Superior Court Requests Answer Regarding Van Houten Parole Reversal

Wednesday, March 7th, 2018

Mar. 7 – A Los Angeles County Superior Court judge has ordered the Attorney General of California to provide evidence that Leslie Van Houten is currently an unreasonable risk for parole. The Attorney General will have until March 31st to respond.

The California Board of Parole Hearings 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. In addition, Brown’s ruling stated that Van Houten had a history of downplaying her role in the murders.

“At her 2017 parole hearing, Van Houten claimed full responsibility for her crimes,” wrote Brown. “However, she still shifted blame for her own actions onto Manson to some extent, saying, ‘I take responsibility for the entire crime. I take responsibility going back to Manson being able to do what he did to all of us. I allowed it.’ She later stated, ‘I accept responsibility that I allowed [Manson] to conduct my life in that way.’”

On January 22, Van Houten’s attorney, Richard Pfeiffer filed a writ of Habeas Corpus in Los Angeles Superior Court, challenging Brown’s reversal.

“This is a Catch-22,” argued Pfeiffer. “If Ms. Van Houten fails to recognize the true facts how Manson controlled the cult, she has no insight and remains a risk of danger. If she does testify to that control, she shifts some blame to Manson and does not take full responsibility, and is denied parole for that reason. The Governor can’t have it both ways.”

According to Pfeiffer, Brown’s ruling is solely based on the murders themselves. Case law states that the Governor’s decision must be supported by some evidence of the inmate’s current dangerousness. The Governor must consider the same factors found by the Board of Parole Hearings. However, he is entitled to weigh them differently. Brown’s ruling cites a passage from the 2008 California Supreme Court opinion, In re Lawrence, which states “that certain conviction offenses may be so ‘heinous, atrocious or cruel’ that an inmate’s due process rights would not be violated if he or she were to be denied parole on the basis that the gravity of the conviction offense establishes current dangerousness.”

According to Brown, Van Houten’s case is just such a case. The Board of Parole Hearings disagrees. Parole Commissioner Brian Roberts discussed the legal standard from In re Lawrence at Van Houten’s parole hearing last September, stating that it perhaps applied to other members of the Manson family, but not to her.

“The Governor cites no evidence of a nexus between the commitment offense and a current unreasonable risk to public safety other than Ms. Van Houten recognized the power of cults, and in particular people like Manson who persuade others to act as he so orders,” wrote Pfeiffer. “That understanding is not a risk.”

UPDATED 3/28/18 – The Attorney General’s office will request a 30 day extension to file a return

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133 Responses to Superior Court Requests Answer Regarding Van Houten Parole Reversal

  1. Paul says:

    Leslie is suitable for parole, but the governors reason for denial is unsuitable PERIOD!

  2. Louis says:

    Hat off to Mr. Pfeiffer. He is certainly trying, unlike her other attorney’s.

  3. Martine says:

    As far as I’m concerned, Leslie is as guilty as the others and the fact that she still doesn’t take ownership of her part in the murder of Rosemary LaBianca, is absolutely frightening. This means that she has not atoned for her crimes. She still insists that she only stabbed Mrs. LaBianca after she was already dead…please tell me Leslie…how did you know that poor Mrs. LaBianca was already dead? Were you a medical doctor on August 9, 1969? Did your heinous stab wounds have a special signature that was specific only to you and that could be recognized as post-mortem? Leslie was paroled when her death sentence was commuted to life in prison. If she is supposedly “rehabilitated” and is doing so much good ministering to other prisoners, then that is where she should stay….in prison to continue her ministering, counselling, and “good work”.

  4. Jess says:

    Free Leslie … ?

  5. JJ says:

    The medical examiner who performed the autopsy confirmed that she died after the 2nd stab wound. Therefore that is why she states she was already dead when she stabbed her. She was already told while she was awaiting trial by news reports. Not saying it helps the argument but I just wanted to clarify your comments.

  6. Paul says:

    Martin, Leslie has taken responsibility for both Leno and Rosemary LaBianca’s deaths, just look at interview and her parole hearing transcripts, because it’s in their. Leslie doesn’t insist she was dead, she stated she believed she was dead because she didn’t move or make a sound. The board would not have granted her parole if they believed she didn’t take responsibility. The governor will reverse her again and again because he chooses to save his reputation than do his job.

  7. Lisa says:

    Sorry but she played a part in the whole scene. She showed up knowing what they were about to do. It’s not like she backed out at the last minute. She decided to take part and get that one last jab in whether the victim was dead or not. And did people forget how she ate from the deceased fridge and took a shower in their bathroom while they were dead on the floor? Come on you have to be heartless to be even near that sort of crime. Apparently she thinks she is special and deserves freedom. She belongs in prison. Case closed.

  8. Paul says:

    Lisa, yes she was part of it, her participation made little difference, either way they would killed. For your information, she did not take a shower, tex did but not Leslie. People do tend to avoid the manipulation Manson had over his family, and the extensive use of drugs that annihilated their thought process. Leslie’s personnel involvement in the murders was terrible but not the crime of the century. She never physically killed anyone and she has served almost half a century in prison, most who commit similar crimes don’t serve near as much as that.

  9. Michael says:

    Paul, we often hear the comparison between the amount of time Leslie’s served versus the lesser amount of time others have served for similar, or even worse, crimes. But to my thinking, the problem is with the light sentences given to the others, not the life sentence Leslie received. The answer is to stop letting others off so lightly, rather than to compound the wrong by releasing someone who so callously murdered, then laughed and sang and treated her monstrous actions like they were a lark.

  10. leelee20 says:

    well said, martine! i agree 100%. just because these killers come up for parole doesn’t mean that they will get it or should get it. let them stay put until they join manson and atkins in death.

  11. leelee20 says:

    another great comment i agree with. and from every book about the case and every show i’ve watched over the years, all three killers ate food and showered at the labianca home; you’re right.

  12. Shyla69 says:

    I remember when these crimes took place and I’ve read nearly every book on the case; if the Tate/LaBianca murders don’t quality as “heinous, atrocious or cruel” what does? I won’t waste my words on any of these killers, I’m sure everyone who visits this website knows the details about these murders. My concern is for the families of the victims; What about their rights? How many times do they have to relive the nightmare of their loved ones being murdered and listen to these pitiful excuses from the people who killed them at the parole hearings?

  13. Louis says:

    leelee20 …have you seen the size of the shower that was at Labianca’s? Even as skinny and malnutritioned they were…I have a hard job seeing three of them in there.

  14. Paul says:

    Michael, You cannot single out Leslie because of her notoriety, her sentence was life with parole. She was given 7 to life with parole in her third trial in 1978, she fits the criteria for parole and the board had the duty to recognize it, which they have done. They were under severe amount of mind hallucinating drugs and were so brainwashed Leslie admitted to murders she didn’t commit. The girls took drugs during the trial so that’s why they were so vibrant during the trial, also Manson ordered what the girls said and acted out in the court room. Manson ran the show and controlled the family in all corners.

  15. No Justice says:

    February 02, 2018 Inmate Petition to Advance The inmate’s petition to advance his or her next parole suitability hearing date was rejected because he or she is not eligible to file a petition at this time

    January 19, 2018 Governor’s Reversal The inmate’s grant of parole was reversed

    September 06, 2017 Parole Suitability Hearing Inmate was granted parole

    July 22, 2016 Governor’s Reversal The inmate’s grant of parole was reversed

    April 14, 2016 Parole Suitability Hearing Inmate was granted parole

    October 26, 2015 Inmate Petition to Advance The inmate’s petition to advance his or her next parole suitability hearing date was approved

    June 05, 2013 Parole Suitability Hearing Inmate was denied parole for 5 years

    May 04, 2012 Inmate Petition to Advance The inmate’s petition to advance his or her next parole suitability hearing date was rejected because he or she is not eligible to file a petition at this time

    July 06, 2010 Parole Suitability Hearing Inmate was denied parole for 3 years

    March 16, 2009 Parole Suitability Hearing Inmate voluntarily waived the right to a hearing for 1 year

    August 30, 2007 Parole Suitability Hearing Inmate was denied parole for 2 years

    September 07, 2006 Parole Suitability Hearing Inmate was denied parole for 1 year

    August 25, 2004 Parole Suitability Hearing Inmate was denied parole for 2 years

    June 28, 2002 Parole Suitability Hearing Inmate was denied parole for 2 years

    June 06, 2000 Parole Suitability Hearing Inmate was denied parole for 2 years

    July 07, 1999 Parole Suitability Hearing Parole suitability hearing was postponed

    May 28, 1998 Parole Suitability Hearing Inmate was denied parole for 1 year

    April 30, 1996 Parole Suitability Hearing Inmate was denied parole for 2 years

    December 29, 1993 Parole Suitability Hearing Inmate was denied parole for 2 years

    December 30, 1991 Parole Suitability Hearing Inmate was denied parole for 2 years

    December 21, 1989 Parole Suitability Hearing Inmate was denied parole for 2 years

    July 30, 1987 Parole Suitability Hearing Inmate was denied parole for 3 years

    July 11, 1986 Parole Suitability Hearing Inmate was denied parole for 1 year

    May 22, 1986 Parole Suitability Hearing Parole suitability hearing was postponed

    May 15, 1985 Parole Suitability Hearing Inmate was denied parole for 1 year

    April 22, 1982 Parole Suitability Hearing Inmate was denied parole for 3 years
    —————————————————————————–

    How’d you like to be a family member of the victims LVH slaughtered in a home invasion? Scab never forms, it’s ripped off every few years as LVH tries to get out of serving any time at all for HER CHOICES. Yeah, she is really repentant and owns what she did alright.

  16. Michael says:

    There is room for debate over whether or not parole should be granted, and even though I oppose it, I see at least some logic in those who think Leslie meets the criteria for parole. But any argument based on her alleged “brainwashing” or drug use at the time of the crimes is absolutely worthless. Leslie and the others were adults who knew exactly what they were doing, planned and executed the murders, made distinct efforts to cover their tracks, then of their own free will allowed Manson to orchestrate their antics at the trials. They were not brainwashed and they were fully culpable.

  17. Paul says:

    Michael, you cannot say that the brainwashing was a useful fact, because it’s one of the reasons Manson was able to convince them that the murders were right and necessary. Even the prosecutor Buglisoi said that these people would never kill in a million if it hadn’t been for the combination of Manson’s teaching and heavy amount of drug use. I can’t understand why people think the brainwashing isn’t a valid point, he controlled that family.

  18. Boo says:

    Free Leslie at last.

  19. Debbie says:

    I will never understand why so many people feel sorry for this woman!!!Poor leon and Rosemary,that is where my sympathy lies.

  20. Fred Bloggs says:

    Martine said….

    the fact that she still doesn’t take ownership of her part in the murder of Rosemary LaBianca, is absolutely frightening. This means that she has not atoned for her crimes. She still insists that she only stabbed Mrs. LaBianca after she was already dead

    Martine, there was a time when she hedged on whether she was guilty of murder but it’s important to understand why. In the 80s and 90s, especially once Tex’s book was published in which he clearly outlined what he did, Leslie didn’t feel she’d actually committed murder as she wasn’t sure that Rosemary was indeed alive when she stabbed her. That is consistent with everything Leslie has believed about the crime. In 1969, while fully confessing to her part in the murders and claiming that she wanted to take part, she said she didn’t know if Rosemary was alive when she stabbed her. Read the Marvin Part interview on this site, you’ll see it there. Then in her trial, even when she was lying and confessing to protect Manson, when asked if Rosemary was alive or dead, she said she did not know.
    It strikes me that when she was speaking to her lawyer in ’69, knowing that the conversation would go no further, she must have genuinely thought Rosemary was dead when she stabbed her. There was nothing to gain by saying it. Same with her trial. During it, she was trying to come across as a bad little killer who killed righteously, yet, she couldn’t say whether Mrs LaBianca was alive or dead. It would have been consistent to say she was alive. But she didn’t know. She’s never known. Nobody knows.
    Now, that doesn’t absolve her of 1st degree murder because she was there, she wanted to be there, she wanted to kill, she got nervous about actually stabbing but when Tex told her to get at it, she did. But she’s always been of the thought that Rosemary was dead. In fact the first time she mentioned it as far as is known, was to Dianne Lake, long before the Family was arrested, at a place called Willow Springs in Sept ’69 and she told Dianne she’d stabbed a body that was already dead. If she said it in a private conversation to someone she liked and admired, never even imagining that Dianne would repeat it in court, then I’d say there was a good chance she believed it, right from the start.
    It is because of Dianne’s corroboration that Leslie is currently where she is. Susan or Linda’s testimony wouldn’t have been enough on their own. So Dianne’s testimony is what backed up Susan’s or Linda’s testimony as here was no physical evidence against her. When it came to physical action, what Dianne could say was that Leslie told her she’d stabbed someone that was already dead.
    But for a long time now, Leslie has taken responsibility for what she knows she actually did ~ murder.

  21. Fred Bloggs says:

    JJ says:

    The medical examiner who performed the autopsy confirmed that she died after the 2nd stab wound

    Where have you ever seen that said ? That makes no sense, given that 8 of the 41 wounds were sufficient to cause death. No one knows exactly when she died or after which stab wounds she died. We have no idea of how many times she could have been stabbed before any of the wounds sufficient to cause death were struck or if they were the first ones.

    Lisa says:

    Come on you have to be heartless to be even near that sort of crime

    That’s true to a large extent. And back in 1969, she was. That was then but this now.

    Apparently she thinks she is special and deserves freedom. She belongs in prison. Case closed

    Yes, she does belong in prison. That’s where she’s been for 49 years. However, the law has made provision for people who see the error of their ways being given a chance to make some kind of amends. It’s called parole. It’s not about deserving or being entitled to parole or thinking she’s special. It’s about the law stating that she’s entitled to be assessed by independent arbiters. And Independent arbiters found her unsuitable 19 times over a 38 or so year period so it’s not as though she’s riding some high horse. They kicked her back many times and told her what she needed to work on and she complied with that. Now they believe she’s ready to live outside again, which, incidentally, is all rehabilitation is. It’s getting someone ready to join the mainstream again after a physical injury or incarceration.
    If anyone has made her special, it’s Guv’nor Brown.

    leelee20 says:

    just because these killers come up for parole doesn’t mean that they will get it or should get it

    This is true and despite the rather callous attitude behind leelee20’s words, it’s a point worth remembering. Criminals come up for parole knowing that they have a vigorous process to get through. While it’s true that some have conned parole boards down the years, it’s also true that loads haven’t, it’s also true that loads get rejected and Leslie Van Houten has to be judged on who and where in her head she is at now, not half a century ago. There are definitely some murderers that should be inside until they die. I wouldn’t count Leslie as one of them. “Deserve” doesn’t come into it. Every parolee should know deep down that it’s the state that makes the first move and therefore they may be having something granted that they don’t, under normal circumstances, deserve.

    Shyla69 says:

    My concern is for the families of the victims; What about their rights? How many times do they have to relive the nightmare of their loved ones being murdered and listen to these pitiful excuses from the people who killed them at the parole hearings?

    I hope this doesn’t sound cruel, but the victim’s families do not have to relive their horror, listen to the killers or go to parole hearings. That’s their choice. Their argument isn’t with the killers at that point; it’s with the law. And the law is clear about parole. It’s not a given but certain prisoners are entitled to parole hearings.
    Rosemary LaBianca’s daughter, who had suffered a breakdown that prevented her from testifying at the original trial, later forgave Charles Watson, the main killer and even came out to bat for him at one parole hearing. While I think she was misguided on that score {20 years was too short a period at that time for Tex}, she demonstrated, whether through the strength of God or whatever means, that family members of the victims not only can move on, but can actually forgive and see the previous situation in a totally different way.
    It’s also worth pointing out that it’s only comparatively recently that it became a regular thing for victim’s family members to be at every parole hearing of an ex~Manson Family member.

  22. Fred Bloggs says:

    Debbie says:

    I will never understand why so many people feel sorry for this woman!!!

    You should try.
    It’s not so hard to see. There are some of us that are capable of feeling empathy and sorrow for all kinds of people that have passed through all kinds of things, even if they’ve committed heinous acts. I feel sorry for many of the participants on all sides of the saga.
    Working with children for 35 years, I’ve seen all kinds of horror stories in the lives of many kids and while many that have gone the wrong way made those choices and should have to live with the consequences, that doesn’t take away the reality that there are things that can happen in a person’s life that can edge them one way or another. Of course it doesn’t justify murder but when I look into the backgrounds of some of the Family and things that happened to some of them, I feel sorry for some of them. I feel sorry for Leslie, not least because she has wasted so much of her life because of one crazy year and also because she has to carry on her conscience having been part of an event that ended two people’s lives.

  23. Paul says:

    Michael, you cannot say that the brainwashing isn’t a useful fact, because it’s one of the reasons Manson was able to convince them that the murders were right and necessary. Even the prosecutor Buglisoi said that these people would never kill in a million if it hadn’t been for the combination of Manson’s teaching and heavy amount of drug use. I can’t understand why people think the brainwashing isn’t a valid point, he controlled that family.

  24. Lee says:

    I feel sorry for Leslie not getting out, and I truly believe she isn’t a danger to society, but you cannot erase, or take back what she did. She participated in a horrible home invasion, and helped in terrorizing two people before they were butchered. The victims died in a very painful way. They suffered beyond imagination. You cannot get a do-over after participating in something that horrible. Afterwards. for whatever reason (drugs, brainwashing, pressure from the other girls) she laughed, sang and acted like didn’t give one shit about the victims, or how they suffered. Does anyone think of Rosemary’s son, Frank who came home innocently to find his family dead? Yes, that was back then, but it time cannot erase what she did. These people are in a class by themselves, as far as crime is concerned. This also comes to mind a Louis Theroux documentary I saw a few years back about San Quentin prison. Louis met a home invader named David Silva who will NEVER be let out of prison…EVER. Guess what? None of his victims died. He still will never get out. So, anyone who chooses to participate in a home invasion, whether it was 1969 or 2018 is still going to go down with the ship. Fair or unfair.

  25. Paul says:

    Lee The girls used drugs during the trial. They were so indoctrinated by Manson they were willing to lose their lives in order to save him. What they did was horrendous, but it’s not an ordinary case, where the killer had complete acknowledgement of what they were actaully doing. Even if Leslie wasn’t at the LaBianca murders, the couple would still be dead today. Leslie would of been out a long time ago if California would have followed it’s own law.

  26. Lee says:

    I don’t buy into that crap that the drugs made her do it. Acid doesn’t make people violent. She wanted to participate in murder, because she wanted to fit in with the rest of those freaks. She thought it had some sort of revolutionary meaning behind it. But guess what? Who gives a rat’s ass. Her choice of wanting to participate in full fledged murder got her a life conviction. She isn’t ever going to get out.

  27. Paul says:

    You weren’t there, so how can you know if they didn’t have an impact. Most people at the ranch believed in the revolution and they all took all kinds of drugs everyday. It’s not just a coincidence that most of these people had evil in their hearts, Manson completely deprogramed these people, and I find it hilarious that people like you try to avoid that. She made a choice, though if she delcined her own life may of been in danger, but she’s paying for her crimes, and half a centuary later, she’s more than sutiable for parole. Also, Leslie admitted to being an accessory to a murder she didn’t commit, how much more evidence can you need to prove that the extensive use of drugs and Manson’s manipulation impacted her and the rest.

  28. Sunny says:

    Brainwashing is not against the law. Being crazy is not against the law. Being an asshole is not against the law. Manson attracted sociopaths because he is one. As the saying goes, “Birds of a feather flock together.” But he was not legally culpable in the seven TLB murders. His associates are manipulative sociopaths playing the system in whatever way they think is going to get them paroled, not a bunch of poor little ignorant brainwashed so and sos that didn’t know what they were doing. Of course they knew what they were doing. They “followed” him because they wanted to. They were not forced to do so. These people are not victims. All of them should die behind bars.

  29. Paul says:

    Sunny, you really think it was just a coincidence that all these people just happen to be socipaths, well that argument is flawed all over. Brainwashing happens in cults and extremeists groups, they indoctrinate people to think differetly through various ways like relgion, drugs and manipulation, look at ISIS for example. Leslie fits the criteria and is sutiable for parole, it’s an inarguable fact.

  30. John Birr says:

    Had anyone else been in full view of Manson on the evening of August 9th, it would have been that person, not Leslie. As it was, Manson had seen her commiserating with Pat Krenwinkel over the latter’s previous night’s heinousness. Charlie made it clear that no one was allowed to talk about what happened (a strange thing, given he also supposedly wanted everyone on the ranch to know he wanted to start Helter Skelter…) but he found Pat speaking to Leslie. Immediately, this made Leslie a liability. She needed to get her hands dirty. A 19 year old only initially looking to join a “hippie” group, she allowed herself to escalate her criminal behavior – because everyone else was doing it – and went along when cars were hot-wired, and committed petty theft. She brought no change of clothes with her that fateful night, perhaps not expecting to actually participate in anything. But, as she said at one of her hearings, the reality of the situation hit her hard when she walked into 3301 Waverly Dr., and saw Leno and Rosemary LaBianca tied up on the couch. Her fate was sealed when Tex Watson ordered her to “do something,” and … well, she did. She neither planned to kill anyone, nor harbored any ill will toward her victim. She was simply caught in a moment of limited realistic options. She was sadly indoctrinated enough by this point to believe the wishes of the men in the group were to be obeyed – no matter what. She acquiesced to the demands of Watson, and later defiantly talked herself into defending and justifying her actions. Despite the physical actions she took, to equate her with classic, typical First Degree Murderers is laughable. At best she was an acid-drenched hippie girl who made very bad decisions. At worst she was a last-minute participant in a killing that happened because of Tex Watson’s ( and possibly Charlie Manson’s) animus toward people over issues they’ve never truly devulged. It is time to allow Leslie to spend the remainder of her days with her real, biological family. The political wrangling over this woman is an embarrassment to the State of California.

  31. Michael says:

    According to Leslie herself, she was not commiserating with Pat over the Tate murders, but was instead disappointed that she had not been chosen to go. She’s admitted that she knew there would be killing before she left for the La Bianca crime scene, and she wanted to be a part of it. This was no “last minute decision.” Her actions were premeditated, deliberate, and heinous. Whether or not the law should allow her parole is one issue (I don’t think it should but a reasonable argument could be made for it) But any attempt to soften this woman’s past brutalities, or to insinuate she wasn’t fully aware of what was to happen before she joined in it, just doesn’t wash.

  32. Paul says:

    Michael, even you don’t think brainwashing doesn’t mean anything, it doesn’t matter, because it does matter. Those actions were not in Leslie’s behaviour pattern, before or after. There are so much evidence over Manson control over the family and Leslie, and you like so may try and avoid it.

  33. Janet Palirano says:

    Free Rosemary LaBianca!

  34. Martine says:

    It’s actually Martine…female..not Martin..male.

  35. Martine says:

    Bottom line is that anyone whose death sentence was commuted to life in prison, has received parole.

    I certainly wouldn’t want Leslie, or any murderer for that matter, living in my neighborhood.

    Let Leslie continue to minister to fellow inmates. Let her use the many degrees she received free of charge by the way, to help others within the confines of prison.

    Her lot in life is to spend her life in prison. She should be accepting of this.

  36. Paul says:

    No MARTINE, She is serving Life with the chance of parole, which means she has the right to ask for parole. She has served more time than many have for similar crimes. You cannot keep someone in jail because of their notoriety. Either way, the Supreme court can see through the terrible excuse of the governor, and she’ll get out eventually.

  37. No Justice says:

    It is the right of the Governor to block her parole. It is also the law. Don’t like the law, try changing it. Have her put her free degrees to good use and rewrite the entire criminal statutes and codes of CA. I’m sure with her credentials she’ll be taken seriously.

    Hey Paul, if you work fast enough she should slither out of prison on say…maybe her 99th parole hearing? She gets one every time you turn around, but hey! That’s her right. lol

  38. No Justice says:

    And free Leno LaBianca. LVH was convicted of his murder as well.

  39. Paul says:

    No Justice, Leslie will be out before her she even needs to have a 25th hearing. The law states she is suitable, the board agrees and the courts can see through the governors poor judgment.

  40. No Justice says:

    Meh. Paul there is something you and LVH love to push aside.

    Justice for VICTIMS of homicide.

    LVH was no victim, never has been, never will be. She was not a minor when she chose to kill, she was 13 days shy of her 20th birthday when she made the gleeful decision to butcher two innocents.

    Not going to get into a pissing contest as you’d gleefully follow that murderous bitch right off a cliff.

  41. Dawn says:

    Leslie deserves to be free just like the others in the case. This was all played off by the government. Its bs to keep this woman in here for she has admitted to what she believes she has done. She is more of a acceptable part of society than most still out on the street. She is highly intelligent.

  42. Paul says:

    No justice, you believe what you wanna believe but the fact is Leslie meets the criteria for parole and eventually the Supreme Court won’t buy the governors excuses, and she has many supporters ready to help her when she gets out. She was brainwashed, they all were, everyone knows it, admitting is what you seem to struggle with. Leslie was a victim of Manson, and so was many members of the family, Helter smelter and interviews recorded on tapes in 1969 prove that.

  43. Sunny says:

    Paul, I didn’t say Manson didn’t brainwash them. I said brainwashing is not against the law. He was a bad influence, but that’s not against the law. He was an asshole, but that’s not against the law. He was probably crazy, but that’s not against the law. I don’t think I can make it any plainer.

  44. Paul says:

    It’s diminished responsibility. The law states that if a prisoner is deemed not a threat to society they are suitable for parole, and the board found her suitable. The governor cares for his own reputation before his job in this situation. The Supreme Court aren’t falling for it.

  45. Anyim says:

    It seems that after 50 years it is time for forgiveness. To wring every last ounce of vengeance out of these sentences is senseless. The mastermind is dead. This woman’s youth is gone. She will have no children. There is no excuse for what she did but maybe it would be healing to let these things from the sixties be put to rest.

  46. Flip says:

    Who exactly will derive “healing” from freeing LVH or other brutal Manson cult murderers?

    Undoubtedly, LVH would feel the healing spirit of freedom. A number of dissatisfied internet LVH supporters would undoubtedly feel the healing.

    What puzzles me is, why so many put LVH’s need for healing ahead of her victims’ families needs. At every parole hearing they pour out their unhealed pain and anguish and fear of the murderers of their loved ones–they gonna heal if LVH is let out of prison? I don’t think so, but it’s really not for any of us to say–they have said “no” and continue to say “no”.

    I’m in unapologetic solidarity with the victims’ families on this topic, not with the
    murderers.

  47. Michael says:

    The release of any of the Tate-LaBianca killers would inflict more pain on families already injured by these people. Their life sentences, in lieu of the death penalty, were a tremendous gift. I think it is to Leslie and Patricia’s credit that they’ve reclaimed their humanity, renounced Manson, expressed remorse, and made tangible efforts to lead productive lives behind bars. But I think it’s immoral to ask for more, legal or not.

  48. Paul says:

    But what about the families who have lost loved ones in cases that haven’t got that much attention from the media. Their loved ones killers are walking the streets because no one cares about them because no one knows about it. You cannot single out the Manson family because of the notoriety.

  49. Michael says:

    No one here who argues against the release of the Manson family is saying they approve of other killers being released. The fact that leniency is sometimes shown to less notorious killers doesn’t mean leniency should be shown to the more notorious ones. When someone commits a heinous murder that person belongs behind bar, notorious or not.

  50. Paul says:

    Michael, well it does because you can’t treat prisoners any differently because of the media attention, think about what your saying mate. You cannot single out Leslie because of the publicity given to this case. If were going to talk about heinous actions, the whole thing was indeed a heinous crime, but Leslie’s personal involvement wasn’t that much of a contribution, she only participated in one of the two sets of murders and the wounds she inflicted were likely after death, either way the LaBianca’s would still be dead. You can talk about blocking Leslie’s release when you block all inmates convicted of murder.

  51. Michael says:

    I wouldn’t single Leslie out because of the notoriety factor. If I was commenting on other websites that discussed parole for lesser-known convicted murderers, I’d state my objections to their release, too, for the same reasons I object to Van Houten’s release. It’s the crime itself, not the notoriety, which I believe makes parole for LVH wrong. As I’ve said before, the courts may decide it’s legally acceptable, but to my thinking, it’s still morally unacceptable.

  52. Flip says:

    Very well said, Michael.

  53. Paul says:

    In normal circumstances I would agree, but this isn’t a typical case. There was a large use of hallucination drugs like LSD that seriously impact the reality of the individual, and there was a lot of manipulation and indoctrination by Manson. Also members couldn’t just walk out like most people think they could, they put guards around Spahn Ranch 24/7 to make sure no one left that ranch, and any who attempted to do so like Barbara Hoyt nearly paid with her life. For Leslie personnel involvement in the case is very different to Tex Watson’s and several other in the family, and serving almost half century in prison for he degree of involvement is just ridiculous.

  54. Le says:

    It truly sickens me the people, especially men who come to this woman’s defense. I bet if she were fat, like Barbara Hoyt was, or ugly, nobody would have cared. She would’ve disappeared into the prison system without anyone caring. For the fact that people associate her with a hot, young, bangable chick, people just want her out.

  55. Paul says:

    Le, your theory is pretty weak, I think that’s the only way you can get your head around people thinking she should be paroled. Most people who believe she deserves parole know the facts of the crime and the requirements for parole, and Leslie fits them with flying colours. Few people are wanting her out because of her looks .Were not stupid, we know what were talking about.

  56. Michael says:

    I agree that there was a tremendous amount of indoctrination involved, and extensive drug use to boot. But all of them chose to give themselves to that indoctrination long before Manson made it hard for them to leave the ranch. They decided to give their minds over to his teachings, teachings that they themselves became passionate about. Granted, if not for Manson, I doubt Leslie ever would have been involved in a violent crime. Then again, if not for Hitler, plenty of Germans would never have served as guards at concentration camps. If people who are otherwise good give themselves to someone who’s evil, they are responsible, both for giving themselves, and for all the actions that spring from that giving. I do feel a level of sympathy for her and the others, but my deeper sympathies are still with the victims and their families.

  57. Paul says:

    Fair enough, but remember Manson didn’t talk about the idea of killing until far later into his philosophy, when he had manipulated and remoulded their mind sets enough for him to be able to have them kill for him. In their minds, especially with Leslie’s, who thought it was right. Leslie even said in a interview her attorney in 1969 that she didn’t want to kill someone, but would if she had to. Yes, they followed his teachings, but murder wasn’t the subject until 1969, the family had developed in 1967.

  58. Michael says:

    Agreed. Watson made an interesting point in his autobiography when he said, in essence, that if Manson had showed his dark side early on, the family wouldn’t have followed him. That seems true of folks who also followed Jim Jones, Koresh, and others. There’s a terrible devil’s bargain to pay when you give up you independence for a charismatic leader, no matter how loving he seems at first. The person who does that is responsible for having done so, but it’s one heck of a tragedy.

  59. Paul says:

    True, and Leslie has admitted her responsibility for years, and for the governor to say that she put’s too much responsibilities on Manson is ridiculous. She owns up to her part in the crimes but she cannot say Manson didn’t have large role in the crime and reasons for them.

  60. Christy says:

    I don’t remember Bugliosi saying the four would never in a million murder but for Manson. He said they already had the ability to murder before they ever met him. He also pointed out Leslie beat her sister with a shoe. What he did say is that meeting Manson brought this to the surface. He couldn’t use just anyone. Bugliosi made it pretty clear in his book that Manson was attracting people who shared his views to a degree.

  61. Paul says:

    Christy, it sounds like your saying you could see Leslie’s murderess nature because she hit her sister with a shoe. Bugliosi did say that none of these people would commit murder if I hadn’t been for Manson. Manson didn’t talk about murder initially did he, it was love and care at the start, which is what attracted many people to the family, but then it changed badly.

  62. Christy says:

    When did he say that? He wrote in his book that they all had the psychological ability to commit murder before they met Manson. He said meeting Manson and his subsequent actions brought about the murders they did commit. But they already had the seeds to do this. Why didn’t he use Squeaky in these forays? She would have been the natural choice but he didn’t. Other than what seems to have been a pretend assasination attempt it sounds like she never did anything.

    I’m also not saying they would necessarily have done this type of murder if not for Manson. But I could definitely see a road rage incident or a spur of the moment shooting in a temper. Or even a planned murder of someone they hated.

  63. Christy says:

    He ordered the murders Sunny. He’s legally culpable. Or was.

  64. Paul says:

    Bugliosi has said in an interview that they wouldn’t of committed a crime like murder ever if Manson hadn’t been there. Almost everyone at the ranch believed in the revolution and believed that murders had to be done.

  65. Boo says:

    Free Leslie. Oh wait, the gov’t would have to have integrity for the law…

  66. Cathy says:

    How did she not commit murder when she held Rosemary Labianca down while Patricia Krenwinkel stabbed her, and even said she wrapped the cord from the lamp around Rosemary Labianca’s neck, whether she stabbed her or not? That isn’t murdering ? Why was the focus just on stabbing? I can’t recall her partners in crime backing her story she only stabbed someone dead. Van Houten like the rest of them all try to minimize their roles changing their stories for decades. The fact is they’re all guilty of murder and none of them played a lesser role.

    Sociopaths never change. I don’t think society would be safe with any of them out.

  67. Paul says:

    Cathy, Leslie said she believed Rosemary was dead but wasn’t sure. She admitted to holding Rosemary down, the lamp cord, stab wounds, and wiping finger prints. You cannot hold her in prison when others are getting out for similar crimes. Leslie hasn’t tried to change her story either. Her crime partners didn’t contradict her story either, and had backed up the majority of her story anyway. Leslie has served enough time for her involvement in the murders and she fits the criteria for parole. The courts will not give in like the governor did. She will get out soon.

  68. Paul says:

    Cathy, Leslie said she believed Rosemary was dead but wasn’t sure. She admitted to holding Rosemary down, the lamp cord, stab wounds, and wiping finger prints. You cannot hold her in prison when others are getting out for similar crimes. Leslie hasn’t tried to change her story either. Her crime partners didn’t contradict her story either, and had backed up the majority of her story anyway. Leslie has served enough time for her involvement in the murders and she fits the criteria for parole. The courts will not give in like the governor did. She will get out soon. Leslie is obviously not going to kill again, everyone knows that whether they deny it or not, unless there that oblivious to the case and just believe Debra Tate’s claims.

  69. Cybele Moon says:

    I agree. all this is BS about Leslie being a political prisoner -these were perhaps the most brutal crimes of the last century. They should have been given life without parole after the death penalty was overturned. Youth and brainwashing are not excuses. Manson only brought out what was already in them to do. Leslie volunteered to go along on the second night knowing full well what would be the outcome. All the remorse and degrees (government paid) in the world can’t change what has happened. If she does get out I hope she won’t profit from the notoriety and just fade into anonymity. Being freed is a mercy not justice.

  70. Paul says:

    Cybele, its not BS, Leslie is a political prisoner. You look at the whole case than look at Leslie personal degree of involvement. Brainwashing is an important factor, and the parole board take it seriously. Manson did not just coincidently pick out people who wanted to murder. Leslie even said she didn’t want to kill at the time, but would have if she needed to, the audio interview proves this. The notoriety hasn’t done her any good, its just kept her in longer than she should served in the first place.

  71. Cybele Moon says:

    Paul, You are entitled to your opinion but I have no idea what you mean by “personal degree of involvement” She volunteered her services for the night and whether or not she struck a fatal blow is immaterial. The motive was to terrorize and murder! She is, was and will ever more be guilty. Yes she is remorseful now- Sad. And of all the brainwash cults I have read about and some committed suicide etc. and some fought the fBI but I don’t recall any other cults deciding to go and murder random innocent people in their own homes in such brutal fashion. If Leslie is freed, God bless her but I’d rather speak up for the thousands who are held in prisons around the world who are guilty of speaking their minds or standing up to a repressive regime- not murdering those they spoke against. I don’t think Leslie Van Houten is on the Amnesty International list of injustices.

  72. Paul says:

    She is a prisoner for her own notoriety, I think most people know she wouldn’t be in there today if the case was not so popular with the media. Leslie has met the criteria for parole for years, and the governor recent argument to it was more pathetic than last time. Leslie takes responsibility for her actions but Manson did have a tremendous influence on her action, she be lying if she took all the blame. The murders were heinous, but Leslie’s involvement in the crime was substantially low compared to the others, the governor appears to be looking at the case as a whole rather than look at Leslie personnel actions.

  73. Cybele Moon says:

    Fair enough Paul though I think they should have all been given life without possibility of parole ( after death penalty was overturned) so as not to put the victim’s families through the process all the time.

  74. Paul says:

    What about the other families who have lost their loves ones to murder, many killers get out sooner and those families have to deal with that. This case is so notorious and that’s the reason most of the remaining Manson family are still behind bars, other cases do not get this level of media attention.

  75. Cybele Moon says:

    true enough Paul, but that is not justice either. And yes, this case was notorious and partly because of the fame of victims but also the strangeness of the whole story ( the horrific end to the hippie era etc included) and that they were not crimes of passion or committed during a robbery but extremely cruel and vicious murders.

  76. Michael says:

    I agree with the Governor’s decision but not his rationale. I believe someone who’s committed such a heinous murder should not be released because of the nature of the crime. But I disagree with Brown and others who claim Leslie has not taken responsibility for her actions, because I feel she has. I also believe her remorse is genuine, and that had she not followed Manson, she would never have been involved in a murder. But she was, and her involvement was active and aggressive, including the restraining of the victim while she was stabbed, the post-mortem stabbing of the victim, and the cleaning of fingerprints to avoid arrest. I don’t think she’s a threat to society, but I believe her release would be a threat to societal standards and a horrible blow to the victim’s families.

  77. Cybele Moon says:

    well put!

  78. Paul says:

    Yes but you can’t find her unsuitable for societal standards reasons, and families of loved ones murdered in less documented cases are having to go through the same thing. No matter how you feel personally, the law has to be followed otherwise your being selective.

  79. Cybele Moon says:

    i agree about the selective bit. However, i find it hard put to actually feel sorry for LVH though I ‘m sure she will never be free of this crime in or out of prison. That’s the consequence of such a heinous act. But according to law she is probably not a threat personally. I would like to see laws changed that give no chance of parole for certain crimes. And that would of course still take into consideration any mitigating circumstance or diminished capacity in the true sense. At 19 you are an adult and Leslie was raised in a middle class family who I’m sure had good moral values. She was only in the Manson family for a year. I think of Nazi Germany- a whole nation brainwashed and duped by the ideology of a superior race for over 10 years. Yet at Nuremberg,the worst perpetrators who were supposedly following orders were still condemned for their actions to the fullest.

  80. Paul says:

    It’s not the same when your committing an act in your own conscious mind set, these people were completely indoctrinated through hard use of LSD and control. Towards the end Manson had guards placed around the ranch to make sure no one left. Leslie’s action were terrible but they were really not that heinous as people think, she was only really a participate in Mrs. LaBianca’s death and didn’t even kill her, though she did committed superficial wounds. Tex Watson committed about 85% of the crime himself and I wouldn’t want him out but if the law states he has to be paroled, then he has to be released. People seem to make out that Leslies actions were just as vicious as that of Watsons, though their probably trying to influence the public into thinking she’s a monster. We cannot try and make the governor let public opinion get in the way of his job to follow the law, his last excuse to reverse Leslie’s parole makes it clear he’s letting the publics cries influence his decision, most of the pubic don’t even know the case that well or what Leslie personal involvement was in the first place. Others have paid less for their crimes than Leslie even though their crimes were just as bad, murderess get out after 15-20 years and a lot of people don’t know about it.

  81. Christy says:

    Well, if she’s a political prisoner then so are Robert Beausoleil and Bruce Davis. Plus I believe there is a law in place about aiding and abetting (that isn’t the real term for it, it has to do with being present at a murder even if a person didn’t kill anyone. Like two people rob a store and one shoots and kills someone. The other is complicit) that I think was on the books while the people involved in these murders were charged. While there’s pretty good evidence Beausoleil killed Gary Hinman is there really any good evidence that Bruce Davis killed Donald Shea? In the case of Pat Krenwinkel she’s said that when Mrs. LaBianca was being murdered she had to yell for help from Watson.

    At the time the death penalty was declared unconstitutional I don’t think life without parole was even on the books though I could be wrong.

  82. Christy says:

    A couple of the reasons the only person released of any of these murders was Steve Grogan was he was younger and showed where the body of Shea could be found.

    Also this happened at a time when no one had ever heard of home invasion, the phrase that didn’t become familiar until years later. The defendants acted up in court thus sealing public perception against them. And up until the day he died Manson still had quite a following including people who hadn’t even been born at the time. He probably got more fan mail than any prisoner, including death row inmates like Richard Rameirez and Scott Peterson. Leslie would probably have to go into hiding to avoid Manson’s fan base.

    On the plus side for her she was a different person during her retrials in the latter part of the 70s. And she may yet get out. On the flip side I once knew someone back in the mid 80s who worked in a town called Rosemead which is right next to El Monte where Steven Parent grew up. She was a young adult during these murders and she was vehement that they should never get out. She described the terror during that time felt by many people. For me it was acedemic since I was 8 and living in the SF Bay Area during this so it was interesting getting the account of someone who lived through it.

  83. Christy says:

    No edit button so one more post. I worked for about 3 years at a restaurant in El Monte starting in 1986 after I moved to the L.A. area. My guess is I could have asked any number of co workers and customers about this and they’d have the same opinion as the woman from Rosemead.

  84. Paul says:

    We all know families and friends will go through a tough process, some have to deal with their loved ones killers getting much sooner than others, but in this case, the crime is so famous and has been media publicity for nearly half a decade. The law cannot be broken in order to satisfy the public’s preference, because I will say it again, you’re creating a very selective government. Steve Grogan was only about a year younger than Leslie and he has been out since 85, but the murder Clem was involved in wasn’t as notorious at the Tate-LaBianca murders. Probably most people don’t even know about the Shorty Shea murder.

  85. Michael says:

    A reasonable argument can be made for Leslie’s release based on law. My objection to her ever being released is moral, not legal, and of course legal trumps moral when it comes to the law, as it should. I think the laws should be changed, but as the they now stand, I think she’s likely to be released. But it’s outrageous to suggest Leslie’s actions were any less heinous than Watson’s or Krenwinkle’s. If you hold a woman down while she’s being stabbed, assist in the murders of two people, and lend support to those murders, you are a murderer, and the severity of what you’ve done is no less than that of the person who did the actual stabbing. She wasn’t too enthusiastic about it by all counts, but that really means nothing. Minimizing her actions in any way is as repugnant as claiming that a man who held a woman down while she was raped is somehow less guilty just because he himself did not penetrate her. I grant that she’s a changed woman, but her actions that night were as horrible as those of her co-defendants.

  86. Cybele Moon says:

    I don’t understand why you and some others defend her so vehemently just because she was good looking at one time and the”least likely”to be one of the gang. But she was. and please don’t use drugs as an excuse. Most hippies of that era did not murder though many followed self styled “gurus.” There are so many other injustices out there and not one where a prisoner actually committed the crime, mocked the court and the victim’s families etc etc So fifty years later and a couple of degrees which the government paid for, no other offences while locked up and now she’s a political prisoner! If she gets out I won’t celebrate this as some kind of victory over the justice system. It will rather be an act of mercy towards someone who is a criminal.

  87. Cybele Moon says:

    PS: and yes, she may be remorseful and rehabilitated I hope>

  88. Cybele Moon says:

    oh one more as no edit button!! I appreciate Christy and Michael’s points and I have another question. Apparently Tex and Pat Krenwinkel are also remorseful and have tried to turn their lives around in prison. They also beg for release as did Atkins before she died. But they never garnished the sympathy that Leslie did. If one is released than why not all?

  89. Michael says:

    Cybele, both Watson and Krenwinkel have their share of supporters, including Rosemary LaBianca’s daughter who testified in favor of Watson’s parole (!) and folks like Diane Sawyer who very sympathetically interviewed both Leslie and Patricia in 1994. Leslie does, though, have more outside support than the others. I think much of that comes because she was only involved in the one murder. Still, if she is released, I think it will become harder than ever to justify the continued incarceration of Watson and Krenwinkel because, as you say, they have also demonstrated remorse and new ways of thinking and being.

  90. Paul says:

    Cybele Moon Drugs is a big reason for Manson to be able to indoctrinated these people. You just can’t get it in your head that people think she should be released that you automatically suggest its to do with her looks. I literally said if they are deemed suitable by the law to be paroled, then they have to be paroled. Leslie isn’t exactly graving forgiveness from people like you because its not you she should want forgiveness from. She is a political prisoner Cybele whether you think she’s should be paroled or not, you just don’t care because he’s in prison for murder so it like your saying breaking the law is ok form certain crimes. Again, other killers don’t serve nearly as much as Leslie has, stop avoiding the obvious. This is not a normal case, the girls were not in their normal mind sets, even during the trial, they used drugs during the trial and Manson scripted almost everything they did in the courtroom. Leslie even took responsibility for a murder she didn’t commit, how much more evidence do you need? Leslie needed to serve time for her action and 50 years is more than enough for her degree of involvement, and has used her time effectively doing good on her self and others.

  91. Alexander Hill says:

    Bobby Beausoleil’s parole hearing was moved up to this September according to his CDC profile.

  92. Paul says:

    Michael, Leslie’s actions were not as heinous as Tex Watson, he’s accountable for 8 murders, most of them he killed personally, and Leslie is accountable for two, only one she was physically involved in. Your can’t say her actions were as bad as Tex Watsons because that’s factually not true.

  93. Stephen Craig says:

    Has the support for LVH release devolved to the point where the argument for some is that the murder she was convicted of was less “heinous” than the others? I wonder what Mrs. LaBianca would have to say about that? How sad.

  94. Michael says:

    There are some anti-Leslie folks who refuse to recognize her remorse and changed life, and I disagree with them. I believe she’s in real pain over what she did. But I cannot even fathom how anyone can assign a lesser degree of seriousness to murders based on the number of victims. Cold blooded murder is nothing but that, and the fact a person committed 2 cold blooded murders instead of 8 makes their crimes no more or less heinous. I think some of the points you raise on this thread, Paul, are important. But this one just escapes me.

  95. Paul says:

    Sorry but it does, each murder you commit adds several years onto a prisoners sentence. You can’t say Tex and Leslie’s involvement in the crimes are that similar. Leslie only came into contact with one of the those victims, and I’m not excusing her actions but they are not near as close as heinous at Tex’s were. The wounds Leslie made were likely superficial, while Tex personally stabbed every victim repeatedly.

  96. Paul says:

    Stephen we have a range of points why Leslie should be released, but everyone seems to look at the murders as a whole than look at Leslie’s personal involvement, I’m bored of saying this but its true.

  97. Cybele Moon says:

    Paul, you make some good points and no it doesn’t matter whether I forgive Leslie or not. However, I think a huge number of people gathering from the amount of response in letters to Governor etc seem to feel that none of the Manson murderers deserve release. Whether or not any of them are so called “political prisoners” seems just a term to be used by those who feel she should be released. I guess the non supporters feel otherwise. At any rate she has almost served a life sentence anyway seeing most of it has been behind bars. She is elderly now so her most productive years would already be behind her. She will never have what many of us take for granted, a career, a family, or even a lifetime of good memories etc. She has paid a huge price for her involvement and I won’t argue anymore whether it was just or not as it seems to depend on personal opinion about how the law should be applied.

  98. Stephen Craig says:

    You know, following this case has been very interesting for me for many different reasons. Sometimes I think of the victims and all that was taken from them; all the experiences of being alive, from the mundane to the magnificent. At times, I have also thought of their ( the victims) last moments, which, recounted by the killers themselves, were apparently so wrought with terror that it is hard to believe that some are capable of such atrocities. I have also considered the killers themselves, and the twisted ideology that brought them into both of the residences on those long ago hot August nights armed and ready to slaughter. What a tragedy. What an absolute waste of our most precious gift: the gift of life. It is interesting how people can look at the same circumstance(s), and yet “see” things differently. For me, my “focus” will always be on the victims, and all that was done to them in a few horrifying moments. Now, I understand that these victims, unlike their killers, will never come up for parole, nor will their loved ones. I understand that nothing will bring them back. Yet I do feel that what was done to them, what they lost, should never been forgotten, diminished, or discounted. With all due respect, I find it incredulous that there are people who truly feel that (in this case) LVH should be given parole. I understand the parameters/criteria for parole in her case, but I also find it hard to believe that no matter how remorseful she appears, or how many years she has been incarcerated, that she should be set free. There are simply crimes that are so abhorrent, so viscerally repugnant, that, even if you are truly repentant, being released into a free society again is not an option. Now I know people are going to disagree with me, and I am willing to accept that. But I have difficulties accepting the release of one who is responsible for such senseless losses. For me, these tragic losses/deaths, and the horrible ways in which these victims were killed, overrides all else. There are just some things you can “forgive”.

  99. Stephen Craig says:

    Sorry folks: In the last line of my rather long missive located above, I mean to write CAN’T forgive”, not CAN “forgive”.

    My apologies.

    SC

  100. Paul says:

    Stephen when you describe how heinous the crimes were, it seems like your taking about the crimes as a whole than Leslie actual participation itself which is what most of the oppose her parole seem to do, so many include the Tate murders even though Leslie wasn’t there. Even the newlines show phots of Sharon Tate next to Leslie photo and even mention she was pregnant to make more publicity and fear, it absolutely ridiculous.

  101. Paul says:

    Cielo do you mind making a edit button? thanks

    (re-edit) Stephen when you describe how heinous the crimes were, it seems like your taking about the crimes as a whole than Leslie’s actual participation itself which is what most of the people who oppose her parole seem to do, so many include the Tate murders even though Leslie wasn’t there. Even the news lines show photos of Sharon Tate next to Leslie’s photo, and even mention that Sharon was pregnant to make more publicity and effect, it’s absolutely ridiculous.

  102. Michael says:

    Stephen, that has always been the bottom line for me – the victims, their sufferings, and that of their families. I don’t believe anyone who commits brutal murders, whether their crimes are well known or not, should ever be paroled. The law may allow for it, so that puts me in disagreement with the law. Other killers may have served less time, and I disagree with that, as well, because I think they should not have been released, either. Leslie’s crimes were heinous and indescribable. Comparing them to those of her cohorts means as little to me as comparing the actions of a guard who locked the doors of the Auschwitz gas chambers with those who dropped the pellets, or comparing someone who slaughtered three people with someone who slaughtered ten. All of them are, to my thinking, equally guilty of equally horrible actions. So if Leslie is released I’ll consider that to be a legal decision, but an immoral one nonetheless. No need for me to keep rambling on, I’ve pretty much stated my position already.

  103. Paul says:

    So if you had to had to decide to release either Leslie or Tex Watson, which one would it be?

  104. Stephen Craig says:

    Paul, here’s how I view LVH’s participation in terms of “the crimes as a whole” vs. “Leslie’s participation”. When LVH was told by PK what had transpired at the Tate house early in the morning of 8/9/69, her reaction was not one of revulsion, of fleeing the ranch, notifying the authorities, or even prayer. What she chose to do (according to her) was to let Manson know that if there was going to be another night of murder, she wanted “in”. For me, that speaks volumes in terms of not only what she is capable of, but of her callous lack of compassion as well. Now, in terms of Leslie’s photo being cropped next Tate’s etc…, for me, although I do see what you are alleging (people assuming LVH helped butcher Tate), that particular photo placement/arrangement has no relevance. What does, however, what is very relevant to me, are the LaBianca crime scene photos, the crime she did actively, willingly, and voluntarily participate in. Anyone who can willingly participate (in any capacity) in such brutality has no part in a free society.
    the death photos of the LaBianca’s

  105. Paul says:

    Leslie said even back then she didn’t want to kill anyone, but would if she needed to. Go and listen to the audio interview with her attorney back in 1969, just hearing her talk says how indoctrinated she was. I didn’t say anything about the photos of the LaBianca’s, but the photos of the victims at the Tate murders are irrelevant.

  106. Michael says:

    I would not choose between Leslie Van Houten and Charles Watson for parole. That would be like trying to choose my favorite Menendez brother.

  107. Paul says:

    I knew you would come out with that, but 100% people will choose Leslie over Tex and we all know why.

  108. Cybele Moon says:

    I do agree with Steven and Michael. It’s a difficult one and I do understand how some might feel sorry for the killers and wonder what circumstance brought them to commit such brutal and senseless killings. Yes, there are always mitigating circumstances as Paul states. But as Steven stated LVH volunteered to go and she “knew there would be killing” (her own words) though later she contradicted herself saying she did not want to kill anyone. The court may see fit to free her of course but whenever I see them come up for parole, and plead their cases and talk about how they have changed their lives I can’t help but think of the terror of their victims pleading for their lives with no mercy shown.

  109. Paul says:

    She didn’t contradict herself, she said back then that she did not want to kill but would if she needed to. Please listen to the 1969 interview with her attorney because it’s there. Sorry but there are so many other victims who have gone through worse and their killers don’t always spend the rest of their lives behind bars, you just are not aware of it like you are this. Leslie is being singled out because of the media.

  110. Cybele Moon says:

    Paul! that is pure BS. That crime was known for it’s heinous brutality. Though I think you are well intentioned, you must be living in a delusion! Worse!!?? it doesn’t get much worse than what that gang did- whether or not Leslie was the least culpable. People sitting at home quietly and innocently and the next moment being chased and stabbed, bludgeoned forks in stomach, blood scrolled on walls and carved words into their flesh etc. Oh please! It was two nights of sheer horror and though there may be other crimes as bad I’m not so sure that those other perpetrators are out either. Please give examples.

  111. Cybele Moon says:

    PS. I think Richard Ramirez died in prison! I can only think of serial killers as perpetrating similar cruelty on their victims.

  112. Paul says:

    You have literally described the two nights of murder, Leslie wasn’t even there the first night. You have just proved my point, your looking at the entire crime that Leslie’s personal actions. The forks, the writings, chasing etc none of that involved Leslie. I’m not the deleuded one here mate, I know what I’m talking about. Clam has been out since 85’ and he had a hand in the death of Shorty Shea, and allegedly cut of his head. He’s out because most people aren’t aware of the Shorty Shea murder. Leslie has served her time, that’s a fact, you just can’t handle that fact.

  113. Cybele Moon says:

    Good debate Paul!
    I know she wasnt there the first night. She was there the second night! So what’s your point? The fork in Mr. Labianca’s stomach? the writing in blood? Leslie’s actions? Her willingness to participate was enough and her actions afterward as well. Has she served her time? According to the law as it stands she probably has. Quite frankly if she gets out then God bless her. I just don’t look at her as some kind of long suffering heroine of injustice as her supporters seem to do. She is the one that has to live with herself and her actions no matter how long ago. A prison sentence does not wipe the crime away. As for Clem well, apparently he was mentally challenged according to his psychiatric record. I can’t comment on why they let him out and perhaps they should not have.

  114. Cybele Moon says:

    PS. Just out of interest one of the reasons I never totally accepted the brain washing defense was because the murders were very sadistic. I found the soft voices of the convicted women rather chilling. I felt there had to be something abnormal in them to begin with but that is just my own opinion of course.

  115. Paul says:

    You didn’t accept the brainashwsing because the murders were too sadistic, that doesn’t even make sense, Charlie talked about leaving witchy signs, and that everyone had their hands dirty. We are not talking about the Tate murders or Pat and Tex’s actions at the LaBianca murder, it’s about Leslie’s actions, so you’ve only proved me right, because people like you are mixing Leslie with the whole crime itself than understanding her own actual accountability, the fork and the writings with blood are irrelevant in this case. Clem played the idiot, that was clear in the 1973 documentary. Prisons are getting overcrowded, keeping elderly inmates like Leslie in prison is pointless, she should of been out already.

  116. Cybele Moon says:

    Just because Charly said leave witchy signs means they were brainwashed? They certainly had no trouble coming up with their own bloody signatures didn’t they! At any rate it’s obvious opinions will always differ as to LVH and her participation. She has paid a huge price – basically the majority of her life in jail and I understand some feel that this is unjust where others feel that a life sentence is justice. It’s interesting how this case has remained very memorable in the annals of horrific crimes. I agree it seemed to be a very high profile case at the time. Some supporters of LVH blame or mock the victims families themselves, pointing out that Polanski was a pedophile and D. Tate had a pedophile on her staff or that the grandson sheds “crocodile tears’ because it was so long ago it shouldn’t matter that much anymore!! That I will never understand.

  117. Michael says:

    Cybele, first-hand accounts of the murders make me wonder if all three of the girls weren’t pretty ambivalent about killing. Leslie definitely wanted to be included and prove herself, but it seems she would rather have not proved herself by killing. Watson described her as hesitant throughout the ordeal, showing no enthusiasm. Krenwinkle actually disobeyed orders at the Tate home and refused to go into the guest house and kill Garretson. Atkins was ordered by Watson to kill both Frykowski and Tate and but couldn’t bring herself to do the stabbing. And Krenwinkle went so far as to comment to Charlie about how young the victims were. I don’t think anyone can prove how brainwashed they were or weren’t, and I’m against releasing any of them. But I don’t think these women had murder in their hearts prior to Manson, and even under Manson’s influence, they retained enough humanity to show mixed feelings about killing.

  118. Cybele Moon says:

    Michael, that’s interesting although the stories don’t seem to match with what they have said in their interview or parole hearings. Reluctant or not Krenwinkel admitted to stabbing Folger and Atkins originally claimed to have stabbed Tate. I read Helter Skelter at some point and someone in my family once knew ( growing up) one of the (non murderous) members. I began to read more about them when I saw a documentary. I suppose we may never know now. I can’t say for sure what they might have been capable of doing without Manson but you may be right. The whole thing was tragic. So many lives lost or thrown away. I’m sure the families of the women suffered along with the victim’s families.

  119. Paul says:

    I have nothing against the families at all, obviously this isn’t an easy thing for them but the government cannot satisfy everyone, its the law at the end of the day. The only thing that I disagree with profoundly is Debra’s attempt to make out that Leslie is this monster who is still a danger to the community, a completely false judgement on her suicide. I don’t know what you mean by signatures but if your referring to the words written in blood, they were all from Manson’s philosophy, also Leslie didn’t print these words. They were brainwashed to such an extent that anyone can see, if you chose to avoid it is a different thing, which is really what you Cybele seem to be doing. This case is still a huge media target and will go down in history.

  120. Paul says:

    side, NOT suicide.

  121. Michael says:

    Everyone involved has suffered or is suffering, including Leslie and Patricia. The law will probably lean towards Leslie’s release someday. I won’t agree, but it will be the law which prevails, not my beliefs. I hope she’ll make good on her commitment to not capitalize on the crimes in any way if she’s freed. She was given a reprieve when the death penalty was abolished, and as an opponent of her parole I have to admit she’s made some good use of that reprieve. I hope she’ll make good use of her eventual freedom as well.

    Grogan’s the only one who’s been paroled, and he’s stayed pretty clean, hasn’t he? Anybody have updates on him?

  122. Cybele Moon says:

    well said Michael,- and I’m not sure what you mean Paul. Is it that I avoid seeing the brainwashing? I do see it to a point. I just don’t excuse them because at 19 or 21 you do know that murdering innocent people is wrong no matter what your brainwashing has been. It’s different for example than the Branch Davidians fighting the law and killing the agents while defending their compound. Michael said they had regrets right after the murders so that tells me that they knew what they did was wrong too. And many people at that time did many drugs but did not do what they did either. We are all brainwashed to some degree. Yes, you are right! It has gone down in history. Do I think Leslie is a threat now?- I don’t believe so, but nor do I think she is a wonderful person. But she has tried to change and as Michael said I hope she just fades into anonymity and doesn’t capitalize on the story.

  123. Paul says:

    Fair Enough but the circumstances of brainwashing in general of people like us against the Manson family is a far stretch. Yes, Leslie said she felt bad but believed it needed to happen and was the right thing, because of Manson philosophy. No one can underplay Manson’s manipulation on almost everyone at the ranch.

  124. Cybele Moon says:

    agreed Paul!

  125. Louis says:

    No Justice says:

    “And free Leno LaBianca.” ???

    He is free. Just where you think he is?

  126. Richard Kocon says:

    California foolishly abolished capital punishment. All 4 murderers should have been put to death in the 1970’s. They did not care about the victims they tortured and murdered. They should not be rewarded with life imprisonment. The victim’s families suffered through all that time.

  127. Cybele Moon says:

    is capital punishment back on the books in Calif?

  128. Paul says:

    The death penalty is instated again in California but they don’t occur very often. Richard, given the circumstances, they weren’t in their normal mind-sets during the murders.

  129. Christy says:

    I really don’t buy in too strongly to the brainwashing aspect of this. Others in the group, including Squeaky, never went along and she would have been a natural choice considering she was the second longest member of “the family “.

    I believe Vince Bugliosi when he wrote there was already something there that overrode the societal teachings not to murder. On top of this a couple of young girls fled into the desert up in Death Valley to escape this stuff. Neither Patricia or Tex seemed to have any problem fleeing the state after the murders so it’s not like they didn’t have that option before. Leslie, knowing what had happened the night before, could also have left before becoming involved on the second night. Her parents didn’t live very far away from Spahn Ranch and since hitchhiking was pretty common back then could have gotten a ride.

  130. Christy says:

    The only update I read about Grogan was in an afterward in the 20th anniversary of Helter Skelter. I think he’s really careful about keeping his identity obscure. Other former family members also generally keep a pretty low profile except for a couple of them who renounced Manson but seem not to mind the attention.

    There’s another book written by a guy who was a journalist for Rolling Stone who wrote from the perspective of the counterculture milieu at the time. He wrote Grogan was a house painter but Bugliosi disputed this. What I gather is that the people instrumental in Grogan’s release, including the man who prosecuted him and secured a death sentence for him, are and were protective of Grogan’s privacy.

  131. Paul says:

    I feel that the people who don’t agree with the extent of indoctrination probably don’t want to give sympathy to the killers because the actions they committed. It a tough situation were people were used and manipulated through drugs and philosophy to commit horrible acts of violence, and many members of the public can’t bring themselves to find pity for the culprits, so they try to downplay the brainwashing aspect of it.

  132. Christy says:

    I do have pity for the culprits. And I do believe some brainwashing was going on. I just don’t agree with the extent of it. There were others in that group as well that never did anything as far as we know. Linda Kasabian was only chosen to go along because she had a valid driver’s license. Mary Brunner may have but she was in jail. And I still point to Squeaky as someone who would have been a natural choice considering it sounds like she never gave up on Manson’s philosophy. I think Manson carefully chose who he would use in these murders given what we know about his directing the drug trips and making sure his dosage was less than anyone else’s.

    I’m not saying Leslie and the rest aren’t changed people. I don’t have a horse in this race so I’m neither going to fight for their release or keeping them in. And I do agree the notoriety of these murders is what’s kept them in all these years but I don’t see it as their being political prisoners. I just maintain Leslie, as well as her co defendants and Tex Watson already had something there that Manson saw which he didn’t see in a few of his other followers. T.J. for instance who couldn’t bring himself to shoot the drug dealer. I can’t imagine Manson would have sent him along on any of the murders that have been solved.

  133. Paul says:

    If you agree that the notoriety has kept them in jail then their political prisoners, because the governor is putting his reputation before his duty, and that shows in his last argument to reverse.

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