DIANNE BUT­LER OUT OF THE BOX

Herald Sun - Switched On - - Saturday -

SO MUCH about Charles Man­son just seems lu­di­crous now. He re­ally just wanted to be a rock star and went into a ma­jor sulk when he couldn’t get a deal. That seems to be about the sum of it.

Those kids though. They’re the re­ally in­ter­est­ing part of the story. A-stu­dents, in­volved with sport, home­com­ing queen, what­ever the hell that is, or­gan­ised ac­tiv­i­ties, all those things that are said to make you a well-ad­justed con­tribut­ing mem­ber of ‘‘ nor­mal’’ so­ci­ety. Clearly it’s all bol­locks though. These peo­ple were de­praved and Man­son just tapped into some­thing. He was very smart. A lu­natic, ob­vi­ously, but clever enough to know when he was look­ing at a room­ful of dills.

Man­son is made up of first­per­son ac­counts and court records, so some of it is fairly alarm­ing. I found Linda Kasa- bian’s retelling of the night it­self fairly aw­ful. She was the look­out in 1969 when ac­tor Sharon Tate and four oth­ers were mur­dered by Man­son Fam­ily mem­bers.

Vin­cent Bugliosi, chief pros­e­cu­tor on the case, is the other key voice here. He’s the one who talks about what was done to them, and how many times: Sharon Tate: stabbed 16 times. Jay Se­bring: seven times. Abi­gail Fogler: 28 times. Wo­j­ciech Frykowski: 51 times.

‘‘ Katie (Pa­tri­cia Kren­winkel) was com­plain­ing about her hand hurt­ing, that while she was stab­bing Abi­gail the bones were in the way and it was hard for her so it hurt her hand.’’ Linda Kasabian says this in a very flat voice, it’s quite a moment in the film.

Sharon Tate was mar­ried to film di­rec­tor Ro­man Polan­ski and preg­nant. Jay Se­bring was a cel­e­brated hair­dresser who War­ren Beatty would play in Sham­poo. They meant noth­ing to Man­son, to any of them. None of them did. He was up­set with Terry Melcher, a record pro­ducer who had moved out of the house a few months ear­lier.

Man­son wanted to kill El­iz­a­beth Tay­lor, Frank Si­na­tra, Steve McQueen, Tom Jones and Richard Bur­ton next. He’d al­ready planned it. Man­son SBS One, 9.30pm

Sulky: Charles Man­son

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