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Helter Skelter 

Not Rated | | Crime, Drama, Thriller | TV Mini-Series (1976)
2:48 | Trailer
The investigation and trial of the horrific Tate-LaBianca mass murders orchestrated by the psychotic pseudo-hippie cult leader, Charles Manson.




Nominated for 3 Primetime Emmys. Another 1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »





Complete series cast summary:
George DiCenzo ...  Vincent Bugliosi 2 episodes, 1976
Steve Railsback ...  Charles Manson 2 episodes, 1976
Nancy Wolfe ...  Susan Atkins 2 episodes, 1976
Marilyn Burns ...  Linda Kasabian 2 episodes, 1976
Christina Hart ...  Patricia Krenwinkel 2 episodes, 1976
Cathey Paine Cathey Paine ...  Leslie Van Houten 2 episodes, 1976
Alan Oppenheimer ...  Aaron Stovitz 2 episodes, 1976
Vic Werber Vic Werber ...  Lt. Brenner 2 episodes, 1976
Marc Alaimo ...  Phil Cohen 2 episodes, 1976
Bill Durkin Bill Durkin ...  Tex Watson 2 episodes, 1976
Phillip R. Allen ...  Sgt. Manuel Gris 2 episodes, 1976
David Clennon ...  Harry Jones 2 episodes, 1976
James Brodhead James Brodhead ...  Mr. Quint 2 episodes, 1976
Linden Chiles ...  J. Miller Leavy 2 episodes, 1976
Larry Pennell ...  Sgt. White 2 episodes, 1976
Steve Gries Steve Gries ...  Steve 'Clem' Grogan 2 episodes, 1976
Anne Newman Bacal Anne Newman Bacal ...  Mrs. Quint 2 episodes, 1976
Learn more

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Chilling story of the investigation and trial of Charles Manson, leader of a strange cult which under his direction and 'control' committed numerous murders. Written by Jerry Milani <jmilani@ix.netcom.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Murder is their religion. And everything you see is true! See more »


Crime | Drama | Thriller


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


Martin Scorsese was originally offered the role of Charles Manson. See more »


One detective shows others how The Beatles' "White Album" has a song called "Helter Skelter". As he tells them this, he points to the Apple Records label on the record. The problem is, the label he's pointing to is the "sliced" label, which appeared on the even numbered sides of that (and any) Apple album. Since the song "Helter Skelter" appears on Side 3, the label should be of a green apple's body. See more »


Charles Manson: I've ate out of your garbage cans to stay out of jail. I've worn your second-hand clothes. I've tried my best to get along in your world. And now you say you want to kill me? And I look at you, and I say to myself: "You want to kill me?" I'm already dead, I have been all my life! I've spent 23 years in tombs that you built! Sometimes, I want to give it all back to you! Sometime, I just want to jump back at you and let you shoot me! If I could, I would grab this microphone and beat your brains ...
See more »

Alternate Versions

Shorty Shea's response to Charles Manson's comment, "It ain't nice to snitch, Shorty!" differs between the two-part miniseries and the home video release. In the two-part miniseries, Shorty says "Horse manure!". In the home video release, he says "Go fuck yourself, Charlie!". See more »


Referenced in Texas Chain Saw Massacre: The Shocking Truth (2000) See more »


Written by George Harrison
Performed by Silverspoon
See more »

User Reviews

Good TV Movie -- and Totally Accurate!
26 May 2002 | by jjh6519See all my reviews

I am appalled to read that there are imdb.com members who actually think that Charles Manson and his "Family" were prosecuted because he was a hippie or a flower-child. He was neither. He is neither to this day. Have any of these idiots seen the TV interviews with Manson (by Diane Sawyer, I think) a while back? It would creep you out, as it shows how completely mad he is, to this very day. And his anger is creepy, too, and I thought he was going to physically harm the female interviewer at one point. When told of some of the things that the now older and wiser "family members" said of him (that he asked them to kill for him, that he instructed them in detail, and that they no longer have any regard for him), he just laughed and derided them as getting to be "old broads". This is a flower child?

I've done enough reading of various books and articles about Manson. He was the product of our institutions -- the one point on which he is correct. From childhood on, he never lived a normal life, always an institutionalized life. Then he took on this Messiah persona to impress the only people who were impressed by him -- young teenaged girls or other young women from homes where they felt unwanted. He literally rented them out as sexual favors to his biker pals, whom he was trying to impress and keep on his side. This was a flower child? Hardly! He has, and still has, a twisted but skillful mind.

As for the stupid premise that Buguliosi "framed him", have these people who write such nonsense read his book? Buguliosi documented, and this was affirmed in such books as "The Family", that Manson actually liked his prosecutor and respected him, and said so, even though there is good evidence that he wanted him dead. Like I say, Manson is a twisted person.

This TV movie is good drama, and totally accurate. Unlike others, I would like to see it redone for the big screen. I think the entire story of Manson's life and of his "family" and what they did to others at the Spahn Ranch before the murders of Sharon Tate and the others, needs to be told. Maybe bring people up to date with interviews with this monster on TV. No, not Oliver Stone! But to tell it somewhat in the way "In Cold Blood" was transferred from book to movie.

I expect to get nasty, threatening replies from Charlie's idiot disciples. That's right, you are all whacked-out idiots for thinking that he is anything but a monster.

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Release Date:

1 April 1976 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Massacre in Hollywood See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Lorimar Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


(original broadcast) | (DVD) | (theatrical)

Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

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