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Manson in His Own Words: The Shocking Confessions of 'The Most Dangerous Man Alive' Paperback – June, 1988

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Manson in His Own Words: The Shocking Confessions of 'The Most Dangerous Man Alive' + Helter Skelter: The True Story of the Manson Murders + Manson: The Life and Times of Charles Manson
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 232 pages
  • Publisher: Grove Press; 1st Grove Press. Ed edition (June 1988)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0802130240
  • ISBN-13: 978-0802130242
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 6.2 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (72 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #216,770 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


The shocking confessions of “the most dangerous man alive.” –Rolling Stone

“Compelling and chilling.” —Baltimore Evening Sun

“I couldn’t put it down.” —Liz Smith

“Disturbingly hypnotic.” —Vogue

“Compulsively readable. . . . Manson can’t ever succeed in being paroled out of that cell, not as long as people with any sense at all can read this book.” —William S. Burroughs

“A glimpse of part of the American experience that is rarely described from the inside. . . . It compels both interest and horror.” —The Washington Post

“Gives us a portrait close to the truth.” —The New York Times Book Review

“The book finally diminishes the Manson mystique. For that, credit goes to the co-author Nuel Emmons, [who] gives Manson room to reveal himself without voodoo hype. The result is an explanation of Manson’s crimes that, for the first time, feels convincing.” —San Francisco Bay Guardian

“Provides a fascinating glimpse into the mind of a truly dangerous human being.” —Los Angeles Herald Examiner

“Reads like a sordid but often gripping picaresque novel.” —Louisville Courier-Journal

“These ‘words’ are the essence behind the horror of the tragedy: cold, calculated, hard facts told exactly the way it was from the beginning. . . . Effectively captures the disturbed mind of Manson and gives us a better understanding of the complexity of a violent criminal.” —Rave Reviews

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Customer Reviews

The book is coherent, intelligent and gramatically well written.
Mark A Bonilla
In reading this you can see just how intelligent he really is, it's so sad he didn't put to good instead of bad.
Vicki Cobb
Charles Manson is a very interesting person and this book really helps you to understand him.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

36 of 37 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 19, 2004
Format: Paperback
If for no other reason, this book is an important Manson read
because of a startling revelation near the end. For readers who have read "Helter Skelter" or are familiar with the Tate murders on August 9, 1969; a couple of things don't add up. Several
witnesses in the benedict canyon area of Los Angeles that night heard men shouting and arguing in the vicinity of 10500 Cielo Drive. It reportedly occurred between 3:00 and 4:00 a.m. This would have been several hours after the murders, but long before the bodies were discovered around 8:30 a.m. It was also known that in the course of this horrific crime, Sharon Tate never left the house once the killers arrived. She was murdered in the living room, having never made it outside. Her blood; however, was found on the front porch. Police and criminal experts also reported that her body had been completely smeared with blood. As if the body had been handled by someone at the scene, not too
long after the murders.
It is in this book that Manson proclaims that he and "one or two others," went back to the crime scene that night. He said he wanted to "see what my children had done." Manson even writes about what a risky operation that can be and that they were very cautious and unsettled by the whole experience. He refuses to name his accomplices, but goes into details about how he wiped down Steve Parent's car for prints and tried to move Sharon Tate's body. He also goes into sickening descriptions about what he wanted to do to her body in an effort to leave an
an even more horrifying discovery. This would explain the blood discrepency, the appearanced of a handled body (Tate), and the voices heard arguing from the residence.
This is not to say that because Manson said this, it is true.
Read more ›
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55 of 60 people found the following review helpful By JMack VINE VOICE on March 17, 2004
Format: Paperback
As a fan of true crime, Charles Manson has long been one of my favorite subjects. "Helter Skelter" is perhaps the best true crime book ever written. Having read the prosecuting attorney's view of the events, I felt it would be interesting to read Manson's version. Keeping in mind that Manson is neither honest nor completely sane, I was able to gain a lot of insight into who Charles Manson really is.
The book contains admissions and other information that were not in "Helter Skelter". This being considered, there are some serious flaws in the book. Manson's lies are fairly obvious at times when he is contradicting the proven evidence that convicted him. One person can lie. But when several stories match up against that person, the lie falls apart.
Perhaps the most eye-opening information in this book is in regard to Manson's childhood. Manson details a brutal childhood in which he was neglected, abandon, and even traded for a pitcher of beer. Manson even details the times he was raped in the youth detention center. One has to be curious if these events really did create the leader of a muderous cult.
While there is little doubt that Manson is a danger to society and guilty of heinous crimes, a disturbing public fascination persists more than 30 years later. The author, Nuel Emmons, makes the best observations in the conclusions. While we may never know the truth or the real Charles Manson, we can certainly gain some valuable insight by reading his own words.
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29 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Jennifer Lichtenfeld on July 31, 2005
Format: Paperback
Manson tells this tale from prison to former prison-mate Nuel Emmons. He begins with his childhood and explains how he was abandoned by his mother and never knew his father. He winds up in juvenile facilites at a young age and thus begins his life of incarceration. His story moves on to his release in 1967 and how he adapts to the changes in the world while he was imprisoned. It is at this time that he begins to attract young women and forms what becomes known as the "Manson Family." Finally, he concludes with his perspective of the murders that made him a household name.

What is oddly compelling is that Manson has a tendency to make a lot of sense - that is until you reread a particular paragraph and think about the inherent flaws in his logic. But at first you will think, ok, I can understand why he broke the law there.....wait a minute!! It is a fascinating look into the criminal mind and largely explains why criminals will continue to break the law and rationalize their behavior away. Ultimately, the effect he had and continues to have over others is chilling. He admits to at least some role in the murders, and through this admission shows how much control he had over the women that did his bidding. How much of this is actually directly from Manson is debatable since he has discredited Emmons since publication. However, strangely compelling, this book is a direct window into the brain of a very dangerous individual.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Jimbo on September 4, 2001
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I was somewhat reluctant to purchase this book because I didn't want to help glorify Manson in anyway. However, I found it irresistable not to know what Manson's version was of those two nights of senseless slaughter in August, 1969. I was shocked to learn that after 32 years, Manson continues to claim he didn't order the murders at all--it was "the girl's idea", he simply "went along with it". Incredible! Poor ole Charlie, apparantly, HE was the one who was brainwashed!
Manson does not disappoint! He comes across as being just as crazy as most people imagine him to be. It's really scary to hear him try to justify his actions. He takes no responsibility for anything and claims society made him what he is. He offers absolutely no remorse for the brutal murders and has no sympathy for the families of the victims.
I gave this book a 4 star rating because I do believe Manson told the truth--the truth as his sick, twisted mind believes the truth to be. This look into the mind of a monster is chilling, but almost as chilling is the fact that there are still people out there today who think he is some kind of hero and truly believe that what he and his "family" did on those two hot, summer nights in 1969 was "cool".
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