Charles Manson follower has parole blocked by California governor

Shweta Sharma
·3-min read
<p>Leslie Van Houten attends her parole hearing</p> (AP)

Leslie Van Houten attends her parole hearing

(AP)

A Charles Manson follower convicted over the notorious 1969 La Bianca killings has her parole blocked for a fourth time by a California governor.

Leslie Van Houten, 71, is serving a life sentence for helping the late Manson kill Los Angeles grocer Leno LaBianca and his wife, Rosemary, in August 1969. Members of Manson’s cult — including Van Houten, who was just 19 at the time — smeared the couple’s blood n the walls after fatally stabbing them.

Van Houten’s parole had been signed off by a California panel in July but her release was reversed by Gov. Newsom — the second time he has taken the decision to do so. Van Houten’s parole was also blocked by the previous California governor, Jerry Brown, on two occasions. Gov. Newsom said Van Houten “currently poses an unreasonable danger to society if released from prison”.

This is the 23rd time she has been denied parole.

Watch: Governor Nixes Parole For Charles Manson Follower

Van Houten’s attorney, Rich Pfeiffer, said they will challenge the governor’s decision.

“This reversal will demonstrate to the courts that there is no way Newsom will let her out,” Mr Pfeiffer said. “So they have to enforce the law or it will never be enforced.”

Her attorney has been unsuccessfully requesting Van Houten’s release from years now, on the grounds of decades of good behaviour as a prisoner and her abuse at the hands of Manson.

Former governor Brown in 2018 acknowledged that the prisoner had shown good behaviour for four decades and she was a teenager at the time of the crime.

Mr Pfeiffer said of the decision that no one wants to put their name on her release but off the record everyone “wants her to go home”.

None of the other cult members who took part in the LaBianca murders have been released from the prison.

The LaBianca murders were reported a day after other Manson followers, not including Van Houten, killed pregnant actress Sharon Tate and four others.

A Charles Manson follower convicted in 1969 killings has her parole blocked for a fourth time by a California governor.

Leslie Van Houten, 71, is serving a life sentence for helping the late Manson kill Los Angeles grocer Leno LaBianca and his wife, Rosemary, in August 1969. Members of Manson’s cult — including Van Houten, who was just 19 at the time — smeared the couple’s blood n the walls after fatally stabbing them.

Van Houten’s parole had been signed off by a California panel in July but her release was reversed by Gov. Newsom — the second time he has taken the decision to do so. Van Houten’s parole was also blocked by the previous California governor, Jerry Brown, on two occasions. Gov. Newsom said Van Houten “currently poses an unreasonable danger to society if released from prison”.

This is the 23rd time she has been denied parole.

Watch: The Charles Manson 'Family' Murders - 50 Years On

Van Houten’s attorney, Rich Pfeiffer, said they will challenge the governor’s decision.

“This reversal will demonstrate to the courts that there is no way Newsom will let her out,” Mr Pfeiffer said. “So they have to enforce the law or it will never be enforced.”

Her attorney has been unsuccessfully requesting Van Houten’s release from years now, on the grounds of decades of good behaviour as a prisoner and her abuse at the hands of Manson.

Former governor Brown in 2018 acknowledged that the prisoner had shown good behaviour for four decades and she was a teenager at the time of the crime.

Mr Pfeiffer said of the decision that no one wants to put their name on her release but off the record everyone “wants her to go home”.

None of the other cult members who took part in the LaBianca murders have been released from the prison.

The LaBianca murders were reported a day after other Manson followers, not including Van Houten, killed pregnant actress Sharon Tate and four others.

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