Your audiobook is waiting…

Chaos

Charles Manson, the CIA, and the Secret History of the Sixties
Narrated by: Kevin Stillwell
Length: 16 hrs and 15 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (51 ratings)

$14.95/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime.

Publisher's Summary

A journalist's 20-year fascination with the Manson murders leads to shocking new revelations about the FBI's involvement in this riveting reassessment of an infamous case in American history.

Over two grim nights in Los Angeles, the young followers of Charles Manson murdered seven people, including the actress Sharon Tate, then eight months pregnant. With no mercy and seemingly no motive, the Manson Family followed their leader's every order - their crimes lit a flame of paranoia across the nation, spelling the end of the 60s. Manson became one of history's most infamous criminals, his name forever attached to an era when charlatans mixed with prodigies, free love was as possible as brainwashing, and utopia - or dystopia - was just an acid trip away.

Twenty years ago, when journalist Tom O'Neill was reporting a magazine piece about the murders, he worried there was nothing new to say. Then he unearthed shocking evidence of a cover-up behind the "official" story, including police carelessness, legal misconduct, and potential surveillance by intelligence agents. When a tense interview with Vincent Bugliosi - prosecutor of the Manson Family, and author of Helter Skelter - turned a friendly source into a nemesis, O'Neill knew he was onto something. But every discovery brought more questions:

  • Who were Manson's real friends in Hollywood, and how far would they go to hide their ties?
  • Why didn't law enforcement, including Manson's own parole officer, act on their many chances to stop him?
  • And how did Manson-an illiterate ex-con-turn a group of peaceful hippies into remorseless killers?

O'Neill's quest for the truth led him from reclusive celebrities to seasoned spies, from San Francisco's summer of love to the shadowy sites of the CIA's mind-control experiments, on a trail rife with shady cover-ups and suspicious coincidences. The product of two decades of reporting, hundreds of new interviews, and dozens of never-before-seen documents from the LAPD, the FBI, and the CIA, CHAOS mounts an argument that could be, according to Los Angeles Deputy District Attorney Steven Kay, strong enough to overturn the verdicts on the Manson murders. This is a book that overturns our understanding of a pivotal time in American history.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio.

©2019 Tom O'Neill and Dan Piepenbring (P)2019 Hachette Audio

Critic Reviews

"Whatever you think you know about the Manson murders is wrong. Just flat out wrong. Tom O'Neill's 20 years of meticulous research has unearthed revelations about the murders, the murderers, the prosecutors who tried them and a rogues gallery of cops, drug dealers, bent doctors, famous celebrities, grotesque government research, secret agents, and shadowy figures in a conspiracy/cover up so sweeping and bizarre, you'll be as astounded as you are terrified. If your friends call you paranoid, maybe they're just ignorant." (Joe Ide, author of IQ and Wrecked)

"Fans of conspiracy theories will find this a source of endless fascination." (Kirkus Reviews)

"Gripping masterful stuff. A dazzling and compellingly obsessed journalistic detective story that invites you down the rabbit-hole to a sex, drugs, and celebrity-serial-killer America. O'Neill's sunk decades into uncovering something far freakier than Helter Skelter ever admitted. Buckle up kids, this is true crime at its truest and most compelling." (Charles Graeber, award-winning journalist and New York Times best-selling author of The Good Nurse and The Breakthrough.

More from the same

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    37
  • 4 Stars
    7
  • 3 Stars
    5
  • 2 Stars
    2
  • 1 Stars
    0

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    36
  • 4 Stars
    8
  • 3 Stars
    2
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    0

Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    34
  • 4 Stars
    4
  • 3 Stars
    5
  • 2 Stars
    3
  • 1 Stars
    0
Sort by:
  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Great book about Tom O'Neill

A book about a guy summarizing another guy's book and not finding anything solid. It's mostly about how Tom took too long to finish the book because it started as an article he couldn't finish in time so he turned it into a book that he also didn't finish in time. Spoiler: the last chapter is him talking about how Penguin sued him to get their advance back because the book was going nowhere. He might as well have ended it with "LOL you bought this unfinished book."

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

This was my first audio book ever

I hrard about this book from the podcast Holly Crime Scene. Loved Mr ONeill's voice, and the subject of Manson, the 60's, and dirty secrets had me hooked. I got the audiobook as soon as the podcast ended. The narrator did a fine job in my opinion. The subject matter captivated me from the first chapter. I couldnt put it down. Corruption, cover-ups, and flat out lies. You think you know all there is to know about the Manson Family? Just listen....

5 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great Book

This book has some startling information in it that leads further credence to the fact that there is a lot more to the Manson case than is officially agreed upon. The author is candid and does not pull punches and is willing to be honest about the trip down the rabbit hole that is the Manson case and the family.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Didn't expect this...

I was hoping this wasn't a conspiracy theory story and it wasn't. It gives you more information and provides more incite that was told in the "official story." I can understand why Tom had to publish a book vice just and article. Interesting read!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Susan
  • ATLANTA, GA, United States
  • 07-10-19

I couldn't stop listening

I wish I could meet Mr. O'Neill and tell him how much I appreciate his efforts. I've read a lot of books on this topic and finally someone has questioned the "party line" on just about everything. The authors aren't telling us what to believe. They are telling us what was found over many, many years of research. You feel like you are there with O'Neill doing the research, trying to figure out how to write it and not sound crazy. I'm really glad that I read this.

Narrator is very good. I'd listen to other books he narrates for sure.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Oak
  • Detroit
  • 06-28-19

Possibility of spoiler alert

I usually do not write reviews. But, if the author was able to research for years, putting up with rejection and death threats and debt,etc. to do everything in his power to bring to light the many things those who were part of the official story would like to see left dark then the least I could do was leave a review.
As stated in the epilogue of the book, the information herein only represents 5% of the information uncovered and he wanted to only present information that could be confirmed, verified, backed up by a paper trail or from the horses mouth. This book is not a conspiracy theory. It definitely left me wanting to know even more especially about Jolly West. Perhaps one day there will be a continuation or more information will come out. I commend the author for all his efforts in putting this story together, I have been interested in this story for years. I find it very bizarre how many overlapping strange coincidences of events and characters happened around this. Things I don’t know how to explain...just weird. For instance, the premise of Rosemary’s Baby and the way the lead character Guy Woodhouse sacrifices his wife and child to satan to achieve worldly fame and fortune seems to ring true for Polanski. Just all of it, the Beatles White Album being written while the band is in India and whose there Rosemary star Mia Farrow and her sister (Prudence). I don’t know, there’s a lot lot more to say, but I need to get ready for bed. It’s a very deep strange dark winding rabbit hole and I hope the author stays safe. AND I hope that original Tex Watson tape makes its way to the light!

4 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

A lot of nothing—save your money.

Save your money—this book has a lot of supposed new information that leads to what, I’m not sure. Author manages to suck in the CIA, mind control experiments, Manson, and other tinfoil hat conspiracy theories with nothing proven. He even managed to work in the assassination of JFK. He did a lot of research, which is why I’m giving it two stars. I wish I could get my money back on this one.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Interesting

This book has a lot of good info that will reframe a lot of what you know about Charles Manson. Where there is smoke there is fire, and there is tons of smoke here. Good performance as well.

0 of 2 people found this review helpful