Charles Manson claimed to be Jesus Christ, and to his "family" this was the ultimate truth. Helter Skelter is the story of this family's rampage as told by prosecuting attorney Vincent Bugliosi. The book chronicles seven murders that were committed in the summer of 1969, as well as the following investigation and trial. The story is known for being "extremely faithful to the facts in the case.a case which is notorious for being one of the most horrific in criminal history." Sadly this was no understatement.
The opening scene of the book takes place at the infamous 10050 Cielo Drive, home to director Roman Polanski, and his wife, soon to be mother, actress Sharon Tate. Mrs. Chapman the couple's maid enters the Hollywood hills house to find a massacre. On the grounds there are the remains of five victims. This was far from the typical murder scene. Victims were beaten, shot, stabbed, and carved. Between the gore of the killings, and the notoriety of the victims media quickly latched on to the story. .
Bugliosi very well presents the crime scene, without becoming gratuitous, he offers many deep details as to the violence that has occurred. As prosecutor he knows the case inside and out better then probably any other person can. He proceeds to lie out the on coming investigation into not only this murder, but also the LaBianca, which were eventually traced back to the Manson family. This was a very difficult process as there was no known motive, and surprisingly little to link the two crimes to Manson. However, there were several errors along the way. Due to rivalry between different police stations handling the two cases, evidence was often withheld, leads were not shared, and interviews were kept quiet. All this made the jobs of those involved infinitely more difficult. However, as with any group crime, people would come out and speak as to what happened those nights. .
It was the testimony of his own followers that ended up putting Charles Manson, Susan Atkins, Charles "Tex" Watson, Leslie Van Houten, and Patricia Krenwinkel in jail for the rest of their lives.