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Dianne Lake

aka Snake

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Dianne Lake aka Snake

Dianne Lake aka Snake

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Dianne Lake was one of the tragedies of the early 1960s. She was born in the early 50s and lived much of her childhood at the Wavy Gravy Hog Farm commune with her hippie parents. Before turning 13, she had participated in group sex and drug use including LSD. At the age of 14, she met members of the Manson Family while visiting the house they were living in at Topanga Canyon. With her parent's approval, she left the Hog Farm and joined the Manson group.

Manson named her Snake and using the excuse that she sought a father figure, subjected her to several beatings in front of the other family members. Her experience with the Family included her regular participation in group sex, drug use and listening to Manson's constant pontifications about Helter Skelter and the "Revolution."

During the Spahn Ranch raid on August 16, 1969, Lake and Tex Watson avoided arrest having left days before to Olancha. While there, Watson told Lake he had killed Sharon Tate, under the orders of Manson, and described the killing as "fun."

Lake kept silent about Watson's confession even after being strongly interrogated after her arrest at the Barker Ranch raid in October 1969. She continued her silence until Jack Gardiner, an Inyo County police officer, and his wife entered her life and offered her friendship and parental guidance.

In late December, Lake disclosed to the DA what she knew about the Family's involvement in the Tate and LaBianca murders. The information proved to be invaluable to the prosecution because Watson, Krenwinkel and Van Houten had confided their participation in the murders to Lake.

At the age of 16, Lake suffered from LSD flashbacks and she was sent to Patton State Hospital to undergo treatment for behavioral enhanced schizophrenia. She was released after six months and went to live with Jack Gardiner and his wife, who had become her foster parents. With the professional help she received and the fostering of the Gardiners, Lake graduated from high school then college and is said to be living a normal happy life as a wife and mother.

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