DIANNE BUTLER OUT OF THE BOX
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