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‘Helter Skelter’ Co-Author Curt Gentry Dies

| July 21, 2014
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Gentry was best known for co-writing "Helter Skelter: The True Story of the Manson Murders."

Gentry was best known for co-writing “Helter Skelter: The True Story of the Manson Murders.”

The San Francisco author best known for co-writing “Helter Skelter: The True Story of the Manson Murders” has died. He is being remembered as a true San Franciscan.

Curt Gentry made his name with the book that chronicled the gruesome 1969 murders by cult leader Charles Manson. He also wrote a best-selling critical biography of J. Edgar Hoover and several nonfiction books about California.

For decades, Gentry would gather with his closest friends at the North Beach bar Gino and Carlo.

“There’s nothing he didn’t know about San Francisco. If someone had a question, he was the one to ask. It was amazing,” says Ron Minolli, who co-owns the bar.

He says Gentry had a wide circle of friends from all walks of life. Gentry also loved cooking and his adopted city.

Gentry was born in Colorado and came here to attend San Francisco State University.

He was 83. Gentry requested that there be no services.

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About the Author ()

Rachel Dornhelm got her start in radio at WHYY. After anthropology graduate school, Rachel lived in Uzbekistan working with youth near the drying Aral Sea. Rachel returned to radio full-time in 2001. Her work has appeared on WNYC, WBUR, Marketplace, NPR news magazines and KQED. Reach Rachel Dornhelm at rdornhelm@kqed.org.

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