50th Anniversary: Manson Family Murders | Daniel Boone Regional Library

50th Anniversary: Manson Family Murders

This is a continuation of my 50th anniversary posts focusing on important events that happened in 1969.

The Manson Family murders, also known as the Tate Murders, occurred on August 8-9, 1969 in Los Angeles, California. At 10050 Cielo Drive Roman Polanski lived with his wife, actress Sharon Tate. On the day of the murders, Tate, who was eight and a half months pregnant, was there along with three friends, and an 18-year-old visitor. Manson told four of his followers, Tex Watson, Susan Atkins, Linda Kasabian and Patricia Krenwinkel to go to the house and “totally destroy everyone in [it], as gruesome as you can.” To find out the whole story check out one of the items below from the library or check out this list for more suggestions about the Manson Family murders.


Member of the Family: My Story of Charles Manson, Life Inside His Cult, and the Darkness That Ended the Sixties” by Dianne Lake and Deborah Herman
At age fourteen Dianne Lake — with little more than a note in her pocket from her hippie parents granting her permission to leave them — became one of “Charlie’s girls,” a devoted acolyte of cult leader Charles Manson. Over the course of two years, the impressionable teenager endured manipulation, psychological control and physical abuse as harsh realities and looming darkness of Charles Manson’s true nature revealed itself. From Spahn ranch and group acid trips, to the Beatles’ White Album and Manson’s dangerous messiah-complex, Lake tells the riveting story of the group’s descent into madness as she lived it. Though she never participated in any of the group’s gruesome crimes and was purposely insulated from them, Lake was arrested with the rest of the Manson Family, and eventually learned enough to join the prosecution’s case against them.

Manson: The Life and Times of Charles Manson” by Jeff Guinn
More than forty years ago Charles Manson and his mostly female commune killed nine people, among them the pregnant actress Sharon Tate. It was the culmination of a criminal career that author Jeff Guinn traces back to Manson’s childhood. Guinn interviewed Manson’s sister and cousin, neither of whom had ever previously cooperated with an author. Childhood friends, cellmates and even some members of the Manson Family have provided new information about Manson’s life. Guinn has made discoveries about the night of the Tate murders, answering unresolved questions, such as why one person on the property where the murders occurred was spared.

Restless Souls: The Sharon Tate Family’s Account of Stardom, the Manson Murders, and a Crusade for Justice” by Alisa Statman with Brie Tate
The true, bone-chilling chronicle of the Manson Family murders and its aftermath, from the point of view of the victims’ families. When actress Sharon Tate and four others were brutally murdered by Charles Manson and his followers, the world was shocked. More than 40 years later, the gruesome barbarity of the “Manson Family” still fascinates and horrifies. This true crime memoir by Alisa Statman, a 20-year Tate family friend, and Brie Tate, the daughter of Sharon Tate’s niece, includes interviews with the Tate family, accounts from personal letters, tape recordings, home movies and private diaries.


Helter Skelter” (1976)
This film is based on the book “Helter Skelter: The True Story of the Manson Murders” by Vincent Bugliosi. Prosecuting Attorney in the Manson trial, Bugliosi held a unique insider’s position in one of the most baffling and horrifying cases of the twentieth century: the cold-blooded Tate-LaBianca murders carried out by Charles Manson and four of his followers. What motivated Manson in his seemingly mindless selection of victims, and what was his hold over the young women who obeyed his orders?

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