I'm too young to remember the Tate-La Bianca murders in the news, but I do remember when the movie Helter Skelter came out on TV. I would run from the room when the trailers came on. To me, as a child, Charles Manson was the real life boogey man and I feared that he would escape and seek me out on the opposite end of the US and kill me! As a grown-up, an attorney and an avid fan of audiobooks, I finally got around to it and I can't be more pleased. The book covers details of the investigation, along with LAPD mistakes and bungling, step by step. The bizarre and brutal details of the murders and Manson's domination of "the family," the brilliance of Bugliosi's trial prep and the subsequent trial, as told by an excellent narrator made Helter Skelter one of my favorites.
Helter Skelter is a great look inside the story of the Manson family. Bugliosi provides a detailed first-hand account of the prosecution of Manson and his co-defendants. I enjoyed that the focus of this book was not so much on the crimes and their gore, but on the difficulties the prosecution faced and overall, the trial itself. While this book is very long and cannot be completed in one sitting, I felt like no extraneous details were included and the book kept my attention the whole time as long as I broke up the story into 1-3 hour chunks. The names were at first difficult to keep up with, but unfortunately this is the nature of the Manson family member's aliases. It got easier as the book progressed.
Partially, for convenience I say yes, since it allows me to listen while working or driving. However the only downside was trying to keep names straight, with a normal book I look at the name and connect a sense of the person with almost a picture of their name, so when I read that name (or even just see it) that impression sticks in my head. Almost like having a visual face that will be familiar as I come across it, with a narrator I lose this and this book does have a lot of names.
Honestly the first portion reminds me of the great Thomas Harris' Hannibal Lecter series of books which inspired the films, except if this was fiction I would call it too outlandish and would probably reject it.
The second portion of the trial is thrilling, since the author was the prosecutor, so to go through this 9+ month Trial in his head, gives you a real sense of the marathon it was and the characters both good and bad that made the trial a circus. It was very compelling even though I knew how it would end.
No this is a first, he did a very good job with this though.
I had a vague sense of Manson but this really helped me see clearly everything that lead up to those nights in early August 1969. It also helped me understand a criminal trial but in layman's terms so I never felt as though it was going over my head.
I think what really struck me was the Jury being sequestered for over 9 months that it took for this trial, not seeing their family much, not having access to newspapers, not being able to work (a few of whom lost their jobs), and not sleeping in their own beds for over 9 months. Ugh I would love to read another book from their point of view.
This is a great book, it gives detail on what happened from the formation of "The Family" through the murders, but the details never seemed obscene which is good. This is the golden standard of books on Serial Killers, and be warned you will be very hard-pressed to find another book of this quality about any other killers so enjoy this one while it lasts!
Bougliosi's attention to detail. He did not miss a single thing in this book. The aftermath, written in 1994, provided a huge amount of detail to answer questions that I still had at the end of the book.
Amazingly true story!
The trial phase of the book. After all of the evidence and the ups and downs prior to the trial, the trial brings to light the final moments of the victims.
Not yet, but I will if he performs any other book I'm interested in hearing.
If it hadn't been so long, I could have easily have listened in one sitting.
This is a crazy wild TRUE story. It is told by the Prosecutor. This was not part of my "time" as I was born 10 years after this occurred. I had heard references made of the Manson Murders, but never really quit understood what they were or how they came about. This history should not be lost over the years. This crazy event is reason to keep your eyes open and not let anyone have control over who you are.
Wow - to think of all the terror people went through during this time is really, unbelievable!
Yes, I would recommend this book to my friends. This book both captured and capitalized on one of the most fascinating episodes of crime in recent history. It seems to have it all, interesting & sympathetic victims, Hollywood stars, grotesque murders, a reprehensible criminal “mastermind,” slavishly devoted cult minions, sex, perverse motivations, rock and roll, witnesses and sources nearly as bazar as the family, dramatics in the courtroom, and, of course, the process of figuring out how it all worked.
When Vincent Bugliosi reviews all of the unsolved murders that the Manson family may have been involved with, it really shows the potential of this group for both gratuitous killings and killings to protect the family. I believe Bugliosi said these folks, "liked killing," and I suspect he is correct.
I almost past this book by because of the narrator’s voice, which struck me as overly pained. I am glad I went ahead with this book. I not only grew accustomed to Mr. Brick’s voice and presentation, I grew to enjoy it. If you have the same trepidation when you listen to the short sample of the book, please forge ahead. I suspect your experience will be similar to my own.
There were several instances in the book where the "girls" spoke of the people they murdered with such complete disregard for their victims' lives or suffering. It was far easier to dislike Susan Atkins than Charles Manson.
Me? ....... Capable of many moods, and enjoying a vast range of literature. Incapable of uploading a picture and realized none of the Avatars are ......appropriate. That pretty much "tells" it all.
Wonderful, fun, grand, NOPE!
Grim, strange, gory, devastating, intriguing, unbelievably well written, great research YEP!
It is HELTER SKELTER. One of the most bizarre incidents that I remember in my 68 years. I hesitated to listen to this book but my granddaughter had read it and asked my opinion in the Charles Manson time frame. I was amazed at how much I didn't know and how much of the little I knew was actually untrue. So I listened and learned.
Horrific happenings and seriously strange mentally deranged people. Buglosi and Gentry turned out an excellent account and book.
Of course Scott Brick is my Favorite Performer. I miss him as Pendergast.
I highly recommend this book. There is so much more to this terrible tragedy than just some bad people who killed some other people one night. The authors get into the minds of these monsters. I now feel like I can at least talk with some knowledge about this event, but how sad those times were in our history. Well worth a credit.
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.