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Former Manson disciple Van Houten granted parole again

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Associated Press

CHINO, Calif.

Leslie Van Houten, the youngest of Charles Manson’s murderous followers, was granted parole by a California board Wednesday.

Van Houten, who was 19 when she killed for Manson during a series of murders that terrorized Los Angeles over the summer of 1969, appeared before a parole panel for the 21st time.

The decision now goes through a process of review in which Gov. Jerry Brown may uphold, reverse or modify the decision. He could also send the matter to the full Board of Parole Hearings, or take no action, in which case the parole decision would stand.

A similar panel at the California Institution for Women in Chino, where Van Houten is incarcerated, granted her parole last year but was overruled by the governor.

Van Houten has candidly described how she joined several other members of the Manson Family in killing Los Angeles grocer Leno La Bianca and his wife, Rosemary, in their home Aug. 10, 1969.

She was not with Manson followers the night before when they killed pregnant actress Sharon Tate and four others during a similar bloody rampage.

At her parole hearing last year, Van Houten said she helped hold down Rosemary La Bianca while another Manson follower stabbed her repeatedly. She then took up a knife herself and added more than a dozen stab wounds.

“I don’t let myself off the hook. I don’t find parts in any of this that makes me feel the slightest bit good about myself,” she said.

Since she was incarcerated more than 40 years ago, Van Houten has been a model prisoner and earned college degrees.

Members of the Tate and La Bianca families have argued repeatedly, however, against granting parole to her or any other Manson follower who took part in the killings.

None has been freed, and one, Susan Atkins, died in prison in 2009. Manson, now 82, remains behind bars.