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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 (110 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

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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.

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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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  • 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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  • 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.

4 people found this helpful

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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.

3 people found this helpful

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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.

2 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.

2 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.

1 person 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.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Jordan Adam
  • 25-05-2020

amazing gripping audiobook

This audiobook left me wanting more or a follow up TV series, just something else.

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  • Scott
  • 25-05-2020

An absolute must read

absolutely amazing book. This book Is an instant classic, 20 years in the making! Tom O'Neill performs perfectly, you can feel his story in his words

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  • Anonymous User
  • 24-05-2020

We appear to finally have a clear image of MANSON

Not a page turner - yet still best insight given by closest investigation. a strong 4 stars.
Don't believe what they tell you!

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  • Russ261
  • 23-05-2020

Compelling

The authors interest started off as a article that took him into 20 years of in-depth research which presents a different complexion of the trial as well as other influences and dynamics that were occurring. Presentation of factual information which provides compelling circumstantial inferences of some very sinister forces at play. Things were clearly not quite what they seemed. It also raises alot of questions about what enabled college kids from stable homes and structured backgrounds to be under Manson's spell and do what they did. Its both eerie and compelling as the author makes a thorough investigation that begins close to the 30 year anniversary of the murders. Things weren't quite how they seemed as you will discover should you choose to listen.