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Chaos

Charles Manson, the CIA and the Secret History of the Sixties
Narrated by: Kevin Stillwell
Length: 16 hrs and 14 mins
Categories: Non-fiction, True Crime
5 out of 5 stars (186 ratings)

Non-member price: $48.62

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Publisher's Summary

Penguin presents the audiobook edition of Chaos written by Tom O'Neill with Dan Piepenbring, read by Kevin Stillwell.

A journalist’s 20-year obsession with the Manson murders brings shocking revelations about the most infamous crimes in American history: carelessness from police, misconduct by prosecutors and even potential surveillance by intelligence agents. What really happened in 1969?

In 1999, when Tom O’Neill was assigned a magazine piece about the 30th anniversary of the Manson murders, he worried there was nothing new to say. Weren’t the facts indisputable? Charles Manson had ordered his teenage followers to commit seven brutal murders and in his thrall, they’d gladly complied. But when O’Neill began reporting the story, he kept finding holes in the prosecutor Vincent Bugliosi’s narrative, long enshrined in the best-selling Helter Skelter. Before long, O’Neill had questions about everything from the motive to the manhunt. Though he’d never considered himself a conspiracy theorist, the Manson murders swallowed the next two decades of his career. He was obsessed.

Searching but never speculative, Chaos follows O’Neill’s 20-year effort to rebut the ‘official’ story behind Manson. Who were his real friends in Hollywood and how far would they go to hide their ties? Why didn’t law enforcement act on their many chances to stop him? And how did he turn a group of peaceful hippies into remorseless killers? O’Neill’s hunt for answers leads him from reclusive celebrities to seasoned spies, from the Summer of Love to the shadowy sites of the CIA’s mind-control experiments, on a trail rife with cover-ups and coincidences.

Featuring hundreds of new interviews and dozens of never-before-seen documents from the LAPD, the FBI and the CIA, Chaos mounts an argument that could be, according to Los Angeles Deputy District Attorney Steven Kay, strong enough to overturn the verdicts on the Manson murders. In those two dark nights in Los Angeles, O’Neill finds the story of California in the '60s: when charlatans mixed with prodigies, free love was as possible as brainwashing and utopia - or dystopia - was just an acid trip away.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio on our desktop site.

©2019 Tom O’Neill and Dan Piepenbring (P)2019 Penguin Audio

What listeners say about Chaos

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Dark parallels

Surprising rabbit holes that make this all the more intriguing. Everything you thought you knew about manson turned on its head.

1 person found this helpful

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A long burn that's worth the wait

I can't imagine how much of the story we have still yet to hear after all those years of reporting. The build up to the last chapter and epilogue (which are personally my favourite chapters) was worth the wait, however the only criticism I'd give is that the huge amount of detail given to the characters at the front end of the book is tedious as it seems that they become rather insignificant later on. The opening chapter however had me gripped, painting a vivid image of the Tate murder scene, and had me committed to finishing the book

Great work Tom, thank you for the last 20 years;

When people are pushing back that defensively during interviews, you know you've got a great story in there

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The truth behind the Manson Family killings.

It is refreshing to hear the truth about the Manson family. Most people know when they’re being bullshitted to, you get a gut feeling that something is not right and we’ve been bullshitted to about the Manson family for too long.

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🤯

🤯 🤯 🤯 🤯 🤯 🤯 🤯 🤯 🤯
great listen. re-listened to the last couple chapters a few times. there's still so much we don't know!

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Kept me interested

Well put together
Kept me interested for the majority of the book. Great performance.
Probably could’ve cut a few hours out but a will researched book. Enjoy immensely.

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Well written, interesting and highly informative

O'Neill does an incredible job of researching and delivering his findings in a clear and cogent manner. The book is fascinating from beginning to end. He doesn't speculate, just presents facts. Highly recommend.

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thanking you

intense just glad he finished
leaves u thinking alot about the lies that are around

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Brilliant!

Thanks for the deep dive Tom and all your hard work over the years. can't wait to the next book.

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Disturbingly outstanding.

As someone who is vehemently anti-conspiracy, this book was utterly fascinating. The web of interconnected scumbaggery woven by Tom is completely absorbing & in the end raises more questions than it answers. Would love to have heard Tom’s dulcet Donald Sutherland-esque tones as the narrator but Mr Stillwell did a fine job.

Now off to spend my weekend reading the hard copy. Can’t wait.

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  • harriet kilduff
  • 19-07-2020

Brilliant!

So interesting and well researched. I want more books on conspiracy and cover up please Tom O’Neill!

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  • malcolm
  • 12-05-2020

Excellent

A great read taking place in the real world that reads more like fiction. Well researched

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  • Karen Clarke
  • 01-05-2020

So confusing.

This is the worst audiobook I have ever listened to. Totally confused me and I couldn’t keep up with who was who as there were so many people mentioned and so many references. It then went away from the subject of the book and onto conspiracy theories. Will be a asking for a refund I’m afraid.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 15-09-2019

Absorbing & very well researched

Fantastic narration of an utterly enthralling story. A very broad spectrum re-think of the whole Tate/Manson story. Thoroughly fascinating. Strongly recommended.

12 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 02-10-2019

excellent work

this is a very noble attempt to tell the true, unknown story of the case. a difficult job.
book is well written and well performed.
the author deserves a lot of credit. Bugliosi is a snake., as his Warren commission whitewash proves, but the stories here will tell you much more about this conniving c**t.

11 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 25-09-2019

The truth is always stronger than the lie.

The author thoroughly and meticulously states the case that the Manson family murders were far more than the crazed, hippie killings as laid out in Helter-skelter.

The author went to great lengths to uncover the truth behind the infamous murders. The phrase, fact is always stranger than fiction jumps to mind with this book.

I usually steer clear of the true crime genre but absolutely loved this captivating piece. Would highly recommend.

11 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 15-06-2020

Poor

Full of dead ends, confusion and digressions. No focus and now totally irrelevant. Really disappointing

8 people found this helpful

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  • Graham Byrne
  • 19-08-2019

Fresh perspective on the era.

Offers a fresh perspective on the crimes of Manson and his family by detailing how much of the ‘Helter Skelter’ narrative was forced into shape. At no point does the author in anyway suggest that Manson and those involved in the Tate/LaBianca slayings are innocent, however, he does call into question the true order of events and motives that culminated in those deaths. No clear answers are provided but enough diligently sought out evidence, some hidden from prosecution and defense at the time of the killlings, has been opened up to the public to allow for a review of a case that continues to provoke interest. Interesting and fun overall. Narration was fine with just a few pronunciation errors. Overall recommended.

7 people found this helpful

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  • UNKNOWN
  • 25-08-2019

Excellent

I have read lots of books about serial killers, the CIA, Manson and the Lauel Canyon hippie, music and movie scene. The amount of research that went into this book is astounding and the book is a credit to the author in my opinion.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Lee
  • 09-06-2020

Amazing book. I highly recommend. Watch JRE too!!!

Amazing book. I highly recommend. Watch The Joe Rogan Experience with Tom as a guest

4 people found this helpful

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  • Mr Doe
  • 03-06-2020

So Plausible

This book asks questions and digs into common sense motives and the goings on of American life which goes some way to explaining the grotesque ness of the America we see today. This Book is a must for anyone with any interest in Manson and or the period from the 1950’s till now.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 10-06-2020

Eye opening. Riviting. Thought provoking.

It's not a conspiracy theory when it's true. I'd love to see Tom do one on the JFK assassination.

3 people found this helpful