The Associated Press reports that Leslie Van Houten, a former Charles Manson follower, has had her parole denied by California’s governor. Van Houten was the youngest follower of Manson, and blamed herself for allowing him to control her at her parole hearing.
Governor Jerry Brown stated that Van Houten still places too much blame on Manson, but also acknowledged that her release should have been considered due to her youth at the time of her crimes and the forty years she has served as a model prisoner.
Van Houten, now 68, was sentenced to life for the murders of Leno LaBianca, a wealthy grocer and his wife, Rosemary. Van Houten was 19 when she helped stab the couple just one day after the Manson followers murdered Sharon Tate and four others in Los Angeles.
Although the panel recommended parole for Van Houten, this is the second time she has been denied by the governor of her home state. Governor Brown determined that Van Houten played a vital role in the murders and the family is still devastated from their loss. Van Houten told the parole board she accepted full responsibility, but she did shift some blame to Manson to an extent.
She stated that after her parents’ divorce when she was 14, she began hanging out with a bad crowd and doing drugs. At 17, she ran away with her boyfriend to San Francisco. During her travels along the coast, she was introduced to Manson and she became a member of his “family.”
Van Houten also gave a gruesome description of how she and others killed the LaBiancas, cut up the husband’s body and smeared their blood on the walls. No member of the “family” that took part in the Tate or LaBianca murders has yet been released from prison.
Manson died on November 20, 2017 of natural causes at the age of 83.
*Photo credit Associated Press