Manson's last word: New book by Calgary author and filmmaker describes final interviews with cult leader

Interview with Day on the book, Hippie Cult Leader

James Buddy Day admits his heart started racing when he first heard Charles Manson profess his innocence.

It just seemed so surreal.

Granted, there probably wasn’t much about the Calgary filmmaker and author’s year-long relationship with one of the most notorious human beings on earth that wasn’t surreal. But it was the early days of Day’s phone conversations with the infamous cult leader and criminal. The calls started to come after Day sent him a letter, which included his personal phone number. Manson would make collect calls from California State Prison at odd hours in the day. Day never knew when they would be coming, but had told Manson that he wanted to give the man convicted of being the architect of the horrifying Tate-LaBianca murders the opportunity to “set the record straight.”

What followed was a bit of a cat-and-mouse game at first.

Hippie Cult Leader getting rave reviews!

Normally I start my reviews with a brief synopsis about the book I have read but since this is a new book there wasn't much of a synopsis to go off of. This book is a true crime novel following James Buddy Day on his journey of making a documentary about Charles Manson. You get to learn about one-on-one interviews that he was able to have with Manson via phone calls during Manson's last few months alive. You get to learn about a new theory surrounding the case that started the true crime craze that is still very prominent today. What if "Helter Skelter" wasn't the reason behind the Tate-LaBianca murders like everyone thinks it is? What if none of the family members even know what that theory was until the trial? 

I am obsessed with Charles Manson and his family. I have read many books on this subject and still find the information fascinating. So, when I saw that this book was coming out I HAD to try to receive an ARC through NetGalley. The cover caught my eye on the website and I was extremely excited when I saw the e-mail that I was chosen to get a copy. I started this book while on my flight to Tampa and made it close to 50% of the way done before having to get off of the plane (I was reading on my Kindle). I was hooked from the very beginning and once I started getting to the in depth parts of the alternate theory that this book surrounds I was hooked even more. I brought my Kindle with me everywhere so I had the ability to read in any down time that presented itself to me. Although, there were times where I was worried that Manson was starting to get into the mind of the author with his weird "psycho-babble" (for lack of better terminology) James Buddy Day made sure to go back to do his research before believing anything that came out of Charlie's mouth. 

On Goodreads I rated this book a 4/5 because of how magnetic it is. I just wanted to keep reading so I could find more and more information about the theory (which makes complete sense). You could tell that this author did a lot of research while conducting the interviews that he talks about in the book. You can feel the passion he has for this subject radiating through the words while reading. There is a lot of information about the cases that I had not heard before even after reading several books on the subject (including "Helter Skelter"). I also liked that, although, Day is going against the "Helter Skelter" theory that caused Charlie to end up behind bats he makes sure that his readers know that he in no way believes that the verdict at the end of Manson's trial was wrong. He, instead, is just posing another theory that makes more sense and fits better with the evidence that was found at the crime scenes. If you love true crime this is definitely a book to keep a look out for; Publishing date is August 8, 2019! You don't want to miss it!

Optimum launches new book on Charles Manson

New Book on Manson challenges "Helter Skelter" theory advanced by Manson prosecutor, Bugliosi.

Don’t you want someone to make a movie about you that’s truthful, at least once?”— James Buddy Day

TORONTO, ON, CANADA, May 28, 2019 / -- Release Date: August 8th

“You have a prepaid call from…Charles Manson.”

August 8, 2019 marks the 50th anniversary of the Manson Family murders. The crimes defined a generation and remain an incredible source of public fascination.

Helter Skelter, the bestselling book by prosecutor Vincent Bugliosi, has sold millions of copies worldwide. But what if it is, well, fake news? What if it’s simply a story concocted in the imagination of Bugliosi—designed to convict Charles Manson of murder regardless of the facts?

In the Forbes article “Why Charles Manson And Helter Skelter Still Fascinate America After Almost 50 Years,” published on January 22, 2019, author Carey Purcell wrote, “It’s not only average Americans who continue to be fascinated with Manson. When asked about the ongoing interest in the man and his Family, Bugliosi told Newsweek, ‘Everyone wants to talk about him with me, even Pulitzer Prize–winning journalists. Tell me about him. Tell me about his eyes. Did you ever talk to him? How did he get control over these people?’”

When documentarian and author James Buddy Day began talking to Charles Manson, Charlie’s story started with his insistence that the truth about him remained untold and that the system was—and had always been—out to get him. “When they lose control, they don’t admit that they lost control, they just lost face and they make another movie like you’re doing,” he told Day.

“Don’t you want someone to make a movie about you that’s truthful, at least once?” Day asked him.

Hippie Cult Leader was written by James Buddy Day as he put together THE FINAL WORDS, the only documentary on Manson made with his co-operation. The book will build on the global success of this groundbreaking documentary, which draws an average audience of 280,000 per viewing, even one year after its release. 
Interview with the Author:

This book will be a unique entry in the Manson narrative, weaving together fascinating facts, theories, and first-person accounts. James Buddy Day brings his in-depth research to life through conversations with those in Manson’s circle—past and present—and conversations with Manson himself over the last year of his life.

A major network has commissioned the author to direct a new series on the “Manson Family” which will premiere in early August. The premiere of this documentary series will be supported by press interviews in media outlets including Newsweek, USA Today, CBC, Global News Canada, and The Today Show. The network will do a Media Press Release in early July. Well-known murder podcast will have the author in New York for a live discussion on Manson, the book, and Manson’s guilt or innocence on the charges of murder following the showing of this new documentary.

Supporting Theatrical and Media Interest

The 50th anniversary of what became known as the Tate-LaBianca Murders will guarantee that the Manson crimes once again enter the news cycle bolstered by a number of high-profile projects.

Quentin Tarantino’s long-awaited Manson movie, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, which received a six-minute standing ovation at the Cannes Film Festival, is set for wide release this summer, as well as three other feature films about the murders. Author Tom O’Neill’s much-anticipated book Chaos is set to be published in June, and Netflix will soon release the second season of the series Mindhunter, which features Manson prominently.

The book will be launched simultaneously in nine countries:
USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, UK and rest of Commonwealth rights have been sold to 180-year-old publishing house, Bonnier Books. Print, Digital and Audio.

Publicity: Backed by a major book launch in Los Angeles and a publicity tour that includes major network interviews and major newspaper outlets in five countries, Hippie Cult Leader is a compelling and captivating read. Author James Buddy Day brings his in-depth research to life through conversations with those in Manson’s circle—past and present—and conversations with Manson himself over the last year of his life. Weaving together fascinating facts, stories, and first-person accounts, the book helps to set the record straight with a new theory on why the murders were committed.

Readers around the world will be riveted by the compelling and absorbing threads that build to shocking conclusions—and may find themselves sympathetic in a way they could not have imagined.

Publisher: Optimum Publishing International
Author: James Buddy Day
Distributor: USA Pathway Books
Canada Georgetown Books

Price: $19.95 US $23.95 Canadian