Supreme Court Requests Answer Regarding Van Houten Parole Reversal

Tuesday, November 8th, 2016


Nov. 8 – The California Supreme Court has requested the Attorney General provide evidence that Leslie Van Houten is currently an unreasonable risk for parole.

In April, the California Board of Parole Hearings, noting decades of favorable psychological evaluations and an exemplary prison record, recommended the 66 year-old Van Houten for release.

“After these 46 years, we looked for even a singular issue to demonstrate an indicia of evidence that creates a nexus to current dangerousness,” Commissioner Ali Zarrinnam told Van Houten in April. “There just isn’t one anymore.”

The decision outraged many and led to a campaign that culminated in victims’ family members hand delivering Governor Jerry Brown, upwards of a hundred thousand signatures from people opposing Van Houten’s release.

In July, Brown weighed in and reversed the decision, stating, “I have considered the evidence in the record that is relevant to whether Van Houten is currently dangerous. When considered as a whole, I find the evidence shows that she currently poses an unreasonable danger to society if released from prison.”

In response, Leslie Van Houten’s attorney, Richard Pfeiffer, filed a writ of Habeas Corpus in Los Angeles County Superior Court. The fifty page writ outlined a history of inconsistent positions made by the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office; claimed the office withheld exculpatory evidence in denying access to the Tex Watson tapes; and challenged that the Governor’s decision to reverse Van Houten’s parole was not supported by the record. According to Pfeiffer, “The real reason for the Governor’s reversal is the name Manson.”

In October, Superior Court Judge William Ryan denied Pfeiffer’s writ, stating that there was “some evidence” to support Brown’s decision because of Van Houten’s lack of insight. Pfeiffer promptly filed another writ in the Appellate Court where it was also denied.

The issue is now before the state Supreme Court, who informed the Attorney General that the “petitioner has established a prima facie case for relief, such that this court should grant the petition for review, and transfer the matter to the Court of Appeal with instructions to issue an order to show cause.”

The Attorney General will have until November 23 to file an answer and the court will make a ruling on or before December 30.

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65 Responses to Supreme Court Requests Answer Regarding Van Houten Parole Reversal

  1. Hillary Mack says:

    This is great. Manson, Van Houten two separate people. Hope she is released.

  2. Dotcommie says:

    Good. She’s done enough time, and has a perfect 45 yr prison behavior record. I. Sure she would have given blood if she was asked to. Possibly the victims themselves may even ageee. No I’m not sure of that, but you never know with human nature…

  3. Rhonda says:

    No, she killed along with the family members. She was given Life and should never be able to be released from Prison.

  4. Black Heart says:

    Leslie met all the requirements for release according to the parole board. This case shows that California has a faulty parole appeals process. By sending decisions of the board to the governor takes judgements from the law and places them into the hands of slimy politicians like Moonbeam.

    What is concerning here is the integrity of the law, not sympathy for Leslie. The law is not supposed to bend with what is popular but rather remain faithful to what the people wrote into the code. That code says that Leslie earned release.

    The AG is out of bullets. He,she, it, cannot show reasonable cause for keeping Van Houten locked up. Now we’ll see if the California supreme court has any integrity. The parole boards know inmates inside and out and make judgements on their records. What the hell does a politician know about the case details?

    By the way, the court should order LA County to show cause as to why they haven’t released the Watson tapes. It’s unlikely that LASO has an ongoing investigation. My guess is there is something on those tapes that is highly embarrassing to LA County law enforcement.

    My guess is that LASO had an informant next to Manson at Spahn’s and received a hot tip on or about 7 August that something big was cooking. LE didn’t act and could have. If this be the case, they may keep this to themselves to protect the informant’s life even today.

  5. Janet Palirano says:

    Manson and Van Houten were both in the LaBianca home the same night- SAME CRIME, same murder. If it was your home they broke into last night you would not be separating her from Manson in your opinion- you would be stabbed 41 times like Rosemary LaBianca was!!

  6. Connie says:

    Prison is for punishment, not just for rehab. She belongs there.

  7. Tony Nathanson says:

    Anyone who supports releasing this dirtbag should be required to put her up at THEIR house.

  8. Jim says:

    The only thing that went wrong was that these animals were not put to death. To let them back into society for any reason would be wrong and life in prison simply should mean life especially when it is given in the place of death.

  9. Robin Ridenour says:

    All of these monsters were originally given the Death penalty. It was the commuted to Life. She should be thankful they still get to breathe. The victims sure do not. Keep her in prison. Whoever wants her release can let her room with them. Just keep your eyes open, and get rid of any electrical chords and pillow cases. She has habit of using them for her own gain.

  10. Suzanne Sutherland says:

    Doesn’t matter whether she sadistically murdered 47 years ago or last week – she must live out the rest of her life in jail. Releasing her just sets a precedent for more scum of society to be let out. And so what that she has led an exemplary life behind bars. Who cares? She should be glad she is even breathing. Can’t say that about her victims.

  11. Cybele Moon says:

    unfortunately this is the law in California and maybe other states. I never understood how a something as final as a death penalty could be then changed to life “with the chance of parole every 7 years.” That never made sense. If she does get out she probably won’t be a danger at her age. However, her life has been ruined by the crime in which she participated. She has spent it behind bars, never having the full life most of us take for granted. How she will adjust to life outside a prison at 68 years old will be interesting. Even freed from prison she is never free from the terrible crime. No matter how long ago that is a mark on the mind and soul never goes away.

  12. Cybele Moon says:

    I agree- how can she be separated from the name Manson. She was part of the gang.

  13. Cybele Moon says:

    it is a faulty system. How can a death penalty become life with the chance of parole in 7 years? Pretty easy on murderers I’d say. To me that is not justice either.

  14. Cathy says:

    Leslie Van Houten (and all of the perpetrators) should never be released. The heinous nature of the victims deaths is more than enough reason for them to remain in prison for life! They received death and it was commuted to life thanks to Supreme Court keep them in prison for their entire LIFE!

  15. Gina says:

    Life means Life. PERIOD. There shouldn’t be any time off because she was ‘good’. Tough luck for her. She didn’t give the La Bianca’s any choice the night she killed them in cold blood. Neither has she shown remorse for her crime. She needs to stay put where she belongs.
    People should stop referring to her and the others as “animals”. Animals normally don’t kill indiscriminately. There is a purpose: food or protecting their pack/young. None of these low life scum killed for either reason other than pure amusement and with malice. She, Charlie Manson and the others need to spend every moment of their useless lives exactly where they are and count their blessings that for whatever reasons, their lives were spared even though they didn’t deserve it.
    Keep the scum off of the streets and locked up where they belong-LIFE IN PRISON.

  16. Shannon G. says:

    she is right where she belongs. She deserves to rot in prison.

  17. Nita says:

    It’s a LIFE sentence. She helped murder innocent people. I titally agree with your comments.

  18. Nita says:

    Of course I meant ‘totally’.

  19. creepy karpis says:

    other than the box, she couldn’t be in a better place. LEAVE HER LOCKED UP FOR LIFE.

  20. norske60 says:

    I believe the brief suspension of the death penalty by the Supreme Court had something to do with it.

  21. Karen Klinck says:

    If they let her out, she will go on welfare and/or SSI,since she has no work history and will be considered ‘aged’. I say keep her in prison where she belongs and people won’t need to worry about sleeping at night! Sure, her record is impeccable. She’s learned exactly what to say and when. That doesn’t mean her indoctrination by Charlie has disapated; that’s exactly what he’d tell her to do until she got out. There is precident.

  22. Chuck says:

    Of course she kept her nose clean, she is in there with women who could and would hurt her worse then anything she ever dreamed of… If they didn’t just stick a knife in her ribs! In there she doesn’t have her “Family” to keep her and tell her what to do. If they were not going to exicute her then why give her the death penalty? Same with life in prison… Why give it when they are not going to keep them in there for LIFE? If released it should be mandatory that she remain in California, if they want to be stupid enough to release someone who has Not Once displayed true remorse then they should have to deal with her.

  23. Gino Tortelli says:

    This is precisely why we still need the death penalty. There are always some bleeding hearts that will give killers at least some of their lives back after years of incarceration. There is no way to give the victims ANY of their lives back. The death penalty is final. Life sentences are not. This case just goes to prove it.

  24. Robin Lipman says:

    Are you kidding me? How old r u and how much do u know about this case. They were given death! And they deserved to die for what they did to these innocent 7 people. Read up on the case before u open ur big uninformed mouth!

  25. Jade says:

    I agree with the latter! She should remain in prison. I am SURE she is just being good so that she has a chance to get out. Of COURSE she doesn’t want to be in prison and will do anything to get out! Don’t fall for her narcissistic bullshit! Keep all of them in prison for LIFE or bring back the death penalty. What they did was TERRIBLE. End of story!

  26. Thunderspreck says:

    Manson was NOT present. Tex Watson was.

  27. Lee says:

    So, she walked up into a home in the middle of the night, helped terrorize & mentally torture two people before assisting in ending their lives and she has served enough time? You done vet a second chance after partipating in such horror. Just because it happened over 45 years ago doesn’t make any difference. Just because LVH is a matronly looking, eldery flowerchild, doesn’t mean she didn’t want to murder. She stays put!

  28. Eileen says:

    Hey Thunderd*ck, Manson entered the home of Leno and Rosemary LaBianca, used his leather thongs to tie them up, then went back to the car to his disciples of Tex Watson, Patricia Krenwinkle and LESLIE VAN HOUTEN espousing how the Tate murders were messy. Don’t let these victims know they are about to be slaughtered, and then the instructions were to hitchhike back to Spahn Ranch.

    As for this latest venture of Van Houten once again trying to obtain freedom, all I can say it is amazing how repentant she is…19 times is it? She’s been in prison yet gets her chance to get out by being a good little prison bot? Give me a freaking break! All expenses paid, all education paid, all legal paid, food, clothing, you name it…and Joe American is supposed to be impressed by weighing how wonderful she has been in prison to the slaughter of two innocent people?

    Yes, MANSON will and always will be tied to her sorry self. He and she made a pact and they completed it with smiles, laughter and especially, mercilessly.

    Let her ROT.

  29. Cindy Jaquith says:

    The article above says the Attorney General must show due cause; isn’t a lack of remorse enough reason alone to make her serve the life sentence she was granted over the Death Penalty? And her close association with Manson? She’s a manipulator who will use her idle time as a free citizen reverting to her old ways if granted parole. Nothing good will come of it.

  30. Guardraill says:

    Two separate people? Manson wasn’t in the Tate home. Van Houten was. Sharron Tate was pregnant, they cut her baby out of her womb while she was alive. Begging Van Houten and the others, no doubt, for her unborn babies life. So you think it is great that they are separate people? Van Houten, Manson, and all the rest are just as guilty of the santanic torture of innocent people. More importantly, an innocent baby. She has not, no where near, served enough time. She must accept responsibility, and do her damn time. She does not belong free.

  31. Carole Talaway says:

    I lived in Hollywood at the time of the murders. They were brutal and sadistic. None of the people involved should be paroled. Van Houten was a follower, a willin participant and an expert at obeying orders given by Charles Manson. She has proven her ability to continue to follow orders and keep her nose clean for 45 years but that’s how she operates. Keep her where she is.

  32. Lee says:

    Manson WAS present at one of the houses. He broke into the LaBianca’s house, tied them up, so they couldn’t defend themselves, and left. He was there!

  33. Paul says:

    She deserved to be free since the 80s. Parole boards just made excuses every time. She never killed anyone, just participated.

  34. Bianca says:

    Fourteen stab sounds…..yeah, she participated.

  35. Bee says:

    She was given the death penalty, then the voters (people of California repealed the death penalty in the 70’s.). Her sentence was changed to life with possibility of parole, which means under the law–In re Lawrence a denial of parole must be rationally related to a finding of “current dangerousness.”

    The Govenor doesn’t have the “balls” to follow the law, so he issue a reversal of the board’s decision.

  36. Bianca says:

    The Governor did follow the law:

    The California Code of Regulations governs a prisoner’s suitability for parole, listing a variety of factors to be considered in evaluating a prisoner’s suitability for parole, including:

    The heinousness of the crime;
    Disciplinary record in prison;
    Programming and rehabilitation;
    Psychological evaluations;
    Current risk of danger to public safety; and
    Plans for future release (for example, a place to live, a job offer, family and community support)

  37. Scott says:

    Release her. Many, many, many individuals have done much more heinous crimes and have been released and it’s time she is as well. The mystique of the “Manson Murders” is the only reason most individuals want her to remain.

  38. MARTIN MCNALLY says:


  39. C word says:

    I agree she should remain in prison due to the heinousness and her true lack of remorse, but the prison she and Krenwinkle are in is CIW, nicknamed “CIWONDERFUL” it’s club med for women

  40. C word says:

    leslie admitted during a televised interview that she knew there would be murders that night and basically begged Manson to go along . she has heart of darkness.

  41. Norman says:

    This debate can be solved very easily, ask Abigail, Wojciech, Leno, Rosemary, Jay, Donald or Sharon! Oh, I forgot, they can answer because they were murdered!!! She, and or anyone else that was locked up for this crime should never take on breath of free air! Life means life, and she should die in prison!

  42. Zadfrack says:


    Van Houten was not at the Tate murders. You don’t know the basic facts of the TLB murders.

  43. JeriLynn Wilson says:

    I couldn’t agree more……..All are lucky to even be breathing and should be grateful for that. The fact that they feel they should be Paroled tells me they have not taken full responsibility for their crimes.

  44. JeriLynn Wilson says:

    Very seldom do we hear from someone who has spent many years in Prison, it’s good to hear an opinion from that prospective. Thank you and I wish you the best in your new life.

  45. Vikki Gilliland says:

    Guardrail, Before spouting off, perhaps you should acquaint yourself with at least some basic facts of the case. Leslie Van Houten was not even present the night of the Cielo Drive murders. I don’t know where you found your “information”, but the fetus was never cut out of Sharon Tate’s womb.It never happened and certainly not by Leslie, as she wasn’t even there. She participated in the deaths of the LaBiancas the following night. She stabbed Rosemary in the lower back, after she was dead, or assumed to be dead. She has paid dearly for her crime and if it were not for the notoriety of this case, she more than likely would have been released years ago.

  46. Libby says:

    People who commit heinous crimes like she did and were sentenced to death only to have their sentence commuted to life, SHOULD STAY BEHIND BARS. There is a reason she was sentenced to death and then Life. She was deemed a danger to society. Just because she has spent 47 years in jail is not reason enough to parole her. Her death sentence was commuted to life, that should be sufficient. Keep her in jail along with the rest of the remaining Manson family members who are still alive.

  47. Libby says:

    Martin McNally, I agree with you 100%

  48. NOYB says:

    If a certified parole board states she is to be paroled, that should suffice. This has nothing to do with Leslie Vanhoutten and EVERYTHING TO DO WITH THE LAWS THAT THE PEOPLE VOTED IN. Same with the other guy who has been approved FOUR TIMES IN A ROW. What if one of YOUR family member: a sister, brother, mother, father, daughter, or son was in prison for ANYTHING, even a victimless crime like narcotics- what if they kept getting awarded parole and Gov. Moonslime kept vetoing it? 1-2-3-4-5 times in a row? Forget about the fact they have a perfect record, or that they were forced to stab a dead body or even that they paroled a member of the same “cult” in 1987 and that ex member never had any legal issues since- it has NOTHING to do with that, even though that should be enough. Like I said, it has everything to do with the written law and how if they do not abide by the parole boards decision they are breaking the law and should be liable.
    I hope she wins the Supreme Courts decision and sues the state. Hah.

  49. NOYB says:


  50. NOYB says:

    Wow. Talk about someone who knows nothing about the case.
    I strongly suggest you read before you write.
    You really are ignorant when it comes to the facts.
    You say Leslie was at the Tate house, lol and that is only ONE thing you got wrong….
    Where do these commenters come from? I bet you also believe in Rosey Tate Polanski hahahahaha

  51. NOYB says:

    “They cut the baby out of Sharon’s stomach”
    Please educate yourself on the facts before spew out faulcities.

  52. NOYB says:

    Martin McNally is that you, the one that hijacked a plane or something like that? Didn’t you also escape prison too?

  53. flip says:

    re: “This has nothing to do with Leslie Vanhoutten and EVERYTHING TO DO WITH THE LAWS THAT THE PEOPLE VOTED IN.”

    –I really wonder whether or not the order to temporarily rescind the death penalty in California back in the early ’70s was actually voted on in a general election? Seems more likely that it came about from a California Supreme Court decision based on unconstitutionality, or uneven justice, or some such argument…which would, of course, completely by-pass the will of the voting public.

  54. Cybele Moon says:

    Too bad it was life with the chance of parole which I found very strange seeing they had been given the death penalty. Their acts were terrorist in nature and were very brutal. They petition for their freedom though they denied life to others. All the tears and regrets and good behaviour since then will never change that.

  55. Cybele Moon says:

    On March 29, 1971, Van Houten was found guilty and sentenced to death. It was later commuted to life with the rest of them.

  56. April negra says:

    I think u guys are all ignorant . look up the word IGNORANT!!! Nobody complains bout the many other murderers who been released . I think all u people jumped on the ban wagon and are really making me laugh because if ur really in fear for ur life of a 66 year old woman u guys really need some help . lol I find it hysterical if u people r in fear for ur lives. How about get a life and stop worrying bout whether or not this last is getting released. I know her personally. She can’t even kill a fly. Trust me she. Will forever pay the price for her mistakes. But who the he’ll are you people to pass judgment. Are u GOD!!!

  57. Jen says:

    She’s responsible for the deaths of how many people? how brutal were these deaths? she was given the death penalty which turned into life without parole…why should she be given consideration to having a life when she’s responsible for taking lives and preventing one from even having a chance at it?

  58. Cybele Moon says:

    I suppose this is no different than jumping on Leslie’s bandwagon and making her out to be some kind of long suffering martyr to the justice system! I think each crime does need to be looked at individually and many murderers are let out who never should be.

  59. Jeremy says:

    You’re a idiot. In 1978 she was given life with the chance of parole…the death penalty was over turned on appeal and she was let out on bail

  60. James Fulmer says:

    The petition was denied on December 21. She’s not getting out.

  61. Rodney Hatley says:

    As James Fulmer has correctly noted, the California Supreme Court has denied her appeal. I’m satisfied that justice has been done.

  62. Andy says:

    She, watson, krenwinkle and atkins, all expect for manson should have and would have been released a long time ago if it wasnt for sharon tate being one of the victims.

    they were all brainwashed by manson, let them go

  63. Kathy says:

    They were all lazy drug addicts who didn’t want to work for a living. Now they don’t ever have to support themselves. They were not angels when they met up with Charlie. They will all die in prison like Susan Atkins did.

  64. Fayez Abedaziz says:

    Whether one agrees with others being released that have been convicted of 1 and 2 murders or not, then, to be honest, one must agree that Leslie is being singled out for extra time.
    That is unequal justice.
    Those lifers were freed after serving less than 20 years.
    Others that have murdered 2 people on a street, or, in a business or in the victims home
    have been released after 30 years.
    Leslie has been in prison for 45 years.
    Come on.

  65. Stephen Craig says:

    Regarding your comment, Fayez, I look at it this way: The “problem” isn’t that LVH has been incarcerated for 45 years, but that those who have committed similar crimes were released after serving only 30 years. And, of course, that there is never a “release/parole” for their victims. Death is permanent.

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