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Simon and Schuster, Aug 6, 2013 - True Crime - 512 pages
22 Reviews
After more than forty years, Charles Manson continues to mystify and fascinate us. One of the most notorious criminals in American history, Manson and members of his mostly female commune killed nine people, including pregnant actress Sharon Tate. Now, drawing on new information, bestselling author Jeff Guinn tells the definitive story of how this ordinary delinquent became a murderer.

Mansonhelps us understand what obsessed him and, most terrifying of all, how he managed to persuade others to kill. Guinn interviewed Manson's sister and cousin, neither of whom has ever previously cooperated with an author. Childhood friends, cellmates, and even some members of the Manson Family have provided new information about Manson's life. Guinn has made discoveries about the night of the Tate murders, answering unresolved questions, such as why one person on the property was spared. There are even photographs of Manson's childhood and youth that have never previouslybeen seen outside private family albums.

Putting Manson in the context of his times, the turbulent end of the Sixties, Guinn shows how Manson represented the dark side of a generation. He came to Los Angeles hoping to get a recording contract, and the murders were directly related to his musical ambitions, although he cloaked them in a bizarre race-war theory. He was, in the words of one person who knew him, just like many other rock star wannabes-except that he was a killer.

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User Review  - wellreadcatlady -

I expected more from this book. While I didn't know much about the Manson Family murders and this book does a good job explaining the motive and everything that happens, there is far too much detail ... Read full review

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User Review  - bookswoman - LibraryThing

I went into this with a bit of caution. I truly loved "Helter Skelter", the Bugliosi book on Charles Manson and wasn't sure what someone else could add to the story. I'm glad I read it though, while ... Read full review


Authors Note on Names
Nancy and Kathleen
Moundsville and McMechen
Kathleen and Charlie
McMechen Again
Berkeley and the Haight
Charlie in the Summer of Love
The Bible and the Beatles
Thwarted Dreams
LaBianca and Shea
Death Valley
Charlie Is Famous
The Trial

Charlie and Dennis
The Ranches
The Wrong Man in the Right Place at
Key People Afterwards

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About the author (2013)

Jeff Guinn is an award-winning former investigative journalist and the bestselling author of numerous books, including Go Down Together: The True Untold Story of Bonnie and Clyde; The Last Gunfight: The Real Story of the Shootout at the O.K. Corral—And How It Changed the West; Manson: The Life and Times of Charles Manson; and The Road to Jonestown: Jim Jones and Peoples Temple. Guinn lives in Fort Worth, Texas.

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