a book by Ed Sanders. Published in 1971, The Family was updated in 2002.
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Ask any one you know and probably every one you know knows some thing about Charles Manson. They may not know about Susan Atkins. She held Sharon Tate's arms behind her and told her she was going to die. Atkins now claims to be a political prisoner. Or Leslie Van Houten. 55 years old and denied parole for the fifteenth time in August 2004. Or Tex Watson. Married in prison and the father of four. He has his own website. If you don't believe me read Ed Sanders' "The Family."
Sanders became interested in the case and got a job writing a weekly article about it for The Los Angeles Free Press. Because of the circumstances surrounding the case Sanders was suspicious the The Family might have been framed. Then the State's star witness - Linda Kasabiab - took the stand and testified for eighteen days againt Manson and the girls (Atkins, Van Houten and Pitricia Krenwinkle). California had the death penalty then and no one was suprised that they all received it. The following is a quote from the Free Press article Sanders wrote after Kasabian's first day testimony:
"It was difficult to breath. Death was here. Violation was there. All the slain slain in all the holews and foxholes of every battle and slaughter - they were there. And the air was so intense, so filled with vibrations of disturbed psyches, that one became almost unconscious with the weight of it -
pitifull wails of greif
float up from the Hollywood smog
Let me have my baby
the white miters
of the souls
float above the chaos
Let me have my baby
Charlie Manson turned 70 on November 12, 2004 and according to the book, "The Family," he may earn $250,000 this year. He was gang-raped in reform school. He hung out with pop stars like Neil Young. In fact, in Jimmy McDonough's 2002 book about Young called "Shakey," Neil talks about Manson:
"We just hung out. He played some song for me, sittin' in Will Rogers' old house, on Sunset Boulevard. Dennis (Hopper) had the house there, and I visited Dennis a couple of times...Charlie was always there. I think I met him two, three times. Spent the afternoon with him, Dennis and all those girls - Linda Kasabian, Squeaky Fromme.
"The girls. They only paid attention to Charlie. Dennis and I felt like we weren't there, okay? Now that may not seem that unusual, but - it is. Beacuse Dennis and I were known. These girls couldn't see us."
Neil young wrote a song called "Revolution Blues," about Manson.
The Indigo Girls wrote one called "Squeaky Fromme."
Squeaky was one of the earliest members of The Family. She met Manson on Venice Beach on summer afternoon in 1967. On September 5, 1975, dressed in a bright red pointy cap and gown, Squeaky aimed a loaded .45 pistol at Presedent Gerald Ford and has spent the rest of her life in Federal Prison.
Sharon Tate was 26 years old and eight months pregnant the night she begged for her life. No one really knows the motive behind the Tate - La Bianca killings. I suggest you read "The Family," and decide for yourself.
5 out of 5.