Attorney General Opposes Van Houten Writ

Tuesday, November 6th, 2018

Nov. 6 – The Attorney General of California maintains that Jerry Brown’s reversal of Leslie Van Houten’s 2017 parole grant did not violate due process, in an informal opposition submitted yesterday to California’s 2nd District Court of Appeal.

Van Houten’s attorney, Richard Pfeiffer, filed a writ of Habeas Corpus in January, challenging Brown’s reversal, arguing the decision relied on isolated negative factors to support the conclusion that Leslie Van Houten posed an unreasonable risk if released. Superior Court Judge William C. Ryan upheld Brown’s reversal in June. Pfeiffer immediately sought relief from California’s 2nd District Court of Appeal.

In early October, the Court of Appeal gave the attorney general 30 days to file opposition to the writ.

Upon receiving the informal opposition submitted by the attorney general, Pfeiffer submitted an informal reply with the court.

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111 Responses to Attorney General Opposes Van Houten Writ

  1. NoJusticeNoPeace says:

    “In sum, as the Governor’s 2018 decision is supported by some evidence, petitioner’s due process rights were not violated, and the petition should be denied without issuance of an order to show cause.”

  2. Paul says:

    NoJusticeNoPeace not if the Governor used Ms. Van Houten’s answers to questions asked at her parole hearing regarding the facts of the crime as “some evidence” as to Van Houten failing to take responsibility for the crime, even when she took responsibility; “I take responsibility for the entire crime”, its a catch 22, Brown can’t have it both ways.

  3. Cybele Moon says:

    interestingly though, Brown or the Attorney General, is using Lawrence as to egregiousness of the crime. Also Pfeiffer mentions intimate partner battery which didn’t work with Pat Krenwinkel’s bid for parole. Just saying after reading through both.

  4. Paul says:

    Yes Cybele but they seem to suggest that the crime as a whole was so heinous that they still maintain a risk under Lawrence, not Leslie in her own actions.

  5. NoJusticeNoPeace says:

    LVH’s due rights process was not violated. Not. Violated. N.O.T.

    Don’t like the current laws that keep her locked up? Change them. And yes her crimes are exactly why she is incarcerated to this day. Can’t change those facts no matter how many self-help classes she takes.

    LVH is exactly where she should be.

  6. Paul says:

    Its not the law that’s keeping her locked up, its the public outcry and pressure that advocates like Debra are putting on the governor to satisfy the general public. The board found her suitable twice and Browns arguments for reversal contradict themselves, and in reality we know its a weak argument. Her rights have been violated and have been for a long time, she’s met the criteria for parole for decades and has not shown any sign of risk since the early 70s.

  7. NoJusticeNoPeace says:

    LVH is not the only one with rights Paul. The victims have no voice–LVH murdered them.

    It’s the victims families right to do everything in their power to keep their loved ones killer incarcerated to the fullest extent the law allows.

    Don’t like the law? Change it. Change the law that allows Gov. Brown the reversal.

    Until then, LVH can stay right where she is.

  8. Paul says:

    Debra Tate has gone beyond the extent of the law, she’s exploited the law by putting false information in order to create public outcry to keep her in prison and Brown’s reason for reversal is obviously influenced by this, since he has a history of releasing a lot killers anyway. Its not me that doesn’t like the law, its people like you and Debra Tate who don’t seem to understand what the rules actually are, and instead of changing it, your manipulating the law through your own moral influences.

  9. NoJusticeNoPeace says:

    Exploitation? False information? Public outcry?

    So in your limited world it simply couldn’t be what LVH has done?

    Rules or laws? Totally different Paul, and you know it.

    Manipulating moral influence? Now that is rich, coming from a supporter of a twice convicted murderer who thought a career criminal was Jesus Christ.

  10. Paul says:

    Debra has provided false information to the public and has created this erroneous presentation of Leslie in order to get more of a reaction from the general public, its a manipulative scheme. Rules are apart of the law, and if you don’t follow them your breaking the law. Yes, Leslie was convicted for two murders and she needed to be brought to justice for her actions but her sentence allows her the chance of parole and as long as she meets that criteria and poses no risk to society, which over 10 psychiatric reports agree she needs to be paroled, its a political issue at this point on.

  11. Lee says:

    No Justice, there isn’t any use arguing with that guy. He’s sick in the head. He sits around fantasizing about LVH and doesn’t care one iota about what his object of obsession did. It’s disgusting.

  12. Paul says:

    Lee is that the best you can do? I’m very well informed and level headed. I use facts and common sense, you seem to base all your arguments on your own moral perspective and nothing else.

  13. NoJusticeNoPeace says:

    Paul, if you can’t address my questions I’m in no hurry to engage you.

  14. NoJusticeNoPeace says:

    Hey Lee,

    Can’t say he’s sick in the noggin, but Paul loves to deflect.

    Can say he’s wrong but he’s going to defend LVH until she blows him.

  15. Paul says:

    What question?, all I saw was rhetorical remarks.

  16. Paul says:

    “Can say he’s wrong but he’s going to defend LVH until she blows him”, if you must know, I’m not that way inclined so its got nothing to do with that.

  17. NoJusticeNoPeace says:

    Troll. Troll. LVH troll.

    Answer it. G’head. Rhetorical is your expertise.

  18. Paul says:

    Again, What question?

  19. NoJusticeNoPeace says:

    troll

  20. Paul says:

    Your question?

  21. NoJusticeNoPeace says:

    troll much?

  22. Paul says:

    So you had no question then? Just stalling I guess

  23. NoJusticeNoPeace says:

    Troll.

  24. Paul says:

    You seem to be the troll on this page my friend, I’m here to debate but your behaviour indicates your the more suitable troll.

  25. NoJusticeNoPeace says:

    got to troll on eh? lol

  26. Michael says:

    “Egregiousness of the crime” works for me as a rationale for her continued incarceration, and for continued incarceration of anyone who’s committed such acts.”Danger to society” doesn’t work for me, because I see LVH as rehabilitated and not posing a threat. It will be interesting to see how Newsome responds to all of this when it comes across his desk.

  27. Paul says:

    Michael are you referring to the whole crime or just Leslie personal involvement in them?

  28. NoJusticeNoPeace says:

    And there in is the troll Paul

  29. Cybele Moon says:

    I don’t agree with calling names and Paul is entitled to his own opinion. However,I still say that many of Leslie’s supporters all say the same thing i.e. Leslie’s crime was less than the others! and I still say it doesn’t matter!! Leslie participated in an “egregious” murder- actually more of a slaughter. Her supporters would have us believe there are degrees of murder and she only participated to a lesser degree. But whether or not she inflicted a fatal blow she is as guilty as the rest of them. Some of her supporters say she went out and stood in the hall while the others finished off Mrs. Labianca. So that makes her less guilty? She fully supported the others and later bragged about how good it felt to stab someone. She may be rehabilitated and remorseful now but it doesn’t lessen the circumstance. If Tate or the Governor want to use egregiousness of crime I don’t feel that Leslie is exempt from that.

  30. Paul says:

    Cybele but this is true, it is less than the rest, that’s just a fact. Whether you think it doesn’t matter in terms of guilt, it is still a different degree of participation, Leslie and Tex did not share the same amount of involvement in the murders. “If Tate or the Governor want to use egregiousness of crime I don’t feel that Leslie is exempt from that.”, unless you try to account Leslie with the entire crime in order to find her unsuitable, which is not right ands you this Cybele.

  31. Cybele Moon says:

    P.S. I am a bit taken back when LVH says (loosely quoted) “I wouldn’t feel right if I didn’t pay for my crime but I didn’t think it would be 48 years.” Did she think she should have been out in 7 or 10 years? How can murder ever be repaid anyway. She did along with the rest get the death penalty originally. Yes, after it was repealed she managed to get a new trial because her lawyer had died during the first. Because of that her new defense had the opportunity to try to mitigate her actions because of her youth, her brainwashing and her “lesser” participation. All good lawyer tactics of course.

  32. Paul says:

    Cybele, you say us supporters are trying to mitigate and find excuses for Leslie but on the other hand, your trying to discredit a lot of these points even though they are some of the main reasons these murders occurred.

    “Because of that her new defence had the opportunity to try to mitigate her actions because of her youth, her brainwashing and her “lesser” participation. All good lawyer tactics of course.”, the way you write is obviously suggests that anything that may suggest Leslie wasn’t as much of a “monster” which Debra loves to present her as, you aren’t taking into account, if I’m biased, you certainly are.

  33. Cybele Moon says:

    Yes, you are probably correct. I am biased against her because of the revulsion I feel for the crimes themselves and the twisted ideology behind it. I don’t know how you can mitigate that. It’s very difficult not to look at the crimes as a whole- and as monstrous. She participated, she believed the ideology and there are consequences. Do they have a human side. I’m sure they do. But I am for the victims. I try to imagine what it would be like to be sitting at home peacefully after a day’s work and suddenly have a wild mob enter and begin to kill you for no reason.- the helplessness and the terror must have been awful. I can’t get around that.

  34. Paul says:

    I think you do though, you know how I can see her personal guilt against her co-defendants. For one, Leslie was accounted for two murders, and the rest where accounted for 7 or more murders. If you think about the specific action taken places by each defendant, Tex was responsible physically for all seven of the murders in august, Sadie was responsible for 1 (2 if you count Voytek), Pat was responsible for 2 (3 if you count Mr LaBianca, and Leslie was 1, so if were going to talk about it being a horrendous acts of murder, that is true, but if you look into the actions of each of the girls, its not the same. I’m not going to avoid it like a lot people do because they don’t care about the fact.

    “It’s very difficult not to look at the crimes as a whole” It isn’t that hard, its only hard if your trying to make Leslie’s actions seem as accountable and monstrous as that of Tex Watson, it doesn’t match. I would be the worst thing to lose someone I know, but that still doesn’t justify the way the system has treated Leslie’s case, we know she’s not a danger and that she would of been paroled a long time ago if either the Tate case or Manson was not linked to her case.

  35. Cybele Moon says:

    I understand your argument Paul but I can honestly say that it won’t bother me if she remains in prison where she has 3 meals a day, a free education and gets to counsel others incarcerated. I think most people feel the way I do and if she gets out I don’t think it will be easy for her at 70 unless she is able to keep very low key.
    I still say if she didn’t really want to kill anyone she could have gone for help, she could have refused to go along instead of volunteering. I can’t comprehend one human being being able to watch or participate as other human beings are brutalized and screaming as they are being murdered. It is egregious!! And you won’t be able to change my mind on that one. If she gets out, she gets out but she has deserved every minute spent behind bars. I do agree with Michael’s post.

  36. Paul says:

    No it won’t be easy but she’s planned what she will do when she gets parole. Whether most people feel your way doesn’t really make a difference, doesn’t mean its right. Things have to happen even if we don’t want them to but we know they have to be done, its just part of life. Again you can’t account her notoriety into her case because that’s breaking the law. Yes she could of refused, but she believed it was the right thing, even though she didn’t actually want to kill, she was willing to if the philosophy required her too. If you think Leslie’s action are egregious, then you agree that pretty much all murders are egregious, but do they come under Lawrence, no they do not.

  37. Cybele Moon says:

    All murders are egregious but the Manson murders were among the most egregious because of all factors which I don’t need to go into again.

  38. Paul says:

    Again, “Manson murders “, you can’t stop trying to account Leslie with the actions she wasn’t even charged with, you know you’re doing it.

  39. Michael says:

    Just to clarify (just saw your question to me Paul) I see the egregiousness of Leslie’s crime on its own. In other words, for her participation in the murders of Leno and Rosemary LaBianca I think she should stay in prison. She certainly didn’t murder as many people, or participate in as many murders, as Watson, Krenwinkle, or Atkins. That is a fact, and one which doesn’t change my position on LVH. It’s only fair to note that according to Watson’s own account of the LaBianca crime, Leslie showed no enthusiasm during the killings. Again, that doesn’t change my position, but it at least speaks to some speck of humanity which was at play in her even then. But then again, the fact she retained such humanity makes her morally culpable, maybe even more so.

  40. Paul says:

    She was culpable indeed, and she needed to pay for her crimes, but according to her sentence, her parole counts as that. She’s been in prison for almost half a century, I’ve said it before and over showed examples that people rarely serve this much time with the exception of serial killers and those who acted in extremely brutal crimes (about the same level as Tex Watsons actions)

  41. Cybele Moon says:

    “those who acted in extremely brutal crimes” Leslie did participate in an extremely brutal crime along with two others.

  42. Paul says:

    ““those who acted in extremely brutal crimes” Leslie did participate in an extremely brutal crime along with two other”” Cybele that’s not going to work, read the sentence in-between the brackets. Cybele you know the actions of Leslie alone does not count as extremely brutal unless your count all murders as brutal. Mr and Mrs Labianca would still not be here today even if Leslie wasn’t not there that night, answer me this, do you think Leslie would still be in jail if Either the Tate crime hadn’t occurred or this case wasn’t a popular media story that was then and now?

  43. Cybele Moon says:

    Paul you cannot say with certainty that both Labiancas would be dead today had they only dealt with two killers. Leslie held Mrs. L. down with a pillow over her head and then later stabbed her not once but 14 times. Was there anyone there who pronounced Mrs. Labianca dead before LVH stabbed her? or just “I thought she was dead.” She then went into the kitchen and raided the fridge, then went back and bragged about how good it felt. Say what you will she participated in the grisly deaths of two human beings. She certainly didn’t protest. She deserves what she got.

  44. Michael says:

    Crimes do not have to be at the same level as Watson’s to qualify as “extremely brutal.” LVH actively participated in a crime which was extremely brutal by any reasonable standards. It’s very possible that she would not still be in prison today if she wasn’t associated with Manson, but to me, that speaks more to the weakness of the system than to the question of her release. Anyone who invades an innocent couple’s home, forces the terrified wife into her own bedroom, holds her down while she’s stabbed, then stabs her repeatedly (whether she’s dead or alive) does not deserve to be released in my opinion. The courts or parole board may eventually differ with me, and I can live with that, but it won’t change my views.

  45. Paul says:

    Cybele I can say that because Leslie’s own efforts were rather small and either way Mr and Mrs Labianca would still be dead, Tex killed at least 4 of the 5 of the Tate victims, he could easily killed the couple which he did really. Leslie did not brag, she told Dianne that she was hesitant to do it but when she finally did it was more fun, I don’t know if Leslie was serious about this or if she just said that because she wasn’t “meant” to have remorse for the crimes. Well Cybele, when you advocate for all prisoners serving time for first degree murder than I’ll respect your choices more, but as far a si see it your singling one crime based on its notoriety, there are many more murders as brutal or worse than this, but do you know of them, I doubt it.

  46. Paul says:

    Michael

    “Crimes do not have to be at the same level as Watson’s to qualify as “extremely brutal”, not necessarily but if Leslie’s crimes counts as a case that comes under Lawrence than all first degree murders should be treated the same, I don’t even think you or Cybele truly believe that Leslie crimes actually fit under Lawrence but its more of a moral thing for you two than anything else, you seem to be able to justify it. The girls did not intent to care the couple and just told them they were just going to burglarise them so they wouldn’t be scared, Leslie said herself in 1969 to detectives that she didn’t want to make them suffer and wanted to make it quick as possible.

  47. Paul says:

    Cybele I don’t believe you answered my question

    “do you think Leslie would still be in jail if Either the Tate crime hadn’t occurred or this case wasn’t a popular media story that was then and now?”

  48. Paul says:

    Michael “The girls did not intent to scare the couple”

  49. Cybele Moon says:

    Paul, perhaps not, but your arguments make no sense to me. they didn’t want to scare the couple?- oh please, they just wanted to stab them to death? Leslie did brag about how much fun it was stabbing. You are saying she only bragged because she had to? You’ve created a fairy story about how poor Leslie isn’t as culpable, that she’s a victim, and then basically put that slant on every thing Leslie did at the crime scene as though you were there. If Leslie is so innocent why did she go with them knowing what would happen. Why did she participate if she was so reluctant. Leslie threw her lot in with a bunch of murdering psychos. Too bad for her. Who cares if this has been a big media story. The facts of the crime still speak for themselves- and Leslie’s actions after the crime and when she was in trial didn’t endear anyone to her. There are other crimes where the murderers have not got out. It really depends on the state I believe.

    Paul very few murderers go out and kill perfect strangers just for the sake of killing and causing terror in the community. This was a very unusual case whether or not a famous name was involved but unfortunately for the whole lot of them it was. I agree with Michael and if she gets out now as a non dangerous person I won’t lose sleep. But she is psychologically speaking, every inch as culpable as the rest- and I’m sure you’ll be back defending precious Leslie against us detractors having the last word.

  50. Paul says:

    Cybele their intention was to kill, not scare them, both Manson and Leslie have said this, and their recording evidence from 1969, look it up for you need to. The Manson family talked about murder in a way that most of us would never, they had a very strange idea of death in that family, that death didn’t really have a meaning and that it was removing the shell, Leslie even said herself that she only killed a body. For some reason Susan thought she was loving Sharon by having her killed, I don’t get it but just because I don’t understand doesn’t mean we avoid it.

    Cybele, Leslie is not going to be one who will go and kill again, and I know you don’t believe this either. Of course people its a big media story because so many people care for it, and this is why Leslie rights as a prisoner with parole has been tested by the governor and the court. The only way you can link Leslie and Lawrence is to try and account her for her co-defendants actions, which you can’t so it doesn’t work.

    “She is psychologically speaking, every inch as culpable as the rest” Maybe psychologically, but not as accountable physically, and this does make a difference.

  51. Paul says:

    “Why did she participate if she was so reluctant”, she was reluctant but in her state of mind at that time, she believed it was the right thing to do, even Tex said in a interview that Leslie was far less as enthusiastic as killing the LaBianca’s as himself and Pat.

  52. Michael says:

    Good grief, I never assumed intending to scare people, or not intending to scare them, determined whether or not a crime was brutal. Even if Leslie didn’t intend to cause terror, she has to have known she was doing just that. The LaBiancas were tied up and at the mercy of strangers. That alone is terrifying. Mrs. LaBianca heard her husband being murdered in the next room, which of course was even more terrifying. The stabbing began, and she tried defending herself, swinging a lamp at her assailants. Again, terrifying. I agree that Leslie lacked an intent to frighten, and lacked enthusiasm for killing as well. But that doesn’t diminish the brutality of everything she did that night.

  53. Cybele Moon says:

    Ok Paul you see it your way and I’m not sure how the law differentiates whether you killed someone on just one night and you didn’t use a bayonet, just a kitchen knife etc etc. The thing is she was part of a psycho group of individuals and as such culpable. She condoned what they did- and- she did participate in the horror and by the sounds was later quite pleased with herself. I don’t think the Governor or the Attorney General or the D.A. are wrong in opposing her release. The only thing I will agree with you is on the point of her current state of not being a danger- though I say it with some reservation.

  54. Michael says:

    Slightly off topic, but the appeal process is getting a little confusing to me. The Attorney General has filed his opposition to Pfeiffer’s writ, but that alone doesn’t meant the Second District Court of Appeals will not hear Leslie’s challenge to Brown’s decision, does it?

  55. Paul says:

    “Good grief, I never assumed intending to scare people, or not intending to scare them, determined whether or not a crime was brutal” Michael, I was referring to when Cybele suggested they meant to scare the couple which is not true, that was not the intention.

    “Even if Leslie didn’t intend to cause terror, she has to have known she was doing just that”, yes she probably did when it didn’t happen as quick as intended because Mrs. Labianca started to struggle when she heard her husband dying, again they did not tent to make them suffer, I’m not saying that’s a free pass but it isn’t the same.

    “that doesn’t diminish the brutality of everything she did that night”, If we are going to talk about the brutality again, If we are going to suggest that the actions by Leslie that night is brutal then would this fall on all first degree murders, because that’s the only I can see that logic, I know the crimes were heinous, and her actions terrible, but to pry and suggest her actions are so heinous that she still remains a danger doesn’t work.

  56. Michael says:

    Paul, I agree that her actions that night do not prove she is still a danger, and in fact, I do not believe she is. I believe her crime that one night is horrible enough on its own to warrant permanent incarceration, but that doesn’t mean I doubt her rehabilitation.

  57. Paul says:

    Michael Pfeiffer has also responded to the general attorneys opposition and then I believe its up to Second District Court of Appeals to make a ruling.

  58. Paul says:

    “I believe her crime that one night is horrible enough on its own to warrant permanent incarceration” What makes Leslies personal action so particularly heinous compared to your average murder that she fits under Lawrence? because I can’t see it.

  59. Paul says:

    Cybele

    “The thing is she was part of a psycho group of individuals and as such culpable. She condoned what they did” first of all, what’s this got to with Leslie with current risk of danger today? Also, She like most of the family believed it was right, you have to stop thinking there minds were functioning like ours, because you seem to base your argument on the idea she was thinking rationally on the issue, which she was far from thinking rationally.

  60. Cybele Moon says:

    Paul, again I will say it doesn’t matter if they weren’t thinking rationally. They still engaged in a very brutal murder and this includes Leslie. Yes her participation was more heinous than many other murders. Most murders are done in a rage, or out of jealousy, during a robbery, for money even etc etc. Still horrible. Many are committed by psychopaths. In the Manson murders there was no reason to kill perfect strangers and yes it was to strike terror into the community. Manson’s plan was to start a race war remember. You are very blinkered in your view of Leslie in this crime. You’ve all but got her being dragged along and forced to participate because she didn’t really want to kill anyone, or scare them, she just thought it was necessary to kill them in a very brutal fashion because death didn’t mean anything. Did suffering and pain not mean anything either? Huh?

  61. NoJusticeNoPeace says:

    Love how Paul wants it both ways. She was a trained puppy due to Manson so therefore she is not as culpable. Then he complains and tries to defend when one refers to her crimes as part of the Manson Murders.

    She deserves everything she gets and more.

  62. Paul says:

    NoJusticeNoPeace

    “Love how Paul wants it both ways. She was a trained puppy due to Manson so therefore she is not as culpable. Then he complains and tries to defend when one refers to her crimes as part of the Manson Murders” that doesn’t make sense, and if anyone is wanting it both ways, that is the governor, he has reversed her parole on the basis that she didn’t take enough responsibility but she does; “I take responsibility for the entire crime” “do what he did to all of us. I allowed it.’ ” “I accept responsibility that I allowed [Manson] to conduct my life that way.”. She can’t remove Manson from the situation because he is a very important part of this crime, she would be lying if she didn’t otherwise. Brown reserve her parole two years ago because of her “inability to explain her willing participation”, now that she explains it, he reverses it again because she told the truth which he required here to do at her last parole hearing, that’s a catch 22.

  63. Paul says:

    “Paul, again I will say it doesn’t matter if they weren’t thinking rationally. They still engaged in a very brutal murder and this includes Leslie” That logic is slightly skewed because you lean a lot on the crime. Of course it matters, if your not thinking rationally, especially through both drugs and indoctrination over an extended period of time, they are not thinking like the ordinary human being, you are purposely ignoring it because of the crimes themselves.

    “Most murders are done in a rage, or out of jealousy, during a robbery, for money even etc. Still horrible” How is it better to kill in your normal conscience in a situation like for theft or something like rape and murder, to people who are brainwashed to believe in a strange philosophy that meant that these deaths had to occur, you can’t make the former less heinous.

    “You’ve all but got her being dragged along and forced to participate because she didn’t really want to kill anyone, or scare them” Never said she was dragged along, she wanted to go, I’ve never said otherwise. She didn’t want to kill and that’s in her own words in 1969 when she was still with Manson, but she would if the philosophy required it had to occur, I’m just stating facts. She not want to her scare them either so again just stating facts again.

    “she just thought it was necessary to kill them in a very brutal fashion because death didn’t mean anything” If you mean brutal as in painful then your wrong, that was not the intention which I’ve told you over and over, they were meant to die quick, but unfortunately didn’t turn out that way.

  64. Cybele Moon says:

    again Paul I don’t understand how you know so much about what they were thinking in regards to killing this couple- they were meant to die quickly but unfortunately it didn’t turn out that way? What was their intention Paul? What are the “facts.”- You seem to base your “facts” on whatever Leslie said?

  65. Michael says:

    To me, the argument that Leslie and the others didn’t mean to scare their victims, or that they intended for their victims to die quickly, are meaningless. First, this was cold blooded murder, and there’s no polite way to accomplish that. Second, not even the Manson followers could have been deranged enough to think that when you tie people up in their own homes, they won’t be terrified beyond belief, no matter how many times you assure them you’re only a burglar. As for a “quick death”, that’s not much comfort to the victims or their families. Even if their deaths had been accomplished immediately, dead is dead, and the deaths were completely senseless. My concern isn’t whether or not LVH qualifies under Lawrence. My concern is that she helped destroy two innocent lives in a horrendous crime, ending the existence of productive people and putting a permanent curse on their loved ones and society as well. For that, she should not be released. The courts may eventually say otherwise but that won’t, to my thinking, make it right.

  66. Paul says:

    Cybele, I told you what their intentions were, it was not to scare them or make them suffer but to start the race war where the blacks were to take over because the white had been controlling the system forever. Manson said death was just a fear that is created in your mind and you can never kill the soul of the people, but just remove their shell. In his philosophy when you stop fearing death, you never age or die, I doesn’t make sense of course but that is what Manson had this followers believe, whether he actually believed this or not I do not know. Its explained in Helter Skelter and several different books and sources, its not just from Leslie.

  67. Paul says:

    Michael

    “To me, the argument that Leslie and the others didn’t mean to scare their victims, or that they intended for their victims to die quickly, are meaningless” I argued this because its been used implied that she intended to scare and make them suffer which is not true.

    “First, this was cold blooded murder” isn’t any first dree murder cold blooded?

    “As for a “quick death”, that’s not much comfort to the victims or their families.” never said this would be a comfort to the families but it does give you indication on Leslies own empathy for others, yes she believed in the movement and was willing to kill but she believed death didn’t mean anything and she wanted it to quick, I’m sure you would be more horrified and both of you would use it against me if she intended them to suffer.

    “My concern is that she helped destroy two innocent lives in a horrendous crime,” Michael, I understand this but that doesn’t justify detaining her when she has earned her parole, there are numerous past killers walking the street today who remain anonymous, Leslie doesn’t get that fair treatment nor will she if she’s ever released, I’ve said it before you can’t have one rule for murder and one rule for another.

  68. Cybele Moon says:

    Michael and No Justice I agree totally with you. Paul seems hell bent on mitigating Leslie’s actions any way he can that works for his own logic and he is hell bent on having the last word. He obviously is on a mission to release her from prison for whatever reason. Of course he doesn’t want to think she is a cold blooded murderer.
    No Paul, not all murder is done in cold blood. These murders were and all your arguments about how they didn’t want to scare them etc mean nothing because they did terrorize them, they were aware that they terrorized them and their victims lost their lives very brutally. Apparently when Tex Watson described the Tate murders he smirked when he said they ran around like chickens trying to get away. ( oh and he and Bruce Davis are now “born again” and hope for release!) They were all creeps who had no moral compass or sense of self to allow themselves to be used in this horrifying manner. And that is the best excuse I can give them if it is true. – or else they did have some psychopathy and no conscience.
    LVH may have earned her parole according to the law as it stands. The only thing I agree with Paul is that she “probably” is not dangerous today.

  69. Paul says:

    Cybele I don’t care to have the last word, but if I see something in your comment that may be incorrect or subjective, I will respond like you do. You are right, I don’t believe Leslie is a cold-blooded killer either. You accuse me of mitigating her crimes yet you are trying to account the entre crime on Leslie for effect, you need to start looking at your own motivations. I’ve made it clear to you for a long time now I don’t condone any of the crimes the family committed but I’m going to be rational about it, in reality each should be paroled because I don’t think any pose a danger to society, maybe Tex could work under Lawrence but certainly not people like Bruce Davis or Van Houten.

  70. Paul says:

    And Cybele I don’t think you “totally” agree with No Justice because he/she doesn’t agree either morally or politically, which you say you do, he/she does not care to think of it on a rational basis.

    I said first degree murder Cybele, and it seems your trying to excuse other killers again but not Leslie, I don’t know why but you have some issue with your argument here.

  71. Paul says:

    The difference between Leslie case and a rob and kill crime is that the robber knows exactly what he’s doing.

  72. Michael says:

    The fact that other murderers walk free isn’t relevant to me, because I don’t think they should walk free. Releasing Leslie because others have been released would only compound the wrong. She has her defenders, Paul being one of many, and plenty of people have their reasons for supporting her. I’m not convinced by any of them, and the gap between her supporters and her opponents isn’t going to be bridged. Much as I hate to admit it, I think if Leslie is released, which is a distinct possibility, then Pat, Bobby, and Bruce are very likely to follow if they stay alive. Bobby would probably be the last of those three because of his disciplinary problems. I don’t think Watson stands a chance, even if the others get out.

  73. NoJusticeNoPeace says:

    Once again, here is Paul trying to rationalize, politicize and excuse LVH. You see the pattern yes? Even if you completely agree with Paul it will never erase what LVH has done. The record stands. The current laws are being followed. Don’t like the law Paul? Start a petition, go to your officials and see how far you get with it. Doris Tate did it, so can you.

    She was not just convicted of RLB’s murder. She was also convicted of LLB’s murder. I say for each stab wound, for each slash of the knife, for each letter written in their blood, for each tine of the fork left protruding from LLB’s flesh, let LVH serve one year for each painful, terrorizing infliction.

    Only then will I give a rats toot about her release.

  74. Cybele Moon says:

    Michael, I saw a documentary which said that Bruce Davis was Manson’s true right hand and participated in the murders of Hinman and Shea. Bobby Beausoleil was a satanic weirdo from the get go and talented musically or not,- a very dangerous individual. There are other deaths which were possibly connected to the Manson family which have been unable to be proved. Likewise the so called born again conversion of Davis and Watson ( and Atkins) is no reason to free them. There has to be a dire consequence to such a twisted and murderous anti social life style and like Michael and No Justice I believe it should be life imprisonment. Prisoners in our system don’t have it that bad when you think about it. Some are even allowed conjugal visits. But they forfeited their right to to walk among society and though Paul has his own reasoning and opinion of the law around releasing them I will never agree even if they are freed. ( or any other murderer of that type)

  75. Michael says:

    Cybele, I have also heard that Davis was more of Manson’s right hand man than Watson, and in fact, Watson was reported to be a rather passive member of the family, while Davis actively sought out more position and power. It seems there were some other murders – Atkins, for example, had said there were others – that we’ll never know about. But regardless, based on what we DO know, I cannot see any justification for any of the principle players, LVH included, to be freed. I really do think all of them (those behind bars) are sitting on information about other murders that could be useful, but would also hinder their chances for parole.

  76. NoJusticeNoPeace says:

    Great points Cybele and Michael. Having to rely on those that committed the murders as factual is in itself problematic. That being said, you must rely on the records of the court as fact. That is what convicted LVH. She will NEVER escape it. Never.

    What really flies all over me is the way Paul and other LVH ilk try to lessen her involvement. All they want to talk about is stab wounds postmortem to RLB. She was convicted of LLB’s murder as well. It was a group effort, was it not? Of course it was. Her supporters only focus on her sole actions as if that is an excuse.

    It is not. And it never will be. Exactly when does Manson’s influence end and her responsibility begin? When? After the fifth stab wound? How about her holding RLB down for slaughter as she listened to LLB being butchered? Or is it all about poor little Lulu and her butt not being diapered properly?

    And people wonder why this case… and yes THE case called the Manson Murders will continue to infamous.

    Infamy.

    Isn’t that what LVH wanted? *cue Paul to say she couldn’t think due to CM’s influence but don’t call it Manson Murders, lest it offends*

  77. Fred Bloggs says:

    Cybele Moon says:
    I saw a documentary which said that Bruce Davis was Manson’s true right hand

    You really don’t want to believe everything you come across in documentaries, especially that 2 parter that portrayed Bruce Davis as a B movie Charlie !

    and participated in the murders of Hinman and Shea

    The way in which you put that suggests that you’re not that clear about the murders of Gary Hinman and Shorty Shea. You should read up on them from a variety of sources or even the Bobby and Bruce parole hearing transcripts that are on this site.
    They’re eye openers.

    Prisoners in our system don’t have it that bad when you think about it

    Would you be happy to be in one or if you have children, would you breathe a sigh of relief if any of them were jailed ?
    I wouldn’t !

    Michael says:
    The fact that other murderers walk free isn’t relevant to me, because I don’t think they should walk free. Releasing Leslie because others have been released would only compound the wrong

    While I like your level headed debating style and often find myself thinking on another plane because of some of the excellent points you bring up, and while I get where you’re coming from on this particular one, other murderers being paroled couldn’t be more relevant. While we all do argue from our own personal perspectives {there’d be little point in conversations otherwise}, we can’t dimiss the law aspect of this and questions have to be asked if some laws are used in one way for some people but differently for others in exactly the same position.

  78. Fred Bloggs says:

    NoJusticeNoPeace says:
    Having to rely on those that committed the murders as factual is in itself problematic

    It certainly can be. A good example of that is Bobby Beausoleil. But he makes the problems for himself.
    On the other hand, we also see how, say, with Pat, how the attempt to be open and honest twists them in knots.
    Obviously relying 100% on every single word isn’t profitable, but on the other hand, a parole board has to talk to the murderer seeking to be paroled. They need to hear what they have to say for themselves.

    What really flies all over me is the way Paul and other LVH ilk try to lessen her involvement

    The irony of that statement is that by giving LVH 7 years to life and having the prosecutor state that she would one day be ready for parole, the prosecution did that. If the person that prosecutes you says you are making good progress and will be ready for parole soon and you have a spotless record thereafter, you can hardly be faulted for trying for parole !

  79. Fred Bloggs says:

    Cybele Moon says:
    Her supporters would have us believe there are degrees of murder and she only participated to a lesser degree

    There aren’t degrees of murder but the point Paul has been making is simply that you can’t compare, say, Tex, with Leslie. And you can’t, really.
    If a death sentence is the sentence for murder, then realistically, it doesn’t matter whether a person murders one or 200 ~ they’re still going to die for it. But would we honestly say that someone that murdererd once is the same as one that has done it over and over again ?

    But whether or not she inflicted a fatal blow she is as guilty as the rest of them

    Yes. We do not know whether she inflicted a fatal blow, but that’s rather academic.
    The argument about guilt does not apply to this case.

    Some of her supporters say she went out and stood in the hall while the others finished off Mrs. Labianca. So that makes her less guilty?

    Not really. But it does point to the fact that she wasn’t the rough house, hard nosed, unfeeling soldier that she wanted everyone to believe, circa ’69~74.

    She fully supported the others and later bragged about how good it felt to stab someone

    She definitely supported the others at every step of the way. Even though she admitted to her lawyer back in ’69 that she was freaking out when it actually came to murdering, that is, in the LaBianca bedroom, it’s notable that she still supported the effort, didn’t feel it was wrong and said she’d do the whole thing again if presented with the situation again. Her behaviour during the trial shows she supported what happened and she’s never said she didn’t, even though much of the antics during it were scripted by Charlie. As far as I’m aware she’s never said it was against her will and she recognizes that when she says she takes responsibility for allowing herself to be used as she was.
    But her statements about how it was fun to stab really need to be understood from her perspective, not ours. In her 2013 hearing, she explains all of that. It’s not a reason to parole her or find mitigating circumstances but if one is genuinely interested in understanding a person, their evolution and how they reached a certain point, then one has to at least examine how they see their life and take on board what they say.

    She may be rehabilitated and remorseful now but it doesn’t lessen the circumstance

    Nothing lessens the circumstances. She committed murder, plain and simple…..except that it isn’t so plain and simple. You yourself observed that this wasn’t a run of the mill crime.
    I’m curious about one thing Cybele; given that rehabilitation means “to prepare a prisoner for re-entry into society,” if you accept that she’s rehabilitated, what would be the point in her staying in jail ? I could easily make the case for an Ed Kemper or a Jeffrey Dahmer or a Ted Bundy never coming out from a life sentence because their crimes go beyond simply coming to a realization that they were wrong and were driven by something that I don’t think society at large can or should, deal with.

    If Tate or the Governor want to use egregiousness of crime I don’t feel that Leslie is exempt from that

    No, she’s not, not at all. At the same time, if that is going to be used against her, then the various mitigating factors in her defence will be brought up and those factors will be doggedly presented because regardless of which side of the fence one stays, this isn’t a one sided story.

  80. Cybele Moon says:

    Fred, always good to hear your points when you weigh in
    Fred, Paul and all, it is an endlessly fascinating subject, including of course the psychology of the crime etc.
    Interesting points, I get what you are saying and I do understand when Paul says she is eligible according to law. – And accordingly she may get out.
    Yes, there are always mitigating factors as Truman Capote wrote about in his famous book “In Cold Blood” ( which I haven’t read but I saw the documentary on Sundance lol). There is a human side to every monster.
    As for Bruce Davis, I think he confessed to both murders and I’ve also read that he was more of an enforcer for Manson. I will check out the transcripts here.
    As for prisons, well I think ours are way above those in places like S. America, Turkey, Russian and other countries. No I would not want to see my child in one.
    Yes, Leslie may not be as multiple a murderer as Tex and may be rehabilitated according to law. However, I still don’t excuse her actions ( as a poor brainwashed kid) or the others for all the reasons I have said and believe, and I still think that after having been given the ultimate which is the death penalty ( which by the way, I do not believe in) I feel life without parole would have been more appropriate.

  81. Flip says:

    “I could easily make the case for an Ed Kemper “….

    Interesting murderer to bring up in this case…he was released back into society several years after his first murder (his grandmother, if I remember correctly) on the advice of psychiatric opinion stating that “Big Ed” was no longer a danger. What followed was a string of murders every bit as horrifying as the Manson Family’s crimes. (Actually, some aspects of Kemper’s many brutal murders were even more shocking because of his penchant for necrophilia…wonder how the pyschs could have missed that??).

    Makes you wonder about the pro-release advocates who tend to use good behavior records and prison psychiatric reports as “proof” of LVH’s rehabilitation. I would say these are possibly “evidence” of rehabilitation, but not “proof”. The P-word is thrown around far too often by LVH supporters (including her attorneys) in order to bolster their opinion that there is absolute proof of her rehabilitation–meaning, of course, their opinions have
    ascended to the realm of “fact”.

  82. Michael says:

    When you step back from the discussion, you have to appreciate how interesting it is that people feel so strongly about the perpetrators of crimes that happened 49 years ago! I’ve never been very interested in Manson himself, but I am interested in cult behavior and the process people go through in giving up their independent thought for the “benefits” the cult environment offers them. It still seems like we reach an impasse over the question of whether or not Leslie is rehabilitated, or whether or not she should be released even if she is rehabilitated. It’s a pretty fascinating conversation which I’ve come to enjoy. But if my kids knew that I check in on a website featuring conversations about the Manson followers, I’d never hear the end of it!

  83. Fred Bloggs says:

    Flip says:
    “I could easily make the case for an Ed Kemper….”

    Interesting murderer to bring up in this case…

    I’ve brought him up a few times {no pun intended !} in conversations I’ve been in about parole. He serves as a chilling and valuable warning for anyone that does not take with the utmost seriousness, the matters one has to consider when talking about releasing someone that has killed back into society. And that goes really, for both sides of the debate. Both sides can be guilty of putting forward their own agendas {“they’re just a bunch of dirty killers” vs “the law says they must be freed, regardless of concerns”} at the expense of the weighter matter.

    he was released back into society several years after his first murder (his grandmother, if I remember correctly)

    He killed both his grandparents and while the murder of his gran was chilling, it was the deliberate reasoning behind the killing of his grandad that really should have given pause. He said that he didn’t want to let his grandad find his wife dead…..so he decided to kill him too.

    on the advice of psychiatric opinion stating that “Big Ed” was no longer a danger. What followed was a string of murders every bit as horrifying as the Manson Family’s crimes. (Actually, some aspects of Kemper’s many brutal murders were even more shocking because of his penchant for necrophilia…wonder how the pyschs could have missed that??)

    While there isn’t a league table of “badness” when it comes to murder, Ed Kemper’s crimes had the added dimension of a particularly sick style of necrophilia {you’d think necrophilia on its own would be pretty gruesome, but he took the biscuit when it comes to elevating to a new level}.
    The psychs weren’t aware of his penchant at the time to be fair, because he hadn’t displayed any when he murdered his grandparents. That came after his release. For me it’s that added element that would rule out parole ~ plus the fact that he himself has often ruled it out ! It’s sort of ironic in a way that objections are levelled at LVH’s rehabilitation whereas someone like Ed Kemper by actually refusing parole is stating upfront in a way, that he’s not rehabilitated at all. That’s kind of an indication that life on the outside for him is highly likely to spell danger for someone.
    But with the stories of him burying his cat alive and then cutting it up and putting it’s head on a sharp implement or killing a cat because it went to his sister more than him or even his Mum keeping him in the basement at night because she was scared he’d harm his sisters {hardly surprising when one of them nearly pushed him in front of a train and nearly drowned him another time}, among other creepy tales, you’d think the psychs would have been a lot more cautious. The only thing in their defence is that it was the 60s, a time of optimism in many endeavours, psychiatry included.

    Makes you wonder about the pro-release advocates who tend to use good behavior records and prison psychiatric reports as “proof” of LVH’s rehabilitation

    For me, the good behaviour records and psych reports are a bit like fingerprints at a crime scene. On their own, they don’t prove a damn thing. But they are an indication> of guilt and once put together with a series of other evidence begin to add towards a bigger picture.
    When I use LVH’s disciplinary record, I take into account the length of time that record spans. 40+ years is no small length of time. I also add to that that in the 49 years she’s been incarcerated, she has gone through the spheres of development a woman would and has been fairly consistent from one phase to the next since she hit 25.
    The thing with Ed Kemper is that he was 15 when he murdered his grandparents and 21 when he was released. For me, for a crime like that, that was way too short, even if he hadn’t been found to be a paranoid schizophrenic. One can compare him to Steve Grogan who, in the 33 years that he’s been on parole after killing a man {and was pretty fortunate in my opinion not to be indicted for the Tate/LaBianca conspiracy} has kept his nose clean. Yet, I feel the 14 years Grogan served was too short. However, he has shown that one could be as much in the sort of Manson milieu as LVH and willingly murder, yet make good after some years. He was generally well behaved and practical in jail, learned trades and bettered himself. Kemper and Grogan represent the extremes of our debate, which is why neither side is specifically right or wrong.

    I would say these are possibly “evidence” of rehabilitation, but not “proof”

    I would agree absolutely. I would add that it’s bloody good evidence though, if put together with other evidence.

    The P-word is thrown around far too often by LVH supporters(including her attorneys) in order to bolster their opinion that there is absolute proof of her rehabilitation–meaning, of course, their opinions have
    ascended to the realm of “fact”

    I’d agree with that too. I don’t think words like “deserve” {whichever side uses it}, or “proof” really have any place in the debate for the very simple reason, the very nature of the subject is very, very fluid. We’re talking about an ongoing situation.
    LVH can only “prove” one way that she is rehabilitated and that’s by taking a correct place in society. But none of us can prove it. We can all argue either way
    why we do or don’t think she is rehabilitated. I understand the point of view that says “they should have been given life without parole” or “I don’t think they should get out of jail for having committed murder” but the reality is these aren’t really issues that are relevant to the discussion once they’ve been stated because LVH’s sentence wasn’t LWOP and some murderers do get paroled. So, if someone is going to be kept in prison when they’ve lived out the requirement of their sentence, then it’s going to be either because the person’s actions during the crime were so despicably horrific {a la Kemper/Bundy/Dahmer/Nielsen/Brady} or they’ve simply not shown in jail that they’ve come far away enough from the mindset that could have given rise to such actions in the first place. It’s more than just psych reports that are done by someone that isn’t by your side day after day. And on that wise, that’s where Guv’nor Brown is coming from. I think he happens to be wrong in this particular instance and I frequently explain why, but I understand his position.
    As unpopular as this may seem, and I hesitate before saying it, sometimes, it does need someone with a long memory to be involved in the process ~ both for LVH’s, as well as society’s sake.

  84. Fred Bloggs says:

    Well, so much for my judicious use of italics !
    I must have taken a wrong turning there !!

  85. Michael says:

    Much as I don’t want to see Leslie or any of the others released, I have to admit that if we’re going to compare her to other killers, it should be to those who followed some weird doctrine or cult figure like Manson, rather than to those who killed out of their own penchant for killing. If and when cult followers “get over” their allegiance to their god, they’re less likely to kill again, compared to someone who murdered for purely selfish reasons. I just watched the Jim Jones report on Sundance. His ex-followers, who now denounce him, have to live with their support of him right up to the Jonestown massacre, and listening to them reminded me of LVH. I still say they’re completely responsible for everything they did to help prop Jones up and empower him, and LVH is completely responsible not only for the La Bianca killings, but for empowering Manson by following him. I don’t want her released, but I won’t classify her with someone like Kemper.

  86. Cybele Moon says:

    well said Michael. I agree. There is a mindset that happens. I can only describe it as evil. The People’s Temple woman who killed her children in Georgetown reminded me of Magda Goebbels who felt that it was better to kill her children and for all to die than live without Hitler and his ideals.

  87. Fred Bloggs says:

    Michael says:
    I still say they’re completely responsible for everything they did to help prop Jones up and empower him, and LVH is completely responsible not only for the La Bianca killings, but for empowering Manson by following him

    I agree. This is the eternal paradox of a case like this, it’s not black’n’white and straightforward. That’s probably the hardest aspect for most people to get the head around. It would be so much easier if it was a pervy killer or a sick killer or a violent and selfish killer. But LVH and the other Family killers are in that odd zone whereby, without Manson’s influence and directives, they probably would not have murdered. I don’t think any of them would have. Yet, at the same time, they are completely responsible for murdering and can’t point to having been forced or mental illness. They’re also responsible for constantly giving ground in their beings for Charlie to gain the footholds he did. This can be easily demonstrated by the likes of Kasabian, Ella Jo, TJ, Brooks Poston and Paul Watkins who went so far and yet no further.
    It’s nuanced, it’s a paradox and you’re absolutely right.

  88. NoJusticeNoPeace says:

    Italics aside, wishing you all a Happy Thanksgiving.
    You too Paul! *joking, have a good one*

  89. NoJusticeNoPeace says:

    Fred: What really flies all over me is the way Paul and other LVH ilk try to lessen her involvement. (my quote by Fred)

    “The irony of that statement is that by giving LVH 7 years to life and having the prosecutor state that she would one day be ready for parole, the prosecution did that. If the person that prosecutes you says you are making good progress and will be ready for parole soon and you have a spotless record thereafter, you can hardly be faulted for trying for parole.”

    Yes Fred, I can fault her, prosecutors and anyone else that thinks she gets a bye. She is to be at fault for her record of clawing her way out judicially. Who else in the Manson Family have had more judicial attention than her? Three trials. C’mon Fred, you know better than that.

    That “right” for her parole is sickening…as if there is ANY comparison to the RIGHT of LIFE for the victims LVH slaughtered. As I’ve said to Paul, change the law with your petitions. See how well that goes.

    Any LVH supporters can never equate LVH’s so-called suffering in prison to the life-ending, home invasion, utter horror, slaughter of TWO people and yes, ending of a decade. She was a giddy participant then, and she plays the victim game now.

    Toe tag parole. Piss on her.

  90. Paul says:

    NoJusticeNoPeace

    “Fred: What really flies all over me is the way Paul and other LVH ilk try to lessen her involvement.” because her involvement was substantially smaller that her co-defendants, that’s just realising the easy facts.

    “As I’ve said to Paul, change the law with your petitions.” Its the likes of Debra Tate that need to change the law since she’s petitions for the law to be manipulated by installing public outcry and preventing prisoners rights, this comment here works against you. The law states that if fit for parole which the board has twice than she should be paroled. If you want it your way, you need to change the law.

  91. Flip says:

    re: “The law states that if fit for parole which the board has twice than she should be paroled. ”

    It seems very convenient for you, Paul, that you are so easily able to ignore that aspect of California law that makes the Governor ultimately responsible for approving or denying the RECOMMENDATIONS of Parole Boards. I all-capped a word in the previous sentence for you to consider carefully–PB decisions are recommendations to the Governor, not marching orders. Fortunately, in my opinion, PBs made up of faceless and essentially nameless (who has ever heard of them as individuals or knows what their professional skills
    are?), must legally have their decisions reviewed for final approval (or not) by the Governor, not the other way around. In general, it appears to me that LVH supporters often want the tail to wag the dog…

  92. NoJusticeNoPeace says:

    Paul as usual you pick and choose what lessens LVH’s involvement, lessen what supports your argument, and ignore anything that is current law.

    I couldn’t agree more with Flip.

    Your attempt to equate what the victims families have done and continue to do to keep their loved ones murderers in prison to LVH’s right for parole is a straw grasp at best. I’d do the same. So would you.

    LVH is a double murderer. We, the people, should never forget her role, no matter how you try to skew the record.

  93. Cybele Moon says:

    We do need tougher penalties for this type of crime and as far as I’m concerned LVH and the rest really lucked out in California with abolition of the death penalty and the 7 year parole possibility of a life term!
    Yes, according to law she may be eligible but it’s also the Governor’s call- whether or not he’s giving in to pressure from the victim’s families ( i.e. Debra Tate etc) or from the rest of the law abiding people who oppose.
    There are lots of injustices in this world and the Manson family is the least sympathetic on the list, mainly because they did it. Obviously there are many who take up Leslie’s cause as a symbol of injustice. I can think of hundreds of worthy causes and this isn’t one of them. If she gets out it’s not because she is so deserving of her freedom but that we do give everyone rights and their say, even murderers. She is not some heroic symbol just because she may not be dangerous today.

  94. Flip says:

    re: “I can think of hundreds of worthy causes and this isn’t one of them.”

    Cybele, I think you are right on the mark with the possible caveat that there are probably hundreds of thousands of worthier causes….

    That is precisely why I was completely underwhelmed when LVH’s pro bono legal team showed up at this website whining that her rehabilitation was a proven fact and patting themselves on the back for representing her for free. (As though LVH’s notoriety, and its beneficial effects on a pro bono attorney’s name recognition, had nothing to do with it…).

    If Mr. Pfeiffer and his associate are also representing would-be immigrants who’ve been deported after having their children separated from them…well, that would be a just cause to take up in my view.

  95. Fred Bloggs says:

    Cybele Moon says:

    We do need tougher penalties for this type of crime

    I shouldn’t laugh but I did. You can’t get much tougher than death ! While they were choosing a jury for the case, there was actually a guy who said that the law needed to go further than the death sentence !! I wonder what he had in mind.

    Obviously there are many who take up Leslie’s cause as a symbol of injustice

    I don’t think the Guv’nor is being unjust. I just happen to think he’s wrong on this one.

    Flip says:

    that aspect of California law that makes the Governor ultimately responsible for approving or denying the RECOMMENDATIONS of Parole Boards

    An important point to remember ~ and I do.
    As I do the freedom to appeal the Guv’nor’s decision.
    Both ways, it’s a fair system.

    NoJusticeNoPeace says:

    Yes Fred, I can fault her, prosecutors and anyone else that thinks she gets a bye. She is to be at fault for her record of clawing her way out judicially. Who else in the Manson Family have had more judicial attention than her? Three trials. C’mon Fred, you know better than that

    I don’t know better than that because I’m not sure what you are saying here. Regardless of 3 trials {all legal}. My point was and is that as she changed her stance on all things Manson and Helter Skelter and murder, she saw a jury hung when previously one had voted death. Then even when found guilty at the third trial, she received encouraging noises from the guy that prosecuted her regarding parole in the not too distant future. I’m not talking about what she deserved or whether or not she deserved it, I’m pointing out that if you put yourself in her shoes, you couldn’t blame her for doing what the law required and trying for parole. Don’t forget, she’s been knocked back 21 times so it’s not as though being eligible for parole means an inmate gets parole. Even Charles Manson got parole hearings and to this day, I’m curious why they bothered to go through with the charade.
    As for “getting a ‘bye'” as you put it, be serious NJNP ! If she came out of prison tomorrow, that would not be a ‘bye’ by any stretch of the imagination. It might have been if she came out after 10 years. 20 even. But half a century ? I know you find her distasteful and all, but come on !

  96. Cybele Moon says:

    Fred, you always have interesting points.
    I am not sure why you laughed but I think I meant that there should be life w/o parole for certain crimes, certainly not parole hearings after only 7 years. (I actually oppose the death penalty). Obviously the system is far from perfect when a death sentence can suddenly become life with chance of parole in a few years.

  97. Michael says:

    Cybele, to me the most egregious example of that is Steve Grogan’s release after just 16 years. Mentally defective as he was, the guy still knew what he was doing when he stabbed Donald Shea to death, tag teamed the night the La Biancas were killed, bragged to DeCarlo about “getting five piggies” after the Tate killings, and joined the debriefing meeting right after the Tate killings as well. I don’t think his level of mental incompetence was so severe it warranted a release that soon (and I sure don’t think telling authorities where Shea’s body was should have counted for so much, either) If I were Leslie, I would resent such an early parole for one of her colleagues who was (probably) involved in more murder than she was.

  98. Cybele Moon says:

    Michael I agree. As for Leslie, if they let her out so be it. She will be 70 years old. She has pretty much served a life sentence and I don’t feel badly that she has. It may be considered unfair by some but then so is taking someone’s life away who does not get to be free at 70. I admit I have mixed feelings around the idea of rehabilitation and forgiveness for those who have perpetrated such hideous acts. What bothers me I suppose is her supporters using this excuse and that for her and poor Leslie etc. Brainwashed, young or not she still knew right from wrong as I’m sure they all did including Clem. Human beings reach the age of reason between 7 and 12 in normal situations whether the brain is fully mature or not, and Leslie’s upbringing certainly didn’t appear to be a factor, nor her mental capacity.
    This idea of brainwashing is confusing too. You could say that Hitler brainwashed a nation but those who were in the upper echelons were still held totally accountable for their crimes.
    Leslie’s supporters put down the victim’s families and hate Debra Tate who is only carrying on her mother’s legacy and accomplishments for Victim’s Rights. Doris Tate spoke against Leslie’s freedom as well many years ago. Leslie’s supporters feel that if the name Manson wasn’t involved she would have been freed years ago- but! she did what she did on behalf of Manson and his ideology so of course her name is intertwined.

  99. NoJusticeNoPeace says:

    Fred, what I’ve responded to is your comments concerning LVH’s parole opportunities. Legal, sure.

    Fair? Not to me. And that is why I responded about her three trials, her continuous parole hearings and how that in itself shows she has never accepted responsibility for her crimes. LVH can legally do whatever her attorneys tell her to do, and she has. So studious.

    Morally and God willing, legally she will always fail.

    So you don’t want to talk about whether she deserved her fate or not? Walk in her shoes? Hers?
    Let me ask you.. have you walked in a victims shoes?

    I have.

    And the shoes of a victim is more worn, have more miles and with cracked souls (yes souls) they carry on for their loved ones memory with hope justice will always be primary…21 parole hearings indeed.

    My empathy will always be for the victims of crime. The truly innocent.

  100. Cybele Moon says:

    well said NoJustice. God bless!

  101. Stephen Craig says:

    I couldn’t agree with you more, NoJusticeNoPeace: I am amazed at those who lament the incarceration of a murderer, any murder, someone who participates in the brutal slaughter of an innocent person and robs them of their most precious gift; their lives. Think of all that has happened in the world since these particular crimes, think of all the things that have occurred in your own lives. These events/happenings/milestones, what we have shard collectively or experienced individually have been robbed from these victims because of the actions of LVH and her ilk. Think about it: The LaBiancas never got to grow old together, watch their children grow, welcome grandchildren, learn of Watergate, witness a president resigning, perhaps learn to hate disco or enjoy Ben and Jerry’s ice cream. They never witnessed a man of color being elected to the highest office in the land or a woman run for president. They never watched “All in the Family”, “Twin Peaks”, or “Close Encounters of the Third Kind”. All that life has to offer, from the mundane to the magnificent, all that life has to offer us, the “little things” that make life worth living was robbed from them as they died, not surrounded by loved one, but in the most unimaginable, horrific way. Think of your own lives and what make them worth living: the people the experiences. And then imagine what it would be like to know that you were about to lose it all, as you are set upon by knife wielding teenagers. Think of what your loss would do to those who love you. And yet some folks choose to worry about what is happening to LVK, one of those who caused such indescribable, unimaginable loss. I truly don’t get it.

    way in abject terror. And folks worry about LVH?

  102. Stephen Craig says:

    P.S. Please excuse any grammar/spelling/other errors. I wrote this missive very quickly and without my glasses.

  103. Cybele Moon says:

    Hear hear Stephen! My thoughts exactly.

  104. Fred Bloggs says:

    Cybele Moon says:
    I am not sure why you laughed

    I have an arguably odd sense of humour. I know what you meant but the way it was worded struck me as humorous. I actually once saw a headline on a newspaper stand that said “Homeless man bites dog” and some 14 or 15 years later, that still makes me laugh. There was a great one last week on the front of one paper that said something along the lines of “May better step down or else, say Tory MPs” which had me hooting. I’m not actually sure what’s funny in any of them but they tickled me. As did your statement.

    but I think I meant that there should be life w/o parole for certain crimes, certainly not parole hearings after only 7 years. (I actually oppose the death penalty). Obviously the system is far from perfect when a death sentence can suddenly become life with chance of parole in a few years

    I agree on all three counts. I don’t think there are honestly many people that genuinely think that going from a death sentence to eligibility {not guarantee} for parole in 7 years is a good thing or even a reasonable thing.

    I admit I have mixed feelings around the idea of rehabilitation and forgiveness for those who have perpetrated such hideous acts

    I don’t. Each has to be taken case by case. There will always be people who represent too much of a risk for parole, based on what put them in jail in the first place. I accept that many think LVH falls into that category.

    What bothers me I suppose is her supporters using this excuse and that for her and poor Leslie etc. Brainwashed, young or not she still knew right from wrong as I’m sure they all did including Clem

    That’s the one point I don’t agree with. We tend to imagine that everyone shares the same standard of right and wrong….but we don’t. And therein lies the problem. The simple fact is that the Family did not believe that what they were doing was wrong. And if we look at 1969 and laws that would have sent people to jail for certain actions or possessions, there are some that no longer do so. So even in terms of legality, notions of right and wrong have changed. I once again make the analogy with those artists, musicians and actors that have been taking drugs for as long as they’ve been illegal. They knew that if they got caught there would be a price to pay. But they did not view smoking ganja, tripping on acid, snorting coke, injecting heroin etc, as wrong. Illegal, yes. Wrong ? No. Humans will generally justify right and wrong to the degree it suits us. That’s something we can observe from history and governments to ordinary citizens do it.
    So when people say that those particular killers knew wrong from right, that tells me that they are putting their own interpretation of right and wrong in that place and holding it as universal. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not defending the Family on this or saying that because of their beliefs that this somehow gets them off the hook. Not in the slightest. Lots of people don’t see the point in trying to understand where murderers were coming from. I do.

    Michael says:
    I don’t think his level of mental incompetence was so severe it warranted a release that soon

    I don’t even think Grogan was mentally incompetent. I think he was acid fried and very young, but not stupid, incompetent, deficient etc. He’s something of a paradox in that he has shown that parole for a Manson group killer can work, but I’ve always thought 14 years was too short a time to serve for what he did. He’s also, in my opinion, very fortunate that there was no corroborating evidence of his involvement in the Tate/LaBianca conspiracy.

  105. Fred Bloggs says:

    Stephen Craig says:
    I am amazed at those who lament the incarceration of a murderer….And yet some folks choose to worry about what is happening to LVH, one of those who caused such indescribable, unimaginable loss. I truly don’t get it

    Understandable.
    It’s not really the incarceration of a murderer or even the continued incarceration of a murderer. Speaking for myself, if the Guv’nor had what I felt were convincing and fair reasons for keeping her incarcerated, then fair enough. I think both Tex Watson and Pat Krenwinkel have also undergone massive changes over the last 40+ years and have been genuinely remorseful and no problem in jail, yet, I don’t disagree with the PB decision to keep them for another 5 years until their next hearing. I don’t disagree with the Bobby Beausoleil decisions. But the reasons the Guv’nor gave of LVH still minimizing herself {in effect} and blaming Manson simply are not true. And it’s that that tells me he’s clutching at straws. And that leaves me more than uncomfortable. In a way, it forces one to look a lot harder than one may otherwise have done. And it’s what one sees when one starts looking that may raise eyebrows.
    Whatever I’ve been arguing hasn’t been at the expense of the victims or their families.

    NoJusticeNoPeace says:
    Fair? Not to me

    And fair enough. It’s your view and you’re entitled to express that.
    Personally, while I understand why she got through her initial appeal, I don’t think it made any difference to the outcome of the trial that Ronald Hughes went missing. He was a novice and was openly hostile towards the Judge. Maxwell Keith was far more balanced and experienced. But the law determined she was at a disadvantage. The issue isn’t whether she was guilty or not but whether due process was complied with. She was guilty, any way the wind blew.

    And that is why I responded about her three trials, her continuous parole hearings and how that in itself shows she has never accepted responsibility for her crimes

    It shows no such thing. And ‘never’ is a word I try to avoid when it comes to an ongoing situation.

    Morally and God willing, legally she will always fail

    You might want to leave God out of this as forgiveness is God’s stock in trade.

    So you don’t want to talk about whether she deserved her fate or not?

    Don’t take my words out of context NJNP. If you want my opinion as to whether or not she should have been eligible for parole hearings in 1978, my answer is absolutely not. Or the 90s. Or the early 2000s. By 2010, yes.
    I was not saying that she didn’t deserve any fate. I was saying that regardless of what she deserved {ie “I’m not talking about what she deserved or whether or not she deserved it, I’m pointing out that if you put yourself in her shoes, you couldn’t blame her for doing what the law required and trying for parole”}, she was legally entitled to those trials, retrials and hearings. When I said “I’m not talking about what she deserved or whether or not she deserved it” you can see that that is the preamble to the point that I was about to make, which was that she didn’t do anything wrong by having hearings. There have been 3 quite heavily involved threads on LVH since the spring and I’ve said over and over what I think she deserved.

    Let me ask you.. have you walked in a victims shoes?

    Yes. Both as a victim and as the family member of a victim.

    21 parole hearings indeed

    That has little to do with LVH.

    My empathy will always be for the victims of crime

    Jeffrey Dahmer was a victim of crime.
    Again, there is that incorrect assumption/implication that someone that tries to empathize across the board is somehow not for victims. All I can say, most politely is ¬> that is not the case.

  106. NoJusticeNoPeace says:

    I have no interest in litigating her case as it has already been litigated for nearly fifty years or debate the fairness of the process. Don’t like the law? Change it. Until then the Governor has the legally wielded hammer. You think it to be unfair to LVH. I think it’s perfectly acceptable to kill a fly with a hammer.

    Twenty-one parole hearings “that have little to do with LVH”. Incredulous.

    For someone who claims to be for the victims, you sure like to have it both ways. I err on the side of the victims of violent crimes. Dahmer, Manson, Bundy, Gacy et al didn’t have a great childhood. Millions don’t, and they do not grow up to be a murderous ‘victim’. Straw grasping at its best.

    I hope and yes Fred, pray to God that LVH sears her ass on the devil’s carpet for eternity.

    I’ll agree to disagree with you.

    And that’s about as polite as I will be.

  107. Cybele Moon says:

    Fred you say
    “That’s the one point I don’t agree with. We tend to imagine that everyone shares the same standard of right and wrong….but we don’t. And therein lies the problem. The simple fact is that the Family did not believe that what they were doing was wrong. ”

    I think you may be wrong here especially when it comes to murder. I think most of us do have a sense of right and wrong and social morality. One of the arguments LVH supporters use is that she didn’t want to kill anyone,implying that she must have had a conscience- yet she did participate. LVH had been with the family less than a year (as opposed to the decades of brainwashing of a group like the People’s Temple). Leslie had a relatively “normal” middle class upbringing. She wasn’t subjected to the childhood abuses and trauma that many who have ended up committing violence themselves have.

    And if they really didn’t know right from wrong than maybe they are sociopathic as Debra Tate claims.

  108. Fred Bloggs says:

    NoJusticeNoPeace says:
    or debate the fairness of the process

    Well, like I said, I part agree with you on that. I don’t think it would have made any difference to LVH if Hughes had disappeared or not. She was bursting to confess and in the penalty phase she even confessed to being at murders she wasn’t at. But on appeal her conviction had to be overturned so that the law was seen to be working aright. Ironically, the guy that took over her case when her first lawyer disappeared represented her in her subsequent trials.

    Don’t like the law? Change it

    I’m English. I’m unlikely to have any influence in Cali ! But I don’t actually have a problem with that law.
    I’m a realist in some ways. Just looking at life over the last 50 years, many societies have gone in swings and roundabouts of opinion that have seen laws change. Just look at the alcohol laws in the prohibition period or the cannabis laws in an increasing number of countries now. Things that are deemed wrong in one period are right in another. I think many of us suspect that if California was abolishing the death penalty today, all the people on Death Row would have their sentences automatically commuted to life without parole.
    But changes in the law take absolutely years. By the time Britain gets around to legalizing cannabis, Keith Richards will probably be against it !

    Until then the Governor has the legally wielded hammer

    Yes. Now, it is another debate altogether whether he should, but he does at present and under those circumstances, I see nothing untoward in that or in the way he’s acted.

    You think it to be unfair to LVH

    I haven’t said that because I don’t think it to be unfair. Leslie does what is required. The board knocks her back. She continues to do what is required. She continues to get knocked back. Then she gets a recommendation. Twice. The Guv’nor knocks it back twice. At every stage from that first hearing to the last, I think it has been fair. I’ve already said, I don’t think the guv is unjust, just wrong in his reasons.

    Twenty-one parole hearings “that have little to do with LVH”. Incredulous

    Yeah. The law provides that she is entitled to parole hearings. I already said that certainly, for the first 40 years, I wouldn’t have allowed it, if left to me. So from the point of view that the law of the state allows her, it has little to do with her. She didn’t make it happen or push for it to happen or influence its happening. It’s in spite of, and independent of, her.
    As a slight addition to that, it could be argued that the state law gave her incentive to improve herself and be turned around. Is that really a bad thing ? Charles Manson had exactly the same incentive and opportunity and went in exactly the opposite direction.

    For someone who claims to be for the victims, you sure like to have it both ways

    I am so glad you have made that observation. It’s absolutely bang on the money. I’ve said on a number of occasions that I feel for many of the people involved in this saga, on all sides of the spectrum. The whole scenario threw up some tragic episodes. Many, many stories are like that, just generally, in life. I try to look at happenings through other peoples’s eyes as well as my own. It doesn’t actually win me friends or plaudits, but then, it’s not meant to. But it sure helps me understand the differeing strands of a argument.

    Dahmer, Manson, Bundy, Gacy et al didn’t have a great childhood. Millions don’t, and they do not grow up to be a murderous ‘victim’. Straw grasping at its best

    You misunderstand me. I meant that Dahmer was murdered in jail, not that he had a rough childhood. He was a victim of crime. You said words to the effect that you were always for the victims of crime. I was trying to lighten the air with a little irony.

    I hope and yes Fred, pray to God that LVH sears her ass on the devil’s carpet for eternity

    Well, don’t be offended if he ignores you on that one. It runs counter to what God wants. He repairs people and only casts them off if they don’t want his repair work.

    And that’s about as polite as I will be

    Hey, we’re cool. You’ve been civil all the way, strong in your views when you need to be and a joy to debate with.

  109. Fred Bloggs says:

    Cybele Moon says:

    I think you may be wrong here especially when it comes to murder. I think most of us do have a sense of right and wrong and social morality

    I agree with you absolutely on that. What I’d say is that God has given us that capacity. But it is now shaped by whichever society we are raised in.
    In some societies, there is no problem at all with cutting out a female’s clitoris, the idea behind it being that her sexual pleasure is diminished {“so she won’t go chasing after men”}. And both males and females in those cultures think that’s right. Never mind that the clitoris is designed exclusively for sexual pleasure and nothing else and that the male has no such equivalent.
    But many of us find such a notion beyond abhorrent. In Britain it is actually a jailable offence called FGM {female genital mutilation}. We don’t think it is in any way right.
    As far as murder goes, look at any pogrom or episode of ethnic cleansing. Do you not suppose the people that take part in such acts think it would be wrong if say, their Mums or sisters or brothers or aunties went to live in another country or area and were murdered ? Social morality has unfortunately been as shifting and as fluid throughout history as the people who want it to be have made it.

    One of the arguments LVH supporters use is that she didn’t want to kill anyone, implying that she must have had a conscience- yet she did participate

    Which, in my book makes her actions equally as horrific.
    Personally, I think she did have a conscience. I think lots of violent people and murderers do. I also think that she silenced her conscience, which lots of criminals {actually, not even criminals !} do. I would be willing to bet that all of us at some point have silenced our conscience. It may be for something we consider “minor,” taking that pen home from work, that kiss/grope/full blown screw with someone else’s spouse or partner, that “little white lie” we told when we pulled a ‘sickie’ and didn’t go to work that day ~ or whatever it was but I think we all do it {I know I have} and therefore, it is part of our make up which we can call on so we don’t feel like shit when we do something we feel we shouldn’t have. Criminals do it in exactly the same way, by justifying their actions. And it’s easy to do. One can see LVH struggling with her conscience in that December ’69 Marvin Part interview. But the silencing of the conscience won out in the end. Fortunately, later on others were able to help pave the way back to it and help rekindle it.
    In a way, saying that you don’t want to kill, but doing so anyway shows a truly frightening disregard for life. I think I was the first one in these last few debates to bring up the point about her saying she didn’t want to kill prior to the Cielo crimes, but was prepared to for the higher noble cause. I didn’t do it to show what a great ol’ gal she was underneath it all. I did it to show that this is and was a very human story with shifting and fluid consciousness all the way in the various players. Like you, I don’t believe in the death penalty but if she had been executed back in the day, she couldn’t have complained about it.

    Leslie had a relatively “normal” middle class upbringing. She wasn’t subjected to the childhood abuses and trauma that many who have ended up committing violence themselves have

    Well, that’s debatable given the divorce and the abortion, especially when one considers when they happened, both in relation to the time period and place she lived and her age.
    But I appreciate what you’re saying. Suffice it to say, she rejected the values she’d been brought up with. And once a person does that, you can’t argue they know the difference between wrong and right because their notions of what is right and what is wrong have altered. What you can say is she knew what the wider society viewed as wrong and right and what would happen if she violated them.

    And if they really didn’t know right from wrong than maybe they are sociopathic as Debra Tate claims

    And if LVH was, that would have showed itself over the last 44 years in some way, at some point. I believe sociopaths can hide their wares very well. But not for 44 years. I keep saying it but we’re not talking about a short period of time.

  110. Cybele Moon says:

    Fred,
    I can’t imagine what it must be like to be Leslie to try to find an explanation for how this happened and why.
    As for her upbringing yes, there was a divorce ( but not a terribly bitter one I believe) and an abortion which was not that uncommon really in the sixties. As for right and wrong, you are right we do know what Society expects of us. And yes we sometimes reject middle class values but not usually to the extent of criminality. I believe Leslie was loved by her parents judging from the unconditional support her father gave her up until his death.
    I suppose in a sense we are fortunate in western society. We believe in giving people their rights as long as it doesn’t harm another. We even allow ( or did) conjugal visits to the likes of Tex Watson.
    Don’t get me going on female genital mutilation – that’s just plain barbaric and usually practiced in very oppressive and patriarchal societies( read Ayaan Hirsi Ali). Thankfully as a woman I’m glad we are beyond that here.
    As for Leslie and the whole Manson group I still believe life without parole would have been appropriate. I can’t imagine asking for leniency knowing you gave none. But yes we are lenient in many cases. There sometimes is mercy as opposed to hard justice. Time will tell.

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The People of the State of California Vs. Charles Tex Watson