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Helter Skelter: The True Story of the Manson Murders [Kindle Edition]

Vincent Bugliosi , Curt Gentry
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (430 customer reviews)

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Book Description

The #1 True Crime Bestseller of All Time—7 Million Copies Sold

In the summer of 1969, in Los Angeles, a series of brutal, seemingly random murders captured headlines across America. A famous actress (and her unborn child), an heiress to a coffee fortune, a supermarket owner and his wife were among the seven victims. A thin trail of circumstances eventually tied the Tate-LeBianca murders to Charles Manson, a would-be pop singer of small talent living in the desert with his "family" of devoted young women and men. What was his hold over them? And what was the motivation behind such savagery? In the public imagination, over time, the case assumed the proportions of myth. The murders marked the end of the sixties and became an immediate symbol of the dark underside of that era.

Vincent Bugliosi was the prosecuting attorney in the Manson trial, and this book is his enthralling account of how he built his case from what a defense attorney dismissed as only "two fingerprints and Vince Bugliosi." The meticulous detective work with which the story begins, the prosecutor's view of a complex murder trial, the reconstruction of the philosophy Manson inculcated in his fervent followers... these elements make for a true crime classic. ?Helter Skelter ?is not merely a spellbinding murder case and courtroom drama but also, in the words of ?The New Republic?, a "social document of rare importance."

Editorial Reviews


One of the best crime stories ever written.

About the Author

Vincent Bugliosi, prosecutor of Charles Manson and author of Helter Skelter, Outrage, and other #1 best-selling books, lives in Los Angeles, California.

Curt Gentry (1931-2014), an Edgar winner, was the author of J. Edgar Hoover: The Man and the Secrets, Frame-Up: The Incredible Case of Tom Mooney and Warren Billings, and co-author of Helter Skelter with Vincent Bugliosi.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1011 KB
  • Print Length: 698 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; Reprint edition (December 17, 2001)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00261OOXA
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #12,746 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
136 of 145 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fast, Full, and Scary March 24, 2001
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Helter Skelter is the #1 best selling true crime book ever because of three things: It is the story of one of the highest profile murder cases in the world's history, even 30+ years after the fact, it is still an amazing and unique story, and finally, Vincent Bugliosi is a fabulous writer. Most books written by non-writers might tell a good story but not in a dramatic way that a true author otherwise might. Bugliosi has no problem doing that with his books.
I thought I had a pretty good idea of most everything that had happened during this whole ordeal that ended the era of "peace and love," but I didn't know the half of it. Bugliosi needs over 700 pages to vividly recount every second of what led up to the Manson murders and every detail of what was done to bring the killers to trial and put them away. This is without question the fastest and most intense 700 page book I've ever read (and I've read a few), and that can be credited to the sheer madness of this case and the brilliance of the deep-thinking, amazingly-talented prosecutor who closed the case and then wrote this book to tell everything about it.
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90 of 97 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars This review is for the KINDLE edition August 9, 2009
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Let me just say that this is a great book, however buy the print edition. There is a list of illustrations in the Kindle edition, but I've yet to find an actual illustration. The FOOTNOTES are grouped together in the back. Not helpful in understanding California law and police procedures in the late 60s. I feel like I bought half a book.
Again, read this book, it's great, but get it in print.

Hey Amazon! If you had mentioned these things in the description, I could have made a better choice. Please, please make these things clear from the beginning. It's my first Kindle disappointment, so I'm not bitter, just sad.
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92 of 102 people found the following review helpful
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I highly suggest that everybody read this book. It is, without hesitation, a genuine masterpiece in real life horror.
The first page on the book reads: "The Story in Which You Are About to Read Will Scare the Hell Out of You". That is not an understatement. This book literally kept me up at night fearing that someone could just simply walk into my living room at any minute. It was so vividly described that it put the fear of God in me when I could literally picture the entire array of murders accurately inside my head. It is such a horrifying aspect, a sea of thoughts that will forever remain inside your subconsciousness. I guarantee that when you read the passages describing the horrendous Tate/LaBianca murders, you will gradually build the entire picture inside your brain, to the point where you will feel like you are there, looking down on an excruciating scene of human barbarity. Not ONE detail is left to the imagination.
You will feel like you are inside the investigation, working with Bugliosi to pinpoint these motives, journeying with the killers step by step as they act out there darkest fantasies. You will begin to second guess "The White Album" and be disturbed by Manson's seemingly psychotic interpretation of it. (Make a point to listen to this album afterwards, and you will feel transported back to the Spahn Ranch where the madness soon ensued) You will feel yourself singing crazy ballads with the Family, you will become ancy inside Susan Atkins' jail cell. You will be scared alongside Linda Kasabian on the long night ride to the Tate house. All these feelings and more will incorporate your senses whilst reading this horrifying story.
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4 of 0 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THE CLASSIC OF CRIME INVESTIGATION April 5, 2007
Mr. Bugliosi wrote the book on crime investigation in L.A. Reads better than a novel. Explores the life of Charles Mansion from his pre-Family days up to the brutal crimes, and the sick minds behind them. Some of the best non-fiction you'll ever read. Gives the victims a personality, not just bodies without a face. A great prosecuting attorney's handbook.
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30 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Vince Bugliosi Takes on "Christ" - and Triumphs May 23, 2004
In the early months of 1976, my high school sociology teacher told us of a fascinating and horrifying book called "Helter Skelter" that had commanded his rapt attention for months. Published in 1974, "Skelter" was Vincent Bugliosi's riveting true-crime rendering of the notorious Manson family and their murderous crime spree in August 1969. Bugliosi, significantly, was the prosecuting attorney of Manson and his malignant minions and he succeeded - brilliantly - in ridding our society of these senseless savages.
I was seventeen years old then, and although I was no stranger to the extremes of human aberrations, I was mute with horror at some of my teacher's revelations. (Sadie Mae Glutz's weird name - and the equally goofy name she gave her newborn son - were the least of her post-partum peculiarities.....Manson family females had to wait until the slobbering canines devoured their meals before they could nourish their own inner children......) Several months later, as a freshman newly transplanted at the University of Kansas precisely seven years after the abominable crimes, I purchased a paperback copy of "Skelter".
The prodigiously gifted prosecutor has created a spellbinding re-creation of the events surrounding that long-ago August weekend. Moreover, he has delved into the pathology of Manson and exposed the mass murderer for what he is: a manipulative, savvy, cold-blooded and narcissistic individual - someone who does not deserve to taste freedom - ever.
If you think you know everything about what it takes to convict a criminal - especially someone who (cleverly) avoided the crime scene - "Skelter" reveals the protracted, painstaking and dedicated efforts put forth by Bugliosi to convict these deviants. In those pre-O.J. days in L.A.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic, riveting true crime story
A classic account of one of the most bizarre series of murders of the century. I first read it 20 years ago, and it was just as riveting on my recent second read.
Published 23 hours ago by T. Saunders
5.0 out of 5 stars Bugliosi is a great. A star prosecutor who almost single-handedly made...
Bugliosi is a great. A star prosecutor who almost single-handedly made sure Charles Manson and his clan of fake-friendly followers were locked up, to pay for their horroundeous... Read more
Published 4 days ago by Diomedes Garcia
4.0 out of 5 stars riveting
Great read even though we all know the outcome. Getting an inside perspective makes it all the more real. Thanks
Published 7 days ago by MPK
5.0 out of 5 stars Cease to Exist
"Helter Skelter" was an immense best-seller in the 1970's when assistant DA Vince Bugliosi published his account of the 1969 Tate/LaBianca murders, and the subsequent... Read more
Published 14 days ago by Rob Fitzgibbon
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Excellent book and fast shipping
Published 18 days ago by Amy
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Awesome read
Published 23 days ago by Carolyne Mccoy
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Charles Manson should not ever get out of prison!
Published 25 days ago by Betty Anderson
5.0 out of 5 stars This was a great book-- the writing was excellent and the subject...
This was a great book-- the writing was excellent and the subject fascinating. Hard to believe how many times the cops screwed things up in this high profile case.
Published 26 days ago by southerngirlinthebigcity
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Intrigued by the insanity
Published 27 days ago by Theresa S Romano
2.0 out of 5 stars Wow it was dry and boring. It includes everything related to the...
I couldn't finish this book. Wow it was dry and boring. It includes everything related to the crimes, very detailed, but it makes the police officers sound incompetent. Read more
Published 29 days ago by Kathryn
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