Thursday, 19 December 2013

fifty-six.

Helter Skelter by Bugliosi & Gentry (1974)
the True Story of the Manson Murders

 Helter Skelter is a song by the Beatles. Charles Manson believed that the Beatles spoke to him through the White Album and that they ordered the Family to start a race war.

On the night to 9th August 1969, four members of the Family broke into the house rented by Roman Polanski and his wife, Sharon Tate, and killed 5 people. One of them was Sharon who was over 8 months pregnant. The killers wrote pig on the front door using blood. A day later, seven members of the family set out again to kill. This time the victims were the La Bianca family, and both victims were tied up and brutally murdered. The killers wrote the words healter skelter, rise, death to pigs with blood when leaving the house.

The investigation is a mess, and it took a long time before the police connected the two cases. The trial which followed, was the longest and most expensive, and resulted in the death penalty for Charles Manson and three of the girls.

The book is written by Vincent Bugliosi who was the prosecutor in the case, with the help of Curt Gentry. That means that this is a thorough account of the entire case, starting with the murders, and then to the trial. It also gives a detailed account of Manson's life and the way he gathered the Family members. The afterwords, written 25 years after the trial, tells what happened to the members of the Family since then.

It is a long and really detailed book, with nearly 700 pages. As it is written by the prosecutor, I felt that a lot of it is not really necessary to get a clear picture of the murders and the trials. But then again I don't feel that I need to ever read another book about Manson again. It is the most sold true crime book in history, read it if you're curious about the cult and the murders.

2 comments:

  1. Jeg følte meg helt med og fristet - helt til du nevnte de 700 sidene - men det var fordi jeg knep sammen øynene da jeg leste om selve blodet og mordene, svake nerver - og alt er verre når det er - true story. Men: Jeg liker rettsaker, court tv, jugde judy og gammel grisham, så alt ligger jo egentlig til rette for at dette skal være ei bok for meg. Sidetallet kan lett kamufleres med kindle - så ja du skal ikke se bort ifra at jeg kan være - spesielt interessert. Spennende biografivalg!

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    1. Hvis du liker courtroom drama så er denne ypperlig. Rettsaken er jo legendarisk. Den er veldig beskrivende, men aldri grotesk.

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