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66 of 69 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tex Watson answers the question "What was I thinking?"
I wasn't expecting much when I picked up Charles "Tex" Watson's book Will You Die for Me, but I have to say that it turned out to be a fascinating read. In the book, Watson traces his life from an average college student to a murderous cult member - but what makes the book unique is his unflinching candor.

Watson explains what was going through his mind while...
Published on December 29, 2004 by D.L.

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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A man with no remorse
I got this book when first released and have read it several times. Mr. Watson would have us believe he has been redeemed and forgiven for his killing spree. Manso has been classified as the most dangerous man alive but in my opinion Watson is right up there with him. His telling of his life in a small Texas town to college student to wig salesman to drug dealer to...
Published on August 7, 2011 by R. Lowe


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66 of 69 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tex Watson answers the question "What was I thinking?", December 29, 2004
By 
D.L. (New York, NY) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Will You Die For Me? The Man Who Killed For Charles Manson Tells His Own Story (Hardcover)
I wasn't expecting much when I picked up Charles "Tex" Watson's book Will You Die for Me, but I have to say that it turned out to be a fascinating read. In the book, Watson traces his life from an average college student to a murderous cult member - but what makes the book unique is his unflinching candor.

Watson explains what was going through his mind while he was living in the cult and having these murderous psychotic episodes. The book is written in such a down-to-earth tone that is hard to believe that the author actually did these things - but he did, and there are no scapegoats, not even Mason, Watson takes responsibility for his actions. It is chilling to think that a man capable of being this introspective and articulate, can also be capable of killing strangers on a whim.

It is a very good and quick read... and for those interested in the Manson Family crimes, it is a must have.
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43 of 49 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting read told by a murderer, July 21, 2008
By 
This review is from: Will You Die For Me? The Man Who Killed For Charles Manson Tells His Own Story (Hardcover)
Put together in a comprehensive manner with a little more insight than an outsider could have. Though I'm left with the feeling that some parts are still missing. As in his feelings about the murders at the time. He does say at the time he did not feel anything actually. Maybe it's more of what he felt later as he recalled the event. He describes flashes of color & movement to describe the killings. Is that it? I felt like that was glossed over. Not that I wanted gory detail, NO, but I guess there has to be more going on in the person's head (if only later upon reflection) than the short description of how they remember it. But other parts of HIS ordeal are described in detail and how he felt when things happened to him. You have to hear how after he was arrested & extradited to LA he was given a light blanket & was cold in his cell & he was roughed up & punched & forced to eat meat. I'm then picturing Sharon trying to tell us how it felt for her to be butchered & dying. What did she feel? What did they all feel? Who gives a damn if he was cold in his cell. There seemed to be a disconnect there. It's a common trait with murderers to only relate to their own pain. I took away from the book that he was prior to murdering, a person who needed to satisfy his own needs & became bored quickly if he wasn't being satisfied. Yes he admits his guilt but again he has to -to find his what he needs in religion. It is better than Charlie Manson's state of mind in prison, still evil incarnate. In all honesty Tex Watson really cannot win. We all know what he did & it is what it is. Even though Watson says the right words I still feel wrong. Something is not right with him. The zealousness with which he has embraced religion is off putting. It does sound the same as his prior total embrace of Charlie. I do though agree with his (and others) theory of LSD & other drugs being Charlie's tool to brainwash them all. Maybe he's damaged from all the drugs as well. FYI I printed the book off of his website for free. I will not give him money.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A man with no remorse, August 7, 2011
This review is from: Will You Die For Me? The Man Who Killed For Charles Manson Tells His Own Story (Hardcover)
I got this book when first released and have read it several times. Mr. Watson would have us believe he has been redeemed and forgiven for his killing spree. Manso has been classified as the most dangerous man alive but in my opinion Watson is right up there with him. His telling of his life in a small Texas town to college student to wig salesman to drug dealer to murderer reads to easily. Like Ms. Atkins I find Watson a total hypocrite and just looking to be the center of attention. And then to be allowed to have 4 children which the State of California supported financially is just too much. So much for a man who considers himself forgiven and ready to leave prison. Right. And to have the nerve to want to write and meet with Doris Tate before her untimely death...such arrogance. Mr. Watson knew what he was doing the nights he murdered the Tate victime and the LaBianca victims. He neglects to add he helped kill Shorty Shea and who knows who else. He offes it for free on his website. If you must have it get it for free.
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34 of 41 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars for Setting The Historical Record Straight, January 12, 2010
By 
James J. Varela (Sarasota, FL United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Will You Die For Me? The Man Who Killed For Charles Manson Tells His Own Story (Hardcover)
I honestly cannot be sure if Watson is remorseful or not. Given what he has done if he were truly remorseful he would be suicidal. This book gets at least three stars for setting the historical record straight on what happened to Sharon Tate, Jay Sebring, Steven Parent, Abigail Folger & Wojciech Frykowski as well as Rosemary & Leno LaBianca and Gary Hinman. Charles Manson, Steve Grogan and Bruce Davis were convicted of ranchhand Shorty Shea's murder but over a dozen witnesses have gone on record to implicate Watson as one of Shea's killers.
The main reason the crime is still remembered after 40 years was it was so senseless. If Manson wanted a record deal Sharon Tate would have picked up a phone and gotten him one. If the killers wanted money she would have given them her last dime. The hero of the night was hair stylist Jay Sebring who lost his life trying to shield Sharon from Watson. It is a crime he was able to marry and father children while in prison until lobbying by Sharon Tate's parents conjugal visits for imprisoned individuals convicted of murder were banned. Watson deserves some credit for his work inside prison BUT In the past decade Watson and his X wife Kristin have twice been investigated by the California attorney general, for committing Medi-Cal fraud to finance their children's births and for using funds from their nonprofit organization, Abounding Love Ministries, for personal use. This book can be read free of charge on his web site called aboundinglove dot org.
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19 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Couldn't put it down., August 1, 1998
This review is from: Will You Die For Me? The Man Who Killed For Charles Manson Tells His Own Story (Hardcover)
This is the story of the Manson murders as told by Charles "Tex" Watson" one of the Manson family. He tells the story in a straight-forward manner about the events before, during, and after the crimes. It is MUST reading for anyone interested in the Manson crimes and for readers of "Helter Skelter". It has many surprises in it.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Does God show mercy to all?, July 22, 2013
This review is from: Will You Die For Me? The Man Who Killed For Charles Manson Tells His Own Story (Hardcover)
I was born in 1966, so I don't remember the events. I did see "Helter Skelter" on TV and was scared by it.

I've celebrated Mass in prisons and worked with inmates. It is true that some find "jailhouse" religion and then lose it as soon as they get out. But some do undergo a genuine conversion and transformation. I believe Charles Watson is one of them.

That doesn't mean he should ever be released, and he has admitted that possibility many times. While Watson goes to his parole hearings, he doesn't demand release or deny the pain and anger of the victims' families. In fact, he fully acknowledges how his actions have destroyed the lives of others. I don't reject his testimony simply because he applies for parole or married and had children, since, at least for a number of years, inmates were afforded marriage and conjugal visits. And I don't have any problem with the loss of that privilege if the victims object to it.

For those who don't believe in the Christian faith, Watson's writings will sound like another "trip" he's on. But for those who want an example of how faith can truly change and redeem a man who committed the worst crimes, this is it. Watson is direct, articulate, and humble. He fully takes responsibility and discusses at length how he regained his humanity and agonized over the pain he caused others. And he is very direct in a later book that religious conversion does not sway parole boards or shortens inmates' sentences.

I don't get a sense that Watson is writing for any reason other than to share what God has done in his life. That is what Christians are called to do. As I read this, I was very angry for his victims and saddened by the waste of so much life. But I found my own faith strengthened by Watson's conversion.

Watson isn't the only murderer in history to have undergone a conversion. Saint Paul collaborated fully in the murder of Christians (including Stephen) prior to his conversion and received authorization to bring more to "justice." Then Christ intervened and he wound up writing much of the New Testament.

Should Watson ever be released? I think it is a moot point. He's in for life and the notoriety of his crimes will keep him there until death. Should anyone who believes in God deny God's love for sinners and His power to redeem and transform them? As a believer, I would never do that.

I recommend this book. At the end, one might be tempted to scoff, but it certainly challenges the reader to examine his or her own beliefs about God's mercy.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars WILL YOU DIE FOR ME?, June 8, 2012
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This review is from: Will You Die For Me? The Man Who Killed For Charles Manson Tells His Own Story (Hardcover)
I can't say that I really learned anything from this book. Having read Helter Skelter and seen many news programs, U-tube's of family members at parole hearings, etc. It was good that he (Charlie) did admit the killings, all of them, but the way he deflected these acts back on to Charles Manson, lent a certain deniability to his conscience. I did notice that there was not any mention of Shorty Shea at the ranch? He certainly liked the drugs and the girls. It would appear to me that if you attained a state of higher consciousness, you would not be able to be manipulated so easily? Yet, Charles was. Over and over again, even after slipping away for periods of time. When he was free to keep going and not return, he went back of his own free will, blaming that on Manson as well. He did admit remorse, but it seemed like so much lip service. He spent 50% of the book on Charlie brainwashing him and 25% on Christianity. Yes, even an evil wretch and murderer such as him can be saved! Isn't that refreshing? My deepest feeling is that this book is a "stab" at redemption. Susan Atkins was very good at using Christian speak; he appears to be also. I don't know what else I'd expect him to do or say, but I'm not convinced or satisfied with his remorse or explanation or lack there of, of his involvement. Lets face it, he did ALL of the killings!!! I have read Edgar Cayce and I am a firm believer in Karma. I have a strong feeling that he and the rest of the family members will not be playing a harp anytime soon. I think they are all in for an equally disturbing end in some life time to come.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars great read, but download for free off of his site, May 18, 2012
This review is from: Will You Die For Me? The Man Who Killed For Charles Manson Tells His Own Story (Hardcover)
Don't give this demented moron your cash. Luckily, this is ghostwritten by Ray Hoekstra (?) don't know who he is, but he's organized Watson's druggy reminiscences well and in a flowing, readable fashion. I get the feeling Watson's true version would be a mess. There are unnerving parts, of course, but unexpected humor, such as when Watson is found crawling on a playground only managing to make robotic beeping noises. He must've scared the crap out of those kids...But the interesting thing, for those not totally tired of the Manson saga by now, is that he does confirm Bugliosi's Helter Skelter theory, as well as alternate theories about drug-bust-gone-bad, and the Beausoleil cover-up. Watson says all 3 elements were at play, and it sounds plausible. And I wouldn't doubt that Manson and his followers really were acid-drenched and dumb enough to believe things like that there was an underground refuge of lakes underneath Death Valley, that Manson was an incarnation of Christ, etc etc. When watching a Manson doc with a pro-acid friend, I ventured that acid really had a lot to do with the brainwashing, which I think was real. He claimed that was more of a myth, but I think it was. When you combine heavy use of mind altering drugs with general, even staggering, stupidity, bad things can happen. Like the saying "he opened his mind and his brains fell out". Also, his account of Manson's obsession with spiritually and emotionally "dying" makes sense when you consider Manson was raised in prison, virtually, and would want others to be equally emotionally dead. We know a lot more about cult dynamics, partly because of the Family, but this is a pretty good account of how it can work in ways you just wouldn't expect.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An Eye Opener, May 24, 2012
This review is from: Will You Die For Me? The Man Who Killed For Charles Manson Tells His Own Story (Hardcover)
This is the must-read document for anyone researching the Manson Family murders. The author, Tex Watson (not the poor doctor who is listed as the author at the time of this review) committed most of the murders and so has plenty to reveal about what took place. And reveal he does! Tons of detail about the years of life with the Family leading up to becoming a mindless killer. Quite a bit about after the murders too, including the trial and his life in prison. Perhaps the spookiest part of the book describes how he became born-again Christian in jail: he proceeds to talk about how he turned his life and his will over to Jesus, and it's hard not to notice the resemblance to the way he had turned his life and his will over to Manson.

I believe that the majority of what Tex has written here is the true story of what took place because he does not make excuses for his guilt, nor does he particularly demonize anyone else. It's a story of the long slippery slope that normal people can wander down before waking up one day in a really bad place.
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35 of 50 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Appalling...., July 29, 2002
This review is from: Will You Die For Me? The Man Who Killed For Charles Manson Tells His Own Story (Hardcover)
It was an outrage to learn the man responsible for brutally murdering an eight and a half month pregnant woman has been permitted to father four children of his own while he was behind bars! So much for our criminal justice system!
Watson gives us a chilling account of the murders, but his ability to discuss them in matter of fact gory detail, as if one were talking about the weather, is terrifying. How a man who committed such horrible crimes can live with himself is beyond me. He claims he is now a born again christian and God has forgiven him for his crimes, so if God can forgive him, he must forgive himself. He claims to have sympathy for the families of the victims, yet he continues to torment them by asking to be paroled every chance he gets. One wonders if he offered the victim's families any of the proceeds from this book. I doubt it.
I sincerely hope he is the changed man he now claims to be. However, his claim would be much more believeable if he honored the victims and their families by not asking for parole and accept the fact that a man who is capable of committing such heartless acts (christian or not) should never be allowed into a free society again. It would be nothing short of obscene for this man to be allowed to be free to enjoy spending time with his wife and children when it was his murderous hand that robbed so many others of their loved ones.
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