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Helter Skelter: The True Story of the Manson Murders (1974)

by Vincent BUGLIOSI

Other authors: Curt Gentry, Charles MANSON (Associated Name)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
5,036902,193 (3.96)146
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)
  1. 31
    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. 20
    Manson in His Own Words by Charles Manson (KoobieKitten)
  3. 22
    In Cold Blood by Truman Capote (artturnerjr)
  4. 00
    Child of Satan, Child of God by Susan Atkins (KoobieKitten)
  5. 00
    The Family by Ed Sanders (bluepiano)
    bluepiano: Sanders wrote on the subject as both an outsider--he wasn't involved in the case--and insider. as he belonged to the counter-culture. He was as well a poet, so The Family then unlike this one is not just clued-in but well-written. And unlike this one it's not cringemakingly self-aggrandising.… (more)
  6. 12
    Black Mass: The True Story of an Unholy Alliance Between the FBI and the Irish Mob by Dick Lehr (kathleen.morrow)
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» See also 146 mentions

English (88)  Hebrew (1)  German (1)  All languages (90)
Showing 1-5 of 88 (next | show all)
highly suggest that everybody read this book. It is, without hesitation, a genuine masterpiece in real life horror.
The first page on the book reads: "The Story in Which You Are About to Read Will Scare the Hell Out of You". That is not an understatement.

looking down on an excruciating scene of human barbarity. Not ONE detail is left to the imagination.
You will feel like you are inside the investigation, working with Bugliosi to pinpoint these motives, journeying with the killers step by step as they act out there darkest fantasies. You will begin to second guess "The White Album" and be disturbed by Manson's seemingly psychotic interpretation of it. (Make a point to listen to this album afterwards, and you will feel transported back to the Spahn Ranch where the madness soon ensued) You will feel yourself singing crazy ballads with the Family, you will become ancy inside Susan Atkins' jail cell. You will be scared alongside Linda Kasabian on the long night ride to the Tate house. All these feelings and more will incorporate your senses whilst reading this horrifying story. ( )
  b00kdarling87 | Jan 7, 2024 |
Quite interesting. When it got to the testimonies of the defendants I started skimming because I figured it was all lies, and by the time we were in the closing statements I was heavily skimming because it got very repetitive. I skimmed basically everything after that until it came to the epilogue, which, along with the afterward, returned to new and interesting points.

Final thought: I was surprised and titillated at how much the author threw the cops under the bus, it must have been quite controversial at the time. ( )
  blueskygreentrees | Nov 5, 2023 |
I couldn't get through it. Maybe it was the way the story was told. I never felt like I was getting a sense of the people who joined the Family, or why they did. ( )
  nogomu | Oct 19, 2023 |
I started this book and just had to grimace and toss it aside. Was Manson out of his mind? No. Manson was a con artist who was able to hold on to the minds gulliable fools. He knew exactly what he was doing and he knew the media was going to eat it up with a golden ladle. That made him very dangerous. Was he a serial Killer? By definition...No. The media along with this book is responsible for turning these criminals and criminals after them into celebrities. I can't help but see this book as a cash machine that turned a little guy with a big mouth into a celebrity which to this day has nursed an entire counter culture.
  JHemlock | Jul 18, 2023 |
Excellent, fascinating story that pulled me in and kept me until the very end. ( )
  GGmaSheila | Jan 26, 2023 |
Showing 1-5 of 88 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (1 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
BUGLIOSI, Vincentprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Gentry, Curtsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
MANSON, CharlesAssociated Namesecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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To Gail and Blanche
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It was so quiet, one of the killers would later say, you could almost hear the sound of ice rattling in cocktail shakers in the homes way down the canyon.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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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.

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