27 Feb


We were hippies. Flower children. It was the peace love generation. That’s the way it began. But it wasn’t the way it ended. A communal malevolence of misfits living in California shot, stabbed and bludgeoned to death eight human beings, if for no other reason than they could:

August 09, 1969

Sharon Marie Tate-Polanski (1943-1969) and her unborn child. Wife to movie director Roman Polanski;
Steven Earl Parent (1951-1969) the caretaker’s friend;
Thomas John Kummer aka Jay Sebring (1933-1969) business owner in love with Sharon Tate;
Wojciech Frykowski aka Voytek Frykowski (1936-1969) writer, close friend of Roman Polanski, and lover of:
Abigail Folger (1943-1969) coffee heiress and friend of Sharon Tate;

August 10, 1969

Pasquelino Antonio LaBianca aka Lino LaBianca (1925-1969) supermarket owner executive married to:
Rosemary LaBianca (1929-1969) business woman

The Tate-LaBianca trial was prosecuted by Vincent Bugliosi (1934-) who, in 1974 wrote this out-of-bounds non-fiction biography of the events, with Curt Gentry (1931- ). I read this paperback when the murders were fresh. Raw. It is an accurate accounting of the Manson murders, including ‘a chilling 64-page photographic record of the victims, the killers, the evidence.’ I was never able to read or re-read this book at night. In the dark. In the shadows. Alone. I read it in the light of day and even then I wavered. We are hippies. Flower children. We are the peace love generation that went horrifically wrong.

I still have this book, now tattered and creased with age. Forever chilling. Forever haunting. It is the quintessential fright. Even after all these years.

Bantam Books 1974
paperback edition 664 pages
Non fiction crime


One Response to “HELTER SKELTER”

  1. Silvia Thomson February 27, 2014 at 8:59 p02 #

    I LIKE IT (:

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