Dancing with Sharon Tate on Vincent Bugliosi’s Grave

By Nicky Reid aka Comrade Hermit

Exile in Happy Valley

“Where there is official censorship, it is a sign that speech is serious. Where there is none, it is pretty certain that the official spokesmen have all the loud-speakers.”

-Paul Goodman

America is a nation that loves its folklore and God help me, I do to. Who doesn’t love a good bedtime story? The Good War that saved the free world from fascism, the benevolent reign of the Kennedy Dynasty over the grassy knolls of Camelot, the Space Race that put American democracy on the moon… These tales are all as much a part of the fabric of my childhood as Paul Bunyan, Jesus Christ and the Easter Bunny.

The tricky thing about folklore though is that just because it’s fun to believe doesn’t mean that it represents reality and American folklore is no exception to this rule. After all, America only entered the Good War after communism had already kicked fascism’s skinny white ass and the Kennedy’s were just a bunch of drunken rapists who hired the leftover Nazis to put us on the moon just to stick it to the Soviets while we lost in Vietnam.

This August marks the 54th anniversary of one of my personal favorite American folk tales. One that has amazingly stood the test of time relatively unmolested by the ravages of reality. I speak of the legend of Helter Skelter, a horror story about a brutal spree of frenzied bloodbaths that claimed the lives of no less than seven innocent people including a beautiful blonde starlet named Sharon Tate and her four glamorous house guests in the Hollywood Hills.

This story also gave America the sadistic gift of our most cherished supervillain, the hippie Rasputin, Charles Manson, who controlled the minds of a zombie army of quarterbacks and prom queens to do his evil bidding. The most incredible thing about this legend is that nearly every detail that we think we know about it comes from a single source; Vincent Bugliosi, the valiant prosecutor who used Helter Skelter to jail Charlie and his Family and turned the case into the highest selling work of “true crime” literature ever published.

The basic story goes that Charlie Manson used LSD to brainwash a bunch of all-American teeny-boppers into slaughtering several B-list celebrities and a middle-class suburban couple in order to spark a race war foretold in the lyrics of a Beatles’ album. The Blacks would win but once it became clear that they couldn’t handle the reins of power, they would gladly hand them over to Charlie and his Family who would rise from their hole in the desert to take their place as the rightful rulers of a post-apocalyptic utopia. This is the “official story”, and most Americans still buy it even though the man who wrote it doesn’t.

Vincent Bugliosi admitted within a couple years of prosecuting the Manson Family that he didn’t buy a single word he used to sentence them all to death. Over the years, while continuing to collect royalty checks for Helter Skelter, Bug has sported another popular version of the events that made him famous, claiming that Charlie Manson’s real goal was to get revenge on record producer Terry Melcher and the music industry who screwed him out of a record contract by murdering a bunch of random people living in Melcher’s former mansion on Cielo Drive. However, thanks largely to the hard work of Tim O’Neill’s myth busting Manson tell-all CHAOS we now know for a fact that not only is this version bullshit too, but Bugliosi knew it and helped construct it anyway just like he did Helter Skelter.

There are numerous documented accounts of Terry Melcher and his celebrity friends like Beach Boy Dennis Wilson communing with Manson and his underage harem well after the mass slaughter that was supposed to have driven fear into their hearts and Bugliosi covered it all up, instructing Melcher and others to commit perjury under oath in the process. When O’Neill’s findings became known, the venerable prosecutor turned true crime celebrity hounded the dogged sleuth with threats of million-dollar lawsuits and pederast slander that only ended when that crook finally dropped dead. But why? Why all these years of lies? And why does most of this nation continue to insist on believing them?


Leave a Reply