Ciao, amici. As promised, I’m continuing with the changes to my posting schedule. I’ve chosen “Mondays are Murder” to discuss mystery/suspense/thriller topics. Could be real life stories, possibly a movie or show I watched, maybe a book or series I’ve read.
Why this topic, you ask? My publisher’s schedule is fixed through the end of 2020, and while early in the year I’ll have a bunch of sci-fi titles, I’ll also be rolling out my thriller pen name and new work in that genre. (More on that in the future.)
So, I thought I’d start talking about these topics now. If these are the kinds of stories that interest you, I’ll have some releases next year you might be interested in. Until then, let’s devote a day a week to it. (Or less; this is an ambitious schedule.)
August 9 (just a few days ago) was the 50th anniversary of the murder of Sharon Tate, her unborn baby, and her houseguests.
The prosecution posited the argument that Charles Manson was angry with Terry Melcher, a music producer who rejected him, and so he sent his acolytes (called the Family) to kill Terry and anyone who was with him.
Terry’s mother was Doris Day. She’d had a premonition that something horrible was going to happen at the house and begged him to leave, so he indulged her. The house, unbeknownst to Manson and the Family, had been rented by Roman Polanski for his pregnant wife. While the famous director was finishing a picture in Europe, his eight-and-a-half months pregnant wife was entertaining guests.
None would live to see the morning.
Two more people (wealthy grocers the LaBiancas) were killed the following day. The prosecuting attorney said they were killed because they had previously called the police on Manson for excessive noise.
The “Helter Skelter” theory suggests Manson heard the track on The Beatle’s White Album and thought it spoke of a pending race war. After the Family committed these unspeakable acts, they were told to leave messages in the victims’ blood to incite the revolution. Among other things, “Pig” and “Healter [sic] Skelter” were smeared on a door and a wall, and one victim had the word “war” carved into his torso.
Manson maintained his innocence until his death in November 2017. Even during his incarceration, he managed to gain followers and convince people of his innocence. To this day, he has followers who maintain the government manufactured the Helter Skelter theory to frame Manson, and he was not guilty of the crimes.
This is the briefest of overviews. More details can be found online, on television, and in books. (I highly recommend Charles Manson: The Final Words on the Reelz network for a concise overview.)
This story leaves me with so many questions. The two most prevalent:
- How can a man be so manipulative?
- And so sadistic?
And finally, what might have happened if Manson had landed that recording contract? It might make an interesting alternative history fiction piece.
Were you alive in the summer of 1969? Do you remember this? Do you, like me, continue to watch the specials and read the articles searching to make sense of things? Let’s talk about it below.