from my bookshelf: helter skelter by curt gentry & vincent bugliosi


with the manson murders being so widely publicized for such a long period of time, there are countless sources out there with incomplete, over or under-exaggerated, or just plain wrong facts about the case(s). the lawyer in me loves that this book is told from the lens of the man who prosecuted the criminals, vincent buliosi; the true crime fanatic in me loves the narrative of what happened and the detailed stories about the victims and killers. the manson murders were/are terrifying, which is why the world is so obsessed with understanding them; bugliosi de-mystifies manson: he dives into manson’s screwed up childhood, humanizes the victims, and secures it with psychological and legal analyses of what happened.


“The stillness now got to the officers. Everything was quiet, too quiet. The serenity itself became menacing. Those windows along the front of the house: behind any a killer could be waiting, watching.”

“It was an odd group, their leader, a guy named Charlie, apparently having convinced them that he was Jesus Christ.”

“There was writing, in what appeared to be blood, in three places in the residence. High up on the north wall in the living room, above several paintings, were printed the words DEATH TO PIGS. On the south wall, to the left of the front door, even higher up, was the single word RISE. There were two words on the refrigerator door in the kitchen, the first of which was misspelled. They read HEALTER SKELTER.”

“…Manson’s interest in the Beatles was almost an obsession. It didn’t necessarily follow that he was a fan. There was more than a little jealousy in his reaction. He told numerous people that, given the chance, he could be much bigger than the Beatles.”

“They were also young, naive, eager to believe, and, perhaps even more important, belong. There were followers aplenty for any self-styled guru. It didn’t take Manson long to sense this. In the underground milieu into which he’d stumbled, even the fact that he was an ex-convict conferred a certain status. Rapping a line of metaphysical con that borrowed as much from pimping as joint jargon and Scientology, Manson began attracting followers, almost all girls at first, then a few young boys.”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.