Crime Magazine is about true crime: organized crime, celebrity crime, serial killers, corruption, sex crimes, capital punishment, prisons, assassinations, justice issues, crime books, crime films and crime studies.
Oct. 28, 2010
In 2004, Denise Noe wrote "The Manson Myth" for Crime Magazine, an article debunking the charismatic image of Charles Manson propagated by Prosecutor Vincent Bugliosi in the best-selling true crime book of all time, Helter Skelter. Noe wrote that the real life Charles Manson was not some messianic leader gone bad, but a pathetic figure from the beginning. In 2008 she sent her article to Manson. When he responded by calling her collect, an unusual relationship began.
by Denise Noe
I first read Helter Skelter by Vincent Bugliosi and Curt Gentry when I was in high school. I was fascinated by its portrait of Charles Manson: a mesmerizing and charismatic criminal able to thoroughly dominate a band of fanatical followers. According to that book, Manson was able to convince his followers that a worldwide Armageddon between the black and white races was imminent. He believed that this race war had been prophesied in the Bible and in the Beatles’ White Album. Indeed, Manson supposedly thought the very title of the record was a reference to the coming black-white conflict. The helter-skelter theory was that blacks would kill off the white race – all except for Manson and his followers who would take refuge in a “Bottomless Pit” located in the desert.
According to the helter-skelter theory of which Manson had supposedly completely convinced his followers, Manson and his people would hide out until the race war was finished and blacks were the only ones above ground. Manson was a racist who believed that blacks would be unable to govern themselves and so would turn the reins of power over to him and the other Caucasians who would emerge from the Bottomless Pit. Thus, Charles Manson would become ruler of the world and his followers a class of aristocrats.