- Audible Audio Edition
- Listening Length: 26 hours and 33 minutes
- Program Type: Audiobook
- Version: Unabridged
- Publisher: Audible Studios
- Audible.com Release Date: September 13, 2011
- Whispersync for Voice: Ready
- Language: English
- ASIN: B005MM7F9A
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
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Helter Skelter: The True Story of the Manson Murders Audiobook – Unabridged
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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.
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.
Unfortunately, the book itself falls somewhat short of a literary masterpiece, and seems to have won most of its acclaim as a result of people's terror shortly following the case itself, and their willingness to ingest whatever was written, as soon as it was written, mirroring the media circus fiasco which the case itself spanwed.
Dwelling on the somewhat unbelievable and conspiracy-driven helter skelter theory, the book, and Bugliosi himself, posits an undeniably fantastic scenario, in which a Satanic hippie with unlimited supplies of drugs, managed to convince his various young apostles to proceed with plans to begin a race war through killing. Bugliosi of course points out that Manson was trying to kill a former Beach Boy named Terry Melcher who promised him a record deal, in an attempt to get back at a system which rejected his self proclaimed musical talent.
The gaping logical holes in the case force logical individuals to place Helter Skelter in the fantasy section at their library. As pointed out by the somewhat more enjoyable and well written work "The Manson File, Myth and Reality of an Outlaw Shaman" by Nikolas Schreck, Manson was aware Melcher was no longer at the murdered residence at the time, but had moved some distance away (he would have known this since several of his friends visited him often to use drugs together.) The idea of controlling people using LSD is ludicrous when one studies the actual effects of the substance, a fact the government itself understood after failed MK-ULTRA experiments attempting to use LSD as a mind control drug and truth serum.
The sad fact is that this entire work is nothing more than pulp fiction spawned by the anti-drug and anti-hippie bent establishment in the late 1960s and into the early 1970s. With an obsessive, almost religious fervor, Bugliosi repeatedly returns to his race war theories, without even visiting other possibilities in the case.
In fact, the entire work seems to have been written with the sole purpose of absorbing as much money as possible following the case, with a mind to sensationalize it as much as possible, so that the scope of interest would increase. It will likely appeal to people who have limited understanding of the case, and are just looking for a spooky late night insomniac's friend to help them sleep unsoundly with a heavy dose of psychopath-hippie nightmares.