The Manson Family

Rachel Monroe at The Believer:

One year earlier, in the first throes of my renewed interest in the Manson Family, I had taken the Helter Skelter bus tour operated by Dearly Departed, an outfit specializing in Los Angeles death and murder sites. It sells out nearly every weekend, which is surprising given that there’s actually not much to see anymore. Scott Michaels, Dearly Departed’s founder and main guide, set the tone with a custom soundtrack of hits from 1969 (“In the Year 2525,” “Hair”), cozy oldies made newly spooky by our proximity to death. He also included extensive multimedia add-ons, such as cleavage-heavy clips from Sharon Tate’s early films and Jay Sebring’s cameo on the old bang-pow Batman TV show. Going on the tour is a little like taking a road trip through the parking lots and strip malls of central Los Angeles, accompanied by a group of strangers wearing various skull accessories. Many of the sites aren’t visible or no longer exist. The former Tate-Polanski house on Cielo Drive has been demolished; the site of Rosemary and Leno LaBianca’s murders in Los Feliz is mostly hidden by a hedge.

more here.