Vincent Bugliosi’s FBI file shows the prosecutor of infamous Manson Family murders got a few threats of his own

Bureau investigated letter stating “Bug’s should be stepped on or poisened!”

Written by Beryl Lipton
Edited by JPat Brown

During his time as a Los Angeles County attorney, Vincent Bugliosi successfully prosecuted over 99% of his cases, including the murder trial of the still infamous Charles Manson. After the victory in August 1969, he went on to private practice and, in 1974, published with Curt Gentry the true crime novel Helter Skelter, the best-ever selling book of its kind.

Of course, not all of the attention was positive, and shortly after the book’s publication, Mr. Bugliosi began receiving death threats from Charlie’s sympathizers.

Two in particular, according to materials recently released by the FBI, warranted further investigation as evidence of Charlie’s draw even beyond prison walls, even through the words of the man who put him there.

The first came in January of 1976 from an inmate at the Florida State Prison.

The threats it held were vague, but definitely intended to spook Bugliosi.

But given the inmate’s history …

and current sentencing …

they ultimately decided not to prosecute the case.

The next threat in the summer from a young girl in California.

In bubbly letters, she accused Bugliosi of picking on the little guy (Charles Manson is all of 5’ 2”) ....

let him know that she read the book and hated it…

and thought that he should feel really bad about himself.

The Beatles were there to back her up.

During the FBI’s interview with the girl - who had also sent letters to Manson himself - the Bureau was told that she actually hadn’t read the book …

and she was acting out because of troubles in school …

Agents concluded that she was probably just lonely, and suggested she lose weight and try to make friends. Seriously.

Neither threat amounted to much - Mr. Bugliosi only died last year. Meanwhile, Charles Manson, born the same year, continues to live in infamy in his cell at Corcoran State Prison.

Read the first file embedded below, and the rest on the request page.


Image by Curt Gunther via University of Missouri - Kansas City