O’Neill’s Chaos

Chaos: Charles Manson, the CIA, and the Secret History of the Sixties
Tom O’Neill and Dan Piepenbring

A reporter is assigned to write an article on the Manson murders and Hollywood for a movie magazine. He somewhat reluctantly begins to dig into the story and finds that things don’t exactly add up. He gets interested, he blows the magazine deadline, he gets a book deal, and becomes obsessed. He blows that deadline as well and keeps digging. He follows threads through the drug trade in 1960s Hollywood, the MK Ultra experiences, various criminal networks, scores of shady characters and more. All in all, he spends more than twenty years investigating who exactly Manson was and why exactly the murders were committed.

But after all that, he’s never sure. Yes, he has theories, but he is too much of a principled journalist to treat them as fact if he can’t prove them. So, he writes a book about it all. About the theories he can prove, those he can’t, and about his own personal journey as a reporter getting deeper and deeper into some weird shit — biker gangs, pedophiles, the CIA.

Its an odd ride, rabbit hole after rabbit hole, but I certainly enjoyed it.

Recommended for the enthusiast.

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  1. 2020: My Year In Books | Milo and the Calf

    […] Chaos: Charles Manson, the CIA and the Secret History of the Sixties, Tom O’Neil — recommended for the […]

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