For the last few years, I have been gathering information for what is now my current project, a book about the Family, Charles Manson‘s cult of hippie children, ex-convicts, drug dealers, and lost souls. Most people immediately recognize the group as the perpetrators of the Tate/LaBianca murders, essentially killing the idealism of the 60s and what little bit of innocence the country had left amidst the horrors of Vietnam.
As a result, the members of Manson’s group were forever emblazoned in the consciousness of society as wild-eyed, knife-wielding maniacs with bloody X’s carved into their foreheads. In reality, most of these former Family members, many of whom were not directly involved with any of the murders, have spent over 40 years trying to put the shattered pieces of their lives back together while simultaneously facing the stigma of “former Manson Family member.”
So what has happened to these people in the years since? Is it truly possible to break free of the grip of a mind-controlling cult and be able to silence the voices in your head that were never meant to be there in the first place? Are the killers’ claims of reform and redemption genuine?
My book addresses these questions, along with exclusive photos (no, not tacky and gruesome death photos) and my personal analysis of subjects ranging from unsolved murders to the legacy of the children and grandchildren of the Family. I feel that my own experiences as the survivor of a religious cult gain me a unique perspective that other researchers and investigators may not have.
With help from former members of the Family, experts on the case such as Scott Michaels, owner of Dearly Departed Tours in Los Angeles (and creator of L.A.’s “Helter Skelter” tour), and the plethora of books on the case, I am confident this project will be an enlightening and informative experience for readers.
And let’s face it, creepy, as well. This chapter in American history was scary as hell.
I welcome any information, thoughts or leads related to the case. To contact me regarding the Family book project, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.