In my opinion, this is as close to “inside the mind of Manson” as you’re gonna get. This book is written by Nuel Emmons. It was basically dictated to him over time spent with Manson at the prison. The things told in this book go way beyond the Tate-LaBianca murders. It even goes beyond the murders of Gary Hinman and Shorty Shea.
There was a lot of information in this book. Do keep in mind that this is all coming from Manson himself. So, take it with a grain of salt. I say that NOT because he was a convicted criminal OR because he was in prison. To me, the decisions that land a person in prison or jail (two different things people, I promise you) do NOT always define them as human beings. Everybody makes mistakes, everybody makes bad choices. Some worse than others. And none of us wants to be judged solely on a bad decision we made thirty or more years ago (if you are old enough to have thirty plus years of past and screw ups, that is). Personally, if I were judged solely on any one bad decision I made in my younger years…I’d be screwed. So, ya know, stuff happens.
However, it is well known that Manson had a tendency to over exaggerate, bolster, embellish or flat out lie about things he either was or was not involved in, things he did or said, didn’t or do or say, that he put on a “crazy” act to intimidate or scare…or fascinate. The truth is, Manson probably didn’t think much of himself as a man or even a human being.
We learn so much in this book about his thought processes and get some real insight to this little man’s methodology. We learn about how he pinpointed the lost and lonely because he himself was lost and lonely. He searched for belonging and friendship only to find that he didn’t belong anywhere. So, he created a world for himself where he WOULD belong…and be important.
I decided that because there was so much information in this book that I would do the review and then write a separate article about the actual detail of the content of the book.
This was an interesting and fairly fast read. There are many times you can catch the contradictions and hypocrisy of Manson if you pay attention. He was very chameleon-like in the way he would change little parts of his persona to fit the circumstances he was in or trying to achieve. There aren’t a whole lot of parts that will give you chills or make you want to vomit or anything but, there are definitely many claims made by Manson that might shock you or make you feel uneasy. I do think that anyone who has done a lot of research on Manson, as I have, will actually be a little annoyed at his repeated claims of being a victim and the refusal to take responsibility for almost anything. If you EVER wanted to know what Manson was like when the cameras weren’t on and his name wasn’t on the front page of every newspaper, then read this.