Tell-All Books - The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly...
A umpteen million dollar industry.
Everyone from Indie publishers to The Big Five have invested great time, energy and moola taking on the stories of the main players in the Manson Family murders - the perpetrator and innocent alike - creating eye-catching book covers and swamping the market with promises of new insights and hidden gems into this almost half-century old event.
The over-riding problem in Tell-All's is the duo poison of money and agenda.
Money the publisher wants and is sure to get from a universally popular topic.
Money and Agenda the writer as victim or perpetrator needs.
And the older the players get in these crimes; oftentimes, the more there is a need to get that last word out and get that final pay cheque in...neither of which insures an honest and forthright literary take.
As many of you know, I started TLB2 with the goal of forensically examining these murders in a factually objective light, as all there was online was a handful of, what I long ago coined, "Charliemite" fans spouting rhetoric or hearsay, or just plain lies in an attempt to get Charlie and the Family murderers freed.
My foundation is documents; court transcripts, first-hand interviews, witness statements, forensic evidence...all if which is never gleaned through Tell-All's.
You can read a Tell-All to see a player's point of view but you must remember: victim or perp, that POV is seen through rose-coloured glasses and the "facts" offered may not be factual.
I'm not saying don't read Tell-All's if you enjoy that kind of entertaining delivery over dry document research, but realize the ratio between entertainment and fact will be heavily one-sided, even if published by a reputable publishing house.
And if you plan on publicly citing a so-called Tell-All "fact", double-check with existing first-hand sources. The amount of "wrong" online and in Tell-All book land could fill the entire Panamint Range Death Valley desert at Barker!