Tuesday, September 8, 2020

New Connections in the Manson Murders 50 Years Later

In the book that came out in June 2019, Chaos: Charles Manson, the CIA, and the Secret History of the Sixties By Tom O'Neill and Dan Piepenbring you learn many new things about the Manson murders. Vincent Bugliosi, when confronted in a in-person interview with the author about new questions he dug up didn't have any answers or said "it must have got passed me".

I can't write about this book any better than is written on the inside book cover:

Over two grim nights in Los Angeles, the young
followers of Charles Manson murdered seven
people, including the actress Sharon Tate, then
eight months pregnant. With no mercy and seem-
ingly no motive, the Manson Family followed their
leader's every order-- their crimes lit a flame of
paranoia across the nation, spelling the end of the
sixties. Manson became one of histories most infa-
mous criminals, his name forever attached to an era
when charlatans mixed with prodigies, free love
was as possible as brainwashing, and utopia-or
dystopia-was just an acid trip away.
Twenty years ago, when journalist Tom O'Neill
was reporting a magazine piece about the mur-
ders, he worried there was nothing new to say.
Then he unearthed shocking evidence of a cover-up
behind the "official" story, including police careless-
ness, legal misconduct, and potential surveillance
by intelligence agents. Every discovery brought
more questions:

• Who were Manson's real friends in Hollywood,
and how far would they go to hide their ties?
Why didn't law enforcement agents, including
Manson's own parole officer, act on their many
chances to stop him?
• And how did Manson-an illiterate ex-con-turn a
group of peaceful hippies into remorseless killers?
The product of two decades of reporting,
hundreds of new interviews, and dozens of never-
before-seen documents from the LAPD, the FBI,
and the CIA, Chaos mounts an argument that
could be, according to Los Angeles deputy district
attorney Stephen Kay, strong enough to over-
turn the verdicts on the Manson murders. This is a
book that will forever alter our understanding of a
pivotal time in American history.


Helter Skelter by Vince Bugliosi has been the most popular true-crime book ever. But O'Neill found big holes in the book. Big contradictions, omissions, discrepancies in police reports. O'Neill has found troves of documents, never before reported and a 60 page bibliography to prove it. In it's over four hundred pages he goes very very deep and provides massive examples and angles on this story. Nobody will ever read Helter Skelter again. I listened to the audio book that ran 16 hours. Audible narrator Kevin Stillwell did an amazing job. The book is a commitment to a long read but it will blow your mind.

- JP Myers

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