Hello Friends! Below is my personal opinion/summation of a topic (Bugliosi and HS), which got pretty heavy (and interesting) in the previous thread. This is my “two cents” (on the subject) for what it’s worth… and not intended to be taken as “provable fact”. I asked Mary, if I could use one of her comments (from an older thread) as a “springboard” for this discussion, and she agreed. Thanks Mary!
>>>>"You cannot present 5 - 6 motives to a jury and expect them to follow the motives and all the evidence. You need to simplify the case"<<<<
Mary... You're right.
That's one major reason why Bugliosi presented "Helter Skelter". There are 3 reasons.
It's a tidy package, which is easy to present.
You can't stand-up to prosecute 4 defendants simultaneously (single-handedly), and say to the jury:
"Truth be told, the motive could be this... this.... or this... and likely, two of those combined. Heck, I'm not quite sure myself. I probably will never know... thanks for you time". That doesn't win a case.
The "HS package" implicated Manson... the "big tuna".
Bugliosi wanted Manson, and wasn’t going to use a motive which excluded him.
Bugliosi needed a motive which everyone involved, would corroborate.
So… while interviewing, researching, and observing everyone… he searched for a “common thread”.
The one common thread Bugliosi found, was this:
Everyone’s words AND actions, echoed “Charlie is in-charge”.
That was the only “constant”, or “common thread” he could rely on... consistently, and across the board. So… he utilized that one common thread, for all it was worth.
The HS "motive" painted Manson as the leader… in fact, completely “hinged” around that concept. The words and actions of “the family” inside (and outside) the courthouse (as Bugliosi predicted), painted “Charlie” as leader… and cemented an otherwise weak case against Manson.
Bugliosi was asked in an interview (right around the time Susan was petitioning for "compassionate release“):
"Do you still believe the motive was “Helter Skelter“?
"It seems the motives were several and disparate".
Several and disparate motives folks. That’s lawyer-talk for “No”.
There’s no doubt, Bugliosi was presented with several possible motives, just as we are.
I honestly believe, Bugliosi had no idea which motive was correct… and still has no idea today. Honestly, how could he? Realistically… it’s impossible. He’d have to be an all-knowing deity, with a crystal ball.
Bugliosi chose the one motive (he was presented with), that would implicate Manson, AND be successful through the corroboration of the defendants themselves, and the “Family” collectively.
I say “presented with”, because it’s my humble opinion, that the Helter Skelter motive, was indeed “presented” to him (along with many others), and not “concocted” by him.
That portion is just my humble opinion. Either way… “presented” or “concocted”, everything above, is why (I believe) Bugliosi used the HS motive.
Bugliosi got the right folks, for the right crime, but based on the wrong motive… or, if nothing else, a motive he couldn’t possibly have been sure of.
Bugliosi is smug. He has an inflated ego the size of Texas. He’s a strange and irritating sorta man, who uses bizarre words like “megolomaniac”. Heck, he’s downright irritating at times. Most importantly… his tactic of using a motive he couldn’t possibly have been 100% sure of (to effectively prosecute folks), was, and is, arguably un-ethical.
But, is he stupid? My opinion is no… not at all.