Dianne Lake was just 16 years old when the Manson Family cult went on a two day killing spree across Los Angeles, leaving seven people dead.
Although Lake was not directly involved in the violence, she hasn’t spoken about it in 47 years.
Now she’s written a memoir about her time in the cult and the terrifying realisation that she was part of a deadly group responsible for slaying innocent people.
“I was shocked. I was horrified,” the now 64-year-old told PEOPLE about the moment she overheard Susan Atkins, Patricia Krenwinkel and Leslie Van Houten talking about the people they had killed for Charles Manson.
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In her memoir, Member of the Family, Lake writes about falling under Charles Manson’s spell at just 14 years old.
“He was extremely intelligent. He had the incredible ability to pick up on other people’s weaknesses and their needs and their desires, and he could fulfill those,” she told PEOPLE.
Lake said Manson immediately picked up on her need for connection and took advantage of it.
“I needed love and affection, and I needed a family. I needed to feel like I belonged somewhere,” she said “And he perceived that from the get-go.”
At first Lake was grateful for Manson’s attention but that all changed after she discovered members of the group had killed seven people for him.
On August 8, 1969, the group set out on a killing spree across L.A. They entered the home of actress Sharon Tate and director Roman Polanski, and killed Tate and her unborn child.