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Old 09 June 2015, 02:54 PM
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Default Famed Manson family prosecutor Vincent Bugliosi dies at 80

Vincent Bugliosi, the Los Angeles County deputy district attorney who gained worldwide fame for his successful prosecutions of Charles Manson and his followers for the brutal 1969 murders of actress Sharon Tate and six others, has died. He was 80.

Bugliosi, who went on to become a best-selling true crime writer, co-authoring the compelling account “Helter Skelter” about the Manson murders and the sensational trial that followed, died Saturday in a Los Angeles hospital.

http://www.latimes.com/local/obituar...ry.html#page=1
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Old 09 June 2015, 03:09 PM
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I wasn't sure of the best place to post this -- "Moot Court" might have been a good choice -- but I know Bugliosi primarily through his books: Helter Skelter of course, but also such works as his screeds against the Supreme Court (No Island of Sanity and The Betrayal of America: How the Supreme Court Undermined the Constitution and Chose Our President), The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder, and Outrage: The Five Reasons O.J. Simpson Got Away With Murder. While he was an avowed atheist (he once wrote that if asked to prove the existence of God in court, he would say, "Your Honor, the question assumes facts not in evidence") and quick to excoriate the far right for being unpatriotic, cretinous, etc., he had peculiar bits of social conservatism, as when he complained about such symptoms of the breakdown of traditional American society as women wearing pants and men wearing earrings. If he had a flaw as a writer, or perhaps more properly as an political advocate, it was his conceit (though one is attempted to remember the old saying, "It ain't bragging if you can do it") and his inability to refrain from mocking those he considered fools (which is to say, most people who disagreed with him) - while the resulting rants could be amusing, they probably offended some people who might otherwise have been open to reason.

His masterwork, of course, is Reclaiming History, his book on the assassination of JFK. Nearly 2000 pages long (not counting the footnotes, which were on a separate CD-ROM), he looks at the evidence in tremendous detail, examines the leading conspiracy theories (and theorists), and concludes "beyond any doubt" that Oswald was the killer, and beyond a reasonable doubt that he acted alone. (Incidentally, the first 200-plus pages are available as a separate book, Four Days in November: The Assassination of President John F. Kennedy, which does a virtually minute-by-minute chronicle of the day of the assassination and the three following days, including the capture, interrogation, and shooting of Oswald, the autopsies, etc/ -- well worth reading by itself for those who don't want to slog through the entire larger volume.)

I would love to have seen him nominated to the Supreme Court. He had too many controversial statements on record to get confirmed, I suspect -- but the confirmation hearings themselves would have been highly amusing.
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Old 09 June 2015, 03:33 PM
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Like you, I have read most of Bugliosi's work.

Outrage was my latest read, and I was a bit disappointed in it. Until then, I had read mostly his true crime stuff (Helter Skelter, And the Sea Will Tell, Reclaiming History). His diatribes against people and positions was unfortunate as I always thought he took the moral high road.

He wrote everything longhand and had them transcribed. His writings were quite well done and enjoyable. I loved Reclaiming History.

I just wish he had outlived Manson.

RIP
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Old 10 June 2015, 01:46 AM
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I should have known Mark Evanier would have something to say. He sums things up pretty well.

Quote:
If you followed him, you came to see that he was very brilliant and also obsessed with telling you how brilliant he was. He always seemed to argue every matter in two ways. One was a solid presentation based on facts and logic, and this was usually pretty airtight. The other, parallel argument was that he was Vincent Bugliosi and if he said something was so, it was so because Vincent Bugliosi didn't say anything unless he had incontrovertible proof and since he was saying X, that meant there had to be incontrovertible proof of X so End of Argument, fella.
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