He was “the Los Angeles County deputy district attorney who gained worldwide fame for his successful prosecutions of Charles Manson and his followers for the brutal 1969 murders of actress Sharon Tate and six others,” reports the Los Angeles Times.
Vincent Bugliosi, 80, has died.
Says the Times, “He had had health issues in recent years and the cancer that he had overcome three years ago had recently returned and metastasized, according to his wife, Gail.”
Bugliosi’s 1974 book about Manson and the case, “Helter Skelter,” became a bestseller and then a memorable 2-part, 194-minute 1976 TV movie with Steve Railsback giving a mesmerizing performance as Manson.
Notes the Times: “Bugliosi argued before jurors that the motive for the murders was Manson’s bizarre plan to trigger a race war, called Helter Skelter, from a Beatles song of the same name. The prosecutor said the cult leader believed that blacks would win the war but would eventually hand over power to Manson and his all-white followers, who planned to survive the carnage by hiding out in Death Valley.
“In 1971, two separate juries found Manson, Susan Atkins, Patricia Krenwinkel and Charles ‘Tex’ Watson guilty on seven counts of first-degree murder. Leslie Van Houten was convicted of two murders.”