Bugliosi at the North Hollywood Branch Library in 2009
|Born||August 18, 1934|
|Died||June 6, 2015 80) (aged|
Los Angeles, California
|Education|| University of Miami (1956)|
UCLA School of Law (1964)
|Genre||True Crime, History, Politics|
|Notable works|| Helter Skelter (1974)|
And the Sea Will Tell (1991)
Reclaiming History (2007)
The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder (2008)
|Notable awards|| Edgar Allan Poe Award |
(1975, 1979, 2008)
Vincent T. Bugliosi, Jr. ( // ; August 18, 1934 – June 6, 2015) was an American attorney and New York Times bestselling author. During his eight years in the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office, he successfully prosecuted 105 out of 106 felony jury trials, which included 21 murder convictions, without a single loss. He was best known for prosecuting Charles Manson and other defendants accused of the seven Tate–LaBianca murders of August 9–10, 1969. Although Manson did not physically participate in the murders at Sharon Tate's home, Bugliosi used circumstantial evidence to show that he had orchestrated the killings.
The District Attorney of Los Angeles County is the district attorney (DA) for Los Angeles County, California, United States. The DA's office prosecutes felony and misdemeanor crimes that occur within the county. The current district attorney is Jackie Lacey.
Charles Milles Manson was an American criminal, cult leader and musician. In mid-1967, he began forming what became known as the Manson Family, a quasi-commune based in California. Manson's followers committed a series of nine murders at four locations in July and August 1969. In 1971, he was convicted of first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder for the deaths of seven people, all of which members of the group carried out at his instruction. Manson was also convicted of first-degree murder for two other deaths.
Sharon Marie Tate Polanski was an American actress and model. During the 1960s, she played small television roles before appearing in films and was regularly featured in fashion magazines as a model and cover girl. After receiving positive reviews for her comedic and dramatic acting performances, Tate was hailed as one of Hollywood's most promising newcomers.
After leaving the Los Angeles district attorney's office in 1972, Bugliosi turned to private practice and represented three criminal defendants, achieving successful acquittals on behalf of all three—the most famous of which was Stephanie Stearns (referred to as "Jennifer Jenkins" in his book), whom he defended for the murder of Eleanor "Muff" Graham which occurred on the South Pacific island of Palmyra Atoll. The case was the subject of his 1991 #1 New York Times bestselling book And the Sea Will Tell that he wrote with Bruce Henderson. He turned down opportunities to represent famous defendants Jeffrey MacDonald and Dan White because he did not represent anyone whom he believed to be guilty of murder.
Palmyra Atoll is one of the Northern Line Islands, located almost due south of the Hawaiian Islands, roughly one-third of the way between Hawaii and American Samoa. The nearest continent is almost 5,400 kilometers to the northeast. The atoll is 4.6 sq mi (12 km2), and it is located in the equatorial Northern Pacific Ocean. Its 9 mi (14 km) of coastline has one anchorage known as West Lagoon.
And the Sea Will Tell is a true crime book by Vincent Bugliosi and Bruce Henderson. The nonfiction book recounts a double murder on Palmyra Atoll; the subsequent arrest, trial and conviction of Duane ("Buck") Walker; and the acquittal of his girlfriend, Stephanie Stearns, whom Bugliosi and Leonard Weinglass defended. The book went to No. 1 on The New York Times hardcover bestseller list in March 1991 and is still in print as a trade paperback and ebook.
Bruce Henderson is an American journalist and author of more than 20 nonfiction books, including a #1 New York Times bestseller, And the Sea Will Tell. His most recent book is Sons and Soldiers: The Untold Story of the Jews Who Escaped the Nazis and Returned with the U.S. Army to Fight Hitler. A member of the Authors Guild, Henderson has taught reporting and writing courses at USC School of Journalism and Stanford University.
Bugliosi, along with Curt Gentry, authored the book Helter Skelter in 1974, which presented the account of the investigation, arrest, and prosecution of Charles Manson and the Manson family. He later wrote Reclaiming History: The Assassination of President John F. Kennedy and The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder .
Curtis Marsena "Curt" Gentry was an American writer, born in Lamar, Colorado. He is best known for co-authoring, with Vincent Bugliosi, the 1974 book Helter Skelter, which detailed the Charles Manson murders. Gentry lived in San Francisco, California.
Helter Skelter (1974) is a book by Vincent Bugliosi and Curt Gentry. Bugliosi had served as the prosecutor in the 1970 trial of Charles Manson. The book presents his firsthand account of the cases of Manson, Susan Atkins, Patricia Krenwinkel, and other members of the self-described Manson Family. It is the best-selling true crime book in history.
Reclaiming History: The Assassination of President John F. Kennedy is a book by attorney Vincent Bugliosi that analyzes the events surrounding the assassination of John F. Kennedy, focusing on the lives of Lee Harvey Oswald and Jack Ruby. The book is drawn from many sources, including the Warren Report. Bugliosi's 1,632-page, 1,535,791-word book analyzes all aspects of the assassination and the rise of the conspiracy theories about Kennedy's assassination in the years subsequent to the event. Bugliosi argues that the Warren Commission's conclusion that Lee Oswald acted alone in shooting Kennedy is correct. The book won the 2008 Edgar Award for the Best Fact Crime category.
Bugliosi was born on August 18, 1934, in Hibbing, Minnesota to parents of Italian descent. During high school, his family moved to Los Angeles, and Bugliosi graduated from Hollywood High School.Bugliosi graduated from the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Florida, which he attended on a tennis scholarship. In 1964, he received his law degree from UCLA, where he was president of his graduating class.
Hibbing is a city in Saint Louis County, Minnesota, United States. The population was 16,361 at the 2010 census. The city was built on the rich iron ore of the Mesabi Iron Range. At the edge of town is the largest open-pit iron mine in the world, the Hull–Rust–Mahoning Open Pit Iron Mine. U.S. Highway 169, State Highway 37, State Highway 73, Howard Street, and 1st Avenue are five of the main routes in Hibbing. The Range Regional Airport offers daily commercial flights between Hibbing and Minneapolis-St. Paul, as well as hosting many private pilots and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources fire fighting aircraft.
Hollywood High School is a four-year public secondary school in the Los Angeles Unified School District, located at the intersection of North Highland Avenue and West Sunset Boulevard in the Hollywood district of Los Angeles, California.
The University of Miami is a private, nonsectarian research university in Coral Gables, Florida, United States. As of 2018, the university enrolls 17,331 students in 12 separate colleges/schools, including the Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine in Miami's Health District, a law school on the main campus, and the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science focused on the study of oceanography and atmospheric sciences on Virginia Key, with research facilities at the Richmond Facility in southern Miami-Dade County.
He had two children: a daughter, Wendy and a son, Vince Jr. He often referred to his wife in his books, referencing her understanding and patience with him. He also stated that he was an agnostic, although open to the ideas of deism.After his death, a woman named Linda Alvarez claimed to have carried on a 23 year long affair with Vincent that produced a daughter named Nina, born in 1981, and five grandchildren. According to her, the two allegedly met in 1978 in Tucson, AZ while she was working as a cocktail waitress. She also claimed that they lived together for a time, despite the fact he was married, and that he repeatedly promised to marry her, but never did. She claims that she only revealed this information after his death in order for their daughter to be recognized, although she has no plans currently to sue his estate.
Deism is a philosophical belief that posits that God exists as an uncaused First Cause ultimately responsible for the creation of the universe, but does not interfere directly with the created world. Equivalently, deism can also be defined as the view which posits God's existence as the cause of all things, and admits its perfection but rejects divine revelation or direct intervention of God in the universe by miracles. It also rejects revelation as a source of religious knowledge and asserts that reason and observation of the natural world are sufficient to determine the existence of a single creator or absolute principle of the universe.
As a Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorney, he successfully prosecuted Charles Manson, Charles "Tex" Watson, Susan Atkins, Patricia Krenwinkel, and Leslie Van Houten for the 1969 murders of Sharon Tate, Jay Sebring, Abigail Folger, Wojciech Frykowski, and Steven Parent on August 8 and Leno and Rosemary LaBianca on August 9.He later wrote, jointly with Curt Gentry, a book about the Manson trial called Helter Skelter. The book won an Edgar Award from the Mystery Writers of America for the best true crime book of the year, spawned two television movies (in 1976 and 2004), and is the best-selling true crime book in publishing history, with over 7 million copies sold.
Susan Denise Atkins was a convicted American murderer who was a member of Charles Manson's "Family". Manson's followers committed a series of nine murders at four locations in California, over a period of five weeks in the summer of 1969. Known within the Manson family as Sadie Mae Glutz or Sexy Sadie, Atkins was convicted for her participation in eight of these killings, including the most notorious, the Tate murders. She was sentenced to death, which was subsequently commuted to life imprisonment. Atkins was incarcerated from October 1, 1969, until her death, a period exactly one week short of 40 years. At the time of her death, Atkins was California's longest-serving female inmate.
Patricia Dianne Krenwinkel is an American murderer and a former member of Charles Manson's "Family". During her time with Manson's group, she was known by various aliases such as Big Patty, Yellow, Marnie Reeves and Mary Ann Scott, but to The Family she was most commonly known as Katie.
Leslie Louise Van Houten is an American convicted murderer and former member of the Manson Family. Van Houten was arrested and charged in relation to the 1969 killings of Leno and Rosemary LaBianca. She was convicted and sentenced to death. The California Supreme Court decision on People v. Anderson then ruled in 1972 that the death penalty was unconstitutional, resulting in her sentence being commuted to life in prison. Her conviction was then overturned in a 1976 appellate court decision which granted her a retrial. Her second trial ended with a deadlocked jury and a mistrial. At her third trial in 1978, she was convicted of two counts of murder and one count of conspiracy and sentenced to seven years to life in prison. In relation to her case, high courts, parole boards, and the state governor have said that an inexplicable or racial motive for murder could merit exemplary punishment and outweigh any evidence of subsequent reform. She was denied parole by panels of state commissioners 19 times before receiving a recommendation for parole in 2016 and receiving a second panel recommendation for parole in 2017.
In 1972, Bugliosi ran as a Democrat for Los Angeles County District Attorney against longtime incumbent Joseph Busch. Joseph Gellman was his legal counsel for this campaign. Bugliosi narrowly lost the campaign. Bugliosi ran again in 1976, after Busch died of a heart attack in 1975, but lost to interim District Attorney John Van de Kamp.
Bugliosi subsequently became an outspoken critic of the media, lawyers, and judges in major trials.
This article needs additional citations for verification . (May 2013) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
Bugliosi wrote a bestselling book, Outrage: The Five Reasons Why O. J. Simpson Got Away with Murder , on the acquittal of O. J. Simpson for the murders of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Lyle Goldman.Bugliosi argues Simpson's guilt and criticizes the work of the district attorney, prosecutors, defense lawyers, and Judge Lance Ito. He criticized the media for characterizing Simpson's lawyers as the Dream Team, arguing the lawyers were unremarkable and of average ability. He uses these profiles to illustrate broader problems in American criminal justice, the media, and the political appointment of judges.
In the book, Bugliosi is severely critical of prosecutors Marcia Clark and Christopher Darden. Bugliosi argued that a major mistake in the trial was the District Attorney's assigning Clark and Darden to prosecute it. This was because Bugliosi considered the two to be average prosecutors, who lacked the competence and skill to try such a significant murder case as Simpson's. Bugliosi noted what he thought were glaring mistakes made by the prosecution; for example: he faults prosecutors for not introducing the note Simpson had written before trying to flee, which one friend took to be a suicide note. Bugliosi writes that the note "reeked" of guilt, and the jury should have been allowed to see it. He also noted that the jury was never told that Simpson was traveling with his friend Cowlings with a change of clothing, a large amount of cash, his passport, and a disguise kit. Bugliosi criticized Clark and Darden for not allowing the jury to hear the tape of Simpson's statement to police about cutting his finger the night of the murders, in which he prevaricates over his story.
Bugliosi writes that the prosecutors should have gone into more detail about Simpson's abuse of his wife. He writes that it should have been made clear to the mostly African-American jury that Simpson had little impact in the black community and had done nothing to help blacks less fortunate than he. Bugliosi points out that, although the prosecutors knew that Simpson's race had nothing to do with the murders, once the defense "opened the door" by trying to paint Simpson falsely as a "leader" in the black community, the evidence to the contrary should have been presented to prevent the jury from allowing it to bias their verdict.
In several books, including Helter Skelter, Til Death Us Do Part, and And the Sea Will Tell, Bugliosi has written that when preparing a case for trial, he starts with his final summation. In this book, he states that if he had been prosecuting the case, he would have put at least 500 hours of preparation into his final summation. He believed that Clark and Darden had waited until the night before to prepare theirs.
Bugliosi writes at length about the allegations that LAPD detective Mark Fuhrman had planted a bloody glove in order to frame Simpson. He argues that in order for Fuhrman to do this, there would have had to have been a vast conspiracy between Fuhrman and the other officers who worked the case. Bugliosi points out that it was highly improbable that Fuhrman or anyone else involved in the case would have tried to frame Simpson, as California law at the time provided that anyone who planted evidence in a death penalty case could have faced the death penalty themselves (though prosecutors ultimately did not seek the death penalty).
Bugliosi criticized the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Clinton v. Jones . In his book, No Island of Sanity, he argues that the right of a president to be unburdened by a private lawsuit outweighed Paula Jones's interest in having her case brought to trial immediately.
This article needs additional citations for verification . (May 2013) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
Bugliosi condemned the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in the Bush v. Gore case that decided the 2000 presidential election. He wrote a lengthy criticism of the case for The Nation , titled "None Dare Call It Treason,"which he later expanded into a book titled The Betrayal of America . Some of his criticisms were depicted in the 2004 documentary Orwell Rolls in His Grave.
He also believed that George W. Bush should have been charged with the murders of more than 4,000 American soldiers who have died in Iraq since the American-led invasion of that country, because of his belief that Bush launched the invasion under false pretenses. In his book, The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder, he laid out his view of evidence and outlined what questions he would ask Bush at a potential murder trial. Bugliosi testified at a House Judiciary Committee meeting on July 25, 2008, at which he urged impeachment proceedings for Bush. The book formed the basis of a 2012 documentary film, The Prosecution of an American President.
In 1986, Bugliosi played the part of prosecutor in an unscripted 21-hour mock television trial of Lee Harvey Oswald. His legal opponent, representing Oswald, was the well-known criminal defense attorney Gerry Spence. London Weekend Television sponsored the mock trial, which followed Texas criminal trial procedure. It also included a former Texas judge and a jury of U.S. citizens from the Dallas area which reviewed hundreds of exhibits and listened to witnesses who testified about the assassination. The jury found Oswald guilty. Spence remarked, "No other lawyer in America could have done what Vince did in this case."
The program required extensive preparation by Bugliosi and inspired him to later write a comprehensive book on the subject of the assassination. His 1,612-page book (with a CD-ROM containing an additional 958 pages of endnotes and 170 pages of source notes), Reclaiming History: The Assassination of President John F. Kennedy, was published in May 2007. His book examined the JFK assassination in detail and drew on a variety of sources; his findings were in line with those of the Warren Report, which concluded that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone in the assassination of the 35th President. He called Reclaiming History his "magnum opus."The book won the 2008 Edgar Award for Best Fact Crime.
The title of Reclaiming History derived from Bugliosi's belief that the history of the Kennedy assassination has been hijacked by conspiracy theories, the popularity of which, he asserted, has a pernicious and ongoing effect on American thought:
Unless this fraud is finally exposed, the word believe will be forgotten by future generations and John F. Kennedy will have unquestionably become the victim of a conspiracy. Belief will have become unchallenged fact, and the faith of the American people in their institutions further eroded. If that is allowed to happen, Lee Harvey Oswald, a man who hated his country and everything for which it stands, will have triumphed even beyond his intent on that fateful day in November.— Vincent Bugliosi, Reclaiming History, p.1011.
Bugliosi is on record for believing that Senator Robert Kennedy was the victim of a conspiracy. He said the following during a civil trial of the RFK assassination:
We are talking about a conspiracy to commit murder ... a conspiracy the prodigious dimensions of which would make Watergate look like a one-roach marijuana case.
Bugliosi did not own a computer and at one time did all his research through library microfilm archives.In his later years, he relied on his virtual secretary, Rosemary Newton, to help with these tasks. He also wrote his books entirely by hand, with Newton later transcribing his long-hand texts.
Bugliosi died of cancer at age 80, at a Los Angeles hospital on June 6, 2015.He is interred in the Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale, California.
Bugliosi has had many of his books adapted to the screen, and appears as a character in several of them.
He also appeared as himself in the 1973 documentary film Manson .
In jurisprudence, prosecutorial misconduct is "an illegal act or failing to act, on the part of a prosecutor, especially an attempt to sway the jury to wrongly convict a defendant or to impose a harsher than appropriate punishment." It is similar to selective prosecution. Prosecutors are bound by a sets of rules which outline fair and dispassionate conduct.
Mark Fuhrman is a former detective of the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD). He is primarily known for his part in the investigation of the murders of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman in the O.J. Simpson murder case.
Lance Allan Ito is a retired American judge best known for presiding over the O. J. Simpson murder case while on the bench of the Los Angeles County Superior Court. He heard felony criminal cases at the Clara Shortridge Foltz Criminal Justice Center in downtown Los Angeles.
The Manson Family was a desert commune and cult formed in California in the late 1960s. Led by Charles Manson, the group consisted of approximately 100 of his followers who lived an unconventional lifestyle with habitual use of hallucinogenic drugs. Most of the group members were young women from middle-class backgrounds, many of whom were radicalized by Manson's teachings and drawn by hippie culture and communal living.
Helter Skelter is a 1976 television film based on the 1974 book by prosecutor Vincent Bugliosi and Curt Gentry. In the United States, it aired over two nights. In some countries it was shown in theaters with additional footage.
Linda Darlene Kasabian is a former member of Charles Manson's "Family". She was the key witness in District Attorney Vincent Bugliosi's prosecution of Manson and his followers for the Tate-LaBianca murders.
Christopher Allen. "Chris" Darden is an American lawyer, author, actor, lecturer, and practicing attorney. He was a 15-year veteran of the Los Angeles County District Attorney's office, where he was assigned to the prosecution of O. J. Simpson, a role in which he gained a great deal of national attention.
Ronald W. Hughes was an American attorney who represented Charles Manson.
The O. J. Simpson murder case was a criminal trial held at the Los Angeles County Superior Court. Former National Football League (NFL) player, broadcaster, and actor O. J. Simpson was tried on two counts of murder for the June 12, 1994, slashing deaths of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend Ron Goldman. On the morning of June 13, 1994, the couple was found stabbed to death outside Brown's condominium in the Brentwood neighborhood of Los Angeles. Simpson was a person of interest in their murders. He did not turn himself in, and on June 17 he became the object of a low-speed pursuit in a white 1993 Ford Bronco SUV owned and driven by his friend Al Cowlings. TV stations interrupted coverage of the 1994 NBA Finals to broadcast the incident. The pursuit was watched live by an estimated 95 million people. The pursuit, arrest, and trial were among the most widely publicized events in American history. The trial—often characterized as the trial of the century because of its international publicity similar to that of Sacco and Vanzetti and the Lindbergh kidnapping—spanned eleven months, from the jury's swearing-in on November 9, 1994. Opening statements were made on January 24, 1995, and the verdict was announced on October 3, 1995, when Simpson was acquitted on two counts of murder. Following his acquittal, no additional arrests related to the murders have been made, and the crime remains unsolved to this day. According to USA Today, the case has been described as the "most publicized" criminal trial in history.
Irving A. Kanarek is a former criminal defense attorney best known for representing Charles Manson and "Onion Field" killer Jimmy Lee Smith.
The D.A. is an American half-hour legal drama that aired Fridays at 8:00-8:30 pm on NBC for the 1971-72 season. It ran from September 17, 1971 to January 7, 1972 and was replaced by the more successful Sanford and Son the following week. The show was packaged by Jack Webb's Mark VII Limited for Universal Television and is not to be confused with a show Webb produced in 1959 with a similar name, The D.A.'s Man, which starred John Compton in the lead role.
In the months leading up to the Tate/LaBianca murders in August 1969, Charles Manson often spoke to the members of his "Family" about Helter Skelter, an apocalyptic war arising from racial tensions between blacks and whites. This "chimerical vision"—as it was termed by the court that heard Manson's appeal from his conviction for the killings—involved reference to music of the Beatles and to the New Testament's Book of Revelation. Manson and his followers were convicted of the murders based on the prosecution's theory that they were part of a plan to trigger the Helter Skelter scenario.
Paul Alan Watkins was a member of Charles Manson’s "Family." In the period leading up to Manson’s trial for the Tate-LaBianca murders, Watkins provided the prosecution with information that clarified the Helter Skelter motive.
The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder is a 2008 book by former prosecutor Vincent Bugliosi. It argues that George W. Bush took the United States into the invasion of Iraq under false pretenses and should be tried for murder for the deaths of American soldiers in Iraq. The book sold over 130,000 copies within its first three months of release. The book was made into a documentary titled The Prosecution of an American President and was released on DVD on October 7, 2014.
Outrage: The Five Reasons Why O. J. Simpson Got Away with Murder is a true crime book by Vincent Bugliosi published in 1996. Bugliosi sets forth five main reasons why the Los Angeles County District Attorney's office failed to successfully convict O. J. Simpson for the murders of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman. Personally convinced of Simpson's guilt, Bugliosi blames his acquittal on the district attorney, the judge, and especially the prosecuting attorneys Marcia Clark and Christopher Darden.