Category Archives: Uncategorized

LAPD to Get Watson/Boyd Recordings

Tuesday, March 26th, 2013


Mar 26 – Judge Richard Schell Sunday ruled that recorded conversations between Manson family member Charles “Tex” Watson and his attorney Bill Boyd are no longer protected by the attorney-client privilege, according to a report by the Associated Press.

“The LAPD is pleased that the judge ruled in our favor,” said LAPD public information officer Andrew Smith. “We are looking forward to getting these tapes and thoroughly analyzing their content”

Smith indicated that there’s still is a 30 day window for Watson to appeal, and that detectives will wait for that time to transpire before they depart for Texas to take custody of the tapes.

Bill Boyd represented Charles “Tex” Watson in Texas after his arrest for the Tate-LaBianca murders in late 1969. Boyd fought Watson’s extradition to California long enough so that Watson wouldn’t be tried with Charles Manson, Susan Atkins, Patricia Krenwinkel and Leslie Van Houten.

Bill Boyd died in 2009, and his law firm, Boyd Veigel has since gone into bankruptcy. Department of Justice Trustee Linda Payne was put in charge of liquidating the firm’s assets. Among the thousands of legal files were audio recordings made between Charles Watson and Bill Boyd in 1970.

Upon learning about the recordings, detectives from the Los Angeles Police Department, Robbery-Homicide division became interested in them because of the possibility that they might discuss other unsolved murders the family may have committed. In March of 2012, Chief of Police Charlie Beck sent a letter to Department of Justice Trustee Timothy O’Neal asking for the tapes

Last May, Judge Brenda Rhoades ruled that the tapes were no longer protected by privilege because Watson had allowed Boyd to sell copies in 1976 to assist Chaplin Ray Hoekstra with Watson’s autobiography Will You Die For Me? Rhodes’ ruling prompted a series of appeals from Watson and his attorneys.

In October, the Los Angeles Police Department disclosed that Judge Schell had blocked their attempt to take possession of the tapes via a search warrant issued by the Fort Worth Police Department.

“The Manson crime spree is one of the most notorious cases in Southern California’s history,” said Smith. “We owe it to the victims and their families to ensure every facet of the case is thoroughly and completely investigated, and we plan to do exactly that.”

Leslie Van Houten’s 2007 Parole Hearing

Tuesday, March 19th, 2013


Mar. 19 – On Wednesday, August 30, 2007, a California parole board found Leslie Van Houten unsuitable for parole at a hearing held at the California Institution for Women in Corona.

Deputy District Attorney Patrick Sequeira, representing Los Angeles County, argued that for decades, Leslie Van Houten had minimized her role in the murder of Rosemary LaBianca.

“Whether it’s the LSD defense, whether it’s Charlie made me do it, whether it’s Tex made me do it, whether it’s Patricia Krenwinkel made me do it, these are all consistent games with her,” said Sequeria. “She dodges every issue every time. And I think this Panel will see, in looking at the entire scope of the evidence in this case, that the factors of unsuitability far, far outweigh any factors of suitability for this inmate, and I’d ask the Panel to find this inmate unsuitable for parole at this time and to make it a multiple denial.”

Christie Webb, attorney for Leslie Van Houten, told the board her client was temporarily ill at the time of the crime and that decades of psychiatric evaluations revealed Van Houten had no personality disorders and was unlikely to commit another violent crime.

“Please give her that second chance,” pleaded Webb. “She’s already served double the maximum time in your regulations for these offenses. There’s nothing more she can do to make herself more suitable. She can’t change the offenses.”

Louis Smaldino, nephew of Leno LaBianca, thanked the board for the opportunity to voice his family’s objections, but expressed frustration at the frequency of such hearings.

“We as a family are never able to share a holiday in the family’s home where these murders took place, or see the bright eyes of Leno and Rosemary again,” Smaldino told the board. “Never again for us. What Miss Van Houten did was permanent.”

The board praised Van Houten for her positive post conviction achievements, but said they did not outweigh the factors for unsuitability. Van Houten’s parole was denied for two years.


Leslie Van Houten

Leslie Louise Van Houten was born on August 23, 1949 in Los Angeles, California. She and her older brother grew up in a typical middle class household. Leslie’s father Paul was an automotive auctioneer, and her mother Jane was a schoolteacher. After Leslie, there were two more additions; the Van Houtens adopted a young boy and girl that had been orphaned in Korea. In 1963 Leslie’s parents divorced, Paul moved out and the children stayed with Jane. Meanwhile, Leslie began attending Monrovia High School, where she was twice elected homecoming queen. Like many at the time, she discovered hallucinogenic drugs, and her grades soon started to slip. She drifted away from her extracurricular activities, and shortly after, got pregnant and had an abortion.
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Bruce Davis Parole Denied By Governor Brown

Friday, March 1st, 2013


Mar. 1 – Parole for former Manson family member Bruce Davis was denied today, after California Governor Jerry Brown reversed an October 2012 Board of Parole Hearings recommendation that would’ve set Davis free.

Davis, 70, is serving a life sentence for the 1969 murders of Gary Hinman and Donald “Shorty” Shea. He has twice been recommended for parole and twice been denied by Governor review. In June of 2010, then governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger reversed a Board of Parole Hearings decision that would’ve granted Davis parole, saying, “I believe his release would pose an unreasonable risk of danger of society at this time.”

Charles Manson’s 2007 Parole Hearing

Sunday, February 10th, 2013


Feb. 10 – On Wednesday, May 23, 2007, a California parole board took an hour and a half to find Charles Manson unsuitable for parole for the 11th time, at a hearing held at Corcoran State Prison in Corcoran, California.

Manson, who refused to attend his 2002 hearing, once again did not attend the hearing.

According to a counselor’s report, “Manson was given the opportunity to review, check appropriate boxes, and sign BPH documents for this BPH hearing. He refused to sign documents which dealt with waiver of rights to attend hearing, waiver of postponement of hearing, Central File review, and consent for attorney to examine records. Subject stated he considers himself a prisoner of the political system, and his appearance before the Board is questionable.”

District Attorney Jackie Lacey’s Letter to Gov. Brown Regarding Bruce Davis

Friday, February 1st, 2013

Feb. 1 – Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey strongly urged Governor Jerry Brown to reverse a decision to grant parole for Manson family member Bruce Davis, in a letter sent last Thursday.

Davis, 70, is serving a life sentence for the murders of Gary Hinman and Donald “Shorty” Shea, and has been in prison since April 21, 1972. Last October, a parole board granted Davis parole for the second time in as many hearings.

Starting Monday, Governor Brown will have 30 days to reverse, modify or confirm the board’s decision.

Included with Lacey’s letter were two additional opposition letters from the first wife and the daughter of Donald “Shorty” Shea.

Jackie Lacey was elected Los Angeles County District Attorney last November, becoming both the county’s first female and first African American District Attorney. Lacey has been with the District Attorney’s office since 1986.