Essay on Helter Skelter Book Report

3965 Words Mar 13th, 2011 16 Pages
The year was 1969, and in early August seven people were brutally murdered; words like “Pig,” “Healter Skelter” and “Rise” were found printed in blood at the crime scenes. Eventually it is discovered that the perpetrators of these horrific crimes are cult members living on the outskirts of society, led by a man named Charles Manson. But who is Charles Manson? Charles Manson is a monster, certainly, but as a monster he offers us a unique look into the human mind. This semester we have learned about the many different types of people who may engage in individual forms of interpersonal violence. Charles Manson however, provides us the case study of a man whose life revolved around interpersonal violence in all its manifestations. There was …show more content…
Another interesting aspect of the story is the fact that while this book is in a way a history book looking at the past, Bugliosi actually experienced this history and provides his own emotional reactions to what happened. For example, when Bugliosi read Manson’s file to understand who he was about to prosecute he commented, “I was surprised, in studying Manson’s record, to find no sustained history of violence,” (p. 203). While the reader might disagree with Bugliosi (it seems that instances of armed robbery, homosexual rape and wife beating could be considered a “sustained history”), these personal reactions to what is going on show the reader that Bugliosi is not merely an author or a historian, but a character in this story who experienced all the madness revolving around Charles Manson first hand. Therefore, while Helter Skelter might be considered very fact-driven it certainly has a heart, and Mr. Bugliosi does an excellent job describing not only exactly how the investigation went, but also how it felt for some of the people involved. Anyone interested in interpersonal violence, the 60s or Charles Manson will certainly have learnt a great deal after finishing this book. As I’ve said previously, the life of Charles Manson revolved around interpersonal violence. From an early age Manson was the victim of child neglect – his mother (Kathleen Maddox) would leave him with neighbors, “for an hour, then disappear for days or weeks,”

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