Letter to Governor Newsom from Anthony DiMaria

Wednesday, March 6th, 2019

RE: Leslie Van Houten CDC#-W13378 Parole

Dear Governor Newsom,

My name is Anthony DiMaria, nephew of Jay Sebring who was killed August 8, 1969 at the hands of the Manson clan.

On behalf of all the victims families, I ask that you determine Manson “family” Leslie Van Houten CDC#- W13378 unsuitable for parole for reasons illustrated below.

As Manson “family” killer Leslie Van Houten conspired, targeted, held hostage, butchered, mutilated and terrorized society collectively with her partners in crime- so too our families suffer collective pain and loss resulting from her unspeakable and wanton actions.

I appreciate the opportunity to address statements made at inmate Van Houten’s latest hearing (1/30/2019) regarding minimization, In Re Lawrence, dangerousness to society and suitability.

MINIMIZATION

Ms. Van Houten and her attorney Richard Pfeiffer claim responsibility for her offences yet continually minimize her involvement and role in these crimes blaming cult influence and Manson control. The attorney states, “Without Manson, none of these murders would have happened”(p.122 line 20) and describes the petitioner as “one of the lower players in the Manson cult”(p124 ll. 6-7).

This was no cult. It was a very violent crime organization. In the months leading to Ms. Van Houten’s murders on August 10, 1969 Leslie Van Houten and her accomplices committed extensive crimes involving:
drug trafficking
credit card fraud
grand auto theft
prostitution
pimping
extortion
pedophilia
the torture murder of Gary Hinman
the drug deal burn of Bernard Crowe
the attempted murder of Mr. Crowe after he was shot in the chest
August 8 – the murders of six individuals on Cielo Drive.

To reiterate, this is no “cult”. Leslie Van Houten is no “lower player”. She is a prime criminal and sadistic killer in the Manson family.

Yet in her own words, “I don’t minimize. I feel like if I minimized I would find easy ways to live with the guilt of WHAT HAPPENED because I’m passing the buck onto somebody else so my conscience doesn’t have to deal with it. But that’s who I am and it’s not what I do with my life. Knowing him has never eased the shame and how I attempt to make right WHAT HAPPENED.”(p. 87 ll. 6-13).

WHAT HAPPENED is a helluva way to describe these crimes. At a past hearing on April 14, 2016 the inmate said “I hope you’re not understanding that I know it’s my responsibility that I allowed this to HAPPEN to ME.”(p.65 ll. 22-24)

-Her descriptions as passive participant is a consistent pattern, hearing after hearing, revealing a disconnect and minimization of her actions…even after decades of reflection and rehabilitation.

IN RE LAWRENCE

At the last hearing, Richard Pfeiffer posited “Since Lawrence, there’s been not one single published opinion that has described a crime that is sufficiently bad to deny parole.”(p.122 ll. 14-16)

I submit to you Mr. Governor, that the severe and egregious nature of Leslie Van Houten’s crimes is “sufficiently bad to deny parole.”

Leslie Van Houten committed the organized home invasion of a married couple. The victims were misled to believe it was only a home robbery, and restrained. Then, Leno and Rosemary LaBianca were butchered with a bayonet, carving fork and a butcher knife. The spouses were forced to endure each other’s slaughter. As Leno LaBianca was stabbed repeatedly, Rosemary panicked and struggled. Upon Ms. Van Houten’s demand:

Inmate Van Houten: “I ran to the doorway of the bedroom and I called out ‘We can’t kill her’ and Tex came in.”

Commissioner Ground: ” Now when you said ‘we can’t kill her’, it’s not cause you’re having doubts. You’re basically are saying you need help.”

Inmate Van Houten: “Yes.” (p. 67 ll. 24-25, p. 68 ll. 1-2)

The 3 cohorts stabbed Rosemary LaBianca 41 times. Leno was still alive. After Rosemary was dead, the killers returned to Mr. LaBianca carving tools in hand stabbing him dozens of times finally plunging the instruments to the hilt in Mr. LaBianca’s thorax and abdomen.

WAR XX was carved on his stomach.

Messages in blood were splattered on the walls. Leslie ate from the victim’s refrigerator and adorned herself in Rosemary’s clothes.

Many months free of Manson “control”, Ms. Van Houten spit on the memory of her victims, taunted her victim’s families and terrorized society at large with her horrific behavior during the trial as she sang, giggled and performed for news cameras… for almost a year’s period of time.

Mr. Pfeiffer goes on, “If you’re going to use Ms. Van Houten’s crimes to try to get to this level (Lawrence) that nobody else has gotten to, you have to look at what she did and what her actions were…what Leslie Van Houten actually did.”(p.122 ll.21-25)

Governor Newsom, please look precisely at what Leslie Van Houten actually did.

DANGER TO SOCIETY

It is undeniable that the crimes of Leslie Van Houten and the Manson “family” have dealt profound historical and cultural impact even today. It’s never waned. I point to the endless “family” T Shirts, memorabilia for sale online, books, TV and film projects…LESLIE, MY NAME IS EVIL (2009), for example.

I echo Deputy District Attorney Donna Lebowitz’s statement at the last hearing, “Just recently before the last hearing in 2017, I drove into a commercial parking lot and I saw a man with a tattoo with Charles Manson up his arm. That is the kind of impact these crimes had upon society. You don’t have random people with tattoos of other random inmates on their arms. As the sentencing judge said, ‘This case is a special one. It will burn in the public consciousness for a long period of time.'”(p.121 ll. 17-25)

On May 30, 2003 16-year-old Jason Sweeny was killed by four teenagers, ages 15-17. The weapons used to massacre the young man were a hammer and hatchet.

During the trial, the teenaged killers testified listening to “Helter Skelter” over and over for several hours before committing the murder. “Helter Skelter”. The same words written in blood on a wall at the LaBianca crime scene.

3 of the 4 teenagers were sentenced to life without possibility of parole.

Mr. Pfeiffer shockingly suggests that the societal destruction of his client’s crimes occurred in a vacuum completely void of Charles Manson, “Charles Manson ended that Movement. Leslie Van Houten didn’t.”(p.124 ll.1-2)

Let there be no confusion- there would be no Manson mystique without the horrific behavior of Leslie Van Houten. The “family” killed and terrorized collectively and collectively they share culpability for the societal destruction pervasive today.

The current threat of Leslie Van Houten to society- direct and repercussive – is lethal and corrosive.

SUITABILITY

While Leslie Van Houten and her attorney maintain she has served her time and is a changed person- Leno and Rosemary La Bianca remain unchanged. Unparoled.

They will remain so for eternity. They are just as dead as you read this since the night Leslie Van Houten slaughtered them.

Governor Newsom, please consider parole for Leslie Van Houten- once you’ve paroled Rosemary and Leno LaBianca from their graves.

Sincerely,
Anthony DiMaria

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23 Responses to Letter to Governor Newsom from Anthony DiMaria

  1. NoJusticeNoPeace says:

    All great points from a victims point of view. Hope his statement has an impact and she gets a longer wait than one year to apply for parole for the nth time.

  2. Paul says:

    I did not expect Anthony DiMaria to make an impartial letter but a lot of it is describing Krenwinkel’s and Watson’s personal acts in these murders during his argument for Lawrence, of course it wouldn’t sell itself as much as it would if he only accounted Leslie’s participation on its own.

  3. Tim Bailey says:

    Pat and Tex were the most prolific killers at Labianca house, but Leslie did stab Rosemary 16 times . That is rage! I do know people who were in prison with her and they all said she was down to Earth and completely rehabilitated. Kreni is the one who scares the hell out of me.

  4. Alan says:

    ONLY in this last 2019 parole hearing did Leslie Van houten suddenly change the number of stab wounds she inflicted from 16 to 17. This is very important because the autopsy report said only 16 were caused after Rosemary LaBianca died. She now changed her story because it was argued that she was not taking responibility for Rosemary’s death if she only claimed to remember only 16 stab wounds (as if she ever counted). Anyone who actually believes after 50 years she suddenly remembered one more stab wound after 50 years is in denial. Her lawyer bragged after the hearing that the new Governor will have a much harder time overturning parole – which is proof he couched her to add one more stab wound to her memory. Why aren’t any of her defenders surprised or mentioning that her story now changed 50 years later?

  5. Paul says:

    Alan Where did she say this, what page? even if she did say this, that isn’t a very strong argument the governor can use because she changed the number of stab wounds from 16 to 17, the coroner reports stated it was between 14 to 16 which is what Leslie has got her answer from since she obviously didn’t count at the time.

  6. Tim Bailey says:

    If Newsom does not grant parole, the courts will . There is no legitimate reason to deny.

  7. Columbo says:

    I know the family members believe that justice can only be served if Leslie HAS to spend the rest of her life in prison for what she did on that one fateful night, but that’s simply not the circumstances. They are looking at this situation by how they WISH things are instead of what they actually are.

    The nephew is striving to present details of the crime 50 years ago and wants THAT to be enough to keep Leslie imprisoned forever. Yet, nowhere does he mention other details, or “facts,” of the case that support WHY Leslie SHOULD be paroled.

    He didn’t say anything about Leslie being eligible for parole, her perfect behavior since she’s been in prison since 1978, or that the parole board has found her to be appropriate for parole on 3 straight occasions.

    He didn’t mention that he is aware that Leslie has met ALL required conditions of parole for many decades now. He didn’t mention that she was delusional and exhibiting other psychotic behaviors at the time of the crimes. He said nothing about Leslie being unable to think rationally or make a competent decision as a result of Manson’s brainwashing and the brain-frying drugs he was giving the “family” repetitively that made Leslie and so many others detached from reality.

    But those are all the facts. And the MAIN fact that the nephew didn’t mention was that Leslie’s prison sentence is NOT (and never has been) life without parole. The family might wish that were the case, but it’s not.

    Therefore, something called “conditions for parole” have to be followed. The fact that Leslie is eligible for parole and has met the conditions many times over cannot even be debated anymore. The parole board knows it, and that’s why they have recommended her for parole on 3 straight occasions. They know if ANY inmate in that prison has met the conditions for parole, it’s Leslie Van Houten. So they continue to do their job and recommend her for parole.

    Of course, if the previous California governor had been interested in doing the right thing instead of what was politically expedient to him, he would have let Leslie’s parole stand, or not done anything and let it just proceed without him doing anything. But he was too weak to do the right thing.

    So he went against the facts, literally made up things about Leslie which were not true, and pronounced her unfit for parole. He knew he could get away with any BS he threw out and the only one that would say anything would be Leslie’s lawyer. He knew the liberal media would never ask him how his liberal policies enable people who truly are dangerous to the citizens of California to roam the streets don’t jibe with keeping an elderly, perfectly behaved Leslie Van Houten in prison.

    I wonder why the media didn’t ask the liberal governor why California is a sanctuary state for the world’s worst gang members, but somehow, the one Californian’s need to fear is a 69 year old lady that engaged in a stupid crime when she was out of her mind on one night in August in 1969. THAT’S who is TOO dangerous? How about asking him to explain that. He can’t, and he won’t.

    Fact is…..the family members of the victims don’t want to face what ALL the facts are because they would then have to admit that yes, Leslie has met all the criteria for release. I don’t blame them; I would probably feel the same.

    But if Gavin Newsom wimps out like his predecessor, he won’t be doing the job he is charged to do. If Newsom refuses to back the prison’s parole board, and won’t uphold the rules of California’s parole system, then he’s the one that should be imprisoned, not Leslie.

    Leslie has proven that she should be paroled. If she’s held in prison when even the prison’s own system no longer supports it, then that is cruel and unusual punishment.

    The decision is simple. Only a politically motivated governor can make it hard.

  8. Cybele Moon says:

    I totally understand where this man is coming from and I do agree with much of what he says. He’s very articulate and insightful and his family lost a great deal.
    Colombo, he doesn’t care about her “perfect” behaviour since then or her eligibility by law.
    That doesn’t mean I don’t get what you and Paul say from your position. You can look at it that way because you haven’t lost anything and are not personally involved.
    Paul, one thing you said bothered me last time, you said ‘the little things” that incriminate Leslie. I would never call her participation “little.” I’m sure had she been asked to go along the first time she would have and if they had not been caught there would have been other times she would have gone. It’s the participation and intent that I judge, not the number of blows or murders committed.

  9. Cybele Moon says:

    PS nor would I call it a “stupid” crime. It was a horrible crime.

  10. Paul says:

    Cybele neither are you personally associated so don’t understand what value you think this has. The court or the governor cannot see it from the perspective of the family because that is not their job, they have to follow the law because you can’t leave it to the family to decide what goes, that’s the reality of it.

    Cybele it’s still little details of crime nevertheless. That statement was about you pulling me up for “minimising” her crime because I wasn’t going to hold her responsible for her co-defendants actions and stating the facts, yet when you describe the crimes you only account the incriminating aspects.

  11. Paul says:

    Leslie really can’t win with the responsibility argument, it’s a catch 22. The family and the DA really try to press on this, probably their only valuable argument for this case. Leslie can only take responsibility for so much, this case involved so many others and she can’t take the blame for the others. If she took more responsibility for it, Manson might as well not even get a mention at this point.

  12. Cybele Moon says:

    but Paul, I do know first hand what a violent crime can do to a family thus I have always said my sympathies lie with the victims. I told that story on another thread which you obviously didn’t read. So yes, violent crime is personal to me.

    You accuse me of only mentioning the incriminating aspects but at the same time why do you minimize them except to present another side. That’s all I’m doing too and to me the ones I mention cannot be swept under the table either.

    I don’t believe you or other Leslie supporters have had a personal experience of that kind and I don’t think any of you are related or personally involved with LVH either is what I meant.

  13. Cybele Moon says:

    sorry I meant to add, whereas Mr. DiMaria Is personally involved so I understand his passion.

  14. dlnelson1261@gmail.com says:

    I can understand that Leslie was a part of the group that killed his incle. However, Leslie was not even present at the aTate house nor was she convicted of any of the Tate murders. I think Anthony is attention seeking much like Debra Tate, hanging on the coat tails of their deceased relatives. I can give Debra a littl more allowance than Anthony who did not know his Uncle. I say Leslie has more than paid for her crimes, and should not have Tate murders attached to whether or not she is released on parole.

  15. Paul says:

    Cybele you can’t say whether any of us supporters have not had any experience like this and even so doesn’t change anything. I’ve said it before you can’t justify corruption through emotional manipulation because your the system is there for a reason.

    I only started pulling you up for it when you accused me of “mitigating” even though you did the same thing just on the other side of the debate from the start.

    Neither of us are involved in that case personally so neither of us are emotionally involved in this case so we can see it from a fair perspective, I don’t expect the families too. You can’t try to shrug off our argument because we haven’t had “personal experience of that kind”

  16. Cybele Moon says:

    corruption? why is it corruption if there is “according to California law” a governor who is allowed to overturn parole hearings based on his own findings etc?. What is a “fair” perspective? The law isn’t always fair it seems and depends on which side of the fence you are looking.

    Anyway, as much as I enjoy discussing this with you and others Paul I’m all opinionated out on this one lol. I know there are other causes out there involving justice for people who didn’t participate in grisly murders so without rancor I’m going to bow out and let the cards fall where they may on this one and hope all will turn out for the best.

  17. Paul says:

    The family are trying to put pressure on the governor by getting signatures from people online, a lot of whom don’t even know this crime too well or even Leslie’s personnel assortation or participation in these murders. The governor has made a catch-22 in his reasons for denial of her last two parole hearings. It doesn’t matter what side of the fence you are on, the fact is that Leslie has ticked off all her parole requirements, so she has the right to parole and the board agrees. I’ll say it one for time, the law is there to remove any of this moral tension.

  18. Paul says:

    *Association

  19. Lee says:

    I’m with you, Cybele. I’m sick of arguing with these individuals. I hope LVH doesn’t get released, but I have a feeling this time around she’s going to walk…..as nauseating as that is…

  20. DONNS says:

    I guess I am one of these individuals….posted something yesterday that is not showing up.

  21. Bob Bonneville says:

    Perfect record in prison, received an education, upstanding prisoner helping people. Please!!! If I was a prisoner with guards surrounding me, yes, I’d be perfect too. I have nothing to do, no responsibilities in life, we all could get a great education. All I have to do is as I’m told in prison and all is well.

    Good for her, glad she has straightened her life out, took her almost 50 years…help other inmates with your story and experiences, but they shouldn’t get out.

  22. snoop says:

    Gavin Newsom is ending the death penalty in California. Leslie and Bobby will be released. This is a similar situation in early 70’s when the DP was halted and all the inmates were transferred to other prisons.

  23. Columbo says:

    LOL…Californians get exactly what they DON’T want when they elected ANOTHER liberal governor.

    If bozo Newsom holds true to form, it wouldn’t surprise me at all if he decides to end the death penalty while also deciding to keep Leslie in prison…because he has no guts to do what’s right.

    That’s what libs do. To them, no sense, makes sense! The only thing they care about is power and staying in office. They don’t care about doing the right thing. Think how many family members this liberal Democrat is flipping off by doing this. Unbelievable.

    https://www.bizpacreview.com/2019/03/13/gavin-newsom-to-defy-voters-with-exec-order-on-a-measure-theyve-shot-down-twice-already-trump-scolds-him-732780

    Gavin Newsom to defy voters with exec order on a measure they’ve shot down twice, already. Trump scolds him.

    March 13, 2019

    President Trump blasted Gov. Gavin Newsom for “defying voters” in a proposed executive order to halt the death penalty in California.

    The president tweeted Wednesday that he was “not thrilled” with the Democratic governor, who has already backed climate change policies and supports gun control measures and is now planning to issue an executive order that would put a stop to the death penalty in the Golden State while he is in charge.

    “Defying voters, the Governor of California will halt all death penalty executions of 737 stone cold killers,” Trump tweeted. “Friends and families of the always forgotten VICTIMS are not thrilled, and neither am I!”

    Newsom’s order suspending the death penalty will grant a temporary reprieve to more than 700 death row inmates as San Quentin State Prison’s execution chamber will be temporarily shuttered. But the newly elected governor is making the move despite California voters’ clear support – more than once – for the death penalty in their state.

    “I do not believe that a civilized society can claim to be a leader in the world as long as its government continues to sanction the premeditated and discriminatory execution of its people,” Newsom said in a statement.

    “In short, the death penalty is inconsistent with our bedrock values and strikes at the very heart of what it means to be a Californian,” he said, calling the system a “failure.”

    “It has discriminated against defendants who are mentally ill, black and brown, or can’t afford expensive legal representation. It has provided no public safety benefit or value as a deterrent. It has wasted billions of taxpayer dollars,” the Democrat added.

    But Californians have made it clear where they stand on the issue, voting twice against attempts to repeal it.

    Townhall reported:

    Newsom’s executive order completely goes against voters’ wishes throughout the state. Over the last five years, two different attempts have been made to repeal the death penalty. Both times, voters objected.

    The other issue in pay is the constitutionality of the governor’s executive order. Capital punishment is considered a legal penalty in the State of California. The California State Supreme Court initially outlawed the death penalty in People v. Anderson in 1972. Shortly thereafter voters amended the State Constitution to make the death penalty legal.

    One conservative group supported the governor’s move “because the death penalty violates our beliefs in limited government, fiscal responsibility, and the value of life.”

    “It is rife with errors and racial bias,” the national manager of Conservatives Concerned About the Death Penalty, Hannah Cox, said in a statement. “The number of men and women on death row who suffer from severe mental illness or impairment is shocking. Capital punishment is a failure and big government at its worst, wasting millions of dollars that could be used to solve cold cases and to make communities safer.”

    But others, like Trump, see Newsom’s executive order as an abuse of power.

    “The voters of the State of California support the death penalty,” Michele Hanisee, president of the Association of Deputy District Attorneys, said. “That is powerfully demonstrated by their approval of Proposition 66 in 2016 to ensure the death penalty is implemented, and their rejection of measures to end the death penalty in 2016 and 2006. Gov. Newsom… is usurping the express will of California voters.”

    According to The Los Angeles Times:

    Kent Scheidegger, legal director of the pro-death penalty Criminal Justice Legal Foundation, called Newsom’s actions “an abuse of power.” Although Newsom has the constitutional authority to grant reprieves to condemned inmates, he does not have the power to order the state Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation to shutter the death chamber or halt efforts to establish a lethal injection protocol, Scheidegger said.

    California law requires corrections officials to maintain the ability to carry out executions, he added.

    “He’s following in the footsteps of other governors who abused this power because they were frustrated by a law that they just personally disagreed with,” Scheidegger said.

    According to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, 13 people have been executed in California since the death penalty was reinstated by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1976 with 79 inmates on death row dying of natural causes and another 26 who died by suicide in that time period. Newsom’s order will affect 737 people in California facing the death penalty – about 25 percent of the nation’s total.

    “The intentional killing of another person is wrong,” Newsom said. “And as governor, I will not oversee the execution of any individual.”

    But not long ago, as lieutenant governor, Newsom indicated he would respect the decision of voters.

    A spokesman for then-Lt. Gov. Newsom, Dan Newman, noted his opposition to capital punishment but said Newsom “recognizes that California voters have spoken on the issue and, if elected governor, he’d respect the will of the electorate by following and implementing the law.”

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