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Helter Skelter (W.W. Norton & Company, 1974)

Helter Skelter is a true crime book written by Vincent Bugliosi and Curt Gentry, published in 1974. Bugliosi was the lead prosecutor in the 1970 trial of Charles Manson. Helter Skelter recounts and assesses the investigations, arrests and prosecution of (namely) Charles Manson, Susan Atkins, Patricia Krenwinkel and other Manson family members over the
1969 murders of Leno and Rosemary LaBianca, actress Sharon Tate and others. Helter Skelter was taken from The Beatles song and represented (Manson believed) the impending apocalyptic race war. (Manson at the time was fascinated by the band’s White Album.)

Helter Skelter (the novel) won the 1975 Edgar Award for Best Fact Crime book and was the basis for two TV films profiling the murders in 1976 and 2004. Helter Skelter was the main influence for the 2008 horror movie The Strangers.