At the time, the San Francisco district of Haight-Ashbury had found itself at the heart of the flourishing hippie movement. And Manson, positioning himself as a philosophical guru, began collecting followers. In fact, soon he and Brunner had invited no fewer than 18 women to live in their home.
Over time, the group – which would become known as the Manson Family – continued to grow. And as summer turned to autumn in 1967, Manson and his followers left San Francisco and bused around the west coast before finally settling in Los Angeles. Apparently, Manson believed that a fateful battle between blacks and whites was on the horizon and that it was up to him to set events in motion.
By February 1969, Manson had a plan. Inspired by what he reckoned were hidden messages on the Beatles’ White Album, he set out to create his own music. Furthermore, he believed that his album would be the catalyst for the upcoming chaos, which he dubbed “Helter Skelter,” after the Beatles’ own song.