Tom O’Neill is an award-winning investigative journalist and entertainment
reporter whose work has appeared in national publications such as Us, Premiere, New York, The Village Voice and Details. His book, Chaos: Charles Manson, the CIA, and the Secret History of the Sixties was published by Little, Brown in the summer of 2019 (paperback in the summer of 2020).

To see original documents, video clips of archival material and to listen to selected audio excerpts of author’s interviews with subjects from the book, please go to Instagram or Facebook pages.

Instagram: chaoscharlesmanson

Facebook: ChaosTheBook

Twitter: chaosmansonbook


303 thoughts on “Briefly…

  1. Just finished your book CHAOS .. what a great fucking read .. couldn’t put it down .. I have no doubts at all Manson was a cia, lsd infused mk ultra experiment .. I believe his “handlers” brainwashed him into brainwashing the family to kill on his orders to see if it was possible .. he gets the blame .. they all get jailed and the third party handlers ride off into the sunset without anyone knowing a thing .. Just imagine what is capable now in 2020 thanks to this experiment and similar ones like Jim Jones .. scary shit .. makes you rethink all these school shootings weather they are so cut and dry

  2. I’m enjoying your Chaos very much at the moment. It will certainly be the best book I read this year. I hope you can devote more time to investigating other CIA operations in the coming years. Something more recent.

    • Thank you so much for what you uncovered and for the immense dedication this book must have took. Hopefully your book will lead to changes in the way our government functions!

  3. Hi Tom, Excellent book. I learned in the book that I lived down the street from Charles Manson in the late 60s in the Haight. Yipes, and no I was not a hippie! I would also be interested in learning more direct connections with the CIA should you come across them. I had also read the book on the Tavistock Institute in the UK. Mansion was mentioned in that book.

  4. Hello Tom, I have finished reading your Chaos and am currently going over it again to read the sections I have skipped over. I’m saddened that in the end you aren’t able to establish definitively that the Manson murders are a MKULTRA operation, even though all available evidences point to that direction. I hope you can investigate more recent CIA or government operations, but I guess you are in no mood to spend another 20 years on a book.

    I just want to suggest to you, in case you haven’t heard much about this, that, in the past 50 years, US mind-control technology has advanced so much that MKULTRA practically sounds like a joke today. The recent advance is due largely to the newly emergent brain-computer interface technology. Between 2000 and 2010, the Pentagon was able to invent these nano-size chips to implant into the target person’s brain. The chips are so small that no X-ray and so on can ever detect them, except the carbon nanotubes that serve as their antenna. The implantation requires no surgery and can be done without the target person’s awareness. Once implanted, the target person becomes interfaced with a computer back at the military base. With a mind-reading dictionary installed, the computer can translate the target person’s brain activity patterns to enable the military personnel to read the target person’s thoughts. The personnel can then remotely control the target person on their computer by stimulating the various regions of the target person’s brain. The target person is thus a remotely controlled robot without even knowing it. The computer can also predict the target person’s future thoughts, so that the personnel can read on their computer what the target person will do tomorrow on 5:35 PM before the target person has ever thought about what to do tomorrow on 5:35 PM.

    Chips in the brain are increasingly common in medicine, and Brown University’s BrainGate II is most similar to the Pentagon chips I have just described, except that the Pentagon chips are nano-size and undetectable. Whenever I see mass murders on the news, I would wonder whether the killer was remotely controlled by somebody in the government to go berserk.

  5. Tom, I forgot to inform you that, because I’m designated as a txxxxxxxx by the Department of Homeland Security, my endorsement of your book is probably no good news for you, and other websites were typically screwed when I left comments on there.

    • Found the book to be fascinating and informative. I also just read Weird scenes inside the Canyon. The connections are ridiculous! The 1960’s were incredibly bizarre! It seems to be the beginning of the misinformation campaigning that exists to the present.

  6. Mr O’Neill,
    Please consider doing a book or some other format publication on the process of research and the mechanics of investigation of such a unique case. The determination and effort you exhibited is inspiring and the story as amazing as it is is more so thinking of what you went through. That process needs to be taught and learned.
    Thank you more than we three public can express.

  7. Hello Tom,
    I have someone for you to speak with, who was part of the program (from 1953) that you spoke about today with Joe Rogan. I think he might have much light to shed. Perfectly lucid… at 88.
    Please contact me at my email.
    Thank you.

  8. Just started Chaos, great book so far. Just wondering have you considered the connection between Hurtos and Andrija Puharich, who is also associated with mk ultra. Thanks.

    • Christopher.
      Peter Hurkos is an interesting character. He was the first to announce that the police had identified the killers. This was during a press conference in Tokyo, Japan while he was touring military hospitals with the USO. The press conference was on Wednesday, November 19th, 1969. It’s interesting because Ronnie Howard had just told the LAPD her Susan Atkins story on November 16th. So he obviously had inside information. I assume Polanski told him. It was Polanski who allowed Hurkos into the Cielo Drive house when Polanski first went back there after the murders. Hurkos’ first psychic “seeing” of what happened was also interesting (if you believe in that kind of stuff). He saw three men in the house. One of them, whom he said was related somehow to a well-known entertainer (Art Linkletter?) placed a pair of horn-rimmed glasses at the scene. Hurkos claims he was the one who found the glasses. Anyway, if you believe in this stuff (and I don’t personally)… was Hurkos “seeing” the three men who may have appeared at the house after the murders?????? :-))

  9. Hey Tom

    Caught you on Joe Rogan’s podcast the other day, just have to say it was truly engrossing and captivating listening to you relay your experience investigating the Manson murders over the course of 20 years.
    Your integrity, honesty and dedication is truly inspiring.
    will definitely get the book!

  10. Tom, great podcast with Joe! I was riveted and just download audiobook on my Apple Books ! Looking forward to your next venture! LAPD has to release those Tex tapes! Thank you for your hard work!

  11. Hi Tom
    I curled up and watched the 3 hour episode of Joe Rogen’s show yesterday.
    As someone else mentioned “captivating”. I could have listened to 3 more hours.
    I found the interview on the JFK Education Forum – someone linked it.
    I have been reading “alternative news” for the past five years. It’s been an eye-opener. So I was not surprised at the MKultra connection. It explains a lot.
    With regard to your concern that none of the major news outlets (NYT, LAT, WP) are writing about what you have uncovered? I am not surprised AT ALL. Good lord, writer’s such as yourself have been uncovering criminal cover-ups for years and the mainstream does not go there. And I believe that they never will. I don’t believe they are interested or are able to print anything that is not approved by the powers that sign their paychecks.
    But there are many of us that ARE interested in the truth if only for it’s own sake. Whether people are held accountable or not. And most are not.
    Good for you, and I hope the interview leads to a lot more interest (and sales)

  12. Tom, great stuff, as always. Truly hoping to see your possible follow-up book to include the tie in with RFK and Sirhan (hypnotism). The LaBianca case is enigmatic, but for years, us researchers couldn’t find even a small link to Cielo. But that Jay cut Leno’s hair is huge. Keep it up!

  13. A very serious Warning,Hidden Terrorism, criminal activity by police departments from lagrange Indiana and sturgis Michigan, Police departments, public safety and authorities from sturgis Michigan and lagrange Indiana, st Joseph county, lagrange indiana and a company called morgan olson located in this areas are committing crimes that involved drug trafficking, sex trafficking including with children,corruption,extortion,terroristic harrassment , use of energy, acoustic,sonic weapons,devices aimed at civilians and houses ,they are commiting a crime that is known as electronic harrassment,sonic attacks, voice to skull or v2k 24/7 nonstop putting lifes in danger,.Voice to skull ,acoustic, sonic attacks which are devices for transmitting voices,sounds with low or high frequencies. Voices can be for command or harrassment attacks that may even look like the victims own voice.It can also be use for sleep deprivation, inducement and manipulation.
    Electronic harrassment is similar to the sonic attacks that occurred to the American diplomats in Cuba.They are using this type of criminal act for torture,murder, ,Terrorism, rape,false imprisonment,extortion and manipulation. Michigan Passes Anti Electronic Harassment Law Including Life in Prison’
    Michigan — Public act 257 of 2003

    18 U.S. Code 241. Conspiracy against rights

  14. Hi Tom, just watched some clips from your very interesting appearance at Joe Rogan’s. I was about to pre-order the paperback version from Amazon, who unfortunately won’t send to my country (Norway). Do you have any idea how I can come past this, or if Amazon will send it here in the future? I would very much love to read it rather than listen to it. In advance, thanks.

  15. Sir:

    I just watched your interview on the Joe Rogan podcast and found what you had to say riveting, to say the least, and intend on purchasing your book asap. I understand from the interview that you do not focus much on the LaBianca murders in this book, but that you do have a lot of information regarding that horrible crime which you may include in another book. I was wondering, though, what your thoughts are on the killing of Gary Hinman? Have you done much research into his death?


    Stephen Reed

  16. Just learned about this from Joe Rogan. Can’t wait until it’s available from (Bezos has enough money). Speaking of MK ULTRA/COINTELPRO assets, any interest in Donald DeFreeze?

  17. “I just want the truth, Terry.”
    Just finished your compelling book, after hearing your chat with Joe Rogan a few days ago.
    You carved quite a monument in your search for the truth.
    I copiously color-highlighted the kindle copy, marking every new character in the narrative flow.
    Thankfully, that helped a LOT.
    Well done, and good show.

  18. Hello Tom, I saw you on the Joe Rogan podcast…you are a very brave man and you are now one of my heroes… I dont say this lightly. This is real personal to me. Many lives, familys’ lives where devastated and changed forever because of the covert and illegal programs like Hoovers’ COINTELPRO. But no one knew, and those who survived, were thought to be seriously insane or just a conspiracy theorist. Thank you Tom O’Neil. I have waited for years for things to come to light. But, will anyone ever be held accountable, beside a stern scolding at congressional hearings? Of course not.

  19. Just watched your podcast with Joe Rogan and I have bought your book and can’t wait to get started on it. Very interesting, always been fascinated by Manson.

  20. Hey Mr O’Neill. I am ordering your paperback right away. I have always had my own theory Manson was a victim of both MK Ultra and Cointelpro. My thoughts are the girls who did all the blabbing in jail were actually informants, Manson ruffled some feathers by talking to straight laced beach boys about speaking out against war, same reason why Jimmi Hendrix was likely killed (funneling money to black panthers). The idea Manson was an informer himself is interesting. I think he is more along the lines of Oswald who was a pretend communist for the CIA but not bright enough to do more than, “take this bag to the top floor, make sure you are seen, then await instructions once off site” as a patsy who like you said was intended to destroy the happy and loving vibe of the hippies / anti war left / civil rights movement. The more you look at works on Cointelpro by John Potash, and our foriegn policy by William Blum I think killing Polaskys pregant woman and some hang arounds would be plausible if the end game was disrupting all counter culture protest of the era. You could also see how Polansky was on Hoovers radar, and could have been suspected as a Soviet spy degenerate. The other thing that really interested me was how the drivers of the counter culture in the Haight could have been creating the hippie scene as some kind of CIA plot. Its really interesting. What was the goal? My own interest in MK ultra comes from my grand mother working at Stanford VA at the same time as the prison experiment. My grandfather worked for Military Intelligence as a cryptoprapher in ww2, and had FBI intervieing the family because of his 60s job at Locheed. I found a series of notebooks he had, that looked almost exactly like the cyphers left by zodiac killer, the crimes were also during a time where he took a room and separated from my grandmother. He was a really interesting guy and not the type to do something like that unless he was under orders and possibly CIA. He died when i was very young, but sadly those binders of his notes were left in a box beside my mothers garage and she got rid of them. He was a high level Rosicrucian as was my Grandmother. I always wonder what nasty work they did for Govt and if it had ties to clandestine programs. My mom said both of her parents used LSD in early 60s, and werent the kind of free thinkers who would do that so she thought it was work related.

  21. So, compelling that I wish your next book was already published, and the Joe Rogan interview was too short! Your information about Jolly and Jack Ruby is shocking. Are you the first to make this connection? The fact that there was a man who was at the Cielo crime scene after the murders but before the police is worth another book. I am so impressed with your perseverance and grateful to you. We need more people like you to set the record straight!

  22. Just finished the audio book and for me it’s one of the most important books I’ve ever read. Why is it that between Tiger King, Making of a Murderer and this… Every police case that gets scrutinized reveals fuckery at the local level.

    I would love to talk about the mind control aspect of LSD. I believe I can demonstrate it.. Or at least show the rough shape of it. I emailed you about my extended sessions on speed and LSD. Sincerely hope to someday have an exchange of thoughts. Maybe there are two lives dedicated to understanding a thing to bring it to light.

  23. Hi Tom,

    I received my copy yesterday. I struggle to put it down. Great book well researched. Found out about the book on the Rogan Podcast.

    I hope we don’t have to wait 20 years for your next book.

  24. This book is fantastic. I was really proud of good old Delaware County, PA when I read the part about the FBI office (The night of a big boxing event…brilliant!). I have always had a lot of questions about Steven Parent and William Garretson. In the notes you refer to how they knew each other being something different than what was in the news. There is obviously a lot of evidence that bodies were moved after the crimes. I thought it was always strange that Parent was there at that exact time, and that, it rounded out the victim list a little too neatly, as teenagers reading the story would definitely relate to someone younger, not famous or even really affiliated, to give the news story more of a demographic. Did Rudi have anything to add about Bill on record? Great book, I’ve been recommending it to everyone.

  25. Great book! I’m not finished with it and I can’t put it down. I heard you talking with Joe Rogan and you mentioned you were raised near Media PA. I know the area. I’m from Chester and now California, where my family lived at the time of the Tate/La Bianca murders. My family had friends and relatives in the film industry and we visited in the hills around Universal City and North Hollywood. This book is bringing that all back.

  26. I am enjoying your book very much, which I purchased after your Joe Rogan podcast, (which was riveting by the way.) My question is about the coincidence of the cut power lines at Jay Sebring’s house the night before the murders. Did you ever get a chance to ask any of the former Manson followers if they knew of anything about that? It is a very curious coincidence.

    I recently read Weird Scenes in the Canyon, about Laurel Canyon in the 60s and that was as much of an eye opener as your book. It was the first time I read about Cass Elliott and various others being somewhat familiar with the Manson bunch and this book also references the Manson killings briefly, saying something about there being much more to the story than the public version, which piqued my curiosity. Tons of CIA and military intelligence connections were made throughout the book. Lookout Mountain, the former defense site, sitting in the middle of the SoCal scene, was also an eye opener.

    And finally, I read a biography by Candace Bergen and she spoke of her time living with Terry Melcher and how they and some of her friends hung out with the Black Panthers for quite a while in the 60s. I was shocked as Candace didn’t seem the type to be that radical. When you brought up the theory about the Black Panthers I remembers Terry and Candace’s connection.

    • Candace met the Panthers only after she and Terry broke up and she started dating producer Bert Schneider, who was enamored of Huey Newton.

      • Woah! Bert Schneider, the producer of The Monkees!?? I didn’t know the Bergen/ Schneider connection but now it’s funny to put that together because on the show the Monkee’s there was a ventriloquist dummy they called Mr. Scheider. I wonder if her dad made it. The Monkees: another story that was misrepresented by the press in the 1960’s! I heard Manson applied/ auditioned to be a Monkee, which is probably not true but I can’t help picture it.

  27. Magnificent work my friend. I would call it the quintessence of Investigative Journalism. I really hope you do another book/project soon. Best of wishes to you.

  28. Tom….Great book! The saga of you doing the work was almost as compelling. You have to follow up on the Ruby narrative!! As important as Chaos was the Ruby story is historically invaluable. The problem is neither of us may live long enough to endure your process! So assemble the team that helped you over the finish line on Chaos and get it done their is so little really known of Ruby, I feel like everything I read was conjecture on who is was and how he was connected to the mob etc, The same can be said about David Ferrie what a !@#$%^& wildcard he was but again little to nothing on him. Well that is my plea thanks for Chaos it was riveting. (Bugliosi what a dick!)

    • Yes Donald, The deal with Ruby, a terrific question. There is some good material on him and the murder plot in general in the book by James W. Douglass, “JFK And The Unspeakable – Why He Died And Why It Matters. Very thoroughly researched. Maybe almost as much as “Chaos!”

  29. Loving your book. I saw the Joe Rogan interview also.. If the project needs money, have you thought about setting up a patreon? I don’t think you’d have any problem getting support. It could make a big difference and ultimately give you more control over it going forward. And we’d all like to see this become a docuseries rather than feature as well.

  30. Please respond to me. I’m Mary Mason Horton & married to Jesse C Horton, Jr. he is now deceased- November 20, 2016. He was the brother of Chere Jo Horton. He was there that night of July 4,
    1954. I met Jesse in 1965 as a teenager, we married in 1968. You have some of the facts wrong about the night Jimmy Shaffer murdered Jesse’s little sister. Please contact me. I heard you speak on podcast with Joe Rogan specifically about chapter 11 I did listen to whole podcast. But the brutal murder of my husband’s sister peaked my concern with your facts. Please call me at 2103634918 Mary Horton

  31. Great work by the author. I just finished the audio book. The author took the time it should have taken to investigate. Twenty years is a long time but with all the false statements made for the benefit of the prosecutors, protection of the Hollywood elite and outright corruption, this is the amount of time it would take. Keep in mind, he did this on his own without the help of a staff, The author is unbiased and only provides the facts he uncovered. With the passage of time, I think he was able to uncover facts that would never have been provided if done in the early 70s due to the fear of retaliation. Thanks for taking the time to uncover the mysteries of this horrific event.

  32. Hi Tom,
    I’m currently reading Chaos. This is a great book !!!! It sounds like a long and twisted road to get this done. I can’t put this down. Job well done. Congratulations.
    Thanks and best regards,
    Dave Paulsen

  33. Thanks Tom for all of your hard work and sacrifice. Just finished watching your interview with Joe Rogan. As soon as it was over I went right to Audible to download the book. Also picking up a Hard copy for reference. After 20 years of my own personal journey investigating US media, Government, Hollywood, and Intelligence agencies. It’s amazing to uncover the intricate web of dark dealings and perception manipulation. Especially in light of all that is happening at the present. Keep up the great work..

  34. Just heard Tom’s interview in the Joe Rogan show, googled to know a little more about his work, found out about the paperback’s release. Definitely will buy it. Superb work. A true reporter.

  35. Hey Tom! As a history enthusiast I caught your podcast on Joe Rogan-and immediately purchased your book. It was unbelievable and I could not put it down! I recommend the book to everyone! The weird thing is, if I had not listened to the podcast I would have never heard of the book – which is something you mentioned in your convo with Joe.

  36. Hello Mr. O’Neill,

    I just finished reading ‘Chaos’
    and want to to say thanks for the
    fascinating ride. You are a diligent researcher and a super writer.

    The copy of ‘Chaos’ I read is from our public library. Do you know when copies will again be available to order, as I want to give copies to my brothers.

    Also, I am looking forward to your
    future works.


    David Comiskey
    London, Ontario

  37. I sure hope the hardback copies come back. I admit I _read_ the paperback -version, after ordering both the hardback and paperback, but, I’d like the hardback, too, if for nothing else to show more support, I’ve read the book, borrowed it, and I can’t wait until I can order 1) Hardback to put sacredly in the shelf, and 2*) either one or two paperbacks to read and troughoutly mess with. This is a masterpiece. No questions about it.

    I need to be able to order at least 1 Hardback per each person I buy for, and,

    tons of pocketbooks to mess with and read, so, I hope the hardbacks come back.

  38. Tom. You are the best. This book was the first book I’ve read in quite some time and I enjoyed it immensely. I have a question: Why do you call the swaztica an X? No ill will whatsoever is meant. It just popped out at me everytime. Did it have to do with Jack Ruby’s replaced memories and his fear of a new holocaust?

  39. Johnny Fontaine is mentioned as an actual person in this book. One of the husbands of French actress Corrine Calvet. He doesn’t show up on her wikipedia page as one of her spouses and a search of him only brings up the fictional character from the Godfather. Any other info on this person?

    • It’s correct. This footnote has been added to the paperback edition:
      73. Though many confuse him with a fictional character from The Godfather, Johnny Fontaine really was born with that name. After his affiliation with mobster Micky Cohen became public in the 1950s, Fontaine was forced to adopt the stage name “Jeffrey Stone” by his studio (which put out the false story that the change was made because his name sounded too much like the actress, Joan Fontaine).

      • Riveting, couldn’t put it down. Will read it again. Thank you for your commitment to the truth.
        Anonymous – Corinne Calvet was also married to Al Gannoway and this marriage too was not listed by Wickipedia. Possibly because it ended quickly. I worked for Al reediting Grand Old Oprey shows in NYC in the mid sixties. We had two apartments on Eighth Avenue. One was the editing apartment, the other one was where Corinne and Al lived. I was the last employee and closed both apartments at the end of the year. I still have Corrine’s cooking pots.

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