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Vincent Bugliosi, Manson Prosecutor and ‘Helter Skelter’ Author, Dies at 80

Vincent Bugliosi, who prosecuted Charles Manson and went on to co-write bestseller “Helter Skelter” about the trial, died Saturday at 80.

A 1976 TV movie was based on the book “Helter Skelter,” which he co-wrote with Curt Gentry, with another TV version in 2004. Bugliosi also wrote the book “The Prosecution of the American President” on which the 2013 film “Parkland” was based. His books “And the Sea Will Tell” and “Till Death Us Do Part” were also made into TV movies.

He successfully prosecuted Charles Manson and four others accused of the 1969 Tate-LaBianca murders, using circumstantial evidence to show that Manson ordered the killings although he did not physically commit the murders at Sharon Tate’s house.

His son, Vincent Bugliosi, Jr., told NBC News “He was a workaholic. What was remarkable was he always found time for everyone who needed work. Every fan letter he received, he responded to everyone.”

Bugliosi was born in Minnesota and earned a law degree in UCLA, then worked in the L.A. County District Attorney’s office. After entering private practice in 1972, he went on to write or co-write 12 books including “Outrage: The Five Reasons Why OJ Simpson Got Away With Murder.”

He is survived by his wife Gail and two children, Wendy and Vincent Jr.

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