The Books: “Helter Skelter: The True Story of the Manson Murders” (Vincent Bugliosi)

Next book in my Daily Book Excerpt:

4187PQX4SKL.jpgThe following book is in my true crime section :

Helter Skelter: The True Story of the Manson Murders, by Vincent Bugliosi.

Here’s the opening of this classic true-crime book. I’ve read it four times now and counting …

EXCERPT FROM Helter Skelter: The True Story of the Manson Murders, by Vincent Bugliosi.

Saturday, August 9, 1969

It was so quiet, one of the killers would later say, you could almost hear the sound of ice rattling in cocktail shakers in the homes way down the canyon.

The canyons above Hollywood and Beverly Hills play tricks with sounds. A noise clearly audible a mile away may be indistinguishable at a few hundred feet.

It was hot that night, but not as hot as the night before, when the temperature hadn’t dropped below 92 degrees. The three-day heat wave had begun to break a couple of hours before, about 10 p.m. on Friday — to the psychological as well as the physical relief of those Angelenos who recalled that on such a night, just four years ago, Watts had exploded in violence. Though the coastal fog was now rolling in from the Pacific Ocean, Los Angeles itself remained hot and muggy, sweltering in its own emissions, but here, high above most of the city, and unusually even above the smog, it was at least 10 degrees cooler. Still, it remained warm enough so that many residents of the area slept with their windows open, in hopes of catching a vagrant breeze.

All things considered, it’s surprising that more people didn’t hear something.

But then it was late, just after midnight, and 10050 Cielo Drive was secluded.

Being secluded, it was also vulnerable.

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3 Responses to The Books: “Helter Skelter: The True Story of the Manson Murders” (Vincent Bugliosi)

  1. Candace says:

    I can’t believe you’ve read it four times. Once was enough for me. That was one creepy book – I remember that I was in junior year of high school (in the States at the time) and stayed up WAAAAY late reading, I had to finish it, to know they went to jail, to KNOW they were punished (I think it took two nights, total, which with school and social life meant EARLY hours and little sleep, but… it had to be done).

    Manson’s eyes creep me out to this day.

  2. Emily says:

    I must have read this book 100 times when I was in high school. One summer, a friend of mine and I took a driving tour up to her mom’s place in Cottonwood, CA. I know you’ve never heard of it. This place isn’t in the middle of nowhere, it’s about 10 miles outside of the middle of nowhere. Have you ever been driving down a long stretch of desert highway and seen some random trailer up a long, empty road with nothing around for miles and wondered who in the world lived in the thing? That’s what her mom’s place was like. I had been reading Helter Skelter, and couldn’t sleep the whole night, gettig the heebies thinking that some random cult that lived in the nearby mountains were going to emerge from their commune and liberate us from the suffering of life because us little “things” were on the way to their next dumpster diving excursion.

  3. red says:

    damn, girl.

    Yeah, the stories of how they lived out at Spahn Ranch just CREEP ME OUT.

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