Forty years ago, a group of young people led by a charismatic, 5-foot-2-inch ex-con named Charles Manson set out on a murderous spree in Los Angeles, California. They planned to spark an apocalyptic race war that Manson called "Helter Skelter," after a song by the Beatles.
Over two nights in August 1969, the killers took the lives of seven people, inflicting 169 stab wounds and seven .22-caliber gunshot wounds. They used the blood of their victims to scrawl anti-establishment messages on the walls: "Pig," "Death to Pigs," "Rise" and a misspelled "Healter Skelter."
"The murders were probably the most bizarre and far-out in the recorded annals of American time," said Vincent Bugliosi, who prosecuted Manson and members of his "Family" and later wrote the best-selling book "Helter Skelter." "People are fascinated by the strange and the bizarre." Read full article »