Exploring the Psyche of the Manson Women

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Leslie Van Houten after her parole was denied June 28, 2002 at the California Institution for Women in Corona, California.  (Photo: Damian Dovarganes/AFP/Getty Images)

The legacy of Charles Manson, according to journalist and social worker Nikki Meredith, "is not the violent, senseless deaths of innocent people" but rather the way ordinary people came under his spell. Meredith spent twenty years corresponding with Leslie Van Houten and Patricia Krenwinkel, former Manson cult members serving life sentences for their roles in the 1969 attacks  that left seven dead. She joins us to discuss her new book "The Manson Women and Me," and how cult leaders like Manson attract and manipulate their followers.


Nikki Meredith, author, "The Manson Women and Me: Monsters, Morality, and Murder"