The anticipated jailhouse wedding of “Helter Skelter” madman Charles Manson and his naive gal pal has hit the skids after nearly a year of engagement, The National ENQUIRER has learned exclusively. 

The killer’s future mother-in-law, Melissa Burton, 47, admits she doesn’t know why her daughter, Afton, 26, hasn’t tied the knot with the infamous killer yet, but the Illinois mother of four told The ENQUIRER in an exclusive interview: “I prefer that they not get married.

“This is not the life that we chose for our daughter, by no means, you know,” said the devastated mom.

“I had other hopes and dreams for my first child, but you can’t dictate the course that they take. They choose their own lives.”

Manson spent the 45th anniversary of the brutal 1969 murders – which left seven dead including director Roman Polanski’s pregnant wife Sharon Tate – at Corcoran State Prison in California.

Afton moved to the area seven years ago to be closer to the coldblooded killer. Her obsession with the 79-year old maniac blossomed in high school when she learned of Manson’s environmental beliefs. She then began exchanging letters with him, her mom told The ENQUIRER. Afton was only 19 when she bolted from her home to be near Manson, who gave her the nickname “Star.”

“People can think I’m crazy, but they don’t know,” the defiant Manson worshipper told an interviewer. “This is right for me. This is what I was born for!”

In a haunting coincidence, Afton bears a striking resemblance to one of Manson’s most notorious disciples, Susan Atkins. Atkins died in prison of brain cancer at age 61 in 2009 while two other accomplices, Patricia Krenwinkel, 66, and Leslie Van Houten, 65, remain behind bars serving life sentences for murder.

Heartbroken Melissa and her husband Nolan, 46, were blindsided last year when their daughter told them about the engagement – leading them to suspect that Manson, a master manipulator, hoodwinked their oldest child. “My daughter is an extremely sweet and loving person, and that’s why she is in the position she is in now,” said her devoted mom.

Despite her concerns, Melissa communicates daily with her daughter, who rarely talks about Manson anymore, despite visiting him every weekend. Incredibly, fiendish Manson tried to cozy up to his future in-laws with phone calls and letters. After seven long years of being haunted by the cult leader, it seems the Burtons are adjusting and reluctantly accepting the bizarre situation out of love for their daughter.

But Melissa describes her predicament as an “extraordinary situation” because “there is really no one to talk to about it. “We love our daughter with our whole heart…. It’s not that we support everything that our children think and do, but we love them and we will always be there for them, no matter what. “My biggest prayer is that someday she’ll be back home.”