tv CNN Presents CNN October 2, 2015 10:00pm-12:01am PDT
when you touch someone, the fire of the spirit of god is felt by that person, by that child, by the thing you're handling. >> there are few figures in vent recent history as the polygamist leader warren jeffs. he controls the ladder day saints known as the flds but walls and zion are starting to come down. in growing numbers, members of his flock are starting to
question and break free. four of warren jeff's children have recently left the flds and are making shocking allegations. tonight, two of them are telling their story on camera for the very first time. revealing the kind of man their father was before he became the the profit. >> i want people to know the truth. >> i wish we would have opened up about it a long time ago. >> when a man like that becomes prophet, what happens?
profit, what happened? >> he can hide his sins behind the title of profits. utah is so majestically beautiful it's often referred to as god's country where mormons finally settled and ultimately divided over their stance on plural marriage where the church rejected the belief, fundamentalist mormons embraced it. but beyond polygamy, there's another tenant that distinguishes the fundamental later day states. guided by the book of mormon, the flds says one living man on earth has the power to relay the word of god to the people and in 2002 all that power was handed to warren jeffs. as prophet, war ran ruled with an iron fist.
he used the banner of religion to prevent underaged marriages and to cover up horrific acts, including the violation of his own child wooifs. in 2011, he was convicted on two counts of sexual assault of a minor and given a life sentence. these are the crimes they know about. but there's a new story that reveals much more about warren jeffs and the religion he ravaged. more and more people are starting to leave the flds and two of them are here in salt lake city. and they want the world and people back in their community to know something about their father. >> in the flds, so many people say you have the neatest father in the world. and now i think if they only knew. >> to the flds, she's an
aposttate, a traitor to her faith and to her father. for most of her life, becky has avoided the outside world but today is finding a place in it and has invited me into her home. >> how are you? good to see you. at 31 years old, becky is starting over. >> you completely walked away from the flds. >> we were always told an evil spirit comes over them and they just do bad, bad, bad things. but i haven't experienced that yet. >> what's it like to be the daughter of one of the most notorious people in recent american history. >> everywhere i go, people say how are you related to warren jeffs? i always just say i'm his daughter. to me he's two different people. i don't like that one side one bit, but i love the other side.
but ach all he's done, i don't know if he can ever be that again. >> for years, becky has mourn the loss of father she once knew, the one that sang, danced and made her and her brothers and sisters laugh. >> this is us just eating breakfast together. >> today she keeps those memories close and wants to show me a side of warren that's never been seen. >> this looks like you guys are singing. >> yeah, we're playing a game called here we go around the mulberry bush. >> which one are you? >> the red head, messy head. shows the good times we had with him. saved all these birthday cards he gave me. he gave his children a card every birthday. and made us feel special. >> so this is all throughout your life? >> yes, all throughout my life. these are all before he was prophet. i still get a warm feeling when i look at them.
my father loved me. >> no matter what, do as the prophet teaches. you look a lot like your father in this picture. >> yeah, a lot of people have told me that. >> how does it feel to look at all these photos now? >> when i look at pictures with my father, it hurts my heart because he did so much good and yet so much bad. >> it's a pain that has haunted becky since childhood. warren's abuse of the innocent began long before he became the prophet, he found his first victims at home under his own roof. >> when i was really young, probably between the ages of four and six, and it was at night and he came in my room and i kept saying father, do you know what you're doing? are you awake? i was thinking there has got to be a reason because he teaches these strict principles of morals and everything but just scared me. i tried to convince myself it didn't happen but all my life it would come to my mind.
i never told anybody. >> why didn't you tell anyone? >> because father knows best. to me, he was so perfect i kept telling myself, this is an accident, something is wrong. it is not a father/daughter relationship. sexuality is not. but i didn't feel like i could speak up, only he could have his say and i had to go with it and carry on. >> this is the first time becky has publicly opened up about what her father did to her when she was just a little girl. it's common for child victims of sexual abuse to suppress traumatic memories, keep quiet and internalize their secret and for decades, becky did just that until she learned she wasn't alone. >> okay. here is picture of me holding roy. >> roy jeffs is becky's younger
brother and he, too, knows what it's like to keep a secret. >> what i've seen of roy is a boy that has tried with all his might to please his father and never could be completely accepted by him. father excluded him from the other boys and i didn't ever know why. >> the reason my life has gone the way it has is because of what he did to me. the possibilin quickly become the only thing you think about. that's where at&t can help. at at&t we monitor our network traffic so we can see things others can't. mitigating risks across your business. leaving you free to focus on what matters most.
city, 22-year-old roy jeffs is enjoying a freedom he's never known. >> the first movie i watched was in 2012. i was still in the flds. it was in secret. i scoped out the theater and made sure there was nobody watching me. all right. >> have a great day. >> will do. >> i felt like i was a really bad person but it was kind of fun. [ laughter ] >> in many ways, roy's life is stranger than fiction. he, too, is the son of the prophet, warren jeffs' 11th child. before his sister becky, roy was the first of jeffs' kids to flee.
did you tell anyone that you were leaving? >> no. if you tell anybody, they will be all over you trying to get you to stay. i didn't want them to change my mind. >> why did you want to leave? >> there was just no more hope anymore. i mean, as hard as i tried to be a good person or to follow their rules, i could never be good enough. >> three months ago, roy and becky reunited in salt lake. the city where they grew up. >> it's taken a bit to get to know each other again. >> i knew him as my little brother that i took care of. >> it's a memory that becky and roy share right here in salt lake. at the base of little cottonwood canyon sits an abandoned house in a suburban neighborhood this is becky and roy's childhood home. >> as a little kid, i can remember early mornings weeding in the garden. >> my favorite memories are the mountains and reservoir we swam? >> you-all lived here before you father became the prophet. what was he like back then? >> pretty normal. he would take us up the canyon hiking and go on picnics every once in awhile. >> at the time, warren had seven wives and 20 children. on the outside, the family appeared happy as roy says, a
normal polygamist family but beneath the surface, some of those children were suffering in silence. >> one of my earliest memories is of him sexually abusing me. i was 4 or 5 years old and this is where my dad did it. i remember him telling me, you should never do this, and then he did it to me. he made me feel like i had done something bad. >> i remember father saying to me, becky, you're acting different toward me, and i remember feeling like i feel different towards you. now when i think about it, i relate it to the sexual abuse. >> what was it like for both of you living in this house with him knowing what he had done to you? >> i just thought that was a mistake.
i didn't allow myself to dwell on that all the time. >> i always felt like he was perfect. i never held him accountable for it at all. >> when did you-all share what had happened to you when you were kids to each other? >> it was almost immediately. >> i let him know you're not the only one in this. >> and how did you feel when you found out? >> angry inside. i knew it happened to me and then to know it was a brother, too. >> and to also be two-faced to us and appear to be such a good person. >> yeah, that's the hardest part. >> before warren became prophet, he was principal of alta academy, an flds school in st. lake city, for 22 years. here he perfected his image as a family man with good morals and
religious conviction. in 1998 warren's father the prophet closed the school and called upon his flock to commune in short creek, an flds compound on the utah/arizona border. warren moved his family and four years later after the death of his father, was named the next prophet. >> he had a sense of power after he became the prophet and automatically started taking control of people's lives. started marrying my grandpa's wives. >> did anybody say anything about it? >> no, no, because we were taught he did right all the time. we were taught to not socialize, to not gossip, to not talk about what was going on.
>> and why was that? >> honestly, now, i think it was to help my dad be able to do what he felt like he wanted to do. >> he realized he had so much power, what should i do with this power? i can do anything i want, and so he did. and it went clear the wrong way. >> by the time warren was through, he married up to 80 women, 12 under 16 years old. to the fundamental mormons, plural marriage has always been a principle of faith. marrying children is not. when he started bringing in 12, 13 year old wives, what are you thinking? >> it's natural as a daughter to think, why don't you be a father to these daughters instead of trying to be a husband to these young girls? >> do you think he used his role
as prophet to -- >> oh, yeah. >> -- to justify -- >> oh, yeah, he did. i think he did. he did not have other men marry 12-year-olds, only he married 12-year-olds. >> for becky and roy, these girls were once their classmates and friends. but now they were supposed to call them mother. >> there was one of them i went to school with. >> how old was she? >> 14 then. there was probably in all close to ten that were right around my age and younger. >> and what did you think about the fact that he had these wives that were 11, 12 years old? >> then i thought it was cool because they were cute and i was 14 and they were 12 and i -- you know, naturally had a crush on them. >> but these girls now belong to his father and if warren suspected disobedience, he would send the offender away to repent. there were no exceptions, even for his son. >> i was so honest with my dad he knew everything about me. i would tell him about temptations i was having towards the mothers. these are girls younger than me and i'm 14. he said because you're looking at my wives and being tempted toward them, then i want you to go away from that land.
>> roy was torn from his birth mother and sent to live with a cousin 500 miles away. >> i didn't realize how much i loved her and how much she meant to me until after she was gone. >> roy's mother is warren's third wife. he hasn't seen her in four years. all that remains of their relationship are a few photos. >> he didn't allow any phone conversations so she would send me mail. she had that picture taken and she sent that to me. >> obviously this was really hard for your mom as well. could she protest? >> she could but there would be consequences. >> do you think you'll ever see her again? >> i don't know. i don't know. >> roy and becky have in many ways be orphaned by their faith. there is no way to know exactly where their mothers are, but one possibility is short creek,
still home to the flds. even today, it's a place that warren tightly controls from prison. and becky wants to show me for herself. what are your thoughts right now as we embark upon this place where you used to live? >> on one hand, i don't want people to think i'm out to get them or do something against them because that's what some people are going to think. i want to get the message across that things aren't how they seem.
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becky and i are heading to short creek, a place she hasn't seen in nine months. does everybody know four of warren's kids have left? >> it's pretty well-known by now. >> what do you think that means to them? >> i think it would make them very curious why would they leave? they had everything. they are children of the prophet, why would they leave? >> it's estimated 5,000 flds members live here, an area that encompasses two towns. at first, short creek feels like any other small town but it doesn't take long to notice a difference.
these are such big walled off compounds. >> when you're in there you feel like you can't live your life freely without being watched all the time. >> i'm noticing all the windows are closed. >> yeah, it seems like they would be on red code lockdown right now have. that means everybody shut your blinds, lock your doors. stay quiet, stay secluded. don't be seen. i bet that's a security vehicle coming to check on us. hi. >> do you think all these trucks are monitoring what we're doing? >> i think that people have called each other and security is out watching just to monitor the situation. they don't know what's up. >> security and secrecy is designed by warren to maintain control over his flock including his own children. when becky turned 18, he married her off to a man 12 years her senior who already had three wives. at first, she protested but over time, they fell in love and had four boys. becky had envisioned a simple, happy life but all that changed after warren's arrest.
from his prison cell, the prophet dictated harsh new revelations that would affect everyone. he banned marriage, school, even toys. if the faithful didn't obey, they risked punishment and no one, not even warren's own kin were immune. in 2011, warren declared becky's husband an apostate, no longer in good standing with the church. he told becky to take her kids and leave. >> i thought, i can't do this because my boys love their father so much. we got to do with the prophet says. so i wiped away my tears and said okay, i'll start packing up. i didn't even give him a hug good-bye, i shook his hand and said thank you for all you've done and left. >> do you know why he was cast out?
>> he could hold his own and be somebody and that is a threat to father. >> becky was ordered to remove any evidence that her husband existed, to cut him out of every photo. today she has no pictures of the two of them together from their past. >> would you say that your father cast out anyone he thought he couldn't control? >> at first i didn't think that. i just thought if that person is cast out because they are wicked until it came so close to me. >> but warren's control over becky's life wouldn't end there. a few months later, warren declared becky a bad mother. he then took three of her children away and commanded her to retreat with her eldest son to what is called a house of repentance. >> we were given strict rules when we got there. we weren't supposed to communicate with each other. >> like prison. >> one day i totally lost it and broke down and truly convinced
myself i must be a very wicked person. >> becky confessed her brokenness to her father but he showed no mercy. he took away her eldest son and sent her childless to live in colorado with her sister and repent. >> we took pictures and i said i'll smile for this picture because this will be my funeral picture. i'm going to kill myself. i am. there is nothing to live for. >> but then, becky's sister revealed something about their father that would change everything. >> one day my sister starts bawling and bawling and i said what's the matter? my sister said from the ages of about 8 to 17 he had sexually abused her. we both cried together. i thought i'm not the only one molested. he's done it to her. it must be something that was in
his nature. that's all. where does it end? if he had this in him, how can i trust him? how is he really our prophet? >> how many people do you think your father has hurt? >> every single member in there. literally every single member has been affected. >> every adult i know of has a personal message of correction from him. >> today in short creek, life is on hold. in 2008 the world watched as federal agents raided warren jeffs' texas con pound and discovered evidence of his heinous crimes. warren jeffs is four years into a life sentence but those who still follow him seem to be locked into a life sentence of their own. >> as things look now, they are just going to grow old waiting for something to happen. >> why is that?
>> because the prophet has said only he can perform marriages because the lord has only given him the right to do it. and so nobody is getting married. nobody has gotten married since the day he was captured and put in prison. >> what happens if your father dies in prison? >> i'm sure that he's already told somebody to take over if that happens, probably be one of his brothers. >> his brothers are running things now? >> yeah. >> lyle jeffs has been in the news lately. he's warren's brother and enforcer responsible for relaying warren's messages to the people and carrying out his orders. he even declared his own son tom an apostate. becky hasn't seen tom, who is her cousin, in three years. but tonight she's ready to share her story with him. >> hey, tom, how are you? >> good. >> you remember this one. >> hey, thomas. >> how are you doing?
>> good. >> like becky, tom recently left the flds and is also viewed as a traitor by his own father. >> he told the whole family i was a rank apostate and i did nothing to him. >> why exactly did you leave? >> i got sick of all the restrictions and after i left the church, i still believed warren is who he said he was and i had all the respect in the world for him but i finally got a lawyer and he put all the evidence in front of me. it disgusts me. >> becky, do you want to share anything with tom? >> he molested some of us when we were little and then, you know, my sister, she dealt with it constantly, so of course, we can't support him. >> yeah. i mean, to find out that's the
man we were supporting, how could this have happened all these years and nobody know about it? i mean, it's -- it messes with your head. it does. when i first left, i thought i made the worst decision in my life and now i come to find out, it was the best decision i ever made in my life. >> i want people to know that he sexually abused some of his children so that they realize when he accuses them of immorality and sends them away, it doesn't mean they're guilty of it. i imagine that's how he's trying to hide his own sins, by pointing at others. >> how many kids do you think your father molested? >> i don't know, sometimes i think 10, 20. i hope it's not more than that.
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>> good to see you. >> you, too. >> is that warren's voice? wow. >> tom wants to get out of town but due to financial constraints, still lives in colorado city where he can't escape warren. >> it's coming from next door? >> down stairs. >> every day as early as 6:00 a.m., tom's neighbors listen to hours of his teachings. are most people in colorado city listening to this now? >> they are probably not listening to the very same thing that these guys are, but they are listening to him. when i hear his voice, it's a constant reminder of how he's lied to us all these years. he's not a revelator.
he's not from god. and he's a pedophile and needs to be treated as such. >> so ironic when they consider you the enemy and they are listening to a child molester, pedophile. >> exactly. there is no way to follow a man that does that. it's disgusting and wrong and i'm glad he is where he is. >> tom isn't the only one living here whose faith in jeffs has been shattered. increasingly, people are removing the profit from their lives and tonight a group of former flds members invited me to a meeting to hear why. in the crowd, there are people who are cast out by warren. others who left on their own accord. >> given what you know now, do you think warren jeffs should have been prophet to begin with? >> no. >> no. >> in the church, he was totally wonderful.
we had no clue there was anything that he was harming us with. we don't feel abused there. >> when did the lightbulb go off for you? >> i found out about his confessions. >> so disappointed and such an emptiness and a loss. >> there was a period when warren started assigning men to much younger women. did you know this was happening, and if so, what did you think? >> i think to this day the majority of the community never pictured 12. we pictured 16, you know, and i understand that in the majority of society, that's really bad, but it wasn't totally crazy in our culture. >> what about the men who were being assigned to girls 14? >> we didn't know about it.
>> there are allegations that warren molested kids when he was a principal. if people had known about what he had done before he became prophet, do you think people could have followed him? >> no. >> no way. >> absolutely not. >> no way. >> i don't believe so. >> we have to have high morals. the principles that we're raised on require that. >> but if they know that warren was a pedophile, how could they continue to stay? why don't they leave? >> if you don't do what he tells you, you're going to be cast out. >> warren was very clever in this concept of if somebody starts to get smart on him, get rid of him. we just followed. we didn't have a mind of our own. we didn't do anything except what we were told. we didn't dare to.
the price was too high to pay. >> when do you think it will collapse? >> i don't expect a collapse at all. i think it will continue to be one by one as men come to some resolution in their heart with what they want to do. >> people are left hanging without information. they are stuck in a time warp. they don't progress. how do you break that? that's the big question. >> but one person in town is trying to expose the flds to the outside world. ruth olson is an advocate for a non-profit called holding out help and today showing me the challenges of getting out. why is it important for you to have a presence and be on the ground here? >> the church has broken down people to where they feel like they can't trust anybody. we try to establish ourselves so
they can feel safe. >> do you have any idea how many people you've helped? >> i've served hundreds of people here. >> ruth and i are on our way to a secret location to meet a 17-year-old girl still inside the flds. ruth is bringing her a computer and movies, windows to the outside world. who is this girl we're going to meet? >> she is a minor and not able to get out yet on her own. she has a very low education in that she would so like to further that and be part of high school, do sports, things like that but the problem is is that
she can't get out. she's just afraid of one, she doesn't want to go to hell and that's what their religion teaches if she leaves and two, is that she may never see her parents again. >> is this a big risk meeting and exchanging money for things she wants like a computer? >> yeah, taking a really big risk. warren hardly needs a reason to kick somebody out. >> so this girl sent ruth a text saying, telling her the car she's in. so we just saw the car that she said she was in. and it disappeared. i saw it go that way. there she is. >> okay. i'm going to go talk with her first. >> okay. >> so the girl ruth is meeting
is parked right to my right. we don't want to shoot her car because we don't want the vehicle to be identified but ruth is now asking if i can at least meet her and she might agree to have a little chat on camera but it's very, very risky so we'll see. these are the movies that ruth is giving her. "horse camp" and "princess bride". >> she's going to pull up and get out. so she's going to come up. >> hi, how are you? i'm lisa, nice to meet you. i've seen this, this is a great movie. you're going to love it. >> here is the big box, do you want me to open it? >> i have a box. >> you're okay? >> yeah. >> what would happen if this is discovered? >> i really don't know. >> are you having a lot of confusion about things right now? >> yeah. >> well, freedom is nice. >> see ya. >> bye. >> do you think she was nervous talking with us now? >> yeah, i think she was. >> you're exposing her to the outside world. >> exactly. exactly. >> but i feel like it's my obligation to help them see more options out there and if they want out, then we can get them out. >> the fact the young flds girl still communicates with ruth indicates she's curious about the outside world but that might not be enough to propel her to leave. it's a huge risk. i wonder if things would be different ff she knew the truth about her prophet.
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back in salt lake city, roy has a job but not much of an education. he's been playing catchup ever since his father banned school and ordered him to work starting at age 15. >> to be a perfect person, i had to work all the time. my father felt more like a dictator than father. he was always giving out commands and rules. there wasn't a father/son connection. >> rejected by his father and sheltered from the outside world, roy got used to being alone. it's a feeling today he still remains comfortable with. >> i almost like the feeling of being alone where i'm not judged. i just push people away. i don't like letting people in my life that much. >> in many ways, ex flds are like refugees from another country.
everything outside of their former world is brand-new. >> i had my first glass of wine last week. learned how to swim yesterday. >> wow. and would you just not have been able to swim. >> we were taught not to. >> why? >> we were taught that the devil has control of the waters. any waters. >> what did you think of the outside world and the world that everybody else lived in? >> i thought everybody was corrupt because that's the picture he painted. but i was just amazed at how much good there actually is. just having a few people who care about me is what's keeping me going. >> now when roy is down, he has a place where he's welcome. this is the home of a woman who is operating an underground railroad of sorts. >> hey, i have an update on a possible home so i want to go through your intake briefly. >> tanya tool is the founding
director of holding out help. she's ruth's counterpart in salt lake and they call her when they're looking for a place to land outside of short creek. tanya and her team have helped thousands of ex-flds transition into the real world. >> how did you get involved? >> we just cutting turn a blind eye anymore. >> the crazier that warn jeffs was getting, we quickly realized we were going to have an onslaught of people and that's what happened in the last three years. >> to roy and other exiles, tanya has become like a surrogate mother. >> tanya, she's everything to me. she's been there for me ever since i've left. she's helped me through a lot.
>> the one gift i've always wanted to able to give to roy is to be reunited with his mother. but the further i get into this, i realize it may never happen. he comes to me with pretty dark stuff. it's so important for me to say let's work through that together. >> all right, gang, it's burger time. >> whoo-hoo! >> tanya and her family have embraced roy and others like him. tonight, four young men who have left the church join tanya and her family for dinner. >> is there anything you guys miss about being there? >> i miss my family. >> do you think you'll ever see your family again?
>> i'd be real surprised. i don't know. i guess we'll see how it turns out. >> it's been nearly a year since becky gathered her four boys and fled the flds. two year ago she reunited with her husband in a suburb of salt lake city and today becky and her boys are rarely apart. they're a team of survivors who not only have their whole future in front of them but finally have each other. what's it like to be out here experiencing freedom with your boys? >> i don't ever have to worry that they're going to be taken away from me again. there was always a worry. >> the boys seems like they're having fun all the time and climbing trees. >> yeah. >> like could they even do this? >> they weren't supposed to. >> what were some of the things that you guys couldn't do? >> we couldn't run around, nor could we laugh. that's what i minded. they didn't let you even watch videos and they wouldn't let us even look at a picture of father. >> is there anything you miss about living there? >> no. if they gave you toys, they would take them out and burn them or something. >> you couldn't have like sponge
bob or teenage mutant ninja turtles. >> he doesn't know who that is. >> you have no idea? >> no. >> is life here a lot more fun. >> it's better than that place. >> i'm happy you're free. >> we would have never unless mama came home and was like, okay, let's just go. >> what happened to becky and roy was so devastating. and for them to want to share these details with the outside world just shows to me an extraordinary amount of courage. ♪ ♪ the beautiful sound of customers making the most of their united flight. power, wi-fi, and streaming entertainment.
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becky and roy's lives have long been dictated by the religion demands of their father. now that they're in control of their own futures, they're making their own decisions about what to believe and where to go on sunday mornings. >> it's not the church you're part of, it's not the family you're part of, it's who you are, it's what you do. i feel like i'm not accountable to anybody but god and that is so much simpler.
>> if you could say anything, say something to your father, what would it be? >> father, will you please back down and let the people know that you are not the prophet. stop trying to be the leader and just be our father. even if you're just our father in prison, i'll respect you if you'll just do this. i wish i could say that to him. each of us children, we know what you've done. you can't fool us and tell us everybody's guilty of things when you're guilty of these things yourself. for him to go all those years and he probably thought, oh, good, nobody ever found out. i want to tell him we know now, father. we know. please step down and let the people be. >> please stop hurting families. ripping children from their parents. i just say i love you and please
tell people the truth. >> tonight our topic will be murder, as a growth industry. >> murder has become an epidemic in america. >> the last ten years the homicide rate has increased by leaps and bounds. >> somebody fired a shot. >> these tragedies keep getting closer and closer to home. i'm afraid to let my children walk out the door. >> step out. >> i'll plead not guilty right now. >> there has been a disturbing growth and cult phenomenon in this country.
in the glare of hollywood publicity. master mind of the seven murders. >> the 70s is a decade of just brutal violence on every front and anywhere that you look in america. >> at the time of a mass murder, there's a lot of immediate coverage, but usually after a brief period of time, the identity of the perpetrator tends to fade from the public's consciousness, but not so with the manson case. >> the manson trial begins the 1970s on such an evil note, seven innocent people died. a teenager, abigaillfolge re. >> few of you know how good she
was. >> and you had charles manson himself. can leader of the family who didn't show any remorse, or any respect for the system. >> are you all happy with your courts? >> yes. >> am i happy? >> it's your court. i wouldn't accept it. >> the problem was he didn't physically participate in the murders, but only he had a motive. >> he envisioned white people would turn against the black man if he thought they committed the murders. he foresaw the black man would win this war, but he said he would simply not be able to handle the reigns of power, so he would have to look around to the people who had survived, and turn over the reigns to charles manson and his family. >> when the words helter-skelter
were found in blood, i argued this was tantamount to his fingerprints being found. >> today he had an x scratched in his forehead. it is his way of saying he's xed himself out of society. ♪ . >> susan atkins, andlessly van housen sang as they went to and from court. >> the three women were coached by him every morning. here's things i want you to do. so they would do everything from sing mocking songs to the judge to when charlie is making one of his impassioned speeches, mouthing the words along with him. >> i don't have any guilt. i know what i've done, and nobody can judge me. i judge me. >> are you bitter? >> bitter? no. >> you have paid a price so far?
>> you have eyes, open them. >> charlie manson is a great presenter, but vincent was better. and when you put them into a courtroom, america thought this was entertainment. >> people go to the los angeles hall of justice where they wait in long lines. some people are so interested they get to the courthouse at 4:00 a.m. something else this trial has done is gathered together again those members of manson's family who are not in jail. >> the world is getting crazy. >> one read part of a letter that manson wrote the district attorney. >> i am writing to you because i don't think i'm getting a fair trial. i'm one man standing alone defending myself. contrast this with the facilities you have available to you. >> i noted the charls manson case. here is a man who was guilty, directly or indirectly of eight
murders without reason, here is a man yet who as far as the coverage was concerned, appeared to be rather a glamorous figure. >> the l.a. times, manson guilty, nixon declares. manson stands up in front of the jury and shows the jury the headline. >> a tight ring of security surrounds the hall of justice as the manson jury deliberates. meanwhile, members of the manson clan continue their vigil at the hall of justice. >> if charlie were convicted of these charges, what happens to the rest of the members of the family. >> there's no if. charlie will get out. all of them will get out and we'll all go to the desert together. >> the jury hearing the charges against charles manson and three members of his family brought in his verdict this afternoon.
and outside they got the news by radio. >> they've convicted these people, and you are next, all of you. there's a revolution coming very soon. >> today the judge formally passed sentence on charles manson and his girls. death penalty for seven senseless murder. he said not only was the sentence appropriate, but almost compelled in this case, so death and the gas chamber. >> his name has become a metaphor for evil, catapulting him to almost mythological proportions, and there's a side to human nature, for whatever reason that is fascinated by pure evil. >> but if the death penalty is to mean anything, this was a proper case for the imposition of the death penalty. >> the california supreme court
ruled today the death penalty is unconstitutional. that will save men and women, including charing charles manso the death penalty. >> if i don't give you the answer you want? >> it doesn't matter to me. it's your opinion. >> i don't have the authority to say anything like that. >> you have the authority to believe. >> i believe what i'm told to believe. don't you?
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the boy was shot right at the side of the car, and the girl apparently tried to run. and she was shot and found 28 feet further on. >> do you have any idea what the possible motive might be for this killing? >> we have no motive at this time. >> the zodiac killer, this unknown person, committed dozens of murders in the 1960s, the 1970s. we really don't know the full dimensions of the case, but we know he's the zodiac because he started writing to the police, claiming credit in great detail, articulating and explaining what he did to these victims. >> "the chronicle" received two letters. they notified us immediately. the criminologist was sent over to the newspaper, as were inspectors, and the two letters were examined and opened. >> the zodiac's reaching out to
the police repeatedly and in great length was something new. >> the psychotic killer has already murdered five, one at a lovers' lane near a lake just north of san francisco, three others in nearby vallejo, the latest a taxi driver in san francisco. the zodiac killer seems to crave publicity. he sent letters and cryptograms to newspapers and the police, recounting his crimes, threatening more murders, and making bay area residents very edgy. >> in the '70s, there was a certain kind of killer who had the skill to get away with murder long enough to assemble a body count where they would be classified as a serial killer. >> in los angeles, a killer the police are calling the hillside strangler has murdered ten young women and left their bodies on the hillsides along the highway. today the police found another, number 11 they think. >> two young paper boys discovered what appears to be the latest victim.
the body had been dumped 15 feet down an embankment in a residential neighborhood. the victim was a 20-year-old woman, and the body was nude. >> the series of murders has had a chilling effect upon the people in the city. >> in los angeles, more women than ever before are learning to defend themselves. susan ball skipped night school for a week. she says she can't sleep because of the murders. >> i guess i just want to learn how to maybe give myself a few seconds so i can live. >> there have been enough bodies found over a wide enough area to strongly suggest more than one killer. but police say they really don't know. >> today the los angeles police say they have a suspect, a man in jail in another state. >> los angeles police say they have enough evidence to charge 27-year-old kenneth bianchi with ten of the hillside stranglings. police focused on bianchi only after he was arrested last january for the murder of two college students in washington state. >> what the police did not know was that there was not one strangler but two. >> today in a bellingham,
washington, courtroom, kenneth bianchi, in the hope of avoiding the death penalty, confessed to participation in the los angeles hillside stranglings and accused his cousin angelo buono of being his accomplice. >> kenneth bianchi, to a great extent, he was motivated because he was trying to show his older cousin who he revered that he was tough. and for angelo buono, he enjoyed the fact he had his younger cousin listening to him. and we saw this time and time again, pairs of killers who urge each other on, and together they are extremely vicious and violent. >> is there any doubt that this is a body? >> no doubt. there's a skull and bones and everything. >> when did you first get word that there might be some bodies buried here? >> this morning. >> had you had any indication before? >> the man behind the killings was dean corll, 33 years old. he was shot and killed wednesday evening by wayne henley, 17 years old. henley was one of two teenagers
who lured young boys to corll's home. >> dean corll would lure kids to his house. once he had them in the house, he would incapacitate them and put them on what he called his death board and rape and kill them. >> the texas sex and torture killings have now become the worst mass murders in american history. four more bodies of young boys were dug up today, and that brings to 27 the number of bodies discovered so far. >> some people trying to make it appear that the police department has not done all that it could or should have done in these cases. the police department feels that these parents are not exactly discharging their own responsibility so far as raising and disciplining their children. >> these shocking murders finally focus national attention on a major problem, that of runaway children and what can happen to them. >> the children that run away from home today are not the children that we had running away in the '60s. in the '60s, we had what we called then flower children, and
they ran away for sociopolitical reasons. today children are running from a situation rather than to a situation. >> kids are disappearing, and the police would say, well, they probably ran away. it was to the demise of many who in fact were picked up by sexual sadists like john wayne gacy. >> in des plaines, illinois, near chicago, a man who served time in prison for sex crimes was let out. today they found the bodies of at least three young boys buried under his house. >> police today found six more bodies under the john gacy house. >> illinois authorities today made their first positive identification of the 28 bodies unearthed so far. this grisly search ended tonight and will be resumed after christmas. >> prior to his arrest, gacy was well known in the community. he frequently dressed in a clown outfit for the benefit of youngsters. he was generally seen as a man young people liked. >> the coroner of this county has seen nothing like it. >> it's frightening.
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>> the court says the death penalty is an expression of society's moral outrage at particular crimes. >> in the 1970s, we had a four-year moratorium on the death penalty. the u.s. supreme court ruled the death penalty unconstitutional. eventually, in 1976, with new statutes, the u.s. supreme court said it's constitutional, and then we started seeing the death penalty back in place, death rows repopulated with new criminals like gary gilmore. >> it seems that the people of utah want the death penalty but don't want executioners. well, i took them literal and serious when they sentenced me to death. >> his crimes were not especially extreme. it was two robbery murders. but when he was convicted, he wanted to die. he wanted to go out in a blaze of glory. so two years later he was put to death by firing squad and became the very first person in america in this new era to be executed. and his words were "let's do it." >> the order of the fourth
judicial district court of the state of utah has been carried out. gary mark gilmore is dead. >> tonight our topic will be murder as a growth industry. these are the national homicide figures. for the past ten years, every year has set a new high for murder in america. >> the statistics were stupendous. i mean, violent crime of all kinds were soaring. the spectacles that people were seeing on their tv screens were unlike anything they'd had to absorb before. >> a small grocery store has been robbed. the owner of the grocery store, nathan hurt, has been shot and killed. >> what happened today? >> as i understand, a man came into the store and had a gun and asked for the money. then my grandfather reached for a gun he had and grabbed at the man's gun, and it went off. or he shot him twice, and my grandfather fell to the floor. >> why did he feel he had to have a gun? >> because there were so many
robberies in the area, and he thought he needed it for protection. >> today ordinary citizens who would not otherwise dream of having a gun are buying one because they are scared out of their wits. >> william rubiak is a ukrainian immigrant who owns a store outside washington, d.c. he's been robbed at gunpoint four times in the past two years. now william rubiak has bought a gun, and he says next time he will use it. >> i will shoot, and i will shoot to kill. >> fear is the biggest seller of guns. studies have shown each urban crime wave has touched off a new round of gun buying. >> we have german rugers, berengers, small revolvers, magnums. some of these saturday night specials are small and can be palmed in your hand. >> it was shortly after 10:00 california time when the president left his hotel. not seen by the following cameras but scattered by secret service agent larry buendorf was a hand with a gun in it coming
through the crowd. the commotion erupted. secret service agents forced the assailant to the ground and then handcuffed her. she was identified as 27-year-old lynnette alice fromme, one of the earliest followers of charles manson who was involved in the tate/bianca murders of 1969. >> about the same time gerald ford becomes president, charlie in prison writes to squeaky that he's got new rules. they want to do one big thing that's going to get the nation's attention back on charlie. so squeaky, wearing a red robe, comes up to the president of the united states with a big gun, points the gun in his face. the secret servicemen wrestle her to the ground, and squeaky's first words were, can you believe the gun didn't go off? >> following your own close brush with death a few weeks ago in sacramento, i wonder if this has convinced you at all that we need tough gun control legislation in this country? >> i prefer to go after the person who uses the gun for an
illegal or criminal purpose. that to me is a far better approach than the one where you require registration of the individual or the gun. >> just minutes after making those statements, gerald ford walked into the street and heard the sound of gunfire. >> my god, there's been a shot! there's been a shot. we're being pushed back by the police. somebody has fired a shot here. we don't know if anybody has been hit. my god! somebody fired a shot. >> the president was not hit. witnesses heard the sound and saw a puff of smoke. the woman identified by police as sara jean moore was immediately seized. >> sara jane moore jumped out of a crowd, fired off a weapon and was tackled by another citizen.
her background it turned out was as sort of an eccentric, kind of lower rung political figure. she was kind of an odd duck. >> when gerald ford became president, within the space of one month were two attempts on his life, squeaky fromme and sara jane moore. both tried to shoot him. it's like, what's going on? why can't this be stopped? >> so once again this nation has narrowly escaped the tragedy, the trauma of assassination of our president. above all else, this points out the need for some additional measures, some additional precautions to protect the life of the highest elected official in the country. will it take another assassination in our lifetime to finally force some action? ♪ ♪
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in the '70s, new york was really in danger. the whole social fabric seemed to have been torn in half, and crime was just one of the many indications that we were lost. >> i would say in the last ten years the homicide rate has increased by leaps and bounds. we hit our peak probably in 1972 when the bronx had 430 homicides. >> in the '70s, the bronx looked
like berlin after world war ii, literally looked like berlin. >> 1.5 million people live in this borough. once that smoke on the horizon signified industry, progress, jobs. now it means someone is burning down a building. it has become the arson capital of the world. it happens 30 times a day, and the flames are the signal of a national disaster. >> is there anything that can change the situation? >> the bronx in my own estimation is doomed with a capital "d." >> a lot of gritty stuff went down in new york. and when you think of new york in the '70s, you of course think of the son of sam murders. >> christine freund, 27 years old, soon to be married, is dead today. dead in a shooting that has no apparent motive. >> the end of 1976, they transfered me to queens homicide. and the first victim i came across was a woman named christine freund who was sitting there with her boyfriend coming from a movie and got her head
blown off. >> there was a series of random shootings. the comparison determined it was the same killer using the same gun, a .44-caliber weapon, on these homicides. therefore, the police nicknamed it the .44-caliber killer. >> he struck again on april 17th at 3:00 in the morning, killing 18-year-old valentina suriani and her fiance, 20-year-old alexander esau as they sat in a parked car in the baychester section of the bronx. >> we get the shooting back in the bronx, a girl named valentina suriani. but at that scene where that shooting occurred left a note addressed to my supervisor, and he called himself the son of sam. >> he talks about being possessed by a man he refers to as sam and the man he refers to to as his father, and he says his father requires blood. >> this got people's attention. i think it was just the sheer randomness of it. the fact you could be doing
something as simple as sitting in a car talking to a friend, and someone would come up behind you and open fire. it was pretty terrifying. it was frightening. >> i was in charge of the nighttime operation. there was part of the task force that wanted to shoot him on sight. that was our job, take him out on the street. we just flooded the streets of new york. >> there's people dying, and we're trying to stop it, okay? it's everybody. it's not you. it's everybody. that's all we're trying to do. >> okay. >> in terms of the victim count, that doesn't place him at the top of the list in terms of the most deadly serial killers. but it was new york city. and what happens in new york city, well, that's international news. >> good evening. harry is on vacation. here are our top stories. 100 more police join the hunt for the son of sam killer in new york. >> the search continues for the .44-caliber killer who has come to be known as the son of sam. >> he warned in one of his sick and threatening letters to the
press and to the police, sam is a thirsty lad, and he won't let me stop killing until he's had his full of blood. >> it was a really miserably hot summer in new york, and everything went dark. i heard someone on the street go, oh, it's a blackout! the looters were out almost instantly. and it felt apocalyptic. i remember going to bed that night thinking it was the end of the world. >> new york city in the early morning after a night of no electric power. what it did have in the dark streets was a wild outburst of crime. >> when the greatest city in the world goes black, it showed a crumbling america. then you have the son of sam on the loose. >> we always look for patterns in victims. there was this belief that he was only killing women with long
dark hair. >> i know the .44 killer is after girls with long brown hair so when i go out, me and my friends go out at night, we put our hair up. >> my hair was down to my shoulder. >> i cut it short because of the .44-caliber killer. >> well, his last victim was actually blond. >> a 20-year-old new york city girl died this evening a day and a half after she and her companion were shot by the son of sam. he's the nighttime killer who has stalked new york residential boroughs for a year. >> a postal worker walked out of his yonkers apartment last night, turned the ignition key in his car, and found himself surrounded by police. well, he said, you've got me. police say those words ended the biggest manhunt in new york city history with the capture of son of sam. and this is what they say tripped up the .44-caliber killer, a parking ticket. david berkowitz drove this cream-colored ford galaxy from
his home in yonkers to brooklyn. then police say he went to stalk his 12th and 13th victims. but in the place he parked was this fire hydrant, and police had the lead they needed. >> when we get him and i interrogate him, my attitude at this time, i want to take him and throw him out the window. this guy was so pathetic. it was like talking to a zucchini. never blinked, constant smile on his face. after a while i start to feel sorry for the guy. you know, he's gone, right? >> i feel great. and i think the people of our city will feel great relief. >> praise the lord. it's over. we're very, very happy. >> that was the first thing we heard this morning. it was fantastic. it was great. >> serial killers tend to be cunning. that allows them to stay at large. and when they get caught, it's usually because of luck. good luck for us. bad luck for them. >> when we caught him, we searched his car. in the back on the seat was the .44-caliber gun that did all the shootings.
what more do you need? and then a machine gun fully loaded in the backseat and the night of interrogation that i directed, i said, well, what were you going to do with the machine gun? and he said, i was on my way to the hamptons, and i was going to spray the place and kill as many people as i could. it's hard to believe you can book over 11,000 local activities right from our app. it's even harder to believe it took you this long to come here. expedia. technology that connects you to the people and places that matter. can a a subconscious. mind? a knack for predicting the future. reflexes faster than the speed of thought. can a business have a spirit? can a business have a soul? can a business be...alive?
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there are so many miracles in this church that it's hard to tell about one without telling about two or three because they blend together and make a beautiful flow of miracles. you know, for 30 years, i prayed to a sky god and i got nothing but disappointment and heartache. and now we have a father who loves each one of us so much. how thankful we are for you, jim. thank you. ♪ >> the '70s were a very fertile period for this new religious movement. what was so interesting about the rise of cults in our country is how many people wanted to ally themselves with these stigmatized and fanatical organizations.
>> and i must say it is a great effort to be god. i lean upon another but no one else has the faculty that i do. when they do, i will be glad to hold their coat. in the meantime, i shall be god, and besides me there shall be no other god. >> yeah! >> yeah! >> jim jones was an extraordinary figure. he was a community leader, a social worker and a minister. and he carried his ministry to california. ♪ walk with me ♪ walk with me >> what was particularly distinctive about him at that time was he created a community that was united between whites and blacks. and this came at a time when the country was still very racially divided and churches were not integrated. >> some leading scientists say we have to have euthanasia. oh, no. oh, no. who's going to decide who and when a person is going to die? we must never allow that because this is the kind of thing that ushers in the terror of a
hitler's germany. we must not allow these kind of things to enter our consciousness. >> i wanted to write a story very much about this guy and his power and the reach he had so i began to contact ex-members. and they said that all is not so good inside, that there were beatings if you got out of line. there was a lot of sex abuse. and the story took on a new life at that point. very soon afterwards, the church members began leaving san francisco for guyana. he figures, if i'm in guyana, it really doesn't matter what's said or written. nobody's going to get me here. ♪ we are a happy family ♪ we're a happy family yes we are ♪ >> it was an escapade that's almost unparalleled in the history of religious movements. they had very little communication with their loved ones at home, and naturally
there was concern about where they'd gone and what was happening out there in the jungle. >> i think that jim jones took his group down there because he was afraid to face the publicity and answer the questions here in this country. >> he was talking integration. he was talking helping people. he was talking better this and better that. >> what about now? what's your impression now? >> my impression now, that those are fronts for him. i think he's gone crazy. >> congressman leo ryan started hearing the name jim jones more regularly, and he wanted to expose what he believed was going on down there that was wrong. and he thought it was certainly worth inviting members of the press to join him. >> very glad to be here. this is a congressional inquiry. and i can tell you right now that whatever the comments are, there are some people here that believe this is the best thing that happened to them in their whole life.
>> so it's toward the end of the evening. don harris, who was the nbc reporter, had been walking around the pavilion, and two people slipped him notes. and he hands the notes over to congressman ryan who opens them and says, oh, my god, it's true. everything we've been told is true. >> and then word spread, and more and more people wanted to leave. >> now, do i understand you to say that you both want to leave jonestown on this date, november 18, 1978? >> yes. >> and then i remember seeing this couple with a child between them. >> you bring those kids back here! you bring them back! don't you take my kids! >> you could feel the tension.
>> last night someone came and passed me this note. >> people play games, friend. they lie. they lie. what can i do about liars? you people leave us. i just beg you. please leave us. >> instead of just letting that plane take off with minimal damage to his movement, jones snapped. >> good evening. for about the last 30 hours, we here at nbc news have been trying to establish what happened last night at the airstrip at a place called port kaituma. we do have a particular interest in it. two nbc newsmen were shot to death there. >> don harris was killed. bob brown was killed. congressman ryan was shot 45 times. >> every time somebody would fall down wounded, they would walk over and shoot them in the head with a shotgun. >> i was shot five times.
i was lying on my side with my head down pretending i was dead. and then all of a sudden they just came and shot me at point-blank range. >> they're shooting. people die, including leo ryan. and back in jonestown jim jones is calling for a revolutionary suicide where we're all going to kill ourselves and make a statement to the world. >> i first flew into jonestown last evening around sunset. there was absolute silence. nothing living was around. jonestown last evening was the city of the dead. >> they found tremendous quantities of potassium cyanide poison. it had been mixed with kool-aid. it killed quickly, within five
minutes. >> we will never know how many people voluntarily drank the poison. but other people were either coerced, brainwashed, or took it against their will. they were murdered. >> i was lifted into this medevac plane, and i was so grateful. >> good evening. the searching american soldiers have finished counting the bodies in jonestown, guyana. 910 died in the poison ritual of the people's temple last week. >> this was americans killing other americans and themselves. in its own interest for its own well-being, this nation will have to find out why.
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there were a lot of strange people who committed a lot of strange crimes in the 1970s, but none of them was as mediagenic as ted bundy. >> you said you were surprised when you went to jail. >> surprised? i don't know. i didn't know what to expect. never been in jail or arrested before. >> bundy is a prolific serial killer. we don't know how many killed. we know dozens. he was handsome, very involved in politics, was in law school. didn't seem like the glassy eyed lunatic that many americans
believed serial killers would be. >> we still don't believe it. this can't be. i keep shaking my head day after day saying how can this be because our son is the best son in the world. >> what the press wrote about bundy and his crimes wasn't the full detail, the full extent of the barbarism, the fact that he would have sex with their corpses, mutilate the victims, that didn't fit with this image of the boy next door. >> you wish to issue a statement that you feel that everything will turn out all right, that you are innocent. do you feel that still? >> more than ever. >> you think of getting out of here? >> well legally, sure. >> bundy was to stand trial on them charge of murdering a young woman in aspen. that trial never completed. during a court hearing break he was left alone in a law library. bundy bailed out of a second floor window and escaped. >> he high-tailed it up in the
hills where they chased him nearly a week. he got lost up there and probably would have died of exposure if they hadn't arrested him. they caught him and he was put back in jail and at christmastime 1977 he escaped again. >> bundy, starved down to less than 140 pounds, slipped through a hole in the ceiling of his cell and was free again. >> the fbi responded by putting bundy on its ten most wanted list. posters with a picture of ted bundy were circulated throughout the nation. >> ted did not have a plan when he escaped. he just wanted to get as far away from where he might be identified as he could. so he stole a car and went to florida. >> his new quarters are cramped. he's under 24-hour guard and faces intense questioning. he is theodore bundy, jailed in florida. >> bundy was living in tallahassee at the time when five florida state university coeds were attacked on or near the campus. two of the young women died as a result of the attacks.
>> the police in pensacola, florida, stopped a man driving a stolen car and found to their surprise and perhaps pleasure it was bundy. >> i step out, mr. bundy. >> what do we have here, ken? oh, it's an indictment. all right. why don't you read it to me? you're up for election, aren't you? >> mr. bundy -- >> you told them you were going to get me. he said he was going to get me. okay, you've got the indictment. it's all you're going to get. >> bundy, having had some law training and a great deal of arrogance, decided to represent himself. for him, he was the star in the courtroom. >> since i have been in dade county -- >> don't shake your finger at me, young man. don't shake your finger at me, young man! >> inside the courtroom, the trial will be covered by a still photographer and one television camera. upstairs there are some 250 reporters and television technicians from around the country. >> bundy's personality is fascinating to a lot of people. he doesn't fit the usual profile
of a criminal. when he defends himself in court, it's fascinating for people to watch. >> each day the courtroom is filled with spectators drawn by a fascination with theodore bundy himself or the gruesome details of the crimes. what is unusual to see is many of the onlookers are women, young women. >> you are fascinated by him? >> very. very. >> i'm not afraid of him. he doesn't look like the type to kill somebody. you try to imagine yourself in his place and see how he is feeling. >> the bizarre spectacle of ted bundy as a sex symbol really bummed out feminists, as you can imagine. i mean, he became a folk hero. there were t-shirts. because he was handsome. on the other hand, his violence was so incredibly woman hating and his insouciance about that wound up being pretty depressed. >> i had broken facial bones. i had a broken arm and crushed finger. >> i had five skull fractures and multiple contusions on my head.
>> is that man in the courtroom today? >> yes, he is. >> would you point him out for us, please? >> are you prepared for a guilty verdict? >> i think so. but you never know. i've never had to go through this before. >> after 6 1/2 hours of deliberation, the jury had a verdict. 32-year-old theodore bundy remained composed as he listened. guilty of first-degree murder in the strangling deaths of two florida state university sorority sisters 19 months ago. >> it is therefore the sentence of this court that you be sentenced to death by a current of electricity, and such current of electricity shall continue to pass through your body until you are dead. >> in some ways, ted bundy is an icon of the '70s. he mixed kind of showbiz and violence in a way that had never been done before.
>> at the end of the '70s, we've had a destruction of our innocence that we had at the beginning of the '70s. >> it became an era when americans began to expect the worst. >> america had certainly lost its way. criminals were lauded, and killers were romanticized. >> it was the news media that helped carry this message that america is a dangerous place, that americans had a love affair with violence. actually, it was much more like a marriage. and that marriage for some people was till death to them part. >> for a time, social scientists described the wave of violence that struck our cities as an epidemic. and they identified some of the causes, poverty, broken homes. for some, violence has become a permanent part of the fabric of life. sociologists call it a subculture of violence. the current wave of violent crime is well into its second decade. while we have deplored violence, we've not done much about it. perhaps this is because
confronting the problem of violence forces us to confront the most serious defects in our society. a monster -- >> my world! >> a madman. >> i run with a pack of wolves and i got to be a wolf. >> a master mind of one of the most horrific killing sprees in u.s. history. >> what do you think will happen when i get out? >> the savagery that went on that night. it is income pre hencible. >> charles manson transformed a group of young women into vicious killers.