The Manson Women and Me by Nikki Meredith

The Manson Women and Me

In the summer of 1969, Leslie Van Houten and Patricia Krenwinkel carried out horrific acts of butchery on the orders of the charismatic cult leader Charles Manson. At their murder trial the following year, lead prosecutor Vincent Bugliosi described the two so-called Manson Women as "human monsters." But to anyone who knew them growing up, they were bright, promising girls, seemingly incapable of such an unfathomable crime.Award-winning journalist...

Details The Manson Women and Me

TitleThe Manson Women and Me
Release DateMar 27th, 2018
PublisherCitadel Press
GenreNonfiction, Crime, True Crime, History, Mystery, Autobiography, Memoir

Reviews The Manson Women and Me

  • Meike
    This book is severely lacking focus: Although it is marketed as being a current portrait of Leslie Van Houten and Patricia Krenwinkel, it is in fact a memoir of Nikki Meredith that contains parts in which she talks to the aforementioned women and some of their relatives. I guess that Meredith's basic question was how these women were able to commit such heinous crimes, but instead of taking a journalistic or research-based approach, she chooses t...
  • Bernadette
    3.5 Stars. As a child I had a fascination with the Manson killings. I read at a very early age and I used to steal my older brother’s books to read at night when I should have been asleep (then hid the books under my mattress). One of the books I should NOT have read was Vincent Bugliosi’s Helter Skelter. Understandably, I was plagued by nightmares that baffled my parents. On the news, I remember seeing the girls with their bald heads and car...
    Thank you to the publisher Kensington Books who provided an advance reader copy via NetGalley.This book focuses primarily on Leslie Van Houten and Patricia Krenwinkel, members of the notorious Manson family imprisoned since the 1970s involving the Sharon Tate and LaBianca murders in LA. While author Nikki Meredith also interviewed former Manson member Tex Watson in prison, she established a twenty-year relationship visiting Van Houten and Krenwin...
  • Valerity (Val)
    Journalist Nikki Meredith spent more than twenty years getting to know Patricia Krenwinkle and Leslie Van Houten and takes a deep dive into studying how they became involved with Charles Manson. She does a very involved look at what it takes to get to the point that they were at when they committed the murders while getting to know them during repeated visits over the years.She also interviews other people in their lives, past and present. A very...
  • Brooke
    3.5 starsIt is evident that a lot of time and research went into creating this book, and I thoroughly enjoyed parts of it. I haven’t read Helter Skelter, and I only have minimal knowledge about the Manson Family, so I went into this book a little blind. The author does a good job of covering the facts needed for this book, and I think she succeeded at making some insights into Leslie Van Houten and Patricia Krenwinkel’s involvement. I don’t...
  • Julie
    Read this review on Julie's BookshelfI wanted this one to work for me but sadly it did not and here is why. There is no doubt that Nikki Meredith has a strong obsession with the Manson Murders, but where this book fell flat for me is its complete failure to divulge into the psyche of Charles Manson or that of the two women. In fact, Nikki Meredith’s telling seems to be more geared towards her outlook, her personal history, her experiences with ...
  • Michelle
    The history of Charles Manson and the pure evil and terror that followed in the Tate-LaBianca murder’s that altered the peaceful social fabric of the U.S. in August 1969. The knowledge that innocent people were slaughtered without a reason or motive; horrified the nation. Nikki Meredith revisited the Manson crime in her book: “Monsters, Morality and Murder: The Manson Women and Me”. Meredith articulated on the reasons these crimes occurred,...
  • Trish
    A more apt title for this book would be Me, and oh by the way I mention the Manson Women Murderers ... This book meanders all over the place and I'm not sure what comparisons, if any, the author attempted to draw from sharing her life experience/background with the two women - Krenwinkel and Van Houten other than to publish a book that advocates parole for Leslie Van Houten. If the comparison was that Mason was equivalent to Hitler in convincing ...
  • Irene
    There's not a lot of new information on the Manson family (or Manson Women) contained in this book and for some reason the author has rambled on, jumping from decade to decade without much rhyme or reason. It's the 90s, then it's 2001 and then it's 1940 something and I am left wondering why I need to know that the author was having dreams about Hitler unless that somehow fits in with the ties they want to show that the Tate/ Labianca murders had ...
  • Meow
    It can be said that the Manson Family murders killed the 60’s. I have never forgotten “Tex” Watson’s (the lone male who participated in the murders) words when asked by the victims at Cielo Drive “Who are you?” to which Watson replied “I am the Devil and I’m here to do the Devil’s business”. I’d always been puzzled and a bit fascinated by The Manson Girls. What struck me most about these young girls Leslie Van Houten, Patric...
  • Keith Chawgo
    Nikki Meredith’s personal experiences and relationships with Patricia Krenwinkle and Leslie Van Houten is a fascinating and in depth dealing with understanding and empathy. The book is not a sensationalised account of two murderers and a journalist hoping to find an angle that will push this further. What we have is a book that is thought provoking and raises questions on the human spirit and asks can a person change from their early self.Mered...
  • Kay
    Meandering, specious and lacking perception. I was hoping to find an insightful exploration of why America's daughters became monsters. This book is not this. The writer tries to involve her own personal narrative into the story of these women, but it come across as facile and shallow. There were times I rolled my eyes. After awhile, I started to skim hoping to find something. Yes, there were bits and pieces, but overall the book is pointless, di...
  • Milky Mixer
    This book could have been so much better and was a complete missed opportunity by the author. Many members of the Manson Family, the prosecution, and relatives of the victims have written memoirs, given interviews, appeared on television, and have told the story of the Tate-LaBianca Murders from every side. But Patricia Krenwinkle and Leslie van Houten, 2 of the 3 women who participated in the infamous 1960s murders, have been relatively reclusiv...
  • Yuthika
    I did not expect to visualise Abigail Folger's smile or hear Leno LaBianca's screams when I started reading this. I did not expect to empathise to this extent with the author and the discrimination she had to face. And I, least of all, expected to understand Leslie and Pat. More Leslie than Pat, actually. And Susan Atkins who is present just by name in this book? Well, I have always been convinced she had Munchausen syndrome. I, who have always v...
  • marissa sammy
    Honestly, the title has it backwards. Meredith spends more time on her own family dynamics and making the most tenuous of connections between herself and the Manson Family victims. She seems to be implying that since she's Jewish, she understands how the victims felt, or could easily have been in their place, or something? At any rate, it reads like a self-involved family memoir locked in a cell with a sympathetic criminology book, and they are u...
  • Sam (Clues and Reviews)
    I have always been fascinated by cults. I find them to be equal parts fascinating and terrifying. So, naturally, in high school I picked up a copy of Helter Skelter, learning all about the Manson Family. This book stayed with me and I actually ended up having to throw the book away because it gave me the creeps. How could people be manipulated into murder? How could one man dictate actions? What could compel a “normal” person to do such awful...
  • Erin
    It would be impossible to write a book about the women in the Manson family and have it not be interesting. Even all these decades later, the story of this cult is still shocking and mystifying to many people. How did a group of seemingly 'normal' girls turn into murderers? Were they completely coerced into committing the crimes? Should they continue to be held responsible for what happened while they were under the influence of mind control? The...
  • Barbara Carter
    I really liked this book. I, as a person who likes going deeper into why people do some of the things they do. And if you are that kind of person then I think you will like this book. Also, as a teen I had read two books on the Manson Family that were published in the 70s. I as a young woman, horrified, yet captivated by such violence, wondering about those young women who committed such violent acts. Hoping I could never become like them. Yet, t...
  • Kayo
    A lot of research went in this book, that you can tell. Not sure about the authors personal life, how it connected. Felt a bit disconnected for me in that easy. Overall book was interesting. Thank you to author, publisher and NetGalley for the chance to read this book. While I got the book for free, it had no bearing on the rating I gave it.
  • Richard
    Nice addition to the library of material on the subject.
  • Zephyrine
    I received a complimentary copy of this book through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.I don't know where to start. I enjoy learning about true crimes and I love criminal psychology. I remember I was 14 years old when I first read about Mason and the things his crew committed. It was shocking and some twisted way... fascinating. How can a human creature commit such a hideous crime?This book tries to focus on Lesli...
  • Kathy Cunningham
    Nikki Meredith’s THE MANSON WOMEN AND ME is ostensibly an examination of Leslie Van Houten and Patricia Krenwinkel, two of the women who committed multiple murders for Charles Manson back in 1969. Meredith, an award-winning journalist and licensed social worker, spent twenty years getting to know Leslie and Pat – she visited both of them regularly in prison, corresponded with them, and interviewed their family members, former Manson cohorts, ...
  • Jill Crosby
    An epically proportional train wreck, PURPORTED to be about the author’s in-depth study of Leslie van Houten & Patricia Krenwinkle, two of Charles Manson’s primary “killing lieutenants,” who actively participated in the slaughter of at least 7 human beings back in 1969.Instead, this is what the reader was served: lengthy chunks of the author’s memoir interwoven with “interviews” of the Manson Girls, then awkwardly forced to reveal a...
  • Allisonlcarter
    Since coming to work at a newspaper three years ago, I’ve become fascinated by the people we call monsters. At once the epithet is too easy and too hard. It’s too easy to say, those who do awful things are not like me. They are inhuman. Other. We can discard them. And it’s too hard to grapple with the idea that yes, they are humans, they are made of the same wonder and horror we all are. I hoped that this book might shed some light on how t...
  • Lisa Gallagher
    Author Nikki Meredith offers this exploration of her intimate friendships with Patricia Krenwinkel and Leslie Van Houten, the two remaining Manson Family female killers, both incarcerated now for 47 years at Frontera Prison in California. Except that her relationship with them isn’t friendship; it was always intended as a vehicle to help her write and publish a book. For 20 years she wrote and visited these two women, perpetrators of the ghastl...
  • Cara Ellison
    While I think that the premise was interesting, I feel like the book missed the mark. The author set out to make some grand point about morality but what transpired was a weirdly personal story about her own Jewishness, her relationship with an abusive boyfriend, and her relationship with the so called "Manson women", Leslie Van Houton and Pat Krenwinkle. The most perplexing aspect of this was her refusal to write a letter of support to help Kren...
  • Tad
    This book may be about murders that took place fifty years ago but it could not feel more relevant to today. If you’ve ever wondered what could possess people to commit despicable acts that are just downright cruel or vicious, this book gives a deep dive into the circumstances that could lead to such brutal acts.This book is about murder. It is about anti Semitism. It is about cults and the people who fall into them. It is about not seeing the ...
  • Juliette
    Nikki Meredith is a journalist who interviewed two of the Manson Girls ( Leslie Van Houten and Patricia Krenwinkel) for over two decades at the California prison where both women are still incarcerated. She weaves their stories and time period of the late 60s with her own experiences as a Los Angeles teenager in the 60s. This is an interesting premise for a memoir. As a person who loves to read about cults and also loves memoirs, I really was eng...
  • Deb
    More insight than usual into the Manson WomenI've read most every book ever written about the Manson Family and that horrendous two nights in 1969. I was 14 at the time yet remember hearing about the murders like it was yesterday. I have since watched interviews on tv with Leslie and Pat. My fear of what they did so long ago has faded with age. Unlike many who still worship Manson, even in death, I truly believe these two have worked very hard to...
  • Katie
    I agree with many of the other reviews that the author’s attempts at relating Charles Manson to her Jewish heritage are a stretch, but I did find this book interesting overall. This was also the first book I’ve read about the Manson Family, so I don’t have a strong base for comparison.The interviews with Leslie and Pat are surface-level, but still fascinating. Nikki Meredith builds all of her material up to ultimately say these women have s...