Crime, Fiction, Mystery/Suspense

“Hi, I’m Charlie…Charlie Manson,” the hippie cult leader and driver of the old beat-up school bus said to the hitchhiker. It was spring 1969 in sunny California. Billy McLain, a seventeen-year-old runaway was trying to find himself. Disillusioned by overly strict and repressive parents as well as the war in Vietnam, Billy begins a journey of self-discovery. On his quest he encounters the strangely intense Charles Manson and his staunchly devout followers known as the Family. Billy willingly partakes in the drugs, booze and girls that are readily available. It’s a life of peace and love, so Billy decides to hang around for a while. What could possibly go wrong?

On August 9, 1969 Billy unwittingly joins Family member Tex Watson and three female Manson followers to the home of actress Sharon Tate. The mission is to slaughter everyone in the house in order to start a crazy race war that Manson constantly preached about. The plan he called Helter Skelter. Having no appetite for murder, Billy runs away as innocent people are dying around him, settling on a horse ranch in Oregon. Hopefully his past and the savage killings he’d witnessed when he was a confused teen would never catch up to him. In 2009 Lynette ‘Squeaky’ Fromme, one of Manson’s earliest followers is released from federal prison. Her debt to society paid in full for her failed assassination attempt on President Gerald Ford. Soon after, some gruesome Manson like slayings start happening again. This sets a driven and very motivated LAPD detective on an investigative trail that leads her to Billy’s doorstep. Soon Billy’s life is shattered as he tries to prove his innocence, not only for the 1969 Helter Skelter murders, but for the current ones as well.

Michael Merle Thomas was born in Nebraska but was raised and has lived in the Denver Colorado area since he was a month old. He was just 14 when Charles Manson and his cult of so called family members went on their killing spree, which began a lifelong fascination with the case. Michael has done extensive research on the Manson case, which has included a visit to the house where Sharon Tate and her guests were brutally murdered. Michael is a Dale Carnegie graduate and an instructor of diesel engine technology. He is an avid reader and at some point would like to shift his focus to writing full time. He currently lives in a Denver suburb with his wife and two dogs. When not writing crime thrillers he relaxes at home reading or playing the piano or guitar.