In this poignant and disturbing memoir of lost innocence, coercion, survival, and healing, Dianne Lake chronicles her years with Charles Manson, revealing for the first time how she became the youngest member of his Family and offering new insights into one of the twentieth century’s most notorious criminals and life as one of his "girls."
At age fourteen Dianne Lake—with little more than a note in her pocket from her hippie parents granting her permission to leave them—became one of "Charlie’s girls," a devoted acolyte of cult leader Charles Manson. Over the course of two years, the impressionable teenager endured manipulation, psychological control, and physical abuse as the harsh realities and looming darkness of Charles Manson’s true nature revealed itself. From Spahn ranch and the group acid trips, to the Beatles’ White Album and Manson’s dangerous messiah-complex, Dianne tells the riveting story of the group’s descent into madness as she lived it.
Though she never participated in any of the group’s gruesome crimes and was purposely insulated from them, Dianne was arrested with the rest of the Manson Family, and eventually learned enough to join the prosecution’s case against them. With the help of good Samaritans, including the cop who first arrested her and later adopted her, the courageous young woman eventually found redemption and grew up to lead an ordinary life.
While much has been written about Charles Manson, this riveting account from an actual Family member is a chilling portrait that recreates in vivid detail one of the most horrifying and fascinating chapters in modern American history.
Member of the Family includes 16 pages of photographs.
In the family
A truly riveting book that catches you from page one I read it in two days at the beach and couldn’t put it down it shows the strength that God can guide you through the most difficult situations and bring you to a place of peace
I appreciate Dianne telling her story - even though it is a horrifying story. With “Helter Skelter” being the most popular book about the Manson Family, this gives more insight on the beginnings and the “behind the scenes” of Family life, and how these supposedly “ordinary middle class kids” came to give up their lives that lead up to the final days of terror in LA. The 60’s were indeed a strange time - trying to understand that in itself is a journey now in 2019.
Members of the family
Couldn’t wait to pick it up and read every day! Very informative but also very sad!!