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Member of the Family: My Story of Charles Manson, Life Inside His Cult, and the Darkness that Ended the Sixties

Unabridged Audiobook

Written By: Deborah Herman, Dianne Lake

Narrated By: Dianne Lake

Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers

Date: October 2017

Duration: 12 hours 33 minutes


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.


  • Kenneth B

    A great insight..from the horses mouth. Not a lot of first hand stories are told of such bizarre happenings. Amazing lady to come through the other side of such a tale...

  • S Padfield

    This was a great read! Since all of this happened prior to my being born, the story always intrigued me. It was interesting to hear the firsthand representation of what happened from one of the members of this “family”. Brave woman to finally be able to share it with the world.