Leslie Van Houten.
A while back, caught up in a transportational reverie of the sort induced on buses and subways, I wondered:
How many Manson Family members can I name?
I was five when the Manson Family went on their summer weekend killing spree.
The book Helter Skelter appeared when I was ten. Its bold, stark, black-white-and-red cover seemed like the wallpaper of the world, more everywhere than stop signs.
Inside, the victims in the black and white crime scene photos were covered up by angular blank white shapes that were unknown in geometry — I want to say, “akimbo” — as if literally, crudely, cut out of the pages by a furious toddler.
That was, in its way, scary looking, too.
Today I googled those photos but gave up after 10 minutes.*
Today you can see — all you can see, apparently — are the real things, in full colour.
Those old photos of invisible people are now invisible.
Don’t worry: I know their names, too.
Abigail Folger was the coffee heiress. Jay Siebring was “the hairdresser to the stars.”
There was an age when children could recite the names of planets, and their moons.
The Manson Family are the reason I refuse to live in a house.
*UPDATE: Thanks to JF for scanning them for me: