Customer Reviews


47 Reviews
5 star:
 (36)
4 star:
 (9)
3 star:
 (2)
2 star:    (0)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


27 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best true crime book ever written - a classic
What fascinates me about this book is not the sex and drugs aspect of it, but what a powerfully hypnotic figure Charles Manson must have been. Even Bugliosi struggles to find words to describe what power Manson was able to wield over his followers. It is literally mind blowing. The other hard hitting aspect of the book was the police incompetence right through the...
Published on 29 Mar 2001 by Mrs. K. A. Wheatley

versus
0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting, although not the best book available on the subject
This is an interesting book about a fascinating period in American criminal history. It is not the best on the subject, but it is of interest to people who want to flesh out what they already know.
Published on 21 Dec 2011 by Dracool


‹ Previous | 1 25 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

27 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best true crime book ever written - a classic, 29 Mar 2001
By 
Mrs. K. A. Wheatley "katywheatley" (Leicester, UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Helter Skelter: The True Story of the Manson Murders (Paperback)
What fascinates me about this book is not the sex and drugs aspect of it, but what a powerfully hypnotic figure Charles Manson must have been. Even Bugliosi struggles to find words to describe what power Manson was able to wield over his followers. It is literally mind blowing. The other hard hitting aspect of the book was the police incompetence right through the entire investigation. I found it terrifying that they mislaid, lost and destroyed evidence and overlooked obvious and vital matters throughout. It is a testament to Bugliosi's skills as a prosecutor and Manson's huge ego that he ever got convicted. What strikes horror into my soul is the fact that if the police had got themselves sorted out from the beginning it would have been an open and shut case instead of one which dragged on for months, cost thousands of dollars and resulted in the murder of various key witnesses by members of the Manson family. An extraordinary and chilling book.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Well written story of an extraordinary set of crimes, 10 Aug 2004
For those who enjoy true crime, this is one hell of a story. Manson is a terrible antihero who is iconic in history. The book is well and intelligently written and it is very interestingly told by a prosecutor who was able to play an important role in Manson's demise. The fact that the narrator had a personal stake in the outcome of the case makes a big difference from other books of the genre. The book misses out on five stars because the narrator is a little too vain from time to time. I had the impression that Manson's defence was so shambolic that a monkey could have successfully prosecuted him. This is not a point that the narrator takes into consideration.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars you can't have it all, 25 Mar 2010
By 
This review is from: Helter Skelter: The True Story of the Manson Murders (Paperback)
The only criticism this book - and all Mr Bugliosi's other books - receive, that is worthy of consideration, is that he is a bit vain. To criticise him as a previous reviewer has, for not acknowledging the defence's contribution to the guilty verdict through their incompetence is very unfair, he lists every one of their own goals. I don't know what some readers expect. When Manson leapt ten feet from a sitting position to try to get at the judge do we really need a paragraph or two from Bugliosi conceding that this did not harm the prosecution's case?
Ok so the rest of it. His book is, like his prosecution work, immensely thorough and intellectually impressive, a masterpiece of combining factually accurate detail with concise and pacy writing. In other words you get the best of both worlds, all the excitement of a tightly written novel with the fascination of a compelling true story that is very easy to read and absorb. This is a wonderful read for any fan of real life crime and judicial history.
Oh, and the vanity. I don't think so. He does not claim much in the way of special skills or immense intellect. He is always at pains to point out how thorough his preparation is - because it needs to be - and the sometimes mind bogglingly huge ammounts of hours he puts into it. He is clear that he has had to graft for his extraordinary record. He certainly does take a strongly disapproving position on what he percieves as incompetance and laziness in many of the professionals he encounters in his work. And we should share his view of how poorly so many of our public servants at all levels perform, it is what makes our world not so great.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars INCREDIBLE!!!, 11 April 2009
By 
Heather Negahdar ""Haze"" (Bridgetown, Barbados) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
"It was so quiet one of the killers would later say, you could almost hear the sound of ice rattling in cocktail shakers in the houses way down the canyon."

This was not an easy case for the Los Angeles detectives top solve. It was one of the biggest murder cases in American history, and definitely not for the faint-hearted. Written by Prosecutor Vincent Bugliosi and Curt Gentry, there are no holds barred, as all the facts surrounding these horrific murders are laid out in the open, naked for all to see of the Tate-LaBianca murders. The lovely movie star Sharon Tate, hairdresser to the stars Jay Sebring, the well heeled Abigail Folger the Coffee heiress, Voytek Frylowski, Folger's boyfriend, and Steven Parent who was at the address at the wrong time, Leno and his wife Rosemary LaBianca.
The warped and drugged out mind of Charles Manson killers shall be with you forever, as they kill for the fun of it for no particular reason. This well written novel will keep you engaged and it will be very hard to tear yourself away from it once you have begun.
This novel comes highly recommended.
Reviewed by Heather Marshall Negahdar (Sugar-Cane 11-04-09)
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


25 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a thundering good read, 26 Jan 2002
This review is from: Helter Skelter: The True Story of the Manson Murders (Paperback)
This is the definitive account of the longest trial in American legal history. Four persons: Charles Manson, Susan Atkins, Patricia Krenwinkel and Leslie Van Houten, are sentenced to death for the murders of Sharon Tate, Jay Sebring, Abigail Folger, Voytek Frykowski, Stephen Parent, Leno La Bianca and Rosemary La Bianca. The crimes, collectively known as the Tate/La Bianca murders took place in Los Angeles in August 1969. Vincent Bugliosi's work is both focussed and orderly and he scores highly in bringing a convoluted and at times incompetent enquiry to the reader in a totally believable account. Stretching to 664 pages, some might consider the work too long winded but the story certainly licks along at a good pace. The lion's share of the time is given over to a day by day, blow by blow account detailing the court proceedings. These accounts are so good that in places you can believe yourself to be in the public gallery and can feel the tension and horror as this macabre tale unfolds.
The crimes, which rocked America in the late 60's and early 70's, are truly horrific. Bugliosi does not shy away from revealing the cold, callous and detached nature of each defendant; none of whom show the slightest remorse for their barbaric actions. Neither too are we sheltered from the abundant stabbings, shootings, hangings, and mutilations. There are ample official statements, legal examinations, cross-examinations and personal conversations to satisfy even the most curious. The reader's inclusion 'in the court' so to speak, might for some readers prove too much, but by a combination of thoroughness, attention to detail and style the author takes us into the bizarre world of Charles Manson.
He is a 'wannabe' but unsuccessful musician, drug user and, for more than half of his life, a frequenter of numerous penitentiaries. He is the self-styled guru of 'The Family' where most of the members are young, impressionable runaways. Lost, lonely and anti-establishment they, by numerous avenues end up at Manson's door. Most are female, most claim to be in love with Manson, most claim he possesses special power or is the embodiment of Christ or Satan (terms Manson uses of himself). The late 60's mix of sex, free love and drugs are used to full effect and, more often than not, the girls are used to attract new recruits. In turn, through a dangerous cocktail of charisma, fear and violence, added to delusionary interpretations brought on by 'hidden' meaning in a number of the Beatles songs, Manson creates a dependency upon himself and his words. In short - he controls their thoughts, actions and lives, but as Bugliosi shows they are willing participants in this 'game'.
Crucial to the prosecution's case is the motive for the murders - Helter Skelter. Through his interpretation of the Beatles lyrics, his predisposition to violence, his anti-establishment and racism, Manson attempts to kick-start a race war in America. To realise this goal, white 'pigs', as he calls them, must be sacrificed. The culmination of this 'Armageddon' will ultimately benefit Manson and the 'Family' as they will assume control over the reins of power and government. The killings are random and brutal and, in spite of the bizarre nature of the motive, Bugliosi brings the full horror of this tragic episode in American history to the reader in a cogent, believable and professional manner.
If the book has a down side it would be that the real comparisons between Charles Manson and Adolf Hitler are pretty tenuous, Bugliosi's frequent portrayal of himself in the, 'I'm always right' camp, gets a bit irritating and the use of aliases with some of the main players in the 'Family' can get confusing at times. That said, for any true crime buffs out there who like their reading material to be a real mix of the gruesome and the legal, this book is a must.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An in-depth account of the attrocities of the Manson family., 5 Nov 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Helter Skelter: The True Story of the Manson Murders (Paperback)
Bugliosi writes an incredibly detailed account of Manson from his childhood to his subsequent conviction and of the brutality of the crimes he and his 'family' committed. This is a very intense book and as a consequence it makes for a fairly difficult and confusing read. You will find yourself going back to previous pages and chapters to remind yourself of small, yet relevant details and of the explanations of law jargon that is easily forgotten. Confusions aside, Bugliosi recounts startling crimes and explores the mentality of the teenagers and Manson himself to try to shed some light on the motives fot these murders. Helter Skelter is well-written, interesting and a thouroughly disturbing book that makes it hard to put down.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best book on Manson, 30 May 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Helter Skelter: The True Story of the Manson Murders (Paperback)
This is the book the Mansonites don't want you to read. You might not be aware but there are Manson Family advocates out there running a website and music and books and videos hailing Manson as a hero. This is the book they hate because it exposes Manson's true evil. This is an excellent book which though lengthy, reads like a fast paced detective adventure.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Authoritative Account, 22 April 2010
Bugliosi's account of the Manson trial is the definitive guide to what really occurred on thos fateful nights in 1969 when the Manson family rampaged and terrorised their victims.

Intriguing, highly descriptive and authoritative, Bugliosi captivates the reader recounting these terrifying tales, going into detail on the backgrounds of the members of the family, how they came to be brainwashed and speculating if they were mad or just plain bad.

I have read a few books on this matter and in my opinion, this is the best and most relevant.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great true crime read, 24 Nov 2009
This review is from: Helter Skelter: The True Story of the Manson Murders (Paperback)
This is almost on a par with Simon Wells book "Charles Manson:Coming Down Fast" as an expose of the lunatic events which occurred in Hollywood at the dying end of the Sixties when the hippy dream turned sour.
It is well researched and all the more fascinating for Mr Bugliosi having been a main player in the media circus of a trial.
The only complaint i have is that i feel Mr Bugliosi's prose style is a little too formal,stilted and over-verbose. Highly recommended for all true crime lovers
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating - much better than you could possibly imagine, 12 Jan 2011
By 
This review is from: Helter Skelter: The True Story of the Manson Murders (Paperback)
I must admit to having an appetite for true crime, serial killer and Mafia books so whilst searching Amazon for my next book, I came across Helter Skelter. I was quite young when this happened and wasn't really aware of anything other than the media reporting that Sharon Tate had been murdered so I decided to read up on it now.

Vincent Bugliosi is a brilliant author and it's one of those books you can't put down. You're led through the story as it unfolds from the bodies being discovered to the gathering of evidence and finally the trial. The police were unbelievably incompetent from not bothering to collect physical evidence - some of which was actually retrieved by journalists because the police didn't see it as a priority despite multiple requests - to failing to communicate between agencies and actually share information.

Bugliosi undertook what looked like an impossible task in gathering all of the evidence for the prosecution and tried not to leave any stone unturned. His attention to detail is remarkable. How he managed to sift through everything and put a book together after the trial beats me but luckily for the readers he did, and he did a great job.

It's hard to believe that Manson had such a hold over so many people, many of whom were young, bright, intelligent and from decent backgrounds but unfortunately succumbed to his will through their own vulnerabilities. I guess the endless supply of drugs and "free love" had a lot to do with it. Personally, I felt he was a real thorn in anyone's side and quite a despicable character. I wonder how many of us would have fallen under his "charm/spell" if we had been around him back then?

Whilst this really is a very easy to read, fascinating and thought-provoking book, we mustn't overlook the horror of the situation and the tragic losses for the families of the victims who fought so hard to survive.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 25 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

Helter Skelter: The True Story of the Manson Murders
Helter Skelter: The True Story of the Manson Murders by Vincent Bugliosi (Paperback - 5 Nov 1992)
£6.39
In stock
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews