Almost thirty years after its original publication, this authoritative, thoroughly researched chronicle of the Manson murders remains the most chilling "true crime" story ever. It is an exhaustive, relentless inquiry into murder without purpose, committed by young people who might have been anybody's children led by a scruffy, poorly educated would-be pop singer with little apparent talent. As prosecutor in charge of the case, Vincent Bugliosi was not required to determine motive, but as a human being he was compelled to pursue the questions that baffled all of America: Why had these young women, refugees from comfortable, middle-class families, participated in murderous atrocities under Manson's influence? What was the nature of his power over so many young people? Most perplexing of all, what was his purpose? Or was there, in fact, no purpose, at all?