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Hunting Charles Manson: The Quest for Justice in the Days of Helter Skelter

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3.58  ·  Rating details ·  516 ratings  ·  105 reviews
In the late summer of 1969, the nation was transfixed by a series of gruesome murders in the hills of Los Angeles. Newspapers and television programs detailed the brutal slayings of a beautiful actress--twenty six years old and eight months pregnant with her first child--as well as a hair stylist, an heiress, a businessman, and other victims. The City of Angels was plunged ...more
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published June 5th 2018 by Thomas Nelson (first published June 2018)
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Diane S ☔
Oct 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
3.5 Many years back, I spent a summer addicted to true crime. Started when I read Ann Rules book on Bundy and rnded with Helter Skelter. Haven't read too many since, until the book on the Golden State killer was picked for the monthly read in one of my groups and a buddy read in another. Addictions sometimes only hide before rearing their heads once more, because after reading that one I picked up this one.

The ultimate bogey man for the ages, not many have not at least heard of Charles Msndon sn
...more
Valerity (Val)
This is a new book about the Manson murders by Lis Wiehl and Caitlin Rother. An updated look, It does cover much of the same ground as many other books have, but I was pleased to find new material. It covers things like Manson’s children and grandchildren's lives, his death and the fight for his body and estate, and also things like ATWA and his near-marriage to Star, along with much more.

Definitely worth a read, for sure if you are curious about the whole topic, into true crime and have read m
...more
Jill Crosby
Jun 10, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I was very excited to read this book, because I thought someone was going to provide fresh insights into the psyche of Charles Manson unexplored in previous works, like those of Jeff Guinn and Vince Bugliosi.
Instead, what I got was a complete and total rehashing of everything previously written about Manson; most of the book read like a report written by a high school sophomore who isn’t polished enough yet to figure out how to include analysis or commentary. It’s mostly just a 200-page synopsis
...more
R.J.
Jul 07, 2018 rated it did not like it
For the full review and more, check out lucieninthestars.ca

I'm going to make this a quick review for a few reasons. The first is that this is obviously non-fiction and about Charles Manson. The second is that I was not fond of this book at all and, if I'm being entirely honestly here, I ended up skimming most of it. Lis Wiehl's book Hunting Charles Manson: The Search For Justice in the Days of Helter Skelter is bland and includes many things that I question.

The first red flag for me was the auth
...more
Sue Coletta
Jun 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Wow. HUNTING CHARLES MANSON is one of the best true crime novels I've ever read. The author does a fantastic job of placing the reader in 1969, with chilling details of how Manson recruited his "Family" as well as a behind-the-scenes look at life at the Stahl ranch. Before I read this book I thought I knew all about Manson and his band of misfits, but Wiehl went beyond the public's awareness, deep-diving into Manson's psychology, his so-called "relationships" and the way he was able to command f ...more
Diane Fanning
Jun 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Wow! I have to give this book the ultimate complement: I'd be proud to have my name on its cover. Stellar job.

A fresh and fascinating look at the crimes that caused a wave of panic across the nation. Updates on the Family gave new perspective and raised more questions about the individuals involved. It serves as a warning to our country today: a population filled with scared and angry people can give birth to barbaric crimes.
...more
3 no 7
Aug 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
“Nearly half a century after the murders that made him infamous, Charles Manson is still everywhere, woven into the fabric of our culture”

So much material about Charles Mansion has been produced over the past fifty years that the public suffers from information overload. People think they have read, heard, seen everything there is to know about the cult leader and murderer.

“Hunting Charles Manson” by Caitlin Rother and Lis Wiehl is different, very different. Much in pop culture, tabloid and conv
...more
Sydney
Jul 09, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A fascinating true crime book about the notorious Charles Manson and the Manson Family! This described the whole investigation and how Manson would manipulate young vulnerable women and men into following him and committing heinous acts. Find out where the investigation went wrong, from not collecting evidence to miscommunication between departments to waiting three DAYS to serve a warrant, thus letting all of the Manson family escape! Additionally, I was fascinated to learn about the effects of ...more
Vonda
Jan 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: net-galley
Since reading Helter Skelter at 13 I have read everything I could get my hands on about Manson and his family. This book has gone into so much detail and exposed facts I have never known before. Fast flowing and well written. Clear and concise this book clearly answers was Manson guilty of murder?
Stephanie Borders
Aug 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
I've read at least five other books about Charles Manson, his family, and the Tate/LaBianca murders, so I'm pretty well versed in the family and their crimes. I was hesitant to read this only because how much more could there be for me to learn about the crimes at this point? I was pleasantly surprised that this contained plenty of information I had either forgotten or never knew in the first place.

I've seen this book referred to as a "regurgitation of Helter Skelter" and I completely disagree,
...more
Amanda
May 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
Even though I have watched every documentary and read what seems like every book on this case I enjoyed this book a lot. It was very thorough and I even learned some new things! I love it when the author researches so much that you learn more. Thank you to netgalley for allowing me to review this book.
Lee Husemann
Jun 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I wasn't sure what I was going to be getting into when I decided to read yet another Charles Manson book. Since I am old enough to remember when the Tate-LaBianca murders were actually committed and having read a good majority of anything written concerning Charles Manson over the past 49 years, I was very pleasantly surprised. This book contains a lot of information that I did not know previously about the case beginning with my previous knowledge of the Spahn ranch. There was also a lot of new ...more
Jennifer
Feb 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
It's been ages since I read Bugliosi's Helter Skelter, so it's difficult for me to compare this account to that one. Wiehl and Rother mention that they wanted to look at the Manson Family's crimes from the ground up and gain a new perspective on the events of 1969. It's unfortunate that they weren't able to access as many court records as they'd hoped, but it's still a thorough account. The most notable divergence is the discussion of motivation for the crimes; Wiehl and Rother take the stance t ...more
Loriann
Jun 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a master manipulator...to. the. end.

This is the first book I have ever read about Charles Manson and his "Family," and I was blown away by how he and the rest of his people got away with so much before they were finally caught.

Definitely worth the time to read this intriguing biography. It even included up-to-date details that some of his "Family" admitted to before being released from prison.
...more
Adam Ross
Jul 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
1969 - What a time! Throw in the Manson Family and it gets even wilder, creepier and shocking. I didn't grow up in this time period (in fact, I wasn't even alive) so all the knowledge of the Manson Family has been passed down to me either through relatives or documentaries and interview I have seen. This book really opened my eyes to what went on and even kept me awake at night jumping at the slightest sound.

Authors Lis Wiehl and Caitlin Rother deliver an exceptional and factual accounting of wh
...more
Caffeinated Fae
Jun 06, 2018 marked it as did-not-finish
I am 16% through this book and I am going to have to dnf (did not finish) it. I had very high hopes for this book. When I read the description I knew I needed to read it. Charles Manson has always fascinated me. I've always had a morbid obsession with true crime so I was ecstatic when I was approved for this book. Unfortunately this book just wasn't for me. I found the timeline in the book to be weird and a little hard to follow. I've only read Helter Skelter so maybe I needed to have more of a ...more
Freya Gordon
Jul 03, 2019 rated it it was ok
This is very much a basic book on the Manson case - perhaps a good introduction or a good overall book for those who want to know about the case but aren't overally interested? It's clear and simple and retells the story in a very easy to understand kind of way. Probably the book for those who need information on Manson for a school report but want to skip the theories, dramas and more gruesome details.

However - if you've ever read another book on Manson this is a fairly pointless read. There's
...more
Jessica
You’ve likely heard the name Charles Manson, but are you familiar with why he’s so notorious? Lis Wiehl has put together a compilation of archival research and personal interviews, including a glimpse into the Manson Family parole hearings, to provide a factual account of Manson’s crimes.

In the late summer of 1969 the Los Angeles area was put into a state of terror after a series of gruesome murders. Newspapers and television programs couldn’t stop covering the stories of these victims. Law enfo
...more
Krystal
Jun 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
I have been fascinated by the Manson family since in first read Helter Skelter over fifteen years ago. It is a classic study in how if just one thing had gone differently, the entire thing could have been blown open long before it did. It is also nothing short of incredible how this one man was able to warp the minds of so many young people to the point they would murder for him.

When it comes to this version of events, I found the timeline to be laid out in a way that may be a bit confusing to
...more
Bella
When I saw this book on NetGalley, I was so stoked because I'm a huge true crime buff and I figured it would shed some new light into the Charles Manson and the family case, but it was all the same information that has been put out in numerous other books and interviews.

One of the things that tuned me off was the author and her author's note about how she was part of the "Christian Tradition" when it comes to the justice, that right there is a biased view and really it wasn't necessary to put y
...more
Linda Munro
Jan 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Unlike the book Helter Skelter, this book gave a great deal of background on the major players in the Mason Family. This includes information from interviews with Family members, Parole Hearings and Police screw-ups from the original investigation into the Tate-Lobianca murders. It also delves into murders that occurred during the Family’s time at Spahn Ranch.

This is a comprehensive telling of the story of the Manson Family; but it has done nothing to alleviate the feeling I hold that Charlie M
...more
Lori
Jun 25, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As Helter Skelter was the first true crime book I ever read, and one that will permanently sit on my list of best true crime books, I have a lifelong interest (sounds better than fascination) in the so-called Manson murders. No book can truly be held up to Helter Skelter, nor should it.

Hunting Charles Manson is a notable and strong entry of the books on the infamous summer of 1969. It doesn't cover as much ground as Helter Skelter, which gives us a lot of information on the criminal trial, but
...more
Crystal Zavala
Hunting Charles Manson was well-written, but as an avid true crime reader, I did not learn anything new about the Manson Family. The intro gave the impression that I would learn more about why it took so long for Charles Manson and his family to be caught, but I did not learn of any "ah-ha" moments or details about the investigation that I didn't already know. At the end of the book, I did learn a bit about Charles Manson's son and grandson, Jason Freeman.

This book is probably best for someone n
...more
Dave
Aug 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
I was just a year old, when The Manson Murders took place.
Growing up, I was well aware of Charles Manson and his family.
I was 7 when Squeaky pointed a gun at President Ford...
I'd never read a book on the murders, before picking this one up.
I did learn things I didn't know before.
It is a disturbing book.
...more
Sarahbscc
May 06, 2019 rated it did not like it
I LOVE true crime novels and I’ve read several about Charles Manson. Unfortunately, this book did not grab my attention. It was very choppy, frantic and the storyline seemed to be a little disconnected. It jumped around a lot and gave so many details, with not a lot of background, that it was hard to follow.
I realized, as I got further into the novel, that there wasn’t really any new discoveries or insights, that I hadn’t been aware of. Other novels have done a better job of relaying the details
...more
Christina
Hunting Charles Manson, while a decently written book, pretty much provides the same information as Helter Skelter. It’s like a friendly, shorter version of the same story. Hunting Charles Manson discusses the events of murders before and after, extending to the parole of the jailed members, Manson’s legacy, and his death. The only alternative theory that is brought to the table comes from Manson’s friends who believe that the Tate murders happened because of a drug deal gone wrong with Tex Wats ...more
Robin
Sep 21, 2018 rated it it was ok
Another book about the Manson murders. Clearly this topic is still fascinating. People watch documentaries and buy books written about this cult and how this group, mostly made up of teenagers, found themselves killing people because one man told them to. How does one person enthrall so many people and convince them to steal, recruit others, and eventually kill?
I was hoping that this book would give me different information or a new insight. However, this book rehashed most of the information t
...more
Alyssa Marie
Aug 05, 2020 rated it liked it
I’ve been craving nonfiction lately, and I’m so glad I got the chance to read Hunting Charles Manson! It was interesting and enlightening, and I learned quite a few things about the case that I hadn’t before.

Many people know about the famous Tate murders - a group of Manson’s followers murdered a young and 8-months-pregnant Sharon Tate, an actress and wife of director Roman Polanski - but there were other crimes and murders too. They were violent and gruesome, hard to imagine that anyone could i
...more
Louis
Oct 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
Very recent (2018) re-examination of the Manson case. The authors used many source materials. What is surprising is how reluctant the LAPD and the LASD are to turn over their documents, sometimes citing open murder cases that may be related to the Family. In addition, some court transcripts were incomplete, interesting considering that I just watched "The trial of the Chicago 7" on Netflix and saw how that kangaroo court operated.

There is no doubt that the justice system let Manson violate paro
...more
Julie Graves
Jun 23, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2018-reads

One thing for sure is the fact that Charles Manson, even when he is dead, has fascinated people for years. Where Helter Skelter focused on the crimes of Charles Manson and his Family, HUNTING CHARLES MANSON focused on the investigation and background of Charles Manson. It amazes me how much bungling happened and law enforcement was still able to finally make arrests. Not sharing information with other agencies, ignoring parole violations, walking through blood at the crime scene, handling eviden
...more
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Lis Wiehl is a New York Times bestselling author of both fiction and nonfiction books, a journalist, an attorney, and a legal expert. She is the former legal analyst for Fox News, former co-host of WOR radio's “WOR Tonight with Joe Concha and Lis Wiehl,” and was an anchor for the Law & Crime network (a multi-media live trial network). Lis Wiehl hosted the podcast Pursuit of Justice with Lis Wiehl ...more

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