"[A] logical look at the real motive." (Four Stars), H.F., Amazon.com
"Wonderfully written." (Five Stars), K.K., Amazon.com
"Thanks" (Five Stars), L.W., Amazon.com
"Since 1987, I have read as many books and articles about Manson "the media
creation." I have watched and collected videotapes, dvds, and have discarded most
of them. I have collected as much of Charlie's music as I can and still listen to it.
"Goodbye Helter Skelter is magnificent! It ranks beside The Manson File and Siege by James N. Mason as the ONLY books that give us a realistic picture of this enigmatic man. Together with Charlie's music, I believe this book and the others mentioned are the best an outsider is likely to get. Put Charlie's music on, sit back, and relax with this book and deprogram your mind. Regards to George Stimson from the U.K." (Five Stars), A.C., Amazon.com
"An excellent job of providing balance to the helter skelter story. A lot of new information here which answers questions from another point of view. Despite the crimes Charlie Manson is a fascinating creature." (Four Stars), E., Amazon.com
"Stimson brings a personal bias into the tome to begin with and carefully manages to weave fact and selected fiction into his account. Most of the alternative motives for the crimes are well known and all have been bantered about for years amongst the crime's aficionados . Stimson tries to exonerate Manson from the core of the crimes, however, there can be no denial that Charlie was complicit in all of the crimes in one form or another. Blaming the spiraling crimes on the "copy cat" motive ignores the facts that the police had more than enough physical evidence to convict Manson associate Bobby Beausoleil I suppose it is possible that the members of the Family were unaware that such evidence existed. against Bobby. If you are new to the case and looking for a collection of some of the theories then this book might be considered if you start with the understanding that Stimson is a Manson apologist and brings that bias into this work. Proceed with caution in sorting fact from fiction." (One Star) D. G., Amazon.com
"After learning about ATWA, listening to and reading some of Manson's unedited
thoughts, and feeling that there was clearly much more to the Manson saga than what
the media has to say, I decided to pick up this book as part of a larger effort in
"The image that emerges reminds me of a Cormac McCarthy novel, with the same bittersweet violence, passion, innocence, and madness, and always an underlying theme of tragedy. Manson is, and always will be a survivor. It would not be wrong to say that he has been subjected to continuous trauma and abuse since the day he came into the world. Do I believe he should be held responsible for the crimes that others professed to commit in his name? No, I don't. I don't think he's necessasarily a "good guy", either. On his level, I understand him, and perhaps even admire him for always sticking to his principles and codes, even when it lead him into situations that he could have otherwise avoided. He is right in remarking that he has always done the best with what he was given. I don't resonate with much of his philosophy simply because it is so damn wounded, while other aspects of his personality are crystal clear and finely attuned. No one is perfect, least of all ole' Charlie. He certainly doesn't deserve to be followed and revered for being anything other than human. But that's all he's been saying all along, anyhow.
"A complex book, and a difficult subject, but one which I benefited from researching! Manson's voice is one that ought to be heard, if not simply because the vision behind it is so unique." (Three Stars), D, Amazon.com
"Don't waste your money. I think this author has succumb [sic] to Charlies [sic] brainwashing. Tried to rationalize why CM should not have been convicted. I disagree!" (Two Stars), K.A. Amazon.com
"Total BS. This doesn't even deserve one star. This is a total rewrite of history. The Helter Skelter motive was well documented, the killers even wrote the words in blood at one of the residences they attacked. Just another Manson-obsessed nut manipulated into writing a ridiculous book full of lies. Don't buy this! " (One Star), T.M., Amazon.com
"A book based on Manson's lies and based on another nut job conspiracy!" (One Star), J.D., Amazon.com
"Though I don't agree with many of George's conclusions, I have to say it's a brilliant book. It's articulate, easy to read, superbly laid out, challenging and his case is tremendously put. It cost me a bit but it was definitely worth the wonga, as they say." G.T., Internet
"This book is crap. C-R-A-P, crap. Manson fans, and there are many out there, love to proclaim he didn't kill anyone so therefore he is innocent. That is essentially the point of this book. But such people are apparently too ignorant to understand that Manson was convicted of conspiracy. Under the law that makes one as guilty as those who did kill. Simple. No argument. Easy to understand. So not only is this book a waste of money, it's an embarrassment even to read." (One Star) J. Y., Amazon.com
"Your book has cemented so many things I have believed since I was 17 and read [Helter Skelter]. It really gives a true account of the reality of events. However as I read on into the final chapters I feel a heavy heart, from the truly horrific injustice served on CM! I also believe that a book that moves someone emotionally has achieved its goal." J.D.M., Channel Islands, UK
"The only authentic book, not the bullshit previously printed by other so-called authors... Thank you George Stimson." I.L., Internet
"This book is full of lies and partial testimony taken completely out of context. This pal of Manson's just puts all the Charlie propaganda on display, as Manson has been doing on TV over the years. Then come the outright lies and it's hard to handle when freedom of speech is abused this way." (One Star) L.G., Amazon.com
"Well done. I was prepared to hate this book. It surprised me." (Five Stars). S.N., Amazon.com
"Good Book." (Four Stars) M.E., Amazon.com
"This was an interesting read if you are interested in learning more about the Manson Family." (Five Stars) B., Amazon.com
"Your friendship, studies and analysis of Manson and his case convey a depth of insight beyond anything I have ever seen written about Charlie before. From page 142 where M talks about BB asking if he could be "brother" to the last page 406 quoting, ". . . that a man lay down his life for his friends." really hammers the actually quite boring and ordinary motive home. There was an emptiness in me when I finished the Law chapter and Aftermath chapter of that missing element that has been pounded into our collective heads since 1969. I'm talking about the missing element of a mysterious, supernatural, bizarre, far out ending . . . but then when I read the last chapters Charles Manson and the Afterword (which is essentially in his tongue with your, I say expert interpretation of his thoughts) the missing let down feeling was gone. I think this is a remarkable book and a humanitarian effort on your part in dedicating yourself to it." R.G., Internet
"George Stimson has put out the most factual easy to read book yet about Charlie that I have seen yet.... Kudos to George on pointing out facts while keeping it simple enough to actually get thru the read!" B.G., Internet
"Highly Recommended!" (Five Stars), A., Amazon.com
"We don't need any more accounts. Stimson has written the definitive book." D.F., Internet
"Great book, George. I'm really enjoying it. It's obvious that you really put a lot of time and work into your....well, work. Thanks much. I'm glad someone did it. Happy Hunting." D.B., Internet
"The best book I have read about Charles Manson. George really makes the case make sense with everything he puts in the book throughout his research. It's truly an awesome book." (Five Stars) B.L., Amazon.com
"Not just your average Manson rehash. Worth the purchase price. Breaks down information in a way that's easy to process. Well-researched and the citations and footnotes are excellent." (Five Stars) M.M., Amazon.com
"I just finished Goodbye Helter Skelter and I have to say it's probably one of the better books on Manson that I have read. I recommend it to everyone!" B.L., Internet
"I appreciate the author's commitment, but the book is lacking the concept of reality. His understanding of case law is lacking, his belief that only mansion [sic] can tell the truth, and his overall inability to consider any theory other than his own kills his objectivity. Save your money..." (One Star) A.R., Amazon.com
"At last....! A book on Manson,without the sensationalist Mass Murderer hypnotic hippy cult leader rubbish.... If you want the true story of an amazing man,this is the book for you." (Five Stars) D.L., Amazon.com
"Stimson makes a pretty good case for Helter Skelter not being the motive for the Tate/Labianca killings, but he also leaves out much information to contradict his other main point that Manson wasn't involved in the murders. He seems to have a very firm agenda and sticks to it." (Three Stars) M.P.H., Amazon.com
"Finished your book last night. I always feel that a book is a good read if I keep thinking about it after I'm done. I've thought about this one ever since I finished it. You are a really great author George. I hope you write many more books. I will read them all." J.W., Hanford, CA
"A well researched book and a fascinating read." (Five Stars) J.M., Amazon.com
"Hi George, I finished Goodbye Helter Skelter in the wee hours of this a.m. and want to thank you for the opportunity read this fine example of critical thinking! Your always objective voice was a pleasure in this time of intellectual cowardice. Also, your summary of 66-69 was the best I've ever read." E.P., Burlington, VT
"This is a well written account of the Manson murders and rightfully debunks the myth of Helter Skelter which even Bugliosi knew was going to be hard to pass off as a logical motive. It uses a number of interesting sources and includes many interviews with Manson ( actual ones, not the Nuel Emmons variety) which clearly reveal the more 'mundane' and therefore less sensational, obvious motives for the crimes. Manson may well have espoused the ideas of Helter Skelter and he must have done this to some extent as a variety of primary sources such as Paul Watkins, Tex Watson and others affirm. Stimson relates, however, the actual criminal aspects of each of the murders ( Hinman, Tate et al, La Bianca and Shea) to Manson and concludes clearly that without the wacky Helter Skelter idea that played so well into the hands of the hungry media and Bugliosi's desperation to convict Manson, it is questionable whether the evidence against him would stand to convict him of the crimes he is accused of. It's well researched, convincing and interesting. Sure, you need to read Helter Skelter in the context of researching the whole affair, but this account is the much better one." (Five Stars) C.R.W., Amazon.com
"The Tate-LaBianca murders forever tainted society's idea of the hippie subculture
and spawned several books, songs and films based on or accounting the case. When the
phrase "Helter Skelter" comes up, everybody thinks of only one person - Charles
Manson, the psuedo-hippie who was supposedly responsible for brainwashing a group
of hippies to do his dirty work for him. (Manson apparently got the phrase Helter
Skelter from a Beatles song, which is odd because the song is about the Beatles
going down a large slide in a London amusement park).
"In Goodbye Helter Skelter, Stimson's aim is to present a new side to the case, and the POV of Charles Manson himself, a book which claims to debunk the entire Tate-LaBianca murder case.
"Does it? Well, it does present a convincing argument. But I wasn't there to witness anything that occurred at the time so I can't say myself that this book holds all the answers. Who knows? Maybe Manson is still playing with society's indulgence in the misery of others, giving charismatic interviews behind bars in an attempt to send out false information. In all honesty, the world may never know what completely happened in this case, but it's still a thought-provoking and interesting read, truth or lies." (Five Stars) R.M., Goodreads Reviews
"Mr. Stimson I get what you are trying to say (I think). I believe that reality is
ambiguous. It's also hard to present an alternative explanation to a story that
everyone judged 45 years ago. I think you are a brave soul for trying to present a
different slant on this "reality". There will be push back and ignorance but you
seem to have thick skin.
"I read the book a few months ago and enjoyed it. You put a lot of elbow grease in and one thing no one can dispute is that you have had unique access to central players." S., Internet
"Considering that I've read almost every book possible on Manson, with most not being worth the paper that they are printed on, this is truly a gem of information. If you are interested in the subject matter I highly recommend this book. While not as large a volume, it is definitely on par with Schreck's The Manson File Apocalypse Edition." h., Instagram
"I've read most of the well known books on Manson and the Family. This one deserves its place as probably the most sober-minded examination of entire episode. Stimson, although clearly sympathetic to Manson and even a little biased due to their friendship, is an excellent writer who deconstructs the events and tells the story from each player's perspective using quotes from parole hearings, the trial, and their own autobiographical accounts. He does a surprisingly good job at putting forward the "brother" motive and finally putting to rest the "helter skelter" motive the prosecution used to convict Manson, et al. Highly recommended for fans of true crime and, especially, Mansonology. This book is for the Manson case what Philip Sugden's Complete Jack the Ripper was for that case. Or, at least as close as we will probably ever get to shedding the hoodoo boogeyman image of Manson in favor of evidence." (Five Stars) R.B., Amazon.com
"Helter Skelter is my favorite book and your version is bullshit. The only reason most people will read it is because people love crazy. If I choose to waste my time on it, it will be in lieu of indulging in reality television." L.N., Internet (Webmaster's note: Although this critique is being included on the Reader Reviews page it seems from its language that the writer has not actually read the book.)
"I just finished reading Goodbye Helter Skelter. It is worth the money. I feel it cuts through the bullshit and gets to the facts and also shows us who Manson is, not what the media portrays him to be. I am of the belief that Charles Manson is innocent." A.J., Internet
"I've read about 75% so far and its really well written. The question that stays in my mind is this: Why was Bugliosi out to get Manson?? I don't understand why he was such a target! Did the killers immediately blame him to get out of their situation? Maybe I missed something while I was reading but that's the part that puzzles me because he had gone to Big Sur to get away from the craziness right before the murders......If you could explain that would be helpful. Its a great book but its also mentally draining because he should NOT have been sitting in prison for 45 YEARS. I can only take a chapter or so at a time because its so intense. This injustice, along with so many other innocent people in prison will have to be answered to at some point....." M.S., Internet
"Mr. Stimson, I've had an interest in the Manson "Family" for a couple of
decades now and have read a lot of the standard books that are out there.
Years ago, when you ran the ATWA site, I wrote to you and you were kind enough
to reply to me and pass along some interesting documents and even an ATWA
business card for CM.
After your site vanished, I often wondered what had ever happened to you. I was, of course, quite surprised to hear about your book, Goodbye Helter Skelter, a couple of months ago. I purchased it and have nearly finished reading it now.
I must say, even though I knew you wouldn't have a mainstream take on the case, I am quite pleasantly surprised by the book. You seem to be coming to, essentially, the same conclusions that I had formulated in my own mind about the "family" and the motives for the crimes. Only you are able to back them up with your meticulous research and sources.
I appreciate your presentation, layout, and flow of the book and I think that it is a much needed and refreshing contribution to the literature out there. I also enjoyed learning more about you at the beginning and the little chronological look at the upheaval of the 1960's, I believe, is something useful that many tend to leave out when writing on these events. As a historian myself, I appreciate your use of context . . .
Overall, I applaud your work and I am really happy that you decided to publish it. I can hardly believe that you would put so much work into something and then simply shelve it. Anyway, I just wanted to say hi and let you know it was appreciated." W.V.H., via e-mail
"I loved your book and your honesty.... the first book about Charles I didn't want to throw away." P.L., Chicago, Illinois
"Sorry I read this book. Tantamount to saying, as someone once did, that Hitler is innocent because he never killed anyone." J.Y., Internet
"This is one of the Best and Informative Manson books that I've read. I would recommend this book as a MUST READ for anyone that is interested in Charles Manson and the Manson story." (Five Stars) Anonymous Reader, Amazon.com
"Excellent book, well documented and researched, does not try to sugar coat anything that happened, but made sense regarding some of the "media bull" that was flying around at the time. Thank you, George for making us more aware and enlightened." (Five Stars) L.G., Amazon.com
"A very well put together book that makes good sense. Everyone who read Helter Skelter should read this." B.A., Goodbye Helter Skelter on Facebook
"Best true story ever written..its a shame this TRUTH wasn't allowed 40 years ago..and should be considered now by the courts." (Five Stars) J.H., Amazon.com
"Awesome!" (Five Stars) S.J., Amazon.com
"Excellent book!" (Five Stars) D.B., Amazon.com
"I just finished your book. I'm impressed. Impressed with your research -- your
pretty neutral voice -- and your conclusions.
I liked the way you set up the flavor of the times with the running list of all that happened during those late '60s years.
I was also living with a group -- where problems occurred but also good times -- and I am reminded by that chapter of how almost inevitable it was for us to get involved with all we did.
Your early description of how the media treated you and how false it was helped me believe how the media created the Monster Manson we all think we know about. And his cryptic statements and mugging with the cameras he so disdained fed that image.
I also didn't realize that he had literally no representation. I'm wondering if people on the outside, like you, Sandy, were trying to raise money for a lawyer and he refused. I know he wanted to defend himself and, even though ideally, he had the right, without playing the court rules, it was inevitable that he would never be able to get through the process.
I really wonder what would have happened if he had a lawyer equal to Bugliosi (or whatever his name was).
You presented his legal case well. If he'd had a lawyer like you he might be tending horses in the desert after a shorter sentence. I don't know if it will have any effect on his future, but you did your best." S.S., Santa Barbara, CA
"George Stimson has created a masterpiece!" R.L., Hamilton, Ohio
"Thanks again for the book! I finished it over the weekend and really enjoyed it.
I can give you the opinion of someone who knew very little about that part of
history. It's not something I was familiar with (other than the barest of
I like the way you write and the way you organize detail. I got a full picture and that reflects on your attention to detail. I think that when you're VERY familiar with something, it's easy to skip details that need to be explained to the uninitiated, but you had the skill to avoid that pitfall. I did come away a bit angry at the establishment, but I didn't exactly start out with favorable opinions in that regard :) " -- K.G., Forth Worth, Texas
"Hi George, just got my copy of Goodbye Helter Skelter tonight (from Amazon) It sounds fascinating already (first few chapters) Thanks for all the work you have put in to this." -- M.H., Location unknown
"I finished reading your great book in two days. I found it a masterful piece of
work. I am impressed with the amount of work you did. Thank you. I do have
reservations about your point of view. I realize that you put an enormous amount
of work in your research and in some respects this may have given you a different
perspective than I have. Even in my early on small involvement in the story,
some of the things I did observe were different.
I believe that you have a best seller here. Some of the popularity will come from your notion that is controversial with other things that have been published concerning the crimes involved.
Thanks again and good luck." -- E.H., San Bernardino, California
"I just finished reading your book and I normally do not contact authors about their work but what you have created with Goodbye Helter Skelter is magnificent. I have read most books out there over the years that deal with the subject matter and with who Charles Manson is supposed to be but as you surely are aware, they are hardly worth the paper that they are printed on. Your work was a refreshing piece of literature full of authentic sources including yourself that presents a clear and absolutely logical approach to the happenings. I am glad to know that there are still people out there that do not shy away from speaking the truth and questioning the status quo. Congratulations on this fine work and I wish you and yours all the best for the future." -- R.A., Alberta,Canada
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