Follows Charles Manson's 'Family' member Linda Kasabian, and her story to what when on at Spahn's Movie Ranch and the final days leading up to the grisly 1969 Tate/La Bianca murders.

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Cast

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Meredith Cheesbrough ...
Sascha Cole ...
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Anthony Gerbrandt ...
Paul Anthony Hardy ...
Stan Shapiro
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Cora Kennedy ...
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Bobby Beausoleil (as David Kiner)
Cat McCormick ...
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Brittany Scobie ...
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Moti Yona ...
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Follows Charles Manson's 'Family' member Linda Kasabian, and her story to what when on at Spahn's Movie Ranch and the final days leading up to the grisly 1969 Tate/La Bianca murders.

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9 August 2009 (Canada)  »

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The Family  »

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Trivia

On the door of the saloon there are a number of slogans painted in red, one of which reads Helter Scelter, with a misspelling of Skelter. This is not a goof but as it was at the real Spahn Ranch. See more »

Goofs

When Manson is talking to Dennis Wilson about Terry Melcher's refusal to continue recording Manson, the cord from the phone to the receiver changes from being tangled (or kinked) to untangled and back again. (at around 36 mins). See more »

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User Reviews

 
Better than Expected
8 September 2009 | by (Oklahoma, United States) – See all my reviews

When I saw that the History Channel was putting together yet another documentary on the Manson Murders, my skepticism was pretty high. Recent attempts to discuss or re-enact the murders and/or trials have added little to the discussion, and in some cases, were downright awful or amateurish at best (see Jim VanBebber's "The Manson Family"). After watching this latest attempt, I was mildly impressed.

The acting is decent, although some of the actors chosen were all wrong for the parts (Terry Melcher as a skinny guy with short brown hair...I mean...REALLY). The re-enactments of the murders were pretty well done, although for some unknown reason, the filmmakers got the clothing wrong AGAIN. It is common knowledge that the killers all wore dark clothing (a mistake also made in the latest TV-movie version of "Helter Skelter" five years ago...WHY???) and the houses used to sub for the Tate and LaBianca residences look all wrong. Surely they could have found houses that looked somewhat like the actual sites? Still, it could have been worse! What made this most intriguing was the participation of star witness Linda Kasabian. She has given few public interviews over the past forty years, so it was interesting to see her here. While some may still disagree with her exoneration due to being the star state's witness, the fact remains that she did not kill anyone either night. Was she an accomplice? Yes...but nowhere as culpable as her colleagues in madness. Vincent Bugliosi and Debra Tate also make appearances in the film, although they add little new to the mix. I really think Bugliosi could do Manson material in his sleep at this point! The program also does a good job of showing Manson's shift from "peace and love" leader to the raving maniac he has since become (partly due to his joy in mocking the mass media by being the madman they want him to be). The scenes of the Spahn Ranch are well done, and for the most part, this is a decent documentary. While few Manson programs will reach the heights of the original TV movie from 1976 (even with its over-the-top moments), this little program does a good job of hitting the primary points of the case.

Classic or definitive? No. A decent introduction to those who do not know the case? Yes.


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