• Attorney General Defends Leslie Van Houten Parole Reversal

Attorney General Defends Leslie Van Houten Parole Reversal

Monday, May 7th, 2018

May. 7 – Governor Jerry Brown’s reversal of Leslie Van Houten’s 2017 parole grant was supported by the record and did not violate due process, according to a brief filed by the California attorney general’s office.

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. Brown also accused Van Houten of downplaying her role in the murders, saying she attempted to shift blame to Charles Manson.

In January, Van Houten’s filed a writ of Habeas Corpus in Los Angeles Superior Court, challenging Brown’s reversal.

In March, Judge William Ryan ordered the attorney general to support Brown’s decision.

“The Governor’s decision satisfies state due process because some evidence supports his determination that Van Houten’s release to parole poses an unreasonable risk to public safety,” wrote Deputy Attorney General Jill Vander Borght in a response to the Superior Court, dated May 3. “Thus, the Governor’s decision must be upheld under the some evidence standard of review.”

Van Houten will have 30 days to file another brief with the court before a ruling is made.

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79 Responses to Attorney General Defends Leslie Van Houten Parole Reversal

  1. Cybele Moon says:

    just saw this now! I wonder how much public opinion has played into this. I read that something like 160,000 letters from the public were written to uphold the parole reversal?

  2. Peter Moran says:

    They continue to try and have it both ways with respect to the control Manson had over Leslie and the other Family members.

  3. Paul Grabsky says:

    Don’t believe Leslie is a threat if released, but it’s the crime that won’t be forgiven that keeps her in prison. It’s a very sad story all the way around. Leslies action with Susan and Patricia during the first trial certainly did not help your cause either.

  4. Michael says:

    I disagree with the rationale for the decision, not the decision. I don’t see Leslie shifting blame for her actions, and I can’t see the danger she poses if released. I’m among the thousands who oppose her release because of the crime, but who can also recognize she takes responsibility and tries to live a productive life.

  5. James S says:

    Who is “they”?

  6. Cybele Moon says:

    Michael, I believe the law as it stands says that she meets their terms for parole. I don’t know if they can hold someone on the heinousness of the crime alone? I do know that the majority seem to feel as you do in wanting to keep them locked up forever. Notoriety aside, I too think that in cases of a crime like the Tate/Labianca murders, a life sentence should be just that.

  7. Peter Moran says:

    “They” is the Governor and the Attorney General’s office.

  8. Paul says:

    The most annoying thing about the people who oppose the release are accounting Leslie with everything that occurred in the Tate and LaBianca murders, just look at her personal involvement, stop judging her on the others actions.

  9. Cybele Moon says:

    Paul, I have to say, that she giggled and laughed during the trial, that she apparently told Diane Lake (who has written a book) that it was fun to stab Mrs. Labianca (dead or not.) She volunteered to go along the next night (because she felt “left out”) knowing what went on the night before. That makes her just as culpable as the others. We obviously don’t know everything that went on during the murders as we were not there. Stories changed a bit over time. I can accept that she may be changed now but her “personal involvement” at the time was still horrendous.

  10. Michael says:

    I do judge Leslie on her actions, not those of the others. She was actively involved in a brutal murder and therefore was/is guilty of murder. Clearly she did not kill as many people as some of the other family members, but she is both morally and legally guilty of two murders. Whether or not one of her victims was already dead when she stabbed her (personally I think Mrs. LaBianca was dead by that time) she actively participated in the woman’s death, and in Mr. La Bianca’s death as well by her presence and support. Her behavior during the trial was unforgettably cavalier, and whether it was orchestrated by Manson or not, it was still her behavior. Ironically, from all I’ve seen of her interviews after the fact, I think she’d agree with me on these points.

  11. Anna says:

    I agree!

  12. Louis says:

    Political decision. With Brown finishing up this year, next year just might be her time. Depends on who replaces him.

  13. Lee says:

    Michael, that is how I feel too. I think she wouldn’t be a danger to society if released, and the governor’s office cannot have it both ways, but everyone seems to forget the major point in this: the suffering of the people that were murdered.

  14. Paul says:

    Cybele she is not as culpable because wasn’t at the first night of murders, they may be all be as culpable for agreeing to commit it but the degree of involvement is different, and is really silly that you won’t admit this.

  15. Flip says:

    The AG’s response document is clear and concise: The multiple gubernatorial denials of LuLu’s Parole Board decisions in recent years are legal and they are very amply supported by measurable, relevant evidence and strong judicial precedents. Just because LVH supporters or her various Parole Boards don’t weigh the relevant evidence in the same way as the governor doesn’t mean that the governor is wrong or acting illegally. I am personally glad to know that there are appropriate and legal checks-and-balances in place that can keep LVH in prison (where she belongs, IMO) in opposition to whatever her unaccountable PB members may decide.

  16. Paul says:

    Flip, Leslie has met the parole criteria for years, and a number psychologists say she doesn’t posses any danger to society if released. They were swayed by public cries and put their moral standards before their job. The board have followed the law recently in this case, and the governor’s recent excuse to reverse her parole is pathetic. Leslie cannot take any more responsibility for the crimes or Manson might as well not be mentioned at all.

  17. Cybele Moon says:

    ok Paul I’ll admit the degree of involvement!

  18. Flip says:


    re: “…Leslie has met the parole criteria for years…”

    That is merely a matter of opinion, not fact. According to the current governor, who has a clear and legal responsibility to either accept or veto the PB’s recommendation, she has not met the parole criteria.

    As for what “…a number of psychologists say”, are you really convinced by any of that? I am always interested to listen when intelligent people opine on a subject, whether they have my interests in mind or not, but I reserve the right to think for myself.

    Looked at from a different angle than yours, Paul, LVH has had many decades in prison to learn how to game the system and win favorable PB decisions–even after consideration of the truly senseless, cruel, and hideously brutal crime she committed against the LaBianca family. Fortunately, from my viewpoint, the governor doesn’t buy her act and he has legally vetoed her PB recommendation on solid grounds.

  19. Paul says:

    It is fact, she has participated in countless programmes and classes in prison and has earned many achievements. She has never got a prison record in nearly 50 years, and psychologist reports state she poses no risk to society. You cannot get anymore proof than that, most prisoners don’t even have to achieve this much to get parole. We know why the governor has reversed it, because he doesn’t want this to hurt his reputation. His excuse the first time was more reasonable, but this time is pathetic. He states that Leslie puts to much blame on Manson, which isn’t true, she has admitted to her insolvent but she can’t say Manson had no influence because she would be lying to the board.

    These psychologists have met and talked to Leslie, which I don’t think you have, they will know better than you will on the subject. Several psychologists aren’t going to make the same mistake. Everyone knows she no a threat, unless your that clueless of the case. Even the people who don’t want her out agree she’s not a threat. Whether she was putting an act on or not, it is not why the governor reversed her parole, its purely down to politics.

    You just don’t want her out because of the crimes themselves, and that’s why you try to make out she’s this monster still looking to kill so the governor is scared into satisfying the crowd, most don’t even know what their talking about. If Leslie was a threat, she would of shown it in the last 49 years.

  20. Stephen Craig says:

    I think LVH proved she was a threat on Aug. 10th, 1969, when she entered the LaBianca home and participated in the brutal murders of both Mr. and Mrs. LaBianca. And I do think that the brutality of the crime(s) she participated in do merit continued imprisonment. I wonder if people who are such rabid supporters of LVH’s release could have seen her in “action” on the night of the murders and witnessed what was done to the victims, if they would still lament her continued incarceration. I would also like to think that if my wife and I were both essentially pulled out of our beds by complete strangers and slaughtered in the sanctity of our own home, that society would demand that nothing less than a life sentence without the possibility of parole would be warranted. Now, I do concede that LVH’s sentence did not offer that option (life without parole), but I do think that a parole board’s/governor’s opportunity to reflect on the brutality of a crime when declining parole is reasonable, and, more importantly, allowable. And thank God for that. I’d also like to add that I am glad that the notoriety of this crime has kept the perpetrators in prison for all these years, and truly do feel sorry for those family members/loved ones of other murder victims who have not had the same opportunity for justice (in terms of years of incarceration for their loved one’s killer(s)). I cannot imagine their frustration when having to witness these destroyers walk out the door, free, with a chance to restart their lives all over again, while their loved ones remain in their graves. So, instead of lamenting the fact that LVH is still imprisoned while other killers have gone free (so, consequently, she should be released), I lament the facts that those other killers have been freed, when they should still be incarcerated like LVH.


  21. Paul says:

    Leslie committed one act of violence back in 1969, a horrible act of violence, but Leslie is not a threat currently and there is overwhelming evidence to support that. You may be happy that the notoriety has kept them in prison but that is legally wrong, you cannot keep someone in prison because of the media publicity of the case. I know her actions on that night, they were terrible, but in Leslie state of mind at that time, she thought it had to happen. Leslie has said that she never wanted to murder anyone, but would if it had to happen. You say that prisoners who commit such brutal crimes shouldn’t ever get out, but Leslie’s personnel involvement wasn’t as horrendous as some of you make it out to be. Keeping in mind these people were heavily indoctrinated and not within their normal conscious during the murders, this is not as simple as someone who kills for reasons like revenge or robbery. Leslie has the right ask for parole, and she has done everything in her reach to be suitable. I’m sure you would call it injustice if this happened to a prisoner who committed a smaller crime had constantly been rejected despite meeting the parole criteria, but because Leslie is in for murder, you couldn’t care less if the law is bent or broken. The governors last reason for reversal her parole shows he’s just letting public cries influence his decision, he couldn’t even come up with a decent argument this time.

  22. Stephen Craig says:

    As I indicated in my previous comment, LVH has been denied parole because the governor/parole board has the right (and exercised that right) to consider the viciousness of the crime when considering possible parole. I suppose that it is the view of Gov. Brown that her “one act of violence” was horrible enough to deny parole. In terms of my not caring if the powers that be are bending or breaking the law to keep her in jail, that’s just ridiculous and a bit insulting.

  23. Paul says:

    The governor has a duty to follow the law, and so does the board. The board had to follow the law, that’s why they granted her parole, but the governor has his reputation on the line here, he doesn’t want backlash from the public. You say it’s ridiculous but it is damn well true, because that’s exactly what you have said “I’d also like to add that I am glad that the notoriety of this crime has kept the perpetrators in prison for all these years”. Your being selective, and like many others, trying to create a selective government to satisfy your moral standards. The governor has reversed it because he said she has downplayed her involvement, which isn’t true, and most people who know this case well know that’s a lie.

  24. Stephen Craig says:

    Paul, we’ll just have to agree to disagree, but I would like to clarify one point: Please do not believe that in any way shape or form that I am “selecting” to support LVH’s incarceration while electing to accept/support the release of other inmates convicted of first degree murder. In my opinion, anyone convicted of first degree murder should receive (if not death) a sentence of life without the availability of parole. To say that it is unfortunate that those who have lost their loved ones to similar heinous acts (in cases that are not as well-known) and have had to deal with their loved one’s killers being paroled is an understatement. I have always put the blame on this debate on the Supreme Court, who, when abolishing the death penalty, did not see to it that those in LVH’s position would face a life without parole sentence in lieu of death, instead allowing for those originally sentenced to death to now be up for parole (and in LVH’s case) after seven years served. What a travesty, and, more importantly, what an insult to the victims and all those left behind.

  25. Paul says:

    I do believe, because its right there, you said it yourself. You are happy that the notoriety kept her in prison. There are families who have to deal with their loved ones killers getting out, why are these families any different. Rosemary’s daughter wanted Tex out, so families differ. You can’t give the families the option of what their fates are. What you feel about the families isn’t relevant tot the law, sorry. Leslie was retied in 1978 and is serving life with parole, its not even death commuted to life like the others.

  26. Kip says:

    So can any of you begrudged, sanctimonious wankers show me the material gain in my tax dollars being wasted on keeping a woman in prison who isn’t a threat to me?
    She has a master’s degree, she could easily make way more money than I do and pay for her own upkeep. But instead of my tax dollars going to build bridges and schools, it’s going to pay for her upkeep when she can pay her own.
    Christ, you retards amaze me. You’ll do anything in the name of moralfaggotry, perhaps even do all that August 1969 shit? Yeah… that’s what I thought. I consider you people the real threat.

  27. Michael says:

    Kip, your level of maturity, not to mention your eloquence, are proof positive that this website is not for adults only.

  28. Paul says:

    Michael, he has made some good argument though.

  29. Paul says:


  30. Cybele Moon says:

    Paul, Rosemary’s daughter was bizarre. She sounded like one of those women who apply to visit a prisoner and then fall in love with them even if they are serial killers , because underneath it all they are good people who committed bad acts. Yikes. Too bad Tex followed Manson and not Christ 50 years ago and it took him years in prison to realize his mistake That tells me that there is something seriously wrong with some people’s judgment. Maybe they could be a threat if out in the real world again?
    I do agree that there probably would be a backlash from the public which the governor does not want on his record. But I was unclear on one part of the law in U.S. I thought they could deny or reverse parole on the basis of the viciousness or seriousness of a crime. But I don’t know for sure.
    As for insults and stuff, come one guys! People are discussing their opinions here.

  31. Paul says:

    Cybele, doesn’t matter if she was crazy, she was family and that was her comfort. You will gladly agree with the family as long as they believe how you feel, which is to see these people die behind bars. Sorry Cybele but this argument is flawed, Tex become a Christian fairly quickly in prison, and so did Bruce and Susan. You can’t call them a risk to society based on this theory, people make mistakes like this when choosing ideologies, just some cause more devastation than others. There apparently is something in re Lawrence that states that people who commit very vicious crimes should not get parole, but he’s probably looking at the entire crime, probably even the Tate murders. He’s obviously not looking at Leslie’s part in the events.

  32. Cybele Moon says:

    Paul, I will leave it up to the courts to decide their fate although yes, some crimes I do believe deserve life in prison, and that some people are a risk to society. If Susan Laberge finds comfort in forgiveness I do understand that part but wanting the supposed changed Tex (he converted in 75?) to be free, yes, I do disagree. Even the fact that Tex fathered children who will have to bear his terrible legacy makes me feel his judgment has remained somewhat impaired. However, some people believe that the Lord makes everything alright. I unfortunately am not one of them. I am not born again I guess. As far as I was concerned Susan Atkins gave me chills with her talk ( I saw interviews) of “her Lord and Saviour” in light of her fanatical devotion at one time to Manson. She still seemed a seriously disturbed individual to me. As for LVH though her actions were still repugnant and accountable I will leave it to the court to decide.

  33. Paul says:

    Leslie’s were bad but not that very heinous that she deserves to remain behind bars, she didn’t even actually kill anyone, and you cannot base it on her co-defendants actions. As I have said before, everyone in the family who were involved in the crime are tarn with the same truth, including Leslie. The superior court haven’t bought Brown’s excuse that Leslie doesn’t take enough responsibility, he’s so predicable, its pathetic.

  34. D.J.S says:

    Don’t do the crime if you can’t do the time….

  35. Paul says:

    But she’s done her time.

  36. Cybele Moon says:

    Paul you and many others feel she has but there are those and perhaps even more people who feel that she deserved a life sentence (one without parole) and thus we have all the controversy. Someone else said how can a death sentence be commuted to a life sentence with the possibility of parole after 7 years – it didn’t make sense. Yes, death was taken off the books and I don’t have a problem with that and I also know her lawyer died and she was retried. Yet, many felt that was not justice. You keep saying she didn’t kill anyone. She did though, by aiding and abetting the others. She (and Krenwinkel) held the woman down while Tex bayoneted her. She didn’t help the woman escape or try to stop the killings. They ate food from the fridge afterward.
    According to the letter of the law you are probably correct of course. She has been a model inmate and has almost served a life sentence as it stands although she can never repay the debt of the lives lost.

  37. Paul says:

    Cybele, that sentence is not relevant anymore, Leslie was retried and serving a fresher sentence of life with parole, not death commuted to life with parole. Cybele she participated, but she didn’t kill anyone, but people who talk about keeping prisoners in jail if the crimes that are too heinous, well these were heinous crimes, if you look the whole case. I know the sequence of the events of that night thanks, but sorry, Leslie’s personal actions do not warrant for her to kept in prison on this basis. I’ll say it again, in Leslie stat of mind at the time, she thought she had to do this whether she liked it or not. Leslie has said this since 1969, she said she wouldn’t not want to kill people, but would do because it had to be done.

  38. Cybele Moon says:

    Don’t apologize to me Paul, just to the victims and their families who I’m sure won’t be pleased. It is only Leslie who has to live with herself and public opinion when she gets out. Whether or not she participated in the even more gruesome acts of the others, or whether she felt “it had to be done” or whether she got lucky and received a fresher sentence is also irrelevant. You excuse or minimize her role because of this reason and that and I don’t. In one interview she said “at the time” she may have even killed children had Charlie ordered. She also feels she has paid for what she did ( “I couldn’t live with having paying for what I did”) though really there is no repayment possible. None of us were there those nights of terror of course to see the|sequence of events” so we only know what we have read and been told.

  39. Paul says:

    Again sorry Cybele, but it doesn’t work like that. The family have my sympathy, but law cannot be manipulated to satisfy the families. Those things are relevant Cybele, that’s the sort of things the board and the governor has to address when they make their decision. That’s shows how indoctrinated and the sovereignty Manson had over her, she was willing to commit murder, maybe even a baby. I don’t think Leslie could really actually kill, even Tex said she was reluctant. What it comes down to is that you don’t think Leslie should be out because these murders, so the law and the circumstances miss you almost completely, which is the same for a lot of the people who oppose her parole, you just can’t face it.

  40. Wayne wanker says:

    I believe Leslie will eventually be paroled.

  41. Cybele Moon says:

    Paul, truly I can accept it if she is let out. I am willing to go along with the law whether I think (which I do) that she has deserved the time she has spent in jail or not. I do acknowledge she has tried to better herself. Yet, just because she is a model inmate with a degree means little to me. I know so many model citizens with degrees who never committed a crime. I know some pretty crazy, mixed up 19 year olds too who would never do what she has done. I am not opposed to a second chance for people especially if they are nearing 70. I don’t disagree with your lawful reasoning. I also acknowledge your compassion. We all react differently and I found all the Manson member’s acts very shocking and repugnant. The thought of that terrified woman calling out for her husband while LVH held her down, still haunts me since the years ago that I read about it. But also perhaps because I knew someone who was murdered. I am just grateful I don’t have to live with what she must on her conscience. I’m sure it won’t be easy for her either way.

  42. Paul says:

    Its not just her good record in prison, it’s her accountability in the crime itself and how long she has served. Nearly 50 years in prison rarely happens with murderers, we all know its not just the murder alone that’s caused this. People just don’t like think about the brainwashing and control that Manson put over his family, and it did get to a point were Manson tried to prevent people from leaving. I don’t see the point in comparing her to the average person as because they weren’t in Leslie’s situation were they, did any of these people you know who got involved in a cult like the Manson family.

  43. Cybele Moon says:

    Paul, I know a couple of people who have left everything and gone off to Ashrams in India. But I think that most of the people I know would have run the other way from a Manson. Long before they committed murders they were committing other crimes and stealing cars etc. Those people though young chose to remain in that atmosphere of sex and drugs and be further “brainwashed” as you say. It was a strange story at any rate and very unique and disturbed. BTW the other day on one of those ID programs there was a story about another cult of so called devil worshipping teens lead by a sixteen or 17 year old who committed a terrible murder of an entire family. They also set out to murder someone. They had sad childhood stories of abuse physical and sexual which I don’t think LVH or some other Manson members did. These young murderers however were given life without without parole by the way. So it’s not always true that other murderers who committed heinous acts are out in 15 years.

  44. Paul says:

    Manson didn’t project himself as a evil murderer did he, he brought people in with the expression of love, remember this was around the same of the hippie-love area. Murder wasn’t on the table until much later on. Stealing cars is a little different to murder, so its not really relevant, but Leslie didn’t commit any of these crimes though. I don’t how this case you mention, and I don’t know what actually happened and the sequence of action so I can’t judge it, but I know Leslie’s case very well, and I know that the only lawful option is for the governor to know his position and do his job professionally.

  45. Cybele Moon says:

    Fair enough Paul. I guess you had to be there to totally understand though you still might not! – I get it about the peace and love era and I do consider myself an idealist but I guess I am a somewhat suspicious person by nature. Years of study under the Jesuits in Ireland I guess lol. I would have checked out his credentials.

  46. Paul says:

    What could Leslie do, go and check out record on Manson, I doubt anyone would of done that, that wouldn’t come across most peoples minds. Leslie and most of the family had nothing to fear really at the beginning, they didn’t portray danger because drugs were very common use and once legal.

  47. Wayne wanker says:

    She was not at Cielo, but was told what transpired there the night before and practically begged Manson to go for a ride so to speak.

  48. Paul says:

    Wayne she did not beg, I don’t know why people keeping saying this. She admitted wanting to go and her body language probably made Manson aware of this, but she didn’t verbally beg Manson however.

  49. Cybele Moon says:

    It’s interesting to read Diane Lake’s take on the women at the ranch and none of it is very flattering. Diane Lake was only 14 and was sexually abused by Manson along with other underage girls. It seems no one had a problem with the fact that these girls were just children. She left as did B Hoyt and a few others when she heard about the murders so I guess there were still a few people who had some morality and conscience. And Paul, ask, beg- we’re talking semantics now. She wanted to go I think is what Wayne meant. That doesn’t mean I don’t think she is remorseful now or has tried to change her life.

  50. Cybele Moon says:

    Paul, just for interest, that other case I spoke of with life without parole and teens tried as adults was the Lillelid murders.

  51. Paul says:

    Cybele I don’t think that was what Wayne meant, many people say this, probably for effect. Again, I don’t know this case well enough to say anything on it, I know this case extremely well so I can happily evaluate it.

  52. Michael says:

    Cybele, did you read Dianne’s book? If so, do you think it offers any new insights not already covered in other books? I’m thinking of getting it but would like to know your take on it.

  53. Rhonda says:

    The state of California will NEVER release Leslie or any of the Manson people. The Parole Board is put in the position of just about having to grant parole; there is nothing more they can ask her to do that she hasn’t done. So in order for the Parole Board to prevent all the Leslie lovers from getting all stirred up and causing them all a big headache and bad publicity, they go ahead and grant parole, knowing that the governor will reverse their decision. And I agree 100% that she should never be free again. There must have been hundreds of young people that met Manson either in the Haight or Spahn Ranch or really anywhere in CA from 1967 until 1969. The majority got their asses down the road real quick, knowing that he was dangerous. The people that stayed did so because they wanted to. They agreed with Manson’s views and enjoyed living a life of sex, drugs, rock and roll and murder. I do not believe that anyone was brainwashed. The decision to kill at his command was NOT Mansons, it was their own. Anyone that could do what Leslie did should never walk free among us again. Her audacity in seeking parole and bringing the LaBianca family never ending heartache by having to fight her parole tells me that she has no true remorse. There is something interesting that I would like to share. Leslie has always claimed that she hadno blood on her after stabbing Mrs. LaBianca, so basically what she wants to get across is that Mrs. L was dead by the time Leslie stabbed her 16 times in the lower back. As if that fact should make a difference, should make her less culpable. She then claims she lost the set of clean clothing that Manson told them all to take with them. Well, if she had no blood on her, why change? She said Tex made her. Well, since she could not find the extra set of clothes she was supposed to have with her, she had to go through Mrs. LaBianca’s closet and pick out shorts and a top to leave the death house in. I believe her whole story was construed to hide the fact that she WANTED and ENJOYED wearing Mrs. L’s clothing back to the ranch. I think it gave her a little extra thrill, a little something to giggle about. Make no mistake, Leslie is a sociopath, one of the most dangerous of them all. She hides behind her charm and intelligent demeanor. She will die in prison, they all will. Something else that I find interesting is that because of a fluke they all escaped the death penalty. And as soon as that happened, as soon as all of the Manson people found out there was a chance for parole, that’s when they all denounced Manson and became model prisoners. I believe that 50 years in prison is much worse punishment than death. Death is easy, living in prison and trying in vain to get out over and over and over is the kind of punishment they deserve. I have NO empathy or sympathy for any of them. They knew exactly what they were doing and did so of their own free will. They are right where they belong and anyone who defends them will stay far away from me and mine.

  54. Michael says:

    I agree, Rhonda, that no one who commits a crime as horrendous as Leslie’s should ever be freed. I also agree that the person she was during the time of the murders and the trials was absolutely despicable. But I think there’s ample evidence that she reclaimed her humanity in prison, and I can’t agree that she continues to be a sociopath. Actually, the only ones who still clung to Manson after their incarceration were Lynette and Sandra, both of whom seem to be on another planet. As for Leslie, I’ve never heard a morally viable reason for her release, and I’m sure I never will. But whether she’s released or not, I give her credit for trying to make something useful of her life at CIW.

  55. Cybele Moon says:

    Michael, I’m not sure if it will tell anything new but it’s well written and from a personal perspective of someone who didn’t take part in the crimes but who observed what was going on.

    Rhonda, I also have a problem with the possible sociopathic aspect of those now serving time. I also agree that those most dedicated Manson family members must have enjoyed the life of petty crime and drugs etc. so they were already anti social. There were murders prior to Tate Labianca. I still cannot wrap my head around using brainwashing as an excuse for cold blooded and vicious murder.

  56. Paul says:

    Rhonda, That’s not true, of course the law has been manipulated in the past to block Leslie Parole. The governor has reversed her grant on poor excuses, and the superior court aren’t buying his story. Leslie account has been relatedly honest and there wasn’t anything that her co-defendants contradicted in her story. Rhonda, don’t think you mentioned Clem, he was parole in the 80s and he was in prison for murder, so some families members have got out before. Rhonda, you seem happy for the law to be manipulate as long as it satisfy your moral standards, well you can’t do that, because I’m sure if it effected you, you would not be as okay with it. Whatever the case is, you can’t find expectations to corrupt the law. sorry but they weren’t fully aware of their action those nights, at least some of them were. Manson knew how to indoctrinated and mess with peoples minds and conscious, were it got to the point they believed he was Jesus Christ. Leslie has always admitted she wanted to go along with these murders if it had to be done, but she always said she didn’t actually want to people unless it was necessary, even back in 69. They were in a very different way, victims of Manson, that’s obvious but for you to realise it is a different story, because you can’t realize it because your so caught up in the murder themselves. At the end of the day, the superior court have made the governors office explain his argument because they aren’t falling for it Rhonda, one day Leslie is likely to get out that’s walls whether you it or not, and I think you know his, just don’t wanna believe it is your issue.

  57. Paul says:

    Michael that’s very subjective, because there can be moral reasons people want Leslie out, but you probably don’t have these morals in the first place.

  58. Rhonda says:

    I have my own opinions about Leslie and Manson, et.al. It was simply sharing them. I respect what everyone has to say, I find people and their thoughts and ideas interesting. I certainly did not mean to challenge anyone about anything and I am not here to argue laws and morals. I just like to share and communicate and maybe learn something new – that’s what interests me most.
    I too give Leslie a tremendous amount of credit for getting an education and trying to make something of her life. These are the kinds of things I would like to do in this forum; trade and share information and talk about it. I am 50 years old and have been fascinated with this case and all of the characters in it since I was 12 years old. Let’s just share and try to enjoy sharing.

  59. Paul says:

    Sorry but that didn’t come across in your last comment.

  60. Michael says:

    Rhonda you’re taking the high road and expressing yourself like an adult. The comments on this site that show thought and consideration for other views are worth responding to, and yours show both. For people who find this case interesting these exchanges really are enjoyable, especially for those of us who were interested in this case Year’s before there was the internet. It’s the family members who interest me the most rather than Manson, who’s always bored me.

  61. Cybele Moon says:

    Rhonda, Michael, Paul etc I have enjoyed hearing everyone’s perspective on this and I have my own too. But as for this thing about morals, I think I have morals as do you. My thought will always be that they should have been given life without parole after the death penalty was abolished. Now Paul and many others think that according to law she must be let out. Morally, I feel that the law isn’t always just, but he is right on that point.
    There were nine murders that I know of that this blood thirsty gang participated in (though not all were present at all murders) and apparently according to many law enforcement officials there were other suspicious deaths as well that may never be proved. These were very dangerous, immoral people, brainwashed or not. Whether they have found redemption of course is between themselves and God and I hope they have but whether they are freed or not is always going to be controversial.

  62. Christy says:

    Leslie’s retrials were in the late 70s after the death penalty had been reinstated and an option of life without parole had been added. But she would never have received either (if it was even legal to do so in light of this retrial based on an appellate court finding not declaring a mistrial due to her attorney’s death as an error). But even if it was it would be vigorously challenged and no doubt overturned.

  63. Cybele Moon says:

    Christy: I remember reading about that. However, Paul who is a supporter of Lesley, tries to minimize and mitigate her involvement in the crimes themselves. Do I think Leslie is a danger to society now, probably not a physical danger but there is still the psychological element. All the Manson gang garnished a lot of fans and supporters and sympathizers when they were in prison. It’s a rather sick phenomenon in our society that we hold convicts on pedestals. LVH was a very good looking girl from a very middle class family and seemed such an unlikely Manson family member but Leslie was every bit a supporter of Manson back then.

    What comes to my mind is that they all knew Manson was an ex con, an outlaw- they may have even known he was a pimp. Yet they all chose to join his group and follow him as a spiritual leader, as Paul says, as Jesus Christ.!!? I don’t remember Jesus as a thief or a pimp, sexually promiscuous or slapping women around in my bible. Leslie perhaps more than some of the others had been raised in a middle class family knowing right from wrong. Actually we gain reason by age 12 and if we have been raised as most of us have, we know right from wrong. Yes, Manson further indoctrinated them into his way of thinking- but, they “chose” to follow him into that way of life. Not all hippies, though living in communes, lived like that. In fact most were much more idealistic, believing all men were brothers- not the philosophy of whitey vs blacky or that women were subservient as Charlie preached. The Manson family enjoyed that life of no rules, sex and drugs and rock and roll and stealing from others and the price they paid was slavery to a very twisted and evil person.

  64. Paul says:

    Excuse me Cybele, I’m not minimizing her role am I and you know that. I’m stating the actual facts and Leslie’s personal participation, while it’s almost like your trying to tie Leslie with acts she didn’t commit on either night.

  65. Flip says:


    You are very well spoken, IMO.


    Your continued assertions to the effect, “We all know LVH legally deserves parole” and “It’s an incontrovertible fact that the governor’s actions in this case are illegal”, etc. etc, are pretty clear evidence that you believe that you should be doing the thinking for all of us. You are willing to chide others for offering their opinions about a horrible event that they did not personally witness, yet you seem to “know” unequivocally that LVH did not actually beg Manson to go on the Labianca killing spree….how is it that you know that, Paul?

    LVH supposedly put a pillowcase over RL’s head and secured it with a lamp cord and restrained her while Krenny tried to stab her to death. Then, after Tex had his turn with her, LVH put the knife in, over and over….on the apparent theory that, “The more she did it, the more fun it was….”.

    That crime, and its apocalyptic motivation, was so brutal that I personally don’t believe she can ever be rehabilitated to the point where she could/should be allowed to live in society.

  66. Cybele Moon says:

    good comment Kip! I hold LVH totally culpable whether or not she killed one person or 9 or whether she only held Mrs. Labianca down while others stabbed her and then stabbed a supposedly dead body 16 more times. I also think she has got what she deserved,- a life behind bars even if by some nuance of the law she is allowed to be free at this late date. Paul looks at it differently because he has taken up her cause as have many others. That is his right and I don’t condemn him for that. I just disagree on the idea of mitigating circumstance, her youth, her brainwashing etc. I believe they all were above average intelligence and knew what they were doing was horrendous and wrong but they made a choice. They also made a choice to do the drugs, to thumb their nose at society, and to throw in their lot with a sick maniac. They didn’t arrive brainwashed.

  67. Cybele Moon says:

    sorry I meant Flip*

  68. Paul says:

    No flip when I see someone comment something that’s controversial or incorrect will have something to say about. The fact is that Leslie is legally suitable for parole, and most people know that, but people like you can’t look away from the crime. The governors argument to reverse her parole is weak and the superior court evidently knows this. Many people have said repeatedly she begged, there is no evidence of that, and Leslie has been honest in saying she wanted to go, but she didn’t beg for it.

    Cybele, we all know Leslie is culpable, but not to the same extent as the rest of the killers, like Tex. There are mitigating circumstances in this case, and your just choosing to avoid it. Cybele we’ve been through this before. The family didn’t portray a evil murdering cult, it was the opposite and drugs where very common and very popular back in those days, and just legal. Brainwashing occurs over period of time, its gradual and Manson knew how to manipulate these people.

  69. Christy says:

    Cybele I agree they were aware of his ex con background. Some people are impressed by this and I think the hard core members of the group were.

    And you’re also right about the hippies. I grew up in the Bay Area about 15 miles east of both Oakland and Berkeley. Both my parents worked in Oakland. And while I was a child during the 60s my parents weren’t the type to shield me from the news so I was aware of the tumultuous time it was. But most hippies weren’t like this group. What violence there was among the groups seemed to come from anti-war demonstrations but that certainly wasn’t limited to hippies.

    Plus there were any number of sort of cults running around and most of them were non violent. The biggest cult name after the Manson murders was almost 10 years later with Jim Jones.

  70. Cybele Moon says:

    Paul, you seem to be able to separate Leslie from the Manson Family and their other crimes. I am not able to do that. She was a member and espoused their “values” and life style. The family may not have portrayed a murdering aspect early on but there were a lot of warning signs. None of them with the exception of Clem, were mentally challenged. They liked the life style and like many others chose to ignore that there always is a price to pay.

    Christy, I get that. Some, women especially, like “bad boys” and a life on the edge.

  71. Flip says:

    Well, see–you don’t actually seem to grasp this central tenet of reality very firmly, Paul: Your opinions are not truth, fact, nor are they even incontrovertible…they are your opinions and they don’t appear to be supported by any different evidence than is available to any other well-read person interested in this crime story.

    You can keep on claiming facts or truth by mere assertion of your opinion, but that is not convincing to me, at least. When I make my own assessment of how the law functions in a case like this one, it is not at all obvious that anything has been done wrong to illegally keep LVH in prison. In fact, the whole process looks pretty transparent to me–you may be mistaking your own disappointment that the opinions of our governor don’t match up well with your own opinions, no?

  72. Paul says:

    Flip, I am actually using facts to support my opinion, you appear to be using your moral standards like Cybele is. The argument your making against me can be used against you, because you obviously don’t want Leslie out so you don’t see the manipulation here. The governors excuse about Leslie not taking responsibility is a load of crap, and if you read the transcripts of the parole hearing, you will know he’s not being honest. It I have evidence to support my opinion, I don’t see that in your case. Inmates should be paroled if they are deemed non-threating, and a number of psychologists and an excellent prison record aren’t going to be wrong Flip.

    Cybele, I don’t even think Clem was mentally challenged, because it states otherwise in a document in 1973, look at it if you wish. Funny you talk about ignoring the obvious when your almost doing the same thing here.

  73. Cybele Moon says:

    Paul I read that his assessment said he was borderline. I don’t know what you mean about ignoring the obvious but it’s obvious to me that my line of reasoning is just different from yours.

    You are right that LVH may not be a threat today and she may be remorseful and take responsibility. I guess my point is, that if she is freed, I am not going to count it as a victory against the justice system, the governor or attorney general because I think she is a murderer, and she participated in some of the most vicious killings of the last century. I think she has deserved her time spent and if freed can consider herself lucky and/or blessed. I hope she can continue to do well. However, many many people do not think she deserves freedom and will not be happy about it. That does not make them morally wrong.

  74. Paul says:

    Fair enough but you do make many remarks about this being one of the most vicious crimes in the 20th century, but I don’t think its fair your tying Leslie with every detail that happened, even the first murders she wasn’t present at. You can only make Leslie culpable for her own actions, not anyone else, because what people like Debra Tate are doing, trying to make her out to be someone to still fear which is completely false.

  75. Flip says:

    Hi Paul,

    This exchange is becoming tiring and going nowhere new. I realize that you (like all of us) have been using the commonly accepted or known facts to support your opinion. But, your basic conclusion, repeated very often, is essentially that all of us–everyone–should accept the idea that your opinion is the only possible one to have, given access to the same known facts of the case. My moral standards are, of course, highly offended by the known facts of the case…I hope yours are, too, but I have no way of knowing that. What you may fail to understand is, individuals’ interpretations of the law and the moral standards of those individuals are not necessarily separable, and that having moral standards does not necessarily equate to making judgements on the basis of emotion alone. Perhaps that is essentially why we, as a society, have not seen fit (yet) to allow computers to sit in judgement of alleged criminals. Our local society still prefers to maintain a legal system that is built around a framework of statutes that are interpreted and adjudicated by human beings who cannot help but have moral standards. It should be obvious, I think, that the legal system of our country has a great deal of flexibility built into it and that flexibility, or check-and-balance system, if you like, guides the parole system. Duly elected governors can pardon state criminals if they believe that is warranted, and they can overturn PB decisions, if they believe it warranted to do so. You can rant all you like about the governor’s LVH decisions being unfair–they certainly must seem that way to you–but that doesn’t mean they are illegal actions or even manipulative. After reviewing the known facts, the governor still concludes that LVH is unsuitable and I agree with him. If the next governor finds that he agrees with LVH’s PB and decides to let her out of prison, I’ll disagree and make sure to vote for someone who is more closely aligned with my own ethical and moral standards.

  76. Paul says:

    You have just stated that your happy for the law to be manipulated because of your moral standards “I’ll disagree and make sure to vote for someone who is more closely aligned with my own ethical and moral standards”, that is as I’ve had to say before a very selective government body your wanting. Its not just my opinion that the governors arguments is weak, the superior court aren’t buying it either and that’s why their making his office explain why his choice is reasonable.

  77. Michael says:

    Flip, that was a pretty darned good summation of the issue, and a good representation of how I feel, too, about endlessly rehashing something all of us obviously aren’t going to agree on, and are under no obligation to agree on. We’re all familiar with the case and the facts related to it, have all reached our own conclusions, and have our own takes on the morality or immorality of releasing someone guilty of murder. Enough said.

  78. Flip says:

    Thanks, Michael.

    Paul, I am happy to see the law being interpreted, not manipulated, at the state governor level in a way that aligns with my own interpretation.

    This is no “Aha!” moment–you would clearly be happy if the governor’s decisions aligned with your own opinions. Maybe they will, after the next election.

  79. Paul says:

    The governors biased review doesn’t matter now, its up to the courts.

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