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, Autobiography, Memoir, Mystery, Religion, Cults

Reviews The Manson Women and Me

  • 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...
  • 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...
    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,...
  • 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...
  • 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...
  • 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 ...
  • 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...
  • 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...
  • 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.
  • 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, ...
  • 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...
  • 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...
  • Tara
    This is a more complex book than the title, and cover might suggest - part true crime, part memoir, with servings of history and psychology which add up to a personal meditation on the nature of evil, and the possibility of redemption. The Manson murders - and in particular, two of the killers, Leslie Van Houten and Patricia Krenwinkel - are at its centre, but there are many detours, which may frustrate some readers. Author Nikki Meredith has kno...
  • R.J.
    I received a free copy of the e-book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review which you can read at lucieninthestars.caI finished this book a few days ago but it has taken me since then to really think about how to go about this review. It’s a bit of a sensitive topic, so I will not be posting this review here, rather just keeping it on my blog so as to better control the comments. Also please note that while my review is free of trigger...
  • Boni
    LOVED this book! Nikki Meredith opened up her personal experiences as they related to what she was learning about the complex psychologies of followers, from cultists including Moonies and Hale Boppers, Nazi's in Germany's darkest hours and Stanford students playing warden and prisoner, monkeys electrocuting others for fruit or humans just doing it to follow orders. What a great laying out of the many different perspectives and reasons behind thi...
  • Nina
    Eminently skippable. Discussion of "The Manson Women" (by which the author really only means Leslie Van Houten and, to a lesser extent, Patricia Krenwinkel and Catherine Share) makes up no more than a third of this book. Despite the title, it is essentially just a memoir of the author's life, in which she makes much of fairly tenuous connections to the infamous Manson crimes (she went to high school with Catherine Share and once had a long talk w...
  • Kristine
    The Manson Women and Me by Nikki Meredith is a free NetGalley ebook that I read in late March.A interview study of Leslie Van Houten and Patricia Krenwinkel, each members of the notorious Manson family, who have been in prison since 1971.  Although the content of her interviews is useful and interesting, the author likens Charles Manson's cult and portrayal in the media to her experiences within an upper middle class Jewish family, enduring rac...
  • Jessica
    Netgalley provided me with free digital access to this title in exchange for my honest opinion.Looking back, I'm not sure what I expected when I requested this title. Maybe because I had just read Dianne Lake's memoir about her own time in the Family....I really don't know. This is basically what the title says it is: writings about two of the "Manson women" and the author, Nikki Meredith. Meredith makes a lot of comparisons between her own life ...
  • Vnunez-Ms_luv2read
    I have read many books on the Manson family and their crimes. No matter how many books I read, I still come away asking "How did people get caught up with this man's way of thinking?" I was hoping this book would provide insight on this question. Although it was well written and the author seems to have done her homework, the question was not answered to me. These young girls looked innocent but was also very detached and just had a "dont care" a...
  • 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 ...
  • 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...
  • Jenn
    Confusing TopicsHitler, Manson, Jonestown, Heavens Gate, Leslie, Pat, and the authors own account keep the focus off of the women who were supposedly the focus of this book.What information was there was written thoughtfully and with a great deal of research as to who the two women were and who they are today.The excessive number of different topics was my issue with the book. The author may have been able to write two books instead of one or cho...
  • Lenore
    Nikki Meredith investigates the lives of two of the Manson women since their incarceration - a study on character and what causes people to do horrific crimes. The book is well written and really makes you think - how did Manson hold such control over these young, ordinary women that they did whatever he asked? How does society view people who commit such crimes and is there ever hope for rehabilitation? Really makes you think.
  • Whitney
    3.5 starsAn interesting, easy read. Overall I found the author's inclusion of memoir bits to be distracting, but she does have some intriguing insights into Leslie Van Houten and Patricia Krenwinkle from her long-term communications with them, as well as into how the crimes changed US society as a whole.