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Films >> Helter Skelter (1976) >>

Easy Rider (1969)
This film depicts the more gentle, peace-loving side of The Manson Family's contemporaries, the hippies. Trailing two long-haired bikers on their road journey to Mardi Gras, Easy Rider portrays communes as gatherings of strange, yet tranquil people and drugs as substances that heighten awareness, bringing their users to elevated, desirable levels of consciousness. Unlike Helter Skelter, which characterizes members of the 60s counterculture as being unkempt and insane, Easy Rider shows hippies to be the people with all the right answers. To bolster this portrayal, the film depicts members of mainstream society as being cruel and savage. At one point in the film, a group of rednecks bludgeons to death one of the bikers' friends and, in the final scene, the bikers are killed by another set of rednecks. These murders, like the Tate-LaBianca murders, are senseless, for the men kill the bikers for arbitrary reasons, namely, because they have long hair and dress like hippies.
In Cold Blood (1968)
In Cold Blood handles the true story of a brutal, senseless murder that took place on an isolated farm in Holcomb, Kansas, on November 15, 1959. Based on the classic novel by Truman Capote, the film, like Helter Skelter, follows the police as they attempt to uncover who killed the Clutter family and the motive behind the crime. Once enough evidence has been compiled and the two murderers, ex-convicts Perry Smith and Dick Hicock, are arrested, the film focuses on the trial, in which the events surrounding the murders are revealed. Much like the trial scenes in Helter Skelter, the trial scenes in In Cold Blood contain flashbacks to the night of the murder that detail the horror and macabre nature of the crime. We learn that, like Manson, the killers had no sense of remorse and did not feel that what they did was wrong. Yet, unlike Manson, the two men do not spend life in prison but are sentenced to death.

See Also

Badlands (1973)

The Boston Strangler (1968)

Guyana Tragedy: The Story of Jim Jones (1980)

Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer (1986)