50 years ago, Charles Manson and three of his dedicated followers each stood accused of several counts of murder and one of conspiracy. On July 26, 1970, a Tate estate caretaker and the only person found alive after the massacre at the actress’ home, William E. Garretson, was called as a witness in their trial. Garretson, who had initially been arrested as a suspect in the murders, testified that he heard no gunshots or screams while he spent the night in the guest house, but that he noticed the phone line was dead around dawn the next morning. The prosecution would go on to win the case, arguing that the triggering of "Helter Skelter"—an impending apocalypse whose name was inspired by the Beatles song—was Manson's main motive for the killings at the Tate residence and later, the LaBianca residence (which occurred while Garretson was still in custody).
But there’s more to the story. Enter Helter Skelter, EPIX’s new docuseries chronicling the history of the Manson Family, featuring never-before-accessed interviews from former family members and journalists first on the scene and in the courtroom. Helter Skelter aims to upend what people think they know about this layered and complex story and cast an entirely new light on the Crime of the Century—weaving these original narratives together with archival footage and newly-unearthed images. Are killers like Manson born, or are they made? Catch the first episode tonight, and tune in to EPIX’s original six-part docuseries Helter Skelter Sundays at 10/9c to find out.