Quotable: Ed Sanders on the Manson Family murders

“The Manson case had everything — it ripped aside enough of the veils of Hollywood to titillate the nation’s and even the world’s interest. It had rock and roll, it had the lure of the Wild West, it had the essence of the 1960s with its sexual liberation, its love of the outdoors, its ferocity and its psychedelic drugs. It had the hunger for stardom and renown; it had religions of all kinds, it had warfare and homegrown slaughter, it had it all in a huge moiling story of sex, drugs and violent transgression.

“The more I dug into this case the more upset I became over what these people and their connective groups had done and were still doing. I was revolted by some of the things I learned while researching this book. I realized that during my years in the counterculture I had sometimes behaved imperfectly, and had strayed from portions of the Judeo-Christian tradition in which I was raised. But what I came across seemed to me to be evil, and you don’t have to be perfect — in fact you can be quite imperfect — to be revolted by practitioners of deliberate evil.”

–Ed Sanders, from the Introduction to the Revised and Updated Edition of his classic work on the Manson murders, The Family.

(Appropriately enough, I had just finished the last book I was reading this morning, and cracked into this one…after finding out that Charles Manson, at long last, had died earlier today. May he rot, and may his spectre never again haunt this Earth.)

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