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California man who co-authored bestselling Charles Manson book 'Helter Skelter' dies

SAN FRANCISCO - Curt Gentry, a San Francisco man who co-authored "Helter Skelter," the true-crime classic chronicling the Charles Manson case, has died at the age of 83.

Pat Gentry said Sunday that his brother wrote 13 books throughout his career, picking only the topics that deeply engaged him.

His best known work was "Helter Skelter," co-written with Vincent Bugliosi, the man who prosecuted Manson and his followers for murder. Gentry also wrote a highly critical biography of FBI chief J. Edgar Hoover.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports that Gentry was born in Lamar, Colorado. He served in the Air Force during the Korean War, writing for the Pacific Stars and Stripes newspaper in Tokyo.

Gentry launched his professional writing career in San Francisco, where he died July 10 of lung cancer.

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