Vincent Bugliosi, Manson prosecutor and author, was 80

bugliosi-1971-herex.jpgBugliosi in 1971, after the conviction of Manson and followers. Herald Examiner Collection/Los Angeles Public Library

Vincent Bugliosi was a hotshot prosecutor in the Los Angeles County DA's office when Charles Manson and his young, mostly female followers were captured and put on trial in 1970 for the previous summer's murders of actress Sharon Tate and six others. During the 10-month trial in the old Hall of Justice downtown, Bugliosi retained author Curt Gentry to help him write "Helter Skelter," an account of the murders and the Manson "family" that became the best-selling true-crime book in history. Bugliosi went on to write several other books, including several novels. He also ran twice for Los Angeles DA, getting into a runoff with the incumbent Joe Busch in 1972, and tried his hand at being a defense attorney. Bugliosi died of cancer in Los Angeles on Saturday, NBC 4 reported.

His 1996 book, “Outrage: The Five Reasons Why O.J. Simpson Got Away with Murder,” called the prosecutors who lost the Simpson case incompetent. In 2007, he went in a new direction with “Reclaiming History: The Assassination of President John F. Kennedy,” which used 1,600 pages to reexamine the case against Lee Harvey Oswald. Bugliosi followed that up with "The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder" (2008), and "Divinity of Doubt: The God Question" (2011).

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