Epix has ordered a six-part docuseries about Charles Manson and his followers titled — you guessed it — Helter Skelter, reports Deadline. I mean, what else could they call it, right? Sigh…
The docuseries is slated to premiere on June 14, nearly 51 years since the murders of Sharon Tate and four other individuals who were visiting her home on El Cielo Drive. It promises never-before-accessed interviews with former family members and journalists who were either first on the scene, or in the courtroom for Manson’s explosive trial, as well as newly-unearthed images.
Now, as I intrigued as I am about these new developments, I’m also skeptical of this entire enterprise. I mean, haven’t we heard it all at this point? What else could possibly be said about this case, which has been picked over for decades? It just feels like Epix is a little late to the Manson party after last year, when the 50th anniversary of the Tate murders garnered considerable ink. Does this docuseries seem less exploitative by waiting a year? Maybe a little bit, but after last year, forgive me if I feel a little Manson-ed out.
Oddly enough, Helter Skelter hails from YA maestro Greg Berlanti and his Berlanti Productions, as well as Rogue Atlas Productions, Warner Horizon Unscripted Television, and An Inconvenient Truth producer Lesley Chilcott. Berlanti and Sarah Schechter are executive producing along with Eli Frankel of Rogue Atlas and Chilcott, who will also direct the Manson docuseries. Is there anything Berlanti doesn’t have a hand in producing these days? For all I know, he executive produced this post!
“Helter Skelter set outs to illuminate new perspectives on one of the most legendary crimes of our time,” Chilcott told Deadline
“Helter Skelter’s bone-chilling narrative is rooted in one of the most infamous and fascinating crimes of the past several decades, and we’re thrilled that this story is being so expertly told on Epix,” added the network’s president Michael Wright.
“Helter Skelter is an edge-of-your-seat thriller about a small-time con artist who spearheaded one of the most unspeakable murder Charles Manson Docuseries ‘Helter Skelter’ Coming to Epix from EP Greg Berlantitragedies in history. It explores the age-old question: are killers born or are they made?” said WHUT’s Brooke Karzen.
I read Vincent Bugliosi and Curt Gentry‘s non-fiction book Helter Skelter relatively recently and it was absolutely chilling — not just the murders themselves, but everything that happened during the trial, which was something of a media circus. This docuseries could either be really interesting, or a tired rehash of things we already know. All I know is I’m going to give it a chance this summer so long as Netflix doesn’t keep churning out new episodes of Tiger King. Come to think of it, Manson would fit right into that bizarro world, given his predilections for madness, murder and, let’s not forget, music! Speaking of Joe Exotic, click here for our list of the Best True Crime Shows on Netflix.