"Creepy crawling" was the Manson Family's practice of secretly entering someone's home, and without harming anyone, leaving only a trace of evidence that they had been there, some reminder that the sanctity of the private home had been breached.
Now, author Jeffrey Melnick reveals just how much the Family creepy crawled their way through Los Angeles in the sixties and then on through American social, political, and cultural life for fifty years, firmly lodging themselves in our minds. Even now, it is almost impossible to discuss the sixties, teenage runaways, sexuality, drugs, music, California, or even the concept of family without referencing Manson and his "girls."
Not another Charles Manson history, Charles Manson's Creepy Crawl explores how the Family weren't so much outsiders as emblematic of the Los Angeles counterculture freak scene, and how Manson worked to connect himself to the mainstream of the time. Ever since they spent two nights killing seven residents of Los Angeles—what we now know as the "Tate-LaBianca murders"—the Manson family has rarely slipped from the American radar for long.
From Emma Cline's The Girls to the TV show Aquarius, as well as two major films in 2019, including Quentin Tarantino's Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, the family continues to rivet America. What is it about Charles Manson and his family that captivates us still?
Author Jeffrey Melnick sets out to answer this question in this fascinating and compulsively readable cultural history of the Family and their influence from 1969 to the present. Previously published in hardcover under the title Creepy Crawling this paperback edition has a new epilogue.
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About the Author
Table of Contents
Introduction: Creepy Crawling through the Sixties: Charles Manson and History vii
Part I Creepy Crawling Family: Charles Manson in Our Homes 1
Mother Father Sister Brother 3
The Family That Slays Together 23
Ranch, Hill, Farm 32
Hush Little Dropout 49
The History of Consciousness 80
Part II Creepy Crawling Los Angeles: Charles Manson on Our Maps 93
High Rollers 95
Hippies with Power 113
Hungry Freaks 125
The Bad Fathers of the Feast 144
Family Affairs 163
Part III Creepy Crawling Truth: Charles Manson and Our Crime Tales 175
The Bug vs. the Fug 177
A Legion of Charlies 207
Hippie Ugly! Hippie Shit! Toothpaste Good! 221
A Newcomer, an Intruder 233
Not Just the Facts, Ma'am 243
Part IV Creepy Crawling Art: Charles Manson in Our Minds 259
Blood in a Swimming Pool 261
They Are Still among Us 278
He's a Magic Man 295
Waves of Mutilation 301
Desperados under the Eaves 325
Wrecking Crews 346
Works Consulted 396