Hippie Cult Leader The Last Words of Charles Manson
By James Buddy Day
This was an interesting read. The author of this book was in touch with Manson during the last year of his life. He has personal contact with Manson via email and phone calls. So much so that even during a holiday dinner the author stopped eating to take a call from Charlie.
There is certainly some new information in this book. It is extremely well written and from a different perspective than what we normally get. This is what Charlie says, not what others say about him. And it’s different from other Manson books because it’s like he knows he’s dying so he is just going to tell everything and let it ride. Not like they could do anything else to him.
The author has also taken a lot of time to find various former Manson Family members and cultivate professional relationships with these people in order to get the real story, as he hears it. He spent time talking to people like Manson himself and other family members or friends of the family, extensively. It obviously took a lot of time to compile all of this information.
There’s a lot of behind the scenes kind of information about the trials and strategies, plea deals, paroles, politics, the family, witnesses. Day really delves into the mystery of Manson head first and comes up with a lot of excellent information that pulls a lot of things together. You even get Charlie’s perception of the Helter Skelter trial and subsequent trials on other charges.
This book also puts a new light on Linda Kasabian and her testimony. We’ve always been told her testimony was key to the Helter Skelter trial. At the same time, the book highlights mischaracterizations of various people like Bobby Beausolei and even Manson himself.
Additionally, this book covers everything from Charlie’s version of the Tate/LaBianca trial to Charlie’s prison mentality. We also hear from Charlie himself his own definitions of certain words and relationships, like “friends”. We even read about cons Charlie runs while in prison after the Tate/LaBianca verdict.
It is rare that I find a book or documentary about Charles Manson where I find out new information. So often they all contain the same old material, over and over. This is different. Like I said, it’s like the mask has come off because Charlie knows he’s dying and he wants people to know who he really thinks he is…what he thinks he is.
Truly a fantastic book full of information, amazement and even a little amusement too.