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Helter Skelter redux: The 50th anniversary of the Manson family murders hovers over 3 films

Helter Skelter redux: The 50th anniversary of the Manson family murders hovers over 3 films

Two years after the Summer of Love in 1967 came the summer of blood. That is when the followers of cult leader Charles Manson killed actress Sharon Tate, wife of director Roman Polanski, as well as her unborn baby and four other victims in her Los Angeles home. The coven-like collective would commit a total of nine murders in four locations in July and August of 1969.

The macabre deadly spree and the mad mastermind figure behind them became a cultural phenomenon, starting with the 1974 book, “Helter Skelter,” co-written by prosecutor Vincent Bugliosi and Curt Gentry. Manson took the term from a Beatles’ song. An acclaimed 1976 two-part TV film based on the book was nominated for three Emmys scored a household share of 36.5, making it the 16th highest-rated movie to air on network TV.

A half-century later, filmmakers are hoping that audiences will be drawn again to the skin-crawling horrors that Manson

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