PAROLE HEARING

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

LESLIE
VAN HOUTEN

SUBSEQUENT PAROLE CONSIDERATION HEARING
STATE OF CALIFORNIA
BOARD OF PAROLE HEARINGS

In the matter of the Life Term Parole Consideration Hearing of:
LESLIE VAN HOUTEN
CDC Number: W-13378

CALIFORNIA INSTITUTION FOR WOMEN
CORONA, CALIFORNIA
APRIL 14, 2016
8:46 A.M.

PANEL PRESENT:
BRIAN ROBERTS, Presiding Commissioner
DALE POMERANTZ, Deputy Commissioner

OTHERS PRESENT:
LESLIE VAN HOUTEN, Inmate
RICH PFEIFFER, Attorney for Inmate
DONNA LEBOWITZ, Deputy District Attorney
BARBARA WOLFF, Head Deputy District Attorney, LA County, Parole Division
LOUIS SMALDINO, Nephew of Victims
DEBRA TATE, Representative to Lou Smaldino
TONY LAMONTAGNE, Oldest Grandson of Victims
ANTHONY DIMARIA, LaBianca Family Representative for Lou Smaldino
LETICIA TREJO, Victims Advocate
ROSIE THOMAS, California Institution for Women, Public Information Officer
JOHN ROGERS, Reporter for the Associated Press
STAN LIM, Photographer for the Associated Press
CORRECTIONAL OFFICER, Unidentified

PROCEEDINGS

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER POMERANTZ: On the record.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Good morning, everyone. This is a Subsequent Parole Suitability Hearing for Leslie Van Houten, V-A-N H-O-U-T-E-N, California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation Number W-13378. Today's date is September the 6th, 2015 -- 2017. The time is approximately, uh, 8:55 a.m. We're located at the California Institution for Women, and that's in Corona, California. Miss Van Houten was received by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation from the County of Los Angeles, and it was under their Case Number A253156. It was for the offense of Penal Code Section 187, murder in the first degree. She was also convicted of Penal Code Section 182-187, which is conspiracy to commit first-degree murder. She was sentenced to two seven-to-life terms to run concurrent. She has a minimum eligible parole date of August the 17th, 1978. She is a qualified youthful offender pursuant to 3051 of the Penal Code, uh, changed by SB261. She was 19, almost 20 years old at the time of the Life Crime. Her youthful offender date is April the 14th, 1989. Uh, she also qualifies as a elderly parole candidate pursuant to the three-judge panel, uh, and she was so qualified on August the 23rd, 2009. The life term started back on August 17, 1978. The victims in this case were Rosemary LaBianca, spelling L-A-B-I-A- N-C-A, and her husband, Leno, L-E-N-O A. LaBianca. Now, the hearing's being recorded, so for the purpose of voice identification, we're going to go around the room, identify ourselves. To do that, we'll state our full name, spelling our last. We'll start with myself, go to the Deputy Commissioner, then we'll come back to you, Miss Van Houten. We'll go down that side of the table. Then what we'll do is we'll ask each of the, uh, family members or the representatives of the family to step up, state their full name on the Deputy District Attorney's microphone there, and, uh, your -- either your relation to the victim or your reason for being here. If you're a representative, who you're a representative for. Uh, and then we'll go around -- ac -- all of our -- and can we come down? We'll get -- uh, finish up there with the press personnel who are here present. The officer doesn't need to put his name on the record. I'll take care of it. Okay. All right. So let's get started with myself. Good morning, everyone. I'm Brian Roberts, R-O-B-E-R-T-S. I'm a Commissioner with the Board of Parole Hearings.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER POMERANTZ: Dale Pomerantz, P-O-M-E-R-A-N-T-Z, Deputy Commissioner.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Miss Van Houten?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Um, Inmate Van Houten, capital V-A-N, capital H-O-U-T-E-N, Leslie, L-E-S-L-I-E. W-13378.

ATTORNEY PFEIFFER: Rich Pfeiffer, P-F-E-I-F-F-E- R, Miss Van Houten's attorney.

DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY LEBOWITZ: Donna Lebowitz, L-E-B-O-W-I-T-Z, Deputy District Attorney, Los Angeles County.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Uh, that way. Right over there. Step up.

HEAD DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY WOLFF: Barbara Wolff, W-O-L-F-F, Head Deputy District Attorney, LA County, in the Parole Division.

MR. SMALDINO: Louis Smaldino, S-M-A-L-D-I-N-O, uh, nephew of Leno and, uh, Rosemary LaBianca.

MS. TATE: Debra Tate, T-A-T-E, representative to the LaBianca family.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: W -- uh, well, let's hold on, hold on, hold on. Back up. Wh -- whi -- which one are you identified as their representative?

MS. TATE: Leno --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Leno.

MS. TATE: -- LaBianca.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay. I just need one.

MS. TATE: So I'm yours?

MR. SMALDINO: Yes.

MS. TATE: Oh, I -- I'm -- I'm sorry. I'm sorry. That would be Lou Smaldino.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay. Thank you. Just wanted to clarify that cause I'm inten -- anticipating -- thank you, sir. I'm sorry.

UNKNOWN VOICE: Good timing for a motion.

MR. LAMONTAGNE: Um, first name is Tony, last name LaMontagne, L-A-M-O-N-T-A-G-N-E, oldest grandson of Leno and Rosemary LaBianca.

MR. DIMARIA: Uh, Anthony DiMaria. Uh, LaBianca family representative for Lou Smaldino. D-I, capital M-A-R-I-A.

MS. TREJO: Leticia Trejo, L-E-T-I-C-I-A, Trejo, T-R-E-J-O, victims advocate.

CORRECTIONAL LIEUTENANT THOMAS: Correctional Lieutenant Rosie Thomas, T-H-O-M-A-S, C -- California Institution for Women, Public Information Officer.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: You need to step up to the mike, cause we've got this air conditioner going here, and we're trying to keep it somewhat cool in here.

MR. ROGERS: Hi. Uh, John Rogers, uh, reporter for the Associated Press.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Spell your last name, please.

MR. ROGERS: R-O-G-E-R-S.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Thank you, sir.

MR. LIM: Stan Lim, uh, representing the Associated Press as a photographer, and last name's L-I- M.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Good? Okay. And for the record, we one -- have one security staff present. The officer's here for security purposes only and will not be participating in the hearing. Let's take a quick look at any needs for assistance that you might have. I've reviewed a couple of things. First, your BPT 1073, which is a document created by your correctional counselor Clarence Hogan. That was created on August the 2nd, n -- 2017. That document indicates that you need glasses, and you're wearing your glasses. And you need crutches. I saw you had crutches this morning. I've also reviewed the Disability in Effective Communication System File. Now, that's in the computer here. Tells me a little bit more about you. Tells me that you have a placement score of 19, custody level Medium A, you're housed in the general population. Also tells me that you have normal cognitive functioning, and that was determined, uh, at least most recently in 2016. A TABE score of 12.9, and that was determined back in 2009. Indicates a need for crutches, eyeglasses, or a wheelchair, and we've got the crutches today. Have you ever used a wheelchair?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Just to go the long distance around the prison.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: You didn't need one here today?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: No.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay. Also indicates a work and vocational classification of A1A. Indicates that you've been involved in the Victim Offender Education Group since at least August of 2017. Also been involved in Actors Gang since at least August of 2017. And then also a Chaffey College tutor, and that's since at least November of 2016. I see at least since -- they update that, so --

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: -- at -- what they're trying to show us is that you're active and involved in things. All right. Does that all sound about correct, ma'am?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: All right. So let me ask you this. Can you hear me okay?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: (inaudible) crutches. Were you able to get here to the hearing okay?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: All right. You got your glasses, fine reading score. Were you able to read and understand the documents for today's hearing?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes, I was.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Are you now or have you ever been a participant in the CCCMS or mental health delivery system here in the prison?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: No. I have not.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Have you ever been treated for a psychiatric illness?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: No.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Are there any medical issues that we need to know about so that we can accommodate you today?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: No.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay. Well, for the record, there is. We have your leg, and we have a chair there for you to put your leg up on.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Oh. Yeah, yeah. Okay.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: All right. Anything else?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: No.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: All right. Counsel, I do not see any ADA reasons that would preclude us from proceeding. Do you concur?

ATTORNEY PFEIFFER: I concur.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: All right. With regard to your hearing rights, the document on the BPH 1002 Form, and you signed that document most recently on April the 4th, 2017. This is your Subsequent 20th Hearing. Uh, it's -- the -- changed over the years, but not much and certainly not much in the last several years. Um, and you signed that document with your Correctional Counselor Sanchez, so having that in mind, are there any issues with your rights today, ma'am?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: No, there are not.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Counsel, are your client's rights met thus far?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: All right. All right. Just -- I know it's been -- what? About 16, 18 months since the last hearing. Mm, I'd like to put on the record what we're here to do. Uh, the purpose of today's hearing is to determine your suitability for parole. We'll be considering your past criminal and social history. We'll be considering the Life Crimes, and we'll be considering your progress and performance since you've come to prison. Two other issues that haven't changed since the last hearing. You qualify as a youthful offender, so -- so we'll be considering the diminished culpability of juveniles compared to adults, the hallmark features of youth, and any subsequent growth and maturity of you. Additionally, as was with the case of the last hearing, you qualify as an elderly parole candidate. Uh, and that's all directed by the three-judge panel. So we'll be considering today, like the last Panel did, your, uh, advanced age, your length of confinement, and physical limitations and how they would either mitigate or aggravate your, uh, future risk for violence. So all those we take into consideration. Now, that -- none of that's new since the last hearing. Th -- you qualified for all this in the last hearing. Having said all that, nothing that happens here today is going to change the findings of the court. We hold the findings of the court to be true. We're not here today to retry that case. We want to understand it, but we're not here to retry it. Shortly, I'll be swearing you in, and we'll expect that everything you tell us is truthful, honest, and forthright. As bad as it was, as bad as it is, I encourage you to be truthful, honest, and forthright. If not, liable to be a problem. Uh, looking at the last hearing, ra -- reading the transcripts of it, didn't seem to be an issue at that hearing, but I never know. So I just warn you about that. We'll be asking you questions today, and there's two things I like to say about questions. The first is that we may ask you questions today that, um, are unclear to you, and it can get confusing. If you don't understand what's being asked of you, and it doesn't matter whether I'm asking it, the Deputy Commissioner, perhaps your attorney, or you've been through these before and the District Attorney may ask the Panel questions which may result in you being asked questions, and that in itself -- of itself can be confusing, don't be afraid to say -- I don't understand the question. Here's -- here's my take on all that. We're looking for certain information, and if you don't understand what we're asking, you can't help us get to the information, okay? So don't be afraid to say -- I don't understand the question.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Okay.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: We'll work on it to get to where you understand what we're looking for and you can help us get there, okay?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Okay.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: The second thing I like to ask or -- and talk about with questions is -- there's another issue that happens from time to time when we may ask you a question that you don't have an answer for. If that's the tru -- the best answer -- I don't have an answer -- then that's the answer you should make. Um, we may want an answer, but if you don't have an answer, I don't want you to make something up that you think we want to hear, cause that gets disastrous fairly quickly.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Um, so again, we may want an answer, but if you don't have one, then the best answer is -- I don't have an answer. Okay?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: All right. Good. Now, this Panel is going to come to a conclusion today, and we're either going to find you suitable for parole or not. If we find you suitable for parole, it'll be much like the last hearing where they found you suitable for parole, gave you special conditions of parole, and the case went up to Sacramento for review. If we find you not suitable for parole, then we'll tell you why we find you not suitable for parole, and you had a number of cases where that was the case, a number of situations where that was the case. Um, and we'll tell you if we find you not suitable for parole what we find you not suitable based on and how much time we think it's going to take to find you suitable for parole. I don't know what the outcome of this hearing's going to be. I never know. Um, so I warn you both ways. All right? Having said all of that, though, the Board has 120 days to for -- to formalize and finalize the decision that we make today, Mr. Pomerantz and I. So it's not finalized till Sacramento has their I's on and crosses the T's, dots the I's, and makes sure everything's done. If we find you suitable for parole today, then on top of that, the case goes over to the Governor's office, which you well know, and the Governor gets additional 30 days to look at your case and make his own independent decision as to your suitability for parole, which you know about because that's exactly what happened at the last hearing --

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: -- and -- and the Governor's reversal. You'll be notified in writing by whatever party, uh, has issues with your case, all right? So whether it's the Board or whether it's the Governor. Do you have any questions about that?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: No.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: All right. You'll leave here today with a short, written, proposed decision as you have probably for a number of years. Um, whether it's suitable or not, you'll leave her with a wr -- a written decision, uh, and it's just the proposed decision. Again, it's proposed because Board has 120 days, Governor gets an additional 30. All right? Have any questions about any of that?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: No, I don't.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: All right. So let's take a quick look at, uh, documents. Now, we've all had the opportunity to review your Central File. Did you do an Olsen Review?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes, I did.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: All right. And how s -- how long ago did you do the Olsen Review?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: About a month and a half ago.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay. May th. Okay. Very good.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Oh, long time ago then.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: (inaudible) it? All right then. So we all had the opportunity to review your Central File, those that can. All right. So, Counsel, did you review the Central File?

ATTORNEY PFEIFFER: Yes.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: DA's Office get a copy and review the Central File?

DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY LEBOWITZ: Commissioner Roberts, I did, but the Central File which is 6,900-plus pages was not posted until yesterday, so I just want that to be known.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay. It, uh, is much the same as it was last t -- I -- I had also a problem with the Central File. Um, and back for the record. Probably it was reposted because I sent up a note saying that I got two copies of -- of -- of, uh, SOMS.

DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY LEBOWITZ: Exactly.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay.

DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY LEBOWITZ: So did I.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: So, uh, I told them we needed that available, so -- all right. And it was updated. All right then. There's also, uh, been something about receiving documents. I've been receiving documents as late as yesterday. Um, there's been letters, uh, mo -- uh, most recently the letters coming in have been, uh, of opposition, but there has been also letters in support, so -- and it's going to continue to flow in not only on our website, but, uh, as supported in. We have a 10-day packet here, um, which is some letters that got scanned in yesterday. So let's talk about those other documents. Now, the Board went into your Central File and they created a thing they call the Master Packet. In your case, the Master Packet has 540 pages in it and was approved on June the 15th, 2017. Counsel, did you get a copy of the Master Packet?

ATTORNEY PFEIFFER: Yes, I did.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Did you get a copy?

DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY LEBOWITZ: I did, but also, Mr. Pfeiffer has been providing me with documents also over the weekend, which I'm sure you'll get into as well.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay. All right then. Then there is the -- what the call the Ma -- the 10-day packet. The 10-day packet in your case has 158 pages in it. It was approved on -- looks like August the 25th, 2017. It has classification chronos, the most recent of which was 8/29/16, so almost a year ago. I -- I like those. They give me a snapshot of you, uh, for a classification committee. Uh, it speaks to a -- a number of things. So they're very helpful for me to get a snapshot of what's going on. There's work supervisors' reports. The most recent one in here is July 12th, 2017. Your work as a Shaffey -- Chaffey College tutor, uh, and all ones. I'm sure the Deputy Commissioner will be talking about your work performance. There's a number of other work performance reports, uh, by your supervisors. There's a document, uh, by Miss Tate. Uh, looks like it comes from the web page, and there's some pictures on it and asks, uh, people to submit to the Board their -- their position. That's followed by a number of emails that have come in on our website, and this document contains a number of letters of support and it contains a number of letters of, uh, nonsupport and opposition to your suitability for parole. There is a copy of the Governor's reversal and his letter to you and to everyone about what his position on your case was as a result of the last hearing. There's again a number of informative chronos in here. There's laudatory chronos in here from staff working in CIW. There's a notice of date and time of the hearing. There's a Captain, uh, Monte -- Montez wrote a laudatory chrono. There's a memorandum from us, meaning the Board, to you. It's dated August the 10th, 2017. Talks about confidential information. Uh, two documents, uh, May, uh, 2013 and April 20 -- uh, 2010, and it says you were identified in these confidential documents, but didn't pertain to you doing anything particularly illegal or illicit behavior. So it's giving you notice of any more recent 2015s. Of course, you have, I mean, a lengthy 810. A lot of that is, like, victim and so forth information. Again, another number of letters in support. Another number of memos and letters, uh, in opposition. Uh, uh. There's the 1073 we talked about. More letters in support or letters in opposition. I think there is -- trying to get to -- there's a letter from the Los Angeles Police Department dated August the 11th, 2017. Talks about the Life Crime and they oppose your parole. There's a document in here. It says Relapse Prevention Plan. Is this document new for this hearing or is it --

ATTORNEY PFEIFFER: She did a new one for this hearing. Um, is -- do you have the one -- hold on.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: It says Van Houten One. Page 1, 2. Okay. It's two pages, and it's followed by a multipage statement of insight regarding relationships. And then there's one called -- that's one page -- and then there's one called Crime Insight Statement, and that's a number of pages. Let's see how many. That appears to be --

ATTORNEY PFEIFFER: That appears to be what I have as -- you know what -- it is just an abundance of caution. This is the Relapse Prevention Plan that's the latest.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: It looks like the one we have.

ATTORNEY PFEIFFER: Okay.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay.

ATTORNEY PFEIFFER: And then the rest of the stuff is just what you described.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay. Now, are these documents -- are new for this hearing?

ATTORNEY PFEIFFER: Yes.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay. Then they weren't the same one used at the last hearing?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: No.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay.

ATTORNEY PFEIFFER: They were sim --

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: They're similar.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay. That's fine. That's fine.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: I just want to sure that --

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Okay.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: -- I'm --

ATTORNEY PFEIFFER: Okay.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: -- separating out what --

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes.

ATTORNEY PFEIFFER: Okay.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: -- marked last time and what's, uh, for us new today. Okay. All right then. So there was those three documents. There's letters both in support and, uh, in opposition.

ATTORNEY PFEIFFER: Wait. That's the -- that's the last one.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: That's the old one.

ATTORNEY PFEIFFER: Yeah. But -- okay.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: There's also some Parole Plan kind of things like, uh, A New Way of Life Reentry Notice.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: (inaudible). So the Deputy Commissioner will be talking about that. Okay. All right then. So did we get all of that?

ATTORNEY PFEIFFER: There is a Roxie Rose Transitional, um, Home acceptance letter dated August 15th, 2017. I didn't get it in the packet.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay.

ATTORNEY PFEIFFER: Um, I -- I believe we -- we all got the August 11th Crossroads acceptance.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Yes, I think that's in there.

ATTORNEY PFEIFFER: Okay. Um, I submitted a, uh -- two documents. One was, um, the intimate battered partner investigation done by the BPH for Patricia Krenwinkel where many of the people related to the Manson family and members of it were interviewed, including Miss Van Houten, and because it applies to the same set of facts, I -- I sent that in, and I haven't got that in the packet, but I brought a copy for everybody, and I'm requesting that the Board use its own investigation as it applies to Miss Van Houten.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Well, it wasn't for her, but I -- I, you know -- I'm going -- I'm going to be honest. I'm going to probably rely more on what she has said about her relationship with Mr. Manson --

ATTORNEY PFEIFFER: That -- that's fine.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: -- um, and so forth. Um --

ATTORNEY PFEIFFER: I submitted also a, um, psychological report that was prepared for a Franklin hearing that was held last Thursday, um, and it was done by Dr. Lawrence Steinberg, who was, um, the chief psychologist who wrote the Amicus briefs for the Miller, Roper, and Graham cases at the US Supreme Court. Most of it has to do with the science. He did not see Miss Van Houten. I -- I understand your position when a clinician does not in -- personally interview them, you give it little weight. But I'd still like to m -- submit it for the record.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Quite frankly, I think we're well versed in the science of it. I can't tell you how many, uh, presentations the Board's had on the -- the s -- the study of the science of y -- of the young brain, so, uh, I --

ATTORNEY PFEIFFER: Okay.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: -- I'll take a look at those, but I think -- I think this Panel has a good understanding of that and have been well trained in that. But --

ATTORNEY PFEIFFER: Uh, uh, Miss Van Houten did a timeline of her entire life, and she reviewed and did an introspection of what -- what got her here.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay.

ATTORNEY PFEIFFER: That was --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: This is -- this is new since the last hearing?

ATTORNEY PFEIFFER: It's updated.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay. All right. And -- okay.

ATTORNEY PFEIFFER: And -- and something at the last hearing that we submitted was, um, just a -- a recap of all the difference psych evals through all the different years. It's the same as last time.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Yeah. It's incorporated --

ATTORNEY PFEIFFER: Yeah.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: -- the last time --

ATTORNEY PFEIFFER: Yeah.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: -- and I think, uh, the clinicians have made their position clear.

ATTORNEY PFEIFFER: The -- the other thing that I just -- well, at the Franklin hearing -- we had a Franklin hearing on Thursday, and we anticipated that the transcripts at that hearing would be used here, and they're not going to be. Um, which is fine.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: And -- okay. And -- and so -- okay. Okay. So, uh, I guess we'll go ahead and --

ATTORNEY PFEIFFER: Okay.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: -- finish before I --

ATTORNEY PFEIFFER: Okay. Um, what -- what I -- what happened at the Franklin hearing is I was trying to get the Tex Watson tapes. Um, when Tex was arrested in Texas, um, he made some tapes about what had happened. I -- I haven't read the tapes. They haven't been released to me. Um, and I tried to get them from the Supreme Court through a writ a few years ago, and I failed. But in the Franklin hearing, um, the -- the ruling on whether or not we get those tapes has not yet been made. The judge is reviewing the transcripts of those tapes. And I -- I feel that they're probably the most accurate description of what happened. Um, Tex was in charge during the murders. Manson wasn't there when anybody was killed. Um, he made these tapes for his attorney. They were protective of the attorney-client privilege. And they were made prior to any public disclosure of the facts of the case, so they weren't influenced by an outside source. I think they're important. I think we're -- that those are going to get released, and I would respectfully request that if they are that the Governor be able to use those. Um, I think they're invaluable. Also at the Franklin hearing, um --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: I'll say this.

ATTORNEY PFEIFFER: Okay.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: I -- my perception is the Governor makes his decision based on what was presented at the hearing and evidence before the Panel and -- because he's deciding whether or not he agrees with the Panel or not. I don't know that he would (inaudible) take into consideration -- I'm just warning you.

ATTORNEY PFEIFFER: Thank you.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: I don't know that he would take into consideration information provided outside the confines of this hearing.

ATTORNEY PFEIFFER: Okay.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: I -- I'm not seeing him do that. Um, what I have seen him do if something comes up and he sends it back, he'll send it back for, like, a new hearing or something, but I'm not seeing him decide on outside information that's not before the Panel (inaudible).

ATTORNEY PFEIFFER: Yeah. I have it. It -- it's very rare that he -- but, um --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: In that respect, I guess you're just putting it on the record.

ATTORNEY PFEIFFER: Okay.

UNKNOWN VOICE: (inaudible).

ATTORNEY PFEIFFER: The -- the other, um, thing I put on at the Franklin hearing was testimony of Catherine Share, one of the family members, who testified that she was not free to go and she was threatened basically being tortured if she did try to leave the family. Um, since then, one of the people who attended the Franklin hearing is writing a book and did some 1999, uh, interviews with Barbara Hoyt. Now, the Governor relied I think heavily on Barbara Hoyt's statements that weren't subject to cross examination, that weren't made under oath, and what I have is a -- a transcript of a tape that describes -- and I -- I have the -- the entire one, so it's in context, and I have highlighted sections of all the escape attempts that Barbara Hoyt had to make because she told the Governor, and Governor relied on the fact that she would, you know -- family members were free to come and go at any time - -

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Mm-hmm.

ATTORNEY PFEIFFER: -- and Miss Van Houten didn't go. Well, it -- it took a lot of effort for Barbara Hoyt to finally go, and then she had to hide out at her grandparents' house cause she was afraid that, um, Manson and his people would come get her. So I'd like to at least submit this.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Well, you know, to be honest, that was discussed at the last hearing, and I think my reading of the transcript was that your client admitted people did come and go and that, um, some -- some people up and disappeared in the night. Um, and I think what's more important in this case is if -- why she didn't go, and I think that's what the Governor wants to know.

ATTORNEY PFEIFFER: Okay. I -- but I don't want the Governor to be able to continue to rely on statements that I don't believe are credible by Barbara Hoyt, and so what I'm trying to do is show that her statements should not be relied on, and my client is going to testify under oath. The DA can ask her questions. Barbara Hoyt did not. And I would just at least like to lodge this.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Well, again, my thought is your client in the last -- the last hearing said people came and went, and some people got up and left in the middle of the night.

ATTORNEY PFEIFFER: Right.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: I don't see that to be the issue. I see more the issue of -- would be, you know, why didn't she get up and leave in the middle of the night? That's -- that what I would explore -- explore again, and the last Panel explored.

ATTORNEY PFEIFFER: Okay. Well, the -- the Governor did rely on some other negative comments made by Hoyt, and -- and I don't want him to rely on anything she says. And -- and this just shows that what she says is not consistent. A -- so I just want to lodge it, and then I don't care --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay.

ATTORNEY PFEIFFER: -- what weight you give it.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: All right. We'll -- we'll take those documents.

ATTORNEY PFEIFFER: Okay.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: I don't know what weight we're going to give them --

ATTORNEY PFEIFFER: Yeah.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: -- if any.

ATTORNEY PFEIFFER: Okay.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: All right. Counsel?

DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY LEBOWITZ: Thank you. Um, I would like to weigh in on the issue of the, uh, intimate partner battering investigation for Patricia Krenwinkel's, uh, hearing. Uh, as the Commissioner stated, as you stated, that investigation was done for another inmate. Um, statements were pertaining to that inmate. Even though this inmate, Van Houten, did make statements, uh, there's no -- there's been no allegations of intimate partner battering with this inmate, Van Houten, and I think that it's improper to use a report done for another investigation for this inmate.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: We'll -- we'll accept your argument. I don't know that we're going to use it at all, um, because of what she's said in the past, and I agree that it's not an investigation of hers, and she's -- again, we'll she what she has to say today, but at the last hearing, she discussed how, uh, she did have sex with Manson, but she talked about more she was considered, uh, bodies. Uh, but nobody really had ownership. She talked about that a lot last time.

DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY LEBOWITZ: Right.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: I think the last Panel explored that well.

DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY LEBOWITZ: Okay. And then --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: I don't know if we -- if we're going to give that significant weight at all cause I -- again, it doesn't apply to her. I'll let him put it in the record, um, and we'll take a look at it, but again, uh, the relevance is to this inmate, uh, and that relationship. I don't know what weight, if any, we're going to give it. We'll consider it. Take a look at it.

DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY LEBOWITZ: Okay. And then secondly, um, the transcript of the interview with Barbara Hoyt. Number one, I -- I -- Mr. Pfeiffer did tell me the origins of the transcript. There's no authentication. I have not been able to speak with Miss Hoyt to determine what the interview was all about, whether or not it's accurate. And it also seems to confuse the issue because there's no context to the times of the leaving. There were several different timeframes of -- at the ranch, uh, and at -- at Spahn Ranch and at Barker's Ranch after the murders, and at Myers Ranch, so it just seems to confuse the issue.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: I don't think I'm confused, and I don't think my partner is. Um, I'm more going to rely upon her statements, uh, with regard to those issues. I think she's made statements clearly in the -- at the last hearing about that, so again, I will cons -- let him submit it, but I don't know how much weight if any we're going to give to any of that. Okay?

DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY LEBOWITZ: Okay.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: That sound fair?

DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY LEBOWITZ: That sounds fair.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay.

DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY LEBOWITZ: Thank you.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: So he can get it on the record, but -- and he says he just wants it there, and what -- what weight we give it, if any -- again, I stress if any, uh, we'll -- we'll decide.

DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY LEBOWITZ: All right.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Is that it, sir?

ATTORNEY PFEIFFER: Uh, I -- I want to make a record that I did make a formal discovery motion for the Tex Watson tapes that was, um, the BPH responded saying they don't have authority to require the DA to give them up. Um, I did a motion to disqualify the entire District Attorney's Office because they have access to those tapes and I don't, and it's an unfair advantage. Um, again, it'd be -- BPH denied that motion. I'm just making a record that I -- I did do it. And I have a pending motion, um, to enforce Penal Code Section 3043 regarding victims' next of kins' appearance at the hearing, and I -- I don't believe that everybody who rep -- who's representing himself as a victims' next of kin qualifies under the law, and I'm respectfully requesting that the law be enforced. If they are representing other family members who are legitimate, um, they have to get that in writing ahead of time. I've got nothing in writing ahead of time. I followed it up with Tiffany Schultz at the BPH. I've got nothing back from her in the last few days.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay. I'll rule on this.

ATTORNEY PFEIFFER: Okay.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Because I've been kept abreast on this.

ATTORNEY PFEIFFER: Okay.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Um, all the victims have been validated through Office of Victim Rights Services, and so -- and the other people who are not bled -- blood relatives of are representatives here, so everybody that's here today has been vetted through the system, cleared, validated, and they will be allowed to participate today. So we'll overrule your objection.

ATTORNEY PFEIFFER: Did -- did they submit written, um, statements of who they're representing and get the --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: That would be done through Victim Services. Victim Services has validated them, uh, so they -- they'll be allowed to participate and give their, uh, impact statements as it were. We will overrule.

ATTORNEY PFEIFFER: Objection.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: It's not a new objection. You made it last time.

ATTORNEY PFEIFFER: Now -- now I know. I'll continue to make it. I just don't feel like they're following the law.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay.

ATTORNEY PFEIFFER: So --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: I -- I understand your --

ATTORNEY PFEIFFER: Okay.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: -- your sense of it, sir.

ATTORNEY PFEIFFER: Okay.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Just telling you that I've had a number of attorneys scrubbing this, and they're confident with it. All right then.

ATTORNEY PFEIFFER: Okay.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Anything else?

ATTORNEY PFEIFFER: That's it.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Thank you, Mr. Pfeiffer. Anything else you want to say?

DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY LEBOWITZ: No, thank you, Commissioner.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay. All right then.

DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY LEBOWITZ: I -- I do want to say one thing. Is there any way we can turn that air up?

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Um, I think --

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER POMERANTZ: It's on as best as it's going to work.

DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY LEBOWITZ: Okay.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER POMERANTZ: Unfortunately.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Usually, we shut it off because it's noisy. All right. All right. So I w -- I've -- I've settled documents for today.

ATTORNEY PFEIFFER: Yes.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay. Very good. And we've taken care of objections, have we, Mr. Pfeiffer?

ATTORNEY PFEIFFER: Yes.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay. Will your client be speaking to us today?

ATTORNEY PFEIFFER: Yes.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: All right then. Miss Van Houten, I need to swear you in. Would you raise your right hand, ma'am? Do you solemnly swear or affirm your testimony at this hearing will be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I do.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Very good. All right. With regard to your case, I see there is a jury, uh, conviction. There is an Appellate Court opinion, uh, brief as it is, about your case. Comes out of the Court of Appeals, Second Appellate District, Division 1. It was filed under (inaudible), Number 33752. It was filed on December 15th, 1980. The justices speak briefly to what the facts of the case are and Roman Number -- Number II -- it's on Pages 3 through 4. Um, it's not new. This is old stuff. Um, there is I think a fair summary of the crime, and it's found in the most recent Comprehensive Risk Assessment, and so let's briefly talk about that. Now, this Risk Assessment's not new. You all have seen that. It's new to me, but, uh, not new to you. It would appear that Dr. Croft came out and see you -- not -- saw you here -- at CIW on February the 2nd, 2016. Recall that meeting?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes, I do.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: About how long did you spend with Dr. Croft?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Couple hours.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Wrote a rep --

ATTORNEY PFEIFFER: Can I just say one thing? It's the same Risk Assessment we had at the last hearing.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Yes.

ATTORNEY PFEIFFER: At the last hearing, Miss Van Houten made two corrections to this.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay.

ATTORNEY PFEIFFER: Um, one of them was on Page 4, the last full paragraph. Um --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: The one where she informed --

ATTORNEY PFEIFFER: Wait. Hold on. Um --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: I don't think that one.

ATTORNEY PFEIFFER: Um, Page 4 -- it -- the middle paragraph. Um, uh, she indicated that, uh, she was, uh, once allowed to leave, and she clarified that, um, what had happened was she spent a couple of nights with a biker named Sammy, and Manson kicked him off the ranch, and then Sammy came back in a car with other friends and tried to get Miss Van Houten and she felt like she d -- she said her feet felt like they were in dried cement and she couldn't leave.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay.

ATTORNEY PFEIFFER: Um, that's a more accurate description.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: A clarification of that statement? I have it highlighted, and I will be asking you why, so --

ATTORNEY PFEIFFER: Okay. And on Page 7 of the Risk Assessment, the first full paragraph, um, it said - - the last sentence in that paragraph -- it says she indicated she also used sub -- substances in the community prior to her resentencing. There -- there was a six-month period she was out on parole and working and everything. The probation officer's report, um, Item H, stated, "While she was out on bail, she was clean and sober." So it was just a mistake written by the clinician.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay. So she did not say -- one would be concerned that she said to the clinician that she'd used drugs when she was out on bail.

ATTORNEY PFEIFFER: Correct.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Is that -- is that true or false?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: No, I didn't.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: You did -- you didn't.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: No. No.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: So did you recall telling the clinician you did?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: No. I told her I didn't.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: That's a mistake.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay. I have that highlighted, too.

ATTORNEY PFEIFFER: Thank you.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: That's it? All right. All right. So where we were at -- we were talking about this report, and you -- you read the report, have you?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay. Doctor, uh, spoke about the Life Crime, and we'll be talking about that. The doctor gives us a synopsis of the Life Crime, and so just as a brief, the doctor tells us -- this is brief. The doctor says that the Appellate Court's decision indicates that you participated with other members of the Manson "family" in binding, robbing, and stabbing to death Leno and Rosemary LaBianca. Uh, Miss Van Houten was 13 days' shy of her 20th birthday when she per -- uh, perpetrated the offenses. Investigation determined that you were -- that Mrs. LaBianca was stabbed 12 times, uh, by you, uh, and 4 times overall. I'm sorry -- 16 times by you. Mr. LaBianca was stabbed 12 times. Mrs. LaBianca -- 42 times, 16 of which were yours. Uh, and that you cleaned fingerprints and destroyed evidence. Okay. Sound fairly accurate as a short --

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: -- summary? Okay. All right then. You will -- you'll be talking about the Life Crime, so you'll be able to fill it in. Now, last time -- I mean, last time -- last hearing, uh, which was here at CIW, and that was, uh, on or about April the 14th, 2016. Um, Commissioner Zarrinnam and Deputy Commissioner Lam -- remember that hearing?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes, I do.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Got a transcript of that hearing?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes, I do.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: You read that transcript?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes, I did.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay. Was it accurate?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: The transcript?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay. All right. All right. You spoke of the Life Crime last time, and it was on Pages 69 through 86. Did you tell the truth to the Commissioner?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes, I did.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Was that an accurate, uh, rendition of what you had to say during the last hearing?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Anything you'd like to correct in that transcript?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: No.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay. Well -- and sometimes, people don't. I wanted to correct this. Okay. All right. With regard to prior statements, uh, probation officer's report has a statement in there. You talked about that, uh, basically you didn't kill anybody, they -- you were -- but you were there when it happened, and people just got murdered. Very, very, uh, vague statement. You talked to Dr. Croft most recently, and that was before the last hearing, and the doctor says your version of the crime is -- and it states it on Page 9. You've read the report. Did Dr. Croft accurately report back what you had to say?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I'm sorry. What?

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Dr. Croft. In his report. Has an indented, huge paragraph. He says this is what you told the doctor about the Life Crime. Was --

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: -- it accurate?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes. There's I think one, um, inaccuracy where, um -- do you? Mr. should've been Mrs. or something to that effect.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: It's that indented paragraph there?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes. Um, I believe when it says, um, when I heard Mrs. LaBianca dying, it should be when I heard Mr. LaBianca dying.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: All right. Just a typo it sounds like.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: All right. All right. We'll be going over that. I just want to make sure that was an accurate rendition. But with regard to your prior social history, I don't think we're going to go into every bit of it today. I think you had a good discussion at last hearing. And you're -- at the last hearing, you talked about your life prior to the Life Crime starting off at very young and leading all the way up. Looks like the Commissioner started by going through this Comprehensive Risk Assessment and pulling facts out of that. And you discussed it on Pages 26 through 49. Um, the -- in -- in essence, you talked about your early childhood being idyllic. Uh, then at 14, started to change. Your father left. You -- you talked about how you missed your father. You blamed your mom. Uh, you started to get involved in drugs. Uh, talked about this other significant event at age 17. You became pregnant, and, uh, your mother, uh, forced you to have an abortion, and how that impacted you. You also spoke of substance abuse, and that's found on Pages 32 through 36, 41 through 45, um, and, uh, starts on Page 47, few questions there. All right. So we're going to talk about that briefly, but I don't intend to go through that as heavily. Is there anything about your prior social history that you want to correct for the record that maybe wasn't included last time or was incorrectly noted?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: No.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay. All right. I think we can knock out your prior criminal history rather quickly. Uh, it's found in the probation officer's report and the Comprehensive Risk Assessment. In the Comprehensive Risk Assessment, the doctor kind of lines it out for us on Page 5. Speaks to several grand theft autos and a burglary. Looks like most of these things were dismissed, yet they all occurred between April of '69 and October of 1969. So in a year, you were involved in a lot of, uh, arrests.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Why was that?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: We were stealing dune buggies in order to convert them and turn them into desert vehicles for the revolution.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: And the burglary was a stolen credit card, um, someone had, and we were buying large quantities of things that we thought we would need in the desert.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay. Were you ever convicted of any of those?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: No, I was -- I wasn't arraigned.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay. All right. Did -- did you actually participate in those illegal acts?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Um, by being there.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Well --

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: By -- you know what I mean. Like, being at the ranch. I didn't actually steal one of the --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: You didn't go out and steal cars.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: -- dune buggies. Uh, no. I was there one time when one was being hotwired.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay. All right. So you were --

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: And I was with the woman with the credit card, but I didn't sign the documents, so she I think ended up doing a little bit of time for it, and I didn't.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: So is it fair to say you were engaging in criminal activity around that time?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes, I was.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: All right. And let's speak to -- all of those seem to be, um, nonviolent crimes. W -- were there any violent crimes that, uh, you were engaged in other than of course the Life Crimes?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: No.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay. So no robberies?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: No.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: All right. No drug rip-offs?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: No.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: All right. How about before all of this? Were you involved in any criminal activity other than the consumption of illegal drugs?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: No.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: All right. Drug sales?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: No.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: All right then. So what I would like you to do is -- and this is more as a response to the Governor's questions -- cause I think you had a good discussion about your life before the Life Crime and leading up to it at the last hearing. But the Governor says -- let's take a quick look at that. The Governor says that -- on -- let me go to the right screen. Have you read the Governor's letter?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes, I did.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay. The -- the Governor kind of summarizes the concerns in the last paragraph above conclusion and says -- it remains unclear how and why Van Houten drastically transformed from an exceptional, smart -- exceptionally smart, driven, young woman, class secretary and homecoming princess to a member of one of the most notorious cults in history and an eager participant in the cold-blooded and gory murder of innocent victims aimed to provoke an all-out race war. Okay. So apparently from that statement, the Governor is unclear as to why you did this transformation. So I'd like you to give us, uh, a su -- answer that question if you can. Can you answer that question? How you went from being this idyllic kind of a person to a monstrous kind of a person. Would that be fair to say?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay. So tell us -- how did you -- what was it that got you there? If you can summarize that. I know you've talked about it in some of the written documents, but tell us today.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Um, you know, I've had a lot of, uh, therapy trying to answer that question for myself, and through a series of events, I began to change the group of people that I spent my time with.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Were those (inaudible)?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: My social community. The first was my dad leaving, and in the past, I feel that it's been represented like -- well, she's saying her dad left, so she went and did all this stuff. But life isn't like that. When dad left, our status in the community began to change. This was in 1964. And I became someone that lived in a single-parent household, which in that community, had its own stigma. My dad told me he was leaving before my mom knew, which caused real friction between us. I was very close to him and, um, resented her. So all of those are just events that began to lead me to a different group of people in the high school. And so I began to hang around the kids that were smoking marijuana, and I looked for permanency in a relationship with a young man. I was sexually promiscuous. I ended up pregnant, and again, the event happened and my mom was adamant that I get the abortion. It was illegal at the time. It was arranged through her psychologist. Um, she was very -- mm, there were alternatives that were presented that she made sure would not happen. My father said that he would let my boyfriend and I live with them, and mom said that that was all a lie. So anyway, the abortion really left me feeling, um, broken and brokenhearted. I went to a ashram of a Self-Realization Fellowship because I was still in the, um, hippie state of mind of finding an alternative lifestyle.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: (inaudible) a little bit?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: So you said -- rebellious.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: All right. Well, you talked about that in the past, so --

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: -- I'm trying to go through my mind --

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: -- and get this overall (inaudible) --

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: -- together here.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: All right. So being rebellious was part of (inaudible) your mom.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay. Was that part of the draw towards marijuana?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I'm trying to remember that day. I remember that day.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Well, you can probably --

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: And --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: -- remember what generally your state of mind was. We're -- we're at a point where family's becoming dysfunctional, right?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah, I wanted to try it. I wanted to see what was going on, and, um --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Did you know your mom wouldn't approve of it?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I knew she would not.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: And I promised my brother I'd never do it again.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay. Well, was he there and encouraging you or did you --

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: No. He --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: -- sneak that cigarette or what -- what -- how'd that pan out?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: He -- he didn't want to.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay. Well, did he say no or did you already have a -- how did that happen?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: No, he said no, and I said if you don't let me, I'll tell mom.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Oh, okay. You'd tell mom he had marijuana if --

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: -- he didn't let you have one. Okay. All right. How much older was your brother than you?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: He was, um, four years older.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay. All right. So are you saying he begrudgingly let you have a marijuana cigarette?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes, his friend encouraged him to let me.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Oh, so there was a friend there, too.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Oh, okay. His friend. His friend?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Male? Female? Older than you?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Older -- male.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Male? Older?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: His age. Yeah.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: All right. So you had that one cigarette. Anything become attractive as a result of consuming that one cigarette --

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: -- that you recall?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes. I -- I loved how I felt on it. I --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: What did you feel?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Um, different inside. I felt, um, more relaxed inside. And, um, I liked the, um, bit of change in reality that it gave me.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay. So what part of reality were you trying to change?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: What my life was at that time.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: How did it help you do that?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: The, um, effects of smoking marijuana.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Well, clearly, what you were trying to change was -- that was supposed to be helping you with this dysfunctional family setting --

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Well, I don't --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: (inaudible) --

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I don't know if I was, uh, trying to help the dysfunction so much as I was contributing to it.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: But what was it -- it -- I know it's been doing something for you with regard to that. What was that?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah. It was, um, uh -- it made me feel complete.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay. All right. (inaudible). All right. We'll try this. All right. So you had that one marijuana cigarette. Then that lead to more?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Oh, yeah. Yeah, and that's, um, one of the reasons really on hindsight my first reaction to the, uh, uh, joint really, um, let me know over the years that I do have, uh, an addiction problem and that I take it very seriously -- that I --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Because I -- I wanted to know where I could get more right away.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: From your brother and his friend?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: No. I knew -- I knew that that was out of the question.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: So I looked for kids at the high school.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay. So that was the motivation for you -- one of the motivations looking for these other kids who had drugs. Okay. So got an idea. Start alcohol and marijuana cigarette. What did it go to? Was it using marijuana regularly? Was it occasionally? What -- what (inaudible)?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: As -- as often as I could.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: And how did you afford that marijuana?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Um, my friends had it and shared it. And, um, I never really had to go and seek it out.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: So we have other dysfunctional kids that you were with. Uh, is that fair to say?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay. And they're consuming marijuana. And the draw to them is again marijuana and what?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Um, eventually it came to LSD.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay. No. I'm talking about the draw to them physically?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Huh?

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Was there something about their situation that was a draw also?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Um, no, I would say that our common bond was probably single parent, marginalized people. One of my best friends was a gay young man and back then, that was, uh, not what it is today. And, um, we were just marginalized people.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay. And that -- that was the draw to them? It was your situation and them.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I think so. And our commonality of loving marijuana.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay. All right then. So you say that drug progressed to what?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: LSD.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay. And how old were you when you took the first, uh, hit of LSD?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I would guess 15-and-a-half.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: So what? We have about a year of marijuana use before you go to LSD?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Not that long. Maybe about six months.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I w -- I think I was 15 the first time I smoked.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: And under what circumstances did you first take LSD?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I was with my boyfriend, and, um, he was --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: The father of the child?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes. Bobby, uh, Mackie. And, um, he was staying with some, uh, older college kids, and so I, um, lied to my mom that I was staying at a girlfriend's house, and, um, took the LSD at their house.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: How often after that did -- well, first of all, what -- did you like the LSD?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes. I did.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay. What was there about that that would -- did you like?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: The hallucinations and the, um, out-of-body experience and, you know, we would read Timothy Leary's books and listen to Ravi Shankar and the whole idea was to find our inner deep self.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Were you looking for your inner deep self you think?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah. I was.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Find it?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: No.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: So how often did you use LSD then?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Probably every weekend.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: All right. You still going to school?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Somewhere along here -- after that, you become pregnant?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes, I ran away from home with Bobby up to Haight-Ashbury in the summer of, uh, '67. And, um, it didn't work out, and I came back. It was not what we had envisioned. As young people, we weren't welcomed in places and, um --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Well, how old -- old were you then?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Um, 17.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Oh. So it was, like, because you were under 18 you weren't welcome or what?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: And why was that do you think?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: The -- uh, the people that he knew that were up there didn't want, um, any kind of, uh, police intervention of holding young people there. That's the feeling I got at the time, and -- and it was a much colder world than we anticipated because we had come from Monrovia with houses and food, and running away was a different kind of world. And when we came back, um, I was pregnant.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: And when you came back, where were you living? Back with mom?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Back with my mom.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Where was your dad at this time?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: He lived in Manhattan Beach with his, um, second wife.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Manhattan Beach, like in --

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: In California. Southern California.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Southern California. Another Manhattan Beach I think of when you say that. It's not --

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Oh, okay. Yeah, the South -- the South Bay.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: South Bay, L -- LA or (inaudible).

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: All right. So you didn't -- how far away did he live?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: He lived, um, I guess it's about an hour -- hour and a half on the freeway. He would come and pick us up on weekends in the beginning, and then I began to just tell both of my parents I was staying at a girlfriend's house when I would be staying with Bobby.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay. And where -- when you say Bobby, where were you staying?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Pasadena.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Was it -- did Bobby have a place or --

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: He -- he lived with, uh, two older people. Yeah.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: These older people -- male or female or what?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: A couple.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Couple.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah. She was in college.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay. By then, did your dad remarry?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes. He -- he remarried rather quickly after the divorce.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: And he would, you know -- he would pick us up and then mom would say the only reason he even bothers is because I make him. You know, it was always that kind of a pressure thing between my parents.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Why would you say a pressure thing? You think -- are you saying that your mom was --

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: She was broken. Just --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Well, did you get the sense that wasn't -- that you -- you were -- you had been close to your father. Okay, so did you get the sense that -- th -- that your -- this was true? Your father was just taking cause she -- cause he had to cause she was saying it? Or what was your sense of it at the time? Your father wanted to have you over there or -- or what?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I felt that he wanted us, but he was disengaged.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay. All right.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: You know. To be honest with you.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Well, I hope you're going to be honest with me.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: I'm looking for what that relationship was --

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: -- cause that had been close before. Okay.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: It wasn't close enough where I could talk to him about things that were eating at me. I just loved him a lot.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: But you said he had indicated that you and -- and Bobby could come live -- I'm assuming with the baby --

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah. He had a different, uh, approach to life, which was part of why I think they divorced. You know. His was -- we've got a problem here, so let's figure out how we can solve it. And mom's idea was -- we've got a problem here, so we're going to get rid of it.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Figure out how we're going to solve it. She's seeing the way of solving it different than your father.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay. They're both trying to solve it.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: All right. All right then. So you've talked about the abortion in the past. Any -- any additional information you've thought of since the last hearing that (inaudible) that?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: No.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay. It was very impactful in your life?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay. You already said it was done through a psychologist. A lady came and, uh, you aborted the baby there at the house.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: And is it true the -- the fetus was placed in a can and buried in the backyard?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah. Yes.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: After that happened, was there a -- a change in you do you think?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: So tell us what that change was.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Um, I was brokenhearted. I was removed --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: What do you mean -- removed?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: -- from -- I -- I wanted to along with Bobby become a yoga renunciate and just -- I kind of flat lined on the rest of high school. I made it through, but I wasn't, um, that involved. I stopped using drugs. I had stopped using drugs when I knew I was pregnant actually. And, um, my dad took advantage of the fact that I was going to become a renunciate at a ashram, and I think it's called Mount Washington, uh, with the Self-Realization Fellowship. And they said that, um, it would be good if I got secretarial skills, so my dad immediately helped me go to a year of Sawyer Business School, and I was a good student. And I meditated all the time. Um, halfway through the business school, I started to want to use, um, drugs again.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Why?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I was, uh, lonely and --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Lone -- how were you --

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: -- restless.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Tell me how you were lonely.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Um, I wasn't part of the beach community where I was living. I was, um, restless with the Self-Realization Fellowship, which I pretty much think is partly my age. To try to meditate for three hours a day was something I wasn't --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: How old were you then?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Seventeen I think. Maybe eight -- working toward eighteen.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: School was boring. Okay.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah. I may have been 18. I think I was 18. And, um, yeah, I did very well in school.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: All right. So you're functioning. Doing well in school.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah. I started to -- af -- in the last half of my, uh, Sawyer Business School, I contacted, um, Bobby's and my old friends in Pasadena, and, um, started to use the, uh, marijuana and LSD again. They had become very involved in methamphetamine at that time.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: They being?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: The people from Pasadena.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: And --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: (inaudible) Bobby or --

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: No, Bobby stayed, um, involved in the Self-Realization Fellowship.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay. So he was in the same program.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah. And that -- that -- I think that had a bit of why I left, too. I think that when I was interested in the Self-Realization Fellowship, it was always with the hope that I could be with Bobby again.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Was that becoming clear you weren't going to be with Bobby again?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah. It became very clear.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay. And how so?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Um, I don't remember if I contacted him or he contacted me, but he was still very -- I -- I -- I found out he was still very dedicated to it and --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: So he wasn't getting out of it.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: So it would be incompatible for him to be with somebody who wasn't in the program? Is that what you're saying?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: He wanted to be a monk.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: So --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: All right. So you reengaged with the people who were involved in drugs. And what was the drugs doing for you then? Had it changed any? The -- what the drugs were doing for you personally.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: They -- at that point, they were -- had become what I was familiar with. And, um, I was without direction.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: It's what I knew.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: So h -- how long -- sounds like there's a clean period in there when you're clean and sober.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: How long was that?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: About, um -- about a year I think.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Last hearing, you said seven or eight months.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Oh, okay.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: That sound right?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes, it's hard -- you know, I'm trying to think August to this and that, but --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Just trying to get a sense of it.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: You said seven, eight months at the last hearing.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: All right. And so what was the tipping point that you decided -- cause you'd been clean and sober. I assume that was -- had done well for you. What was the tipping point to take you back to drugs do you think?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Th -- it was who I knew and, um, contacting the people that I had known before.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Well, you -- you had known contacting them there were going to be drugs involved, right?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: So that was part of the reason for contacting them?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: So what was the tipping point before then? What was -- cause that's -- you know what you're going to. You know what you're going to get involved in.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Knowing that Bobby was staying with the Self-Realization Fellowship.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: So it was the -- the change in the relationship with Bobby. All right. All right. So then you reengage your drug usage, and, uh, LSD and, uh, marijuana. You said now they were involved in methamphetamine.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: And so did you start consuming methamphetamine then?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Um, not -- not at the level that they were, because I didn't have the money.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: So how were you paying for your marijuana and your LSD up to that point?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: That was just sort of around. It wasn't at the same kind of, um, level as, uh --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: What --

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: -- and also, it wasn't as expensive.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Well, did you ever have to pay for it?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Um, I'm sure I did, and I probably did with my allowance. My dad was generous.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay. So your dad was giving you an allowance.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay. So I have an idea, this is what? '60-what -- 7 or 8?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Eight.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Eight?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: And so how much allowance were you getting?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: You know, I can't remember. He wanted me to have my own bank account so that I would learn how to balance checkbooks and things like that, but not a lot.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay. But enough to buy some marijuana and some LSD.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: How often were you using marijuana then?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Pretty much every day.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: How about LSD?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Um, not as much. Probably on weekends.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: And then you talked about methamphetamine. When was the first instance of you using methamphetamine? Do you recall?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Um, no.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: (inaudible) around it?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes. Yes. The people were at the -- the Pasadena people were at my place down at the beach. And, um, I probably sniffed it.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: (inaudible).

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I ne -- I never injected anything.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: All right. So you -- do you recall your reaction to the first use of methamphetamine?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay. What -- what was it? Positives? Negatives? What was that -- what was it about that?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Um, I -- I was more involved with the LSD.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: So you weren't impressed?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: No.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay. Did you use methamphetamine after that?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I might have once or twice. I was, um -- during high school, I was using, um, Benzedrine, the --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Pills?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: The diet pills.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: So when you were in high school, how often did you use Benzedrine?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Um, pretty regularly to --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: (inaudible) --

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: -- make it through school.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay. What did it do for you to make it through school?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Just sped me up and kept me awake.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: So it was used as a coping mechanism to get through school?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Beyond that, did you use it recreationally?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Um, no, it was just part of my marijuana, Benzedrine, and on the weekends, LSD. That was pretty much my high school. I -- I would consider all of it recreational. You know, I -- it helped me get through school, but I didn't need it to get through school.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: (inaudible) before that?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: To just be speeded up and I could spend more time with Bobby and not sleep as much and --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: All right. So we've fast forwarded. Now we're in, uh -- we're reengaging these folks and consuming, uh, some methamphetamine, but mostly still LSD and marijuana, right? Right. How long does that go on before you start to engage in circumstances around the -- the ranch?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Um, I graduated from Sawyer Business School in June of '68, and I left my dad's house, and I went to Pasadena with my friends who were on their way to Victorville with some other people. So I had, um, left my dad's and pretty much developed already a nomadic style. I -- I went to Victorville. I put in a couple job applications. I was staying at someone's, um, uh, small farmhouse.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: In Victorville?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: And -- and how did you come to light there?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Um, the people from Pasadena knew the person, and it was just people knowing people. And while I was at --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: (inaudible) in that?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I -- I don't know.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Could've been.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: If you don't -- if you don't know, that's fine.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: At -- at that point in life, just about everybody had that if they were together. You know, it w -- it was like the common base of relationships. And, um, a woman was there named Dee who had been also from the old Pasadena days. And she was going back up to San Francisco to be with her husband, um, Duncan. So I went up to San Francisco. I was staying with Dee and Duncan for probably a week or two, and, um, Catherine Share and Robert Beausoleil and Gail, whose last name I don't remember, met Dee at a party and came back to the apartment. And I had by then become basically indigent, and they said -- do you want to come with us? We live for the day. You have to drop out of society. We have a good life, and do you want to come with us? And I said yes.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: So were they speaking of living at the ranch or just m -- more nomadic kind of living?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Um, Catherine Share mentioned the ranch and the commune. Bobby didn't. But they were on their way to meet up with some people from the ranch, and so they were traveling around in a pick-up truck, and I went.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Driving around California in a pick-up truck.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah. Panhandling money.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: And what general areas were you all --

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Up and down the Coast, the California Coast.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Give me a sense of what communities where you were in and out of?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Mendocino. San Francisco. Santa Cruz. Santa Barbara. LA.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: That's quite a distance.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: All right.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Just drove around.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay. And during that time, you have any other relationships?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: No. I had called my mother in San Francisco, and I told her that I was dropping out and that she wouldn't hear from me again.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: How'd that go over?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Not well.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay. Surprised?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: She was shocked.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: And alarmed.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Were you surprised she was shocked and alarmed?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Um, yeah. Yeah.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: You knew that --

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: We -- we -- you know, when I was at Sawyer Business School, mom and I would meet once a week, and she -- she was trying so desperately. It's a hard time to look back on. She was -- she was trying so desperately to rekindle some sort of a relationship, and I just was not going to have it. I -- I just was not.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: All right. How about your father?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Dad was always just disengaged. You know, instead of asking me what was I doing, you know, with all these people coming to the house and all, he just chose not to, um, confront.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: So now, you're traveling around California. You told your mom you're leaving society basically. Right? Was there a reason you told your mom?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: It was the one condition to go with the group -- that you had to drop out.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay. So you had to tell someone? You had to tell mom you were --

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Cut -- you had to cut ties, and I wanted to tell her.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay. Why?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Um, so she wouldn't look for me, wouldn't --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: What was the (inaudible) --

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: -- worry about me.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Well --

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: You know. Which is --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: -- I'm talking about (inaudible) --

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: -- unreasonable I know, but - -

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: You talked about rebelling, and I'm trying to get into whether or not this is still part of this rebelling thing going on.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah. Well, I just wanted her to know I'm -- I'm out.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: So it wasn't about rebelling by then.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Um, I'm sure there was a bit of sticking it.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Right. That's fair.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: You know.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: All right then. So now you're traveling around California. How do we end up at the ranch and --

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Bobby and Gail fought a lot. They argued a lot because --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Bobby --

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Bobby Beausoleil.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: -- Beausoleil.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: He had -- Gail and Bobby had been boyfriend and girlfriend. And Bob -- this is all what I'm assuming from the backstory -- that, um, Bobby had been at the ranch and wanted a lot of girls like Manson had. And so Gypsy -- Catherine Share -- was with them, and Gail argued a lot because she wanted Bobby and -- she wanted them to be together and wanted us to not be there. And the whole time they would be arguing, Gypsy was in the back of the pick-up talking to me about how wonderful Manson was, that he was Christlike, that there was this commune, and all of that. So part of the Manson group were up in, uh, a orchard in San Jose, and their bus had broken down because they traveled around in a converted school bus. And we went there. We had - - we had stopped by the ranch once when it was Bobby, Gail, Catherine, and I, but we left that night. So I was familiar with the, uh, people that were there. And at the San Jose orchard, we stopped there to try to help them fix their school bus, and I left with, um, Catherine, and went down to the ranch and left Bobby at that time, and I -- I did because the arguing and, um -- had become too much. And she made the ranch sound awfully good. And so I made the choice to leave Bobby and go down to the ranch.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: How old were you (inaudible)?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Eight -- nineteen.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Nineteen. But when you were meeting, were you up at the bus -- where the bus is broke down -- who all was up there? Was Manson there at the time?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: No. He was -- he was down at, um, Spahn's Ranch. It was -- if I recall -- it's hard to picture and recall, but I would say Nancy Pitman, um, probably -- I -- I -- I can't tell you the exact names. I -- I don't want to say and not be sure. There were about --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: You had not -- you had not yet met --

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: -- seven or eight. Yeah. I had met him once.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: You had met Manson once.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: What was the circumstances under which you had met Mr. Manson?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Um, Bobby went down to talk to him and stopped by the ranch, and he h -- Manson had wanted Bobby to stay for the night and take an acid trip that we would all take one together. I met Catherine -- I met, um, Lynette Fromme and, um, Ruthie Moorehouse. Couple of the other women were there.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: So you went down to the ranch.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: But we stayed only an hour or two and we left.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay. And -- and was this before the bus found -- the bus is broke down or --

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: This was, um, before.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay. So you'd been to the ranch once before.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay. This is, uh -- had you already been told the -- this was a -- a great place and --

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay. So you'd already heard that story.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes. Every day.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Every day.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: For months.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay. All right then. So back up. We're at the bus fighting. Who all -- you and who went to the ranch?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: We couldn't fix the bus, and so people hitchhiked back to the ranch. And, um --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: How far away was it?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: From San Jose to LA.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Oh, okay.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: So it was quite wa -- quite a ways.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay. How long did it take you to get from the bus to the ranch?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Um, we -- this other girl and I got pretty steady rides, so we made it in -- how -- within -- we didn't stop till we got there.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: How long did it take you?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Um, I don't know how long that ride is anymore, but probably six, seven, eight hours.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Didn't take you days?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: No.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay. All right. You get down to the ranch. Who all is there?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Um, the people that had, um, been part of the, uh, group, so Lynette Fromme, Dianne Lake, Steve Grogan, Tex Watson, um, Ruthie Moorehouse, Ella Fitz -- Ella -- Ella, um --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Was Manson there at the time?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes, Manson -- Manson. Um, I'm trying to think of who the --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Well, there was a crowd of people there.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: So what was your first take when you showed up at the ranch?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: They were all very welcoming and caring and happy that Catherine and I were there. And, um, wel -- you know, embracing, friendly.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Is this something you were looking for?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay. So --

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah, I felt I belonged.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: And they helped me feel that way.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: All right. So how long did that kind of a feeling exist while you were at the ranch? Did it change at some point or --

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Um, the sessions with, um, Manson at night, you know -- the -- were sometimes uncomfortable because he was trying to, um, do what he called us shedding our egos, um, letting go of the institutions, so while -- while we were all loving and caring with each other, we would not be sympathetic to anyone being homesick. You know, like if someone thought that I was missing m -- memories of my childhood or something like that, then it would be mocked and we would do that with each other while we embroidered and sat around, so the -- it was still loving and embracing, but it wasn't always, um, comfortable because the agenda was to shed our past selves. We had different names, and it was all turned into games.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: What was your name?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Um, they called me Lulu.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Lulu.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Why that?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: But for Manson, I was basically what's her name. You know. Th -- they called me Lulu cause my middle name was Louise. The serious name changing had occurred prior to my getting there, and I didn't have ID, and, um, the other -- at some point prior to my getting there, everyone had gotten IDs and s -- someone Manson knew from the federal prison I guess was doing that. But --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: So you're talking about (inaudible) IDs. You're talking, like, driver's license --

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah. Whatever they needed.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: -- (inaudible). D -- did you get one?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: No.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: You didn't get one.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: No.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: So you said Lulu, and so that was all about your middle name.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay. Was that Manson called you what's your name? What's her name?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah, he -- he always -- I -- in hindsight, I think he knew that the more he didn't know me, the more important it was for me to make sure I impressed him. To be honest with you.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: So he sensed that insecurity or that (inaudible)?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I -- I think so. I think so.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Now, during these sessions with Manson, were drugs used?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Um, now and then, we would take the LSD, but always marijuana.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: It was -- it was just around.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: All right. How often was LSD used?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Um, as frequently as he was able to get it, but I would say at least within every two weeks. You know. The -- a long time would not go by. So maybe a week, 10 days, like that.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Between LSD sessions.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Talked about this at the last hearing, but do you think the drugs were used as some kind of a mechanism for this doctrination?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes, I do.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: It was your sense of it then that was happening? Cause you talked about you had a sense that he didn't allow others to revisit home in -- in terms of mentally and (inaudible).

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Um, I didn't think of it in terms of indoctrination, but I knew it was a cleansing. So it's all language. You know?

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Well, one could (inaudible) in place indoctrination and cleansing, right?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay, so --

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: -- basically all the same thing.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I knew that it was to help me let go of whatever I was holding on to.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay. And why did you feel the need to do that?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Because it was to all become one -- one being, one mind.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: How was that going to happen?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Through getting rid of our egos. We -- we didn't have anything that belonged to us. Like, we shared clothes. If someone saw I was wearing clothes too many times, they would make sure they got it for the next day. You know. Every -- the - - the rug was always kind of being shaken, and, um, you know, rather than seeing that as a red flag, I saw that as, um, me needing to let go a little bit more.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: So what were you letting go of?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: My morality, my ethics.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Why did you feel the need to let go of your morality and your ethics?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Because it was taught to me by my parents and the language there was to let go of everything the primary institutions had, um, taught me, taught all of us.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Was -- you talked about some kind of verbal -- I don't want to say abuse, but similar, that kind of, like, abuse. Was there any physical kind of, um -- physical things used, uh, to reinforce the -- the goals or the philosophies of the -- the group or what Manson thought or whatever?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Did I -- did I witness people getting hit?

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Where -- was physical abuse --

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: -- used?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: It was. And who typically would enforce that?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: He would -- Manson would do the physical abuse.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: And what kind of things would get people, uh, physically abused?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Um, not doing what he said. Like, a woman -- like, when we would take the LSD, we were told we couldn't move, that we would stay there and not move, and I remember a woman named, um, Bo stood up, and he just went at her. Broke a chair over her head.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: So was it used in other ways? Other things enforced? Physical abuse?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Um, if you -- I always just knew it -- that if you didn't do what he said or if you spoke back to him, which I didn't do. You know, I would see these things and become very complacent.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Well, why wouldn't you do it --

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I didn't --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: -- if you thought something was wrong or something?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I didn't want to be hurt.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Well, there was a physical side of this, too.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: How often would that kind of thing occur?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Whenever someone, which was usually somebody in just about every, um, acid trip would do something.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Wh -- what do you mean -- do something?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: That would displease him, and he'd slap and, you know.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: What typically - - you talked about one person getting up. What oth -- what other kinds of things would happen? They say something? Wh -- what would it be?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah, or go to leave or, um, Mary Brunner got beat up a lot and I --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Why did she get beat up?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: -- that would just be in our everyday life. Um --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Who would be beating her up?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Manson.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Why would those things -- what would cause him to do that?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: She disagreed with him on something.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: So if you disagreed, you got beat.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah. If you didn't do what he wanted, you got beat up.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: So far, you mentioned women. How about the guys? They getting beat up? What was going on with them?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I never saw the guys get beat up, and they didn't beat people up. I -- I didn't -- I didn't ever see the men.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: So this was all -- Manson was the perpetrator of all the abuse.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah. He -- he -- he conducted everything that happened.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: You said on women, but you didn't see him do it on men.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: No.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Were men speaking up also?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: No. Not that I saw.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: All right. So how long were you there before you saw this first physical abuse on somebody? How long had you been there?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Probably -- probably a couple months. Because the violence kept escalating.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: When you got there, there wasn't any violence? That fair to say?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Um, I can't say that there wasn't, but I wasn't, um, seeing it.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay. So you didn't see any.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: All right. You can only -- you can only testify to what you saw and -- okay.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: So after a couple months, you saw violence escalate.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Did it continue to escalate while you were there?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Was there any point at which it was very obvious that there was a lot of physical violence or -- or a change in the attitude or focus of the group?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes, that happened in January of 1969.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Do you recall what -- what it was that happened around that that might've been the precursor for that?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Um, I was up at, uh, Barker Ranch with some of the other people, and Manson and a few others had gone into town -- into LA.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Mm-hmm.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: And they were gone for a while, and when he came back, the whole, um, tone of him changed. And it began to go into the talk of -- there will be a revolution. And that philosophy began to be expounded upon. At -- there was a point before we went to the desert that I think was probably keyed to a change at the ranch --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: What was that?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: -- on hindsight, you know. Every -- every -- of course you know everything's hindsight when I'm -- was there, I --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: (inaudible).

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: -- wasn't putting the pieces together. So there was a time where he said to us -- baa like sheep, and we all did. And I felt that that was pretty important to him.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: In what way do you think?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Total control.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: So that was his -- that was right -- recognition by him that he had total control in the group.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: That -- I'm reading it like that.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: All right. Well --

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Because --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: You were there. None of the rest of us were.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: -- it kind of began to shift.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: And you were there, and none of the rest of us were. All right. So did you notice it -- you said hindsight. But did you notice it at the time that that was a different -- difference in the -- the group?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I'm -- you know, to remember it almost 50 years ago, it had to have hit me.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay. In -- in what way do you think it hit you?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I think it was, um --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Negative or positive way?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Um, probably positive at that time.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay. And -- and -- and how -- how so would it have been positive?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: That we were all of one mind.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay. Cause you talked about that was the goal -- to be of one --

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay. So it -- so that was a -- some would call it a a-ha moment.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: That we're all together now. That was kind of the clinching thing. Is that what you're saying?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: That closes it. You're all --

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: -- one mind.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: All right. But fast forwarding then, you talk about him coming back, and he'd been in San Francisco you said?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I -- I think he was in LA.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Oh, LA.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I don't -- I don't know where -- he never would tell anyone where he was going. I'm sure people knew, but I wasn't one of the people that he, uh -- he would've told.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: During this time up to the a-ha moment of -- backing up a little bit -- of the baa -- you know, baying of the sheep, um, were people coming and going from this group? Some people coming, some people leaving. Did you talk last time about some people --

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Some --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: -- that disappeared in the middle of the night, but --

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Um, it wasn't -- in the beginning, it wasn't as solidified, and then it began to, um, solidify more. Like, like, Catherine -- like, she brought me. She would bring other people. And I remember at one point him telling someone -- we're getting too big. You know. So it began to get tighter. And some people left because he had used up their bank accounts, because he had their pink slip, because they weren't going to attract men. You know. Whatever -- whatever reason, there was usually a bit of a line on who was able to go and who wasn't.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: So how would you be on the side of the fence that would allow you to go? How -- what would -- what characteristics would you have that would put you in that group?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Um, I'm thinking people that weren't so compliant, that people that didn't have any monetary value, because when you got there, you had to give him everything you had. You know. That was part of going to the ranch. At least my understanding.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: And when you went to the ranch, what did you give?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Just me.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay. So you had nothing. You had no financial --

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah. No.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: No wealth or anything to -- to turn over to Manson.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: No.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: But others did have property.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Some of them did. A woman named Juanita came, and he cleaned her out, and then --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: What happened to Juanita after he cleaned her out?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: She was free to leave.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: So it was -- there clearly different kinds of -- two different groups a -- as it were, one being a subset of the other. One being very close knit, um, and then, uh, very much a looser-knit group around them?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes. And I think that around that January was when it really became clear.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay. Clear to you or to others or what?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Um, or I should say defined. I'm not -- I'm not sure. I -- I would like to say clear to me, but I -- I'm not going to say that.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: So around January. And that's, um, January of '69.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah. There were -- there were, like, layers around Manson.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: The original three, uh, Krenwinkel, Brunner, and, um, S -- Lynette Fromme.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: And then there were the next, which were the juveniles of Dianne Lake, Ruthie Moorehouse, and Nancy Pitman. And then there were the next layer of which I was part of.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: So you were a third layer down.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I'd say that.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Where was Tex in that (inaudible)?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I'm not sure. He -- he was, uh, already there, so I would assume he would've been in the second or -- it w -- it was -- the men were mainly Tex, Paul, and, um, Steve Grogan, and then, um, I guess Bruce Davis had been there and left and came back. Cause I met him when I was already there.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Well, we talked about Beausoleil. And you've talked about him in the past.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Where would he fit into this onion?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: He -- he was always coming and going, and Manson really wanted him to stay.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: What do you think was the draw to him in particular -- wanting him to stay?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Um --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: What was that about him do you think?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I -- I have my speculations, but I don't, you know -- he never specified.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: He was a good musician, and I think that Manson really wanted to do something with his music. He was an attractive man which meant he would've been an attraction to women. And honestly, I don't know sexual preference, so --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: All right.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I'm -- I'm --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: So there was things that you could garner why he'd want that guy. Draw in more females --

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: He liked the mu -- the music. He was involved in music. Okay. All right. So you saw some potentials why he was -- wanted to be at the ranch or --

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes, and he was -- Manson was adamant that when Bobby was around, I was to make sure that he stayed happy and try to keep him to stay as long as he could.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: What did that mean to you?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Being around Bobby.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay. What would he mean -- being around?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Spending my time with Bobby.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Sex with him or what?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay. All right.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: All right. Was that inferred? You were to keep him happy and that included --

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: -- having sex with him?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay. All right.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah. The women at the ranch were basically used for sex, fixing dinner. You know, it was pretty, uh -- I don't know what you call it these days. It was very misogynist.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay. That's probably a good word.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay. All right. All right then. So we talked about a change. All right. So I think we're getting closer to the October era. Right? Of '69? So you said you'd seen the change. Started talking about this revolution. H - - did that change the -- the nature or the dynamics of those group sessions and activities at the ranch?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: How so?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: We, um -- he -- Manson began to talk about that the, um, blacks had been suppressed and mistreated by the white and that karma was changing, and the blacks needed to -- or we're going to rise up and that we needed to prepare for a revolution. And his conversations while we were on LSD, um -- w -- well, we were still up in the desert. That happened when we got back to the ranch. But, um, that we needed to go back into LA I guess. Somehow we ended up back. We were on a street called Gresham Street. There were, like, maybe 13 or 15 of us living at Gresham. And two of us would leave at a time so the neighbors wouldn't know there were 15 people there. And we --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay. What -- what kind of structure was this?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: It was a regular house in a neighborhood.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay. So it's a -- like, a tract home or something?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Um, yeah.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay. All right. Just want to get a sense of it.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: So there's -- so no -- so they wouldn't know lots of people are coming and going, you just left in small groups.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: And usually, the same people would leave.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: So what was the reason you all went to LA?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Um, to start preparing for the revolution, and at that point, we were listening to the -- at -- at Gresham, we were listening to the Beatles White album constantly. Manson felt that they were talking to him. And so we would spend our time, and I would read to him out of the Book of Revelation. He would call me in and have me read him --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Out of the Bible.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah. Constantly.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Al -- always Revelations?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah. Trying to figure out the symbolisms.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: And the times?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: You're starting to cry. What's going on?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah. Uh --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: What are you feeling? What emotion are you feeling right now? This is the first time you've shown emotion really. You did a little bit earlier, but I'm really seeing it now. What are you feeling right now at this moment?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I'm -- to tell you the truth, the older I get, the harder it is to live with all of this, and, um, it's difficult to --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: -- know what I did.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: All right. Well, we'll get --

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: How it happened.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: All right.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: And --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: (inaudible) feel even your involvement in that kind of thing, reading him Revelations, had some kind of impact on the overall outcome of all of this?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Sure. I think it all added to the madness.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: You know, because in looking for the symbols, of course they were found. You know. They -- they -- so at Gresham, we, um, did a lot of listening in headsets and really immersing ourselves in the White album and --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: I'm trying to get this. The last thing you talked about -- you guys were supposed to go live in some hole in the desert for --

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: This --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: -- you know, when -- when was that whole philosophy --

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: After Gresham.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: After Gresham? Okay. So when you were down at Gresham, what was the -- the reason to be there was to do what?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: To, um -- I think that -- I'm -- I'm guessing. I'm guessing that Man --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: What was your understanding?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: -- that Manson was trying to work it out with George Spahn to get us back at the ranch. I'm not sure what --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: (inaudible) had a problem -- were you kicked out of the ranch?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I'm -- I'm thinking there was.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I'm thinking there was.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: D -- did you guys have to leave the ranch rather quickly?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Um, I wouldn't have known that. I just knew that I went up to the desert and stayed for a while, and when we came back, I believe we were at Gresham.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Or we might've been for a minute at the ranch, but we ended at Gresham, and I'm -- I'm under the impression there was pressure there --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: -- and -- but I would not have been privy to the goings on like that.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: You weren't in that layer of the onion.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: No.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: So we would have the circles at Gresham as well, and they became, um, more intimate. He was always trying to have us, uh, be able to accomplish, uh, sexual orgies, which never happened. Um, he would have us stand naked in front of everyone while he critiqued us as people. And, um --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: How did you feel when that -- did it happen to you?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Humiliated.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: But instead of reading the humiliation as -- for God's sake, get out of here, I read it as -- um, I have to let go of all of my ego. Ev -- everything that could've indicated to me that I needed to get out of there, I couldn't interpret it that way. I was interpreting it as self judgement.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Wh -- why do you think that was?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Because I so desperately wanted to be what he envisioned us being.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Which was?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: An empty vessel of -- of him.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: You wanted to be part of him.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah. Yeah, part of the whole thought of which he was the --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Center.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah. Yeah.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: (inaudible) in a sense be one with him.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Exactly.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay. All right. All right then. So you guys are down in LA for a while, then what? You went back to the ranch.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: We -- we go back to the ranch.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: And, um --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: About when?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: -- begin --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Circa what? When do you think you went back to the ranch?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I'd say somewhere around, um, February or March.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Had there been any, uh, murders that you know of yet?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: No.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Had there been any speak of murders? This revolution thought -- had there been already speaking of murder?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: He -- he was beginning to. He was beginning to use the idea that, um, if you die for me and we're one -- no. Yeah. If you -- if -- if you die for me, and we're one, then you're -- if you ki -- I forget the logic of it. But basically, if we're one, if you kill me, you're just killing yourself, and we're a shell. And he began that, um, mantra which went on for a long time. And then, um, he would reenact his crucifixion.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: His crucifixion.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah. Cause he was Christ --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Oh.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: -- come back.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Oh, he -- so he espoused that he was Christ --

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: -- reincarnated.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: And, um, that, um --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: So he was going to have another crucifixion or revisiting his last?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: He was revisiting what happened, and he said because that happened last time, now that he was back, it was going to go differently.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Oh.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: He wasn't going to be so, um, forgiving.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Oh. Okay.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: So, um -- and I believed it.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: All right. So talked about that and started getting -- this revolution. When did we start talking about killing people and so forth? When did that start?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: He said that during the revolution that we would see a lot of very ugly things, that war was ugly and that we needed to get our minds adjusted to fear because he -- he -- he -- he turned everything into living in fear. And we would begin to try to creep up on each other because if -- if someone could creep up on me, it meant I was thinking too much and I wasn't living in fear, that I wasn't aware, that fear makes people aware. So he began to -- when we were on LSD, he would begin to talk about gruesome images. And, um, then he began to talk about killing. And so it moved in that direction.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: And who would you be killing?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: The, um -- at that time, it wasn't that specific. About two or three weeks before the murders, and I'm not -- I'm not clear on the time.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: But prior to the mor -- murders, he began to say that it looked like the blacks weren't going to start the revolution, that we would have to. And that's when he began seriously talking about us killing people.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Now, the racial make-up of the group -- was it all Caucasian?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: It was all white.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: All Caucasian. Okay. How is that going to work? I'm just -- like, if y -- if you're all Caucasian, you start a black revolution, and I guess that's against Caucasians, right?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: His -- his idea, which I'm not sure I knew at the time -- I don't -- I don't think I knew it at the time. But his idea -- well, I did know that it was to make it look like the blacks had done it, so then the whites would retaliate against the blacks and the blacks would begin to defend themselves, and then there would be the war.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: So it was a big racial war.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: And -- and did he offer an opinion as to what the ultimate outcome of that war was going to be?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: The, um, blacks would win. And that's where we were going to go and hide for 150 years, and our job during the revolution was to go into the cities on the dune buggies we were working on and gather up children -- white children -- and take them into the hole so that when the karma changed, we would be there and come out.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: How is that going to work out? Going to start a war that we're going to lose cause we're white -- how did that -- how did that play out in your guys' minds? I don't --

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: We -- we didn't even get that far. We were busy trying to get ropes and looking for the hole in the middle of the earth.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay. Find the hole?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: D -- d -- I just didn't question.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Just didn't question.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: I mean, just -- just looking on -- on the face value of that, we're going to start something that we're going to lose. The plan is we want to lose, right?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: But is the point you're saying it didn't have to make sense to you?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Didn't have to make sense.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: He lived on no sense makes sense, and I'd been around a long time, and if it didn't make sense, then I needed to let go of that part of me that was trying to make sense of it.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: So why would you take him at face value? (inaudible) face value. Why would you do that at that time?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Because when I first got there, I really needed someone to have the answers, and at that time, it seemed --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: It could've been an Elvis -- it could've been Elvis Presley.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Well, I was -- I was told he had the answers, and I was lost, and Catherine Share, you know --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Lot of influence by Share. Was she older than you?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Yeah, I mean --

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: She was quite older than me.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: So you're speaking of influence by older females.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I think so.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay. All right.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: And I desperately --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Did you look up to Catherine?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Mm-hmm. Yes, I did.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: All right. And what was there about Catherine that you looked up to?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Um, at the time I met her in Haight-Ashbury, I was very lonely. I had tried to get myself together after the abortion.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: What characteristics did she -- you gravitate toward?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: She -- sh -- I remember, um, she would put on an older woman kind of image, and I think I saw her as a substitute of my mom that I had let go of.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay. Well, was it --

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: And she kind of --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Did she have aspects that you wanted your mom to have that your mom didn't have at that time you thought?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Mm, caring and embracing.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: See. That's what I'm ask -- asking you.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: So you didn't see at that time your mom as caring and embracing.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: No.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: This person, you did. Okay.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: No.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: I see what implicating. I see what you're -- okay. Back to where we were originally at. I wanted to know why you would get the -- okay. Um, all right then. So let's talk about the days of. So we're going to be talking about the -- the 9th and the 10th of August. What's going on? What happened?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: It -- the talk had been escalating, and there were people going out on what were called creepy crawlies, which were going into people's homes and taking things.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Burglaries?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: While the people were there or not there?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I don't know. I -- I didn't participate. I did rob my dad's house.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: You burglarized your dad's house.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Burglarized, yes.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay. Robbed. Was he present when you did it?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: No.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay. So you burglarized his house.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: And what did you take out of your dad's house?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: A rug, just things. It was more of a symbolic gesture of turning on my dad and committing to Manson.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay. Well, let -- let's -- was your dad's specifically picked by Manson or by you?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: No. It -- it was, um -- we were supposed to go out and I suggested my dad.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay. So you made the offer --

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: -- of your dad's place. Okay. Why was that? Cause your dad had been supportive of you. Loving of you. (inaudible).

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I, um -- I needed to make a gesture to prove myself to Manson.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Right. So you guys were out doing burglaries. Now, I see a whole bunch of car things. Remember we talked about that --

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: -- (inaudible) these cars --

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: -- and burglaries. Okay. Was that happening daily?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Um, I -- I couldn't tell you. I know it was happening a lot. So anyway, it was -- that kind of behavior was escalating, and, um, Pat and I were in a little kind of, um, trailer taking care of the children, and Manson came and opened the door and told her to come with him. And so --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Was it day or night? What?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: It was late at night.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Was it the 9th or the 10th?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: This was the 9th.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: And so the next morning, I saw Pat outside of a trailer, and she said that helter skelter had started.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: And what'd that mean?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: It meant that people had been murdered.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: What did the whole helter skelter thing mean to that group? What -- when somebody said helter skelter to that group, what did that mean?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Revolution and chaos.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: So revolution and chaos had started.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: And you're saying that and --

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: And she said that it didn't seem right, that the people were young, that one of the women were pregnant, and, um, when she told me, I knew that she had crossed over and fully committed to the cause --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: What -- were you --

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: -- by participating and --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Were her -- were her words shocking to you in any way at that time?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Um, no.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: No?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: No. I knew it was going to start.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay. So it didn't bother you that young people and a pregnant woman had been killed at that time?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: It bothered me, but a -- again, you know, I never questioned why they were selected or why it happened. But I knew that because Pat had committed herself and early on in my time at the ranch, Manson had told me to stay very close to Pat, I knew that I wanted to go and commit to the cause, too. I believed in it, and I wanted to go.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: All right.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: So that night --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Well, first of all, it -- was there any thoughts about -- now this thing has started and you weren't there? Any thoughts about that internally with you? You weren't invited along on the first foray?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: You mean jealousy?

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Yeah, well --

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I -- I don't --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: -- it could be jealousy. It could be --

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I don't -- I don't think so.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Because this was going to go on all the time. There wasn't a limit to how many. There would be a second night and a third night and on and on.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: So I lived out the day. I don't remember much of the day. That night on the boardwalk, Manson saw me or maybe it was during the day -- I don't remember. But he said to me -- are you crazy enough to believe in me? And I said yes, I am. And so I was told to go get a change of clothes.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: What -- was this all part of the plan before when you guys were talking about going out and doing these things? Had you guys role played these going out and killing people or gone through any kind of exercises or --

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: W -- we -- we had, like, um, karate lessons from a guy named Dave, and, um --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Was that supposed to be part of the helter skelter or was that supposed to be --

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: -- part of defense stuff when --

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Part of --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: -- you were, uh, protecting yourself in the hole?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I think to -- probably part of the revolution prepare, and, um, you know, Manson would demonstrate things while, uh, killing.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: What do you mean? Like, stabbing or something?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah. I -- I don't -- to be honest with you, I remember a pencil and the jugular vein. I -- I -- mainly it was, uh, being prepared for violence.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: All right. So back to where we were at. Day before. You th -- you don't remember a lot. You said you -- he asked you to go on the board -- where's this boardwalk at?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: It's in front of -- we were at the -- Spahn's Movie Ranch, and so it was, like, a -- a movie set for cowboy movies --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: -- and so the boardwalk went in front of a series of buildings, rooms.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Old-style s -- sidewalk.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay. I got it. Okay. All right. So it was there at the ranch.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: And you were told to get a set of clothes. Was that kind of standard or are we talked about that before or was that new to you -- get clothes?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Um, I don't remember being surprised to get clothes, but it -- I'm not sure what -- it was the first time I'd been asked, so, you know.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: All right. So then what happened?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: So I got a change of clothes, and I got in the car with, um -- would you like me to say everyone that was in the car?

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Yeah.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Okay. We got in, um -- I'm not sure if I'm going to get his name right, but we had -- I think his name is, uh, Gary Schwartz -- I don't remember his name -- car. And it was, uh, Linda Kasabian, Tex Watson, Manson, Pat Krenwinkel, me, Steve Grogan, and Susan Atkins. We were all in the car.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: And we left.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: The guy that owned the car -- was he in the car, too?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: No, he knew nothing about it. He was, uh -- he was a ranch hand.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay. All right.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I don't even know if he knew his car was being used.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: What kind of car was this?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Um --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Lot of people in it. Not a van?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: No.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Not a car?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Um, a -- you know, a standard --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Sedan?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: 19 --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay. Lot of people in that car.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: -- '60, '70s, with -- yeah, we were packed.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay. Lot of people in that car. Okay. All right. So you all got in the car. You know about what time that was that you all piled into that car?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: No.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Dark?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay. So then what happened?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: We drove and we drove around for about three hours.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: And when you say drove around, where?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: He would look for places.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: We're -- we're talking about in LA and Hollywood or what?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes, around LA.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I don't remember everywhere we went.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: We went to a house. I remember that it had a -- a lot of ivy, and he went up to the window and saw a picture of a child, so he came back. Uh, we drove by a church and he wanted to see if there was the preacher there so that he could hang him upside down on a cross and he -- we just kept driving around.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Any drugs consumed prior to this?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Just smoking weed.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Marijuana. We -- we were not on LSD.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay. So as you're driving around in the car, you guys smoking marijuana?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I don't remember doing that. No.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Had smoked marijuana before?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Probably during the day.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I -- I --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: So out on this foray, you don't recall smoking marijuana and you said no LSD, no methamphetamine, none of that stuff.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: No. Not for me.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: How about the others in the car?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I -- I don't know.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Well, you're that close of, uh --

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: He -- he -- he doled out different, um, kinds of drugs to different people and so --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: (inaudible)?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah, I'm not sure if people were using methamphetamine or not. I -- I don't want to say no because I really don't know.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Well, you're in that close proximity. I think you would see people snorting drugs --

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: -- and, uh -- or whatever. You didn't see any of that.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: No.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay. But for you, nothing.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: All right. So then what? You drove around, saw this ivy place, saw a church. I guess there's no reverend or preacher or, uh, father there.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: No. So we ended up, um, in front of the, uh -- Mr. and Mrs. LaBianca's home.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Was there anything unique about that home you can think of?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: No.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Big home? Small home? Just looked like a standard home?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Nice home.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Nice home. Okay. All right. Well, you'd been in middle class, so would you say it was, like, upper-middle class or --

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Upper.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Upper-middle class. Not a mansion.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: No.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Look like a mini-mansion.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: No.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay. All right. Any indicator why that house?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: No.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay. So you just knew there was a house.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: All right. So you guys pull in front. What happened then?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Um, Manson and Tex went in, and we stayed in the car. And then Manson came back and pulled out Pat and I. And they told -- he told us to do everything that, um, Tex said to do. And, um, we went into the house.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: So this car has got a lot of people in it yet, huh?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: What -- what happened with them?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: They took off.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: So they took off with Manson?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay. So into the house were you, Krenwinkel is it?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: And Tex.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Just the three of you.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: When you walked in, what'd you see?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Mr. and Mrs. LaBianca were on the sofa.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Were they bound?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I'm pretty sure.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: And very, um, afraid.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay. So then what happened?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: And Tex told, um, Pat and I to go in the kitchen and get knives. And I -- I'll be honest with you. I don't know if I heard this or if it has just been said many times, but Manson had been upset that things had gone the way they did at the, um, first night of murders.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: What's that?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: It was -- he said it was messy and there was too much fear, and he didn't want the LaBiancas to be fearful. I don't -- I don't know if he said that in front of me or not, but that was something that he had told Tex.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay. Before all of this or -- when did you learn of that concern of his? Afterwards? Before or --

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I -- I -- I can't tell you any more --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: -- because I've heard it too many times, and if at some point I said I knew it before, then I did. Whatever I have said about this is what I stand on.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay. All right.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Okay. So we got the knives, and he said to take Mrs. -- Pat and I got the kitchen knives.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: What kind of knives are we talking about?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Kitchen knives.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: What kind of knives are we talking about? Kitchen knives could be little paring knives. They can be --

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Me -- the kind you cut -- cut meat with.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: So like butcher knives?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Cooking knife. Yes.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Cooking knife.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: But -- butcher knife. Okay.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: All right. Both of you had butcher knives?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Um --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Or what?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I'm thinking that we both did --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: (inaudible).

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: -- but I was using both of my hands, so I'm not real clear on that.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: What do you mean using both of your hands?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Um, when I was holding Mrs. LaBianca down, I was using both of my hands.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: So you -- did you get a knife?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I'm -- I'm thinking I did, but I don't -- I don't have a clear memory of that particular knife, but I know Tex handed me a knife.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I had a knife.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay. But later -- that'd be later on. Right?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: When you guys went to the kitchen, you got knives, the LaBiancas were still sitting on their couch? Is that correct?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay. And so you come back and do you recall handing Tex a knife or did Tex have a gun or anything or what?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Tex had a bayonet.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: A bayonet. Okay.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah. He came into the house with a large weapon.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: All right. Okay then. So --

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: So --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: -- you return to the living room --

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Te -- Tex said to take Mrs. LaBianca into the bedroom, so Pat and I took Mrs. LaBianca into the bedroom, had a pillowcase over her head.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Who did that?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Um, I did.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: You recall doing that?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Um, I don't recall, but I think I did. There's --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Wh -- why do you think -- I mean, that's kind of significant. Why do you think it is that you can't recall that?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Because I can't remember her face.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Why do you think that is that you have difficulty remembering her face?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: That I -- because I'm thinking her head was already covered.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: So you're -- well, you saw her when she was sitting on the couch, right?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: So you have a vision of her face.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah, and -- and I very well could've put the pillowcase. I'm not trying to exonerate myself.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: I'm trying to un -- understand how, um -- cause it's kind of a significant event when you put some -- a pillowcase over somebody because you know what you're doing to that person, right?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Taking away their humanity.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah. Yes.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: And you're reducing them to a sack of something.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Right? And so - -

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Totally vulnerable.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Yes. So I'm interested in if you -- why you can't remember doing that or seeing that happen, cause that's a significant event in this, uh, series of murders. That's, uh -- I'm talking about just the LaBianca murders.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: All right. So you -- do you think it's -- it's because the -- the -- the horrific nature of what happened there that you're having -- these are -- you think it's possible your mind's blocking this out?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay. Okay. So you're not --

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Because --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: -- discounting that?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: This is so gruesome to talk about, but I feel like I would have remembered her face and her fear.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay. All right. So do you recall where the pillowcase come frame -- came from or whose idea it was to put a pillowcase over her head? You recall any of that?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: No.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: But it -- we secured it. I secured it with the lamp cord.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay. What'd you do? Yank that off the lamp or --

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: No.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: -- was it still attached to the lamp?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: The lamp was next to the bed, and I just used it to secure it.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: So was she seated on the bed at that time?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: She was, um, more than seated, kind of, like, uh, her back was up, but her legs were stretched out on the bed. She was leaning against the bed board.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Or the headboard.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay. All right. So -- but you recall securing that --

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes, I did.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: -- pillowcase with the la -- and what was the reasoning for that? Why'd you do that?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: So she couldn't pull it off.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay. Well, sh -- was she bound?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: And were hands in front or in back? Do you recall?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Um, I don't recall. I think in front.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay. Well, that would make sense because somebody who had it in front could remove it. Somebody who has it in back could not. Okay. All right then. So then what happened?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: So I went to hold her down, and the sounds of Mr. LaBianca dying came into the bedroom --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: What do you recall hearing?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: It was a guttural sound.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: It was a slow, guttural sound.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: And where was that coming from? The living room?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: The living room.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: And Mrs. LaBianca jerked up and began to call out -- what are you doing? What are you doing to my husband? And I tried to hold her down. At the same time, Pat took the knife and went to stab her, and it hit her collarbone and bent --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: -- and I ran into the doorway and I said -- we can't kill her. And Tex came in.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: We can't or were unable? Cause there's a difference. You -- you -- you see what I'm saying?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Ah.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: You're saying -- you see what I'm saying?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: I'm saying I can't kill her or were unable to kill her?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: We meant -- or I meant we weren't able to.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay. All right. So --

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: It wasn't -- it wasn't saying that --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay. So backing up a little bit. When you entered in the house, the plan was to kill the people inside?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay. That was clear.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay. And you were going to participate in that?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes, I was.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: You wanted to participate in that.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay. All right. So we're back to the doorway. You get up and you tell Tex -- we're unable to kill her.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay. Then what happened?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: He came in. At that point, I was just staring off into a den that was across from the bedroom door.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Anybody in that den?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: No.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: No.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: So it's vacant.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: It was a vacant space. I just stood there staring at it.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: And all's this happening behind you though? Then -- if you're back --

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Tex was killing her.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: And then he turned me around, handed me a knife, and said -- do something. And I stabbed Mrs. LaBianca 14 to 16 times in the lower torso.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: You remember doing that?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes, I do.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay. And why did you do that?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Because I had to do something.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay. Well, did you want to do something at that point?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: At that point, I was nervous beyond anything that I thought was happening. I -- I had thought that I was measuring myself as someone who could handle the situation, and I wasn't. And I knew I had to do something.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Well, there's a difference between --

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: So --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: -- had to and wanted to. Did you --

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I would say --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: -- want to do --

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: -- I wanted. I'll -- I'll -- I would say I wanted to.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: To be part of the --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: And what was behind that do you think? What was the core of that want to be part of this?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: To prove my dedication to the revolution and what I knew would need to be done to, um, have proved myself to Manson.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay. To prove yourself to Manson.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: To the group.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: To the group. Okay.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: At that point, no one had spoken against the revolution and the crimes. Everybody at the group acted as though they were all just as involved as those of us that went.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay. All right. All right then. So you said you stabbed Mrs. LaBianca 14 to 16 times. Then what happened?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Then I began to wipe off fingerprints.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: From what?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Um, off of the lamp because I had touched it. Um, in the bedroom. I just started wiping off fingerprints. I put all of my attention into that.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Was there a lot of blood do you recall?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I don't recall a lot of blood.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: And then Tex told me to, um, give him my change of clothes. And I did.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Now, this is -- when you say change of clothes, the clothes you were supposed to change into or --

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: -- the clothes you -- you changed and -- into, uh --

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: The -- the -- the change of clothes I brought.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: That you brought. Okay. So the extra clothes you brought with you.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: He wanted them.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay. And then -- then what happened?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: And then, um, he told me to change my clothes. And I said to him that my clothes didn't need to be changed.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Why is that?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: There -- there was nothing on them. And he said that we were told to change clothes, to go into Mrs. LaBianca's closet and get some clothes.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: What happened with the spare clothes you brought with you?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I gave them to Tex.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: I get that. But where did -- what had ha -- did he take them somewhere?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Oh, he changed into them.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: He put on the clothes you were going to wear.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah. We --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: He didn't bring a change of clothes.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Um, I'm thinking not. I -- I didn't pay attention.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay. Well, kind of sounds like that, right?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah. He -- he took them and wore them.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: And --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Well, Tex is a bigger guy than you or --

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah. But we always had sort of like one size fits all. So if there were really big jeans, I would just tie something around the waist and roll up the cuffs. We -- we --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: You already talked about not having possessions.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: All right.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: So --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: So you went into her closet -- Mrs. LaBianca, the victim. Now, was this -- was the bedroom where she was murdered. Was that her bedroom?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: So her clothes were right there.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay. And you pick up clothes. What -- anything that stood out to you? Any reason -- just grabbed clothes or what?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I just took a pair of shorts and a top.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay. All right. And then what happened?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Then we left the house. I went through the living room. I saw Mr. LaBianca. I saw the writing on the walls.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay. What'd you see written on the walls?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Um, I didn't read them. I --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: You just saw that there writing on them.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay. Did you know who did that?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I assumed Pat.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Why Pat and not Tex?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Because he was taking a shower.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Oh. Okay. He stopped and took a shower.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay. When he was done taking a shower, did you wipe the shower stall down or any of that?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: No. I didn't go near the shower.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I stayed in the bedroom.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: All the fingerprints and things you destroyed were the evidence that would put you at the scene.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay. All right.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Although I have to say I found that to do instead of the kinds of things that Krenwinkel was doing --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: -- which was, um, mutilating Mr. LaBianca's body. After -- after I stabbed Mrs. LaBianca so many times, I focused on the fingerprints.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: On the fingerprints. Okay. So I'm assuming that all this time, uh, Miss LaBianca's -- what? Laying on the bed or laying on the floor?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: She's on the floor --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: -- by the door.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: You don't recall seeing a lot of blood.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: No.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: What'd you guys do with these knives?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Um, we left out through the kitchen, took milk and cheese. Um, I'm thinking the weapons were thrown in a reservoir near the area.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: So you took the weapons with you.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes, and we hid in the bushes until daylight, and there was a reservoir, and we threw the weapons in the reservoir.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: So -- so how long did you wait? So you're waiting in the bushes -- what? For the -- the car to come back and get you?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: No. Couple hours. We were to hitchhike back to the ranch.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay. So when they dropped you off and left you, you were on your own.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: They were going to find another house.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay. All right. But you were left on your own.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: To get back to the ranch any way you can.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes. I'm sorry. I just remembered that, um, when Manson left, he took a wallet.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Took a wallet.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah. But I didn't know that at the time. Okay.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Found that out later.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I'm -- I'm trying to tell you what --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: I get it. We found --

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: -- is in --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: -- that out later?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: When you say you found out later, did you find out when you got to the ranch or is that through some kind of investigative court process, testimony stuff, or --

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I -- I can't remember.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay. But you don't recall him -- seeing him take the wallet.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: No.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Was Manson ever in the house with you?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes. No. No, not in the house with me.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: No. He was not in the house with you.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: With me.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Right. That's what I'm --

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: He was in the house, but not with me.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Tex. Tex. Okay. All right. But he was never in the house with you.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: No.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: And he told you go to in and do whatever Tex told you to do.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: All right. So you said you lay -- you stayed in the bushes -- what? Outside the house for --

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Couple hours.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: -- couple hours. Okay.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Till the sun rose.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay. Wh -- what was the significance of waiting till the sun rises?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: For hitchhiking.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay. What -- the -- that you'd be more obvious if you were out there in the dark trying to hitchhike?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I -- I don't know.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I was --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: How far away from the ranch was this place?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Um, maybe an hour or so.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay. So several different hitchhiking forays into different cars or whatever or what?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: One -- one guy picked us up and took us, and he began to get suspicious that we were from, um, Spahn Ranch.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay. So he was, like, a local?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: And -- and Tex said no and had us dropped off in a different area.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: And then we hiked up the Simi Valley or Chatsworth had kind of a mountain-y area, so we hiked in.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay. Is that where you passed the reservoir?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: No. We passed the reservoir before we were hitch -- picked up.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I -- I'm not --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I just remember we threw it in a reservoir.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay. A body of water.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay. Threw the -- threw what? Both knives or what? You don't know what you threw in?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Tex was taking charge of all of that, so --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: So Te -- all the weapons were handed over to -- to Tex.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay. All right. During your --

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: As I recall.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay. As best you can recall. So any discussion between the three of you in your foray back to the ranch about what had happened there?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: No.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: So you didn't talk about any of the stabbings, any of the writings on the wall, any of that stuff?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: No.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: No discussion whatsoever.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: No. When I got to the ranch, I went to the back house. I had, um -- I took off Mrs. LaBianca's clothes, and there was something else that I don't remember now what it was. Maybe -- there was a jar of change. And, um --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: What jar of change? From the LaBianca's?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay. So you had grabbed it or somebody had grabbed it or what?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Um, I didn't grab it.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay. Somehow, you -- it came from the house.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah. Tex gave me this, and I'm thinking, and I'm sorry I'm not more --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Been a few years.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: You know --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Remember as best you can.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: But there might've been a rope or something. I burnt evidence in the fireplace of the back farmhouse.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: What kind of evidence do you recall burning?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: The clothes that belonged to Mrs. LaBianca. I changed my clothes, and I burnt that. Um --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Were you instructed to do that or you just did that?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I probably was told to get rid of the evidence.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I'm not passing the buck. I just -- that's how it was.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: And, um, uh, Dianne Lake was there, and I told Dianne Lake what had happened. And --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: In that rel -- rel -- relating to her -- in relation to her, were you happy about what had happened or you --

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I -- I acted like it was a lot of fun cause everything at the ranch was supposed to be fun. And Dianne had always been held up as the ideal person for a woman to strive to be like, so she testified that I had said that it was fun. I'm not so sure I said that or remembered it, but I very well could have, so I'll -- I'll say it's true.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: You don't recall. (inaudible) you really don't recall?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I really don't, but over the years, um, it -- it -- something I could've done. I was -- I was that kind of a young woman that I would've said that.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay. All right.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Tex came and saw that I had talked to Dianne and told me privately to never discuss it again, and he was pretty forceful about that. So shortly after that, Pat Krenwinkel and I were sent over to a place called, um -- I don't remember it now. It was in Box Canyon. It was an empty kind of, uh, ashram place that had been big in the '40s or '30s, and he -- we stayed over there for a while.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay. How long before you were arrested for this?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Months.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: How do you think you got connected to this prosecution? How -- how did they get on to you guys do you think?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Um, well, the popular thing is that Susan Atkins talked to someone in the County Jail, but I can't imagine that there weren't a lot of indicators from people that were not arrested talking or that Linda Kasabian left very shortly after driving the car and left her children with us, but it's hard to believe that she hadn't said something, but the -- the overall thing is that Susan told someone in the County Jail.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay. With regard to any of the (inaudible)?

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER POMERANTZ: Yes, uh, when the Commissioner had asked you early on about the criminality prior to going to the ranch, prior to meeting these people, uh, you were talking about, uh -- well, I shouldn't say prior to the ranch, but, uh, you were talking about stealing the cars and -- and you -- you made a point of saying that you weren't doing it, but you were there.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Oh, I wasn't doing the hotwiring, but I was -- I was at one of them.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER POMERANTZ: But if they had asked you to, you would've, right?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes, if I'd have known how.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER POMERANTZ: Okay.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER POMERANTZ: So it wasn't like you were trying to say you weren't involved. You were there. You just didn't happen to have an opportunity to participate cause you didn't know how.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah, I was being probably too literal.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER POMERANTZ: Okay. And the same with the credit card. I mean, if you had the credit card in your possession, you would've used it just the same as the person who did?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: If she'd have said to me -- do you want to sign it this time, I would have.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER POMERANTZ: Okay. All right. That's all.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: So we've talked about this in the past. Not we literally -- this Panel, but you've talked about it to other Panels. How do you feel about that crime today?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I feel absolutely horrible about it, and I have spent most of my life trying to find ways to live with it.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: One of the things we need to talk about or consider is your remorse. I want to go through remorse with you, and I have kind of a process I do that -- it just works for me. Might not work for you, but it works for me. I'd like first to talk about what remorse means. Yes?

DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY LEBOWITZ: Is it possible to take a very short break?

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: We're right on the cusp. Okay. We'll do that. I'm -- I'm concerned that we're -- I'm --

DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY LEBOWITZ: Okay. If you -- if you're --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: That's all right. Take a quick recess. Time is approximately 11:25.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER POMERANTZ: Off the record.

RECESS
--o0o--

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER POMERANTZ: Back on the record.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Time is approximately 11:40. All the people previously in the room have returned to the room again. Um, and I was about to start on one of the things that I feel it important to talk about, and we're going to talk about remorse. And remorse is a very important concept for us to get and for you to get. And my experience has been when I talk to people, often we're not talking about what we think remorse is, so I like to start out with let's talk about what remorse is, and then we'll talk about how it would apply to you if it does. So I'd like to start this way. If I were to open a dictionary and look at the word remorse -- now, you're a very educated person, so you've used dictionaries before in the past, probably thesauruses and all kinds of other stuff.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Um, if I open up a dictionary -- let's say Webster's or something -- and I look up the word remorse, I want to know what is remorse? It's going to give me the key elements of remorse, all right? I'd like to open up your dictionary, so I'm going to open up the Van Houten dictionary and look up the word remorse, and I want the Van Houten dictionary to tell me what are the key elements of remorse for -- for you. Not how they apply to you, not how -- cause we're going to talk about that. But if you're looking for remorse, what are the key elements of remorse? And here's the deal. I ask people if they got remorse. I have a lot of ladies walk through that door, and they all say they got remorse. Some do. Some don't. You've been out here. You've been here for a lot of years. You've seen people, you know, have no remorse at all, and see people who've had a lot of remorse. Um, so just saying you've got remorse doesn't work for me. Um, same with the guys. I have a lot of guys come in, and they say -- I've got remorse. And you start talking to them. They don't even know what remorse is, much less do they -- so I like to go through this little exercise for me. It helps me get a understanding of where they're coming from. So let's first talk about what remorse is. We're going to talk about how it applies to you. In your dictionary, what are the key elements of remorse? If you look up -- what key pieces are there to remorse you'd look for?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Um, a clear understanding of the wrong that was committed.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay. An understanding of the wrong.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: A need to, um, somehow make up for that.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay. Is that - - is there a word that talks about making up for? You've been through -step programming --

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I would say contrition.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay. Contrition? Uh, uh, okay.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Amending.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Amends. Okay.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Making amends. That's a -- a more common phrase --

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Okay.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: -- used here w - - cause most people when they take programming here, they (inaudible) amends. Okay.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Okay.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Uh, making amends. Now, while we're on amends, have you taken any 12-step programming?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay. The -- so in the 12-step programming, there's three kinds of amends. Do you recall what those are?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Um, writing them down.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay. Uh, no.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Sharing it.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: And service work.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay. Um, I'm interpreting that to mean direct amends, indirect amends, and living amends.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Oh, yes. Okay.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Does that make sense?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: What you just said?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay. That's normally how I hear that when I talk about it.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Oh, okay.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay? So there's those three kinds --

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: -- and that's important. The --

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Knowing the three kinds cause in a minute we're going to talk about how this all relates. Okay. So we talked about amends. All right. So we t -- you said understanding of what the -- what the wrong was, uh, a need to make amends. What else?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I think also a clear understanding of who I was at the time and making sure that those behaviors never surface again. Do you know what I mean? Like part of remorse is making sure that that kind of --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Isn't that really like living amends? If you're living amends, you're making sure that --

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Mm --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: -- you're not doing it again?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I don't know. I've seen a lot of people do some surface work, and they --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay, well, I'll -- yeah, I understand that. Okay.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I -- I kind of differentiate that into the --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: All right. If you had to define that --

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: -- insight part --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: -- of it. I think insight is --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Insight?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay. What other pieces? What do you think?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Um, trying to apologize.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay. Well, that's making amends, right?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: That's direct amends. Okay. Already have that. There's some key ones. Now, you're a real educated person, so you might miss the simple ones.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I think I'm overthinking it.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Maybe. Think simply what a dictionary would say are the key elements of remorse.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Tremendous regret.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay. Re -- having regret. Okay, that's -- that is there. Regret. Anything else? Okay. I'll give you one. Maybe that'll help you start that way. Um, cause you kind of went in the right way with regret. If you open up Webster's, do you start off w -- with a g -- a -- a very deep sense of shame?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Oh --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Would you say having shame?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Sure.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay. So I'm adding shame, and you're agreeing. All right.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I kind of put that in with, uh --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay. Well, remember we're talking --

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Okay.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: -- simply what - -

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Okay.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: -- the dictionary would say.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Okay. Guilt.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Guilt. That's the other word I'm looking for. Very good. You added that. Okay. All right. So I think we have a pretty good understanding other than one thing often talks about, um -- when you talked about understanding what you did, are you talking about what you did to the victims? What you did to -- what -- what are you talking about there?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I'm talking about the actual taking of the life --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: -- and the importance of the life that was taken.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay. Is there anything -- any relationship to the victim or the victim's family or anything with regard to that?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: That responsibility for those that loved the victims.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: W -- well, you were talking about having an understanding of that, and to get an understanding of that, there's usually a word used that, um, discusses what that having a understanding is and how you gain that understanding. Empathy? You know the word empathy?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Oh, sure.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: You're an educated woman, so --

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: -- empathy.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay? I -- I'm -- I'm kind of making a subset of the very first one you offered, cause I think to get a clear understanding of what you did, you have to have empathy for the victim.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Right.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Understanding what --

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: And -- and the effect it had on all of those who --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Right.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: -- loved them, my own family --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay. All right.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: -- the community.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: All right. I think we have a pretty good understanding. So we said it has to have understanding of what was done and having empathy as a result of that. Um, you talked about, um, making amends. We talked about the three kinds of amends. We talked about -- you said having insight to the -- to the -- what happened there. Regret. I added shame, and you added guilt. I think that's pretty good base for remorse. Huh. That's remorse. Do you have remorse for this crime?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: How do I know that beyond the words? So far --

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Hold on. Hold on. Let me finish.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Okay.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: So far, we've just been talking words. But again, everybody who walks through that door says they got remorse, and some do, some don't. What can I look to in your record? Something I can look at. It's not words coming out of your mouth, um, that suggests, illustrates, or demonstrates that you have remorse. What is there in the record that shows deeds or whatever it is that proves that beyond just the words coming out of your mouth?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Um, the documentation of how I live my life.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay. Well, let's talk about what that means. Okay. What -- what I look to that would demonstrate you have remorse -- what -- point to one thing to start off with.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Um, I would say my activity in the, um, Victim Offender Education Group.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay. And so I guess what's important there is why do you do that? Remember -- is that part of your -- you're saying it's part of your remorse, so it should be one of these things. I should be able to connect the dots or you should be able to connect the dots to one -- to one or more of these things. Why do you do that? Is there something in here that makes you do that?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Being part of that group -- and right now, I'm facilitating it -- but being part of that group, um -- the way the curriculum is set up --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Mm-hmm.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: -- it's designed to get really in touch with the damage done to, um, those that loved Rosemary and Leno LaBianca.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: It, um --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: But I'm looking for what's the motivation with regard to your -- we're trying to relate to --

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Oh.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: -- (inaudible) remorse.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Oh, oh. All that I have done is how I have learned to live with myself.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: So is that part of, like, your living amends or something?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I -- I -- honestly, I dedicate my life in here to living amends. It's how -- it's how I figured out I live with what I did.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Other than that one thing we mentioned, is there something else you can point to that suggests --

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Um --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: -- those traits or demonstrates you have remorse?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I'm part of the Executive Body of the Inmate Activities Group --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: How's it --

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: -- Committee.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: How's that relate to remorse?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: And, um --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Wait, wait, wait, wait. How does that relate to remorse?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I do, um, service work for the women on the yard.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: How does that relate to remorse? If you're saying this is part of your remorse, you got to draw back to one of these answers we said. It --

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Okay.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: You're saying remorse --

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Living -- that's my living amends.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: So your living amends. Okay.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: And I tutor at Chaffey College. I help women get educated because I believe that I am helping them gain a sense of independence, and I think that's very important, so it's part of my remorse to create less victims by helping other women leave here --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay. So --

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: -- a little more healed.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: -- you've used, um -- d -- do you do that out of a sense of guilt or sense of shame for what you did? Is that part of it? Do you do that as a result of that? Do you --

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Um --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: -- think that's motivating part of it?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah. I think most of what I do is out of guilt for what I've done.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay. All right.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: But I love doing it. The -- I'm having a hard time answering because I --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: It's -- it's my purpose --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: All right.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: -- to be able to do all that.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: So there's just a couple more questions that kind of round this out. First of all, what do you take responsibility for?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I take responsibility for the entire crime. I take responsibility going back to Manson being able to do what he did to all of us. I allowed it.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay. All right.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I take responsibility for Mrs. LaBianca, Mr. LaBianca.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay. So what have you learned about yourself and about the -- you that have enabled you to develop skill sets, coping mechanisms, or tools to make sure that you're never going to be involved in something like this again? What -- what've you learned about you that needed to be addressed? And then tell me what you've got to address that. Some people talk about character defects. Some people talk about any number of things. But I'm looking for what you've learned about yourself that's -- cause if you don't know about yourself, then you can't develop the right tools to abate that, right?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay. So what've you learned about yourself, and then tell me what tools you've developed to abate that for any future similar kind of responses.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Well, I learned that I was weak in character. I was easy to give over my belief system to someone else. That I sought peer attention and acceptance more than I did my own foundation. That I looked to men for my value, and I didn't speak up. I avoided any kind of conflicts.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Well, you actually looked to women for your value. We talked about that.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: With, um, Catherine?

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Yeah.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah. Yeah.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: (inaudible)?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: What's that say about your self esteem?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I didn't have any.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Low self esteem.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: It was -- it was very, very, very low.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: You think that's a key component of how you became the person that was able to participate in this stuff --

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: -- and do this stuff?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay. So what have you learned to address your low self esteem?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I've taken lots of therapy. And different ones taught me different things. One of the ones that I thought was so important was in the, um, early '90s with Dr. Ponnas (phonetic). And she worked with me quite a bit on what was going on with me at the time that I became so complacent to Manson. I over the years have addressed the things that made me second guess myself. And I live in a environment where deferring to authority is sort of how you make it, and so I've had to deal with that and not let myself defer inside myself. There's one thing to defer --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: So --

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: -- to an officer that might not be hearing what I'm saying, and at the same time, holding on to my own value.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay. I'm looking for things that have changed. When you talk about low self esteem, it's a self perception.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: All right. It's tru -- truly not -- you allow others to do that. So it's self perception (inaudible).

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: What have you done to change your low self esteem?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I've educated myself. I have --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Is that important?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Was that a major tool that you used to change your low self esteem?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay. All right.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah. Yeah. I, um, learned to really listen to what people are saying and, um, measure it out within my own gauge of what's acceptable or not. Also when, um, I began to emerge out of Manson, I, uh, made a commitment to myself, particularly when they abolished the death penalty, that I could recreate a life for myself where I would not harm others deliberately. And, um, I was young, so I've hurt people, but not intentionally. So I think that that has helped me with my esteem, that I deal with people directly. I'm as forthright as I can be. That I, um, feel good about who I am because of the service work. For a long time, it was hard to have good self esteem knowing what I had done.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: So going back to remorse. Obviously, you didn't have remorse then, and obviously, you didn't have remorse for a while when I look at your antics during the trial --

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: -- and so forth. When do you think you started to gain remorse for this crime (inaudible)?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: About two or three years away from Manson. And I think it was happening as a process. The prison was, um -- the prison administration was very careful about who came to visit, and, um, over time --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Starting about '80, '81. Is that what were talking?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: No. Like, '73 or 4. I -- I was in -- uh, you know, my first conviction.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Right. Right.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: So back in the early '70s. And then when they, uh -- Catherine Share and Mary Brunner got arrested and they put them in the same housing block that I was in, and at that point, they came talking that language, and I realized that I wasn't in that place with them. And that helped kind of get me on a different path that I knew I was going to have to answer for what had happened, that there would be no revolution, and I began to try to figure out how I was going to live with what I had done. And there were many, many years where shame and guilt were my controlling decision makers, which were --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: When did you start --

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: -- not good.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: -- giving back? Doing amends -- making amends? When did you start doing that?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I would say probably -- I'm thinking. I -- I always got involved, but to consciously not just be a participant in a group, but to, um, take on a more serious role of service work -- probably, mm, mid '80s.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay. All right then.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER POMERANTZ: All right. So, um, let's talk about what you've been doing since you've been in prison. Uh, most of the stuff or pretty much all of it's been covered before since you've been here so many times, so I'll just kind of go over some of it rather quickly since it's already part of the record. Uh, you've got yourself a bachelor's degree, a master's degree, a counseling, uh, or a tutor certification. Uh, you've worked at various jobs in the past. Uh, most recently looks like what you do mostly is tutoring and - - or teaching assistance. Is that correct?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER POMERANTZ: Okay. And then I looked at, uh, your current assignment history. Looks like you're currently in VOEG or V-O-E -- V-O-E-G, the Victim Offender Education Group. You mentioned that. Uh, you were in Actors Gang for a little while, but, uh, did you -- oh, no. You're back in there. Looked like you might've been out of it after you hurt your knee or something?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER POMERANTZ: Okay. But you're back in the Actors Gang now? Is that correct?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER POMERANTZ: Right. You're still doing tutoring. Uh, you completed a reentry program, uh, just, uh, earlier this -- or last month it looks like. Um, and, you know, in the past, you've taken a lot of stuff. Uh, just real quick. Uh, Victim Awareness, uh, Lifers Group, uh, White Bison, uh, uh, AA or, uh, Alcoholics Anonymous, but then you're still doing that, correctly -- uh, correct?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah. It's my, um -- what I try to do it always have a 12-step group that I attend, and, um, the AA/NA one is at night, and so for a while, I was doing one that was called Emotions Anonymous. It's sanctioned by AA. But it's all basically the 12 step, and now, um, I'm doing the White Bison, but they - - they rely on the AA Big Book. So --

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER POMERANTZ: Okay.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: -- for me, it's just like a home group 12 step.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Are you Native American?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: No. They're -- they allow others in.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Well, it depends where you're at. (inaudible), some they don't.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah. CIW doesn't have a lot of the separation.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: (inaudible) does, and, uh --

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: -- in prison, you had to be Native American.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Had to have established DNA back to your --

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: -- tribe.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: (inaudible) tribe.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: All right.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER POMERANTZ: And it also looks like you've been doing a lot of personal counseling over the years as well. Is that correct?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes. When I can.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER POMERANTZ: Um, of the various self hel -- self help that you've taken, what do you think has been the most meaningful for you?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I kind of like the combination of them all. Like the, um, Actors Gang Prison Project -- it -- it isn't about acting, but accessing emotions and learning how to, uh, read yourself and, um, I find that very beneficial. And the Victim Offender Group is, um -- the curriculum is amazing and very helpful. And, um, even as a facilitator, the way it's set up -- that people share their, uh, crimes and stories -- it's s -- so easy to identify and continually gain insight. So I would -- I would say those two right now are the ones that I get a lot out of. And then I also get a lot out of being part of the, um, Inmate Advisory Council. We're working on, um, suicide prevention because CIW has had an overwhelming amount of suicides over the years, and that's wor -- I'm working with, um, psychologists on how we can make CIW more of a community, and I find that extremely rewarding.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER POMERANTZ: Okay. Um, you -- you're familiar with the 12 steps, correct?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER POMERANTZ: And you know about, uh, character defects. Is that correct?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER POMERANTZ: And you had mentioned one of them when you were talking to, uh, the Commissioner here. You mentioned low self esteem. Clearly that was a major character defect you had that probably, if not most significantly, uh, allowed you to be manipulated as such -- as you were in doing what you did. What other character defects did you have back at that time?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Um, I was really reliant on others. I think that's a character defect. They all sort of fall under low self esteem to me. They're kind of, you know.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER POMERANTZ: You were somebody who was a follower?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Definitely a follower. And, um, easy to surrender. Not, um -- I'm trying to -- not acknowledge my own value. I hid who I was. I was, uh, you know, afraid to step up, too eager to volunteer.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER POMERANTZ: Those all do kind of relate to some form of self-esteem issue, wouldn't you say?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah. No boundaries.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER POMERANTZ: Um, did you have a type of disregard for the consequences of your actions? Like, you didn't think about --

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: No, I didn't think about them. And if they came, then that was part of what happens.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER POMERANTZ: Let me ask you something a little bit different. Um, you talk about how hard it is to live with what you've done, correct?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER POMERANTZ: And you became emotional at times when you talked about it. Uh, for -- and -- and that's not uncommon, and -- and it's also not uncommon to see a lot of people in -- in dealing with what they have done to turn to something to help them, like substance abuse. And you have not done that. There's no indication of that in prison. Um, and -- and that seems a little surprising, especially given your history of, you know, substance abuse prior to being arrested and -- and your comment that you, you know, had an addictive-type personality. How has it been that you've been able to avoid return to substance abuse to deal with whatever pain and feelings you had after recognizing what you had done and the gravity of that?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah, when I was first here, I took a LSD trip on Death Row. And then, um, in 1976, I was, uh -- had marijuana. I smoked marijuana. So it wasn't like something -- I -- I -- I was young and --

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER POMERANTZ: Sure. Now, but that's 40 years plus ago, so --

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER POMERANTZ: -- so w -- was the marijuana (inaudible) at the time?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I -- huh?

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER POMERANTZ: Was the marijuana the last substance you used --

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER POMERANTZ: -- in prison?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER POMERANTZ: So for 40-plus years, you've avoided it. How have you been able to do that?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: It's a different world in here with drugs, and I also -- as the years passed, I knew what that -- I -- I used others at first to stay clean. And I felt that it would just break my mom's heart if I had a dirty UA. I used her a lot. And then when I became more aware of my actions, I knew that that was something that would really be disrespectful of the lives that were lost because of the substance abuse. And, um, I just turned to the pe -- I've been very fortunate to have people that love me a great deal, and I've turned to them and the community in visiting, and then in '86, I belonged to AA. My dad was a member of AA. So --

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER POMERANTZ: All right. You made a comment about the drugs being a whole different world in here. What do you mean by that?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Um, it's expensive. It's a different kind of people that mess around in the drug world in here.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER POMERANTZ: Well, it's readily available should you choose --

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER POMERANTZ: -- to get it.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: It's more than -- and even today. Yes.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER POMERANTZ: All right. Well, if we were to let you out, how do we know you're not going to return to substance abuse to deal with the stressors and everything that would occur once you're out of prison?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I've already developed a lifestyle and a pattern where that's not part of my world. You know. And I -- and I know they'll be alcohol around and all of that, but I have my 12 steps that I've been practicing adamantly. I have full intention of finding a home group, a sponsor, spiritual advisor, you know. I -- I take all of that very seriously. Um, one woman, uh, is, uh, Marilyn -- I think her name's Marilyn Montenegro -- offers that there can be counseling, too. I'll have my agent, you know. My intention is to maintain the lifestyle that I have now when I'm free. I don't plan on putting myself around a lot of people that are involved in, uh, drugs or excessive drinking for that matter.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER POMERANTZ: Do you still sometimes get the urge to use drugs of any kind?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: No. Not at all.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER POMERANTZ: And if you were to get such an urge, how would you deal with it?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: First thing I would do is call my sponsor, who I know I'll find within the week or two. I would also, um, uh, talk to friends that are sober people and let them know. And, um, I hope I'll have a spiritual advisor, and I would turn to all the people that know me. We've established true relationships where I could tell them that, and they would help me. I also know that the triggers -- you know -- there's indicators. Like, for me, if something happens, like, say at 10 o'clock in the morning, that's a little uncomfortable with somebody and I'm still thinking about it at 2 o'clock, I know that I have to go address that. I know how stressors begin to build in somebody. So I've learned to take care of things as quickly as I can when they come up so that I don't have a lot of internal dialogue going on.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER POMERANTZ: Well, let me ask you something else. Um, you can look back at, uh, all these various choices that you made that resulted in what happened on the i -- night of August 10th, correct?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER POMERANTZ: All right. If someone said to you -- I built a time machine, and I could go back and you could make one choice different, but only one, what would that choice be?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Easy. I would go back to Manhattan Beach, I would get a job at TRW, and I would live under my father's house, his condo.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER POMERANTZ: So leaving -- leaving the house in Manhattan Beach -- that was the --

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: The beginning. Actually, using the drugs in June -- I mean, January, but I could've -- if I'd have stayed there, I could've gotten intervention, so I -- I think. Yeah.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER POMERANTZ: All right. And let me ask you something a little bit different. If you were told you could go back and change one thing, and one thing only that someone else did, what would that be?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: That dad stay in the house.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER POMERANTZ: Sorry?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: That my dad stay in the house. That he not leave.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER POMERANTZ: Okay. All right. So let me ask you, uh -- we're talking about Parole Plans. Um, you -- you've talked a little bit at the beginning about the fact you have a Relapse Prevention Plan in the file, which we'll look at. Um, you have acceptance letters from A New Way of Life and Roxie Rose, uh, Transitional Housing program. Uh, which is your first choice of those two?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Roxie Rose.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER POMERANTZ: Why is that one your first choice?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Um, the woman that owns it was a lieutenant here, and I worked under her, and, um, she became a parole agent, and I like that idea. She runs a transitional living where I would be able to, um, live and work with women who are, uh, Iraqi vets with PTSD and, um, homeless women. I'd be able to use my skills that I've gotten in the prison to, uh, pay for my rent. I like the idea that she knows me, and I know her, and that she was an agent. So I -- I would -- I would like that first.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER POMERANTZ: You gave us a -- a copy of a recent letter from August 15th of this year from her, uh, which is Exhibit 1. And she mentions that she had known you for a long time and -- and unlike a lot of the transitional housing programs, it doesn't mention that it's not just for parolees. It's also for veterans and homeless. So it's a little bit different of a program. Um, how long do you anticipate living there?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I believe I can stay up to three years, and I would stay as long as it was, um -- my agent wanted me to, I wanted to. You know, I'm -- I'm not in a hurry. I could stay all three years.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER POMERANTZ: Okay. And -- and I did notice there's a lot of, uh, support letters in the file. In fact, it looked like it was over 100. Uh, the vast majority of them from people who knew you, you know -- well, a lot of them from people who knew you long before any of this stuff happened, and -- and they -- they've known you all these years, and then people that work with you in the prison, met you in prison, uh, former inmates, past and current, and -- and the one thing I did happen to notice -- there was a recurrent theme in all of these letters talking about the change that they've witnessed in you over the years and how helpful that you are now based upon, you know, your behavior and how you're helping everybody. It fits in what you've been talking to us about here today. And -- and I did notice that was a -- a very common theme amongst the -- the dozens and dozens and dozens of letters that I saw in the file. Uh, you have multiple job offers in the letters I saw in there. Uh, your brother wrote a letter. Your niece, uh, your prior attorney. There's a lot of positive staff chronos in the file as well. Uh, we did receive as one could imagine thousands and thousands -- tens of thousands of opposition letters. There are many letters written specifically talking about the situation. Others much more general. There's thousands and thousands. I think actually more than 40,000. A petition -- apparently, uh, online petition of some sort that -- where people from all over the world have ex -- expressed an opposition to the parole. Uh, what do you -- how do you feel about, you know, people around the whole entire planet saying -- never let this monster out? How does that make you feel?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Sad that --

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER POMERANTZ: Is that stressful for you?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Um, sure. It's stressful.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER POMERANTZ: How do you -- how do you deal with that?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I focus on the people that love me and know that I can't change other people and that there will always be people that have a set idea of who I am. And, um, they haven't gotten to know me.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER POMERANTZ: Cause obviously, you know, given your notoriety, um, you know, there's always some stigma for anybody who served time in prison, but for someone like you, you know, it's a thousandfold. Right?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER POMERANTZ: And -- and so anyone who would recognize you or recognize your name, you know, obviously, the first thing they're going to think about is the Manson killings. Right? And then that's going to --

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Well --

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER POMERANTZ: -- follow you the rest of your life, so how do you --

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah, it --

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER POMERANTZ: -- how are you going to deal with that?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I was -- I was okay when I was out on bail, you know? I mean, I know it was the '70s and not the 2000s, but I was able to live and, you know. I wasn't recognized. And I was the, um -- I had a person who did an identity theft of me and got all kinds of cards and created a whole life, and she's probably in the federal prison right now. So, you know, I thought wow. She used my name and nobody reacted to it. So I get what you're saying, but I think that there's the possibility of it not being quite that.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER POMERANTZ: Well, I -- I -- I wouldn't be so sure.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Okay.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER POMERANTZ: But I can assure you that, you know, given the internet and everything, probably you -- you have limited familiarity with that being in prison.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Right. I don't factor that in.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER POMERANTZ: Yeah. If -- if - - if someone were to type your name in, your picture -- well --

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: That's true.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER POMERANTZ: Later today, your picture from this morning will be there.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER POMERANTZ: So there's no anonymity -- anonymity anymore.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER POMERANTZ: Whereas 1971, '73, no comparison. So, you know -- and the reason I ask these things is because clearly, it's going to be a stressful situation if you get out of prison. There's - - there's people who are going to hate you just because of what you were involved in, and the fact that you spent 40 years in prison -- it's irrelevant to them.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER POMERANTZ: Okay? And you have to deal with that. However you do, that's how you do. But obviously, one has to have concerns as to whether you would return to, you know, substance abuse as a result (inaudible). That's why I'm asking you.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Oh. Yeah. I would turn to my friends and my agent, and if it got too difficult, I would, um, work something out with the agent. You know, if the world wouldn't accept me, that'd be something I'd have to come to terms with.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Well, a piece of the world's never going to accept you. There's a piece of the world that's never --

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: -- going to accept you.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: You understand that?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes, I do.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER POMERANTZ: And I also looked at -- it did look like there was, uh -- of the people that wrote support letters, there was a number of them that looked like they would provide you with a place to live as well after you finished whatever time in the transitional housing program, uh, that you chose to, uh, take advantage of. Is that correct?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER POMERANTZ: All right. Commissioner?

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay. Just want to be clear. So your plans go to go this, uh, transitional home run by this former lieutenant/parole agent, uh, person who knows you. You said you got three years. What after that? What's the long-term plan?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Um, I have always felt that I would live with a friend, that I would not be able to afford at my age to rent singly. My hope is that I can, um, continue in the field of education. I -- I'm talking about monetarily now. And, um, I plan on becoming a grant writer where I can use my prison experience to help write grants for some of the --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: What kind of grants?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Probably grants for, um, programs that want to come in and contribute with rehabilitation in the prison system. And, um, I plan on just living out my days if possible going to a museum, going and looking at the ocean. Financially, I'll do what I can and help out. I've lived with little, and I hope to be able to be content with little because as a senior leaving prison with no work history, I'm going to be living humbly.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: No Social Security. No --

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: -- retirement plan.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Right. So you got to be doing something (inaudible).

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: And I ha -- yeah. And, um, the jobs and the means I have of supporting myself, I can do as long as I have my mind.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: All right. Let's finish up the clinician's report. You got nothing new. Used at the last hearing. I'm going to pick up where we kind of left off in the process of going through this hearing. The doctor starts a section called Clinical Assessment. There speaks to, uh, prior psychologic -- psychological examinations of you. I do see that you've been seen for a number of years. Since 2006 are the ones listed. Uh, traveling from 2006 forward, uh, in 2006, you saw Dr. Smith. Doctor opined that you had a low risk, uh, for future violence there. 2007, you were seen by the person who wrote this, which is Dr. Croft, right?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: So you've seen Dr. Croft a couple of times.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes, I have.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: And Dr. Croft, uh, indicated that, uh -- when the doctor saw you in 2007, uh, felt that you, uh, represented a low risk -- future risk for violence. 2010, you were seen by Dr. Carrera. Did a Comprehensive Risk Assessment. Dr. Carrera also found you to be a low risk for future violence in the community. 2013, Dr. Larmer did a subsequent Risk Assessment. Said there doesn't appear to be any changes, so saying you're still a low risk. There was nothing that aggravated or mitigated that to even further. And then we come to the current Risk Assessment. Doctor speaks of mental status at the time of the examination. Nothing unique there. Doctor talked about substance abuse, uh, the history of with you, and we talked about that today. And nothing I see other than the doctor said you meet the criteria for other hallucinogenic, uh, use disorder, severe, uh, cannabis use disorder, severe, and stimulated-related disorder, moderate. Then doctor talked about major mental disorder and personality disorders. Nothing in the major mental disorder. And the doctor concluded that the -- it was the doctor's opinion that you do not warrant a diagnosis of a personality disorder. Then the doctor talked about institutional adjustment. Usually talks about 115s, those kind of things, 128As, programming, so forth. Talks about, you know, the one 115 in all these years, and talks mostly about your education and programming. Parole Plans. When you talked to the doctor back in 2016, you were talking about Roxie Rose Transitional Treatment Facility in San Bernardino, and we talked about that. Nothing new there. Doctor then speaks to a tool that the doctor used, HR20, Version 3. Main tool we have them use. Um, doctor said that you have historical factors that aggravate, and those include, uh, uh, your experiences of prenatal abandonment, your poor material -- uh, maternal relationships, your substance abuse, your association with negative peers, and your commission of the Life Crime offense are all risk factors. They're in the historical domain. Things you can't change. Doctor says that you have exhibited prosocial behaviors throughout most of your imprisonment. Substance abuse and negative peer associations seem less relevant risk factors today than they presented at the time of the imprisonment. Doctor also spoke of another tool used, the PCLR. PCLR is pretty important to us. Uh, it measures psychopathy. And the doctor says using that tool, you scored below the mean and well below the cutoff threshold commonly used to identify dissocial or pathologic personalities. Very important for us to know that we're not talking to a psychopath. And the doctor's trained at recognizing that. We aren't necessarily, so we rely upon that. Then the doctor talks about analysis of, uh, clinical factors. Speaks to the Life Crime. You already said that, uh, you had one typo -- typologic -- typographical error -- there we go -- that you wanted to correct, and we did that. Then there is a section there that I kind of wanted to brief with you because the Governor had issues with it, and it's the section that says you cited a lack of real consequences for your misbehavior growing up. Feelings of abandonment and your father. We talked about that following your parents' divorce. Your resentment and anger toward your mother, trau -- trauma of your abortion, uh, and the, uh, drug addiction. You believed that these made you, uh, vulnerable to the cult led by Manson. This -- this lack of real consequences is quoted by the Governor as a concern. What did you mean by that? And if you were to try to clarify that for the Governor, if -- what would you say to that? One of the -- one of the issues the Governor said was -- he cited to that paragraph. I'm not -- I don't know if you read this --

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: That I -- I had lack of con - -

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Rea -- lack of real consequences for your misbehavior growing up. How did that play into -- you said that, and so how did that play into, uh, your vulnerability?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Pre -- pre-Manson?

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Yes.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Oh. Oh.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: In your childhood it would sound like.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah. Yeah. I was talking about my mother's rearing style, and other kids had, um, curfews, and they had consequences. If you -- that -- that -- I was talking about consequences in that vein. If you stay out to 11, you're going to be grounded for 3 weeks. My mom would say -- I don't have to do that because you will never let me down. And so I felt that I always had to anticipate what her expectation was of me. So that's -- that's what I meant by the consequences -- that I didn't have a measured set of rules that my other friends did.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay. Again, I'm just trying -- these are things cited to you --

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: -- by other people that were issues.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Some of these things you talked with the last Panel about, but --

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: -- I want to get them on the record. You said that you were totally compromised and easily swayed and gullible. Um, why do you think that was? Why do you think you were gullible, easily swayed, and easily compromised or totally compromised?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: At the -- um, when I was, uh --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Said this -- this paragraph starts off -- when asked to describe how she was li -- what you were like prior to imprisonment, you --

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Oh.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: -- said totally unconscious --

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: -- uncomfortable in my own skin, unable to hold my (inaudible) --

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah. Yeah.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Basically I was totally c -- uh, compromised and easily swayed and gullible. Why do you think that was?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I think it was because I had, um, been so devastated by the, um, loss of the baby that I just gave up and just started -- first I did the SRF hoping I'd get Bobby back. Went back to the drug community, hung out, and very quickly fell into the, uh, cult -- the group -- the group.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Um, next paragraph. Doctor talks about -- you actually used the term living a life of amending, and we talked about living amends.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: I already took you there, so I'm good with that. Talked about when you became your own person. I use the term -- when did you start living, uh -- when did you start feeling ame -- um, remorse? You know --

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: -- a sense. Cause you certainly didn't initially. And you said three years after the courtroom hearing which kind of co -- coincided with what you told me today. Um, the doctor felt you se -- accepted responsibility for your life term offense, you expressed remorse for your misconduct, and your remorse seemed sincere. We went through that whole remorse thing. Um, I got to get a sense of it, too. I -- I know my partner does also. Doctor says you cited factors including dysfunctional relationships with your mother, your feelings of abandonment with your father, your feelings of alienation, the trauma of your abortion, your, um, modest coping skills, and your substance abuse and your drug addiction, uh, that impacted your vulnerability to crime. Doctor says you evidenced an understanding of how your propensities towards addiction and dependence on others led to your, uh -- led to you to gravitate towards the cult. And we talked about the addictive personality and so forth, and you talked about that at the last hearing. Doctor talks about youthful offender. Again, you were 19 years old. Described, uh, dysfunctional upbringing, the abandonment (inaudible), and this -- thus the -- the drug abuse and, uh, promiscuity and associated with nonconforming peers. Doctor says that you have developed greater maturity, independence, and responsibility during your imprisonment and you continue to participate in self- help programs to further promote your ability to lead a prosocial life. The doctor also looked at, uh, elderly, and I told you we're going to look at those things, too. And doctor says you were 66 years old then. You're 68 now?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay. And, uh, you've been incarcerated then 36 years. We're talking about 38 years now about.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Well, I've been incarcerated -- my -- my c -- new commitment is 38, so --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Yeah, okay.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: So you want to add years --

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I -- I --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: -- onto that?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Well, I've been -- except for the six months, you know, I've been incarcerated --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: For --

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: -- since 20 about -- well --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: So about forty- what years?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Forty-eight maybe.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: All right.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Minus a period of time.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Doc -- doctor says age, maturation, length of incarceration, and health-related issues of aging, uh, in conceptualizing your risk factor for violence were considered. And doctor says your age, maturity, and active participation in self-help programs mitigate your risk, and the positive programming mitigates your risk. Doctor says your advanced age and physical limitations which accompany, uh, aging are noted and lower your risk for violent recidivism. Says you're also less physically fit at your age. Let me ask you about this thing going on with your -- your legs. I see you had crutches at the last hearing. What's the -- your understanding of the long-term prognosis for your knee and -- and stuff with that leg?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I'm hoping that it will be mended in -- within a month. I slipped on water in the hall, and I broke my kneecap in half, and it's just -- they have me in a --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: So --

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: -- brace.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: -- how long have you been in that?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Since, uh, the beginning of August.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: (inaudible). Were you -- had crutches at the last hearing?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: No.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Ambulated on your own at the last hearing.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Oh, yeah.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay. All right. So this is in your mind a temporary condition.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay. Doctor says that you were overall a low risk for future violence. Okay. Again, this is not news. This is all out of the last hearing. Okay then. Any clarifying questions of the Panel?

DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY LEBOWITZ: Thank you, Commissioner Roberts. Yes, I do. Uh, in this hearing, there was less talk about Mrs. LaBianca being dead when the inmate already stabbed her. But I do have a question about the inmate's feeling about that. And my question is that assuming that Mrs. LaBianca was in fact already dead at the time the inmate stabbed her, does the inmate believe that that makes her less responsible for the murder?

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: I think that's a pretty clear question. You think stabbing what you believed to have been, uh, an already-deceased person -- do you think that makes you less responsible?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: When I was younger, I did, but not now. I understand now that --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: So is now today or is now something that you learned or got appreciation for before today?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Way before today.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: About when did you start taking full responsibility then? Or full responsibility for it? See what I'm saying? When you say I'm just stabbing a -- well, stabbing somebody who's already passed away, it sounds like a minimization.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Uh, and -- and it ha -- has in the past been held as minimization by you, so today -- so prior to today, when did you --

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I would say in my 20s and 30s that I felt that way, cause it was easier for me to, uh, deal with what the crime was and, um, myself, but for a very long time now, I have understood that.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: That'd be what? About 30 years? About 30 years you're (inaudible)?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Maybe 20.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay. All right. Just trying to get a grasp of it.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah.

DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY LEBOWITZ: As a follow- up question, if the inmate believed that in her 20s and 30s, then why did she continue to mention it at several hearings that Miss -- that she thought Mrs. LaBianca was already dead when she stabbed her?

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: You know, I -- we just discussed the issue. Okay. When -- when did you -- d -- when did you feel when you were saying that you weren't -- you weren't minimizing or did you clarify that? Wh -- at what point did you start doing that?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I probably was saying it. I can't guarantee why I said it, but because I believed that she was, I was saying it.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Well, you said earlier that you felt that early on that helped you deal with it. So it's a minimization of the --

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I -- I --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: -- of your culpability.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: When did you believe that you stopped minimizing it? You may still believe she was deceased, but take full responsibility for it. When did you start feeling that way? D -- do you understand the question?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah. I'm trying to think back.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: (inaudible) --

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I -- I would remember that approximately 20 years ago. I -- but she's saying I said things in the record. I -- you know.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Well, let's be clear about it if I can. I'm hoping this is clear. There's one thing to say I stabbed a deceased person. There's one thing to say I stabbed -- and that's a minimization -- and the other one is that she was deceased, but that doesn't mean I participated and I'm just fully culpable as -- as if she was alive and maybe she was.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: You see what I'm saying here?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay. So which -- at what point do you believe the transition from the first part to the second part?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I'm thinking approximately 20 years ago.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay.

DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY LEBOWITZ: In the last hearing, uh, on Page 65 at Lines 22 to 24, the inmate stated, "I hope you're not understanding that I know it's my responsibility that I allowed this to happen to me." Can the Panel please ask the inmate what she meant by that statement?

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: What was it asked in context with? I've read the whole transcript, but we're talking about a 200-and-something page transcript.

DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY LEBOWITZ: Yeah.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: What were we talking about (inaudible)?

DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY LEBOWITZ: I'll give you -- I'll give you the, uh --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: If you can give us the context to it.

DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY LEBOWITZ: Yup. Um, uh, the inmate, um -- Commissioner Zarrinnam was asking the inmate, uh, if he thought that it was out of the ordinary, um -- well, it goes back. Um, it -- Commissioner Zarrinnam was questioning the inmate about didn't she think it was strange they were going to go live in a hole and --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Yeah, I remember that.

DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY LEBOWITZ: Okay. And then the inmate was talking about how they were preparing, uh, by playing creepy-crawly games. Commissioner Lam, um -- the inmate was talking about how they were getting karate lessons and trying to figure out how they were going to survive. Commissioner -- Deputy Commissioner Lam -- whose idea was that? Answer -- Manson. He conducted what we did, but we did it, you know? You know? I'm not -- I hope you're not understanding that I know it's my responsibility that I allowed this to happen to me.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: She's asking for a clarification of the statement. You've heard that statement now.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: What did you mean by that?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: That it's difficult to say that things were being conducted by Manson and that I -- I accept responsibility that I allowed him to conduct my life in that way.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: So you're taking responsibility.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay. Cause it's confusing the way it's --

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: -- worded.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Okay.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Counsel.

DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY LEBOWITZ: Well, actually I -- I am still a bit confused because, uh, I'm asking does she take responsibility for the action or does she take responsibility for allowing Manson to help her conduct her life in that way?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I -- I think I know -- I take responsibility for the action and for him saying it. Do you -- I take responsibility that I allowed myself to follow him, and in that, I take responsibility for the actions that I did by allowing him to influence me in the manner that he did --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: -- without minimizing my -- my, uh, involvement.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay.

DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY LEBOWITZ: Could the Panel please ask, uh, the inmate -- was Bobby Beausoleil her common-law husband and did the inmate ever tell any psychologist that Bobby Beausoleil was her common-law husband?

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay. Do you recall telling anybody he was your common-law husband?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I believe I did back in the early '70s with the first psychiatric evaluations. I'm not sure. But I know I read somewhere that I had said that.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: That wasn't true, was it?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: No.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay. Cause I've read that he was somebody else's.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah.

DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY LEBOWITZ: So why did the inmate tell somebody that?

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: (inaudible) why you told somebody that or 30 years ago or 40 years ago?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: That was more like 45 years ago.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay. Do you recall why you would you were saying that?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Um, probably so I could have visitation rights with him in the County Jail or something.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Ah. Okay.

DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY LEBOWITZ: Could the Panel please ask when the inmate learned about the murder of Gary Hinman and what -- from whom did she learn it?

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Do you recall that?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Um, I remember learning about it, and I believe I found out about it from Bobby Beau - - I -- I don't know if he told me that Gary Hinman had actually been killed, but he was leaving the ranch, and he was very upset, and it -- I -- I believe it was at that point I knew and then very quickly he got arrested, and he was in the County Jail for the murder.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Bobby Beau -- Beausoleil.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Bobby Beausoleil.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Now, were y -- when that murder occurred, were you in custody in the ranch or where were you?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I was at the ranch.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay. You were -- you were at the ranch (inaudible).

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay.

DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY LEBOWITZ: Did the inmate learn about the murder of Gary Hinman from anybody else?

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Do you recall who you learned about that?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I can't -- I can't recall.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay.

DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY LEBOWITZ: After Bobby Beausoleil got arrested, did the inmate consider Tex Watson to be her boyfriend?

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Did you ever -- did you ever consider Tex Watson to be your boyfriend?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: We didn't have boyfriends. We just had people and, um, at one point, Manson felt that I was getting too involved with the bikers that were starting to hang around, and he told Tex to keep an eye on me.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: All right.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: He was one of the guys I spent time around. I could have said he was my boyfriend, but --

DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY LEBOWITZ: Did the inmate spend most of his -- most of her days with Tex Watson within the weeks prior to the LaBianca and Tate murders?

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: You can answer that question.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes. Manson had told him to keep an eye on me.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: So when you say keep an eye, you s -- you spent a lot of time with him?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay. And Pat figured into that scenario, too?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Um, no. I had gone up into the, um, mountain area, the hills with a guy that was hanging around the ranch, and, um, when I came down the next morning, Manson was really upset and told Tex to keep an eye on me.

DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY LEBOWITZ: I have no further questions.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Very good. Clarifying questions for your client?

ATTORNEY PFEIFFER: I do. Um, when Manson told Tex to keep an eye on you, did he say why?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: He -- he felt -- oh. Do I ask -- do you ask --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: You -- you can - - he can --

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Oh, okay.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Let -- let -- let me just explain something.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Just trying to --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Legislature was very clear that she can't ask you -- the DA can't ask you questions directly. They can ask us. They didn't say your attorney couldn't ask.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Okay.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Your attorney can ask you direct questions.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Okay.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: You just answer your attorney.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Okay. Um, Manson felt that, um, I was getting too involved with the bikers, and he didn't want me to spend time around them. And then as it was, that was the incident where the guy came back up and tried to get me to go with them, and, um, I didn't. I didn't.

ATTORNEY PFEIFFER: Um, now, the Governor quoted, um, that, you know, you had a lack of real quan -- consequences growing up and -- and he used that (inaudible). When -- now, according to the, um, psych eval, you -- looks like you're arrested or charged -- do you remember? Were you arrested or charged or both four times for those crimes in your adult record on Page 5 of the, um, psych eval? Do you remember?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Being arrested?

ATTORNEY PFEIFFER: Yeah.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah.

ATTORNEY PFEIFFER: Were you charged with any crimes?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: No.

ATTORNEY PFEIFFER: Um, were there any other times besides those four that you were arrested besides the murders?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Uh, not that I remember.

ATTORNEY PFEIFFER: W -- was there a big raid on the ranch?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah, that -- I believe that was one of the four.

ATTORNEY PFEIFFER: Okay. And d -- during these four crimes -- when there was a big raid on the ranch, what did they find?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Dune buggies --

ATTORNEY PFEIFFER: How many?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: -- and, um, weapons. I don't remember.

ATTORNEY PFEIFFER: Okay.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Four or five. I -- I don't remember how many. Quite a few.

ATTORNEY PFEIFFER: What kind of weapons?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Guns and, um -- I -- I don't know the exact kinds. There was a Schmeisser. There were -- Danny DeCarlo had a gun collection that he had transferred over to the ranch so they arre -- they got all the guns.

ATTORNEY PFEIFFER: Okay. And did you all have access and use these guns?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Well, we knew where they were and we could go in there, but people couldn't use the guns cause, you know, Manson controlled the use of the weapons.

ATTORNEY PFEIFFER: Okay. Um --

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: There was practice. The guys would go out and practice at night.

ATTORNEY PFEIFFER: Did you ever practice?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah.

ATTORNEY PFEIFFER: Um, so they -- did they arrest anybody for this? For this raid?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I don't -- I don't remember. I don't remember if individuals got arrested for the weapons.

ATTORNEY PFEIFFER: Were you arrested?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I was -- I was arrested, but never arraigned. The majority of us were, um, arrested, kept the period of time before an arraignment, and then let go.

ATTORNEY PFEIFFER: Was anyb --

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: So I -- I don't know if Danny DeCarlo ended up doing jail, getting fined. I don't know. They were his weapons, and, um, as far as I know, we all -- we all were released.

ATTORNEY PFEIFFER: So did -- these times when you keep getting arrested and released, did that ent -- you know, further cement your failure to appreciate consequences?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I -- at -- by that time, I wasn't thinking in terms of consequences. It just -- I -- I didn't think about -- wow. I'm lucky I didn't do three years in prison.

ATTORNEY PFEIFFER: Well, the reason I'm asking is failure to appreciate consequences is one of the youthful offender factors, and I'm trying to figure out if that -- at that time when you were 19 years old, when all of this was going on, was there any reason for you to even consider consequences?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: No. No. I didn't -- I didn't measure them.

ATTORNEY PFEIFFER: The Governor talks about a self-induced abortion on Page 3 of his reversal. Did you have a self-induced abor -- abortion?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: No. It was not self induced. A woman came into my house with, um, the psychologist and my mother. She douched me with a solution. I was probably far enough along that today it would still be illegal. And, um, no, I -- I did not -- I did not do it myself.

ATTORNEY PFEIFFER: Okay. There was, um -- it looks like a group of inmates from the prison all signed this, um -- several paragraphs and pages about, um, how you've helped them seek deeper healing, uh, for a healthier way of life. Do you know those inmates?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah.

ATTORNEY PFEIFFER: Do they know you?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes.

ATTORNEY PFEIFFER: Are they important part of your life?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah.

ATTORNEY PFEIFFER: Why?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: They're the living amends.

ATTORNEY PFEIFFER: Um, and there's 117 of them. Are there others that aren't in prison here to write this that you have helped along the way?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes. They wrote -- some -- some of them wrote letters.

ATTORNEY PFEIFFER: And, uh -- do you ever communicate with Catherine Share, um, after the time that you said about three years after you were here and she was sent here for a period of time, and that's when you realized that you were no longer in tune with the Manson rhetoric. Um, after that time, did you ever communicate with Catherine Share?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes. She phoned the prison at the 25-year mark and asked them could she talk to me, and you know, they use the speaker and everything. And I spoke with her and she apologized to me for having, um -- taking me to the ranch. It was something she needed to do.

ATTORNEY PFEIFFER: And then -- just -- did you feel like you were free to leave the ranch prior to the murders?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: No.

ATTORNEY PFEIFFER: And -- and why is that?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I had tried to leave the -- the one time. I was, uh, exhausted from all of the commotion when we started sneaking up on each other and all, and I told Manson I -- I needed to go. I wanted to go. And he drove me up to a big hill and, um, cliff and told me to jump, that to leave was to die. And I held on to that and I'm sure when the guys came to get me in the truck and I -- or the car and I felt my feet were in cement that that fear of what would wait for me by leaving the group was what kept me attached there.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: What was that fear?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: The fear of the revolution, you know? The -- the -- the fear of, um, being caught and -- by the blacks and having them do to me what had been done to them. He spent a lot of time talking about that. And being murdered.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Did you fear that Manson or any of the family would come get you?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: He made it clear that betraying -- turning was betraying and that I would -- he didn't say it in words. It happened at the end. At the -- at the end after the crimes when we were in the desert, it was very clear we couldn't leave at that point.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: We're talking about the issue being discussed was in the -- in the Governor's letter is about that time before the murders that you couldn't have left (inaudible).

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah, I --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: You (inaudible). We discussed it earlier. The last Panel and you discussed it.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I -- I took when he said jump now because to leave me is to die. I took that as a personal, you know, foreshadowing.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Well, had they - - had you witnessed them going and getting any members who had left before?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: No. Most people came back.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay. So you didn't witness them go get people. How about go --

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: No.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: -- retaliate on people who had left --

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: -- (inaudible)?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I would not have known about that.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: All right. I'm sorry. Counsel, I --

ATTORNEY PFEIFFER: Th -- that's --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: I needed to explore that.

ATTORNEY PFEIFFER: No, that -- that's -- I'm glad that you did. Um, and you described that there were different groups. There was a core group, and there was a looser group, and some people, um, had no monetary value or no use for Manson. Did those classifications seem to have an impact on who was free to leave and who might not be?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes.

ATTORNEY PFEIFFER: In what way?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Um, if you didn't -- if you didn't serve a purpose, then he didn't want you around basically. That's --

ATTORNEY PFEIFFER: And -- and it sounds like some people served a purpose by having money, and then once he took all their money, then --

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah.

ATTORNEY PFEIFFER: -- there was no longer a purpose?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah.

ATTORNEY PFEIFFER: Okay. And your purpose -- if I get this right -- was in -- in a large part, um, to keep Bobby Beausoleil happy when he came around?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: That and, you know, when guys would come up that might be part of the music industry or when the bikers were there, there were a little set of us that would, you know, go out and keep their attention and welcome them. So that's --

ATTORNEY PFEIFFER: Did you feel like you were being used at that time?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: No. No, I didn't.

ATTORNEY PFEIFFER: Did you feel that was your contribution to this whole group?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: It wasn't even that defined. I was just sort of doing what we did. Do you know what I mean? Like, there weren't -- it wasn't set out like that.

ATTORNEY PFEIFFER: Now, when Manson would talk about his prior crucifixion and everything, did you believe he was Jesus Christ?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes. I did.

ATTORNEY PFEIFFER: Did the others?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: They all acted like it.

ATTORNEY PFEIFFER: No further questions.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Any other questions for the Panel?

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER POMERANTZ: No.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay. Let's go to closing statements. Now, how we'll do this is start with the District Attorney, then Mr. Pfeiffer will make a closing statement, you make a closing statement, and then we'll come to the, uh, victims' family members and representatives, allow them to make statements. When that happens, I want to ask the District Attorney, uh, give up her seat and -- and whoever's going to talk and when you're going to talk, we'll have you come up and we'll start off by having you state your name -- state your name, spell your last like you did at the beginning of the hearing. We're doing that because the person who's typing this up -- I want to make sure that they, uh, credit your words to you. Okay? If that makes sense. Hopefully. So let's start with closing statements from the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office, Miss Lebowitz.

DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY LEBOWITZ: Thank you. The Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office is opposed to a finding of parole suitability for this inmate at this time. In the case of In Re Lawrence, in rare circumstances, the aggravated nature of the crime alone can provide a valid basis for denying parole even when there is strong evidence of rehabilitation and no other evidence of current dangerousness. I would like to, um, defer the -- my statement about the aggravated nature of the crime and go instead at this point to evidence that the inmate has not been rehabilitated. Now, the inmate talked to us here today, and the inmate also submitted, uh, a crime insight statement that Commissioner, uh, Roberts referred to at the beginning of this hearing. But the main takeaway that I see from this hearing is that I come away with the conclusion that the inmate still believes, though she says she takes responsibility, that nothing is her fault. Now, one of the statements that she makes in her insight statement, um, and we talked a little bit about this today, was that the morals that she received from her basic institutions, meaning home, church, and school, had been twisted and manipulated. And I submit to the Panel that the morals that she learned from home, school, and church were not twisted and manipulated by Manson, but just simply disregarded by the inmate. The inmate told you that she smoked marijuana that was illegal at the time I believe, and if it wasn't, it became illegal. She also told you that she manipulated her own brother into giving her the marijuana by saying -- if you don't give it to me, I'm going to tell your mother. These are morals that she learned from church, home, and school, and still disregarded them, and then she smoked the marijuana. Again, morals that she learned from home, church, and school. No premarital sex. What did she do? Had premarital sex with Bobby Mackie, became pregnant, and then became, uh, pretty much shamed for the abortion. Again, a disregard of those morals she learned. Not twisted or manipulated. A disregard. She did LSD. Same argument. She ran away from home. Same argument. She told the Panel that she -- when she went to, uh -- first went to the ranch, she said she kind of wanted to stick it to her mother. Again, these are -- you're supposed to respect your mother. These are morals that she simply disregarded, and the fact that she's telling us that Manson twisted or manipulated them is -- is no different than what she did before she met Manson. And I know there's a lot of talk about, uh, uh, Manson controlling the family. Now, this inmate, as we know, had three trials. The first trial was -- the first trial, the inmate was found guilty of premeditated murder, and the conviction was reversed only because of the issue with her lawyer. Not because the evidence was deficient. And the jury found premeditation and deliberation. Now, there's a different argument about Manson control here in these parole hearings than there is or was at the trial. And the issue about Manson controlling the family was -- at the trial was to tie him in to the conspiracy. Here the issue about Manson controlling the inmate is different because it goes to her free will to do certain things. Now, remember, the inmate was again convicted in her third trial of felony murder. Felony murder requires no premeditation and deliberation. You kill someone during a robbery. That's what she was convicted of. Her defense at the trial was diminished capacity. The jury did not believe that diminished capacity and, therefore, she can be seen to have had her own free will when she did this. Now, in the C-File at Page 352 to 489 is, um -- my math isn't good, but about 140 pages' worth of the trial transcript of the cross examination by this inmate by then-Deputy District Attorney Steve Kay. And Steve Kay did an amazing job by laying out the foundations that (A) she knew what she was doing was wrong, (B) she knew what she was doing was against the law, and (C) she knew what the consequences were if she were to have done that. And, um, it's -- it's replete throughout the trans -- uh, throughout the transcript, but it -- it goes to show -- and these are her own words in 1977 upon cross examination -- these are her own words -- that she knew what she was doing. Now, when she talks to us today, especially toward the end of this hearing, when I -- when -- when the Panel asked her questions on my behalf, her answers were not what she did, but what Manson did. Well, um, you know, why -- why did you say Tex Watson was your boyfriend? Well, cause Tex -- because Manson wanted Tex to watch me. And -- and my questions -- she didn't speak in the first person. She spoke how Manson wanted it. And again, that is completely opposite to what she said in 1977 when the crime was closer in time. Now, when the Panel asked her about her drug usage and how she would refrain from her drug usage, she talked about pleasing her mother, she talked about disrespecting the victims if she were to use drugs again. Now, this inmate has been in a 12-step program for decades. And -- and the questions that Commissioner Roberts asked her about the steps and -- and things that she learned in the program, she honestly did not showcase here today, because all of the reasons that she gave for refraining to use drugs were all external. It was all about pleasing other people. Well, how did she get herself into this mess? Because she wanted to please Manson. And she told the Panel -- well, I don't please people anymore. But all of her examples that she gave you were all about pleasing other people. What does she want to do for her Parole Plans? Well, she wants to work with Iraqi vets. And if you saw her reaction when Mr. Pfeiffer pulled out this petition and -- and, uh -- with all of the lists of all of the people that signed the petition, she was very -- very effusive and appeared very happy about these were all the people that she helped. Again, pleasing other people. She's not really any different than she was at 19 if she's still trying to please other people. Now, something interesting in the C-File was in, uh, a psych report. In 1978, uh, uh -- strike that. 1982. And I don't have the exact page of the C-file, but it was the 1982 psych report that opined that her courteous and sometimes overconsiderate ways appear to be overcompensatory manifestations of her continued sense of insecurity and self criticalness. And in previous transcripts, and I don't think she used those words today -- but in previous transcripts, she used those words. And again, that's a really interesting, insightful statement because she continues to overcompensate, to be nice, to want to please. And so again, that is another example of the fact that she's not a different person today -- that she is the same person despite all of these years of programming. Now, I'd like to talk a little bit about her remorse. Uh, the Panel may have been satisfied with her definitions of remorse, but it seemed to be that the true elements of remorse were prompted by the Panel and very far down on this list. Now, for someone again who has taken decades of 12-step programs, one would think that her definition of remorse would be right on the tip of her tongue, and it wasn't. Again, when she was here in the Panel and she was showing emotion, she was showing emotion about reading the Book of Revelations to Charles Manson. And she was showing emotion about those people who she's helped. But she didn't show one smidge of emotion when she was talking about her butchering Rosemary LaBianca and listening to Leno LaBianca being butchered in the next room. Now, I'd like to, um, talk about some of these, uh, statements that she made in her insight statement, and I know the Panel goes with her verbal statements, but it was submitted as a, uh, supplement to this hearing. Now, the inmate said, uh, that during the ride over there that she was falling in and out of sleep on the way in the car to the LaBianca house. I have to tell you. This defies logic because she knew that they were going to murder. If you really read this transcript, it really does a good job -- and I hate to repeat myself, but it really does a good job about what she knew. She knew she was going there to murder. Now, common sense tells us that the human, physical, physiological reaction is -- when you are up for the task, I want to please my man, I want to fight for the cause, I want to please Pat Krenwinkel -- that you are on a heightened state of awareness, a heightened state of alertness, your adrenaline's flowing, and for her to say that -- well, you know, I fell asleep off and on as we were driving over there -- that does not make sense, and that's another form of minimization about the crime. Her insight statement also said that she questioned her ability to be a dedicated accomplice. We didn't really get into the facts of the crime here, but in several, um -- well, we did, but some of the things that had come out in previous hearings didn't come out today. And, uh, you know, one of the -- one of the main, um -- one of the main points of contention is that, you know, she felt she couldn't do it, and that's why she called Tex Watson in, and she was critical of herself, and she couldn't look -- she couldn't watch, and she had to look away into the den. But her questioning her ability to be a dedicated accomplice is again another minimization of her participation in this crime because actions -- as we all know the famous saying -- actions speak louder than words. And so what were her actions here? Well, she got a deadly weapon. A weapon known to produce death or great bodily injury. A big butcher knife. And she removes Rosemary LaBianca to a separate place in the house where her husband couldn't help her. And then she puts the pillowcase over Mrs. LaBianca's head. Now, the inmate said -- I might've done it. I don't remember. I don't remember seeing her face, but the -- the trial transcript is -- indicates that the inmate did put the pillowcase over her head. So what does that do? That disarms the person. She's no longer able to see. She's no longer able to -- to fight back. And then, what does she do? Wraps the lamp cord around her mouth -- around her neck to choke her, to cut off oxygen. No air in, no air out. Another way to disarm Mrs. LaBianca. She holds her down on the bed so that Patricia Krenwinkel can accomplish the task and conflict -- and can inflict the torturous stabbing. Another way to disable the victim so she can't fight back. So who does she call? Tex Watson. Another stronger person. She knew that Tex was stronger or she wouldn't have called him in to help her assist her -- to help him assist her. Then the inmate says in her insight statement -- I brutally stabbed her multiple times on her lower torso. Well, the fact that she understands that she brutally stabbed her -- that actually is really the only statement that shows that she does have some insight. When she stopped, she began wiping fingerprints off the lamp and in the room. What does that tell you? She doesn't want to be caught for this. She doesn't want anyone to know that she's there. She burned Rosemary LaBianca's clothing when she got back to the ranch so that there would be no evidence that she was one of the people in the house. And the trial transcript at least supports the fact that she did brag to Dianne Lake, saying how fun it was. What about any of that screams that she was questioning her ability to be a dedicated accomplice? Nothing. There was a lot of talk here in this hearing and in previous hearings about, uh, the fact that perhaps it was inferred or it was implied that the inmate committed these crimes because she was fearful that Manson would kill her or do bodily harm to her. And I'm glad that Commissioner Roberts asked the -- the question at the end because in this hearing and in previous hearings, the testimony from the inmate was that Manson brought her up to the -- to the top of the cliff and said -- if you want to leave, you may as well jump off the cliff because you'll get caught in the revolution and die anyway. The inference is that she will die in the revolution. There was no direct threat -- don't leave or I'll kill you. The inference is that -- oh, you know, Manson was threatening all these people with, uh, violence and -- and bodily harm and -- and, therefore, the inmate might've thought that Manson would kill her if she did something to oppose him. But that's not the case. He didn't threaten her. The control was in the form of humiliation, and, uh, baaing like sheep, getting naked and humiliating the body. It wasn't -- if you do this, I will kill you. The inmate subscribed wholeheartedly to the philosophy, and so if you jump off the cliff, uh -- strike that. If you want to leave, you may as well jump off a cliff because you'll die in the revolution. That simply confirms her belief that she was committed to the revolution. As the Commissioner pointed out earlier in the hearing, there is -- there is -- there are statements from the previous hearing and in this hearing that people came and went. There were some core people -- maybe I think she said seven to eight core people. Uh, the evidence tells us there was many as 30 to 40 on the ranch. And the inmate said at the very end of this hearing -- most people who left came back. I mean, people were going freely. All of the historic psych reports come back with a low risk factor. But I would like to warn against the reliance -- and I know the -- the Panel does not rely solely upon these risk factors -- but I would like to warn against the reliance upon these risk factors for the following reasons. In the '80s, the psychologists gave the inmate a low risk factor, and they said she had insight and that she, you know, had improved, but what do we know about the inmate's conduct in the '80s? Well, despite the fact that she had insight, she married a parolee who then turned out to be someone who wanted to do her harm, and so even though there was an assessment by a psychologist that she had insight and that she was a low risk for -- for, um -- for violence, she still entrusted herself, her life, her Parole Plans to a parolee. We also note that she had a decade-and-a-half correspondence with a person named Michael Vines in the '80s and '90s -- again, even after receiving her low risk rating -- who was a double murderer in two states, and she told us at the last hearing that she had a romantic fantasy about him. Now, what does that tell you? Again, romantic fantasy and entrusting her life into somebody who is a murderer, who is not going to be a positive person in her life. And so again, even though this Comprehensive Risk Assessment tells us that she is a low risk, history has shown that she has done things that, um, are opposite to that. It seems that her statements here, uh, showing that she is still predisposed to pleasing other people, her lack of insight, her terrible expression of remorse, and terrible demonstration of remorse, her continued minimization of her role in these murders still do not explain how the Gov -- uh, the Governor's concern -- how she is willing to participate in such horrific violence. And as a result, for all of those reasons, the People are opposed to any finding of suitability.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Mr. Pfeiffer.

ATTORNEY PFEIFFER: Thank you. Let me, um, first go through, um, Miss Lebowitz's reasons for recommending you deny parole. It says the crime alone, um, even if there's a strong showing of rehabilitation is enough. But there's actually no -- there's some dicta about that in a case, but there's no holding that ever shows in any single case in the State of California that the crime alone, um, with a -- a complete rehabilitation as the reason to deny parole. It's dicta. And, um, it's certainly not the law. Not rehabilitated because she believes nothing is -- is her fault. Here's what she said was her fault. It was her fault to follow and believe Manson. It was her fault to actually do the actions that she did in following him. Um, that's not saying it's Manson's fault. It's saying it's her fault. She didn't do the right thing. She recognizes it today. She's -- she knows what to do not to go down that -- that road again. Disregard for morals. And the examples brought up by Miss Lebowitz are she used marijuana, she got pregnant, got into LSD, and ran away from home while she was in high school. This is more than 50 years ago. This is when she wasn't 19 years old. This is when she's 15, 16, 17 years old. The youthful offender factors at that point are even greater than they are at 19, and as the Panel pointed out that they get -- you're well aware of what those youthful offender factors are. The, um, prefrontal cortex doesn't fully develop until the mid-20s, and the juveniles are -- youthful offenders are impulsive. They, uh, bow to peer pressure, and there's a lot of peer pressure throughout this whole case. There's peer pressure in high school. Um, there's tons of that. There -- failure to appreciate consequences. She didn't have any at home. She didn't have any at Manson's place when she's getting arrested. No consequences. Um, impulsivity. Everything she did in her life was impulsive. As a young child, she ran away. Started using drugs. She got pregnant. Um, uh, but you grow out of that when your brain matures. So using something that's in her early high school, mid high school years, uh, is certainly not relevant to today. A lot of talk about Manson controlling. The DA's Office, when I was trying to get the Tex Watson tapes, which are probably the most accurate description in the way that they were done -- they have them. Every bit of evidence in every Manson-related trial. It's public record, except those tapes. And I -- I do believe they're going to come out. They've got them. They know what's in them. And why won't they give them to us? Because maybe they just verify everything that, you know, Miss Van Houten's been saying for years. First trial, she was convicted of premeditation and deliberation. Well, guess what? That trial got, uh -- that conviction got reversed. That doesn't count. It means it wasn't a good enough, fair enough trial. The third trial was felony murder where Miss Lebowitz concedes. They didn't have to prove premeditation and deliberation. Um, the court -- this Panel has to take as true the court findings. You say that at every single parole hearing in the beginning. Nothing that we say or hear at this hearing's going to change the findings of the court. You're not here to retry the case. Same should go true for the other side. She knew it was wrong, she knew it was against the law, and she knew that there could be consequences. She did it anyway because as she said, she allowed herself to be -- to follow Manson and to follow his actions, and she actually took actions in -- in following it, and she took responsibility for that. She can't undo that. I'm sure she wishes she could. Um, oh, sh -- she says i -- if Miss Lebowitz said she was just doing what Manson told her to do. Well, she's got to answer the questions of this Panel honestly. And if Man -- you know, some of that is just following the directions -- a lot of this in this case is following the directions of Manson. She took responsibility in doing that, but then she's still got to talk to you honestly, and if that's what was going on in her mind, she has to lay it out there. What -- she can't lie to try to take more responsibility than what's really there. She was responsible for what's set up. Manson telling her what to do and her following through with that. Um, as far as abating drug use. What -- and -- and why these are all external, people pleasing other people, and that's why she's clean and sober and that's why she'll probably relapse. What Miss Van Houten talked about is her motivation for becoming clean and sober and staying clean and sober. Um, I think everybody in here knows. I'm a drug addict, and I was -- I was a violent one. I was doing armed robberies for my drugs. And my son was my motivation to clean up when I went to prison. And did I do it to please him? Yeah. Did I -- am I staying clean today to -- to please him? No, I'm staying clean today because I have a lot of responsibility to a lot of people. And is that people pleasing? Well, I have a commitment to myself as well. And I can do a lot of damage if I were to ever relapse. Miss Van Houten's been down that road. She understands that. Um, remorse. The way -- Commissioner Roberts, you were asking this definition. I'm trying to -- in my mind, I was trying to define it myself, and I was doing what Miss Van Houten did -- was overthinking it, and when -- it's guilt and feeling sorry for what you did to all those people. Everybody -- she's talked about it for years. Nobody's ever questioned that part of it. And I don't think there's any valid questioning of that part of it. You're -- you're the people who make the credibility findings. Emotion when she was reading the Book of Revelation. Um, during the break, Miss Van Houten told me on that same floor, Charlie Manson's grandmother was reading the Book of Revelation to him, and then that triggered back. Um, some of these things happen in the hearings. You don't know why. We don't know why cause there aren't follow-up questions. I didn't know that at the time. Um, feel free to leave. We just had a Franklin hearing on Thursday. Catherine Share came in, and she testified that no, she was not afraid to leave. Matter of fact, after she got beat up in front of everybody, uh, then Manson and Steve Grogan took her aside, and Manson asked Steve Grogan -- you're really good at hunting people down. If she leaves, will you do that for me? And he goes yes. And w -- just -- here's what I want you to do. Will you tie her up, drag her behind your car slow? Don't kill her. Make sure she survives, but drag her all the way back to the ranch. Will you do that for me? He said yes. He turned to Catherine Share and says -- you going anywhere? Catherine interpreted that as -- I'm not free to go. People came and went. They did. The people that lost value to Manson were free to go. The people that still had value to Manson were not free to go. The Risk Assessment. She shouldn't -- shouldn't pay any attention to them, because back in the '80s, she married a parolee who, um, very quickly started to be someone that Miss Van Houten thought she wasn't, and she quickly divorced him. Um, and then she had a romantic fantasy about a lifer in another state who would never be granted parole. Um, we all make some mistakes, recognize them, fix them, and that's what she did with that marriage. The romantic fantasy -- I think everybody in this room's had romantic fantasies at one time or another. Heaven forbid our -- our fantasies be -- you know, determine whether we're free people or in prison. Continued minimization. Every time she comes to a parole hearing, she has to testify to the truth. Otherwise, it won't match up. Um, there's -- she -- some of it is somewhat minimized. The DA's Office at the Supreme Court inviting the Tex -- giv -- giving up the Tex Watson tapes -- and they wouldn't even lodge them confidentially with the Supreme Court when asked if they would -- um, they said that our whole theory of the case was Manson was in total control of everybody and they all acted at his behest. They did what he said. That's their theory of the case. But now, if -- if Miss Van Houten testifies to that here -- well, wait a minute. Now she's minimizing. But this is their theory of the case. Oh, it's -- on the psych evals, too -- I have to say -- at the last hearing, Mr. Lam hit it straight on. All the way back to 1980 until today, 17 doctors have said she's a low or an extremely low risk. They all can't be wrong. But apparently, the District Attorney's Office doesn't want you to believe all 17 doctors, some of them multiple ti -- uh, occasions. Dr. Coburn, who says she passes the test where she can live in my upstairs bedroom. Um, the prosecution -- I have - - at this Franklin hearing, the judge ordered the transcripts of the Tex Watson tapes and asked Miss Lebowitz -- I want you to flag the four places that you -- that your office told the Supreme Court is mentioned in.

DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY LEBOWITZ: I'm going to object. That is not a true statement. That is just simply not a true statement. And I don't think that anything about the Franklin hearing is admissible here because the transcript has not been completed. The transcript is the record of the Franklin hearing.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: I understand your assertions. (inaudible). Made it clear and not just --

ATTORNEY PFEIFFER: Okay.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: -- this hearing. You made it clear that you've been trying to get that information --

ATTORNEY PFEIFFER: I can --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: -- for a couple of hearings now.

ATTORNEY PFEIFFER: But I just want to point out she responded with there could be more than four after they told the Supreme Court four, and then the first five -- eighty-five pages, the Court found eight. So --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Well --

ATTORNEY PFEIFFER: They --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: I -- I think --

ATTORNEY PFEIFFER: Yeah.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: -- the first statement --

ATTORNEY PFEIFFER: Okay.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: There could be. There may not be. That -- they're asking her (inaudible), and I'm sure she didn't have it reading there in front of her, so I -- I give her a lot of leeway on that kind of a statement --

ATTORNEY PFEIFFER: Okay.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: -- because it sounded like those were massive amounts of information and volumes of words as it were, so I understand what you're saying, Counsel.

ATTORNEY PFEIFFER: Yeah, I -- I just -- I -- I - - I -- one of the things that happened in the last rev - - the Governor's reversal was I brought up prosecutorial misconduct as an issue, because I believed it was a legal issue.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: You did.

ATTORNEY PFEIFFER: And the Superior Court recommended that the State Bar was a better entity to investigate that. And in -- actually invited to reopen the investigation if we got more evidence, so --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: I -- I'm more concerned here about suitability than I am --

ATTORNEY PFEIFFER: That -- that's fine.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: -- (inaudible).

ATTORNEY PFEIFFER: Okay. Um, youthful offender factors. You have to give great weight to that diminished culpability and capacity of who Miss Van Houten was at 19 years old, and of all of those failure to appreciate risks and consequences, immaturity, um -- just peer pressures. The family and peer pressures. That -- and Manson used that to the nth degree in getting these people to do what he wanted them to do. Um, okay, the value of the commitment offense. In order to use the commitment offense to deny parole, you need an en -- a nexus to a current unreasonable risk to public safety. So you're going to have to -- if you -- if that's the road that this Panel or the Governor wants to go down, they have to tie it to some credible nexus as to why today that commitment offense that's almost 50 years old makes her unreasonable risk to the public safety today if placed on supervised parole. Um, the Governor relied on statements by Barbara Hoyt, who also wasn't here, who also was never subject to cross examination, and -- and I'm asking this Panel to find that that's an improper source to rely upon. Uh, physical reinforcements of what Manson was telling people. They had no possessions. She witnessed people getting hit by Manson whenever they didn't do as he directed. And -- and that's consistent with everything through the years. Um, Miss Van Houten said I didn't want to be hurt. Was she beaten? No. Shouldn't have to be beaten. All she had to do is see other people get beaten for this, and she's going to fall in line. She bought in. She wanted to be as close to Manson, who she thought was Jesus Christ. That's what he successfully sold to this whole group of people. Um, not everybody was treated the same. Again, there -- the core group of people had things that Manson could use or that he wanted or that he abused, and Miss Van Houten fit into that -- that core group. Um, as far as, um -- oh, Manson was adamant that when Bobby Beausoleil was at the ranch, Leslie's job was to make him happy and -- and try to keep him there. Manson wanted Bobby. Uh, the -- the -- okay. Miss Van Houten was talking about today -- she said the older I get, the harder it is to live with it - - what I did and how it happened. Um, it -- it -- it -- that -- that is the definition of remorse. It hasn't been forgotten. Um, and it doesn't get easier over time. It's gotten harder over time, which means that the remorse is not a fleeting thing. It's not -- it wasn't here 20 years ago and gone today. Um, I understand how almost 50 years ago -- it's hard for her to get all of the -- the memories correct, the facts exactly correct. She's read so many different things, it's hard to sometimes figure what she witnessed or what she read, and -- and it's 50 years ago, so things might not fit exactly, perfectly in line. But she's trying to give you her best recollection of what happened. And then there's also the self-de -- defense mechanism of your own mind trying to suppress some of those memories because they are so awful. And -- but she -- she understands all of that. Uh, the support letters. These support letters were -- as the Panel pointed out - - they were from people who know her, who knew her for a long time, who saw the -- the changes. Some of these support letters are from people who are former inmates, who Leslie helped change their lives. And Miss Lebowitz kind of twists that to say -- well, she's just pleasing others. No, she's proud of the fact that the work that she's done and the dedication in living amends to pay it forward has actually reaped some rewards in people's lives. And then those people go out in the community, and how many people do they help? And, y -- you know, they -- the impact that she's had on -- a positive impact since her incarceration can't even be measured. And -- and that's in here, and if she's released, how much more can she do on the outside? She wants -- she said she wants to use what she's learned in here to be able to help write grants for better programs, to help inmates rehabilitate. These support letters know her, and the people whose lives she changed know her, and they're thankful for that. The tens of thousands of opposition, um, petition le -- we don't even know what the petition says. There's no signatures on there. We don't know if -- anything about them except there's a whole lot of people that say -- oh, the word Manson. Never get out. And they don't know the facts of the crime. They don't know what's happened to Leslie since the crime, her journey on rehabilitation, her contributions. They know none of that. And they just ask that when you start to look at numbers, put into the quality of those letters and the quality of the one -- how many opposition letters actually talk about any of the facts? Very few. But there's some. And -- and the ones that actually sound like they know what's going on, give them the dulate. But the ones who are just signing off on something, give it that dulate, too, which is very little. And, um, that's all I -- that's all I have. I just ask you that the law is that she's not a current, unreasonable risk to public safety, you shall grant her parole. I'm asking that you follow the law. I'm asking that if you do and you grant her parole that the Governor also follow the law. Um, there's no -- no law that says a completely rehabilitated person based on the -- the commitment offense should not be paroled. And even if you were do to that, you can't look at the commitment offenses done by Manson and his gang. You have to look at the commitment offense as done by Miss Van Houten and her part in it and Stoneroad says that. And with that, I'll submit.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Closing statement you'd like to make?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes, I just want to thank you for the opportunity to come up here today, and, um, I answered as honestly as I could remember, and thank you for the questions that you asked, and, um, things for me to think about. I also want to apologize to all of those in the room and those that are not for the damage that I did and the stealing of their loved ones' life in a senseless manner. I apologize very deeply for that. And, um, I just hope that I was able to convey the truth of who I am today to you. So thank you.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Thank you, ma'am. Miss Lebowitz, you going to vacate your chair?

DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY LEBOWITZ: I am trying to do that right now.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Who would like to go first? Brave soul who wants to go first?

UNKNOWN VOICE: (inaudible).

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Right. If you could move that microphone over to that person there --

UNKNOWN VOICE: Okay. Yeah. Whoops.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Sir, again, please state your full name, spell your last, and your relationship to the victims.

MR. SMALDINO: Um, I'm Lou Smaldino, um, nephew of Leno and Rosemary LaBianca. My mother, uh, was Leno's oldest sister. Her name was Stella. Um, we're all here today to decide whether, uh, Miss Van Houten is deserving of parole and what impact her crimes have had on our family. You know, that's why I'm here. Um, I have attended over 10 of these hearings on the Manson family and what they perpetrated on our society and in particular on our family. Uh, only one word describes their acts, and it's -- it's depraved. Um, what they as a group did in particular and beyond all norms of a civilized society. Now these people want us to forget what they did and how they destroyed families and loved ones with callous and total disregard for humanity. Miss Van Houten and her cohorts, uh, came into the sanctity of people's homes, brutally murdered innocent people they did not even know just to start a race war. They want us to forget, but, you know, honestly, we cannot. Uh, lives have been shattered, fortunes lost, families shattered, five children lost their parents in this particular instance, um, the ongoing depression for both my mother and my grandmother, grandchildren who never got to meet their grandparents, a failed family business. In other words, irre -- irreparable damage has been visited on our family, uh, by these psychopaths. We come to these hearings because, uh, that is what the law allows us. Um, Miss Van Houten -- Houten is abusing the very laws that she and the Manson family outrageously violated. Uh, she is a total narcissist and only thinks about herself and her potential freedom, not the damage she has done. She always minimizes her involvement in these heinous acts, and to this day, um, she was not one -- she has not acknowledged that she was one of the leaders of the Manson family, uh, and that re -- re -- Rosemary and Leno were already dead when she stabbed them. Uh, but forgets to mention that she was angry that she was not on the first night of, uh -- that, uh, did away with, uh, Sharon Tate. And, you know, I also picked up on today -- you know, um, she had exact memory of how long she's been in prison, but she couldn't remember whether she put a pillow on Rosemary's head or what -- or that there was any blood around the body. That's incomprehensible for a sane person. There is also the fact that she's feigned remorse, uh, when she comes to these hearings, but conveniently forgets to mention that not once in 40 years has she apologized to any member of our family for what she has done to us except in this courtroom. We've never received a letter, a note, any reach out at all in 40 years. This pres -- process is all about Leslie and not the victims. She is the poster child for narcissism. What sane, no -- normal person acts this way? I've tried to put myself in her shoes and what I would do, you know, if I were remorseful and you really addressed that well today, your honor. I couldn't conceive of not reaching out to the person that I damaged and the family, especially the five children. You know, I'm just a nephew. But the five children. I mean, I just can't imagine not reaching out in all this time, uh, to at least address. I mean, I just went through a recent real estate transaction where the party's wife died during the transaction. I mean, I immediately sent a sympathy card to the family. You know -- you know what I'm saying? That's what rational people do. This person cannot do this. It's all about her and getting out and being free. She was given the death penalty that has never been carried out because of government failures to abide by the people's will and for people -- for people like her. She is blessed to be still alive, yet is not good enough, uh -- yet this is not good enough for this narcissist. She believes she deserves to be free. This is absurd. Life in prison is too good for Leslie Van Houten. She needs to pay for her crimes. No amount of in -- incarceration or re -- remediation turns a psychopath into a normal human being. Leslie has been a defective and dangerous personality since, you know, I've been listening to all the -- the testimony for the past, you know, probably 15 years. Her deeds speak much louder than, uh, her or her lawyer's words and the twisting of the legal system. If Miss Van Houten has an ounce of compassion, she would cease to seek parole and accept her just sentence of life in prison for what she has done. No member of the Manson family deserves parole ever. They are still evil and manipulative, and they try every trick in the book to secure their release. Unfortunately, our society has people who support this insanity, and we are all the worse for it. We are compassionate society, but we are also a just society. Incarcerating Miss Van Houten is both compassionate, she is allowed to be alive, and just because she is jailed for these heinous crimes and murders. Therefore, my family humbly asks that you once agot -- again deny, uh, Miss Van Houten, uh, parole, uh, as not being acceptable, uh, for parole. Thank you.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Thank you.

MR. SMALDINO: Appreciate it.

MS. TATE: Sorry. My name is Debra Tate, T-A-T-E, and I am a representative for, um, Lou Smaldino and the LaBianca family. Uh, I would like to address the Commission, the Board, and anybody reading these transcripts in the future on the fact of the petition. The petition is no parole for Manson family dot com, and then there are pictures of all of the people that committed murder in the Manson family because as we know, there were other people that did not. You click on that person's picture, face, and a bio comes down of exactly what the law committed them to prison for in the first place, and then you can agree to sign, make a statement, or none of the above. So I could think that Leslie doesn't deserve my signature and not sign hers, but sign Patricia Krenwinkel's. It's totally up to the signer. With that being said, I get private comments all the time that state that people are still afraid. It requires your address to go on the paperwork if they give long statements. However, many still do. Uh, for that reason, those 148,000 people's signatures -- those brave souls' signatures do deserve to be counted. Also change dot org has a system to where you can't come back and sign twice. If you signed it once last year, you can't sign it again this year. So that's 148,000 new people that concur that none of these people are wanted out in society. As a victim's rights advocate, I very often have to argue people down in social media and in letters that wish to do physical, very threatening, bodily harm on these individuals. My choice -- and I argue them right into the corner -- is y -- that would make you part of the problem, not part of the cure. Us as victims -- and I am one of her victims because Miss Van Houten was involved in the preparation and planning states and was it stated in other facts upset because she wasn't, uh, invited along in the killing of my sister, my nephew, and three of my very good friends. Okay. I spent the entire summer at that house. I was 100% equal in my sister's life. She was everything. This woman, knowing what happened at Hinman's house, what happened at the Tate house, concurred and was happy to go along at the LaBianca's. Now, here we go. Miss Van Houten stated that she had left with a biker for a night and went up into the hills. The only consequence for that was Charlie was angry and appointed Tex Watson to watch over her. However, Catherine Share, the person that took her in the first place in to meet the Manson family, actually tried to escape twice. And as we heard today, she was hit -- physically hit and beaten, so even with the physical contact that Catherine Share had, she risked being caught once and on the sex -- second subsequent time, she made it out. The only consequence when Charlie found her and Barbara Hoyt completely out of Guller Wash, uh, back in a very small society, a gas station and -- I don't know -- six or eight trailers or whatever -- but they were around people -- was that they were picked up and taken back. So is that a good reason? Is that a real threat? To go ahead and do what they did? What sh -- th -- the point of this is that she was completely on board. She was as on board then as she is now. I don't see that much has changed. The 16-year sexual fantasy with the inmate in another, uh, state in the United States was only ended by his death. What would've happened -- since we're dealing with would'ves and could'ves in this courtroom -- what would've happened if she was paroled and went to live outside his prison, much like the Manson followers do Charlie's prison today because some of her, uh, partners happen to live there and Squeaky Fromme -- it was included in her Parole Pan -- Plans -- that she go and live with Sandra Good, which is one of the other, uh, Manson family members. This shows horrible judgement. She's still attracted to outlaws, to bad boys, even though she's had this much consequence in her life. Um, Pfeiffer said in the beginning, opening of this -- this state -- of this hearing that she did a timeline of her entire life, although when you started asking her questions, she fell horribly short on what those facts might be. I think it would be extremely proper for her to reflect and know exactly in her mind's eye -- it's all still in there -- if she cares to recall it, which would be part of her healing process, she needs to do it and come clean with it. The bikers came back after Charlie had caught her up in the hills away from the -- the group at Spahn Ranch, uh, came back and offered to take her out, and she declined. It shows very clearly to me and I think to so many other individuals who read this and -- and keep up with things that this woman was clearly on board 100% with all of the illegal activities, the -- the car thefts, the drug use. Uh, as a matter of fact, I believe personally she migrated towards the Manson family because she's used to using other people to get what she wants. A very key, uh, personality factor for narcissism, which is a pre -- precursor for socio -- sociopath, and she -- it's all been about her. All day today. All about her. I remem -- I know this is a parole hearing, but she's minimized her involvement, she's blamed things on other people. I know that she's being asked to do so, but she couldn't come up with the key words, Commissioner. You had to. You had to put in the key words on even the most basic of what is, uh, uh, her understanding of the crime, what is remorse in other words. You had to give her regret, uh, you had to give her guilt, and you had to give her insight. She couldn't come up with those. My God, 47 years later. Give me a break. It's not -- I -- I'd say she's not -- not rehabilitated. That being said, I speak at many hearings under Marcy's Law. There are people that I do think have been rehabilitated. And I would recommend it if it were warranted. I just have too many questions about the stability, and in here, she's a stellar model of rehabilitation, but it's a whole different world out there. That's why we keep these folks separated from society -- to keep society safe and to keep them safe. And that is the best and most humane action to take in the case of these people. I would like you to take all of those things into consideration when you deliberate this case, sirs. Please. Thank you.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Thank you.

MR. DIMARIA: Uh, my name is Anthony DiMaria, D-I, capital M-A-R-I-A. I'm sorry. Um, I'm, uh, a LaBianca family representative, and I was asked by Lou Smaldino to represent. Uh, to be clear, our family's involvement in these hearings has nothing to do with feelings of anger, revenge, or hatred towards Leslie Van Houten. Rather, we come out of love, to speak for those who cannot speak for themselves. The victims' families present today have attended dozens of parole hearings regarding Leslie Van Houten's crimes and crimes of the Manson family. For nearly half a century, death sentences, legislation, defense attorneys, commissioners have come and gone. Yet what re -- yet what remains is Leslie Van Houten, her victims, and our families. On July 27th, 2017, the Los Angeles Times reported a shift in the new era for California's Parole Board, stating that the Parole Board Executive Officer, Jennifer Shaffer, has "been at the helm of major initiatives spurred by court cases and state laws that have developed new processes to speed up and increase parole hearings as well as release young and elderly offenders. That approach is part of a pendulum swing in California coming after decades of tough sentencing policies that led to overflowing prisons and a court-ordered cap on the state inmate population." But today, we are not here to enforce prison population caps or balance California state budget. We are here because Leslie Van Houten killed people. Part of what continues to disrupt and impact our families are these endless parole hearings and what occurs in them and what is said in them. In today's and previous parole hearings, there's been much discussion of drug influence, mind control, threat to society, rehabilitation, and suitability of parole. We appreciate the opportunity to address these issues. Just as the Manson clan collectively conspired, targeted, subdued, held hostage, butchered, mutilated, and taunted society as a crime conglomerate, so, too, our families are bound by collective loss and suffering. We stand for justice together just as the Manson clan killed together. We must acknowledge Steven Parent, Abigail Folger, Wojciech Frykowski, Jay Sebring, Sharon Tate, her unborn child, and Donald Shea in these proceedings today because had Miss Van Houten contacted authorities after Leslie's boyfriend, Robert Beausoleil, murdered Gary Hinman on July 27th, 1969, we wouldn't be in this room today and 10 people would have lived their lives fully. Miss Van Houten and her attorneys would have you believe that the inmate's crimes occurred exclusively in a vacuum at the LaBianca residence. This couldn't be farther from the truth. Miss Van Houten shared the intentions and full knowledge of Manson family criminal activity for months leading up to the killings. At a recent parole hearing, Miss Van Houten's attorney states, "We are talking about one night of horrible violence in her life when she was clearly not in her right mind." This is misstatement of gargantuan disconnect and minimization. Last year, Miss Van Houten's present attorney, Richard Pfeiffer, states, "There is no doubt that if the word Manson was not involved in her crimes, she would've been paroled 20 years ago." I wonder. Does it occur to anyone who shares this sentiment that the word Manson has become synonymous with evil worldwide because of Leslie Van Houten's actions and her perverted behavior during the trial? Leslie Van Houten is a prime and prominent butcher in one of the most notorious killing organizations in United States history. This is not by association. This is directly due to the inmate's inhumane actions and behavior. Regarding drug and Manson influence, at hearings in 2006 and 2007, Miss Van Houten's attorney, Christie Webb, asserted that her client was rendered mentally incapacitated from chronic LSD ba -- abuse and Manson control. Miss Webb states -- Leslie was vulnerable, as she was controlled by drugs and Manson's brainwashing. All that LSD changed the chemistry of her brain. At the petitioner's 2010 parole hearing, her then-attorney, Brandie Devall, states, "It is abenden -- it -- it is abundantly clear that Miss Van Houten has never used drugs as a crutch or a reason to justify this life crime." Then the flip flop at last year's hearing. Commissioner Zarrinnam: You said drugs played a role. You wouldn't have committed these crimes but for the drugs? Inmate Van Houten: No. No. I wouldn't have committed them. Today Leslie says Manson used LSD to indoctrinate her. These contradictions made in distant and close proximity of each other gives one pause to realize genuine accountability gives way to tactical strategy. Regardless, consider Dr. Barbara Freeze, M.D., Senior Examiner for the Board of Neurology and Psychiatry. "It is not defensible to say that Leslie Van Houten was influenced immediately or chronically changed by LSD. No drug has produced a sustained psychotic state that cause a person to carry out organized activity -- activity as in these murders with regard to the planning, the targeting, murdering, painting messages in blood, not to mention escaping capture and hiding from authorities. Psychedelic drugs do not cause people to do psychotic deeds." On Manson: Attorney Devall referred to Manson as a master manipulator who "had a knack for finding lost, young people and manipulating them." For decades, our families are impacted as certain facets of media have fashioned a narrative on Manson and the so-called Manson family. But in light of the historical destruction of these crimes, it is imperative that we see things for what they are. The so-called family is not a cult. It was a group of people who chose to avoid work, have indiscriminate sex, and get high. But in the months leading to Miss Van Houten's murders, August 10th, 1969, they committed extensive crimes involving drug trafficking, credit card fraud, grand auto theft, prostitution, pimping, extortion, and child molestation at the ranch. Then the torture/murder of Gary Hinman. Then the drug deal burn of Bernard Crowe. Days later, the attempted murder of Ber -- of Mr. Crowe as -- after he was shot in the chest. August 8th, the murders of six people on Cielo. August 10th, the murders of two people on Waverly. August 28th, the murder of Donald Shea. Numerous attempts to frame African-Americans for murder. September 9th, 1970, the attempted murder of Barbara Hoyt. August 21st, 1971, the robbery of firearms from a supply store and subsequent shootout with 30 police officers in Hawthorne. September 5th, 1975, the attempted assassination of United States President Gerald Ford. This is no hippie cult. These are not exploited, brainwashed teens. This is a sophisticated, extremely deadly crime organization. Charles Manson is not a mastermind or a counterculture demigod with mystical powers to control. He is an angry, frustrated man who lashed out at a society in which he was a complete failure. Leslie Van Houten is not a Charles Manson follower nor is she a victim. She, too, was an angry individual who identified with an organization bent on mayhem, rebellion, and destruction. Her zealous loyalty, choices, and actions for nearly two years clearly define her as a cruel-hearted sociopath, a killer. Even Manson family member Lynette Squeaky Fromme states, "To blame it on Manson is just silly. These women could come and go as they wished. This was a voluntary unity." Is Leslie Van Houten a threat to society? I sadly call to your attention the murder of 16-year-old Jason Sweeney, the Philadelphia teenager who was killed by 4 teenagers, ages 15 to 17. The weapons used to massacre the young man were a hammer, a hatchet, and several large rocks. At one point during the attack, the hammer was struck so severely, it remained in the victim's skull while he continued to struggle for life. During the trial, the teenaged killers testified listening to Helter Skelter over and over for several hours before committing the murder. Helter Skelter. The same words written in blood on a wall at Leslie Van Houten's crime scene. Judge Seamus McCaffery, after viewing Jason Sweeney's crime scene photo, said -- this is something out of the dark ages. I'm not sure we can call ourselves a civilized society when this happens. I bring to your attention three of the four teenagers were sentenced to life without possibility of parole. Is there anyone in this room that would suggest that these convicted teenagers will be paroled after 20 years? Even though the word Manson was not involved in their crimes? Prosecuting District Attorney Jude Conroy states -- it is really amazing that teenagers in Philadelphia, Memorial Day weekend, is attuned to the whole Helter Skelter in Manson mythology. It is a sad testament to the twisted, brutal legacy the Manson murders have left behind such that attracts 15, 16, 17 year olds 40 years later, 3,000 miles across the country. It's a powerful legacy. The threat of Leslie Van Houten and her crimes to society -- direct, symbolic, or repercussive is current and deadly. Leslie Van Houten in the media. It's no coincidence that the teenage murderers of Jason Sweeney were excited and inspired by Helter Skelter lore. Miss Van Houten's crimes have left a historical wound on American culture. Her decisions -- her decisions and behavior have profound consequences and are the reason the murderer today is perceived by many as a rock star killer. If there is any question of this reality, I submit the following. These films produced in recent years -- Leslie, My Name is Evil, 2009, Bleeding Hearts, 2015, Manson's Lost Girls, 2016, Pretty Face, 2016, Bigger than the Beatles, 2017 -- all depictions in which Miss Van Houten is portrayed as a lead ingenue character. There is also a Facebook page titled Free Leslie Van Houten, 2017, with 1,150 followers worldwide, and the website Leslie Van Houten dot com where a line of Leslie Van Houten tee shirts are sold on the internet. I submit these and other samples from the internet for your reference. May I?

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: (inaudible).

MR. DIMARIA: May I pass these for your reference? The tee shirts sold on the website and different tee shirts that are prevalent today on the internet.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: You can -- you can leave them. We'll take a look at them.

MR. DIMARIA: Thank you. It -- it speaks to the rock star status. This is not random. The inmate has been active in a wide variety of media formats throughout her incarceration. There are book interviews with Michael Farquhar, Nicky Meredith, Carlene Faith, and Jeff Guinn. An internet search reveals Leslie's television interviews with Barbara Walters, 1977, Barbara Walters, 1987, Diane Sawyer, ABC, 1993, Larry King, CNN, 1994, Larry King, CNN, 2002, interview with film director John Waters, 2009. At a recent hearing, Commissioner Jeffrey Ferguson asked Miss Van Houten -- what do you think your obstacles are going to be once you're released? Her answer -- maintaining anonymity. I can certainly understand why. On the nature and gravity of Miss Van Houten's crimes. At a recent hearing, Leslie Van Houten stated she accepts responsibility for what she termed "superficial, post- mortem wounds" to Rosemary LaBianca. This statement is shocking and alarming, especially when we consider it was made after years of reflection and rehabilitation. It is deplorable to candy coat this in any way whatsoever. Yesterday, today, ever. The first fatal blow occurred at the hands of Leslie Van Houten when she held Rosemary LaBianca hostage and prepared her for slaughter. The next fatal blow was dealt at the hands of Leslie Van Houten when she wrestled her victim to the ground as she attempted to escape. The next fatal blow, when she restrained Rosemary's arms as she was stabbed dozens of times. The next, stab one, stab two, stab three up to s -- sixteen stabs. There is not one thing about this inmate's crimes that are superficial or post- mortem. On rehabilitation. To be clear, we certainly - - we -- we certainly do not discount Miss Van Houten's accomplishments behind bars. They are commendable. But in comparison to the severe-grade dimensions of her crimes, the diplomas, letters, and certificates are paper. And yet after nearly -- nearly 50 years of rehabilitation, Leslie made a revealing, disturbing statement just last year at her hearing. It involves the word allowed. She said, as Dis -- as District Attorney brought up earlier, "I hope you're not understanding that I know it's my responsibility that I allowed this to happen to me." That it's my responsibility that I allowed this to happen to me. That's a hell of a way to characterize these crimes, but it reveals who the individual is and how she minimizes her crimes. Today she says -- I take responsibility for what I allowed Manson to do to us. So what is it? Minimization? Or sociopathic revisionism? Or both? That statement is the cunning manipulation of a sociopath. I'm struck that Miss Van Houten becomes emotional today reminiscing about quoting Revelations with Charles Manson, and yet not one tear when she discusses the victims, her crimes, or what her victims suffered. Leslie Van Houten and her attorneys assert that Miss Van Houten is a changed, rehabilitated in -- individual. One attorney states -- Miss Van Houten is the most model prisoner in the system and has been for a long, long time. She cannot change her offenses, but she has changed herself. While the petitioner and her attorneys maintain Leslie Van Houten has changed, Leno and Rosemary LaBianca remain unchanged, unrehabilitated, unparoled, and they will remain so for eternity. They are just as dead today as the night Leslie Van Houten sent them to their graves. From the LA Times article referenced at the beginning of this statement, "Parole Executive Officer Jennifer Shaffer describes the changing philosophies in California hearings as a shift from -- you did what, tell me about the crime -- to who were you then, who are you today, and what's the difference?" These are relevant questions. So I ask the same to those most impacted by Leslie Van Houten. Rosemary LaBianca, who were you before August 10th, 1969? Who are you today? What's the difference? What's the difference of spending a peaceful Sunday evening with your husband and being held against your will with a cord thrown around your neck, hood over your head, hearing your husband slaughtered in the next room with a butcher knife? How does it feel to know that you, too, will be restrained and stabbed 41 times? Leno, where were you on August 10th, 1969? Where are you now? What's the difference? Tell us. How does it feel to have carving instruments shoved into your abdomen, throat over two dozen times? Dozens of times. What's the difference living 50 years with your children, playing with your grandson, Tony, your grandchildren, your nephew, Lou, great-grandchildren or lying mutilated and dead 18,250 days in a cold, black coffin? Who were you then? Who are you today? What's the difference? Tell us, Leno. Tell us, Rosemary. How can we make amends for Leslie Van Houten when none of us can make amends for her dead? After her conviction in 1971, Petitioner Van Houten defiantly said, "Your whole system is a game, you blind, stupid people." Commissioners, today you will determine how prophetic that statement is. Considering the profound gravity of her crimes, the cruel and sadistic nature, the unspeakable suffering of her victims, the permanent loss to our families, the poisonous repercussions of her crimes to society even today, the inexplicable, disconnected minimization exhibited in her statements, and the behavioral evidence of an entrenched sociopath despite decades of rehabilitation, it is only just to deny parole to Leslie Van Houten for the longest period of time permitted by law. The longest period of time permitted by law. Thank you.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Thank you, sir.

MR. LAMONTAGNE: Um, my name's Tony LaMontagne. Um, I'll spell it again for you. It's L-A-M-O-N-T-A-G-N-E. Um, I'm the oldest grandson of Leno and Rosemary LaBianca from his oldest child, so I'm here to -- today to represent the entire fam -- family, but the closest part of the family to Rosemary and Leno. I'm going to be 44 years old on my birthday this year. My plans are to live life to its fullest, spend time with my loved ones, and plan for a long future and all that that brings. Never in a million years am I spending my time planning to have someone invade my home, unprovoked, and murder me and my family in cold blood. My grandfather, Leno, and Rosemary were murdered on his 44th birthday. I just want that to sink in for a second. I look very similar to him, and I'm here representing him today. We've all sat through this gruesome act way too many times to mention, and I'm not going to run through it again, but please realize this isn't just a story. I mean, I know this is your first time in the -- in the hearing, but this is not just a story. This is real, and this continues to be real every single day. This person did smeak -- sneak into my family's home. This prisoner did brutally murder two of my loving and caring family members and did it with an aware mind as to their actions. This prisoner has proven that they have the ability to s -- to have serious lapses in judgement that have allowed her to commit the most hideous crimes imaginable. She also has the ability to influence others. These are things that can be done regardless of your age. We've also talked a lot about remorse today, and, uh, one of the biggest signs to somebody that's remorseful is an apology. Not an apology to you or not an apology to you, but directly to the family members. She's been in prison for -- I don't even know -- 40- whatever years? And not one time has there been an attempt to contact the family members directly to apologize. I mean, again, she'll say it to you guys in here because that's what she wants you guys to hear, but there's no -- no real remorse there. The role of government is to keep its citizens safe. By allowing a proven, experienced manipulator and cold-blooded killer back into the streets of California would show a lack of concern for the safety and well being of its citizens. How would it sit with you if she came into your family's home after being released with a bunch of her new family and friends to recommit this outrageous crime? According to a recent statistic that I saw online -- cause we all have access to all the statistics we need - - seven out of ten criminals are arrested again within three years in California, and it's the highest in California than it is in any other state. This Panel has the ability to get things right this time. Governor Brown overturned the -- this Board's recommendation last time, as he recognizes that someone that has committed this type of crime, uh, in the past is always a threat to let into society. Please see to it that this fight doesn't have to continue every -- every year for the rest of our lives and allow the victims the ability to heal from this wound. I ask that you deny this parole for the maximum allowable time by law. Thank you.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Thank you. That's everybody. Okay. At this point, we'll recess for deliberations. Time is approximately 2:20.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER POMERANTZ: Off the record.

RECESS
--o0o--

CALIFORNIA BOARD OF PAROLE HEARINGS DECISION

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER POMERANTZ: Back on the record.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: And this is in the matter of Leslie Van Houten, V-A-N H-O-U-T-E-N, CDC Number W-13378. Today's date is September the 6th, 2017, and the time is approximately 3:10 p.m. All the parties previously in the room have returned to the room again with the exception of the victims' family and representatives. They've left. Um, and we're here for the pronouncement of the Panel's decision. I'm one of the Commissioners that likes to let you know right up front what the decision was, and the Panel today finds you suitable for parole, ma'am. By way of background, we see that you came to CDCR after the third trial on or about August the 17th, 1978. Came from the County of Los Angeles. It was a first-degree murder and a conspiracy to commit first-degree murder which arose out of their Case Number A253156. Um, you were sentenced to two seven-to-life terms to run concurrent. The victims in this case were Rosemary LaBianca and her husband, Leno A. LaBianca. Now, the Panel notes that when a prisoner's committed her controlling offense as defined in Subdivision A of Penal Code Section 3051 prior to attaining eight -- I'm sorry -- twenty-three years of age, the Board shall give great weight to the diminished culpability of juveniles compared to adults, the hallmark features of youth, any subsequent growth and maturity of the prisoner in reviewing the prisoner's suitability for parole pursuant to Penal Code Section 3041.5. And in this case, we read and considered the rec -- record before us, which includes the Central File -- the huge Central File, the prior Board reports, the Comprehensive Risk Assessments both past and current, um, and the current one did take into consideration the diminished culpability of juveniles as compared to adults, the hallmark features of youth, any subsequent growth and maturity of you. We also considered -- excuse me -- um, uh, written statements submitted by, uh, family members, friends, and -- and s -- school personnel, faith leaders, and -- and -- and the like who have known you for a number of years and can attest to your growth and maturity, and quite a number of the letters that -- in support spoke of knowing you for many years, several decades many of them, and have noticed the growth and maturity of you, and that was indicated in the record. We also considered the input, uh, received from the public, uh, both positive and negative, uh, today. There was just a plethora of -- of responses, both in support of parole and in opposition to parole. We also considered the, uh, letter from the Los Angeles Police Department which opposes parole. Whenever a body actually itself opposes parole, we put - - we like to acknowledge them, and the LA Police Department currently and -- and -- and continually has opposed your parole. We also reviewed the confidential portion of the Central File. Uh, quite a number of documents in there, but -- that relate to you and anything negative. You saw from our memo to you that there is really nothing there and certainly nothing t -- uh, anywhere current that resi -- relates to you in any negative way in your confidential file. Um, we, uh, also considered the testimony presented at this hearing. Now, the Panel wishes to incorporate several documents into the record. They were partip -- particularly helpful for our decision today. First being the probation officer's report. The probation officer's report was written contemporaneous to the Life Crime. I want to say it's been a lot of years, but it was written way back then. It was helpful for us to get a sense of environment, um, not only with you, uh, in the goings on around you, but also with the victims and the community. Um, it -- that document was very helpful, uh, so -- and -- and it's not as if, um -- well, at least me -- I'm old enough to know -- remember these, and I was a young law enforcement officer when these crimes were committed.

UNKNOWN VOICE: I remember.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: So, um, uh, you know, it -- it was one of those things that just helped us get a better sense of what was going on there, cause when you're in the public, you don't have a good sense of it.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Um, you get whatever you're given. Uh, and -- and that report was very helpful from that perspective. We also would incorporate the Appellate Court opinion. The justices opined briefly what your case was about. Um, that was helpful. Um, and they outlined that your case was about the -- the -- the murder of the LaBiancas, um, and then the participation in the, uh -- I hesitate to use the term family. I hate using it with regard to this. I -- I use the word cult --

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: -- um, cause I don't think it's an appropriate use of the word family cause I -- I think we all think of something of family far different than that.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: All right. Um, we would incorporate the progress reports, uh, and prior Board reports. They speak to the -- when we talk about growth and maturity of you over the decades, um, they're very helpful from that perspective. Um, how you kind of languished for a few years, and you've talked about that. You've been very open about how the first three years of your current incarceration -- how things were wrestled with and so forth, but clearly, they help document, um, your -- your change. Uh, and they're very helpful from that perspective. And of course, the most current. You still talk about the -- the programming and the kind of things you're involved in -- very supportive and very helpful. We would incorporate the Comprehensive Risk Assessment most currently. Uh, the others have already been incorporated, and this one is actually c -- incorporated for the last hearing, and I'm speaking to the Comprehensive Risk Assessment done by Dr. Croft of an interview that occurred here at the California Institution for Women on or about February the 2nd, 2016. That document was very helpful. It's more current. It spoke to a lot about you. It spoke to who -- your life before the Life Crime, your growing up, the dysfunctionality and -- and some of that I -- I -- how it was ideal as -- as a youngster.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Uh, and then how it -- it changed. And it was very helpful, uh, for getting an understanding of you prior to the Life Cri -- Crime. It was also helpful discussing you around the time of the Life Crime, and y -- then the Life Crime itself. Again, in this side of the table, we're trying to get a -- an understanding of who you were then and why you were who you were then and then who we've got sitting before us today, and that changes what's important to us. Um, it has -- that change rendered you, uh, no longer an unreasonable risk to the public safety. And you have to have kind of a baseline understanding of that, and in those documents, including this Comprehensive Risk Assessment, helped us with that. So it was helpful from that perspective. It was also helpful to get a clinician's insight, uh, uh, and sense of you and your future risk of violence. Um, we heard today thrown around a lot sociopath and all those things, and those are things that are really in a clinician's vernacular, and what that really means as a -- a non-clinician, um, I -- we rely upon their technical wherewithal and knowledge, and then finally, their structured professional opinion as to your current risk of danger. So it's very helpful from that perspective, too. Doesn't ma -- it's not the end all, the be all, but it's certainly helpful, especially when people start throwing around sociopath and issues and s -- statements like that. Cause those are the people in the know. Um, we would incorporate the transcripts, particularly transcripts of the April 14th, 2016, hearing that occurred here in this very room, uh, with Commissioner Zarrinnam and Deputy Commissioner Lam. Um, the Deputy, uh, DA was right. There were some issues today we didn't delve into s -- wholeheartedly. I asked you w -- was that accurate. You said it was. And some of those things aren't going to change and didn't need to change. The things that we felt were important to discuss in change and so forth today, we discussed. Um, so we incorporate that cause there were cer -- some things that were, uh, very good conversations that you had. Um, and so not needing to repeat some of it, and some of it we did have to repeat. This has to be done. But certainly we felt that was a very good hearing, and -- and we disc -- and many of the issues. I have to tell you when I was reading that, I w -- you would s -- make a statement, and right in my head would pop up -- uh, hey, what about -- and then you'd -- you'd see Commissioner Zarrinnam say -- hey, what about -- just as if I was sitting in that chair. And so I have to say, um, you know, that -- that I certainly understand where he got to and where they got to, uh, and, uh, today we understood that. We got to a same kind of a point. Um, and it's -- was very helpful from that perspective. Um, we would incorporate Governor Brown's, uh, July 27th, 2016, reversal. Most important for us are, uh, the issues the Governor had and trying to identify any, uh, corrective statements or anything that you can help en - - enlighten the Governor. He's not here. He has a very difficult decision to make. He, uh, doesn't get to ask the questions he wants to ask and set here with us. So we try to do that, and that's why I think that one paragraph was of biggest concern. He kind of boiled it down to one paragraph, and we tried to answer that question as best you can. Again, much of this is trying to make rationality out of something that's not rational. And so, uh, trying to make it understandable, um, when it's truly not understandable. Um, so, uh, we attempted to do that today, so we would incorporate that from that perspective. Now, we did mark five exhibits, did we not?

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER POMERANTZ: We did.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: And they were?

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER POMERANTZ: They were, uh, Number One, uh, the August 15th, 2017, acceptance letter from Roxie Rose Transitional Housing Program. Number Two, the clinical (inaudible) intimate partner battering report. Number Three, the timeline that you provided for us. Number Four, the Hoyt interview transcripts. Number Fine -- Five -- the Steinberg psychological report.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Now, we marked several of those exhibits. W -- I'll be honest with you. We didn't give it much weight because there was speculation, there's talking about things.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: They were interesting, and I -- I allowed that to be put on the record cause your attorney would like the Governor to have a view of that. Uh, we did. Again, there may be changes between now and the time the -- the Governor gets the case that there may be actual verification of stuff. Um, and quite frankly, it really wasn't the focus of the Panel today. To be honest, it was more about things already discussed, already been on the record, and just clarification of those things. Um, so we did allow those to be on the record and part of the record, and so they're there for the Governor to look at. All right? Um, now, the fundamental consideration when we make a parole eligibility decision is the potential threat to public safety upon an inmate's release, so accordingly, a denial of parole must be based upon evidence in the record of the inmate's current dangerousness. There was much talk today about Lawrence. Um, I am a Commissioner that has used the very argument the Governor has used on -- on a case where I felt that the -- the crime itself transcended Lawrence. Um, and this Panel considered that and looked at that, and we did -- we felt that applied to you, cause we think there is a very unique set of circumstance where Lawrence, um, acknowledges there may be. That -- that has to be very unique, and when we looked at your case, we didn't feel compelled to that. Not that others maybe, perhaps in that group might not apply to, but when we looked at the circumstances of you, we didn't feel compelled to just say the Life Crime is it. All right? Um, so we s -- felt Lawrence was the controlling law in this case, and so we stuck to Lawrence. All right? And -- and so Lawrence tells us there has to be a current risk of dangerousness from you. All right? Now, it is having those legal standards in mind and after giving great weight to the diminished culpability of juveniles compared to adults, the hallmark features of youth, and any subsequent growth and maturity of you, we find that you no longer pose an unreasonable risk of danger to society or a threat to public safety and, therefore, we found you suitable for parole today. Now, we acknowledge that there record -- the record does reflect some circumstances tending to show unsuitability for parole, which were discussed by the Panel during its -- its deliberations, but we felt those things were far outweighed by circumstances that support parole. Our job is not a yes-no job. Our job's a weighing job. We don't have -- some people talk about (inaudible) evidence. That's not our standard. Our standard is to take all this in and to weigh it. And does public safety outweigh your release? Okay? And -- and looking at that and looking at the balance of those things, we felt, um, public safety did not outweigh that. There were some circumstances, but they were far outweighed by other circumstances that support parole. Now, this decision does not diminish the fact that the crimes committed by you, ma'am, were heinous, cruel, and brutal, um, and they showed an extreme callous disregard for the lives and suffering of others. In this case, you became a party, uh, willingly, uh, and, uh, I asked you -- the key question for me was -- you went into that house -- did you intend to kill those people? You said you did. You went in there with full intent to kill those people. That was the plan. Um, and you accepted responsibility for that. But what was this all for? Again, um, it -- it -- it shows a -- a actual heinous act of this -- this poor couple, um, midlife, um, nice people by all respects, loving people, had a lovely family who -- who to this day have not recovered -- obviously have not recovered from that and may never, and, uh, our -- our hearts to out to them. But, um, you participated in the brutal, uh, stabbing of, uh, Rosemary, and you were just as responsible and you said that today as, uh, Tex was for stabbing the others, and because of your p -- participation in the group -- the cult, um, you were just as responsible for all these other murders.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Those that occurred before and those that occurred after. Cause your participation in the group is in a way supporting of it. And you acknowledged that today. Your actions again resulted in the death directly of Rosemary and we believe directly of, uh, Leno. And this was all about selfishness, all about you, what you were going to get out of this and what you felt you had to do to -- to, uh, strengthen your, uh, position in the group. Now, the Supreme Court has ruled that after a long period of time, and there has been a long period of time, uh, immutable factors such as the commitment offense, prior criminality, and I want to speak to that briefly. You did have prior criminality. It wasn't violent. Uh, we -- we talked today about burglaries, one that wasn't on the -- the official group there. You talked about burglarizing your own father. You burglarized your own father's place who loved you and you loved him, uh, to support and -- and, uh, show the group you're -- you're up for all of this. Um, so you did have prior criminality. Again, not particularly violent, but you did have criminality. And unstable social history. And there's a caveat to that, and I'll talk about that in a minute. As a youth, that weighs in your favor, but as an adult, it would not. Um, the do -- the -- the Supreme Court tells us that these things may no longer indicate a current risk of danger to society in light of a lengthy period of positive rehabilitation. Now, there's been 48 years approximately, uh, since, uh, the -- this horrible, horrible, uh, crime, uh, happened. And many of the circumstances that tend to show suitability pursuant to Title 15, Section, uh, 2402, Subdivision D, are present. Specifically, we found the following. With regard to the diminished culpability of juveniles compared to adults, I know your attorney submitted some documents. This Panel's well versed and has been for quite a number of years in the, uh, diminished culpability of juveniles compared to adults. It starts with the -- the science of it. The brain science tells us that the youthful brain is not fully developed, and that's the frontal cortex or the front part of your brain, and the scientists tell us and show us through all kinds of graphs and all kinds of electromagnetic things, um, that it's not well developed. And that's the part that they show, uh, controls our administrative functions. The -- the part of the brain that -- that tells us -- hey, stop. What are you doing -- makes you stop and consider consequences. Makes you stop and -- hey, hey, hey, hey -- what are you doing here? You know? Kind of says that to ourselves. And if that's not well developed, then you're likely to be impulsive, and you're likely to do these kind of things, and that's a predictor for youthful offending. Um, so you got great weight for that we felt. We also considered whether you were particularly vulnerable as a youth. And we know that youthful offenders are vulnerable and susceptible to negative influences, outside pressures, including family or peer pressures. And there was quite a talk about peer pressures. Um, and pressures of older individuals who you seemed to line yourself up with, and we certainly saw that you were susceptible to that, um, before even involvement with the Manson cadre. Um, you were involved in me -- migrating towards youth who were of somewhat like mind, but who also were using drugs and used drugs then, and you got exposed to drugs and -- and used drugs. Uh, and you were antisocial. And that just kind of paved your way into this long succession of -- of bad stuff, um, bad decisions by you. And you were exposed to older people, and we talked about that. Even around the time of -- of, uh, your getting to the ranch, older people telling you this is a great place, this is -- things. You were susceptible to that kind of peer pressure, that kind of influence. Um, not -- not even to speak of then once you got to the ranch, what was going on there. I think we have a good sense of that as a very youthful offender. All right? It's not an excuse. It's an understanding of how you could be involved and how -- what you would be more susceptible than an adult would with regards to that. And you get great weight for that also. We looked to whether you had limited control, because we know that youthful offenders have limited control often of their own environment and lack the ability to extricate themselves from, uh, horrific, crime-producing settings. Um, and to some degree, you did extricate yourself from the dysfunctional part of it -- the family became dysfunctional, and you decided to up and go do these things, so there was some ability to extricate yourself, but it's how you extricated yourself and got yourself into. And then finally, around the time of the, uh, Life Crime and -- and just before, uh, the Panel has the sense that, uh, you weren't able to extricate yourself from that. Um, much of your own perception of things, and our own perception becomes reality.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: It does.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Um, and it may not be truly ru -- real, but we believe it to be. And you clearly evidenced that today -- that you believed it to be. There was clear evidence that there had been some brutality, but, you know, for people you didn't agree and so forth, and particularly women. Um, does not surprise us. Misogynistic is the word you used, and we believe that probably was a condition going on there. Um, so, um, from that, you weren't able we felt to really extricate yourself as a youthful offender. Okay? Um, and so you got great weight for that. We also considered whether as a youthful offender, were you less susceptible to deterrents than adults, cause we know, uh, adults are of greater ability to, uh, understand, uh, consider the -- the res -- uh, the responses that they're -- they're engaging in to, uh -- they have a better dis -- uh, developed sense of responsibility, and when you're a youth, you don't. Okay? And that leads to, uh, rashness. That leads to impulsiveness. Uh, and when we looked at how you acted before the Life Crime and during the time of the Life Crime, clearly we felt, uh, you weren't thinking about it. The only signal we had that you were of some mind of that is when you started destroying evidence and wiping down fingerprints at the crime scene. Uh, all of a sudden, you got concerned about getting caught for this. Well, that was a pretty horrific scene, and so some realities might start to take effect there that hadn't before. And so we felt in general this was something you get great weight for also. Then we had to consider whether you exhibited the hallmark features, uh, of youth at the time of the Life Crime, uh, and we know that, uh, as compared to adults, youthful offenders lack maturity and -- and they have an underdeveloped sense of responsibility, which leads to recklessness, impulsivity, heedless risk taking, and transient rashness. When you talked about what you did on the night before, you wanted to engage in this. It's all of that. It's all of that. Um, and it -- and -- and certainly you did not assess the consequences and probably not till you were standing there and this had all happened did you start to get some sense of the consequences that might happen to you. So we believe that you did, uh, exhibit the hallmark features of youth, and you got great weight for that. Then we had to consider whether or not there were -- these were transient chara -- youthful characteristics and whether there have been or has been growth and maturity. So we looked to your coming into prison, as you're still a youthful offender. And we see that you come into the prison still a youthful offender or just getting out of it. Um, first couple years, not surprising to us, still kind of rocky road for you. Uh, but then s -- right after that, clearly the record reflects that you shed yourself of that. Um, and it wasn't totally -- it wasn't processed. Often it's not like a light goes on.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: It's one of those things where things change and people worked on you. Your mom worked on you.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: The warden worked on you. Um, and we certainly felt, um, that, uh, after that, 23, 24, um, you started to become, you know -- shed -- you shed yourself of that and started to take on a prosocial kind of, uh, response. Not that you didn't make mistakes. Not that you didn't show bad judgement, uh, in a couple of situations along the way. It happens. Um, but by and large, you showed growth and maturity, and, um, so we felt tend to demonstrate that these were transient youthful characteristics. And then we had to consider -- has there been growth and maturity? Clearly the record reflects growth and maturity. Um, and when we talk about all the things you've done, um, to improve yourself, um, so I want to kind of talk about those. Uh, you were still a youth when you came in. Um, you -- and af -- shortly after you came in and over the following years, you began to develop prosocial, uh, thought processes and activities. You got yourself involved in your education. You worked on, uh, developing the skill sets and coping mechanisms that you would need to abate, uh, the key issues that were, um, at the core of why you became the person you were. For instance, we talked today, uh, about the -- your low self esteem, and we talked about how'd you address that? Well, education helped you address that. Y -- no longer did you rely on others. Suddenly you realized that you -- not suddenly -- you learned that you could trust yourself, and you could take care of yourself, and you didn't need to -- to have others direct you and so forth, and y -- you increased your own self assessment of yourself. And so it's clear to us that you developed the skill sets and coping mechanisms that abate the core issues, uh, that were with you, uh, at the time of -- of the Life Crime and even before the time of the Life Crime. So we felt there has been growth and maturity -- great growth and maturity in you. We also believe you did not possess a significant history of violent crime as a juvenile, uh, or as an adult other than the Life Crime. And that weighed in your favor. Often we have individuals come in who have a lengthy history of violent crime. And it's not surprising at all when they come in and they're involved in a murder. You know? They -- they have a significant history of violence. Um, you did not, and that weighs in your favor. Um, we think you have a stable social history now. We thought you did up to age 14, and then it started to destabilize. But we talked about how that destabilization actually as a youthful offender weighs in your favor. As an adult, if it continued on, it would not weigh in your favor. But as an adult, you have become, uh, very stable from that perspective, and so we felt this is one of those things that weighed in your favor, too. Kind of bifurcated there, and the part that didn't in the middle actually weighs in your favor as a youthful offender. We feel you showed, uh, adequate signs of remorse. Lot of discussion about remorse today, um, and our sense was, you know, ev -- everybody said you had remorse. The clinician -- not everybody. The people in the record over the years said you had remorse. You know, that's just not good enough for this Panel. We got to hear it from you. And we went through that -- that exercise. I think part of that exercise you were overthinking it. And we were looking for just simple things about what it was, and I think it was overstated what you said. I only actually gave you one, and one I kind of put into senses that we talked about your, uh -- your 12 steps. The others -- once I -- you started to understand what I was asking, you were responded rather well. You're an educated woman. So it's just getting you to -- to put it out there so everybody understands what it is. Our sense was you have great remorse. Um, it's sincere. It's heartfelt. And you feel horrific about what happened, um, beyond just the -- the two murders you were directly involved in, but all of that. And all of it that's perkled (phonetic) down from it -- the per -- per -- it's just kind of trickled down from it I guess I should say, um, over the years. And you heard one of the victims talk about how, you know, there're people still citing back to that. That's a reason for doing some horrific action, so -- um, and you had good sense of that, and you took responsibility for all of that. And we didn't get the sense today you were minimizing in any way. Um, we didn't get the sense today that your s -- your discussions of having stabbed -- in the past, there was some minimization of that, but we didn't get that. The last Panel didn't get that. Um, and our sense was today you take full responsibility for what you did. We also believe you're of an age that reduces the probabi - - probability of recidivism. You're 68 years old. We know statistically, people that reach that fifth decade of life are less likely to become involved in recidivism, particularly reci -- recidivism in a violent way. You're well past that. Um, your prison record suggests that's all true. Um, when we're talking about age, we also consider the three-judge panel's concerns, uh, and that is to take into consideration your advanced age, your length of confinement, and your physical, uh, limitations if any and how they impact your future risk of violence. And like the clinician, we feel they mitigate it. Um, you do currently have a physical limitation. Uh, but we think that's temporary. Um, it's not something that would, uh, aggravate in any way. Some people it does, but not in your case. Um, so we felt weighing all those things, too, they also mitigate your risk for future violence. We feel you've engaged in suitable activities that indicate an enhanced ability to function within the law upon release, uh, and you lack any serious rules violations while in prison. Uh, and we -- so we found that, uh, you've been involved in just a plethora of things before this hearing. Um, b -- before the last hearing. You've been involved in the Victim Offenders Education Group, the Actors Gang, and I -- I want to make sure everybody understands this. It's not about acting. They have done a number of presentations to the Board. It's about getting in touch with your, um -- y -- your feelings and emotions, uh, and it's not about how to go in and act -- to put on an act for the Board. But some people hear that and they think they wrong thing, and that group has worked pretty hard about at least letting us know what that means.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: And so we understand that. Um, you've been involved in, uh, Transitional Reentry, uh, Victim Awareness, uh, to speak of just a few things. You've been a facilitator. You've been a tutor. Um, and you've been giving back for quite a number of years. There was some discussion today about, uh, pleasing and, uh -- and -- and that with you. We didn't get the sense this was a overt need to please others. More we got a sense of it was a need to help others. Um, not pleasing them, but helping you. And by helping them, you were pleasing yourself. That's the sense we got out of this. I just want everybody to understand what we got. We know people are talking about that, but we didn't get the s -- the sense that you're out there, uh, s -- in -- in such a situation where you feel you've got to please others. Um, it's more of you please yourself by helping others and giving back. And I -- we -- that's the sense we took away from that today. Um, we feel you've made realistic plans for release. You plan to go to the Roxie Rose, uh, Transitional Housing in San -- San Bernardino. Um, you have job offers. Um, you had skill sets when you came into prison. Um, you said you wish you'd stayed in school and so forth. Uh, to the degree you can use those skill sets, but we think you have other skills sets, and you talked about you're planning to help grant writing and so forth. Um, and you did have job offers. So the code says you have to have job offers or you have to have, uh, marketable skill sets. People call them vocations. And some people call them education. Uh, and many times, education works as vocation, and it might in your case also.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: So we feel your Parole Plans were just fine. We also gave significant weight to the Comprehensive Risk Assessment by Dr. Croft. And again, the doctor met with you on February the 2nd, 2016, before the last hearing. The doctor did take into consideration the diminished culpability of juveniles compared to adults, the hallmark features of youth, and the subsequent growth and maturity of you. And the doctor felt you presented a low risk. The doctors felt you presented a low risk when he saw you previously. Um, in fact, when you look across, you know, a decade or more of Risk Assessments, um, they all find you to be a low risk for future violence. A -- and you can't ignore all those clinicians saying it. It's not something that, um, is so overwhelming that some other things couldn't override that, but it is something to take notice of when so many different clinicians have talked to you and know about the crime. It's not like any of this is, you know, unheard of. Um, and all of them, uh, have talked with you, looked at everything, and found you to be a low risk. Um, that -- that had some compelling piece to it. Okay? So we gave significant weight to the current doctor's report and did not ignore the other reports. Anything you'd like to add?

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER POMERANTZ: I would just add I agree obviously. Um, despite how bad, horrible the crimes were, there's no nexus for current dangerousness. Uh, we also noted your lack of any discipline record in prison. You've been in prison for 40-something years, and all you have is one custodial chrono for, uh, talking in 1981. Um, and then, uh, we also looked at confidential, but we didn't rely on anything in there because of relevance and the passage of time. That's it.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: I just want to make it clear. This crime -- many of the murders -- all -- let's say of all the murders that, uh, I've dealt with over the course of working with the Board, they are ugly crimes when they're committed, they are ugly crimes the day after, they're the ugly crimes today, and they'll be ugly crimes a century from now.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: That's not going to change.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: No.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: So, uh, we get that. All right? All right. Now, based on these findings, we conclude that you no longer pose an unreasonable risk of danger or a threat to public safety if released from prison at this time, so accordingly we found you suitable for parole. Now, this is not a final decision. I told you the Board has 120 days to review and finalize. They'll notify you if there's any issues. Um, then the Governor will get an additional 30 days. You know the -- you know the routine on that or at least -- I won't say the routine. You know what happens on that. You've seen that.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: We don't know if there's a change, if we covered -- we hope we covered the Governor's issues and that he, um -- his -- his questions were answered, uh, to the best we tried to do that today. Again, he'll notify you as he has in the past if there is any change. With regard to term calculation, the Board in a separate decision t -- determined your, uh, term, uh, and that was done I think between the last two hearings, uh, on miscellaneous decision. And they defined your term as 180 months. That's your base term. Um, we note that you have served 39 years on the Life Term and that of that 39 years, we didn't find any that you were ineligible for. We went and looked -- what -- and looked at that 115. It's marked as a 128. It says it's a chrono.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Mm.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: So we didn't feel you were ineligible any of those years. So that means 39 years you can get credit for. And we felt of those 39 years, there were 12 years that were exemplary, and they've been the last 12 years. And, uh, well, actually there's two years, but we thought your eight -- your 1982 bachelor's and your 1984, uh, master's -- clear signs of exemplary work. You don't find many inmates that come in here and get their master's or their bachelor's. That's a lot of work. That's a lot of hard work. And that's exceptional work. And we feel you get exceptional credit for that. And then we noticed that in '07 Chaffey tutoring -- you -- you finished that, and then you've been tutoring in everything since then. So from '07 to 2016, each of those years, we felt you -- you deserved exemplary credit for that and more. There was just so much to list that we didn't list it. We left it with that. All right? So that would suggest there are 12 years' exemplary credit. And exemplary credit's six months per year for each of those years as opposed to the normal four. That left 27 years of -- of normal, which is -- at 4, which -- so the normal 108 months of positive credit, the exemplary 72 months of positive credit, and so we gave you, um, uniquely, 180 months of positive credit. And your term was 180 months. So, um, what's that mean? What it means -- it's -- it's gone. Time has come and gone. It should pr -- surprise nobody even if we didn't add credits, time is gone.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: It's -- it's -- you'll -- you'll be out of there. Okay? So what do we have to do now? Let's talk about terms of conditions of parole. Uh, I know the last Panel gave you conditions of parole. Ours might be a little different. Okay? Um, you need to know that when you're released from prison, you'll be subject to all the general conditions of parole as found in Title 15 -- I'm sorry -- Penal Code Section 2512 as well as any special condition of parole found and imposed by the Department of Adult Parole Operations as permitted in Penal Code Section 513, and based upon that statutory authority, we order the following special conditions of parole. First, we order that you participate in a psychiatric evaluation and treatment deemed appropriate for your successful adjustment on parole. It's called a Parole Outpatient Clinic. We want you go to there shortly after you're released. There is a lot of pressures. A lot of stressors. A lot of things going on. And it's hard for a person who's been in, especially down as long as you have, to actually grasp what that is. And so we want you to go to the clinician, and if the clinician says you need more work in terms of coming in and seeing that or -- or they say you need treatment, uh, of psychiatric medications or whatever, we want you to comply with that -- what the clinician says. It might be you go one time. They say you're doing fine. If you need any problems, come back. We're fine with that, too.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Mm-hmm.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay? But we realize the -- the huge amount of stressors that's going to happen when you're released, so we're ordering that. Okay? And it's all about your successful transition back in society.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: We want you to succeed, not fail. All right? We would order that you participate in antinarcotics testing. You haven't used drugs in here. Um, it -- it's been a lot of years. But we do know that the literature suggests sobriety in a controlled environment such as a prison isn't synonymous with sobriety out there, and you talked about that directly. You said I know there's alcohol out there and there's drugs out there. There's some in here, but it's different out there. You acknowledge that. And so, uh, to make sure that we keep you on the straight and narrow cause you did have some months of straight and narrow --

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: -- and then you fell back, so you have shown you've been in -- capable of relapsing in the past after a good little stint of being sober. Um, so we're going to order you to get tested, okay? As often or not as directed by the parole agent.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Don't be surprised if initially it's a lot, and then after they get sensed you're settled in and things, probably weighing off and then maybe not for a while, okay? All right? We'd order that you not have any contact with the victims' family or next of kin. And I want to set the record straight. Several of the victims indicate that you have not mailed them letters, and for the record, you cannot mail them letters. You are prohibited from doing that. Um, now some people do write letters and send them to victims services or the DA or something, but you are prohibited from directly having contact with the victims, um, and while you're on parole, you are prohibited from having direct or indirect contact with the victims without the prior written permission of your parole agent. I say that because there are restorative justice programs where they try to fix that if they can for people. I don't know that they can in this case, but if there are efforts, do not get involved in that without the prior written permission of your parole agent or you will come back --

ATTORNEY PFEIFFER: Can I say something on that?

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Yes.

ATTORNEY PFEIFFER: M -- Miss Van Houten has tried to reach out before when she's heard these, uh, requests --

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Mm-hmm.

ATTORNEY PFEIFFER: -- and she's not opposed to where if -- if the victims' family want to do that and they can clear it with the, you know, parole officer, it'd be -- it might actually do some healing.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: Okay. Well, I'm just putting it on the record.

ATTORNEY PFEIFFER: Yeah.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: I know there are programs that do that, and if they do, don't get involved without your parole agent. So, um -- and so let's talk about between now and the time you're at the release gate or if we have to have another hearing. The Panel recommends that you stay disciplinary free, that you earn positive chronos. Keep doing the good stuff --

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ROBERTS: -- and hard work you're doing. And keep getting the self help and participating in the self help that you're getting. Um, and with that, we'd like to wish you good luck, ma'am. We'll now conclude the hearing. The time is approximately 4 -- I'm sorry -- 3:50.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Thank you.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER POMERANTZ: We're off the record.

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Thank you very much.

ATTORNEY PFEIFFER: Thank you both.

ADJOURNMENT