Court Upholds Van Houten Parole Reversal

Friday, June 29th, 2018

The reversal of Leslie Van Houten’s 2017 parole grant has been upheld by the Los Angeles County Superior Court.

A parole board found Van Houten suitable for parole in September, but the decision was reversed by Governor Jerry Brown, who reasoned that the heinousness of the murders outweighed Van Houten’s positive prison record. Brown also accused Van Houten of downplaying her role in the murders, saying she attempted to shift blame to Charles Manson.

In January, Van Houten’s attorney, Richard Pfeiffer filed a writ of Habeas Corpus 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.

In a ruling today, Judge William C. Ryan stated there was some evidence supporting Governor Brown’s decision.

“The Governor met all due process requirements, and considered all relevant statutory factors tending to show suitability, including positive psychological reports,” wrote Ryan. “This court is not entitled to reweigh the evidence before the Governor; rather it is tasked with determining whether the record contains some evidence in support of the Governor’s decision. This court finds that it does, and that there is a rational nexus between the evidence in the record and the Governor’s determination of [Van Houten’s] current dangerousness.”

This evening, Pfeiffer sought relief from California’s 2nd District Court of Appeal, filing 48-page writ challenging Ryan’s ruling.

Van Houten, was sentenced to death in 1971 for her part in the August 10, 1969 murder deaths of Leno and Rosemary LaBianca. The following year, Van Houten saw her sentence commuted to life after the California supreme court outlawed the death penalty, stating it was unconstitutional. In 1976, an appeals court ruled Van Houten was denied a fair trial because her attorney, Ronald Hughes, disappeared while the trial was in progress.

Van Houten was retried in 1977, resulting in a hung jury. She was retried the following year and again convicted, this time sentenced to life with the possibility of parole. Because of time served on her original sentence, Van Houten was already eligible for parole when she returned to prison in August of 1978.

Since then, she has been denied parole 19 times. She has been recommended for parole in her last two consecutive parole hearings. Both decisions have been reversed by Governor Brown.

Her next parole hearing is tentatively scheduled for March 2019.

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164 Responses to Court Upholds Van Houten Parole Reversal

  1. Paul says:

    This really paints a picture of the California law.

  2. Michael says:

    “Factors tending to show unsuitability for parole include the nature of the commitment offense.” That being the case, I side with the Governor and the Court. I’ve believed all along that the nature of her offense is enough to keep LVH in prison for life.

    But I can’t agree with the Governor and Court’s two other points. I don’t believe Leslie represents a danger to the public, because Manson was the primary motive for the crime, not some selfish ambition of her own like greed or revenge. Charlie was her everything; Charlie said to kill, so she did. I believe she’s been beyond Charlie for decades, and I don’t know of any evidence of her retaining the sort of dependency which would make her vulnerable to a future “Charlie.”

    As for minimizing her responsibility, nah. When she points out Manson’s dominance and her drug use, she’s just telling the truth. She also makes it clear she’s fully responsible for letting Manson dominate her, and that she’s fully responsible for her actions. I see no evasion in her statements, whether at parole hearings or interviews.

    So again, I agree with the Court’s ruling. But I’m not in agreement with two of the points it relied on to make that ruling.

  3. Paul says:

    Michael, sorry but Leslie participation does not warrant for her to locked up for life, and that’s not even the law. So many people get out for murders after serving so little, and everyone singles out Leslie.

  4. Alexander Hill says:

    Judge William C. Ryan should be ashamed of himself. Doubt he cares about the case enough to read this however.

  5. brat says:

    CALI is supposed to be so liberal and yet this!

  6. brat says:

    The next step?

  7. Cybele Moon says:

    Michael I agree with you as to the heinousness but not totally about your opinion that she’s no longer dangerous. I don’t know Leslie personally. Many seem to think she’s changed but still, on some level, I personally, could never again trust someone who was ever capable of that type of violence and I think many think the same way.
    I thought perhaps that the extension indicated that the judge had misgivings. Not everyone buys into the “she’s paid for her crime!’ – as though it was ever repayable. I do think though as you say she does admit her guilt and responsibility.

  8. Paul says:

    Cybele, you can’t believe that Leslie is still a danger, if she was she would of shown that in the last 48 years in prison. Prison is horrible place were manty prisoner just get into the wrong situation, Leslie has never done that. I may agree with you if she just went to kill for pleasure but it wasn’t like that at all, Leslie wasn’t in her full capacity during these crimes.

  9. Joseph M Andalina says:

    Blaming Manson is ridiculous. Yes he influenced her and others , but the reality is the carnage you saw against the Lo Biancos and Sharon and the others is the work of those present on each night. The horrors they committed were perpetrated by their own minds, lust and desire to kill. Charlie has lots of guilt, but sorry, the mutilations and fury you saw those nights were LVH and the others who participated and their alone.
    They must own them. They are where they belong.

  10. lee says:

    this woman needs to stay in prison for the rest of her life no if ands or buts, u take a life u do life period, she deserves everything she gets and more.

  11. Paul says:

    Leslie can’t not put some responsibility on Manson because he was the core reason for the murders, she takes responsibility but she cant take all of it because she would lying.

  12. Peter says:

    Appeal.

  13. silvie says:

    It is a sad reflection on the American Legal system that these monsters went from a Death sentence to Prison sentence with Possible parole. If they were truly remorseful for what they did they would accept Prison till death and stop putting the victim’s families through all of this.

  14. Paul says:

    Silvie They have the right to seek parole so of course there going to apply for it.

  15. Alexander Hill says:

    She can appeal this to the appellate division court and then to the Supreme Court of CA. Since theres no constitutional issue than theres no reason for it to go to the federal level.

  16. Fred Bloggs says:

    No great surprise there.
    Cybele makes a very good point when she says “Many seem to think she’s changed but still, on some level, I personally, could never again trust someone who was ever capable of that type of violence and I think many think the same way” because in reality, in the back of many minds that would come into contact with someone that had murdered would be that thought. Let’s face it, many of us would have trouble trusting an ex-con or even a boyfriend/girlfriend/husband/wife that had cheated ! As we concluded on both sides in the last thread, it’s always going to be a risk to parole any offender, much less one that has killed.
    I still feel the Guv’nor is clutching at straws in his stated reasons for not upholding the board’s decision. His reasoning is not vastly different from the one he gave the first time he refused her. It begs the question, given that she doesn’t blame Manson, drugs or minimize her role, how long the Guv’nor {whoever it may be in the future} can keep relying on the present reasoning and if the reasoning should change, why that changed reasoning isn’t being given currently.
    I work with schoolkids and last week, we took a group to the Royal Courts of Justice in the City of London. It was an interesting excursion and some of the questions asked by the 10 and 11 year olds were pretty insightful. An interesting explanation came out from our host about parole in England which was that except in exceptional circumstances, its built into pretty much every sentence here as an incentive for the inmate to improve. Not every convict takes this on board but the Guv of California in effect said to LVH that no matter what you do, no matter how good your prison record and no matter how long it remains exceptional, reasons will be found to keep you in jail. As disappointing as that may be for LVH, I just wonder what the long term effect of that may be on those in the criminal justice system when they see that someone that has the possibility of parole built into their sentence is more or less told that it makes no difference. Are they more or less likely to respect the law and act in the corresponding manner ?

  17. L Clewes says:

    They are all murderous pigs and deserve to rot in prison.

  18. Fred Bloggs says:

    silvie says:
    It is a sad reflection on the American Legal system that these monsters went from a Death sentence to Prison sentence with Possible parole

    There is an irony here that is not lost on me. The prosecution, after LVH’s second trial ended with a hung jury was afraid that in a new trial, she might walk. After all, in her first trial, she got death. Even if death had been available in her second trial, no matter, the jury was deadlocked. So the prosecution changed the charge. You need to get that squarely on the plate; it was the prosecution that changed the charge to felony murder which in effect made it a murder that was committed in the course of a robbery. That wasn’t the case in the first trial. Even though the killers took stuff from Cielo and Waverley, Bugliosi emphasized in his closing argument that robbery was not the motive. LVH did have intent to kill. So when the prosecution played fast and loose in LVH’s third trial by changing the charge to one that did not necessarily include an intent to kill, they are the ones that opened the door to LVH applying for parole. Stephen Kay, the prosecutor in that trial admits to a certain sleight of hand in order to secure that conviction. Why did he not just hit her with the original charges of her first two trials ? I don’t even think it’s being cynical to say that it was because of what happened in the second trial, he was scared he’d lose. A jury now confronted with a LVH that had dropped Manson and was repentant, in stark contrast to the Leslie of 1970~71 was undecided.
    I think she should have been prosecuted under the same terms as the others and indeed herself from 1970 and I support the prosecution in trying to convict her back then. I think they monkeyed about with the law to try to make sure of a conviction and that is what has ultimately given rise to all this. By broadening the charge to make conviction more likely, they gave it a lesser gravitas than one which was all about intent but had a more single focus.
    As for the other killers, your point carries more strength but even during the trial, it was clear that lawyers, judges and indeed, various members of LE did not believe in the death penalty. You can’t hold that against them. Perhaps the perps shouldn’t have had the possibility of parole built into their sentences, but that’s what existed at the time.

    If they were truly remorseful for what they did they would accept Prison till death and stop putting the victim’s families through all of this

    As was pointed out in an earlier thread, this makes no sense at all. It is actually not the killers that are putting the victim’s families through “all of this.”
    Really, it is about the changing times, who, in the prevailing wind carries the most emotively compelling argument.
    I think the side that argues for continued incarceration is running out of wiggle room.

  19. Michael says:

    I think arguments for perpetual incarceration based on lack of remorse, danger to society, or minimization of personal responsibility, are the ones that are likely to run out of steam. There’s too much speculation attached to all of those. But no one could argue against the severity of the crime, and if that is and remains a legal reason for denying parole, it will probably be the only solid one left. That’s why I support the court’s decision. But honestly, I’m surprised. I really thought the Governor’s reversal would be overturned.

  20. Cybele Moon says:

    Fred, I found it very strange that they changed it to felony murder when it was certainly not. Leslie in a sense got lucky when her attorney suddenly disappeared (many speculations about that one) and then turned up dead. So she was given a new trial. Why the jury deadlocked is beyond me but I won’t say what I think because I’ll be jumped on by a few but perhaps her age and appearance. She seemed like the girl next door gone temporarily insane.
    I do think they have a whole life tariff in Great Britain as I recall.

  21. Paul Grabsky says:

    Too contrversal to let Leslie out. Even though she has met everything while in prison

  22. Cybele Moon says:

    Paul, of course I would never trust anyone who had done that. As Fred said it’s hard to trust a cheating partner and this was a very cruel murder. It’s pretty hard to forget.

  23. Paul says:

    Cybele, it don’t think it always works like that.

  24. Fred Bloggs says:

    Cybele Moon says:
    Why the jury deadlocked is beyond me

    Well, I have to say, same here. If the same evidence was put forth, the same should have applied. Basically, she intended to kill. She knew USA society & law deemed it to be wrong, even if she didn’t at the time. She was the only one that actively wanted to kill, even if she did get the collywobbles when it came to the actual moment.
    People have often said that the behaviour of the defendants during the trial has counted against them when it has come to parole but they weren’t convicted because they showed no remorse ~ they were convicted on the weight of the evidence. Even if they had been outwardly remorseful like Tex tried when he was going for his diminished responsibility act, the evidence would still have convicted them. So I’m curious as to what changed between trials, other than the fact that Leslie was repentant and the jury took into account things that the current Guv’nor isn’t.
    It certainly is a case that has tested California law, which is what one of the early judges in the case thought it would.

  25. Fred Bloggs says:

    Cybele Moon says:
    I won’t say what I think because I’ll be jumped on by a few but perhaps her age and appearance

    I don’t think that is as controversial as it might first appear. Let’s face it, some people will definitely take into account someone’s age at the time of the offence. As I recall, in parole hearings in California currently, they take into account age at the time of the crime and current age whereas they never used to. And human beings can’t help it. If we hear of a teenager committing a particularly brutal offence, we’ll generally respond differently to how we would if the person was 48.
    As for appearance, it’s a standard thingy in court that the accused comes with a “respectable” appearance and mode of dress. Why ? Because many people are more likely on balance to think worse of someone in raggy or casual clothes {say, jeans and a T shirt} than they will of someone in a suit or smart dress and neat hair. I hate that, my sister who is a judge and I have argued about this ever since we were kids, but I can’t deny it’s just the way things are. So in Leslie’s case one could argue that it may have worked both ways. A “pretty”, repentant and well turned out lady might get a better result than an unrepentant poorly turned out one. I’m not saying this is what happened, just that it is not beyond the realms of possibility.

    In the original trial, there was apparently one juror that various reporters were saying had become rather smitten with LVH. When I read William Zamora’s “Trial by your peers”, he mentions this guy as thinking she was guilty of 2nd rather than 1st degree murder. He devotes 6 pages to this and how the guy was eventually convinced. And while deliberating on whether the defendants should receive life or the death penalty, LVH was again one of the ones that members of the jury initially felt should get a life sentence.
    However one looks at it, she’s always inspired debate, even back then. But they still voted first degree murder conviction and death.

    I do think they have a whole life tariff in Great Britain

    They do. Very rarely does anyone serve literally life, but even when a person comes out after serving 30 years, there are very strict conditions that they have to follow. If someone on a life sentence comes out on parole and they mess up, they’re back in to serve out the sentence.

  26. Christy says:

    Yes, that guy did want to find a lesser charge. But after the guilt phase during the sentencing phase she took the stand and acted like an angry brat. I’m going to assume he liked her because she was the prettiest of the defendants.

    As I’ve said before the people involved in these murders already had it in them. Leslie probably is rehabilitated. But it’s not my call whether she’s released or not. And I don’t live all that far from where she’s incarcerated. I’ve talked to people who lived here at the time and they say the fear was great, probably a lot like it was when Richard Ramirez was running around. Leslie showed no remorse until it became obvious she was staring at a very long prison sentence.

    While I do think Manson was a catalyst the people he chose to do these crimes already had it in them. I have no problem believing if Leslie hadn’t got caught up with Manson she might have committed a terrible road rage incident because of her anger and impatience.

  27. James S says:

    Agreed

  28. Christy says:

    Fred, the two I know of serving life tariffs were the moor murderers but those murders were years ago and both have since died. I also watched a documentary on Broadmoor and I think some had life tariffs there?

  29. Christy says:

    No edit button. Cybele is correct about not trusting these people. Both Bugliosi in his 1994 update and another writer pointed out that many former family members are very closed mouthed about their time with Manson because as Bugliosi pointed out people won’t feel serene in their presence. Another sad one written by the other author whose name escapes me right now was how Ruthanne Moorehouse practically couldn’t talk about her teenage years at all because of this. She was one of them that used to hang out on the courthouse corner. Some do seem to have escaped this though.

  30. Pam says:

    I remember Paul telling everyone that this MANSON killer would get out, and now the courts have said no.Paul, like I said before, she will die in prison like Atkins and Manson.
    If you think about it, Leslie is worse because she knew what would happened on that second night of murder. She saw a butchered pregnant woman carried out in a body bag, and her reaction was geez, I missed out so let me volunteer to go out the next time
    She is right where she belongs for the rest of her life. Bravo to the judge!

  31. Paul says:

    Paul, I said Leslie will get out one day, and alive at that, she’s never been close to her parole, her attorney’s are not going to give up anytime soon.

  32. Sara-Patricia Mason says:

    She can NEVER undue what she did. She stole life from a mother and a child. I believe she should stay behind bars for the rest of her life. Sharon and her baby won’t ever get out of their coffin.

  33. Pam says:

    Keep dreaming Paul! What judge do you know that wants his record tarnished by releasing a bitcher like Leslie?

  34. Pam says:

    Meant butcher

  35. Christy says:

    Paul if she’s a political prisoner like you think then Jerry Brown could easily pardon her on his last day in office. I might agree with you then because that it would have large repercussions on the democratic party since there is an election coming up and he didn’t want to hurt his party’s chances not reversing her parole.

  36. Paul says:

    its not dreaming Pam, its justice. You have indicated yourself she’s political prisoner.

    Christy, first of all, the governor will still have the reputation when he leaves office for releasing a former Manson family killer. Secondly, that does not at all mean she isn’t. The things Leslie has to do to meet the criteria for parole she has done and they still reject her. I know that most people here know this deep down but it all comes down to moral standards, and that why the law is being manipulated.

  37. Cybele Moon says:

    Paul you are correct about the moral standard. Most of us are still horrified by the acts committed so many years ago. I see on a fb site that people actually talk about what a wonderful person she is and so amazing and good etc etc. Sadly though it’s pretty hard to forget the savagery of that crime no matter how much time has gone by, and people have not forgotten her outrageous behaviour before she renounced Manson. Yes she has performed all the requirements that would normally give parole and had it been a robbery gone wrong or something like that people would not be so adamant that she remain incarcerated. I doubt Tex or Krenwinkel will ever get out and Susan Atkins didn’t. I don’t think Governor Brown is an a-hole for his stand. Still, there is a possibility that Leslie may be freed eventually. Her lawyer is very persistent and doing his best, but I won’t necessarily celebrate it
    .

  38. Paul says:

    I will never to undermine the murders or the lives of the victims and their families. That being said this is one family, there are other families out there that have their loved ones killers out today only after serving as little as 10 years on good behaviour, Leslie has served nearly half a century, and we all know that is purely down to the notoriety and politics, completely corrupted. I know if the law was manipulated that effected the public in whatever negative way, you would be thinking completely different, but because its a case of murder, you don’t care about it. If it was a robbery I’m sure this case would not get as near as much attention and she would of been out by 1980, I’d agree on that. A person that kills during a robbery knows what their doing, in this case these people were not in their proper mind functions. I don’t expect a celebration for her release either. Well of course you wouldn’t think Brown was an a-hole because you both obviously have the same moral standard, the problem with him is that he is charge of operating it, and if he puts his moral impulses or his reputation in front of his job, that is not a good thing at all.

  39. Pam says:

    Her fellow butcherer Atkins sued the state of California claiming she was a political prisoner and was laughed out of court. Leslie will meet the same fate and she will come out in a coffin just like Atkins. Paul, you can call her a political prisoner to make her sound like a victim, when in fact she is a cold blooded, ruthless butcherer who has completely failed to manipulate her way out of prison.

  40. Michael says:

    Pam, I agree that Leslie is hardly a victim. As to what kind of person she is today, to me that’s more questionable. I’m sure she WAS a cold blooded butcherer; I’m not sure she still IS one. Either way, I believe she is where she belongs and should stay there. The fact that other less notorious killers have been released earlier than she only tells me that they should not have been released. It doesn’t convince me that she should be.

  41. Pam says:

    Totally agree Michael, just because you let out one killer doesn’t mean you keep repeating the mistake.

  42. Fred Bloggs says:

    Sara-Patricia Mason says:
    She can NEVER undue what she did. She stole life from a mother and a child. I believe she should stay behind bars for the rest of her life. Sharon and her baby won’t ever get out of their coffin

    Get it right Sara ~ Van Houten had nothing to do with Sharon Tate’s death. It’s fascinating that 49 years later, some people still demonstrate a desire to have a pop rather than actually have some knowledge as to what they are talking about.

    Pam says:
    I remember Paul telling everyone that this MANSON killer would get out, and now the courts have said no

    Then your memory is highly questionable. He said no such thing. I suspect that most people that think the Guv’nor has got this one wrong would not be daft enough to predict which of the times LVH will actually leave prison because it’s clear that with 7 denials from the state guv’nor after the parole board has said yes, the default position of the guv’s office is that none of the murderers of that clan will ever get out, no matter what.
    Paul said she will get out eventually and the more guv’nor office slamdowns of the parole board decisions, the weaker the guv’nor’s office stand becomes.

    What judge do you know that wants his record tarnished by releasing a butcher like Leslie?

    It’s statements like that that lend weight to the notion of LVH being a political prisoner.

    Cybele Moon says:
    had it been a robbery gone wrong or something like that people would not be so adamant that she remain incarcerated

    I don’t think Governor Brown is an a-hole for his stand

    Agreed and it’s poor form to level that at him or his office. I think his stance simply makes him wrong.
    I’d actually like to know just how much he is personally knowledgeable and accountable and how much comes from those working for him.

    Her lawyer is very persistent and doing his best, but I won’t necessarily celebrate it

    For me, it’s not a matter of celebration. I know a lot of people turn it into this adversarial battle and believe it’s some kind of “good vs evil” thing but there’s too much tragedy, pain and waste attached to the whole matter to see it that way. I dare say LVH and some of her friends would celebrate if she was freed, but that would be understandable because it would be the culmination of a long hard fight on her part.
    There’s another side to this that I see as important. When the whole Manson thing happened, America was reeling from the fact that such a thing could happen within its own shores and with no communistic or outside influence. After a period of leaning towards the ‘Manson as revolutionary lover’ or ‘Manson as done wrong’ mode of thought, even the counterculture largely saw the influence of the Family as a negative one, perhaps encapsulated best by Ed Sanders’ “The Family.” Once those death sentences were commuted, although there have long been those that, understandably and perhaps even commendably, wanted the perps incarcerated forever with heaps of hard labour, there were those that, equally commendably, believed, as Elizabeth Fry did, that punishment is not an end in itself, but a step on the way to reducing crime and rehabilitating the criminal. Of course it doesn’t work in every instance and the intent was never to forget or diminish the victims. But with a possibility of parole, there was a need to at least try to bring perps to their right mind and taking on the mindset of the Manson Family was a mighty climb. Bugliosi for one, thought it couldn’t be done.
    People all over the world can be hugely critical of the USA and some of their role in certain world events but it is important to give credit where credit is due and while I’m not so naive as to suppose there couldn’t be a certain amount of self centredness about it from the killers, one wing of LE {in conjunction with others} has succeeded in bringing those perps back to a point where they definitely, for a good 4 decades, have wanted to rejoin the very society they opted out of back in the mid to late 60s and early 70s. And they’ve had to learn just what it meant to so violate their society the way they did and just how they affected people. And they’ve done so with no guarantee that they’ll be let back in.
    Getting letters from youngsters declaring how cool they were and how these kids wanted to be like them and in particular Charlie, came as a severe shock to their systems when they were looking at their tiny, smelly cells and the realistic possibility that they’d never leave there.
    Human beings can be prideful, to our own cost, and to admit in the way the killers have had to that society in general was right and they were wrong is a bigger and deeper thing than many of us realize, especially when we look at so many that have refused to acknowledge that, both in prison, like Charlie, and on the outside.
    But to a large extent, America has shown, unlike some other nations, that as foul a criminal as one may be, it is important to bring a person back if at all possible. Yes, many refuse to come back. Yes, many simply don’t want to change. And yes, many scam the system. But to provide it in the first place and to try to implement it against so many odds does the USA credit in my view.

  43. Fred Bloggs says:

    Pam says:
    in fact she is a cold blooded, ruthless butcher who has completely failed to manipulate her way out of prison

    There’s really only two scenarios that make any sense of your statement when you’re talking about incarceration of 49 years.
    First one would be if she were genuinely unrepentant, didn’t care about what she did and second is if she had every intention of heading down the same road.
    You’d have to show that there is at least something from the last 4 decades that shows she doesn’t care. And you’d also have to demonstrate that there is something that you can present as evidence that indicates that she might re~offend.
    I don’t have a problem with those that believe that a murderer should spend the rest of their life in prison. In some instances, I’d agree with them. But I have long taken the view that one can’t just lump all murderers into the same bag. Each case has to be looked at individually. There, by necessity, has to be general laws that each particular crime falls under. A 20 year old that has been bullied and sexually abused by their stepdad for 9 years and poisons him is not in the same category as a career criminal of 48 that has murdered a rival drug dealer in a turf war. Both are still murderers though.
    The story isn’t over once those cell doors clang shut for the first time…..

  44. Cybele Moon says:

    Fred
    “I don’t have a problem with those that believe that a murderer should spend the rest of their life in prison. In some instances, I’d agree with them. But I have long taken the view that one can’t just lump all murderers into the same bag. Each case has to be looked at individually. There, by necessity, has to be general laws that each particular crime falls under.”

    Agreed! and the Manson case was one of a kind in a sense. Charismatic ex con, middle class girls and boys turned murderers, race war, the Beatles White Album and the very brutal and rather frenzied killings themselves. I remember reading Bugliosi’s account of Tex saying with a smile on his face that after he told the victims they were going to die, they all started running around like chickens. Then there were the soft almost sweet sounding voices of the women involved as they recounted the events. It was all so chilling!! An American nightmare, And the end of the era of peace and love!

    I get it!

  45. Pam says:

    Cry me a river! Poor Leslie

  46. Fred Bloggs says:

    Pam says:
    Cry me a river! Poor Leslie

    There’s no “poor Leslie” about it. Much of this debate isn’t about trying to drum up sympathy.
    But I do detect a really personal element from some of the detractors which I find intriguing.

  47. Christy says:

    Paul, what I’m saying is reputation or not the gubernatorial election is coming up in November and if Leslie is a political prisoner she wouldn’t have been let out no matter who was in office this year. Brown could probably reverse his stance towards the end of his governorship if this was purely political. But I doubt he will.

  48. Christy says:

    Also some people do really well in a highly structured institution but fall apart once let out. Will this be Leslie? I don’t think so but of course I can’t know.

  49. Paul says:

    What do you mean reputation isn’t coming up in November, He will always have a reputation, and this is something he’s evidently too scared of doing because of the publics reaction, it is purely down to politics. We all know she would be out if either the cases didn’t receive near as much attention as it did or if the Tate murders never occurred. We have so many killers walking the street and only serving a quarter of what Leslie has served.

  50. Pam says:

    “We have so many killers walking the street” Great reason to have one more.

  51. Stephen Craig says:

    I’d like to recommend a book that I just read which focuses not only on both LVH and PK, but on the circumstances which enabled them, and others, to kill without empathy/remorse titled, “The Manson Women and Me” by Nikki Meredith. Now, I know the title may sound a bit
    “lame”, and initially I did not intend to buy it: However, I am really glad that I did. It proved, at least for me, to be one of the more insightful, thought-provoking/interesting books on the subject, and delves deeply into many of the concerns etc.., that I find being discussed on this web-site.

  52. Pam says:

    Stephens, I read the book, but I reject the premise that LVH, PK were ordinary girls.
    The word sociopath is the correct term for them. They lacked human empathy which allowed each to butcher without mercy or remorse until it was parole time. Many girls left Manson, why did they stay and kill? Manson, simply tapped in to what was already in them
    Always remember, LVH volunteered and was eagered to go out on the second night. A sociopath eagered to cause pain

  53. Pam says:

    Also, Linda Kasabian went out on both nights of killing but never butchered. Why? Unlike Leslie, she wasn’t a sociopath

  54. Stephen Craig says:

    Pam:

    Even though I still support the continued incarceration of both defendants, (LVK;PK), I did find the book “enlightening” in certain regards, especially at the end when the author speaks with the former member of the Unitarian church who describes the ways in which she was “deindividualized” (word coined in book) by the group think mentality, etc…and to what ends those who feel they are aligned with a “higher purpose” are willing to go to in order to achieve those goals. I will readily concede though, that I, like the author, and still perplexed by LVK and PK’s ability, even under the circumstances in which lived while with Manson, were able to commit the horrendous atrocities they were convicted of.

  55. Stephen Craig says:

    Pam:

    I don’t know why I didn’t include this in the above e-mail, but anyway, in terms of Linda K, I really have issues with her, conduct on the night of the murders, and her rationale at not having gone for help. I do understand that in Bugliosi’s mind, not being able to convict Manson would have equaled an overall unsatisfactory conviction (the “mastermind” getting off while the “minions” are incarcerated) and, in that vein, his need for Linda K.’s testimony. However, how one can be outside a residence and know/hear/witness innocent people being slaughtered, and not go for help? It is something that I will absolutely, categorically something never understand. I realize she stated that she feared for her daughter’s life,
    etc…, but My God!, as a human being, how could she have just, ultimately, done nothing. I mean, she ran past two houses as she headed down the hill to their car. She clearly had options, which, if she had exercised them, might have changed the ultimate outcome (if not for any of the residences, perhaps for Tate’s child). How she is able to live with herself is a mystery to me. It takes a “special” type of person to enter the home of strangers, pull them out of bed, and slaughter them: It also takes a “special” kind of person to stand by and let then slaughter occur. I know this may sound harsh, but I hope she’s had a difficult, unhappy life. Her testimony obviously helped convict the defendants, and I do give her credit for that. But I find her as odious as the others (just my opinion, and I concede many will disagree with me)>

  56. Michael says:

    Stephen, I agree that Linda is not quite as pure as Bugliosi made her out to be, but she did try, although feebly, to stop the Tate killings when she pleaded with Atkins in front of the house to “make it stop.” After seeing two people stabbed by then, and not knowing there was a pregnant woman inside whose baby might survive if she got help, she may have felt that by the time she reached a neighbor’s house it would be too late anyway. A big and unanswerable question I have is whether or not she would have participated if Watson had directed her to go inside the house and had PK or SA stationed out front as a lookout. My guess is that she would have killed or assisted in the killings under those circumstances, but I think she would have done it very reluctantly.

  57. Cybele Moon says:

    Stephen, I will make a note of that book.
    “and to what ends those who feel they are aligned with a “higher purpose” are willing to go to in order to achieve those goals.”

    I still have a problem with the Manson family’s Higher Purpose especially during that era’s ideals and that those most involved found his violent inclinations acceptable along with bloody murder to achieve it. I still find it hard to use the brainwashing excuse. Druggies or not they, at the least, if not somewhat sociopathic were very weak minded individuals.

    I still have to shake my head at Leslie’s claiming political prisoner status. If I was someone like Nelson Mandela I’d find that quite offensive.

    Fred says
    ” But I do detect a really personal element from some of the detractors which I find intriguing.”

    very true! There is something to analyze in that, and quite opposite to her supporters who hold Leslie up as virtuous and reformed, a long suffering example of injustice who didn’t kill anyone while at the same time criticizing the victim’s families for still being angry and vengeful by wanting her to remain incarcerated. Feelings are quite passionate on both sides.

  58. Christy says:

    Paul of course he’s a political animal. He’s been governor twice, the first time in the 70s, mayor of Oakland and his father was governor in the 60s. His sister was state treasurer but lost in her own run for governor. However if I’m being cynical I’d say he’d simply pardon her after the election. I don’t think he’s worried about his reputation. I think he really doesn’t believe in her suitably for release.

  59. Christy says:

    Stephen from what I’ve read on other sites Linda had a number of run ins with the law over her life.

    And I also find this anger at society so we murdered some people ridiculous. African Americans had a much bigger reason for anger. Yet they mainly resorted to peaceful protests. But we have Leslie buying into Manson’s racist views. Paul says she thought she had to but she also wanted to. Killing the La Biancas made no sense other than Manson knew the area.

  60. Paul says:

    Christy, I said she didn’t want to kill anyone but would if it needed to happen.

  61. Pam says:

    I don’t believe LK was capable of murder. Remember she looked Charlie in the eye and told him she was not like him and could not kill for him. She was different from psycho LVH. And for those who think she will eventually get out, eventually is a long time for a 70 year old killer.

  62. Paul says:

    Pam, LVH is not a psychopath, especially now. Her attorney is not giving up, he’s already written a second writ and sent it.

  63. Fred Bloggs says:

    Stephen Craig says:
    in terms of Linda K, I really have issues with her, conduct on the night of the murders, and her rationale at not having gone for help…….how one can be outside a residence and know/hear/witness innocent people being slaughtered, and not go for help? It is something that I will absolutely, categorically something never understand. I realize she stated that she feared for her daughter’s life, etc, but My God!, as a human being, how could she have just, ultimately, done nothing……..She clearly had options, which, if she had exercised them, might have changed the ultimate outcome …..How she is able to live with herself is a mystery to me…….It also takes a “special” kind of person to stand by and let then slaughter occur

    I think that’s too simplistic.
    When we retrospectively look at situations that other people have been in, we need to bear in mind that even if we put ourselves in the same scenario, the same conditions that applied then simply don’t now. I’m very interested in Linda’s reason’s for not getting help. She actually says that was her first thought, then she remembered her daughter, which, I’m sorry for being human here, is more than enough reason for us to give pause. Not many parents would risk the possible safety of their own children and that was a genuine fear for her. She also said that she didn’t know where she was or how to get out of there. We might say that is such a lame excuse. But if you’ve ever been genuinely lost in a place in the dead of night, maybe not. I know women that have gotten into a right state when they’ve been lost after a night out and that’s with no obvious risk attached. Further to that, she’d, in the last 30 minutes, just seen Tex blast away Steven Parent, savage Wojiciech Frykowski and mutilate Abigail Folger. Although you say it takes a special person to let that all happen, she didn’t let it happen ~ it had already happened. She did not know there were two other people in the house {or that one was pregnant or that one was likely dead}. Furthermore, with Tex and his gun {she didn’t know it had jammed}, she was scared, as many of us would have been. That whole episode happened so quickly if the testimonies of William Garretson {on the time Steven left} and Rudolf Weber {when he confronted the killers} are true. Less time to think than we do when trying to work out what should have been done.
    The following night demonstrates what Kasabian could do to save lives when the pressure was on. Herself, Susan and Clem were under instructions to murder and this time around she thwarted Charlie’s attempt to chalk up another murder. Earlier, she’d hidden Rosemary LaBianca’s wallet in a toilet tank, again not following Charlie’s orders to get a Black person into murder trouble by using the cards in the wallet; later she point blank told Charlie she wasn’t him and couldn’t kill. None of the others dared front him like that and you can see how reluctant Susan and Clem were to kill by the speed with which they got out of the Ocean Walk block after Linda had deliberately knocked on the wrong door.
    I’m not saying Linda was someone I’d be proud to call my Mum, she wasn’t. But sometimes, in the quest to bill her as this slimy whore that got away with murder or that could have stopped murder, we have a tendency to put to one side the courageous and good things that she did actually do. However, the reality is that many of the people over the years that criticize her for “not getting help” for the victims at Cielo also dismiss her explanation of how she averted a murder the following night because it shows her in a good light and came from her own mouth.

    I know this may sound harsh, but I hope she’s had a difficult, unhappy life

    Linda was on the road to being something of a wreck before she joined the Family.
    One of the enduring ironies of this case is that, to a large extent, being tried and convicted saved Bobby, Bruce, Clem, Pat, Susan and Leslie. The trajectory of their lives that at such a young age had taken them to murder was halted and prison played a major part in getting them to turn around and, well, become productive. They certainly had been a long way from that for a few years.
    But the other irony is that all the assistance that was on hand to help them wasn’t available to Linda. So she just carried on on the same “playing loose with the law” path that had so contributed to her heading for trouble in the first place and although her scrapes with the law have been minor, that they’ve been at all is noteworthy.
    No one needs to have wished her a difficult and unhappy life. It was that before Spahn, it was that after Spahn and after the trials {remember, she was involved in them up to LVH’s last one}. No one is to blame for that and Linda was in some ways the author of her own unsatisfactory story after the trial.

    Her testimony obviously helped convict the defendants

    It goes beyond that. Without her testimony, the 2 Charlies and Pat could have walked. Leslie was slamdunked by Dianne Lake, who was not an accomplice, and Susan was slamdunked by her own Grand Jury testimony followed by her then recanting it, plus the testimony of Ronnie Howard and Virginia Graham {also not accomplices}. But despite the prints of Tex and Pat being found at the scene, the prints confirm their presence only, not what they actually did. And Manson couldn’t be incriminated by anything Atkins had said so there was nothing tying him to the crimes that a good lawyer couldn’t bat away, even if it took a herculean effort.
    But once Linda tells all that happened, none of that crew can sit back and put their feet up.

  64. Christy says:

    Fred one point. It was either Manson driving or Linda under his instruction. He was the one who decided to stop at that gas station. I’ve been by it a few times and I’ve been by the town of Sylmar which is where the gas station is located many times. It abuts the mountains where you need to drive through to get to California’s Central Valley. What he was doing this far north I have never understood.

    Bugliosi has said something about Pacoima which I gather had a rather large black population. But Charlie was so far off plus being at northwestern edge of Sylmar makes me think he was too nervous to go into a black neighborhood. Or maybe he thought a black traveler would find it stopping for gas on their way into the mountains. I didn’t live in Southern California at that time but I gather this may have been one of the last gas stations for a while back then. Kasabian just hid it too well.

  65. Christy says:

    Paul and I think she wanted to. She had a temper and rage at society before she met Manson.

  66. Fred Bloggs says:

    Christy says:

    Bugliosi has said something about Pacoima which I gather had a rather large black population. But Charlie was so far off plus being at northwestern edge of Sylmar makes me think he was too nervous to go into a black neighborhood. Or maybe he thought a black traveler would find it stopping for gas on their way into the mountains

    Yeah, it could be either. I think by the time he decided to go to the street the LaBiancas house was on, he was showing a certain amount of nervous energy.
    What is significant is that in Susan Atkins’ Grand Jury testimony, she says that on the streets before going to the gas station, they’d seen a number of Black people so there was an assumption that Black people would pass through that station. According to Kasabian, the idea wasn’t to hide the wallet but to leave it in the rest room in the hopes that a Black woman would find it and either use the credit cards or pass them onto someone that would. She did hide it too well ~ but she wasn’t meant to hide it at all. Some have concluded that she hid it with the intention of coming back for it but I think that’s kind of fanciful. She may not have been a model citizen but at various points, she shows a willingness to try the right thing. Yes, I know she kept quiet to law enforcement when a word from her, even anonymously or once she’d fled, could have solved the case quicker than it ended up being solved. But as I said, she wasn’t a model citizen. That’s why she was such a powerful witness.

  67. Christy says:

    Fred I finally looked at a map and realized the gas station isn’t all that far from the turnoff that takes you into the Simi Valley area where Spahn Ranch was located. I generally approach Sylmar from the east and haven’t been by that part of the area in years. So this may have been intentional though Sylmar itself was largely white. Part of this could be out of the four only Clem was a native of the area so they may have gotten mixed up.

    I agree Kasabian did try to mitigate some of this as her actions down in Venice show. However while it might have been trying to hide the wallet from some unsuspecting person it also could be she figured that leaving it out might cause whoever came along next might try to find the owner or turn it over to the police. Manson had walked over to the Dennys that night and people could have given a description. It’s also a look into Manson’s mind that he just assumed a black person finding it would automatically use the credit cards. Probably because his followers regularly used stolen ones.

  68. Paul says:

    Christy she did not commit these crimes because of temper issues, that’s a pretty weak argument.

  69. Christy says:

    Paul, she did have temper problems and “dropped out” telling her mother she’d never see her again. Which she didn’t until after her arrest.

    What I am saying is there was something there that Manson saw. There were a number of other people he could have brought along. Like I said Squeaky was one. She was proud she was the second member of the family after Mary who was in jail at that time.

    Manson spent most of his life in institutions and like many learned to read people. LVH already had issues with society though if Helter Skelter was truly the motive, and there have been some debate on this, why would she go along with starting a race war only to re establish white supremacy at the end? She knew what was going on re civil rights yet she takes a tack of superiority?

    And again I have no horse in this race. If she gets out fine. But trying to say she didn’t think she had a choice in this is not looking at her overall actions at the time. And like I said before she was born and raised in the Los Angeles area. She could have left Spahn Ranch at anytime and was probably familiar with hitch hiking like so many were back then.

  70. Stephen Craig says:

    Fred:

    In response to your comments about Linda K., I will have to respectfully (and not surprisingly) disagree. When you speak of her being “lost” (in terms of location), there was no need for her to orient herself to her surroundings in order for her to seek help: There were two houses right outside the gate of the Polanski residence. All she had to do was alert the occupants; instead she chose to run past both residences and head down the hill. In terms of the murders already have “happened”, Parents murder had already occurred, yes, but when Tex told her to go back to the gate, the others had not yet started the inside slaughter: She easily could have then ran to the Kott residence (the house closet to the gate) and alerted them of what had just happened, and what she feared was about to happen. Nor when she ran back to the house and saw Tex attacking Voytek/Krenwrinkle running down Folger, did she opt to seek any type of assistance: She simply let it all “play out”. And in terms of her daughter, let’s just say, since the majority of our comments/opinions exist in the realm of the hypothetical, she did call for assistance and help came, even after the carnage had occurred, and somehow she remained while the others fled; alerting the police about Manson, the ranch, and her fear for her daughter’s life, one could reasonably assume that the police would have raided the ranch etc…, essentially “saving” her daughter’s life. I guess what I’m trying to say is that there were choices/options that could have made a difference in the ultimate outcome. If not for any of those killed at the Polanski house, then perhaps for the LaBianca’s and Shorty Shea. Think about it: If she had done “something”, something that alerted the authorities on the night of the Tate killings, the “Family” would never have had the opportunity to go out the next night and kill, or later on, those who would eventually kill Shorty Shea would most likely have been incarcerated. I guess my feeling are “simple”: She did nothing, and people died. It really is as “simple” as that.

  71. Cybele Moon says:

    Stephen those are interesting points you bring up. I also feel Kasabian should have received a prison term but after reading Bugliosi’s book he was perhaps caught between a rock and a hard place in wanting a conviction. He chose Linda over Atkins who had confessed to being involved in actual slaughter and also Linda was willing to go against the family. It’s one of those “deals with the devil” that often happens in these kind of cases. e.g. In Canada with the “Ken and Barbie” killings. The law made a deal with the wife to testify against her husband and it was only later when actual video tapes surfaced that they saw she was an eager participant in the rapes and murders. But the deal was done and she got a lighter sentence. The husband is in for life. As for all the wondering why, we will probably never know. All of them were pretty messed up individuals at that point.

    What I find quite interesting is that on the Debra Tate petition site, among all the other Manson members the one who got the most signatures supporting no parole is Leslie Van Houten. Fred mentioned that he saw a personal element among her opposition. I think of all the Family Members Leslie seemed the most privileged as to family background, one of the prettiest and perhaps smartest, the girl next door transformed into a demon. Maybe we all wonder deep down if any circumstance could cause us to change like that. We like to think not of course. But there is that horrifying aspect of digging deep and finding the demons in all of us.

  72. Michael says:

    Cybele, it may well be that more people sign on against LVH’s parole than the others because of a personal element. I also wonder if more people sign the petition against her because she’s the most likely to be paroled, so they feel more urgency about signing on against her than they feel about the others, who aren’t likely to get out anytime soon, if ever. (Although Davis looks like he has a shot.)

  73. Fred Bloggs says:

    Christy says:
    it also could be she figured that leaving it out might cause whoever came along next might try to find the owner or turn it over to the police. Manson had walked over to the Dennys that night and people could have given a description

    That’s a really good point.

    It’s also a look into Manson’s mind that he just assumed a black person finding it would automatically use the credit cards. Probably because his followers regularly used stolen ones

    I noticed that. I thought it said a lot about Charlie and what he thought about Black people. Though he spent much time in jail with Black people and Dianne Lake’s first boyfriend was Black, I’ve long felt that the Family’s philosophy and their attempts to shift blame for the crimes onto Black people shows just how little they actually knew about Black people in LA, let alone across the country.

    What I am saying is there was something there that Manson saw.,….Manson spent most of his life in institutions and like many learned to read people

    But one could make the same observation of people like TJ, Linda, Juan and Brooks, people that he read and saw something in and brought to the point of murder. They all declined.

    why would she go along with starting a race war only to re establish white supremacy at the end?

    Because she believed in Manson as Jesus and when Jesus speaks, you listen.
    I don’t think any of the Family really thought through the logistics and reality attached to Helter Skelter. The end game was so far away in the distance but acid thinking can fit 100 years action into 30 minutes.

    Stephen Craig says:
    Think about it: If she had done “something”, something that alerted the authorities on the night of the Tate killings, the “Family” would never have had the opportunity to go out the next night and kill, or later on, those who would eventually kill Shorty Shea would most likely have been incarcerated. I guess my feeling are “simple”: She did nothing, and people died. It really is as “simple” as that

    Nobody denies any of that. My point is that that is too simplistic. It’s as simplistic as saying that if Manson had been made to complete his sentence instead of being let out in 1967, all of the victims would still be alive.
    You’ll get no argument from me that the LaBiancas would have lived had Linda alerted the authorities but there are reasons why she didn’t and some of those reasons shouldn’t just be dismissed, nor should it be forgotten that she did do something and as a result, someone lived the next night.
    A quick observation though, about those that went on to kill Shorty. Regardless of what Linda said, Manson, Clem, Bruce, Bill Vance and Larry Jones wouldn’t have been incarcerated on August 9th. Incarcerated for what ?
    Linda is a difficult character to assess one way or the other because in the same person, you see some actions that leave anyone feeling really uncomfortable alongside actions that one can only describe as heroic. I know that’s a word that will inspire much debate and fury, but it’s one that describes her actions at Ocean Front Walk and during the trial. I’m not saying she was a heroine, neither was she a worthless scumbag.
    Interestingly, she told 5 people about the murders during that August.

    Cybele Moon says:
    I also feel Kasabian should have received a prison term

    Joan Huntington asked Bugliosi in 1971 what would have happened to Linda if she hadn’t testified for the prosecution and he said he wouldn’t have gone for the death penalty, he’d have gone for a second degree murder charge. His reasoning was that she hadn’t killed anyone but he was equally adamant that she was guilty.

    after reading Bugliosi’s book he was perhaps caught between a rock and a hard place in wanting a conviction. He chose Linda over Atkins who had confessed to being involved in actual slaughter and also Linda was willing to go against the family

    He states that in the days when Susan was the main witness for the prosecution, given the choice between Susan and Linda, he would have preferred Linda as she hadn’t killed. But he didn’t actually choose Linda over Susan. Susan went back on her Grand Jury testimony and had Linda not “answered the call” the prosecution was screwed. In many ways, Linda held all the aces.

    It’s one of those “deals with the devil” that often happens in these kind of cases

    That’s a truth. The murderers could not have been convicted without the assistance of people that lived on the wrong side of the law. Many cases are like that but the alternative is to not have such witnesses and have a case collapse. I’ll take the dodgy witnesses any day.

  74. Stephen Craig says:

    Fred:
    Perhaps you wouldn’t mind clarifying your point re: the simplistic nature of believing that if Manson not being released in ’67, then the victims would still be alive. Just to let you know my reason for asking, I will readily concede that anything might have befallen the victims of these crimes (in terms of losing their lives) other than being murdered: disease, accident, suicide, and even in Tate’s case, complications from childbirth; anything can happen to us at any time; today, tomorrow, whenever. But Manson “ordered” these murders, and at least in the Tate case, picked the residence because he had been familiar with it. If he had not been released, the “perfect storm” that eventually formed after his release would never have occurred (at least concerning the creation of the “Family”). I mean, all of us eventually die; but how many of us are dragged out of our beds and slaughtered by strangers at the behest of a madman, in this case, Manson? If he had remained incarcerated (as even he himself had requested) these particular crimes would not have occurred. Maybe I’m misreading what you meant, but to think otherwise for me, at least, is perplexing.

  75. Fred Bloggs says:

    Stephen Craig says:

    Perhaps you wouldn’t mind clarifying your point

    Yes. When we speak of things that should have happened, it’s with the benefit of hindsight and sometimes rarely takes into account all of the elements that make up the matter that is being spoken about. My point with Manson was to illustrate how simplistic one can be about any event and how far back do you go ? Yes, of course had he not been released in ’67, those things wouldn’t have happened to the victims. But had he stayed on his travels one more day with Stephanie Schram in the week leading up to the Cielo event, the same would be true. It reaches a point where history can’t be re-written because things have already happened. It’s easy to say what should have happened but those things are only said because of what went on to happen. We tend to look for simple, straightforward answers where few exist. I don’t see that straightforward logic applies in much that pertains to this case. In a way, that’s part of what makes it so interesting. It’s full of dilemmas, paradoxes, ironies, contradictions and nuances. It’s not like Jeffrey Dahmer or Bonnie & Clyde.
    We were originally talking about Linda Kasabian. I think that she is viewed unnecessarily harshly when there are positive things about her actions that balance out her negatives. As I’ve noted many times before, she’s by no means crowned in glory and if she were my Mum, I wouldn’t be in any great hurry to publicize the fact. But as sneaky and self seeking as she may have been, that needs to be balanced out by the good that she did do and her reasons for not doing something about the scene that faced her at Cielo should be understood and not instantly dismissed, even if one disagrees with those reasons. Her standing is not one dimensional. Again, part of what makes her interesting is that very reality.

  76. Fred Bloggs says:

    Stephen Craig says:
    the behest of a madman, in this case, Manson?

    A number of people feel Manson was mad. Maxwell Keith who took over LVH’s case when Ronald Hughes disappeared, openly said so in court. Sometimes, it’s easy to see why.
    I don’t think he was. I certainly think he was twisted though.

  77. Paul says:

    Christy, that’s not a serious tempter, even if she did have one, it really doesn’t relate to this. Leslie didn’t kill out of rage because of her “temper”

  78. Christy says:

    Paul, she was described as a spoiled little princess by a phyciatrist that examined her. Someone who said she had a problem with impulse control and delayed gratification. He also pointed out that Rosemary LaBianca may have been simply a blank page Leslie projected her rage on.

    While many teenagers have this to some degree you’ll notice not all the teenagers stuck around. So, yes, I think she was quite willing to go and maybe, maybe, felt reluctant when it was finally a reality. But that didn’t stop her. She already knew about the previous murders.

  79. Pam says:

    Paul, here was a woman who stabbed a complete stranger what had done nothing to her and held her down so PK could also stab her. And you really believe she had no serious anger at the time? She was full of rage as she was repeatedly stabbing RL.

  80. Paul says:

    Christy, I know of this, but Leslie did not kill Rosemary because of her rage or because of problems with impulse control, we know that has nothing to do with it, Leslie did not know Rosemary and the motive was not related to tempter issues. Watch Leslie’s interview in 1977, I believe she addresses that psychiatrist examination at 14:05.

    Pam, I do know it was not anything to do with rage, it just seems another excuse that people use to make her out to be this vicious women who is a danger. Leslie was instructed to “do something” by both Manson and Tex, and she wasn’t able to mutilate Mrs LaBianca any more than committing stab wounds. Rosemary was indeed a stranger to Leslie, Leslie had no personal feelings of hatred towards her.

  81. Christy says:

    Paul, I will take a look at it but even before I listen this is when she was up for retrial. I won’t talk about her until I read it.

  82. Christy says:

    Paul, how do you know Leslie didn’t do this with rage?

    Honestly you’ve gone from a person who thinks the California penal system is wrong , to the Governor is wrong and now sounding like one of her attorneys, I hope.

    I can totally get behind you being a defense attorney but none would do this here, or insist this.

  83. Cybele Moon says:

    Paul says
    Pam, I do know it was not anything to do with rage, it just seems another excuse that people use to make her out to be this vicious women who is a danger. Leslie was instructed to “do something” by both Manson and Tex, and she wasn’t able to mutilate Mrs LaBianca any more than committing stab wounds. Rosemary was indeed a stranger to Leslie, Leslie had no personal feelings of hatred towards her.

    If you are trying to make Leslie seem less guilty this analysis makes it even more frightening and horrifying. the willingness to kill ( or stab as you say) and the lack of empathy.
    I doubt if anyone can ever explain it.

  84. Lee says:

    It is disgusting how people come to the defense of LVH after what she did simply because she was a good looking girl. I guarantee if she were fat, none of these men would give one squirt of piss about her. The fantasize about the LVH of yesterday, not about what she did. These killers didn’t commit some teenage/young adult indiscretion. It was murder in the first! You absolutely do not ever get a redo in life after committing such violent acts. Not only did they painful stab people, but they also laughed about it, taunted the families of the victims, and paraded around the courthouse singing. Fuck these beasts & their stupid rights! They forfeited living outside of an institution by their absolute choices to participate in butchering live human beings in the sanctity of their own homes.

  85. Paul says:

    Cybele, I’m explaining that Leslie did not commit these crimes because of problems with her temper.

  86. Fred Bloggs says:

    Paul says:
    I’m explaining that Leslie did not commit these crimes because of problems with her temper

    Actual temper played very little, if any, part in LVH’s participation. Anger {towards her Mum and Dad, Bobby Mackie, American society etc} I think played a role in the formation of the mindset that saw her eventually arrive at the point where she was ready and willing to kill, but that’s not the same as temper.
    Actually, I’d go as far as to say that by the time she was in that room, temper wasn’t present at all. In fact, when confronted with actually killing, little Miss Willing discovered the very real difference between rhetoric and reality and showed definite signs of the willies until Tex told her to get to it.
    Why do I say that ? Due to what she told her lawyer, Marvin Part. Do I believe it ? Yes.
    I believe it because in that interview, Part taped her thinking she was insane and wanted the Judge to hear it and declare her unfit to stand trial ~ and she sacked him. In that interview, she lays out all kinds of details that went on to corroborated by others, people that couldn’t possibly have heard that tape. In it, she interprets Beatle lyrics, outlines Helter skelter, lands Mary, Bobby, Susan, Pat and Tex squarely in murder, puts Charlie as the one that ordered the murders, describes Linda as the one that ran away at Cielo, has Charlie and Linda driving on the second night, shows the cast for both nights and describes the two murder squads on the 2nd night, stabbing a body she thought was dead, speaks of Cathy Gillies wanting to go along that second night, describes the guy that came looking for her at Spahn after the LaBianca murder and would do it again and doesn’t regret it ~ as well as saying she cries sometimes because of what she did, feels bad for Rosemary’s kids and the Tates. There is a mix of info and emotions and nothing that has turned out to be a lie. So if she is to be believed in the bad stuff where she’s openly incriminating herself and her friends, then the stuff that shows she did have some feelings must be taken on board too.
    She says nothing about temper.
    In a way, it’s kind of worse because of this. We could almost understand it a little more if she were to say that she had a bad temper and just saw red and exploded. But she didn’t say that. Hers was pretty cold and calculating ~ until she got there. In a way, I’m reminded of how some of us are more likely to freak out if we hear a caring nurse or doctor has murdered their patient than we are if we hear about gang members that thrive on anger and flashes of temper, killing a rival in the midst of a turf war. There’s little tangible or easily digestible that we can hang onto.
    On one level, that’s good because it forces us to have confront some rather uncomfortable nuances.

    Lee says:
    It is disgusting how people come to the defense of LVH after what she did simply because she was a good looking girl

    It is but if we look deep enough, it’s quite human to do so. If it is “a pretty girl” in this particular instance, it’s someone in a suit or someone in a well presented dress in another. Or someone that speaks well and in an articulate manner or has a communicable sense of humour or style. Or someone that looks like us or someone we happen to identify with or reminds us of someone we like[d] or love[d]. There are so many aspects of a defendant or witness that can tweak our prejudices either way. We’re not robots, in spite of the supposed blindness of justice.

    Fuck these beasts & their stupid rights!

    Careful. Many of us come from or live in {and are happy to do so} nations that have spent much of fairly recent~ish history taking to task nations that do not extend basic human rights to all of their citizens. If your Dad, Mum, brother, sister, husband, wife, girlfriend, cousin, best friend etc murdered someone, would you [a] abandon them and [b] if you could, do away with the few rights they {in my opinion} should have ?

  87. Cybele Moon says:

    Paul I agree with you and Fred about temper, anger against society and her parents perhaps that was fueled by Manson rhetoric.
    However I will say again, even with a brainwashing mindset, it was the lack of empathy that is most frightening to me. Not that the lack of that is anything new in the world.

  88. Paul says:

    Leslie did have some degree of empathy, and that shows in her 1969 taped interview with her then attorney.

  89. Cybele Moon says:

    not enough Paul – and she certainly didn’t act like she was remorseful for the suffering in which she participated afterward in the least. She admits she felt no remorse for her crimes for a number of years until she divorced herself from Manson. This is something that psychologists study, as empathy is something essential in human beings. This lack of empathy was prevalent in Nazi Germany and today among terrorists etc.

  90. Paul says:

    You can’t expect to her to be that sad, she thought it was the right thing at the time. She showed empathy for the victims of the families, but in her state of mind she didn’t think death didn’t mean as much as most people thought it did.

  91. Fred Bloggs says:

    Cybele Moon says:
    She admits she felt no remorse for her crimes for a number of years until she divorced herself from Manson

    But that’s not really surprising is it ? She believed in a cause. A daft, unworkable cause, yes, but like lots of people that believe in something, she went to the measures one has to in order to keep something going. Terrorists are no different insofar as they kill and will also kill themselves but belief, strong belief, is not the preserve of murderers, terrorists and people who are prepared to expunge human life {even if it is their own}. It’s a fundamental human quality.
    Also, it’s entirely logical that remorse would accompany a move away from Manson and his milieu or maybe the other way round actually, that remorse would actually kick start that move away. I found it chilling that after the Cielo killings, Manson asked that group of murderers if they had remorse. In interviews he’s done since, he even admits it.
    So, if she had no remorse until after the move away from Manson that would mean that for about 5~6 years, she wasn’t remorseful…….but for 42~44 years, she has been. That would tend to cancel out the initial 5~6 years.

    This is something that psychologists study, as empathy is something essential in human beings

    Yet the reality is that there are loads of situations in which every one of us would not have empathy. For example, how many people have any empathy towards any of the killers ? Having empathy for any of them does not equate to thinking they should be paroled. One could still hold the view that they should remain in jail for life yet empathize with them. But how many do ?
    Taking that a stage further, there are many of us that have thought, said or done hurtful things that in themselves show a lack of empathy. Sometimes regularly. Both empathy and a lack thereof are essentially human and a lack of it is not strictly the territory of the murderer or criminal.

    This lack of empathy was prevalent in Nazi Germany

    It was and you know something that has long fascinated me ? We can find that in just about every country one cares to name among stretches of the populations. The Nazi lack of empathy stands out because of the extremes that went along with it.
    The thing about empathy is that it is actually quite selective. I suspect one will often find that those that do empathize with certain people will have others that they don’t empathize with.

    Pam says:
    here was a woman who stabbed a complete stranger what had done nothing to her and held her down so PK could also stab her. And you really believe she had no serious anger at the time?

    Belief {“this was something that had to be done”} would trump anger. Obedience {“do whatever Tex tells you to do”} would trump anger. And one other thing. Rosemary was lying there still and LVH was sure she was dead. So stabbing the body was, to her, being a good soldier, of sorts.
    It probably sounds like I’m making excuses. I’m not. Earlier, Cybele said “I doubt if anyone can ever explain it”. That’s a statement that points to the bizarre complexities of this case. There is so much that comes at us and so much that seems like contradictions of other things yet, notwithstanding some contradictions, I’ve found that much can be explained. However, for that to happen, one has to put one’s natural prejudices and defences aside and it’s really not easy. I take on board what pretty much everyone involved in this case says and because I believe in paradoxes, I think I can see how many of the elements we find actually stand alongside each other. Yes, there are some blatant lies {eg, the women in the penalty phase}, some overemphasizing things which seem to assume the status of fact {eg, Bugliosi’s rigid timeline or him saying Linda was selected because of her valid driving licence}, some serious problems {eg, Susan and Bobby’s changeability of story} etc, but if one approaches, for example, what one of the killers says and takes it as read, then one finds much less problem in seeing how someone could have wanted to kill and yet got cold feet when they came to that moment, then did because they were made to and yet are still completely guilty. The object of the exercise is not to present anyone as great & wonderful or hatefully evil.

  92. Cybele Moon says:

    Fred, I’m not sure if you mean sympathy or empathy. Sometimes you do not feel sympathy for those who supposedly brought their woes on themselves by their behaviour. However, if you analyze it sometimes there are mitigating factors such as severe childhood abuse, neglect, trauma etc In this instance the Manson women for the most part had not suffered this though I know there was divorce and an abortion in LVH ‘s case. But empathy to me means that most of us if we actually witness the suffering of others will be disturbed, or try to stop it if we can, e.g. I do not believe in the death penalty. I don’t believe in torture. I felt sad for Susan Atkins when she was dying of cancer. I believe that in the case of extreme ideologies that emotional response may be suppressed, perhaps forever. Apparently Nazi doctors, long after the war, when questioned or examined continued to show no remorse for what had been done.

  93. Paul says:

    Leslie was disturbed by the murders though, she said she was trying to handle something she wasn’t capable of handling in the first place. Leslie wound not have tried to prevent it though, because in her capacity at that time, she believed it had to happen whatever the impact.

  94. Fred Bloggs says:

    Cybele Moon says:
    Fred, I’m not sure if you mean sympathy or empathy

    I most definitely mean empathy ~ that is, the ability to understand or share the feelings of another person or groups of people. We usually empathize by putting ourselves in that person or peoples’ place and imagine what it would be like to go through what they are going through.
    A real outcome of empathy is what you suggest ~ that if we witness the suffering of another person we’d try to stop it or if we thought about it beforehand, we’d not go through with anything untoward.

  95. Christy says:

    Paul I watched what I think is the entire interview on YouTube. She speaks of the psychiatrist for about 5 minutes. Whether this is because the various reporters weren’t interested, she didn’t want to talk about it or her attorneys advised her against it I don’t know. But her problems were already documented beforehand.

    Fred encapsulated better what I’ve been trying to explain all along but not well. She joined this group because of her anger issues and, in my opinion, was quite willing to go along that night. Faced with the reality of Mrs. La Bianca was probably a jolt. And she may have feared for her own life if she had tried to bolt and alert anyone. I’ve also heard theories Pat was her best friend in the group and she more or less followed what Pat did.

    Either way she was alienated and angry. Many people were at that time, heck are now.

  96. Christy says:

    Paul I should have added I saw the part where Manson was advising her to act like she was hard. My guess is the psychiatrist saw through that if indeed Leslie did say this.

    Again Leslie was was being retried and presenting herself in the most favorable light so yes she’s going to try to mitigate things she said earlier. And Manson was not some all knowing Svengali and Leslie wasn’t trapped in Guyana.

  97. Cybele Moon says:

    I read Nikki Meredith’s book yesterday. She is a writer, social worker and former probation officer. She writes very sympathetically towards these women as they are today and while she did not write up a parole recommendation for Krenwinkel and certainly not for Atkins she seems to have a lot of insight. I believe she wrote this book over a twenty year period of visiting all three. Of the three LVH does come out looking like she has the most insight and sensitivity toward society and has no anger toward the system as has been talked about here. If Nikki is telling the truth, Leslie understands Governor Brown’s position and harbours no ill will about it. Nikki also talks about Steven Kay the prosecutor whom she went to school with and the Victim’s Rights Advocacy which on the downside ended some of the
    prison reform programs.
    So that brings us to the issue of punishment or rehabilitation.

    On saying that, I still believe that life without parole would have been a more appropriate sentence for that kind of crime at the time. However, it’s not what they got. I also think that an interviewer who has spent that much time is bound to become sympathetic as Truman Capote did with his subject, Perry Smith. The “monsters” will always become more human. There are still many people who were around at the time the Manson crimes were committed and are still horrified by them. That notoriety and the psychological fascination will never go away. We are all still talking about it to this day.

  98. Paul says:

    Christy, well the psychiatrist obviously didn’t see through it because he fell for it, Leslie portrayed this type of vicious individual, which is not in Leslie nature. Just because someone commits a crime like murder doesn’t mean their naturally vicious.

  99. Christy says:

    Paul, I really hope you’re one of her attorneys and not some obsessed fan boy who sees Leslie as some damsel in distress who had no agency in this and was somehow the innocent victim of Manson.

    She didn’t come from an abusive home. She had a relatively normal upbringing for the times except for her parents divorce. She certainly had it better than Susan Atkins. And she had it better than Pat who was not as pretty and popular as she was.

    Make no mistake, Manson used everyone who “followed” him but they had all had their own reasons for going along with this in the first place. Look at Tex who came from a tight knit community, was good in school, went to college. Are you going to excuse his actions by saying he thought it had to happen? Because he did think this as well. And so did everyone who committed these crimes.

  100. Michael says:

    Christy, that’s an important point. Too often Manson’s followers are described as either being from very troubled backgrounds, or having some acute mental or emotional deficit which set them up for Manson’s power. I don’t buy it. The “family” contained a cross section of kids from so many differing backgrounds, so the main commonality I believe they had lay in their decision to drop out and live an indulgent sensual lifestyle with tons of sex, drugs, and general irresponsibility. In exchange for facilitating all of that for them, their leader only required blind conformity and obedience. Then, of course, he royally screwed their minds up. But only after they gave him permission to, somewhat like the guy who deliberately drinks before driving, never intending to kill someone when he’s under the influence, but still completely responsible for letting himself come under the influence in the first place.

  101. Christy says:

    Michael, thanks. So many dropped out back then and followed some guru or another but didn’t do this. There was something already there that allowed them to go along with this.

    Cybele, your point about Truman Capote reminds me of Norman Mailer. He was corresponding with a prisoner named Jack Abbott. He was helpful in getting Abbot out of prison and Abbott returned the favor by murdering a waiter six weeks after his release because of an altercation. Mailer thought the guy had reformed because of his thoughtful letters and books. Turned out he was wrong.

  102. Christy says:

    Paul says Just because someone commits a crime like murder doesn’t mean they’re naturally vicious.

    Maybe I do hope you’re either her incompetent defense attorney or a double agent working to keep Leslie incarcerated because that’s the most clueless sentence you’ve posted yet.

    Let’s see, somebody who starts helping her cohort to kill a woman who hears her husband screaming and trying to go to him is not naturally vicious. And never was. Yeah, right.

  103. Christy says:

    Paul, I am going to add that if the psychiatrist fell for her lies about being hard nosed what does that say about people who believe her when she says that murder wasn’t in her nature?

  104. Cybele Moon says:

    Christy says
    your point about Truman Capote reminds me of Norman Mailer. He was corresponding with a prisoner named Jack Abbott. He was helpful in getting Abbot out of prison and Abbott returned the favor by murdering a waiter six weeks after his release because of an altercation. Mailer thought the guy had reformed because of his thoughtful letters and books.

    Yes there’s always that possibility! We had a fellow up here, Steven Reid , a former bank robber who corresponded in jail with a famous local writer, got out of prison, wrote a book (an extremely well written book) married the poetess and a few years later robbed the bank on the corner where I lived. I guess he couldn’t live without that excitement although they blamed it on his drug abuse. But he wasn’t a murderer of course.

  105. Christy says:

    Cybele, I googled that am going to follow it up.

  106. Lee says:

    This whole argument is revolting. LVH will stay where she belongs!

  107. Fred Bloggs says:

    Christy says:

    Paul says Just because someone commits a crime like murder doesn’t mean they’re naturally vicious.

    Maybe I do hope you’re either her incompetent defense attorney or a double agent working to keep Leslie incarcerated because that’s the most clueless sentence you’ve posted yet

    Actually, it’s not a clueless sentence. Some people commit murder that aren’t naturally vicious or let’s say, up until that point have not shown evidence of being vicious. Greedy, hurt, vengeful, abused, but not necessarily naturally vicious. Now, that is no excuse for LVH or anyone for that matter that commits murder. Being vicious may indeed play an important part in a murder…..but equally, it may not. And if it doesn’t, then one has to take that murderer for what they are. A woman may have poisoned her boyfriend because he left her, having never shown any inclination to that kind of murderous behaviour before. I find much of the argument about LVH and whether she was vicious or had a bad temper to be something of a red herring. It’s a red herring because it’s intended to cast doubt on her today. I’d rather deal with the reality that we have a woman that committed murder, there are reasons that led to that point but no excuses and over a period of around 43-44 years has turned away from that, has responded to one of the things that incarceration from the rest of society and its benefits is supposed to do which is cause one to reflect upon themselves and their actions and rise to the challenge of what are you going to do now ? Even if you have to spend the rest of your days in jail.

    Norman Mailer….was corresponding with a prisoner named Jack Abbott. He was helpful in getting Abbot out of prison and Abbott returned the favor by murdering a waiter six weeks after his release because of an altercation. Mailer thought the guy had reformed because of his thoughtful letters and books

    Abbot is not a good example with which to compare LVH because he was in one institution or another pretty much from his birth and openly criticized the prison system, saying that it dehumanized prisoners. He also said that in being among nothing but violent men in prison most of his adult life, any kind of disagreement or confrontation was a potential threat to him that had him on his guard and high alert. He viewed himself as a state raised convict, rather like Charles Manson did himself, and reached the point where he was openly showing no remorse. Interestingly, he never was done for murder.
    That all said, it’s always a risk when releasing an inmate on parole. Some people pose bigger risks than others, let’s face it.

    Look at Tex who came from a tight knit community, was good in school, went to college. Are you going to excuse his actions by saying he thought it had to happen? Because he did think this as well. And so did everyone who committed these crimes

    I don’t think any of the murderers actions can be excused. When it’s pointed out that LVH had her thinking swayed by a lengthy spell from teenage on acid and felt she was ordained from above to carry out this karmic action, these are just facts of the case. They’re not excuses. They’re not introduced into the debate to somehow take the gloss off what was done and make it a lesser crime. What they exist for now, is to demonstrate the journey that she says she has taken.

    Lee says:
    This whole argument is revolting

    Yet, you keep coming back to it.

  108. Fred Bloggs says:

    Michael says:
    July 10, 2018 at 12:58 am

    Too often Manson’s followers are described as either being from very troubled backgrounds

    Some of them definitely were.
    I think that generation that were coming of age from the mid 50s to late 60s were among the first generation whose parental relationships were actually called into question. Nowadays, we make a lot of noise about going out of one’s way to have deep, open relationships with our children where the door is constantly open and virtually nothing is off limits to talk about, and understanding where the children are at and working through that with them isde rigeur. But it wasn’t like that in the period the Krenwinkels and the Van Houtens divorced or Mrs Atkins died or Susan was abused by her big brother and his friends & her Dad was an alcoholic or Bruce {twice}, Bobby and Charlie {if you believe Nuel Emmons and Dianne Lake} were raped or Squeaky’s Dad refused to talk to her or Bruce’s Dad generally treated him like shit. Those aren’t excuses, but they do provide food for thought as to why some of that crowd were so keen to embrace a counterculture than literally ran counter to what their parent’s generation stood for. Sometimes, what’s important is the extent to which an adult identifies their background as having been troubled.

    The “family” contained a cross section of kids from so many differing backgrounds

    But this is a really important point. There were, for example, a number of runaways and when we look at some like Paul Watkins, Stephanie Schram, Kitty Lutesinger, Barbara Hoyt and Ruth Moorehouse, one is hard pushed to see, other than perhaps boredom, what the heck they had to complain about.
    But it was a mixed bag, as was the hippy make up generally. There were all kinds in there, some with money, some without, some with a work ethic, some without etc….

    the main commonality I believe they had lay in their decision to drop out and live an indulgent sensual lifestyle with tons of sex, drugs, and general irresponsibility

    And in this, they weren’t different from many that subscribed to the Hippy happening. When George Harrison came to Haight Ashbury during the summer of love, he was turned off the Hippy movement {and by extension, acid} by that very thing. As someone that worked hard and tried to give others hope and inspiration to make life better for others, he was actually offended by what he viewed as their notions of entitlement.

    In exchange for facilitating all of that for them, their leader only required blind conformity and obedience. Then, of course, he royally screwed their minds up. But only after they gave him permission to

    What this shows is the paradoxical nature of what was going on with the Family. The truth is that murder came very late in the day and there weren’t really members walking about thinking of the people that they were going to kill. If anything, up until approaching that summer, defence rather than offence was the order of the day.
    I suspect Manson became like a number of people that find that they are able to control groups of people. The thing with him was that having taken them so far out of the boundaries of the society they lived in and them having gone so willingly, that ability to shift people became megalomania rather than altruism and being something of a dark character with a dark history and a gripe {understandable if one examines it} to match, hitting back became a raison d’être. The more the members gave consent to see things his way….the more they did. Well, most of them.

  109. Cybele Moon says:

    Fred says
    “That all said, it’s always a risk when releasing an inmate on parole. Some people pose bigger risks than others, let’s face it.”

    We never completely know how a person is “hard wired” I suppose, although I believe that even those people could be rewired given the right circumstance and psychological support- neuro plasticity and all that. If Nikki Meredith’s book is to be believed I might say that LVH may not post such a great risk at this time. According to the interview with the mother (now deceased I think) she stated that Leslie did not have a temper when young, and that the story about the shoe was completely false. I also find it interesting that her lawyer says he is determined she is going to “go home” as opposed to “being freed”. I suppose he’s speaking rhetorically.

    However, I am not sorry that she has remained in prison. I still say the circumstance of the crime was so horrific and caused such trauma for the families and even for other citizens who feared for their lives afterward.

  110. Paul says:

    Christy it makes sense, Fred has made his input on it so read what he has to say about it.

  111. Christy says:

    Fred the Abbot thing was a sideline between Cybele and me but it does have purpose. People get enarmored of those who speak well, clean up well and can present themselves well. Which brings me to Ted Bundy.

    I really think Leslie is not the person she was when she helped commit these murders. Doesn’t mean she wasnt a vicious jerk back then.

  112. Cybele Moon says:

    Christy
    here is an excellent article about Reid and how he garnished so much support from the literary community and yet others were furious. There is a bit of a parallel I suppose.
    http://www.timescolonist.com/news/local/obituary-stephen-reid-from-bank-robber-to-author-and-back-again-1.23335369

    LVH does garnish sympathy from many – 47 years in prison is a lifetime and yet, the crime still horrifies.

  113. Christy says:

    Cybele, thank you for a really good article. I had not of this man before.

  114. Paul says:

    Cybele the sympathy, the gravity of the crime, the opposition of her parole is almost irrelevant in Leslie’s case. Leslie has done all she can by law to be released, that it what it comes down to.

  115. Cybele Moon says:

    Paul nothing is really irrelevant as you say, but yes she probably has done what is needed to be done and now it’s a waiting game.

  116. Christy says:

    Confession time. I grew up in the San Francisco bay area and was 8 years old at the time. 9 years later came twin atrocities in the mass suicide/murders of the people’s temple in Guyana and the Moscone/Milk assassination about two weeks later. These make me look askance at claims Leslie is some innocent waif . I am willing to believe she’s rehabilitated but not she wasn’t a vicious jerk at 19.

    Unlike the people in Guyana who also followed a guru she had the means to leave when things turned dark.

  117. Christy says:

    I am also going to add to my earlier thread about people who clean up well there has long been speculation Susan Atkins didn’t stab Sharon Tate. She went back and forth on this and Tex had said she didn’t. But did she get the outpouring of sympathy Leslie has over the years? Not until she was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer. Even Bugliosi supported her compassionate release.

  118. Cybele Moon says:

    This will forever be so controversial!

    Paul, if I may ask you, I have been accused today of being a troll while “pretending” to respect other’s opinions, and not have a life etc etc, because of a comment I made on another site. I have never tried to be disrespectful to anyone personally. Please let me know if I have been disrespectful to you. No matter my own opinion of which I am fond of giving at times, I certainly hope I have not belittled anyone else for theirs. I am not incognito and am easily found it seems on my fb social media page. I guess it’s time for me to bow out! Maybe I have said too much so time to move on before I get too obsessed lol!! Thank you all for the great discussions here though I will continue probably to have my thoughts on it all.

  119. Michael says:

    Cybele, I think you’re mistaken to bow out, because your comments have never included name calling or needless sarcasm, and I can’t remember anyone on this site even suggesting you were disrespectful! I think your comments are informed and fair. Your disagreements with Paul have always been expressed on adult levels by both of you.

    I hope you’ll reconsider because I appreciate your comments. They’ve added solid perspective to these discussions.

  120. Christy says:

    Cybele, I agree with Michael above. You’ve added a lot to these discussions and have good insights.

  121. Michael says:

    Christy, although I believe Atkins did not stab Tate (it makes no sense whatever for Watson to have taken the rap for that unless he’s telling the truth when he admits he did the stabbing) I still don’t think that whether or not she stabbed Sharon is what determined the level of sympathy she did or didn’t get. I think more sympathy’s been extended to Leslie than Susan because of the numbers of Susan’s victims compared to Leslie’s, and to the general weird sadism of Susan’s expressions and behavior post-arrest. As nutty as Leslie came off during the trial, she didn’t match Susan’s dark craziness by a long shot.

  122. Paul says:

    Cybele we have discussed this matter together on another site as well, and I never suggested you trolled. There have been several people on here such as Flip who were just evidently not wanting a debate but completely disregarding the points that counter his or her argument. I think we’ve made good progress of making our points known.

  123. Christy says:

    Fred, interesting you brought up a woman poisoning her boyfriend. Back in 1995 there was a case of a woman who poisoned her estranged husband then burned down her house with her children in it killing two of them. Her background suggests she was vicious since, even though an MD, she could get visibly angry with her patients. She also flew into rages with people like airline employees who couldn’t fight back. Just because it took until her 40s to start a murder spree doesn’t mean she didn’t have it in her all along.

    There also the instance of a guy who lived around here who, in the midst of a divorce, dressed up as a Santa clause, went to his inlaws house, shot everyone he could see then sprayed fuel from a high pressure system then burned the house down. From what people think his next target was the house of his wife’s attorney and possibly his mother. This is supposition since he burned himself so badly he committed suicide. They think his idea was to flee the country since he had money strapped to his body.

    A number of people who knew him were shocked by this. Not in his nature they thought. Then a few months later out came an article about his past. The worst was about his son, who he’d never told his then wife about, who as a toddler fell into a pool and nearly drowned. He was supposed to be watching his son at the time. He in the beginning kept a vigil at his son’s bedside. But when faced with his son’s profound disabilities related to the near drowning he abandoned him, refused to pay child support but continued to claim the boy on his tax returns.

    Was Leslie like either of the above? I’ll agree she’s probably not now but I think she was at one time.

  124. Christy says:

    Michael, I think you’re right about Susan’s craziness. But she’s also the person who broke this case by her nutty confessions. Whether she was doing this because she felt guilt about the murders, attention or because she wanted the world to know about M, in her words, is fascinating in itself.

    People generally glom on to the Tate murders and forget Leslie wasn’t there. Yet Susan wasn’t at the La Biancas. The only two who were at both places are Tex and Pat.

  125. Cybele Moon says:

    Thank you all for your kind comments. I appreciate it. I’ve pretty much run out of steam on this Leslie thing at the moment. It really will be up to the system now.

    Interesting and tragic stories Christy! Is it possible people just snap sometimes, and how do we know who might be susceptible to this. there was a case of someone with bipolar disorder who killed his girlfriends child because she was misbehaving, and then there are those who say voices told them to do it. Heaven forbid that it be me we all hope. Humans are all such complex creatures. So much goes into us, nature and nurture etc. I am”trying” to be less judgmental these days as someone I care about, and very young has been recently diagnosed with a psychological and mood disorder. I would never had dreamed this might happen looking back, a very sweet, happy and sensitive little soul who now flies into angry meltdowns and cries and cries. It’s very frightening and I ask why? I’m not saying of course that this was the case with any of the Manson women but my thought is this- Susan had a rather tragic background as a young teen. I think she fell through the cracks and she probably was the one that did have rage in her that came out in a horrifying crime.

  126. Fred Bloggs says:

    Christy says:
    I grew up in the San Francisco bay area and was 8 years old at the time. 9 years later came twin atrocities in the mass suicide/murders of the people’s temple in Guyana and the Moscone/Milk assassination about two weeks later. These make me look askance at claims Leslie is some innocent waif

    Innocent waif ? I think even her staunchest supporter would need their head seriously looked into if they thought that.

    I am willing to believe she’s rehabilitated but not she wasn’t a vicious jerk at 19

    Maybe she was. That’s not the impression I get. I think there’s a difference between someone who acts in that one off situation with viciousness and someone that is vicious. Manson himself had a vicious streak which can be seen in the way he’d beat Dianne Lake, Mary Brunner and Catherine Share. Or even Randy Starr. The film maker Robert Hendrickson felt that Bruce Davis was the scariest of all the men in Charlie’s troupe. Perhaps he evinced a certain viciousness about him. After the murders, during the trials and in the aftermath, Sandy Good showed herself to be vicious. Leslie, Pat and Susan certainly behaved in a vicious manner once they’d been found guilty and entering the penalty phase, but how much of this was natural and how much of it was a Manson directed put on {as they’ve all claimed since} is hard to determine.

    But did she get the outpouring of sympathy Leslie has over the years? Not until she was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer

    She didn’t even get it then ! I raised my eyebrows at the level of vitriol that was aimed at Susan when she was basically dying. But then, one can kind of understand it. Even if she did not stab Sharon Tate {and the evidence would suggest that she did not as well as her own self and Tex}, she’ll be forever remembered as the woman that began her sentence to a frightened woman facing death with “look bitch, I have no mercy for you. You’re going to die…..”
    I think that, more than anything else is what prevented her from receiving compassionate release. I think that more than anything is what keeps people hating on her, even these years after her death. In a way, she’s hated even more than Tex was for actually stabbing her to death.

    you’re right about Susan’s craziness. But she’s also the person who broke this case by her nutty confessions. Whether she was doing this because she felt guilt about the murders, attention or because she wanted the world to know about M, in her words, is fascinating in itself

    Although it is thought that the case broke because of Susan’s confessions, it is a bit more nuanced than that. It’s worth bearing in mind that her confession isn’t quite that. She told a couple of cell mates that she’d killed Sharon Tate ~ and it later turned out that she didn’t by her own hand. Secondly, what she told Virginia Graham and Ronnie Howard, she told them with the jail code of non snitching very much uppermost in her mind. She did not do so in any way envisaging that they would go and tell the police. In fact, had it not been for the fact that Susan said more deaths were planned and at random, they probably wouldn’t have gone to the police at all. Snitching in jail was risking one’s life and even after the trials were done and dusted, attempts were made on their lives. So Susan wasn’t trying to cleanse her soul. She never even envisaged getting caught. That was the boast that got her and her cellmates talking about the crimes in the first place.
    Furthermore, prior to this, Charles Manson’s name had appeared on the suspect list for the LaBianca murder. The net had been closing on the Family before the police knew about Howard and Graham and what they had to say.

    Just because it took until her 40s to start a murder spree doesn’t mean she didn’t have it in her all along

    I agree, but the vice is also versa ~ she may not have had it in her all along. Something very close and recent may have begun that train of behaviour.

    Michael says:
    As nutty as Leslie came off during the trial, she didn’t match Susan’s dark craziness by a long shot

    There was something depraved about Susan’s persona that just didn’t appear in either Pat or Leslie. Ironic when you think that when it came to it, Susan baulked at murder {as we saw with Frykowski, Tate and whoever was due to get it at Ocean Front Walk} whereas Pat didn’t. As difficult as she found it physically at both Cielo and Waverley, she went for it gamely before appealing to Tex for help.

  127. Christy says:

    Fred, her staunchest supporter on here almost suggested Leslie was led down a primrose path. That’s why I posted that part about Guyana. And that is a dirty lens for me, it rocked the entire region like an earthquake. Leslie had something there from the start, it wasn’t all brainwashing or domination.

    Since I live in the region my only fear of Leslie getting out is they might plant her somewhere near me. So in the beginning we will get media hordes, then either some nut job who wants to take revenge, even if they weren’t even born at the the time and has no connection to the La Bianca family starts taking pot shots at Leslie and shoots one of her neighbors. Then there may be a nut job that wants to restart the family and Leslie refuses to be part of this so the person takes pot shots and shoots one of her neighbors.

    Possible the public safety part Brown is worried about has less to with Leslie herself than the reaction to her release. But I don’t think so.

  128. Christy says:

    Cybele I hope you pop in now and again 🙂

  129. Christy says:

    Fred, about Susan. She did get some sympathy after her diagnosis and maybe Paul is right about Leslie being a political prisoner because of her behavior at trial like Susan was. But I think not.

    The woman I’m talking about who murdered two of her kids, tried to poison her husband and almost killed the third is named Debora Green and she tried to blame her 13 year old dead son for both the poisoning and the fire. She did have a psyotic break a few weeks before this but she’d had problems for years. It’s just nobody thought she would go after her children.

    The guy I mentioned had also been engaged to a woman, his mother and brother and wife showed up at the church for the rehearsal but he was nowhere to be found. Turned out he cleaned out the shared bank account he had with his fiancée and just left. He showed up a few weeks later and his fiancée was to scared to sue him for her amount of money in the account.

    A few weeks before the murders he’d been falsifying his time records at his job and got fired then got enraged his estranged inlaws wouldn’t loan him money.

  130. Christy says:

    Sometimes my spelling is atrocious, sorry.

  131. Paul says:

    Christy she’s not just a political prisoner just because of her behaviour during the trial, there are numerous reasons why I think that, and you know this.

  132. Christy says:

    Paul, if you’re going to say that about Leslie, and I think I’ve read most of your arguments, what about Susan? What about the rest with the exception of Tex? Why aren’t Bruce Davis (I read Fred’s post about the filmmaker finding him the scariest one of all he interviewed) or Bobby not political prisoners. Because they’re men?

    Leslie stabbed a woman who probably was alive. She restrained her when she started to struggle upon hearing her husband’s screams. The La Biancas thought they were going to be robbed not end up with one of them with a knife in his throat and a fork in his stomach. Leslie knew damn well what was going to happen that night and wanted to go along. Saying she thought it had to happen is, to me, thinking she was just some innocent lamb who somehow found herself in the middle of this. Were Tex, Bruce and Bobby as well? Susan and Patricia?

  133. Christy says:

    Again no edit button. Saying she thought it had to happen is to me ridiculous.

    And she did have temper and other problems. Like I said if she was so good at fooling the doctor she’s sure going to be good at fooling a layman.

  134. Cybele Moon says:

    wow, I will make a comment here. I think I get what Christy is saying re; the possible backlash of the release of a Manson member and this question about being a political prisoner. On a certain level I understand about the political prisoner aspect from a legal position and the interpretation- Most of usof course think of a political prisoner as someone with a more noble cause, someone who has suffered a total injustice by standing up for their beliefs and wanting change( positive change that is- not a race war). And another personal opinion and this only on a gut level: I have always been chilled by these women’s soft child like voices as they for the most part dispassionately described the crimes- now I know they probably had to separate themselves emotionally from what they did in order to go forward with the terrible aftermath but it still chills me to listen to them speaking so softly to this day. By the way, Nikki Meredith who interviewed all the women over several years felt there was something in Pat Krenwinkel’s nature that prevented her from supporting her release (and Pat refused to meet with her again afterward) though she did not feel that way toward Leslie.

  135. Christy says:

    Cybele, thanks and you did understand my point about the backlash of a release of Leslie. Unfortunately it wouldn’t be as easy now as it was when Squeaky was realesed in 2009. I understand some tv show managed to track her down even though she was trying to be anonymous. It would be more difficult now. And Squeaky was a federal prisoner so they could put her almost anywhere that was remote. While California has many remote places I’m not sure how many have a parole officer there.

    I also agree with your description about political prisoner. I think you brought up Nelson Mandela and I see him as the description of political prisoner.

    I’m have put the Nikki Merideth book on my reading list. I didn’t know that about Pat.

    Please don’t worry about your response to the women ‘s voices. Many people have come away with the same impression for years.

  136. Sunny says:

    Joseph M Andalina, well stated. I agree 100%.

  137. Michael says:

    A few weeks ago it was posted on this site that Catherine Gillies had passed but no details were given. I found this interview between her and Bill Nelson on You Tube to be pretty interesting: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GwnxHlTeqR8 When this was recorded she still seemed to be supportive of Charlie, but this was taped several years ago. I had heard she was one of the three “die-hards” among the former Manson girls who still held to his beliefs. (Although I don’t know anymore where Lynette and Sandra are with all this – maybe they finally woke up.) But does anyone know any of the particulars about Catherine’s death, and whether or not she ever renounced Manson?

  138. Christy says:

    Michael,I am going to listen to this tonight.

    I didn’t know about Catherine Gillies but I saw a date of death of 6/29/18 and she was in Oregon but no other details I’ve been able to find. In Bugliosi’s update it didn’t sound like she was still following Manson and this was published in 1994. But she may have been. Good was still following him but that was 1994 as well and she was living not to far from the prison where he was at that time. Fromme was living in upstate New York back when she was tracked down by a tabloid tv show in 2009, I think. If she was still carrying a torch for his philosophy wasn’t clear. But since she’d spent 30+ years in prison she probably wasn’t going to do anything to jeopardize her freedom.

    The blurb I read about Gillies said she still supported her brothers and sisters in prison which is weird in its own right since they all broke with Manson years ago. So I don’t know when this was written just that there had been updates about children and now her death.

  139. Cybele Moon says:

    Christy bear in mind that Nikki Meredith has been visiting the women over several years. She is bound to have some sympathy as she got to know them as human beings. I don’t necessarily agree with her wholeheartedly but it is another perspective and well written. The law is a funny thing, there are those who have been given life sentences for similar crimes who will not get out and others say that people who have done worse have got out not that I think that’s any criterion. A lot seems to depend on which state and which judge and jury etc. The Manson crimes were pretty bad as crimes go.

  140. Christy says:

    Cybele, thanks for the heads up. I can see how she would form a bond with them even if she’s trying to remain impartial.

    If you want to see a really good illustration about how weird the law can be watch Werner Herzog’s “Into the Abyss”. Two guys murder three people but are tried separately. Both were convicted but one jury recommended the death penalty while the other was split so that defendant got life. You can find this on YouTube. It can be difficult to watch since there is video of the crime scenes and interviews with two relatives of the victims that I found heartbreaking.

  141. NoJustice says:

    Compare every multiple murder to THIS one all you want.

    Ask all the obvious…who, what, where, when, why.

    Nothing will ever compare.

    Media to blame? NO

    Murderers to blame? Oh HELL yes! Manson, Adkins, Watson, Krenwinkle, and Van Houten.

    Sugar it, escape it, rename it, reframe it, remansonit….

    Murderer is a freakin murderer. It’s in the blood.

    And LVH can pass it off to everyone but herself… and if you are a lemming…

    opps, sorry was going to quote from “Will You Die For Me” but damn near lost my lunch.

  142. brat says:

    “Lee” is W ayne

  143. brat says:

    You have serious rage issues “Lee” You must NEVER get la id

  144. cielodrive.com says:

    No, you are Wayne

  145. Jersey says:

    I have been reading all the comments,
    and I firmly believe that something has been lost
    in all the arguing back and forth over whether
    LVH should / should not be paroled.
    If anyone remembers those long-ago days,
    50 years ago nearly, the times were completely
    different, the attitudes were different, the
    people were different.
    Many teenagers felt lost / abused / neglected, confused, etc. –
    and so many ran away from home or just left for
    one reason or another.
    There were ALOT of drugs available then,
    dangerous and mind-altering things like LSD,
    and JMO that drugs played a major role in
    all these murders. I’m not talking about alcohol,
    because after a hangover goes away usually one
    returns to normal – I’ve seen people change
    radically when doing dangerous drugs, and
    I don’t mean pot. Manson most definitely knew
    what he was doing, doling out drugs to keep control
    of the group.
    Just listening to Susan Atkins laughing about how she
    “didn’t think a thing about it” regarding killing poor
    Sharon Tate shows a seriously damaged mind.
    A few years later, Atkins sounds intelligent and
    normal when speaking in an interview, at least
    as normal as can be expected. Even she said
    that it took some years of being clean from drugs
    to come back to herself.
    I am certainly not making excuses for any of these
    horrible murders, I just feel that drugs are at the
    root of the whole thing, and Manson probably
    surmised just which personalities could be
    manipulated more than the others.

  146. brat says:

    LOL Prove it

  147. Michael says:

    Jersey, I fully agree that drugs played a huge role in all of this. Manson’s followers were already weakened by drug use by the time they met him, and he certainly exploited the power of LSD and other chemicals to make these kids more pliable, None of this diminishes their responsibility, and I’m still convinced they were in enough control of their thought process and actions to know that even if they felt their actions were justified, the actions were illegal and could land them on death row. They were highly disturbed but legally sane killers who should not be released.

  148. Jeannie Lavelle says:

    They need to stay where they are even though that’s too good for them. Thank God for Governor Brown

  149. Christy says:

    Drugs played a part, sure, but there were other things going on at that time. And some simply wouldn’t commit murder. Family member TJ Walleman refused to shoot a guy he and Manson were going to rob. TJ had served in Vietnam as a marine I think. He’d probably already seen this before and didn’t want a part of it. But he partook of the drugs and no doubt he felt alienated when he returned home from his tour of duty.

    Another book with Susan or Tex claimed they had a meth stash on the night of the Tate murders. I can see murder happening with something like that.

    I don’t think the emphasis on drugs explains what happened here. It was said all four already had it in them, lots of others in the family didn’t.

  150. Jersey says:

    If anyone bothered to read what I said,

    “I am certainly not making excuses for any of these
    horrible murders, I just feel that drugs are at the
    root of the whole thing, and Manson probably
    surmised just which personalities could be
    manipulated more than the others.”

    In the town where we live, there was a horrible
    murder, a group of young men murdered a transient
    young woman –
    Knowing one of the men, he told me they were
    doing angel dust that night, which riled the group up,
    and that it would not have happened but for that.
    Just plain old alcohol brings out extreme violence
    in some people, alot of murders occur during drunken
    sprees.

    There is no excuse for these horrors, and Susan Atkins
    in particular along with Tex Watson.
    I never said anything about the fact that any of them
    should be released, I am simply stating the fact that
    if one listens to the early interviews, and then the
    interviews from years later, they actually have come
    out of their haze to realize what they did.

    Personally, I don’t believe that a group of murderers
    just happen to find each other and form a commune,
    and let’s face it – they spent alot of time doing nothing
    but drugs and listening to Manson’s drivel.

    No, I would not want to have any of them as my neighbors,
    and in the end it is California’s fault for abolishing the
    death penalty at that time.

    And no, I never said they were not responsible for their actions.
    There were alot of drifters back in those days, but luckily
    not too many Mansons.

  151. Christy says:

    I read what you wrote Jersey. I simply disagree with it is all. I don’t think drugs were the root of the problem here. Pat Krenwinkle in particular has blamed a lot of her actions on drugs. In Leslie’s defense she doesn’t seem to do that.

    Angel dust and meth are different. I can certainly see these spurring people on to murder in a fit of drug psychosis but not LSD. Drugs paid a part, yes, but I don’t think it’s a root cause. Most violence you saw at that time period was at anti Vietnam war protests. That wasn’t drug related, that was why is the government drafting young men to go die in some outpost that has nothing to do with us.

    I don’t agree with the death penalty either. Whenever it comes up here in California I vote against it. Mainly because I have no doubt it’s been used against people who were innocent of the crimes that brought about their conviction and sentence. It’s only plus is it can be used in plea agreement so a trial is avoided. In the case here once the death penalty was abolished back then everyone automatically got life with possibilitiy of parole because life without wasn’t on the books then. It was added in 1976.

  152. Christy says:

    I wanted to add the Jim Jones mass suicide/murder wasn’t done in a drug haze either. Just a charismatic, narcissistic megalomaniac. I also don’t think David Koresh had his people on drugs or that nut militia member in Idaho having a shoot out with the feds. Some people are just drawn to this kind of thing and I think that was the root cause of going along with the murders. The drugs did help but wasn’t a root cause in my opinion.

    Which always brings me back to Squeaky. Why wasn’t she included in these murder sprees? Probably because she could not do this. Even her assassination attempt wasn’t. She knew how to operate a gun so this was a grand gesture. Probably brought on by guilt. As the three women began to drift from Manson she’d write them letters demanding they stay with the program. What she got in return were letters reminding her sharply that they were the ones in prison paying for everything while she was free to continue with Manson’s philosophy without putting herself in any real danger.

  153. Jersey says:

    Christy, I find your reasoning very scattered, hard to understand
    and frankly not believable.
    As with most things, the simplest explanation is most often
    the truth.
    You’re reaching.

  154. Christy says:

    I think you’re blaming too much on drugs. I think the root cause is they were already upset with society. So was every teenager ever. And like I pointed out this was a turbulent time. I grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area and though a child at the time I knew just how bad it was. So why were these jerks following Manson, a racist, when he was predicting a solid white society with black slaves

    Did Manson use drugs to try to control these people? Absolutely. But he couldn’t control all of them which is why I think the drug angle is weak. His biggest fan, Squeaky, he didn’t ask to go along on either night. He didn’t even ask Cappy, who just died, even though she said in open court she wanted to. He knew who he could count on and it wasn’t drugs that made them do it.

  155. Jersey says:

    All I can say is, must be nice to think you know everything.
    LOL

  156. Christy says:

    No, I don’t know everything. But I won’t blame drugs for people’s core attitude. Drugs, like alcohol, only enhance what is already there. OR it removes inhibitions. I could not murder someone unless I felt threatened. But go ahead and blame drugs on some white, middle class teenagers who had every chance in society. These were not kids stuck in a ghetto. Yet they figured those that were should be slaves to them. Not because of drugs, not because Manson was saying so but because they believed it.

  157. Jersey says:

    Everyone has a right to their opinion,
    and just remember that is what yours is,
    an opinion.

  158. Cybele Moon says:

    Jersey, as is yours- or mine etc etc.

    Whatever the outcome of this whole debate, and whether one can ever pay back a debt to society when it involves something as irreversible as murder is “in my opinion” not possible. Whether they get out of jail of course is a legal matter and up to the courts.

    Karlene Faith a Canadian criminologist met the Manson women in prison and ended up describing them in her book as “endearing.” However, the violence and carnage of those two nights of murder will forever haunt those “endearing” females whether they have changed or are remorseful as I’m sure they are. It is possible LVH may get out. She’s nearing 70 and the most productive years of her life have been forfeited by her choices years ago. I don’t excuse her by saying it was her youth or brainwashing however and obviously there has been a very passionate discussion on this site about the mitigating circumstances whether pro or con. Very sad. I doubt Krenwinkel or Watson will ever get out. It seems that the Manson murders still elicit a very strong reaction. No one has forgotten though so many years have gone by.

  159. Louis says:

    Nothing to do with paying back to society.

    The Parole Board has given their OK for her to be released. The Governor denies.

    It’s politics that keeps her in there. Pure and simple.

  160. Rosie Lowe says:

    I totally agree that Linda Kasabian should have been prosecuted also. I understand with out her testimony Manson may have walked. However, she could have ran for help and her excuse was her child, who when she left the ranch, she left behind. As for Leslie, she admitted that murder was something in her. She used to beat her adopted sister with her shoe. Leslie was well aware of what happened the first night and was more than happy to go along the second night. In my opinion Tex Watson, Pat Krenwinkel, Leslie Van Houten, Bruce Davis and Bobby Beausoliel should never be released. The very fact that their death sentences were over turned to life with eligible for parole makes me sick. They put so many people in their graves and in such a brutal fashion. Truthfully I could care less what a good prison record any of them have and all the remorse in the world cannot undo what they chose to do. Their endless pushing the blame on Manson is a bunch of crap too. Manson asked many to do his dirty work and they refused and nothing happened to them. People came and went from the ranch with no consequences. Leslie made her choice that horrific night. And she could have walked away from the LaBianca residence but no. She went in with Tex and Pat and participated in 2 brutal murders. She like the rest is where she belongs, old lady or not.

  161. Rhonda says:

    Leslie will never leave prison alive. Never. Nor will any of the others. Never. She is and was a grown woman who made her own decisions. Anyone who thinks that she should be released is very seriously troubled and I feel sorry for all of you.

  162. Michael says:

    I’ve been against Leslie’s release all along because I believe the nature of her crime calls for no chance at parole, but as Cybele said earlier, that’s a legal decision the courts will wrestle with. But I’ve never been swayed one way or another by the question of them “having murder in them” before the crimes. The crimes themselves are no more or less horrible either way, and somehow, they seem even more guilty to me if they did NOT have murderous impulses before their link to Manson. When otherwise good people deliberately lower themselves to depravity, that makes them more guilty, to my thinking, than if they were depraved beforehand.

  163. Cybele Moon says:

    Michael, agreed. There’s a very sappy video on youtube about “an american teenager” who suffered through three trials after the first murder conviction was overturned (declared a mistrial due to her lawyer who went missing), the second was a hung jury because I believe her lawyers tried to mitigate her role as unpremeditated and her as brainwashed though she knew what had happened the night before and felt left out! It went from being premeditated to felony murder to which the video maker adds – for 10.00 and a piece of cheese. After all she has served way too much time for that one !!!! Not mentioning at all the gruesome killings of the Labiancas!! Why her supporters are so adamant about this being a grave injustice and her being a political prisoner is way beyond me. But there are people who love to take up causes I suppose whatever they are.

    Interestingly, at first when I saw the facebook page I did have some sympathy for her. But after listening to the drivel that came out of her supporters as to why she should be freed, and after reading more about the crimes, I changed my mind. If they had stuck to the mercy aspect, elderly parole, remorse etc, I had some sympathy for that part. But their insistence about reduced culpability, her reluctance (ha!) to participate in the killing, that she “only” stabbed a dead body, she’s a political prisoner and their hatred of Debra Tate and the other victims’ families just turned me off.

  164. Susan says:

    It says California’s laws work. None of manson’s family of killers should ever be free. When the others pass away,they can once more see atkins and manson in hell. Right where they belong. There’s a book written by van houten’s boyfriend during the time she was out in 1970’s,he said she was really odd, not just because of the trial because she truly thought she’d stay out. But because she had psychotic disorders. It was hard to stay around her at times.

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