Thursday, May 25, 2017

"Chaos", new book about the Manson murders, coming in 2019

Author Tom O’Neill interviewed Charles Manson and prosecutor Vincent Bugliosi.

A new book about the Manson murders called "Chaos: The Secret History of the 1960s" by Tom O’Neill with Dan Piepenbring is due out in 2019 from Little, Brown and Company.

Timed to the 50th anniversary of those harrowing events, "Chaos" began as a project O’Neill was working on for a magazine in 1999. But, as the publisher notes in the release, “Trying to get to the bottom of what really happened swallowed up the next 18 years of his professional life.” O’Neill interviewed not only Charles Manson himself (they spoke three times by phone), but also prosecutor and Helter Skelter author Vincent Bugliosi — plus numerous attorneys, judges, cops, journalists, and victims’ friends and family.

The evidence O’Neill found, the publisher teases, “contradicts the narrative as we know it: sketchy LSD trials on the hippies of Haight-Ashbury, a dodgy and uncooperative LAPD, and the fact that Manson was given a virtual get-out-of-jail-free card by the federal parole authorities during the period he formed his family in San Francisco.”

While we still have a while to go before the book’s 2019 release, O’Neill told EW what it was like interviewing Manson, and why he thinks we’re still so collectively fascinated by the events of August 1969.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Where did your interest in the Manson murders begin?

TOM O’NEILL: I was never interested in the case, hadn’t even read the book about the murders, Helter Skelter, by prosecutor Vincent Bugliosi. I was assigned to do a story for a magazine to commemorate an anniversary of the crimes and, upon reading Helter Skelter for the first time, and then interviewing Bugliosi extensively, discovered that he had withheld — even covered up and changed — information about the crimes that significantly altered the narrative. Then I was hooked.

What was it like to interview Charles Manson?
A game. I wasn’t allowed to speak to him in person because he was in the hole (solitary confinement), so it was pretty frustrating not being able to look him in the eye and call him out on his B.S.

Why do you think, nearly 50 years later, we’re still so fascinated by these events?
Because a group of young women and men, most of them with no criminal history, went out and killed complete strangers simply because, as Bugliosi would have you believe, they were told to.


beauders said...

Well that's a ways away, but I'll get it when it comes out, hopefully I'll still be alive ( I don't have a terminal illness, I just don't like to test fate, I had a brother who died from natural causes at age forty-four). This guy has been way hyped up, hopefully it will a great read. Maybe like Schreck but with sources.

grimtraveller said...

Earwigo again.....

katie8753 said...

Chaos is a good name for a book about this subject. Let's see if it's a good book!

LadyRam said...

I was hoping that with Bugliosi's demise more people would begin to shed light on the way he misrepresented the motive, among other things. Nicholas Schreck's book gave me much food for thought. Maybe this will elaborate?!?

LynyrdSkynyrdBand said...

Wow! LadyRam!
Talk about a blast from the past!
Good to see you!

LadyRam said...

Hi Lynyrd! Good to be back :) I am recovering from a long illness. Enjoying a blessed remission and am truly looking forward to rejoining where I left off. Thanks so much for the nice welcome from my favorite member of the welcome party!!!

sunset77 said...

Off topic comment:

Long before I ever started looking up Manson and his associates, I was looking up the Jewish holocaust in Europe during WWII.

"From the minute the Nazis entered Poland, the attack on Jewish people had begun. The Nazis arrived in Krakow on September 6, 1939, and immediately changed the lives of Jewish people, depriving them of state pensions, imposing compulsory disclosure of foreign bank deposits, and demanding people between the age of 14 to 60 embark on forced labor.

All Jewish people were also ordered to wear badges with the Star of David. What’s more, they were banned from public transport, moving freely across the city, and were later moved to the ghetto, a Jewish living quarter, in 1941 “for sanitary and public order reasons.

Roman Polanski’s family moved back to Krakow in 1936 and were living in the city when the Germans invaded Poland at the start of World War II. The Polanski family was moved into the Krakow ghetto, along with thousands of Jews. During the deportation of Jewish people to concentration camps, Roman watched as his father was taken away from the family. His mother was deported to Auschwitz and was murdered not long after her arrival.

After witnessing the murder of a Jewish woman in the ghetto, the six-year-old hid in the recess in the stairs in the nearest building he could find and did not come out for hours.[8] His movie The Pianist (2002) provides a true depiction of life inside the ghetto walls. Fortunately, Roman escaped the Krakow ghetto in 1943, adopting the name Roman Wilk, thanks to the help he received from a Polish Catholic family. Mrs. Sermak delivered on her promise to his father to provide him with shelter. He later stated: “I survived because I did not look very much like a Jew . . . I definitely looked like a lot of kids in Poland.”

Hard to believe that a 6 year old Polish Jew survived the Krakow ghetto to later have some type of an affair with the daughter of the Ourisman Chevrolet girl, (and marry Sharon Tate). For better or worse, that guys life has had to have been interesting.

katie8753 said...

Hi LadyRam!! Glad you're feeling better!

Thanks Sunset. Roman survived the Nazis only to have his beautiful wife murdered by Tex & the gang.

Dave1971 said...

Where can you buy it? Ive checked out his website and from what i can tell theres no way to purchase it and i cant find it anywhere else

beauders said...

It doesn't come out until the 50th anniversary.

SPCLI said...


Somebody wrote ANOTHER book? We really, really, do not need yet ANOTHER version of Manson and company, and the events they were involved in. It's been done 1001 times already. A new "take", or "twist", or "retelling", or "re-imagining", or whatever you want to call it,
will bring nothing of any importance to anyone, other than the fact that it's being retold, yet again. Nothing new will be offered. We have heard it all before.

The power of a thesaurus is amazing.

The author interviewed Manson. So what? So have a million other people. And this interview was by phone. I'm not that impressed. He interviewed lots of other people. So what.
And now the author thinks, and would have others believe, that this is something worth waiting for. Worth paying for. Worth wasting time for. It's none of those things, I promise you.

It's okay that the author has such a healthy interest in important events in American crime history, so much as to claim he gave 18 ridiculous years of his life for, but to behave as though something earth shattering will be presented is just making a fool of himself and those he's trying to sell to.
And that's all he is, a salesman.

Someone very close to those events once said, "It is neither amazing or interesting."

Sorry, no sale.

Have a wonderful summer!

grimtraveller said...

I agree with SPCLI in almost every detail except for Sorry, no sale because if I'm alive in 2019 I probably will buy it ! It's an interesting subject, regardless of the stance the writer takes {in most instances}.

LadyRam said...

I was hoping that with Bugliosi's demise more people would begin to shed light on the way he misrepresented the motive

You know, three people, Nicholas Shreck, George Stimson and AC Fisher Aldag had Charlie's ear for a number of years each. You could even throw Nuel Emmons in there but for now, I won't. And each of them has come out with a different motive, different tales.
That speaks more volumes than many care to admit. Bobby Beausoleil rubbishes the copycat motive. Not a single shred of evidence in 48 years has supported the drug burn and most of the people that pushed it in court subsequently rubbished it and said it was fake, including the three female killers. Mafia hit ? Black book ? Whitewash !
I suspect that deep down, Charlie is pissed that not only did he get found out, his grandiose concept didn't even get off the runway. All he netted was $72 and life in jail.
On the other hand, the motive that you say was misrepresented had more than ample back up. From so many sources, including the very Family members that were supposed to be supporting Charlie.

Nicholas Schreck's book gave me much food for thought

Same here. It amazed me that a guy who spends 900+ pages castigating Bugliosi for perpetrating a fairy tale couldn't see that his own tome was ever more so. The difference between the two is really simple. Bugliosi had multiple back up and reference and openly pointed out that his evidence was circumstantial. In other words it's what it pointed to. There were tons of witnesses, even before he was on the case, and not one of them subsequently has come out and said "I lied" or "I made up what I said."
Shreck on the other hand had nothing. His "facts" about Rostau that are central to his theory have been shown to be bogus and much of what he cobbles together are theories he wants to believe, concocted from unverifiable statements and random interviews, most of which weren't by him; he admits in the book that much of what he writes is simply his own opinion.
Not all food is nourishing even though it may be harmless and filling.

maudes harold said...


IF I remember reading correctly before, you mentioned you're battling cancer. If so, I wish you the best on your fight. I've lost many to this disease.

Godspeed and good luck.

grimtraveller said...

Hey there Maudes, thanks !

Unknown said...

This guy is crazy! The title proves it! I read Helter skelter three times. Gets better every time. Bugliosi wasn't the coverup type. Seen him on tv many times and he has no filter. Not afraid of saying the truth no matter what it was. He didn't make HS his life like this pathetic piece of trash did. He moved on and wrote 12 more books and continued his winning streak in private practice. This guy should write for the globe. Gay faggot. Him and Steven Kay from the DA's office r lovers.