I first started reading this book in the 80's but it was so upsetting that I stopped after the first few chapters. I guess I've changed over the years, because this time I was totally enthralled.
I came away from this experience realizing that 1) Vincent Bugliosi was a genius at law; 2) the LAPD blew this case so much, it was almost unbelievable (like shaking-your-head unbelievable at how inept they were, or were they simply lazy and didn't care?); 3) there was a lot that happened behind-the-scenes that I never knew - example: I didn't realize that Lynette "Squeaky" Fromme, the girl who attempted to assassinate Gerald Ford, was a linchpin in the Manson "Family" and took his place as head of the Family after he was jailed - 4) there were many more people killed by the Family than those in the Tate/LaBianca murders. Bugliosi goes into great detail about those in the epilogue portion of the book, stating that perhaps as many as 60 were murdered by them through the 70's; 5) also realizing that if it weren't for Bugliosi's independent investigation at the time, Manson and his family would have gotten away with murder.
This is a good book to have in your car while you're commuting because it's long and there are lots of details, Scott Brick did an outstanding job of narrating it, especially with the sometimes endless details about the case - altho I have to say it was seldom that I was bored with those details. I've served on juries, and it's hard to imagine being sequestered for the 9 months it took for the trial to end.
The details of the Tate-LaBianca murders can be difficult to hear, but I highly recommend Helter Skelter.
I have never read nothing about manson and this is the ultimate and most trustfull way of getting to know every detail about the murders the trail and to get closer to mansons intriging mind
I consumed this audiobook in a single week, causing me many dreams and delusions. It is written and narrated so well that I found it difficult to pace myself, and as a result, the story consumed me.
I knew relatively little about the Manson murders before listening to this book. I knew of Manson, of Sharon Tate, and of some kind of cult following, but that was really about it. After reading the book, I know the names of many individuals of the Manson Family, where they lived, their personal backgrounds and those of the victims and the attorneys, the ins and outs of the trial, and a million other things in between. This book is so comprehensive that it's rather astounding.
The beginning is the heaviest part, given vivid and disturbing details of the Tate and LaBianca murders. This portion gave me chills, and reminded me quite a bit of In Cold Blood (incidentally, Scott Brick narrates that one as well). In Cold Blood is a better book for the simple reason that it was written by the creative Truman Capote, whereas Helter Skelter was written by an attorney and so is more matter-of-fact and doesn't attempt to get inside the reader's psyche so much. I appreciated this, however, because whereas In Cold Blood is relentless in its disturbingness and its psychic manipulations, Helter Skelter provides some relief; it is occasionally funny, and the second half of the book dealing with the trial is decidedly un-scary.
This is an extremely informative, well-written and comprehensive book about nearly everything to do with Manson and the Family. For me personally, it is so thorough that I do not feel a need to ever read or watch anything about Manson or his Family ever again.
Yes very much, if you think you know about the Manson Killings even if you were alive during them you know nothing!
No, But I intend to find more, I love his voice.
How 44 years later people are still interested in him!
Hearing only the major parts of the Manson story in general stories/ made for tv movies you do not get the entire case. Vincent did a fabulous job on writing this book. Even though you know the outcome and basically the main events he keeps you on the edge of your seat! There are so many characters usually I get confused when there are more then 4 but he did a fantastic job of reviewing who the people were and their part in "the family". 26 Hours of a book I would normally be looking forward to the next book by the 15th hour. Not this one :) Download it and enjoy!
Putting books on the back burner.
After reading Helter Sketler and the Manson murders, I want to lock up my doors and watch my back. I'm just kidding, but I can't believe the pure madness of Charles Manson and his followers. The Manson Murders was before my time and I wonder why there isn't any other copycats after his cult. It was so interesting to read about the trial, juries, and the murders.
There is no doubt that Manson and went on a rampage of killings in the greater Los Angeles. They also had targets out on Hollywood celebrities, like Elisabeth Taylor, Frank Sinatra, and other famous people at the time, but I need to question if the Manson Family would had gain that much momentum if it was elsewhere in the country.
If Sharon Tate wasn't an upcoming star in the industry, would her murder been overlooked and unsolved and Manson wouldn't been caught? Could there be another Manson out there that is so evil in our time?
Many serial killers, like Jeffrey Dahmer and Richard Ramirez terror the country with their killings, but they were by themselves. They didn't have a clan like the Manson Family that worship their leader and just killed anything insight. It's a frighten idea indeed. There are still many unsolved murders that leads to the Manson Clan. Maybe Charles Manson came from the same root of evil, like Adolf Hitler in the same period of time.
Audible obsessed lifelong learner.
A terrifying look at the ability of a charismatic leader to be able to brain wash the down and out misfits of society to do anything to please him. The cult fallowing has remained through the years even as society has evolved and Manson,his girls and Tex have rotted in prison. This book gives an interesting look into the twists and dead ends the prosecution fought through to ensure justice was served.
Retired USN Chief Petty Officer, now a classroom technologist in Library and Information Services in a small midwest liberal arts college.
I read Helter Skelter years ago. I've found the audiobook to be every bit as compelling as reading the book.
The narrator is so convincing that I actually lost sight of the fact that he's not the author.
A 33 year old with a painfully short attention span. Audible brought me back to reading."
Oh yes, definitely. The story itself is gripping and the performance is incredible. I'd recommend it to anyone who likes true crime, particularly the really weird variety.
"A story so weird you'll think there's no way it could really have happened. But it did." There's a reason I don't get to title books.
Frequently I'll feel like listening to a book, but my attention will be divided so I want a book I've listened to before. Helter Skelter is that book for me. Lately I've been listening to it for the third time while playing video games.
Listening to Helter Skelter was like trying to sip water from a fire hydrant. Too much of a good thing. The reader emerges from this book knowing absolutely everything there is to know about the Manson murders. I quit listening about 75% of the way through and I still feel like an expert on the subject. But the book would be more enjoyable – more of a "page-tuner" – if it had been less detailed and repetitive (especially less repetitive).
I was just a youngster those many years ago when the Tate-LaBianca murder trial took place in which Charles Manson and his followers were tried and convicted for the hellacious murders that they carried out during the killing spree that had such a grip on the nation at the time.
I only followed it from a distance, and of course all of the newspaper/magazine accounts of it during the day, plus followed up by numerous documentaries and movies made on the subject.
This book is absolutely fascinating and that the author, Vincent Bugliosi, who was the prosecuting attorney during the trial, takes us on a fascinating journey, trying to help us understand the mindset of both Charles Manson and his group of young followers. He gives us good overview of Manson’s upbringing, but doesn't place much blame on those things. This was Manson, acting out acts of evil and having persuasive powers that created such a terror through the Los Angeles area, but shook the very nerve of the nation at the time.
I highly recommend this book both for those who know the story, and those who don’t. Manson, and most of his group of followers, are still serving time with life sentences, but the Manson legacy continues to live on.