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The Manson trial was a complete media storm. Photo from the Associated Press.

The Manson trial was a complete media storm. Photo from the Associated Press.

If I were forced to create a top-10 book list, I think I’d have to include Helter Skelter. Vincent Bugliosi, prosecutor in the Charles Manson case, wrote such a compelling account of the murders and trial that I read the book swiftly over the course of a few days in the summer of 1986. Never mind that I was 11. I write about Helter Skelter in my own book.

This is the edition of Helter Skelter that I have. Mine is quite worn with lots of dog-eared pages.

This is the edition of Helter Skelter that I have. Mine is quite worn with lots of dog-eared pages.

It wasn’t too long after that when I discovered Bugliosi was a Minnesota native. He was born in Hibbing, on Minnesota’s northern Iron Range. I like to think the region’s strong work ethic helped him to become such a success. In this article in the Duluth News-Tribune, he basically says he prefers being around salt-of-the-earth Minnesotans. “I tell people from Minnesota that if I had a choice, I’d live among them as opposed to where I’m living in now in L.A. It’s the weather that keeps me away.”

Here’s my blog post from last August, 45 years after the Manson murders.

A standout prosecutor, writer, and Minnesota. May he rest in peace.

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