 |
I couldn't give this five stars because it was such a very long time ago that I read it. But, I remember being fascinated and completely enthralled (as well as creeped out) when I read this. Of course in our present age of CSI, Cold Case, Without a Trace, Law and Order and the myriad of true crime stories on television, this may not be as exciting of a read as it was in the late 80's.

I also had a truly freaky uncle (by marriage) who looked just like Manson, with those scary staring eyes! UGH! ( )
1 vote Amelia1989 | Jun 10, 2019 |
This a very VERY thorough account of the Manson case. It's a lot more interesting than I had thought it would be going into it, and it definitely highlighted the many legal snafus that come with any trial of a criminal case. ( )
  Katie_Roscher | Jan 18, 2019 |
This story is the true story of the Manson Murders. In 1969, Manson's "family" killed 14 people - seemingly at random. Among them was Sharon Tate, who - at the time - was an up and coming actress in Hollywood. The author of this book was the prosecuting attorney for the trial. The book is how Bugliosi built a case, his interviews with members of the Manson "family" and suspects in the murders. The book is a very detailed recount of the interviews and the trials that followed.



This was a good book. I was unaware of exactly what Manson had done (meaning whom he had murdered), so I was intrigued to learn the details. The book brings to light Manson's delusions and how he conned his many followers into believing he was Jesus Christ.



I did find some of the book dry - especially surrounding the trial. I guess it is to be expected when recounting details - it felt a little tedious. But for the most part, the book was well written. ( )
  JenMat | Jan 10, 2019 |
Oh this is some crazy shit! This huge volume takes forever to read but it's so worth the time. ( )
  bookishblond | Oct 24, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 68 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Vincent Bugliosiprimary authorall editionscalculated
Gentry, Curtsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0393322238, Paperback)

A national bestseller—over 7 million copies sold. "[A] social document of rare importance."—The New Republic

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. 50 pages of black-and-white photographs

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:17:45 -0400)

(see all 7 descriptions)

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.… (more)

» see all 6 descriptions

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W.W. Norton

2 editions of this book were published by W.W. Norton.

Editions: 0393322238, 039308700X

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