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Religion was a key element of Manson’s “Helter Skelter” theory

Religion was a key element of Manson’s “Helter Skelter” theory. Short Writing Assignment 

Length: 3-5 pages (double spaced, 12-point font)

Please use Chicago or MLA.

Due Saturday April 11th at 10 am


1. Choose one of the following three quotes and explain, analyze, and evaluate, making use of the relevant readings related to gender, race, and violence (assigned for weeks 5 through 12). What did the speaker mean? Why might the statement have been shocking? How could he/she mean it? Is there a convincing logic to the statement?

a. Lynette “Squeaky” Fromme: “Every girl ought to have a daddy like Charlie. Should, deserves to have a daddy like Charlie.”

See Squeaky interviewed in Manson (1973) at 1:02:30: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VQQyBIHfr8g

b. Leslie Van Houten: “But by no means, by no means were we ever prejudiced or disliked the black, you know. It’s not that way at all. If anything, it’s we have love for them, and we’re giving them their turn, which they deserve.”

See Leslie Van Houten Interviewed by her first lawyer, Marvin Part: https://www.cielodrive.com/updates/leslie-van-houten-interviewed-by-marvin-part/

c. Charles Manson: “But I know this: that in your hearts and your own souls, you are as much responsible for the Vietnam war as I am for killing these people.”

See Charles Manson trial testimony:


2. Commune, cult, commando, cell, cooperative, and/or circle: What was the Family, and why does it matter? This is an occasion to evaluate/complicate/deconstruct Bugliosi’s claims about the command hierarchy and Manson’s authority in the Family. Be sure to define your terms as well as analyze the way others have used these terms/related concepts in their analyses of the Manson Family. Use readings from weeks 5 – 12.

3. Religion was a key element of Manson’s “Helter Skelter” theory—at least according to Vincent Bugliosi. Evaluate/complicate/deconstruct Bugliosi’s claims on the basis of some of the relevant readings assigned during weeks 5 – 9. In other words, this is an occasion to make an argument about how religion should be/have been seen to have functioned in the Manson Family.


4. What questions and/or what revelations about the Manson case does this photo generate? Using this photograph as a starting point and making use of relevant readings assigned during weeks 5 – 12, analyze the Tate-LaBianca trial. You may choose to focus on a particular element, e.g. spectacle, theater, performance, media, politics, etc. (PHOTO ATTACHED ON BOTTOM)

5. What general assumptions about law and legality were drawn in/used to frame the Manson Family and the Manson Murders at the time of the initial trial and, in turn, how are those assumptions tested or troubled in their application to these specific crimes? Use readings from weeks 5 – 12.

I have included most of the readings from weeks 5-12 that you will need to include in the essay. There should be more than enough if you need more message me. Please site them and make great points while touching on the entire question. Thank you

Religion was a key element of Manson’s “Helter Skelter” theory

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