Briefly…

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

Email: trmo@aol.com

303 thoughts on “Briefly…

  1. Hi Tom. I saw you on the Joe Rogan podcast. I see from this thread that you get a lot of extra info. Sorry that I have to add onto that. As a Canadian, after watching the podcast episode, I became curious as to my own government’s involvement in mind control experiments. Apparently the Canadian Gov worked with the CIA in MK-Ultra and performed experiments on our soil. Our current Gov (Trudeau) put out gag orders in 2017 against anyone who has received settlements either by the CIA or Canada. Here’s a link to the CBC article I found from October 2020: https://newsinteractives.cbc.ca/longform/brainwashed-mkultra

  2. Thank you so much for spending so many years of your life writing chaos.the book was excellent!! My absolute favorite. It really is the warning that we , the people needed. I know many folks still are not paying attention but your work uncovers a lot. Thank you again sir!
    Sincerely Dylan bonevelle
    Michigan USA

  3. Hey Tom, just heard your episode on Rogan. I had to buy the audio book after hearing about how much you dug in and uncovered. I am absolutely addicted, thanks so much for your 20 years of effort

  4. Thanks Tom for this marvelous book I received today… can’t wait to read it! I’ve been following the case for many years.
    All the best! 😊Your Philly gal, Tina 💐

  5. Tom,
    Maybe a trivial observation here: I noticed the outfits worn to court by the singing Manson followers- the satin get-ups that look borrowed from a high school theatre department’s medieval costume trunk- look familiar. They closely resemble the clothing produced by Dutch design company “The Fool” in the late 1960’s for Apple Record’s experiment with boutique fashion. They had a bad falling out with The Beatles after blowing through their budget and mismanaging the store (I read about this in the Paul McCartney bio “Many Years From Now”). The design team, named after a Tarot card, then headed to the LA, putting them a stone’s throw from the trial. I wonder how the outfits were acquired for the defendants and if it was another attempt to link The Beatles in the public’s imagination. Or if it was The Fool’s idea of a joke to irritate their former business partners. Frivolous theories, here, for sure, turning them over in my mind as I await your next work!

  6. Thanks, Tom, for your indefatigable search for the truth. Although you didn’t commit to any particular version of “what really happened,” you did make a strong case that our government (from the federal down to the LAPD and CA sheriff departments) had blood on its collective hands. As with so many other twentieth century horrors, the truth is concealed by a layer of CYA lies that no one will ever have to answer for, which is infuriating. At least we now know how egregious the lies were in this case (thanks to you) even if we don’t know for sure the reasons why the liars told them. Kudos.

    • Sadly for the most part we may never know for sure why the governments of the world do the things they do to their citizenry. The most likely reason is that the elites simply don’t care, and since the elites are the ones that are really in control, even if they aren’t always the ones holding political office, they get away with it. Every now and then the elites will basically offer up a sacrifice to the people and allow one of their own to be punished for their wrong doings. One of the most recent cases of this would be Jeffrey Epstein. This makes it where all the other individuals involved end up getting off Scot Free, or at most with a mere slap on the wrist when you consider the severity of their actual crimes. After the “sacrifice”, for lack of a better term, is dealt with the elites then go on crowd control and basically have the media feed the narrative the elites want the masses to believe to the people. Most of the time this narrative is basically ” This person was solely responsible, and sense they were punished for their deeds justice was served, and there’s nothing else to see here.” They then have that same media start calling anyone who questions the official story a “conspiracy theorist” to try and quash anyone from looking further into it. One of the most famous of these happening in America was of course the Kennedy assassination. Lee Harvey Oswald did it, end of story!….At least that’s what they want everyone to believe,

  7. Hi Tom, I immediately bought (and devoured) your book after overhearing an interview my son was listening to. It’s difficult to say anything other that “WOW” and “thank you”.
    As you continue to receive and evaluate new information that’s rolled in after the book’s release, please check out shalom girl on YouTube. She was born in 1965 San Francisco to a madam who was involved in Operation Midnight Climax. She has memories of the SF clinic and the Manson Family and just recently started telling them.

    Much admiration, K

  8. I was only 10 when the murders took place. When I was a teenager I grew to love true crime and has read Helter Skelter a number of times. I am in the middle of your book Chaos and it is mind blowing. I have loved every second I have read it. You have made a believer out of me, that Vincent Bugliosi and a number of agencies lied and manipulated the system. I can’t wait to finish it. All I can say is, Bravo Sir!!!!!

    Kim Peek

  9. Absolutely amazing read. Can’t put it down. Only one question; the photo above, and opposite page 283 in the book states Manson is rear row, 4th from the left. Is he not the short fellow both 5th from the left and right. If so, who is the darkened chap 4th from the left. And the rest for that matter. Again, wonderful read. Thank you for your diligence.

    • Check out the Facebook or Instagram pages for the book. The picture (and a second one) are posted there and a lot of people are identified in the comments. Thanks

  10. My cc college biology lab partner was going to the ranch to party with Charle’s young girls and drop the best acid in LA at that time according to him. He was thinking of joining as Charle was very charming Andrew convincing but his mom needed his help. He said he believed in free “love and hatred to have to pay for a night of “love”so he was going to leave his wallet at home on the last time. He was never seen again and his mom had a missing person case opened.

  11. Senior at Arizona State- Just finished Chaos. Absolutely astonishing read. I’m sure you get messages like this all the time but thank you for the time you spent crafting this masterpiece.

  12. Hi Tom. I have your book
    and read it in 2 days! Even bought a copy for a friend. Great read! Thank you for bringing it to us. When you did the YouTube interview with Kush, you mentioned you were working on another book on details that weren’t there when you finished Chaos. Can you share a tidbit or two? Any idea when it will be released? The title? …. gnawing at the bit.

  13. Your book is amazing! I heard you on Joe Rogan and have been obsessed ever since! Thank you for the hard work and dedication you have given to this book.

  14. I couldn’t put this book down. I havnt read a book in many years. Thank you for your work and giving me something I lost. Reading. I hope more info is released for you to continue. And thank you to JRE for exposure.

  15. Hello Tom. I’m not sure if you’ve read Tarantino’s personal novelisation of the film “once upon a time in Hollywood” but about half way through Tarantino drops a few very interesting bits of inside information regarding Mansons beef with Melcher. Without a doubt Tarantino knows some stuff, he wouldn’t have researched the Ceilo Drive stuff without getting inside info & the book is a real treat for those of us who enjoyed your book.

    • Related to what Paul mentioned above, did you hear the nice shout out Tarantino gave you on Marc Maron’s podcast last week? He basically said of all the Manson books he’s read, yours was the best of the bunch. You guys should connect, seems he has a lot of good stories from old timers.

  16. Related to what Paul mentioned above, did you hear the nice shout out Tarantino gave you on Marc Maron’s podcast last week? He basically said of all the Manson books he’s read, yours was the best of the bunch. You guys should connect, seems he has a lot of good stories from old timers.

  17. Wow! I’m exhausted, drained, perplexed, curious. . . and many more adjectives. I watched 3 podcasts featuring u today. The last being the most interesting to me was Konkrete. Wow. To learn that Jay Sebring ‘s house was targeted the night before blew my mind. Now I have to think the cops were right all along in that this centered around drugs, which to me points to Tex Watson. He was a piece of fill in the blank and I do not believe he is a Christian. I believe he is a fake. He sells his autograph!!! But what confuses me most is Melcher. Did Vince convince him to lie as the only way to win the case? Or was Melcher truly covering up something? Gonna go buy ur book tomorrow.. How in the world did u live with all this knowledge all these years without going insane? Good work, Tom.

  18. Hi Tom, I just finished your book after hearing it recommended on JRE podcast wit QT…I cannot compliment and thank you enough on a marvelous piece of journalism and detective work. I just have one looming question, did you ever look into the killings from an occult/satanic ritualistic view point considering the fact that numerous girls had ties with Anton Lavette, and Sharon Tate herself getting involved in witchcraft. Could these ritualistic practices not have tied in somehow with the MKultra angle or some larger religious right?

    I know from the book that you tried to steer away from conspiracy theories and I acknowledge that any mention of the above would have undone your hard work. I was just curious if you looked into it and weather you had any thoughts ?

  19. Tom, have you had a chance to watch the Jay Sebring documentary Cutting To The Truth by Jay’s nephew? I found it on Youtube and it was a fascinating look at Jay’s life. The nephew, Anthony DiMaira represented Jay’s life in a completely different light than how the media portrayed him and Jay’s friends dismissed the media reports regarding his wild life style and sexual proclivities which his friends claimed were completely distorted.

    I can’t remember if you wrote about Sharon filing for divorce from Roman in your book, as it’s been a while since I read it. Jay’s attorney said he filed the papers for Sharon a few months before the murders and Sharon was going to tell Roman. The attorney said Jay and Sharon were getting back together. Interestingly, in Roman’s interview with police he said Sharon loved him so much she would never leave him.

  20. Hello Tom,
    I read Chaos feverishly and just set it down moments ago after finishing. Like so many others, I want to express gratitude for the way you poured your heart and soul into this work. I must say I felt such frustration along with you at each individual unwilling to speak truthfully and found myself game-planning interviews as if I was about to attend the next one. I felt but a fraction of your struggle and for me it has been a very short period of time, yet your words communicated your emotional journey so effectively that my skin still itches. Ready for a sequel.

  21. Tom – your book “Chaos” is excellent. Kudos to you for your dogged reporting on this amazing story. I hope it sells well. I first read “Helter Skelter” at age 11 in 1978. Yes, I was young, and yes the book freaked me out. Like most people, I got stuck stuck on the photographs, the brutal nature of the crime, and the evil wierdness of Charles Manson. Like most people, I stopped there — relieved that the perps were in jail, and that we were safe again due to the heroics of the LAPD and tireless prosecutors. Your book punctures this false narrative and goes deep. I wish Bugliosi were alive to face these charges. They are devastating. I hope you follow up with a second book on this sprawling subject.

  22. My mom (who grew up with the helter skelter narrative) and I just finished CHAOS together and she was astounded at your information . The amount of corruption in American government is often unfathomable, and we loved how eloquently you portrayed the reality in your book. thanks so much

    So much love- The Wyatts

  23. Great book Tom. I was almost 9 years old when the murders happened. I lived in Staten Island, N.Y. & use to deliver the Daily News early in the morning & remember seeing those “Headlines”. Scary shit. Not sure if there’s anything that can be rectified at this time, but you really showed us the “truth”
    Gerry

  24. An incredible job Tom! You present so many facts that basically alter the history of the meaning behind the murders. Just curious, did you ever attempt to or think to contact Patricia, Leslie, Susan (when she was alive) or Tex, to see if they had anything to contribute to the possibility of Manson’s involvement with a higher organization, that possibly was the true culprit in this whole story?

  25. Tom..Just finished “Chaos.” What kept me engaged and eager to keep reading was the very thing that likely frustrated you during your years of research; every time you think you might be getting close to figuring this thing out, new developments cloud and complicate all that was concluded up to that point. You mentioned in your epilogue that there was talk of a movie. I think this story would make a hell-of-a movie; ala “JFK” but with many more twists and turns. Clint Eastwood should take this one on. Congrats on an excellent book!

  26. Tom, I really enjoyed the book. The amount of information and your reporting are top-notch and exquisite. The question that I have is how does this all connect? What was the motivation for choosing the victims? In other words, why the LaBiancas? Were they a wrong place/wrong time thing? And to a lesser extent, why Tate and her friends? Why would the CIA “choose” these two different groups?

    Like I said, your research is top-shelf, but it just begs more questions. And perhaps, that’s the point. With all of the information that you have left over, do you have it in your for another book?

    • Hinman, Folger, and Leno LaBianca all had run afoul of the Black Muslims. The original plan was to blame the crimes on the black radical element, so that was the connection.

      • True Sam.
        Manson and his group were trying to frame the Black Panthers with each killing. We have hard evidence of that. Manson told someone who bought Hinman’s car after the murder, “if the cops stop you, tell them Hinman was a Black man in a black beret and black leather jacket.” How cliché can you get? Read the book “MH Chaos: The CIA’s Campaign Against the New Radical Left and Black Panthers.” Ground zero for this campaign was in California in the late 60s.

      • How did Manson know that the LaBiancas ran afoul of the Black Panthers though? I understand why Manson sent his zombies to Cielo Drive. I’m still unsure why he sent them to the LaBianca house aside from him being at a party next door once or twice.

      • My theory: Someone else chose the targets. The CIA used their assets in the black militant community (who knew Charlie via prison) to go up to Spahn and give Manson his marching orders.

    • Bryon. The Labiancas weren’t chosen. Manson has said in several interviews that he and his group went to Waverly Drive that night to check out Harold True’s house. That was the house next door to the Labiancas. It was also a house Manson was familiar with. And importantly, Manson said it was a house where “a lot of well-known people partied.” So the motive was the same as the Cielo Drive house… to instill sectarian terror in the Hollywood elite. Manson clearly says he (by himself) went up to True’s house first. But it was “locked up and nobody there.” It was only then that he just happened to notice people in the Labianca house — a house Manson originally thought was vacant. I can send you the interview if interested.

      • Paul: Using Charlie as a source is risky. If Charlie made it abundantly clear that the LaBianca house was chosen by accident, that indicates to me that it was chosen on purpose for another reason.

        Also, maybe the True house wasn’t empty:
        Tex Watson trial
        Q: Did you determine whether anybody was at the True residence on the evening of August 9nth or the early morning hours of August 10th?
        A(SergeantGalindo): Yes, sir. I don’t remember the times, but I can recall they had been there–somebody had been at the residence up past through the 9nth and into the 10th. I don’t remember the times.

      • Sam. I only go by what Charlie says by cross-referencing his statements from different interviews to check for consistency and by how specific he is with details. In the case of going to Waverly Drive to check out True’s house, he’s both consistent and specific. Every time he was asked why the Labiancas were chosen, he says he went to Harold True’s house first. The thing is, he also told this privately to friends. In George Stimson’s book, Goodbye Helter Skelter, Manson again talks about checking out True’s house first. He was speaking to Stimson privately as a friend. Manson had no idea Stimson would put his words into print. I asked Stimson personally if Manson really said privately to him that Manson went to True’s house first… and Stimson said unequivocally yes. Anyone is free to ask Stimson this. And all witnesses said Manson walked up the hill alone when they first parked on Waverly. So only Manson would know which house he checked out first. There were no cops there at that time, so how would they know who was home and who wasn’t at that specific hour?

      • “In the case of going to Waverly Drive to check out True’s house, he’s both consistent and specific.” Charlie was NEVER consistent and specific. And when he is—something’s up!

        Anyway Sergeant Galindo also testified that the Earl Anthony house(the other neighbor to the LaBainca house) was supposed to be vacant but somebody had been there that night–except the security guard, who was mysteriously absent. See Box 22 vol9015 pg16of130 (Tex Watson trial)

      • The facts back Manson up concerning his visiting True’s house first the night the Labiancas were murdered. He said True’s house was “locked up and nobody was home.” No resident of True’s house was ever found by police who said they were home at the time of the Labianca murders. So how did Manson know the house was empty unless he checked it out himself?

  27. Picked up Chaos yesterday and finished it today. Loved how you never told your readers what to think. Just gave us the information and let us decide what to believe. You have a true gift in journalism. Would love to see a follow up book to this as I’m sure there’s plenty of info omitted to keep the book more focused/concise.

  28. Mr. O’Neill,

    Wow! I just finished your book, CHAOS, recommended to me by my son. I was a teenager in the ‘60’s, so I remember the events, and many of the people presented throughout the book.

    I just want to acknowledge, and thank you for your tenacious research, interviews, and dedication of decades of your life to this project, in order to give us the information/evidence you discovered.

    Your talent and work are much appreciated!

    Regards,
    Sue Dunn

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