Manson Web Extra: LAST WORDS

In the end . . .

CATHERINE SHARE, member of the Family. Sixty-six years old, she is a writer. Never let anybody else do your thinking for you. Get your self-worth from God and from inside. If someone tells you to do everything they say and claims to have all the answers, and you find yourself nodding a lot, then you’re probably in a cult, whether it has a church’s name or is the Manson Family.

VINCENT BUGLIOSI, deputy district attorney. He is 74 and the author of several books, including Helter Skelter (cowritten with Curt Gentry), the definitive account of the case. If I had a chance to talk to Manson again, I’d say yes, but not enthusiastically. Why? Because you’re not going to get the truth out of him. He’s just going to play with words. I wouldn’t learn anything about Manson from talking to him. I don’t believe that if I could only talk to Charles Manson, I’d find out what happened, because he’s not gonna tell me what happened.

Would I shake his hand? No, no, no, no. This may sound a little curious, but we viewed each other similarly. We had respect for each other’s abilities. I viewed him as a heavyweight in the world of crime, a very worthy opponent. And he said from the witness stand that I was a genius and that I had everything a prosecutor could ever want except a case. He said I had no case against him. The word respect may seem unusual, but Manson and I respected each other’s abilities. However, I wouldn’t shake his hand, because that implies friendship. When I say I respect him, I mean for his ability in the world of crime, not as a human being. Manson would have killed as many people as he could have. He liked to kill.

JUAN FLYNN, Spahn ranch hand. Sixty-five years old, he is retired after a career as a miner and heavy-equipment operator. Charles Manson got away with everything. People will say, “He’s in jail.” But Charlie is exactly where he wants to be.