Apologies for leaving it so late but I thought I'd respond to all your comments regarding my article. Very briefly, I spent six months writing the piece.
I've been a journalist for the past 13 years and came up with the idea of writing a piece on Joel Pugh after re-reading Helter Skelter last year. Over many, many nights, I contacted Ed Sanders, Vincent Bugliosi, Curt Gentry and others looking for leads. They were all extremely helpful and, after a very, very long time, I was able to contact Joel's brother, Dan, to find out a little about what became of him. I then put together the article you now see and placed it with a newspaper.
While I'm proud to have been the first to piece together the life and times of Joel (a warm, witty and idiosyncratic guy), I'm bemused at the hostility my article has caused. This is something I noticed on many of the Manson websites. It's as if there's a hardcore of people who believe they know the truth of the murders who dismiss those who come up with anything off their radar. I can understand this given all the disinformation out there but, still, the patronizing air is stifling. I'm as fascinated as them about the killings but am not arrogant enough to think I'm the sole keeper of the Tate/Labianca flame.
Incidentally, if the webmaster sees fit to post all my hard work here, I'm offended s/he uses the intro 'but how much do I believe?' Why didn't they have the courtesy to get in touch with me first? I'd have been happy to answer any questions they had. Believe it or not, I didn't make this piece up. Every word was drawn from first-hand testimony, contemporaneous newspaper reports and documents.
As far as Force 17's comments go, may I suggest s/he actually reads my article, which is comprised entirely of original research. It's depressing when people dismiss newspaper articles as 'cut and paste jobs' but even more depressing when the critics don't appear to have actually read them.
As for Simon Wells' book, I finished reading it this week. I thought it was an interesting summary of the phenomenon that, rightly, steered away from the whole Helter Skelter mythology. I notice on other websites he's unhappy at my article, suggesting I've twisted the facts to make a suicide look like a murder. Again, the criticisms are delivered in a familiarly patronizing tone, suggesting I've trivialized Joel's life and death for tabloid readers. I refute this and refer Simon to the blurb on the back of his own book that refers to 'new evidence linking a cult member to a murder in London'. Murder, huh?
Having spent a long time perusing this site, it seems clear the users have a distinct distrust of the media (just like Manson himself, incidentally). That doesn't mean all newspaper articles are wrong.
Nor does it mean that they are right. You start off expressing admiration for BUGliosi who wrote a self-aggrandizing book full of lies. How should we respond? That newspaper is a UK Tabloid. How should we respond? You decided out of a clear blue fucking sky to do a story about Joel Pugh- it doesn't get more obscure than that. How should we respond?
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