Urban Radish

661 Imperial Street LA CA 90021

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In this new special event bus adventure, a sequel to his popular tour about Patty Hearst and the Symbionese Liberation Army, author Brad Schreiber (Revolution’s End: The Patty Hearst Kidnapping, Mind Control, and the Secret History of Donald DeFreeze and the SLA) takes us deeper down the counterculture rabbit hole, for a wild ride through the mean streets of Los Angeles, on the trail of the Manson Family.

August 1969, 49 years ago this week, the city shuddered at news of two brutal and apparently random home invasions, the first claiming the lives of actress Sharon Tate and four visitors in the Hollywood Hills, the second leaving supermarket owners Leno and Rosemary LaBianca lifeless in Los Feliz. The unknown killers left a chilling message for the public: cryptic phrases scrawled in the victims’ blood.

What followed is perhaps the best documented criminal investigation and trial in history, concluding in the murder convictions of a sinister crew of hollow-eyed cultists and the elevation of small-time hustler Charlie Manson to the starring role of America’s Bogeyman.

You already know the story of Charlie’s brainwashed family of acid-damaged dropouts, their black school bus and stolen dune buggies, Charlie’s thwarted musical ambitions and dreams of a coming race war called Helter Skelter. It’s the true crime story that’s inspired dozens of books, documentaries, podcasts and dramatizations. (If you’d like to read up on the case before taking the tour, our Kim Cooper considers The Family by Ed Sanders a great example of immersive true crime reporting, and host Brad Schreiber’s research for this tour relied most upon Nikolas Schreck and his definitive, nearly 1,000 page work, The Manson File: Myth and Reality of an Outlaw Shaman.)

But the truth behind the Manson Family’s crimes is even weirder, darker and more complicated than you know.