Manson in His Own Words

Nuel Emmons, Author, Charles Manson, Author Grove/Atlantic $16.95 (232p) ISBN 978-0-394-55558-4
Convicted killer Charles Manson blames media hype and disgruntled disciples for the widespread belief that he is a satanic pied piper whose minions were driven by his bizarre racist theories and LSD to commit mass murder. Self-pity, hate, evasiveness, self-analysis and anger are intertwined in this as-told-to autobiography. Manson relates the beatings and abuse he suffered as a youth in and out of prisons and foster homes. He describes his highs, on and off drugs, recounts orgies that he and fellow cult members had and reenacts the Tate-LaBianca murders of 1969 and their legal aftermaths. Emmons, who himself served two prison terms (in 195657 and 196064), met Manson in jail. Assembled from letters and taped interviews conducted since 1979, this portrait adds little to the record while exploiting the case's sensationalism. It also leaves unanswered many questions, one of which is: What portion of these highly articulate transcripts are Manson's own words, and to what extent were they edited or polished? Photos not seen by PW. (January 26)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1987
Release date: 01/01/1987
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