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Member Reviews

This was pretty well written and the organization and transitions are appropriate and provide the reader with plenty of factual information and the author's viewpoints where the facts aren't all available to him.  The author goes to great lengths to avoid adding opinions that are not supported by the facts. His goal was ultimately to prove the "official" story didn't happen as reported by the media and Bugliosi's book by exposing the false information contained in Helter Skelter and the perjury committed by multiple witnesses during the trial through thorough research and found a LOT of facts were outright wrong as portrayed in Helter Skelter. These erroneous facts are supported by factual data obtained by the author, including: Bugliosi's own handwritten notes, trial transcripts, archived documents, and so, so, so much more.
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I graduated high school in the mid-sxties, so the time period of the Manson murders was right up my alley.
The killing spree took place over two nights, when the “family” of young followers of Charles Manson murdered seven people. There didn’t seem to be any discernible motive, and the nationwide freakout that followed seemed to officially signify the the end of the sixties.

About twenty years ago, a magazine journalist named Tom O’Neill began working on a magazine story about the murders. At that time, he was worried that he wouldn’t be able to find anything new to say. But his digging resulted in an incredible series of revelations about the  “official” story, plus uncovering police carelessness, legal misconduct, and even involvement by the CIA.

One of O’Neill’s initial sources was Vincent Bugliosi, the author of Helter Skelter, which for years has been considered the definitive source for information on this story. Initially a cooperative and even friendly source for Mr. O’Neill,  a strange interview totally changed that relationship and confirmed O’Neill’s suspicions about Manson’s real friends in Hollywood, the fact that law enforcement never acted on the many chances they had to stop him, and the whole freak show that was the Manson Family.

This incredibly detailed book is the result of two decades of investigative reporting, hundreds of new interviews, and dozens of documents from the LAPD, the FBI, and the CIA. For me, it also served as a kind of history of the time period, and brought back many memories. It might be more than you wanted to know about this fascinating story, but for any true crime fan in general or Manson aficionado in particular, it’s solid gold. Four and a half stars.
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Intense and thorough research into to 60's and 70's. Since I was in college in the 60's - I found this read extremely interesting! 

Fascinating - yet this book opens up even more avenues to question. I read Helter Skelter decades ago, as did my mom and my friends. However, that book pales in comparison to Tom O'Neill's CHAOS.

A poignant story of the Manson Murders. Also includes the Manson Family, JFK assassination, Black Panthers, Jolly Wes,t Haight-Asbury, the FBI, and so much more. I enjoyed this book and read furiously.

The only question I have is: why not publish SOMETHING sooner since Tom was indeed that low on money at the time? 

This book involves an intricate look into the fascinating 60's and 70's that is truly invaluable!

MANY thanks to Little, Brown, and Company - Hachette Book Group &  NetGalley!
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