Obviously, Manson had tapped into something appealing, and a band of largely female followers began to form around him. By 1968, the group, known as the Family, had relocated to a sprawling ranch outside Los Angeles. There, they developed their vision for an apocalypse that would herald a new world, dubbed Helter Skelter after the Beatles’ song.
Apparently, Manson’s plan was to create music that would inspire a revolution, encouraging a violent divide between blacks and whites. But by June 1969, he had begun to suspect that the Family themselves might need to kick-start the process – and a bloody spree of violence began.
Although Manson’s followers had killed before August 9, 1969, it was the events of that night that would see them go down in history. In the early hours of the morning, four Family members arrived at the Los Angeles home of director Roman Polanski, where his pregnant wife Sharon Tate was entertaining guests.