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Helter Skelter Library Binding – 1 Oct 1999

4.7 out of 5 stars 83 customer reviews

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Library Binding, 1 Oct 1999
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Product details

  • Library Binding
  • Publisher: Sagebrush Education Resources (Oct. 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0808501720
  • ISBN-13: 978-0808501725
  • Product Dimensions: 18 x 11.4 x 4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (83 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,275,057 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

One of the best crime stories ever written.

One of the best crime stories ever written. " --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

The true story behind the most infamous mass murder case ever and its perpetrator, the notorious criminal Charles Manson. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

By S Riaz HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 23 Feb. 2015
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This true crime classic was published in 1974. The author, Victor Bugliosi, was Deputy District Attorney in L.A. and responsible for prosecuting the Tate-LaBianca murders. As this book was published a fairly short time after the actual events, it has a real immediacy, and Bugliosi's insider knowledge makes the reading experience extremely interesting.

The book opens with the murders, which are difficult to read about even after so long. On Saturday 9th August, 1969, screams and gunshots were heard from 10050 Cielo Drive. The bodies of actress Sharon Tate, heavily pregnant, Abigail Folger, heiress to a coffee fortune, Voytek Frykowski, a playboy, Jay Sebring, a celebrity hair stylist and Steve Parent, only eighteen, and caught up in events after visiting William Garretson, who lived in the nearby guest cottage to keep an eye on things for the owner of the house and care for his dogs, were discovered the next day by housekeeper Winifred Chapman. Garretson had not even heard the shots or screams reported by nearby neighbours, possibly as he was playing music loudly, although he did recall that the handle of his door was turned down, as though someone tried to enter the property. Luckily for him, he escaped further notice, although by sheer fact that he was nearby, he was considered the prime suspect at the time.

On Sunday 10th August, Leno and Rosemary LaBianca returned home to Los Angeles after visiting Rosemary's son in Lake Isabella. Dropping her daughter home, they picked up a newspaper from the stand and returned home. The next day their bodies were discovered when their son returned home and was concerned something was wrong at the house.
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Format: 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.
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Format: Paperback
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.
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Format: 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.
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Format: 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.
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