(Editor’s note: If you find any of these ideas compelling, we recommend The Manson File: Myth and Reality of an Outlaw Shaman by Nikolas Schreck instead)
Back in November, I attended a dinner sponsored by the publisher Little, Brown and Company that had all the trappings of a traditional book industry event: highly enthusiastic booksellers, a seemingly unending flow of white wine, and a venue that, if I’m being honest, I would never find myself in if it weren’t for the book dinner. Little, Brown’s editors and authors presented their slate for the coming year: a debut about 1920s Paris, a raucous family drama, and one vastly reported nonfiction exposé that caught us all by surprise.
For those who consider Vincent Bugliosi’s Helter Skelter—his 1974 book about Charles Manson, the murders he ordered, and ensuing trial—to be canon, Tom O’Neill’s new book Chaos: Charles Manson, the CIA, and the Secret History of the Sixtiest History of the Sixties suggests a rift in the fabric of the universe as we know it. The product of some 20 years of exhaustive, obsessive research, Chaos suggests that the case made to the court by Bugliosi, who prosecuted the case before he wrote the definitive book about it, was fraudulent and that the entire “Helter Skelter” motive, which stated that Manson attempted to kick off a race war via the Tate-LaBianca murders of 1969, does not hold up to scrutiny in light of unearthed evidence. For one thing, according to O’Neill’s report, the relationship between Manson and record producer Terry Melcher (a previous resident of the house on Cielo Drive where Sharon Tate, Jay Sebring, Wojciech Frykowski, Abigail Folger, and Steven Parent were murdered), was more involved than it was conveyed during the trial—O’Neill says he found notes from two witness interviews that placed Melcher in the presence of Manson after the murders. This information was suppressed from the trial because, O’Neill suggests, it did not square with another part of Bugliosi’s suggested motive: Manson ordered murders to scare Melcher, who had refused to record the cult leader’s music.
Over the course of his career, former FBI agent and behavioral analyst John E. Douglas has interviewed criminals ranging from repeated hijacker Garrett Trapnell and cult leader Charles Manson to serial killers Edmund Kemper (a.k.a. the Co-Ed Killer) and Dennis Rader (a.k.a. B.T.K.). In his new book, The Killer Across the Table, Douglas takes readers into the room as he interviews four very different offenders.
Reporters Megan Cloherty and Jack Moore covered the trial of the D.C. Mansion Murders in 2015, when a D.C. power couple, their 10-year-old son and housekeeper were held hostage for 22 hours and murdered inside their burning house. They are the creators of the new podcast, “22 Hours: An American Nightmare.”
The dominant academic and practitioners’ perspective on security evolves around law-abiding referent objects of security who are under attack by law-breaking threat agents. This study turns the current perspective around and presents a new security paradigm. Suspects of crime have threat agents as well, and are therefore in need of security. The study takes cyber criminals as referent objects of security, and researches their technical computer security practices. While their protective practices are not necessarily deemed criminal by law, security policies and mechanisms of cyber criminals frequently deviate from prescribed bonafide cyber security standards. As such, this study is the first to present a full picture on these deviant security practices, based on unique access to public and confidential secondary data related to some of the world’s most serious and organized cyber criminals. Besides describing the protection of crime and the criminal, the observed practices are explained by the economics of deviant security: a combination of technical computer security principles and microeconomic theory. The new security paradigm lets us realize that cyber criminals have many countermeasures at their disposal in the preparation, pre-activity, activity and post-activity phases of their modi operandi. Their controls are not only driven by technical innovations, but also by cultural, economical, legal and political dimensions on a micro, meso and macro level. Deviant security is very much democratized, and indeed one of the prime causes of today’s efficiency and effectiveness crisis in police investigations. Yet every modus operandi comes with all kinds of minor, major and even unavoidable weaknesses, and therefore suggestions are made how police investigations can exploit these vulnerabilities and promote human security as a public good for all citizens. Ultimately, the findings of this socio-technical-legal project prove that deviant security is an academic field of study on its own with continually evolving research opportunities.
When Conversations With A Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes took over Netflix, fans couldn’t get enough. Their true crime-loving hearts grew three sizes in a single day (not just saying that because mine definitely did). Now, it seems like there’s always a new true crime documentary, TV show, podcast, or book (remember those?) to get completely lost in. And by “completely lost,” I’m talking hours-long rabbit holes into Wikipedia articles, Reddit threads, and any other details you can find wedged into the random corners of the internet. The best part? When you’re done all that sophisticated research, you can trade theories with friends.
The downfall of the Billionaire Boys Club, an exclusive group of mostly wealthy Beverly Hills and Greater Los Angeles men who followed a charismatic Joe Hunt. These men lavishly spent their new found fortunes in style in parties and luxury cars and just living the good life. A man of very modest beginnings, Joe was not above murder and kidnapping stay in the big leagues to keep this investment firm afloat when the group’s short-lived fortunes were dwindling from their euphoric successes in 1984. The Billionaire Boys Club (BBC) was an investment-and-social club organized by Joseph Henry Gamsky, also known as “Joe Hunt”, in southern California in 1983. It was originally simply named “BBC”; the initials of a business named the Bombay Bicycle Club, a restaurant Gamsky had frequented in his earlier years while growing up in Chicago. The club enticed the sons of wealthy families from the Harvard School for Boys (now Harvard-Westlake School) in the Los Angeles area with get-rich-quick schemes. Given their inexperience and difficulty proving themselves in legitimate businesses, an organization like the BBC proved attractive to these boys. Due to the reputation of the organization being composed of young, inexperienced boys from moneyed families, it was jokingly referred to as the “Billionaire Boys’ Club”. During his high school years, Gamsky and his brother were high-profile members of the Harvard School debate team. However, Gamsky was thrown out of the USC Summer Debate Institute in 1975 after admitting he fabricated evidence. The story was recounted in the 1987 movie Billionaire Boys Club. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal agreed to hear his appeal on July 1, 2014. The organization was run as a Ponzi scheme, and money contributed by investors was spent on supporting lavish lifestyles for young members of the club. When funds ran short in 1984, Hunt and other club members turned to murder, and at least two people were killed as Hunt tried to raise more money. When authorities began to investigate the murders, Dean Karny, the club’s second-in-command, and Hunt’s best friend turned state’s evidence in return for immunity from prosecution. Hunt and club-security director Jim Pittman were charged with the murder of Ron Levin, a con artist who had allegedly swindled the BBC out of over $4 million. Hunt, Pittman, club member Arben Dosti, and Reza Eslaminia were charged with the murder of Hedayat Eslaminia, Reza’s father, allegedly to acquire his fortune which was reputed to be $35 million. In 1987, Hunt was found guilty of the 1984 murder of Ron Levin and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. Pittman had two trials, and both ended in hung juries. He later pleaded guilty to being an accessory after the fact and was sentenced to 3 1/2 years in prison. After his release, he admitted in an interview to have participated in the murder, knowing he could not be re-tried due to the restriction on double jeopardy. Dosti and Reza Eslaminia were later convicted of murdering Hedayat Eslaminia and sentenced to life imprisonment without parole. Hunt acted as his own attorney during his trial for the Eslaminia murder and contended that star witness Karny had killed Eslaminia. The result was a hung jury, 8–4, in favor of Hunt’s acquittal. Joe Hunt is the only person in California’s legal history to represent himself in a capital case and not receive the death penalty. The convictions of Dosti and Reza Eslaminia were later overturned. Hunt remained in prison for the Levin murder but maintained his innocence.
For those who consider Vincent Bugliosi’s Helter Skelter 1974 book about Charles Manson, the murders he ordered, and ensuing trial to be canon, Tom O’Neill’s new book Chaos: Charles Manson, the CIA, and the Secret History of the Sixtiest History of the Sixties suggests a rift in the fabric of the universe as we know it. The product of some 20 years of exhaustive, obsessive research, Chaos suggests that the case made to the court by Bugliosi, who prosecuted the case before he wrote the definitive book about it, was fraudulent and that the entire “Helter Skelter” motive, which stated that Manson attempted to kick off a race war via the Tate-LaBianca murders of 1969, does not hold up to scrutiny in light of unearthed evidence. For one thing, according to O’Neill’s report, the relationship between Manson and record producer Terry Melcher (a previous resident of the house on Cielo Drive where Sharon Tate, Jay Sebring, Wojciech Frykowski, Abigail Folger, and Steven Parent were murdered), was more involved than it was conveyed during the trial—O’Neill says he found notes from two witness interviews that placed Melcher in the presence of Manson after the murders. This information was suppressed from the trial because, O’Neill suggests, it did not square with another part of Bugliosi’s suggested motive: Manson ordered murders to scare Melcher, who had refused to record the cult leader’s music.
READ MORE: https://jezebel.com/what-you-think-you-know-about-the-manson-family-murders-1835688049
After one of the series’ gracefully quicker hits, Too Old to Die Young finds police officer turned hitman Martin Jones (Miles Teller) and his handler Viggo (John Hawkes) driving down a California highway in the dead of night. The two men are silent, as is the road ahead of and behind them. The only sound that director Nicolas Winding Refn allows to infiltrate the scene is the angry voice of a radio show host complaining about “clowns… on the sidelines” who are the “white noise background for the collapse of the American empire.”