John Vibes, The Mind Unleashed
The crimes of the Manson family resulted in one of the most famous murder trials in history, but new research has come to light that could totally change the history of the case.
Much of what was believed to be true about the Manson murders and the cult that carried them out comes from a narrative that was spun by prosecutor Vince Bugliosi, both during the trial and in his book Helter Skelter—the best selling true crime novel of all time.
Nothing about the murders made any sense. There was a strange cult of hippies that were killing celebrities for apparently no reason, and the young people carrying out the crimes seemed to be under the spell of a charismatic lunatic and failed musician named Charles Manson. Bugliosi created a narrative that Manson and his followers had no personal motive in the killings, but were attempting to instigate a race war by framing the Black Panthers for the crimes.
However, in the years since, many researchers have had trouble making sense of the story that was established by Bugliosi. Manson was certainly a racist and problematic in a variety of other ways, but there is ample evidence that the story we have come to accept about the cult and their crimes is a total fabrication.
Over 20 years ago, journalist Tom O’Neill stumbled into the Manson case while on an assignment for the entertainment magazine Premiere, which is now out of print. At first, O’Neill wasn’t very interested in the case, thinking that the public already knew the full story. But as he attempted to put together a softball article on how the murders impacted Hollywood, he quickly began finding clues that would ignite a life-long obsession. O’Neill’s new book, Chaos: Charles Manson, the CIA and the Secret History of the Sixties, co-authored by Dan Piepenbring details the decades worth of research that began with that assignment.
As O’Neill began reporting on the story and conducting interviews with police and prosecutors involved in handling the case, he found significant evidence that some kind of cover-up was taking place. Upon further investigation, he learned that Manson was far more connected in Hollywood and the entertainment industry than initially believed.
In fact, there is compelling evidence that Manson was a figure somewhat similar to Jeffrey Epstein, who was connected to high profile figures through a child trafficking operation. It is often underplayed in dramatizations about the Manson family, but many of the young hippies in the cult were actually underage girls. O’Neill’s research suggests that Manson was popular in Hollywood because he trafficked these children to various record executives, famous entertainers, and rich patrons.