Nicola's Reviews > Helter Skelter: The True Story of the Manson Murders

Helter Skelter by Vincent Bugliosi
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's review
Aug 23, 2009

really liked it
bookshelves: crime, recommended, non-fiction

'Enjoyed' is clearly the wrong way to categorize my response to Helter Skelter, but I can say that I was utterly consumed by it. For the five days I was reading the book, I just wanted to blow off the rest of my life, so that I could obsessively keep reading. There's a reason Helter is considered the 'best' true crime book; it makes for incredibly powerful reading.

Helter starts off in typical true crime style, with rather unpleasantly-graphic descriptions of the crime scenes where the Tate and LaBianca murders took place in 1969. The book really becomes fascinating, however, when the POV switches to that of DA prosecutor, Vince Bugliosi. The rest of the book is an intricate look at criminal justice, as Bugliosi struggles to piece together evidence to form a narrative that will convince a jury that Charles Manson and his 'girls' were guilty of the murders. Since the motive is ostensibly so absurd and the evidence so poorly collated by the police, it's a truly nerve-racking journey through the eight-month-long trial.

Recommended, even if you're not usually a true crime fan.
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