Charles Manson: The Final Words (2017)

Movies & Sex

Moderators: Ice Cream Jonsey, AArdvark

User avatar
Flack
Posts: 7871
Joined: Tue Nov 18, 2008 3:02 pm
Location: Oklahoma
Contact:

Charles Manson: The Final Words (2017)

Post by Flack »

I was in elementary school the first time I saw Helter Skelter, the 1976 made-for-television movie based on the book by Manson prosecuter Vincent Bugliosi. I was as horrified as I was mesmerized by the story. Not long after that I found a copy of the paperback (light reading for the average sixth grader), which started a lifelong interest in true crime books and documentaries.

Most people know the story of the Tate-LaBianca murders; that Manson, convinced the Beatles were sending him messages through their songs to start a race war, send members of his "family" to commit some of the most heinous murders in modern history. And that based on this, sometimes referred to as the "Helter Skelter" theory, several members of the family were tried and convicted of first-degree murder, including Charles Manson who, by everyone's account, didn't kill anyone.

But... what if that wasn't what really happened?

Charles Manson: The Final Words, narrated by Rob Zombie, retraces the events of that summer and lays out a much more logical series of events. It's a bit complicated to explain, but here's the gist of it: the month prior to the Tate-LaBiance murders, Bobby Beausoleil (a member of the family) murdered a man named Gary Hinman. After Hinman's death, Beausoleil wrote "Political piggy" on the wall in blood to make it appear as if the crime had been committed by a Black Panther. On August 6th, Beausoleil was arrested for the murder of Hinman. Two days later on August 8, members of the family slaughter Sharon Tate and several others. Those involved in the crime leave words written in blood on the walls to make the crime scene look like Himman's. Then, they did it again the following night, murdering the LaBiancas, again writing on the walls in blood.

While "Helter Skelter" claims these locations were chosen at random, Manson had ties to them both. A man named Terry Melcher, whom had given one of Charles Manson's songs to the Beach Boys and promised to pay Charlie (but never did) used to live at the Tate house, and there's reason to believe Manson thought he still lived there. There was also an incident where members of the family were living in a van outside someone's home and a neighbor called the police to complain... that neighbor being the LaBiancas.

Several members of the family appear in this documentary, a few on camera and many more via telephone, but the most compelling words come from Charles Manson himself, who performed multiple phone interviews with the director. Nobody in the film feigns innocence, but all of them scoff at the whole "Helter Skelter" theory as presented in the courtroom. One important difference between that theory and the timeline laid out in this documentary is that in California, Manson commanding others to murder for him allowed him to be prosecuted for murder just as if he had committed the crime himself. Again, Manson is far from an angel. When discussing a completely different case Manson says, almost wistfully, "oh yeah, I shot that dude."

Manson sounds more lucid in these interviews than in some of his others. Maybe it's because he was getting old (he died the same year these interviews were conducted), maybe it's because they were medicating him, or maybe he got tired of playing the crazy loon every time a camera was pointed at him. Does that mean he's telling the truth? Does that mean he has ever told the truth? Does he even know what the truth is? Hard to say, on all counts.
"Jack Flack always escapes." -Davey Osborne

User avatar
Ice Cream Jonsey
Posts: 25267
Joined: Sat Apr 27, 2002 2:44 pm
Location: Colorado
Contact:

Re: Charles Manson: The Final Words (2017)

Post by Ice Cream Jonsey »

The real tragedy if Manson killed someone is that it posthumously ruins a great joke that I can't find any more by Old Man Murray's Erik Wolpaw where he insinuates that - like Charles Manson - he didn't directly murder anyone. But I can't find it now.

Come on Charlie. Don't ruin history.
the dark and gritty...Ice Cream Jonsey!

User avatar
Flack
Posts: 7871
Joined: Tue Nov 18, 2008 3:02 pm
Location: Oklahoma
Contact:

Re: Charles Manson: The Final Words (2017)

Post by Flack »

Well, it all starts with the Hinman murder. The short version is that Bobby Beausoleil bought a bunch of drugs from Gary Hinman, which he immediately turned around and sold to a biker gang. Then the gang came back, said the drugs were bad, beat up everybody and took their money back. Then Manson told Beausoleil to go back to Hinman and get THIER money back, so Beausoleil went over there and tortured Hinman for a day or two. Unfortunately, Hinman had already spent the money and had nothing else to give them. Beausoleil called Manson for backup who promptly came over with a sword, slashed Hinman's face from his mouth through his ear, and left. At this point Beausoleil felt like he had to kill Hinman, otherwise Beausoleil would turn them all in. So, he stabbed Hinman with the sword and then tried to make the murder scene look like a Black Panther had did it.

So anyway like a dipshit, about a month later Beausoleil got pulled over driving Hinman's car, with the murder weapon inside the car. Oops.

The short version of this is if you see Erik Wolpaw coming at you with a sword, shit's about to go down.
"Jack Flack always escapes." -Davey Osborne

Post Reply