Another 5 Star Review

This was the most comprehensive, eye opening book on the truth behind the events that occurred in the late 60’s, most commonly referred to as The Manson Family or Helter Skelter, that I’ve ever read; and considering how history is written and believed as gospel even when compelling evidence exists that contradicts it, the most sensational ‘history’ prevails. In this case, Helter Skelter by Vincent Bugliosi became that ‘gospel” of history.

During the Manson trials, Bugliosi's co-counsel learned prior to and during the trial, that Bugliosi had hired an author to write a book about it, before the case was even tried!
In the book, Mr. Day says:
"Knowing that Vince was writing his now infamous book (Helter Skelter) prior to and during the trial is unsettling, because it changes his motivation from seeking justice to establishing a sensational narrative to further his own fame. Though he couldn't know it at the time, Helter Skelter would go on to become the bestselling true crime book of all time, defining who Charles Manson was to the general public. How can a prosecutor be seeking truth or considering justice if his underlying motive is celebrity and personal fortune? As a district attorney, the lawyer's clients are the people in the district he represents. Vincent Bugliosi was tasked with representing the people who make up the state of California. His personal interest in furthering the success of his book is a clear conflict of interest and brings into question the true reason he adamantly promoted his Helter Skelter theory."

So, basically he (Vincent Bugliosi) created his own theory as to the why and how of the murders and the public believed and bought it all because it was so shocking, it had to be true and of course the behavior of those girls at trial simply fed into his theory, making it so much easier to sell. The end result would have been the same, but the actual truth was buried by Bugliosi's own ego. The LAPD was not only negligent in working the case but had fumbled so much information that it’s surprising anyone went to trial at all. For example, when a 6th grader found the gun used in one of the killings, he carefully handled it, having watched crime shows, but when the police picked it up, said it had nothing to do with anything and handled the gun with no concept of forensic evidence, he then put it in a locker & forgot about it.

They also didn't think Gary Hinman, the Tate's & friends, the LaBianca's, et al were connected, even though all three had words in blood on the walls. When it all broke due to one of the girls blabbing in jail about it (in jail unrelated to the murders) the police chief went on TV & took credit for breaking it all open due to their diligence, when in fact, they fumbled everything.

The words Helter Skelter and The Family had nothing to do with the crimes or the motive; the Beatles, The White Album, Race Wars ... and all the details promulgated were all fiction for the book and for the prosecuting of the trial. The only part that's true is who was killed, where they were killed and who the actual killers were, through no help of the LAPD.

It’s amazing to me how so much information and detail can be fed to the public by a city and its court and because it comes from there, it’s digested as fact because one salivating attorney was slick enough to foresee his fame & fortune.

On another thought, at the Spahn Ranch, Michael Channels was bothered by the fact that a rock that had Charles Manson’s initials on it had been destroyed by a church group who were “seeking to destroy any remnants of the devil incarnate” whereas Channels said, “Those (curse word) people are more evil than Manson, this was history! You can’t change it; you can’t ignore what happened here just because you don’t (curse word) like it!”
I couldn’t agree more with those sentiments and can’t help but compare that way of thinking to the recent arguments in Virginia over Confederate statues and that kind of behavior is happening in several other states. So, if war memorial statues are removed because they offend, does that mean the Civil War didn’t happen? Again, you can’t ignore the Civil War simply because you didn’t like it and taking war memorial statues down doesn’t change history, nor should it. “Sometimes the worst parts of history are the ones that need to be responsibly preserved the most.” And I’m not arguing for or against statue removal, that’s not the point. I’m also not arguing for Manson, that’s also not the point. The point is, as a whole, we as a nation of people cannot simply buy into the most popular view of history, because it suits our agenda.

On a lighter note, I have to thank the author for noting that the movie Sharon Tate was in “The Fearless Vampire Killers” was originally named “Pardon Me, But Your Teeth Are In My Neck”, I saw that movie at a drive-in when I was 8 or 9 years old and loved the title of it - “Pardon Me….” Each time I’ve heard that movie referenced in other media, they’ve never gotten it right, but Mr. Day did; as well as the important details of this entire book. I’ve always wondered about the truth of that time, because the motive behind Helter Skelter novel made very little sense to me when I read it at 15 years old, nor did the passage of time help, after reading it again 40 years later.
Thank you to Netgalley for providing this book to me for an honest review.