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135 of 144 found the following review helpful:
Fast, Full, and ScaryMar 25, 2001
By Amazon Customer
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.
85 of 92 found the following review helpful:
This review is for the KINDLE editionAug 09, 2009
By Ru Theday
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.
91 of 101 found the following review helpful:
====A TRULY STARTLING, AMAZING, WELL-WRITTEN MASTERPIECE====Aug 28, 1999
By J.C. Hoyt
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.
All I can do to recommend this book enough to you is to say that it stayed with me and disturbed me for years to come. Every time I read this novel, I become obsessed with the events, haunted when I'm lounging around "in the dead of night". Trust me, reading this book is like surviving the events yourself. With its graphic detail and play by play analyzation of every possible occurence, "Helter Skelter" is one of the best true crime novels ever written. I can't suggest a better title for you to read. Be warned, however: Only immerse yourself in this world if you have a desire to be constantly frightened and possess a strong tolerance for graphic descriptions of violence. Not a book for the kiddies!
Reviewed by J.C. Hoyt
Only the absolute BEST pieces of art recieve the highest rating on the universal scale of stars. Hint, hint.
THE CLASSIC OF CRIME INVESTIGATIONApr 05, 2007
By R. McRae
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.
48 of 56 found the following review helpful:
Murder Mystery SolvedMay 31, 2007
By Edwin C. Pauzer
One night in 1969 in Los Angeles, California, there were several murders at the home of movie producer Roman Polanski who was away on a trip. One of the victims was Sharon Tate, a beautiful but talentless actress who was eight months pregnant. A short drive away there were two more murders of Rosemary and Leno LaBianca. On their refrigerator, inscribed in their blood were the misspelled words, "Healter [sic] Skelter."
Fear gripped the city while the LAPD began the manhunt for the killers. With the arrest of Charles Manson, it is up to a prosecutor named Vincent Bugliosi to prosecute one of the most difficult charges of all--conspiracy to commit murder.
That is what this story is about--murder, the bungling, the luck, the disappearances and murder of lawyers, the trial and the prosecution that had to bend and adjust to ensure killers did not walk free.
While this book is several years old, it is still thrilling in how it can inspire fear because it was real, and because truth is stranger than fiction.
The final irony is that a number of these murderers who freely admitted to, and evenly gleefully revealed their lack of mercy during their unspeakable crimes, now blame Charles Manson for what they had done.
If you can find someone else to take the responsibility, then you can avoid seeing yourself for what you are-- murderers.
Gripping, taut, all too real.
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