Van Houten Granted Parole

Thursday, July 23rd, 2020


Jul. 23 – Leslie Van Houten was found suitable for parole at a hearing held today by the California Board of Parole Hearings. This was Van Houten’s fourth consecutive parole suitability recommendation.

Van Houten was sentenced to death in 1971 for her part in the August 10, 1969 murder deaths of Leno and Rosemary LaBianca. The following year, Van Houten saw her sentence commuted to life after the California supreme court outlawed the death penalty, stating it was unconstitutional.

In 1976, an appeals court ruled Van Houten was denied a fair trial because her attorney, Ronald Hughes, disappeared during the trial.

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

Van Houten, now 70, has been denied parole 19 times since becoming eligible in 1978. She was recommended for parole at her 2016, 2017 and 2019 hearings. Each grant however, was reversed by the governor.

Due to COVID-19, today’s decision will undergo an expedited review by the Board of Parole Hearings. Then it will be reviewed by Governor Gavin Newsom, who will either confirm, reverse or modify the parole grant. The decision will be finalized no later than November 20th.

Van Houten is also waiting on a California Supreme Court ruling regarding Governor Gavin Newsom’s reversal of her 2019 parole recommendation. Earlier this month, Van Houten petitioned the state’s high court to weigh in on the decision. The court gave the attorney general until Monday to file in opposition.

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172 Responses to Van Houten Granted Parole

  1. Janet Palirano says:

    Please sign the petition to ask the Governor to reverse this again at: noparoleformansonfamily.com

  2. Sharon Creel says:

    They should not be paroled. They had their break with not being put to death and they should stay there.

  3. Chandra Jordan says:

    Not sure why she thinks she should get out of prison when Rosemary LaBianca is never going to get out of her grave

  4. Carol says:

    She has paid her debt to society and then some. Continued incarceration would be revenge as opposed to justice.

  5. andrew f beers says:

    shes done her time if they hadnt killed sharon tate they all woulda been out long ago

  6. Gina says:

    she needs to stay in until she dies…Rosemary LaBianca didn’t get a chance for parole.

  7. Billy Esquire says:

    “This was Van Houten’s fourth consecutive parole suitability recommendation.”

    Isn’t that sentence ridiculous? Kind of makes you wonder why they even have parole boards if their recommendations aren’t going to be followed. This is getting to the point that it’s absurd. The parole board makes the same recommendations year after year, the governor(s) repeatedly say “No” because of political reasons, and then she’s brought back the next year to the Board and the process starts all over again.

    I wish her well. There’s simply no justification to hold her when she has met parole conditions for decades.

  8. Sasha Musgrave says:

    She has paid her debt to society and should be freed to live out the rest of her life but won’t have long to live as she is over 70. She wasn’t involved in Sharon Tate’s murder as a lot of people think.

  9. Bummer Bob says:

    State of California should be ashamed of themselves. The parole board keeps granting her parole and at the last minute the Governor overtures it. They keep dangling a carrot 🥕 in front of her at the last minute crush her hopes and dreams. She’s such a sweet lady and I would open my doors for her to come and live with me. Poor Lulu.

  10. Roger Wayne Adams says:

    She deserves to be out of prison. If she wasn’t attached to the Manson name she would have been released in the 80s.

  11. roacul orasoco says:

    sorry, do the crime do the time. escaped death sentence and got a gift of life. must be behind bars.

  12. Michael says:

    I’ve always felt some sympathy for her, but not enough to want her paroled. Unspeakable crimes, completely unbelievable behavior in court, showing nothing but contempt for her victim’s loved ones.

  13. Thomi Wilson says:

    She wasn’t even at the Sharon Tate murder.

  14. Michael says:

    Thomi, is the murder of the LaBiancas any less heinous than the murder of Sharon Tate? What difference does it make ?

  15. Debbie Sitsler says:

    She’ll never be released and rightfully so!

  16. NoJusticeNoPeace says:

    Most hate politics and I’m not one of them. There is no way any politician will ever EVER release a Manson Cult follower.

    Let her rot. She made sure her two victims have.

  17. Pam says:

    These animals should never be paroled. How do you watch an almost 9 month pregnant woman be carried out on a stretcher after she has been butchered by your “family” members and your only thought is to go out the next day and participate in more butchery? Newsom strongly denied her parole before and he will do it again. God bless the victims and their family. I feel nothing for this butcher or people like Fred who defend them.

  18. Pam says:

    Newsom will make the same decision he made before, no reason for him to change. She made a choice to kill and her lawyer whines about her rights. Did RL have a right to live free from LVH’s butchery?

  19. Jimmy says:

    She has life because she is being punished. End of story. She’s too old to threaten anyone but she will come out make a book or movie for profit.

  20. Christy says:

    She’s not too old to threaten anyone. At one time the oldest inmate in California’s death row was in his 90s having committed a murder during a robbery in his 70s. He used a gun. That said I doubt she would be any danger personally if she has outside support.

    I’m just wondering in this age of covid with many people out of a job how she would support herself unless she has family members or friends to help.

  21. Christy says:

    Part of Leslie’s problem was her behavior in her first trial. Outbursts, singing , mocking the court system. It also didn’t help her that she knew what had happened at the Tate house and had seen news reports and probably heard first hand accounts. About the only thing it sounds like she never did was mock her victim unlike both Pat and Tex.

    I doubt she would have gotten out in the 80s. By that time the victim’s rights movement was getting underway. Doris Tate was a fixture in it and one reason was because of Leslie’s first parole hearing. Tate was also instrumental in getting proposition 89 on the California ballot in 1988 which gave the governor the right to approve, modify or reverse parole board for those sentenced to an indeterminate term for committing murder. That would be probably all death row inmates back in 1972. But this law was not in place when Steve Grogan was approved for parole.

  22. Paul says:

    Very likely the governor will find some absurd excuse to block the grant again, but the courts will have a much harder time upholding Newsom’s review, that is if he indeed blocks it again. Her attorney has been amazing and i’m confident he will have her walking out of those gates soon.

  23. Sara says:

    I’m sure Rosemary LaBianca doesn’t think she is a ‘sweet’ lady! She murdered someone for NO reason and has whined about being incarcerated ever since! As far as crushing her hopes and dreams…who gives a rats ass about HER hopes and dreams! What about poor Sharon Tate’s hopes and dreams of being a mother to her unborn son? Who also died! And I am sure that Leno and Rosemary has dreams of their own. I know she wasn’t at the Cielo Drive murders, but she did state how disappointed she was that Charlie didn’t ask her to go that night! She voluntarily went to the LaBianca’s, even stating she knew people would die!! Would you want her as your next door neighbor? Seriously? She is too easily influenced to be let out!

  24. Lee says:

    So, the governor is crushing her hopes & dreams? Hmmmm….I think the one that had their hopes & dreams crushed, along with their life was Rosemary & Leno LaBianca.

  25. Cybele Moon says:

    I am one of those here who always felt that a life sentence should have been just that in this particular case (and many others) but it’s not in our hands. What is justice indeed? Can a debt such as brutal multiple murders ever really be repaid? I also see the irony as Lee stated, in having hopes and dreams crushed after snuffing out the same in other lives. There is no suffering to compare with the victims or victim’s families ever and most people have had very strong reactions here on this site. I hope she is truly remorseful but I don’t feel sorry for any of the time she has served. We all reap what we sow.

    However, as her supporters say, she has met all the requirements for parole in this case. This is the justice system for which people voted. I don’t know when she will get out, but bear in mind, she is not a winner even if she does. At 71, it’s not as though she can start over in any meaningful way or gain back what most of us take for granted, our freedom, careers, families, travel, and all those years etc.
    Even freed, I imagine her life will be somewhat limited and she may have to change her name. What she will do with her “freedom” is anyone’s guess- perhaps a quiet disappearance from the public eye. I hope it’s not publicity and media. I can’t imagine it will be easy after 50 years of incarceration.

    I applaud Doris Tate for changing laws regarding victim’s rights. She was a very strong lady.

  26. Fred Bloggs says:

    Pam says:
    I feel nothing for this butcher or people like Fred who defend them

    For someone who feels nothing for me, you spend an inordinate amount of time and space telling everyone how you feel nothing for me, rarely commenting on what I actually say, never articulating where I’m coming from but often ready to come out and tell the world about Fred……

  27. Jeff says:

    50 years is more than enough time to serve. She is 70 and no threat to society. Our system paroles murderers all the time who did far worse than she did

  28. Cybele Moon says:

    Fred, I don’t think many read mine either except for you lol. But I don’t think you defend LVH, you just present all sides of the argument. Blessings! I like to read your comments and everyone’s really for or against.

    Jeff, I think it was a pretty bad crime. I’m not sure who has been released who did far worse. But the law sometimes isn’t just it would seem.

  29. Andrew says:

    I hope this time they don’t reverse it. She has more than atoned and served her time.

  30. NoJusticeNoPeace says:

    Let me get this straight. Those who want LVH out of prison do so simply because “it’s the law” and she met parole requirements and gee whiz she’s old now.

    But having the Gov reverse the parole board decision is a travesty of justice? Which is it then? You like the law that allows LVH the legal nth but cry foul and political prisoner and ageism when it’s for the people. (aka the victims)

    Paradox much.

  31. Klaus Mueller says:

    I strongly agree!

  32. Paul says:

    NoJusticeNoPeace – It is the law, there is no legal reason Leslie should still be incarcerated. She has committed herself to all requirements that she is expected to do in order to be paroled, and the board have agreed with this 4 times now. The governor quite clearly is not able to separate his duty from his political reputation, the reasons for blocking the grant have been very flimsy and very poor, on both the part of Brown as well as Newsom. Everyone knows what the game is here, the governor doesn’t want this tarnish so it will have to be the courts that see that the law is followed, and they will have a much harder time upholding Newsom’s reversal which is likely what he will do.

  33. Cybele Moon says:

    NJNP,

    I felt none of them deserved parole. Yet the parole board the last three times feels she does. It is also part of the system that a governor can veto it – and then begin the appeals. It will be interesting to see how it plays out again. I do think some crimes warrant a life sentence this being one of them but your system for some strange reason gave 7 years to life? At that time apparently even the prosecutor thought she might be the one to get out in 10 years (though he opposed it). While she meets the criterion for parole I think most public opinion is that she should remain incarcerated and I don’t have a problem with it if she does. The crimes were heinous and bizarre.

    Has anyone else read “Chaos” and if so it would be interesting to have a comment section for that.

  34. Paul says:

    NoJusticeNoPeace – The hypocrisy your trying to establish doesn’t exist and doesn’t really make logical sense. Indeed the law is clear that if a prisoner is deemed safe to return to society which all evidence is apparent in Leslie’s case then she should be paroled. Newsom’s stance that he is concerned about her potential violence in the future is not supported by her prison record or her psychological evaluation reports.

    If you want to see a hypocritical argument, just look at each governors evaluation, Brown accused Leslie of mitigating her role and placing too much responsibility on Manson, only for Newsom to accuse her of doing the opposite, for minimizing Manson’s abuse of her.

  35. NoJusticeNoPeace says:

    The law that allows a monstrosity like LVH to apply for parole ad infinitum is something I do not agree with but it is what it is. The law that allows the monstrosity of politics to play a part in LVH’s release? I’m all in. And apparently so were CA voters who gave the Gov the power to reverse parole recommendation.

    LVH’s tears and remorse are for herself. Make no mistake. If the Gov refused to allow a bed ridden, dying SA to pass at home with loved ones and supporters, don’t count on LVH being paroled. It’s a fools errand.

  36. Paul says:

    I think most here would not agree with your stance that Leslie’s remorse isn’t genuine. Whether you think on a personal level she shouldn’t be paroled is another thing, but to make make out she is just putting on a show for the parole board is pretty fanciful and I don’t even think you genuinely believe that either.

  37. Stephen Craig says:

    Cybele:

    Please note that I always make it a point to read your comments in particular, and not only appreciate your insight, your fairness and objectivity, but your sensitivity to the rights victims and their survivors (so it’s not just Fred, but me as well lol). Anyway, I have read “Chaos”; found it extremely engaging/thought provoking, and would welcome an opportunity to discuss it with others as well.

  38. Michael says:

    Andrew, did you really mean to say “she has more than atoned?” I doubt that even Leslie herself would say such a thing. There is no possible atonement she could make. She may be released on legal grounds, but she never has and never will atone for these killings.

  39. Cybele Moon says:

    thanks Stephen, and I read yours too!! 🙂 Yes I’m almost finished the book Chaos, Not sure where would be appropriate to discuss it?

    Michael, that is so true.

    Her supporters have their position but I always ask what is justice really? She has met parole requirements but so many here feel justice can never be served except by life in prison and even then, those murdered do not get their lives back nor their families their loved ones and all the lost opportunities and memories. So we can give the mercy of a parole but I’m not sure that’s “justice.” I’m glad I don’t have to make those decisions.

  40. Fred Bloggs says:

    Andrew says:
    She has more than atoned and served her time

    I think I know what you actually mean there Andrew {I think you really mean that she has served a sufficient length of time}, but that’s a really poor choice of words. I don’t think it is possible to atone for most crimes. Even if one robbed someone and paid them every penny back with interest, there’s aspects of the ongoing effect of being violated in various ways that can’t be measured in any straightforward way like financial recompense or a prison sentence. What it may do mentally for example. Little is going to atone for that.

    Cybele Moon says:
    Has anyone else read “Chaos” and if so it would be interesting to have a comment section for that

    It’s an interesting book. I find that when I read some books I have to let some time go by and let some things take a while to sink in because it’s too easy to swept along by the sheer onslaught of what one may find within the pages of said book.
    I think “Chaos” poses many many questions but doesn’t really alter the fundamental centrepiece of this case. In some ways, it’s a sophisticated banding together of the alternative theories that have been in existence for 50 years, but with documents that add weight but which don’t {can’t} actually prove anything. It’s major aim is to scotch helter skelter {which people have been trying to do since 1970} and it doesn’t achieve that. So for me, it packs a mighty punch and makes a loud noise while doing so but cannot prevent the object of its ire from rolling with the punches; thus its effect is minimal on its opponent.

    I don’t think you defend LVH, you just present all sides of the argument

    That’s all I try to do. I’ve said it many times before, I’m not afraid to acknowledge areas where the perps have been poorly dealt with or where they have valuable insights or where law enforcement or the victims’ family members in the aftermath were less than stellar in some of their words and/or actions. I think I know what’s wrong and what’s right and I don’t confuse the two.

    NoJusticeNoPeace says:
    And apparently so were CA voters who gave the Gov the power to reverse parole recommendation

    I’m not sure that the vast majority of CA voters had in mind LVH when they were thinking of which candidate to vote for ! The way votes work is that once you have a person in the hot seat to make decisions, you have absolutely no power over the decisions they make. And they are going to make some decisions a voter likes and some a voter does not like. I sometimes get a little touchy when people say something like “if you don’t like a law, change it. If you don’t like a particular guv’nor/lawmaker, do something about it.” That’s not real ~ if there is a huge majority one particular way in a state and you happen to be on the opposite wing, you can’t do jack.

    LVH’s tears and remorse are for herself

    Well, some of that would be for herself. And why shouldn’t it be ? If she was part of a murder scenario and she later was remorseful it wouldn’t make sense if some of it were not for herself. She can’t just absent herself from what happened ~ it had a major impact on her life, her family’s, the families of the people she helped murder, the state and nation she lived in, not to mention the two murder victims………
    So when she cries and has remorse, she’s not going to ignore the fact that she’s spent half a century in prison and neither should she. She should be remorseful for where her life has gone.
    But I disagree with you in that you’re basically saying that her remorse is only for herself. Because that doesn’t make sense. Being remorseful by its very nature takes into account far more than just oneself. The damage one has done must figure in all of that. That’s why it’s remorse and not just regret. Some people might regret having killed because it’s landed them in jail, they’ve wasted their life and is continually assailing their conscience but they might not really give a thought to whom they have wronged and the depth of how they have actually ended people’s lives.

  41. Kelly says:

    What! She helped KILL people in cold blood

  42. Billy Esquire says:

    Leslie was less than 2 weeks from being 20 when she committed her crime, and is now nearly 71 years of age. Wow, that’s a long time; 20 to 71. It made me think of how we all transform as people over that time period. I thought of what most people are doing at age 20, and I imagine most of us did some things we knew we shouldn’t be doing and weren’t proud of. But it’s a common part of being a young adult. Fortunately, as we grow a little older, we learn from our mistakes and eventually become the people we are now.

    Leslie’s life was no different, at first. She had a normal childhood, but as she entered young adulthood, her life became anything but normal. In the summer of 1968, she met Catherine Share and Bobby Beausoleil, and awhile later, Manson. It became the ultimate in “running with the wrong crowd”. A lot of us associate with people when we are young that wind up having a bad influence on us, but in Leslie’s case, it became a disaster.

    What was the main difference in Leslie’s wilder years and everybody else’s? One thing….Manson. With the help of repetitive LSD and other drugs, Leslie’s brain became fried, she was brainwashed to believe things that were not so by Manson, and she frequently couldn’t determine truth and reality. The perpetual drugs brought on legitimate psychosis, with obvious delusional beliefs, thanks to Manson’s endless preaching while she was under the influence of mind altering drugs.

    People say she could have left anytime she wanted, but Manson made it very clear that he would bring his mighty wrath down upon anyone that went against his wishes, and they witnessed that wrath against various others in the family many times. Manson scared them so badly that they simply couldn’t muster up enough courage to leave for fear of what he would do to them. And that’s completely understandable.

    Put all this together and Leslie was obviously not in her right mind, and she couldn’t come into her right mind while Manson was relentlessly giving her drugs and making her truly believe he was some kind of god. She wound up committing the crime she has been in prison for all these years, but after getting away from Manson and the constant LSD, she eventually came back to the real world.

    I know we all have our opinions, but this is how I look at Leslie’s life. It is fully explainable and understandable what happened to her. Unlike the rest of us during our wilder years, she was never able to move on from the things she was doing at 19. You and I eventually grow up, finish school, get a job, get married, have kids and lead a normal life. But Leslie is still paying for what she did at 19 years of age because of the severity of what she became involved in. It wasn’t something she planned, but it happened. How would her life have differed if she had never met Catherine Share and Bobby Beausoleil? In all probability, it would have been completely different, as in a 180° difference.

    When determining punishment for criminals, I think all the circumstances should be considered. In Leslie’s case, I think it should have been considered that she was under the influence of Manson’s brainwashing, mind-altering drugs and delusional psychosis when she committed her crime. And there’s no denying any of those things.

    While she certainly required punishment, due to the circumstances of her life at the time of the crime, I don’t feel it ever warranted a life sentence. When it is apparent that insanity and/or mental incompetence was present at the time of the crime, that must be considered to ensure fair punishment is meted out. Why? Because there is a huge difference in Leslie’s mental state at the time of her crime, as opposed to criminals with life sentences who willfully and knowingly plan and engage in their crimes while in a state of complete mental clarity.

    For these reasons, I think Leslie should have been paroled many decades ago, probably at the time of her first parole hearing. To have held her all these years while knowing her mental state at the time of her crime is exceptionally excessive punishment, and IMO, cruel. Leslie became a completely different person as soon as she came out of her delusional state and was back to being the Leslie she had always been. So to have held her all these years is unfair, in my way of thinking. But to continue to hold her after she has been paroled 4 times by the parole board is simply unconscionable.

    I know many here won’t look at these things like I am, but I truly believe that when determining someone’s punishment, we must consider ALL the facts and circumstances, and apply them to the ultimate punishment in a fair and humane way.

  43. Michael says:

    Billy, while lots of us did some wild things in our youth, few of us completely cut our families off (or stole from them to support our commune), totally dropped out of society, randomly engaged in theft or trespassing, abandoned basic rights like owning a watch or observing our birthdays, or exchanged our independence for a life virtually absent any responsibility.

    Leslie and the others did all of this before Manson brainwashed them, and Manson hardly introduced them to drugs, by the way! I agree her mental state was pretty unstable by the time the crimes were committed, and you’re right, had she not met Manson it’s doubtful she’d ever had committed violent crimes. But had Bonnie Parker not met Clyde Barrow, it could be argued she’d have never killed, either. That hardly excuses her. (Different scenario, I know, but the point is, both women had the capacity to choose and they did so.)

    Besides, the legal definition of insanity includes the qualifier that you did not know that society condemned your actions, even if you justified them. Leslie and the others did wipe down their victim’s home for fingerprints, and burned evidence like Mrs. LaBianca’s purse, so she knew she had committed a crime even if she tried to tell herself it was right.

    That’s why I can’t agree with your take on her as being in a state of “delusional psychosis” when she did this. She was crazy, just like Sandra Good is crazy to this day rambling on about Charlie’s virtues, but like Sandra today, she was also functional and able to know where she was and what she was doing.

    Finally, your statement “she came out of her delusional state and was back to being the Leslie she had always been” is a little scary. That’s exactly why many people don’t want her out! If she went back to “the Leslie she has always been” what will happen when she meets another Charlie? The Leslie she has always been was the Leslie who hooked up with a monster and become one herself.

    I do believe she is remorseful and is now a different woman. But I have never accepted the fact that a change in character erases the severity of our actions, and some actions are so severe that I don’t believe they should be pardoned. On this point, I also think the law doesn’t entirely agree with me, so there’s the rub.

  44. NoJusticeNoPeace says:

    We can all banter about our opinions and the only one that matters is going to be from the Gov. It’s the only one that counts.

    No one will convince me LVH’s remorse is for anyone but herself. She’s played the victim card to her parole advantage for years under the guise to further her self reflection and take responsibility of her murderous actions: victim of forced abortion, victim of drugs, victim of 60’s culture, victim of parents divorce, victim of Manson, victim of Hughes death, victim of the freakin’ Easter Bunny.

    Exactly when did these epiphanies manifest? With each attorney drooling to make a name for themselves. Her regret is getting caught. Her remorse is for situation she chose. It never has and never will be about the victims. She thinks she is one.

  45. Paul says:

    NoJusticeNoPeace – Then you are simply just being irrational at this point, well that was quite clear early on I suppose. Leslie has demonstrated her remorse plenty of times for the victims and like Fred said, of course she will feel remorse for herself, wouldn’t make sense if she didn’t. It’s because of your strong opinion you have of the crimes you don’t want to accept her remorseful even if she expresses, nothing will change you because you don’t want to think of her in any positive light. I understand why people don’t think she deserves her freedom but claiming she is faking it is just pure stupidity or lack of insight.

  46. Paul says:

    NoJusticeNoPeace – “the only one that matters is going to be from the Gov. It’s the only one that counts.” not true, if the does the usual block then its up to the courts.

  47. Cybele Moon says:

    NJNP you never mince words lol.- irrational or not -as Paul says.
    Of course we don’t know how much remorse she has or for whom but it’s easy to fool even psychiatrists and to give lip service to remorse as well while not being particularly remorseful. However she may very well be and probably is- and for herself as well. Feeling remorse does not bring anyone back.

    Michael, I agree with your analysis of it. Very few teenagers have chosen the path LVH and the other family members did. Teenagers (and Leslie really was past the teenage years), fight with their parents, drink, smoke pot, some shoplift, sometimes even DUI but very few have done what this gang did
    Another case involving a life sentence and even younger teenagers was the brutal “Lillelid” murders involving 2 little children and their parents. One of them is petitioning the governor for clemency 20 years later as the Tennessee courts refuse to hear the case again.

    The court of course often takes into consideration serious mental illnesses. I am sure Ted Bundy suffered from a serious and horrifying mental aberration and compulsion, yet was found guilty, I guess the key point being “did he know right from wrong.” in our society.

  48. NoJusticeNoPeace says:

    Paul, your insight into what I think and feel are…hmm.. let me find the word… ah, yes. Bullshit. But it’s your bullshit and at least you own it. Meh.

    Cybele, your posts are always enigmatic. I dig that about you! And Fred, I think you like to debate. I don’t. I’m too lazy. But I do see a few of your points and am too lazy to agree with response. I have a terrible reputation to protect. Ha.

    All the could’ve, should’ve and would’ve things about LVH is enough to give my hemorrhoids a tickle. To continually state if the frog didn’t bump his ass on the log he’d have gotten farther is pointless. He bumped his ass on the log! The end!

    There was a metaphor in there…

  49. Paul says:

    NoJusticeNoPeace – “Paul, your insight into what I think and feel are…hmm.. let me find the word… ah, yes. Bullshit. But it’s your bullshit and at least you own it. Meh.” problem is your evaluation has no merits and you can’t brush it off as much as you please but doesn’t make your stance anymore valid or logical. Many of the regulars here don’t agree with you on the question of her remorse, you just can’t accept it but suppose you are correct that it doesn’t matter too much how you feel about it, it’s up to the courts to follow what is right.

  50. Stephen Craig says:

    I’d like to comment on the concept of LVH’s remorse/lack of remorse. I do understand for the parole process, it is obviously advantageous if the candidate demonstrates a sense of “remorse” for their crimes; I mean, what parole board is going to grant parole to someone who demonstrates anything but a sense of sorrow/remorse for the crime(s) they were convicted of? It’s a ” no-brainer”: if you want to be granted parole, one of the things you must do is say you’re “sorry”. So, throughout the years, LVH has demonstrated in her efforts to achieve parole, that she is remorseful. And I am perfectly willing to take her at her word. But so what? What impact does it truly have? The fact that she is “sorry” for the slaughter she participated in and the horrendous ramifications of her crimes seems to be so important to some people; as if her acknowledging what she did was “wrong” displays an insight worthy of redemption. As if her confessing her remorse has washed her bloody hands clean, all is forgiven, go on your merry way, you’re now just like the rest of us, for you said you were “sorry”. As if we can all now erase the events that occurred on Aug. 10, 1969 in the LaBianca home from our collective consciousness because Leslie says she feels “remorse”. That we should all feel a sigh of relief because she is “sorry”. How eager some are willing to “forgive” the unforgiveable if they hear the words, “I’m sorry”.

    For those of you who support LVH’s release, please note that I understand she has demonstrated her eligibility for parole in other areas, not just the issue of remorse. However, what confuses me is how pivotal some folks seem to think her feeling remorse is toward her freedom. For me, no matter the law du jour, LVH participated in most likely the worst crime imaginable; that of human slaughter, and nothing she will ever say or do is ever going to change it, especially to the victims, whose loss of live and the unimaginable ordeal they suffered at the hands a woman (I’m not forgetting TW/PK) they are so willing to forgive because she says she is “sorry”. I’m sorry, too. But not for her, but for the LaBIanca’s. For me they and what they lost/endured is what this case will always be about.

    LVH may indeed receive her parole, but let’s not kid ourselves. She is a destroyer. PLain and simple. And a “dog that bites”, is well, a “dog that bites”.

  51. NoJusticeNoPeace says:

    I’m not here to appease opposing opinions. I’m here to voice my own. Don’t like it? Tell me to shove it and move on. What you call validity I call a prison nooge with armchair minions who prefer a double murderer’s “rights” over the two victims she gleefully slaughtered. But hey, apples and oranges. LVH is such a victim too… of her own making. (eye roll insert)

    Stephen Craig-well said man. Hope that meets Paul’s validity, popularity test. lol

  52. Paul says:

    So I’m going to clear about the crimes themselves, Everyone can agree Leslie was involved in a horrendous crime, but I will take into accountability her own physical actions on that night, not the action of her co-defendants on the night before or even what that did that night.

    I see many comments about how she was involved in the one of the worst crimes in history and even though I agree, there seems to be this attempt to blend all the killers together to avoid addressing independent actions, and to me this is one of those attempts. We can’t equate the actions of Leslie Van Houten to someone like Tex Watson who evidently is responsible for physically taking the lives of seven people in two nights, whilst we don’t even know Leslie stabbed a living being.

    As awful as Leslie’s part was, that kind of crime on its own would never be remembered to this day. The actions of co-defendants that made the case so notorious; writings on the wall in blood, a pregnant star killed, overkill (+100 stabbing). You can’t keep Leslie incarcerated because of the actions of her co-defendants. News reports on Leslie’s case rarely fail to mention a pregnant Sharon Tate and is probably why I see so many people get confused about who actually killed Sharon.

  53. Cybele Moon says:

    Paul, I hear what you are saying about who did what etc and maybe LVH didn’t do as much. But personally, I feel that doesn’t matter! She was an eager participant in the sense she wanted to go, she believed it was ok to murder, and thus her culpability is just as great. Those who rounded up people for the gas chambers of WWII are just as guilty as those who administered the poison pellets. That is my belief.

    We will never know completely what actually went on in the Labianca home or who did what. It’s all their own testimonies which have not always been consistent from the get go.

    Stephen , I feel as you do about these crimes and yes, even freed she will never be able to unburden herself of the stigma. That is sad – for her own life behind bars and more so for the victims and their families.

    Fred, I also have the same impression as you about the book Chaos. There are some fascinating points but it really seems that it’s simply out to discredit Bugliosi’s theory and book – plus it’s all the hearsay of rather eccentric, controversial people whose credibility or memories sometimes sounded a bit bizarre in my books. There are often unanswered questions and contradiction in murder cases and after 30 or more years even memories can be tainted?

  54. Paul says:

    Cybele, If you had to pick either Leslie Van Houten or Tex Watson (or any of the dependents for that matter) to be paroled, who would it be?

  55. Billy Esquire says:

    Cybele Moon: “She was an eager participant in the sense she wanted to go, she believed it was ok to murder, and thus her culpability is just as great.”

    But the all important question is….WHY did she think it was ok to murder? We know with certainty that she wasn’t wanting to go along on those two nights simply to engage in the gruesome, malicious murders because she thought it would be cool to murder someone. The reason she wanted to be involved is because she was convinced this was going to be the beginning of Helter Skelter and the race war that Charlie had been pounding into their heads. He convinced her that the murders were the PROPER thing to do, and that she was rather lucky and special because she was privy to how it was all going to go down. She had bad feelings about killing the people and felt sorry that their kids were going to find them in such a horrible way, but that’s just the way it had to be. The future had already been determined and she truly thought she was going to be part of initiating it because it was the “right thing to do”. She likened it to being a disciple….it was hard to do the things they were doing, but they had to be done because this was the destiny of what was going to happen in the world.

    Charlie convinced her of all of that. She wasn’t even close to being in reality…..not only WHEN she engaged in the crime but MONTHS afterwards. She casually told her court appointed attorney, Marvin L Part, that if she had to do it all over again, she would do it because it was the right thing to do. She easily could have lied about it, but she didn’t. She was completely truthful because she truly thought the murders were the proper thing to do in preparation for all the things Charlie had told them about. And she believed it all 100%. You can tell in the recording.

    These things confirm that she was completely out of touch with reality during this period of her life due to the drugs and brainwashing. These beliefs were obviously delusional, and you can tell by the way she talked when she was interviewed by her attorney in 1969 that she believed everything she was saying. She even believed she was an angel and was concerned because she was certain her wings were budding and people were going to notice them. She told her own father that.

    If anyone hasn’t listened to the one hour interview Leslie did with her attorney on 12-29-69 here on CD.com, it is absolutely the best thing you can listen to to get an indication of how out of her mind she truly was back then. It’s best to start the audio and then follow along with the written transcript. The link is below. This interview alone should have resulted in a totally different punishment for Leslie, because she did not know what reality was at the time. She should have been sentenced to only a few years in prison for her part in the crime, and the fact that she has been incarcerated for all these decades when she did not have the mental capacity to reason is unfair and an absolute travesty of justice, IMO.

    http://www.cielodrive.com/updates/leslie-van-houten-interviewed-by-marvin-part/

    I have copied and pasted what I think is some of the most enlightening part of the interview. What she said leaves no doubt as to her mental state…..even months after the crime.

    MR. PART: Now, when we sat down here before I actually turned on the tape recorder I asked you if you know what the word “remorse” meant; and you said “No.”

    And I told you it meant feeling sorry.

    Could you tell us how you feel now about what happened to the LaBiancas and all the other people that were killed.

    MISS VAN HOUTEN: Well, I can’t really feel sorry, because I did it, and I did it with every intention of it being right.

    Sometimes when I think about it —

    See, I try not to think. That sounds pretty ridiculous, but I don’t. I try not — I try to keep my mind clear. When I think about it, it makes me feel bad, you know.

    I can start to cry, specially ’cause the kids, ’cause they are my age. I didn’t really have any —

    MR. PART: Now, you say you feel badly. What makes you feel badly?

    MISS VAN HOUTEN: Well, when I start thinking about the kids having to find their folks, the parents. You know, that seems ugly to me.

    MR. PART: Are your talking about the LaBiancas?

    MISS VAN HOUTEN: Yeah, the LaBiancas.

    And I heard that Mr. Tate sort of blew his mind, he’d put on a hippie hairdo looking for the people that did it to his daughter.

    I feel sorry for those people.

    MR. PART: How about the people that are dead? Don’t you feel sorry for them?

    MISS VAN HOUTEN: I really — I — To be honest, no.

    MR. PART: Why don’t you feel sorry for the dead people?

    MISS VAN HOUTEN: Well, all it is is a body.

    You know, I mean, that’s the way I feel about my life. In other words, when I went out and I did them in, it’s like I’m that willing to have myself killed.

    I only see all this around me as just a body and just part of what I come from.

    And what I come from is much greater.

    In other words, I believe that you come — I believe that you come from nothing and you are going back to nothing; and while you’re here you almost are nothing. You’re just an animal.

    MR. PART: When you went out to — and were part of the group that killed the LaBiancas did you think that what you were doing was right? And if you did, why was it right?

    MISS VAN HOUTEN: I thought it was perfectly right, and I thought it was perfectly right because I see

    And I even today still see the way I did then. I see it coming up to the vibrations of everything is coming up.

    It’s like a big tune coming up. It’s going daaaaa, and it’s going to get up to the highest point and then it’s going to break.

    And this paranoia had to be started to get the vibration going even stronger; and it’s just part of the plan.

    And I have no control over it.

    MR. PART: So, then, do you think that the things that you and Charlie and Sadie and the rest did are kind of preordained?

    MISS VAN HOUTEN: Uh-huh; and I think what happens here is probably going to be preordained, too.

  56. Michael says:

    Billy, you are right about her delusional thinking, verified in this recording. But most of us already agreed on that point. Still, the fact she believed in the rightness of her actions does not make her legally insane or any less culpable than the others. Listen to interviews with, and comments from, Susan and Patricia during that period. You’ll hear the same delusions you hear in Leslie’s recording, and the same insistence on the rightness of their mission. So to say Leslie should only have gotten a few years because of her warped thinking is to say Susan and Pat should have gotten the same, because they were no less deluded than she.

    But remember, during the Nuremberg Trials most of the defendants insisted on the rightness of the Holocaust and confidently said they, too, would do it again. Crazy? Sure, yet they also killed methodically and even intelligently, like rational monsters, all for the sake of ushering in their own “Third Reich” utopia. Listening to their statements, I hear the same evil we heard speaking through Manson’s followers. Both groups were “nuts” in the general sense but also very sane and functional in the legal sense.

  57. Jason says:

    Why was she even granted parole this soon? Wasn’t she just denied a year ago? Shouldn’t she have to wait 3-5 years? Ridiculous?

  58. Cybele Moon says:

    oh eek Billy and Paul,
    my point was that she did participate. The rest of us may never really know why or understand the psychology of it all!

    The Nazi hierarchy were all brainwashed too. Many of them didn’t want to personally murder the Jews and others but they were perfectly ok with being a part of the superior race and collective that did. Many of them never recanted their beliefs and went to their deaths saluting the fuhrer. They also followed a twisted ideology which is discussed and reviled and not totally understood to this day.

    In this case these murders where LVH helped hold a woman down while others stabbed her to death happened because it was all preordained? So in other words again, no culpability just a fulfillment of destiny.
    Her lack of being able to explain it or the brainwashing, or following a twisted ideology ( as per interview) are no excuses in my books. There were a lot of pot heads and LSD experimenters in those days and a lot of hallucinations, illusions, communal living and “gurus” etc. I just cannot believe that on some level she and the others did not know right from wrong.

    So degrees of participation I guess is what you and Paul are trying to present. Letting LVH out as opposed to Tex Watson is the lesser of two evils and that may be true coming from that point of view and having met the requirements of parole.

    However, we also know TW claims repentance and remorse too- and conducts a Christian ministry in jail, and PK did an interview “Life Without Manson” where she tells her story and is also remorseful and has tried to change her life. None of them can ever really explain why they did what they did. It’s a powerful tale and a sad and tragic one for all involved.

    By the way, I have a sense of things being preordained too. But I don’t think I personally want to murder anyone as part of my pre-destiny.

    In the end it will be interesting how it plays out with the governor and probably the courts if he denies it. I suppose like others here, I don’t feel that the time spent behind bars has been unjust.

  59. Fred Bloggs says:

    roacul orasoco says:
    sorry, do the crime do the time. escaped death sentence and got a gift of life. must be behind bars

    You should realize the folly of that statement.
    Yes, do the crime, do the time, we all agree with you, absolutely. And the “time” that you speak of is the sentence, right ? If it was death, that would be the “time” right ?
    Well, the “time” is life with the possibility of parole.
    She’s doing exactly what your statement says. She’s doing the “time.”
    So what’s your problem ? Or is the reality that actually, you don’t believe in the law if it doesn’t give you what you want ?

  60. Stephen Craig says:

    With all due respect, I do think that that the question posed to Cybele by Paul a few comments ago is akin to asking someone, “If you had to come down with some form of cancer, which one would it be?” Is the intent to somehow “rate” the killers on some sort of sliding scale? Like, Leslie may be a monster, but she’s not as bad a monster as Tex? And since Tex “rates” a “Ten”, at best, Leslie “rates” only a “five” (I’m sure Mrs. LaBianca will be relieved to hear that, all forty-one stab wounds and all). Even though I am loathe to do so, I would speculate that from the LaBianca’s perspectives, they were killed by all of them; for not one of those knife wielders in that house that horrible night did anything to stop the slaughter that was taking place. They all acted in a conspiracy to commit murder. And murder they did. And no amount of rationalization can change that.

  61. Paul says:

    Stephen Craig – the reason for me asking the question was to establish the distinction between Leslie and Tex Watson. As Cybele suggested it didn’t matter whatever the magnitude was of the individuals personal involvement in the crime, i’m stating that putting that into this scenario, it certainly does make a difference.

  62. Peter says:

    Most of those 41 stab wounds came from Tex. That’s why hes the 10.

  63. Michael says:

    All of them are equally guilty of murder; some of them did more actual stabbing or shooting than the others. If we go back to the Holocaust comparison, the guards who ushered the victims into the chambers, and the other guards who made them undress, and the others who actually dropped the pellets, were all guilty of murder. Only a few of them actually did the killing, but all were equally guilty.

    So when it gets down to who did more stabbing, I usually want to say “Who cares?”

  64. Stephen Craig says:

    Thank you, Michael. My sentiments exactly. I mean, from a victims perspective, I don’t think it would matter how many times each knife wielder “stabbed me”: The bottom line is “you stabbed me”. Those who attempt to deflect LVH’s role in these killings by literally counting stab wounds or arguing whether or not poor Mrs. LaBianca was dead or not when LVH stabbed her 16 times, really (IMO) need to (perhaps) rethink their strategies when trying to sanitize LVH and the human wreckage she and her cohorts created.

  65. Cybele Moon says:

    Thanks Michael for emphasizing that comparison. I agree.

    LVH had held Rosemary down while Krenwinkel tried to stab her in the neck. “We started stabbing and cutting up the lady,” Van Houten testified” When the knife bent they called for Tex. Mr. Labianca had begged Watson to stop stabbing him before he died. It’s hard to imagine the horror.

    Stephen for LVH supporters that degree or scale is an important issue but as you and Michael say “who cares.” The outcome was the same, two people lay dead, and 5 had died the night before in their murderous spree. Then they raided the fridge and showered before they left.

    After all having received the death penalty it became life with the chance of parole after 7 years!? That never made much sense to me considering the horrifying nature of the crime.

    Leslie Van Houten may have met the requirements of parole and may get out of prison, and she may be remorseful but make no mistake she is just as guilty.

  66. Paul says:

    Micheal – “All of them are equally guilty of murder” they are all guilty of murder but certainly not equally since Leslie is accountable for two murders whilst the rest are responsible for 7 or more murders.

    Stephen Craig – “Those who attempt to deflect LVH’s role in these killings by literally counting stab wounds or arguing whether or not poor Mrs. LaBianca was dead or not when LVH stabbed her 16 times, really (IMO) need to (perhaps) rethink their strategies when trying to sanitize LVH and the human wreckage she and her cohorts created.”

    I find this statement a bit strange because if Leslie had acted as extensively as Watson had in these murders, you and everyone else would have certainly used it against her. These little details do matter on either side of the argument when determining her role in this crime. This to me seems to be a double standards on your part, you can’t have it both ways. Her role in the crime and her mindset do matter whatever the crime is, its just a fact.

    Even Steven Kay said he thought Leslie should eventually be paroled, pretty much every hearing he attended he said she would be paroled one day.

  67. Paul says:

    Cybele “After all having received the death penalty it became life with the chance of parole after 7 years!? That never made much sense to me considering the horrifying nature of the crime.”

    Life in those days included the right to a parole hearing, everyone had it. But that doesn’t matter in Leslie’s case anyway given she’s serving a completely new sentence.

    “Then they raided the fridge and showered before they left” We are only pretty confident only Tex took a shower, Leslie has stated she never went near it, again this is the issue i take when you group everyone together using “they”, because they did not take a shower, only Tex did as far as we know.

  68. Cybele Moon says:

    Paul, you are such a nit picker lol. As though it makes it better.
    I guess the other two just waited and handed him a towel. Did they drink chocolate milk from the fridge or just write Healter Skelter in blood. You say…. “Leslie stated, Leslie stated.” I guess you can take her word for it. She was much more believable and didn’t murder as many!! Who can ever really know the full truth.

  69. Stephen Craig says:

    Paul:

    I respect your opinions, but in reading your responses to what I have written, do feel the need to clarify what I said (or perhaps we are simply on “different wavelengths” here). First and foremost, I do ( and I stress I am speaking solely for myself) put LVH in the same category as a TW, SA, or PK. Each and everyone of them participated in and was convicted of multiple counts of first degree murder. The difference between LVH and the others is that she was convicted of two counts while the others were convicted of seven. Perhaps to you, that makes her less villainous than the others, but not to me. Over the years I have read a lot about this particular crime, (and am old enough to remember when they occurred) and I personally feel no need to continue to determine her role in this crime. Not only do I have the testimony of her codefendants, but more importantly, I have her own account of the participation in these horrendous murders. Unlike others, I am unwilling to engage in the rationalizations of her supporters when lobbying for her release. What she has admitted herself about her own actions that night is enough anecdotal evidence for me to conclude exactly what LVH is: a destroyer. If others wish to count stab wounds, hypothesize when Mrs. LaBianca succumbed to her wounds, go right ahead. Again, it makes no difference to me; all of these defendants entered the LaBianca, and all of them helped slaughter them. For me, all of their hands are “dirty” and no one has hands that are “less dirty” than the others. In this case, all of their hands are “filthy”.

    IMO, I feel that LVH has been separated from the other defendants in certain realms of public opinion for a variety of reasons. One of the reasons I think is because of her seeming “reasonableness” over the years. She always seemed much more reflective to me than the others. She also could be very charming, a vibe I never felt whenever listening to PK or SA.
    She also, and I think this is really important, did not participate in the murder of a obviously pregnant woman. With all due respect to the others killed at the Polanski home, the slaughter of Tate left little room for any sympathy towards any one who participated in her/those murders. I think most folks wanted to see all of those bastards fry, despite any mitigating circumstances or opinions regarding the death penalty. And of course, she has indeed made the most of her time while incarcerated. But, once again, none of this changes what occurred in the early morning hours of Aug. 10, 1969. Dead is dead.

    Whatever LVH’s mindset were at the time of the commission of these crimes (IMO) truly has no relevance to me; what matters is what occurred in the residence and to the victims. Perhaps all of the defendants were high in drugs, perhaps they had been brainwashed, perhaps they all lost their individual identities and became part of a groupthink mentality, perhaps this, perhaps that. No matter where their “heads” were when the entered the LaBianca home, they killed; collectively they killed innocent people who are the true victims of this sad event, and the ones that have suffered the most. Not the defendants, their families, or society at large, but the “middle-aged couple” who were killed in the most horrific way possible and lost out on all the opportunities life has to offer. For me, this is the most important, and tragic, “fact” of this case.

    Now having gone on like some kind of mental patient, let me conclude that I do believe that there is a good chance that one day LVH will be paroled one day. As I’ve indicated, I do feel she has met the parameters of the conditions for parole at the time of her conviction. But parole will never undo all the damage and unimaginable sorrow she has caused. She can never undo what she did. She will always be a killer.

  70. Cybele Moon says:

    My thoughts exactly Stephen.

    I don’t deny that she may be paroled according to the law today. I don’t say she is not remorseful or has not tried to change her life and that there is not some credit in that.
    I don’t think Stephen Kay said she “should” be paroled but that she probably would be someday but I’m sure Paul will find something to correct me on this. I believe Bugliosi said the same thing. But again just because she didn’t kill as many as Tex or PK or SA (who eventually claimed she hadn’t stabbed Tate) doesn’t make her any more admirable. There will always be doubt as to what really happened -and who could ever totally trust anyone who was even long ago capable of such acts?

    I agree people can change but somehow Leslie’s supporters seem to try to make her into some long suffering heroine of injustice which I cannot, nor can I call her a sweet and gentle soul as some have here.

    Again, everyone is entitled to their opinions on this.

  71. Paul says:

    cybele – “Paul, you are such a nit picker lol” but its true nevertheless.

  72. Paul says:

    Stephen Craig;

    “I do ( and I stress I am speaking solely for myself) put LVH in the same category as a TW, SA, or PK.”

    What category is this? if you refer to the category of those who acted in a first degree murder crime then sure, but that’s the only category really I can see you fitting them into one.

    “Not only do I have the testimony of her co defendants, but more importantly, I have her own account of the participation in these horrendous murders.”

    Its the testimony that makes it clear that Leslie was very unenthusiastic about the killings even though she wanted to participate, just have to read Tex Watson’s account of the crime where he stated he made stab Mrs LaBianaca becuase she hadn’t done anything at that point. In Leslie’s account she kept busy removing fingerprints because she didn’t want to participate in what Krenwinkel or Tex was doing in the living room including the writings on the wall or the craving on Leno’s stomach, she clearly was not coping with the act of murder the way she hoped she would and that definitely makes a difference in her character compared to the other two, even to this day.

    The courts and the parole hearings will always bring the mindset and the specifics in the crime into account when they judge a defendant so it is always important whatever the crimes is to look at those.

  73. Paul says:

    “I don’t think Stephen Kay said she “should” be paroled but that she probably would be someday but I’m sure Paul will find something to correct me on this. I believe Bugliosi said the same thing.”

    If you look hearing transcripts in the 80s he does say she should be paroled at some point. As for Bugliosi, he usually stated that none of them should be paroled though admitted Leslie would likely be freed one day. Though he did seem to have a change of heart when Atkins was dying and asked for compassionate release.

    “somehow Leslie’s supporters seem to try to make her into some long suffering heroine of injustice which I cannot”

    The injustice is clearly there in terms of law because legally her case has been handled poorly for political reasons by the governor and the parole board in the past. The only reason you don’t care about this is because murder is involved but by law that’s not a ticket to manipulate the system.

  74. NoJusticeNoPeace says:

    Stephen Craig said:
    “The difference between LVH and the others is that she was convicted of two counts while the others were convicted of seven. Perhaps to you, that makes her less villainous than the others, but not to me. Over the years I have read a lot about this particular crime, (and am old enough to remember when they occurred) and I personally feel no need to continue to determine her role in this crime. Not only do I have the testimony of her codefendants, but more importantly, I have her own account of the participation in these horrendous murders. Unlike others, I am unwilling to engage in the rationalizations of her supporters when lobbying for her release. What she has admitted herself about her own actions that night is enough anecdotal evidence for me to conclude exactly what LVH is: a destroyer. If others wish to count stab wounds, hypothesize when Mrs. LaBianca succumbed to her wounds, go right ahead. Again, it makes no difference to me; all of these defendants entered the LaBianca, and all of them helped slaughter them. For me, all of their hands are “dirty” and no one has hands that are “less dirty” than the others. In this case, all of their hands are “filthy”.”

    Bravo. Freakin’ Braaaa-hahahaaaaav-O

    Brilliant.

  75. Fred Bloggs says:

    Billy Esquire says:

    “This was Van Houten’s fourth consecutive parole suitability recommendation.”

    Isn’t that sentence ridiculous? Kind of makes you wonder why they even have parole boards if their recommendations aren’t going to be followed

    On one level, I agree with you. It does seem bizarre that if the board says ‘no’ to parole, the Guv’nor doesn’t overturn their recommendation ! They agree with the recommendation, right ?
    Yet…….
    I believe in checks and balances. And however imperfect it may appear or however poorly it may sometimes be utilized, those checks and balances are crucial. We may not always like the decisions those with overall responsibility make {and I’m not so gullible as to suppose their motives & actions are always noble and pure} but it’s a far more dangerous situation to not have someone be able to countermand a decision a board makes.
    Look at the situation with Ed Kemper, someone I’ve mentioned before. He murdered his Grandma and Grandpa but after 6 or so years in jail, his release was recommended. And now, he’s inside having gone on to murder a further 8 people.
    Or look at Pedro Lopez. He was known to have murdered 53 girls but because the country he was in at the time had no death sentence, he was released after 16 years and confessed to over 300 murders. And was released again !
    Even over here in England, in the last couple of years we’ve had terrorist attacks in which it emerged that the perpetrator had been released early from prison where they were for terrorist offenses. These guys went on to commit murder on the streets.
    So on balance, it is far better to have a system like the one California has where at least the common citizen is free to debate the merits of any decisions because the Guv’nor has to openly say why they have made the decision they did.
    If that sounds like a contradiction of what I said earlier, it’s not. I happen to think that the reasons both Guv’nors have given regarding Leslie Van Houten’s reversals have been demonstrably untrue and therefore unsound. But I’m not arguing that they should not have the freedom to be able to make those decisions. Parole boards don’t always get it right.

    What was the main difference in Leslie’s wilder years and everybody else’s? One thing….Manson. With the help of repetitive LSD and other drugs, Leslie’s brain became fried, she was brainwashed to believe things that were not so by Manson, and she frequently couldn’t determine truth and reality. The perpetual drugs brought on legitimate psychosis, with obvious delusional beliefs, thanks to Manson’s endless preaching while she was under the influence of mind altering drugs

    This is such a paradox.
    Let me just start by saying that I don’t believe she ever would have committed murder had she not met up with and been involved with Charlie. I don’t think any of them would have.
    Yet at the same time, she was not forced to kill, she did so of her own free choice and volition. You earlier mentioned and linked to that infamous Marvin Part interview. Well, in that interview, she states that what motivated her more than anything else was Pat having killed. And she wanting to show that she too was strong in what she believed. Long before Manson told her to do so, she said she hoping that if there were more killings, that she could go.
    As for LSD, again, we have a paradoxical situation. Those that dismiss its place in her mindset simply are not recognizing the facts or the power of the drug. Those that emphasize its place in her actions are ignoring the myriad other factors that went in tandem with her. To say she killed because her brain was fried with acid is not accurate. Her responses at the actual moment of killing are very ordinary, like what most of us would go through. Fear. Reluctance. Second thoughts. On the other hand to say that acid played no part is daft, but it didn’t cause her to kill. It helped shaped the mindset of the person that went on to kill.
    Delusions are not unusual either in acid heads or in people with absolutely no trace of mental illness. As a Christian, some would say I have serious delusions regarding some things I believe. Many in the West would say communists are under delusions. Loads of people think Donald Trump lives under delusions. Wars have been fought and people massacred by those with delusions but those people were perfectly rational. Many males have delusions about females. It’s called sexism {!!}. So Leslie’s delusions at the time of the murders don’t excuse her. They don’t mean that she was incapacitated from thought.
    What’s interesting is that back in early 1970 she fought hard against any semblance of a notion that she was nuts or out of her mind. She sacked the interviewer of that tape, Marvin Part, because he thought she was gone clear and was trying to get the judge to hear the tape so he would agree. But 3 psychs listened to the tape and said she was sane. They agreed with Leslie. And even more interesting is that over the years, she’s not said she was mentally ill, unlike Susan Atkins.
    One last thing for now ~ John Lennon, at the height of the Beatles’ power and influence, when he was writing some of his greatest songs, in his heavy acid phase believed he was Jesus. He gathered the other Beatles and their entourage to give them the news. No one thought to have him committed, no one speaks of him as having been mentally deficient.
    The Manson case will always be a paradox. I personally find that when people try to come down on it from one specific side or the other, they really miss viewing what is running down the middle ~ and that includes many of the writers that have written great books on the subject.

  76. Cybele Moon says:

    Paul, according the recent book chaos the system was manipulated back then and for that matter is probably manipulated frequently.
    You appear to be an expert on every point of legality and every nuance of the story in Leslie’s case for whatever reason ( are you a barrister or lawyer by chance?) Your arguments are well thought out and articulated.
    You think Leslie didn’t get a fair deal in the system and often quote her version of events or Tex’s as though gospel. I say who can know for certain. Whether or not she was re tried after her first lawyer had died it still remains she was part of the murders.

    I do understand your position of sticking to the letter of the law as it stands. I do think she has a chance of getting out and that she has has an excellent lawyer fighting for this. However there is a kind of irony here in that it has not been easy for her to be paroled and so I suppose on a higher level I find that not unjust considering the lasting impact of those crimes, and on the victims and victim’s families. Fred says checks and balances are crucial even after parole recommendation. I agree. Many people ask “what is justice” really?
    And yes, I’ll own that as my own feelings about it which is what we are all spouting on this forum.

    You say ” The only reason “I” don’t care about this( her “unjust” treatment) is because murder is involved ”
    Absolutely! – very cruel and heinous murders that haunt people to this day.

  77. Michael says:

    From the final scene of Judgement at Nuremberg, when Herr Rolf, the attorney defending Nazi war criminals, addresses Judge Heywood, who has just sentenced them to life in prison. Rolf says he will wager that the men sentenced to life will someday be freed. In response, the Judge says:

    “Herr Rolf, I have admired your work in the courtroom for many months. You are particularly good in the use of logic. So what you suggest may very well happen. It is logical in view of the times in which we live. But to be logical is not to be right. And nothing on God’s earth could ever make it right.”

  78. Ray says:

    I am a strong proponent for the release of Leslie Van Houten…
    Once again she has been granted eligible for parole.
    This is the fourth time in a row. At the time, she was tried with Manson, Susan Atkins, who is now deceased, and Patricia Krenwinkel.
    Leslie’s attorney was found dead during the trial, and her sentence was overturned because she could not receive a fair trial.
    The original convictions for all was death in the gas chamber. Briefly, the death penalty was deemed unconstitutional and all sentences, amounting to about 600, were reduced to life in prison.
    Her next trial ended in a hung jury.
    Her third trial, she was found guilty and sentenced to 7 years to life.
    By the time of this conviction, she had already served more than 7 years and was technically eligible for parole.
    She had been denied parole 19 times before her first grant to be released.
    At that time, Gov. Jerry Brown overturned her parole, then he did it again.
    Now, new Gov. Gavin Newsom did the same last year, and I fear he is going to overturn this recommendation again.

    Let it be known that she was 19 years old at the time, and her part in the second night of the Tate – LaBianca killings was 16 post mortem stab wounds to Rosemary LaBianca’s lower back.
    That in no way excuses what she did, but according to the law, she has paid her debt to society.

    I didn’t always agree with the law. I lived in California when these killings happened. I was afraid at that time.
    I, like so many, wanted them in prison forever.
    I have gone to Spahn Ranch, where “The Family” stayed, though by that time it had burned down.
    I went up Cielo Dr and saw the Tate home before it was demolished.
    All of this madness was close to home.
    But over the years I started to see things in a different light. I read the transcripts of several of Leslie’s parole hearings. She had changed her life and got degrees while incarcerated.

    She is 70 years old now. Justice has been served.
    Talking points about her staying in jail at this point are nothing more than revenge.
    Dangling freedom in front of her face only to have it yanked away by the Governor is not justice, but revenge.
    That is not how our democracy and our rule of law works.
    If her name had not been attached to Manson, who thankfully is finally dead, she would have been released decades ago.

    Gov. Brown and Gov. Newsom are both progressive Democrats. I expected them to do the right thing. I expected more from them.
    They chose to cave to political pressure because of the Manson name, and that is unfair and unfortunate.

    When I had a change of heart a few years ago, I got in contact with Debra Tate, Sharon’s sister, and told her I could no longer support her position for reasons I’ve described.
    Leslie was not there the night before when Sharon was murdered. I sympathize with her pain.
    But it has been over 50 years.

    It is time to release Leslie Van Houten.
    I am drafting a letter to send to her giving my full support.
    Justice, not revenge. Let her go.

  79. Fred Bloggs says:

    Billy Esquire says:
    Put all this together and Leslie was obviously not in her right mind, and she couldn’t come into her right mind while Manson was relentlessly giving her drugs and making her truly believe he was some kind of god

    I don’t think it’s as easy as to say Manson made her truly believe he was some kind of God. One of Charlie’s most interesting statements came during his trial when he said

    “I may have implied on several occasions to several different people that I may have been Jesus Christ, but I haven’t decided yet what I am or who I am.”

    The writer Steve Turner, when talking about pop stars encountering acid, made the point that many, after their initial trips emerged with their egos mauled, not knowing quite if they’d seen God or were God. It’s not unusual for people under the influence of psychedelics to have some kind of Christ/God conflation or to think that someone with you is some kind of God/Christ/guru figure. The Beatles thought the Maharishi was some kind of conduit to the higher power. Pete Townshend and others thought the same of Baba Maher. These were drug influenced realizations and no one speaks of them as not being in their right minds at the time. Neither does anyone speak of them as having been forced down that road or made to come to those conclusions.
    It’s just not that simple.
    Manson himself believed he was Christ and the devil.

  80. Cybele Moon says:

    Hey Ray,
    fair enough but some thoughts on a couple of your comments.

    “she has paid her debt to society.”
    In the case of murder (actually this was more a butchery), how can a debt like that ever be repaid or justice ever truly served -whether or not she is released.

    “But it has been over 50 years.”
    Does that make the crime or the loss any less?

    I feel for all victims of that kind of crime whatever the outcome for the perpetrators.

  81. Michael says:

    Ray, if I was advocating for Leslie’s release, I sure wouldn’t be calling for justice. I have heard her say during one of her parole hearings that she was asking for mercy, not justice. Also, I heard Charles Watson say during a taped interview that if justice had been served, he would have been put to death. Susan Atkins also said, in her book, that she deserved her sentence, which was death.

    The commuting of their death sentences was mercy. The years they’ve been given to live and function, even in a limited way, are a mercy. And if she is paroled, which she may well be, that will be an extraordinary mercy.

  82. Fred Bloggs says:

    Billy Esquire says:
    When determining punishment for criminals, I think all the circumstances should be considered

    They are. That’s what the various phases in the trial are supposed to do. A good example is Steve Grogan, one of the murderers of Shorty Shea. His jury found him guilty and voted for the death penalty. The Judge, James Kolts, noted that Grogan was out of his head on drugs, not smart enough to have weighed up all of the nuances of what he was doing and recognized Charlie Manson as the lynchpin of the crime and associated crimes and reduced the penalty to life. He was paroled 15 years later and has kept his nose clean ever since. Leslie simply would not let any of those things be said about her even though Marvin Part, Ira Reiner and Maxwell Keith were bending over backwards to have these things recognized when they were her lawyer.
    I don’t even think it is unfair to say that Leslie ended up where Leslie ended up because of Leslie. It wasn’t even because of Manson. Before she was ever identified as even being part of any murders, a good 6 weeks after she could have taken any drug, while she was in jail, away from Manson’s influence, she was interviewed by LAPD detectives investigating the Cielo crimes. She indicated to them that members of the Family were involved in the ‘Tate’ case. And when Mike McGann interviewed her, he said on more than one occasion {check out the 26 + 28 November ’69 interviews} that they were prepared to give her immunity in exchange for what she knew even if she was personally involved in any of the murders.
    Although she later told Karlene Faith that she would have felt like Judas, I bet looking back she wished she’d risked feeling like Judas.

    In Leslie’s case, I think it should have been considered that she was under the influence of Manson’s brainwashing, mind-altering drugs and delusional psychosis when she committed her crime. And there’s no denying any of those things

    Unfortunately, there is. She herself denied them and did so cogently and articulately. And during her original trial, she went to great lengths to appear normal and rationally explain why she did what she did. The defence called a number of psychiatrists but ultimately, it was not shown that she was, for want of a better word, batshit crazy. And in hearing her speak and watching her actions, the jury were never of the mind that she was out of her mind. In fact, one of the things that’s most striking about the books of William Zamora and Herman Tubick {who were jury members between whom there was a lot of friction} and William McBride who is interviewed in the Tubick book, is that they all took Leslie for who she was and was trying to be during the trials ~ someone who was articulate and able to express herself perfectly well. There was never any question in their minds that they were having to adjudicate someone displaying any signs of mental illness and it’s not an argument that we know more now about such things than they did in 1970/71.
    Fact is, she had enough presence of mind to play a part in the tale that was concocted for the penalty phase in which she tried to ‘put the hat’ on Linda Kasabian. And the jury saw right through the lies. Lies that took intelligence and clear thinking to play a part in, even if the story was ridiculous in itself..

    It is fully explainable and understandable what happened to her

    That I agree with. But that’s perhaps why I arrive at a different conclusion to both yourself and those that are solidly against her. Many think that attempts to explain are attempts to excuse. They really are not.

    It wasn’t something she planned, but it happened

    There again, that could be said of so many murderers.

    but after getting away from Manson and the constant LSD, she eventually came back to the real world

    Here’s a thing. That was applicable to Leslie back in Nov/Dec ’69. No longer hitting the acid, no longer in the Family enclave, she began thinking about her crimes, crying when she thought of Rosemary’s kids finding her dead. She implicated Bobby, Sadie, Mary, Clem, Tex, Charlie, Pat, Linda and herself in murder and conspiracy to commit murder. And said that given the same set of circumstances, she’d do it all again.
    Here’s another thing; not only did Leslie, when she was away from Charlie and acid hugely implicate Manson, the same thing happened with Linda, Pat and Susan. They all, when they were away from Charlie, implicated him to others as the mastermind behind the murders.
    So they were all able to think quite clearly when they had to, even as far as some of them deciding to throw in their lot with Charlie again.

  83. Fred Bloggs says:

    Billy Esquire says:
    Leslie became a completely different person as soon as she came out of her delusional state and was back to being the Leslie she had always been

    Hmmm……..
    But when did that occur ? As the Mike McGann and Marvin Part interviews show, as early as late ’69 she was showing that she could jump between rational articulacy, sorrow and denial of responsibility as and when it suited her. She may still have believed in Helter Skelter but that wasn’t in and of itself any proof of her not being in her right mind. Paul Watkins believed in it. Interestingly, even after Manson told him that they would have to start the revolution, he never said that that stopped him believing it. But he is not presented as being out of his head. On the contrary, his detractors are of the opinion that he was highly wilful and knew what he was doing.
    As for the Leslie she had always been, one needs to be careful on this because not only is life a continuum, the pre~Family Leslie was all over the place. Let’s not pretend that the trajectory she was on from the age of 14 to 18 was a healthy one, a desirable one or one that any of us would genuinely be happy with for our own children to be fired along.
    She has done, except for a brief 6 month period back in late 70s, all of her growing up in prison. The real Leslie isn’t just one person fixed in time. The real Leslie is like the real you, me or anyone else, an amalgam of the various junctures of life and filtered through and into this very moment.

    while Manson was relentlessly giving her drugs

    Leslie was a more experienced acid tripper than Manson was. She had been tripping away for at least two years before Manson ever tripped. He knew more about life, but not about drug induced states. And they both had in common that they liked drug induced states.

    Michael says:
    But I have never accepted the fact that a change in character erases the severity of our actions

    Nor have I. And I would never argue that. Even if the action was something relatively minor in comparison, like, I don’t know, urinating on someone, no change in character can erase the severity of that. We have no way of knowing how an action of ours may have affected someone. I told a tale a while ago about a friend of mine that was held up at gunpoint in a bank they worked in and how they went to pieces mentally after that, ended up living like a down and out and eventually died. Everyone that knew her was of the opinion that facing a gun behind the till was her fork in the road moment.
    But the robber didn’t shoot her. He didn’t even touch her. He didn’t fire the gun. Many people wouldn’t even ascribe any responsibility to him for any downhill slide and demise. But his actions had cataclysmic consequences. He’s unlikely to even be aware of the damage his actions caused, let alone believe there was a connection if he was aware.
    So assessing LVH’s current character isn’t about erasing her actions or the severity of them. She knows that can’t be done. Even if the LaBiancas had lived it couldn’t be done. But I think, depending on the severity of one’s actions, a 46 year change of direction can count for much. Even if there was no parole involved, if one heard that LVH had worked hard to turn herself around, one would have to look beyond anger, hurt and vengeance. It wouldn’t change what happened ~ nothing can do that ~ but are the families and friends of the victims always going to be content with simply knowing that the perp is behind bars ? Even the death of the perp cannot bring satisfaction or closure any more than a character change of the perp can erase or even ease the severity of what’s been done.
    So where do we go from here ?
    Debra Tate at Charles Watson’s last parole hearing said “Mr. Watson, I would like to have meetings with you. I would like to come and visit with you without counsel. I would like you to make me understand. There are other people in this room that would like the same thing although you have never offered that. I’m extending that gauntlet to him and let’s see what kind of Christian he is and what kind of Christian his counsel is. I want to see. Let me see. Let me understand. I really would like to believe that it’s all okay but in my heart right now, sirs and ma’am, it is not okay.”
    I’m not so naive to think that she was so wonderfully understanding back in 2016 or now but both her and Suzan LaBerge {the daughter of Rosemary LaBianca, who forgave him} demonstrate that cases like these are simply not as cut and dried over time as many would like us to believe. Sure, Debra doesn’t want any of the Manson killers out but equally, she is not just leaving it there.

  84. Cybele Moon says:

    Fred
    “I’m not so naive to think that she was so wonderfully understanding back in 2016 or now but both her and Suzan LaBerge {the daughter of Rosemary LaBianca, who forgave him} demonstrate that cases like these are simply not as cut and dried over time as many would like us to believe. Sure, Debra doesn’t want any of the Manson killers out but equally, she is not just leaving it there”

    Debra Tate took up the mission and mantle of her mother, Doris Tate and other sister Patti Tate who are now deceased. She is often reviled and cruelly disparaged by LVH supporters as though she were the criminal. I think Suzan LaBerge wanted parole of Tex Watson as well as forgiving him which Doris Tate in no uncertain terms opposed. I think she (D. Tate) said something to the effect that religious conversion is no criterion for a get out of jail free card. She was quite the force I think.

  85. Fred Bloggs says:

    Billy Esquire says:
    People say she could have left anytime she wanted, but Manson made it very clear that he would bring his mighty wrath down upon anyone that went against his wishes, and they witnessed that wrath against various others in the family many times

    This is true but it is kind of mitigated by the fact that Leslie didn’t want to leave. She’d told her mum that she was dropping out and wouldn’t hear from her again. She’d left her family behind. And this was before she’d met Charlie. She had no reason to leave Manson. The Family had become her family. She loved Pat and the lifestyle. She wasn’t truly looking to leave.
    There’s also the fact that Paul Watkins, Brooks Poston, Juanita Wildebush, TJ Walleman, Karate Dave and Ella Jo Bailey all left just before the murders, Linda Kasabian left in the middle of the spree, the likes of Tex, Babs Hoyt and Bruce came and went and came and Babs Hoyt, Sherry Anne Cooper, Stephanie Schram and Kitty Lutesinger all left while out in the desert.

    NoJusticeNoPeace says:
    No one will convince me LVH’s remorse is for anyone but herself. She’s played the victim card to her parole advantage for years under the guise to further her self reflection and take responsibility of her murderous actions: victim of forced abortion, victim of drugs, victim of 60’s culture, victim of parents divorce, victim of Manson, victim of Hughes death……
    Exactly when did these epiphanies manifest?

    At the various times they did ! Sometimes, the best and the worst of us come to certain realizations only when we have to, kicking and screaming.

    I think you like to debate. I don’t. I’m too lazy

    I do like to debate but more than that, I’m interested in what many people genuinely think and why.

    Stephen Craig says:
    throughout the years, LVH has demonstrated in her efforts to achieve parole, that she is remorseful. And I am perfectly willing to take her at her word. But so what? What impact does it truly have?

    When someone is being put into a “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” type situation, at that point you force some people to start questioning you, no matter how much pain you might be in. If LVH did a Charlie Manson and said “I have no remorse; I’ve got nothing to be remorseful about” would that honestly make those having to deal with the fallout feel any better just because the perp is in jail ? In this regard, however dodgy she might be in certain aspects, I do admire Debra Tate’s acknowledgement that some of the perps have been trying to be productive and law abiding in jail. It doesn’t mean she has to want them out. So when you ask “so what ?” the answer is that to someone, somewhere, it just may help ease some pain to know that at least they’re not dealing with someone that is openly flouting, mocking, deflecting and laughing at them. Again, it doesn’t mean you’d want them out. To put it another way, would it be preferable that no kind of remorse was forthcoming ?

    The fact that she is “sorry” for the slaughter she participated in and the horrendous ramifications of her crimes seems to be so important to some people

    Actually, it’s pretty important for a pretty large slice of the human race in general. In all kinds of situations. Some children that grow up without their Dad because he just upped and left and made no effort or with an alcoholic mum want them at some future stage to show some remorse. People accused wrongly or sacked wrongly from a job want to see one day see some remorse. There are millions of situations, ranging from minor to major where the remorse of a wrongdoer may be felt to be important.

    as if her acknowledging what she did was “wrong” displays an insight worthy of redemption

    Jeffrey Dahmer committed unspeakable crimes. So did Ted Bundy. Dahmer was always publicly remorseful, Bundy always arrogant and that’s partly why he’s seen in such a different light. It’s not about insights worthy of redemption. To put it in a most awkward way, are you saying that once a person has erred in the most heinous of ways, that it matters not at all if they are ever remorseful ?
    It’s worth bearing in mind that as human beings, we do operate on a sliding scale so while murder might be the worst thing that can happen to one set of people, for another set of people it might be police brutality or racism and for another set it might be an absent parent or a tribe in power that doesn’t care for your tribe and ensures your tribe is always at the bottom of the pile. Remorse doesn’t make everything all tickety-boo and alright but it certainly doesn’t make things worse.

    As if her confessing her remorse has washed her bloody hands clean, all is forgiven, go on your merry way, you’re now just like the rest of us, for you said you were “sorry”

    It’s a simple equation. A law says that one day you might be released from jail. When Manson was released in ’67, he went on what was called a mandatory release. He didn’t give a shit about the life of crime he’d led or the offence that landed him inside. He didn’t even want to leave prison.
    LVH on the other hand does and has recognized for 46 or so years that she ain’t going nowhere without some serious work on her being which involves it being made oh so clear precisely what her actions led to and how they have impacted and continued to impact people she didn’t even know. It wasn’t her decision to be rehabilitated initially, it was that of law enforcement. Certain people within the prison system took the gamble that they were not going to remain happy with people within their system remaining in the frame of mind the Family members were in and went to great pains to do something about this, almost as soon as their sentences of death were commuted.
    I can dig what you’re saying, particularly closer to the time. She’ll always be a murderer, I guess the way I’ll always be a thief even though the last time I stole something was 1982 when I was 19. Whatever we’ve done in the past doesn’t change but I don’t think of myself as a thief ! Society is under no compunction to forgive, our interest and the media that exists the way it does now ensures she will never be “just like the rest of us.” Her hands can’t be washed clean.
    But her remorse is important ~ if only to her. And you can’t blame her for that because many people won’t allow her remorse to be important to them.

  86. Billy Esquire says:

    Fred, wow, that is some obsessive thinking you’re doing there. I’m not sure why you feel such a compulsion to address what seems like EVERY SINGLE disagreement you have with others here, or why you obviously feel that the only one here that is 100% right on everything is you. I mean, to read your stuff, someone would literally have to set aside the better part of an afternoon to read and try to comprehend it all. And it’s like you can’t stop yourself from doing it. I can’t imagine that most people are willing to devote that much time, thought or energy to all your thoughts. I can appreciate NoJustice’s statement of being too lazy to debate you.😀 I mean I’m exhausted trying to read your stuff, and believe me, I tried!

    You seem like a nice enough chap and I have no ill will. Suffice it to say that I disagree with some of what you’ve said about my statements (many because you didn’t seem to follow what I was saying). But I haven’t the energy or inclination to address them. It’s just too much. Many of your statements remind me of that old Reagan quote where he said the trouble with the other party is not that they’re ignorant; it’s just that “they know so much that isn’t so.” To address the things you’ve said would be too much like work, and I don’t want it to be like work when I come here. I just like to read and discuss.

    You seem quite confident of your thoughts and beliefs, but that’s what they are….just YOUR personal beliefs. They likely aren’t all true, factual or provable….no more than anyone else’s. We all have our own thoughts and beliefs about what happened, and we each have our personal feelings about all the cast of characters. They are our personal thoughts and I don’t feel the goal should be to prove what others say here is wrong.

    The odd thing is that after all your rambling, I’m never sure what you’re trying to say or what YOU think should be Leslie’s fate (or any of the others for that matter). Have you ever said? You seem intent on presenting both sides of the issues and being the devil’s advocate much of the time, but I’m never sure what YOU think, or what YOU think should be acceptable justice for these people. I’d like to know.

  87. Fred Bloggs says:

    Billy Esquire says:
    wow, that is some obsessive thinking you’re doing there

    Fascinating that thinking about something and being able to articulate it should be viewed as obsessive. Like I said somewhere else, the only thing I’m obsessive about is…..breathing.

    I’m not sure why you feel such a compulsion to address what seems like EVERY SINGLE disagreement you have with others here

    I still find it interesting that no one that ever says that or words to that effect does so when I happen to be in agreement with them. Equally, do you not consider your thoughts to be worthy of reflection and comment or do you just want to say ?
    I don’t feel a compulsion to address everything I disagree with. But you did raise some points, interesting points, that I wanted to address. I mean, that is why we’re here is it not, to discuss various aspects of the case ? Some I’ll agree with, some I won’t, some things may be your opinion but some of our opinions are factually wrong or comprised of information that is factually wrong. If you hold an opinion, are you saying that it is sacrosanct and carved in stone and that no one is allowed to point out that some things you’ve based that opinion on are incorrect ? If that’s what you desire, fair enough. But it won’t happen in a milieu where people have something to say about what you might say.
    I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again, the way discussions work is that views and thoughts are shared, swapped and batted across to and fro. True, it’s harder online because we’re having to read and especially people we don’t know, but I think of these forums as a conversation place. And typically, conversations aren’t just you say a sentence, I say a sentence and that’s it.
    I’ll also often use someone’s quote as a jumping off point as they may have said something that has sparked my train of thought.

    you obviously feel that the only one here that is 100% right on everything is you

    I have views and opinions, same as you. Did you state what you did in your long post thinking “well, I’m wrong on this but I’m going to state it anyway” ? Of course not.
    In point of fact, there are lots of things pertaining to the case that I don’t or rarely comment about. But where I’ve taken the trouble to have done some research and feel that I can illuminate what someone else has said {either way} I will do. You don’t have to like it. I agree with some of what you’ve said and disagree with other parts. What’s the big deal ? If I’d just left it at “I don’t agree with some of that” would you not have any interest in knowing what I did or didn’t agree with ? Maybe you wouldn’t.

    to read your stuff, someone would literally have to set aside the better part of an afternoon to read and try to comprehend it all

    In these covid times, with people complaining of being a little stir-crazy and bored, the time is there if you want it. 😀
    Mind you, whatever I write here isn’t forced on anyone. You don’t have to read it. You can pass it by. I wouldn’t be surprised if some do and neither would I blame them.

    And it’s like you can’t stop yourself from doing it

    Ha ha, that’s a bit of a cheap shot that in times past would have gotten a person all squirrely. It doesn’t work with me, mate. This is a public page where people are free to share their views. You might have noticed that I don’t just bowl in, say “The bitch should be dead, let her rot in jail” or “Free her, she’s paid for her crime” and then just bowl out again until the next parole decision in a year. Which is not to say that there’s anything wrong with that style, it’s a style. Just not mine. I like to engage in conversation/debate.

    I can’t imagine that most people are willing to devote that much time, thought or energy to all your thoughts

    There’s probably many things you can’t imagine that just might surprise you if you did.

    I’m exhausted trying to read your stuff, and believe me, I tried!

    Well, I appreciate the effort.

    To address the things you’ve said would be too much like work, and I don’t want it to be like work when I come here. I just like to read and discuss

    That’s funny, I’m the same. I like to read and discuss. I do accept however, that some discussions can have difficult moments.

    You seem quite confident of your thoughts and beliefs, but that’s what they are….just YOUR personal beliefs

    Naturally. I don’t pretend otherwise. Neither do I apologize for that.

    They likely aren’t all true, factual or provable

    Possibly, but they are what they are and they are based on what the various characters in the saga {and there’s loads of them} have said at various time with much factual back up. For example, So many people say that all LVH did was stab a dead body. If one takes what LVH has said consistently over half a century about how many times she stabbed Rosemary, then I don’t really care what yours or anyone else’s opinion is because Rosemary’s autopsy factually scotches that statement. Now, you may choose to ignore that. I may choose to ignore that my hand is being burned if I pour petrol on it and set it alight. Doesn’t mean it isn’t being burned. By the same token, many people say LVH has always minimized her responsibility by saying she “only” stabbed a dead body. Well, again, given that in private to her lawyer, in her trial even when she was lying and trying to declare she was guilty of murder and subsequently, over half a century she has said she thought the body was dead and the clincher, she told her friend Dianne that and that’s what landed her with a death sentence and in her present predicament, well, I don’t really care what anyone’s opinion is on that matter; I’m satisfied she thought it in ’69. Doesn’t change anything about her standing.
    So, in some aspects there is wiggle room and plenty of it. In others there is none at all. If you’re not confident enough to hold that sort of opinion, I won’t fault you for it. I do myself in certain aspects. But not others. What can I say ? You seem to want to live in a world where everyone is right and our opinions are actually more important than whether or not the opinion can stand up to being challenged and examined.

    We all have our own thoughts and beliefs about what happened, and we each have our personal feelings about all the cast of characters. They are our personal thoughts and I don’t feel the goal should be to prove what others say here is wrong

    I agree. That’s not the goal at all but it sometimes is a by-product and an unavoidable one at that. I’ve been through the phase where I might say something that can’t stand up and have been pulled up by others. And I’m glad they did so. It makes a person much more careful about what they say.

  88. Fred Bloggs says:

    Billy Esquire says:
    The odd thing is that after all your rambling, I’m never sure what you’re trying to say or what YOU think should be Leslie’s fate (or any of the others for that matter). Have you ever said?

    Like with many things with me, I have a nuanced stance on this matter. On June 4th last year I stated:
    “if Leslie remains in jail till she dies, justice will have been served. It will also have been served if the system that incarcerated her has mercy and grants her parole. But it’s deviating from that if no reasons can be found to continue her incarceration but uses as its reasons for doing so, things that the record itself show to not be true” and 5 days later, stated:
    “I have never argued that Leslie should [as of right] be paroled, rather, that the reasons put forth to reverse the board’s decision are demonstrably untrue. And that if she is paroled, “deserve” has got nothing to do with it. Parole is a recognition from LE and granted by LE, not something the prisoner has some divine right to. That said though, it is something for the inmate to aim towards.”
    I haven’t left that position. The key for me has always been this; what has the inmate done to move away from the mindset that landed them in jail and committal of the offence in the first place ? How long have they been on that trajectory ? What have their behaviour, attitude and actions been like and over how long a period ? Have they genuinely showed signs that they have moved away from the opening mindset ? Do they act like parole is their right or do they recognize that it is something granted rather than earned ? Incidentally, if one feels that one has satisfied the requirements of a parole board {and it’s important to note that the guv’nor doesn’t set the criteria here, the parole boards do} and the guv’nor overturns their decision, it’s not necessarily showing an arrogant sense of entitlement to appeal against and fight the decision.
    Now, if the guv’nor has an opposing view to the people whose responsibility it is to determine if someone is suitable, their reasons have to be rock solid. I don’t see that Guv’nors Brown and Newsome’s have been. They’ve said things that the record shows are not true. Even some of LVH’s haters can see that and have admitted that they don’t care, whatever it takes to keep her inside. Obviously, it is a matter of interpretation as to whether the guv’nor has a leg to stand on but I don’t think they have and since 2018, I’ve pointed out ad nauseum why I think that.
    Also, here, {look at my January 10th 2019 entry, directly after Cybele Moon’s entry and in answer to Pam} I give my view on parole of the remaining incarcerated ex-Family members. There, I say “with Leslie, I’d be more inclined to vote in her favour although it is by no means a foregone conclusion that I would” and I stand by that. It is not a simple matter for me, I haven’t joined either side, either supporter or detractor ~ and it’s instructive that despite this, many of her detractors see me as a died in the wool supporter.

    You seem intent on presenting both sides of the issues

    Well………
    For starters, it’s ironic that you pitch me as someone that just has to always be right because my experience on Manson Family forums, there’s often been a huge percentage of people that speak as if they are right. Now, I don’t have a problem with that because that is human. But I do have a mighty problem with it if, in order to try and show one is right, one has to trot out information in support of the conclusion that is not right. And it happens much of the time. On all sides of the equation. All the killers did it. A number of people connected with the case did it. Some of the journalists and authors did/do it. But to an extent, they’re all understandable. But because of them, over a 51 year period, we have access to loads of information. Now, I’m not so naive as to presume that every argument is settled. There’s loads of stuff that we still don’t know and I think will never know. For example, we’ll never know exactly what happened inside Cielo. We can never know if any of the fatal blows to Rosemary were actually done by LVH. There’s so much we can’t really know. But by the same token, there’s lots we do know. Making statements in ignorance isn’t a crime; I’ve done it plenty of times ! But what do you do when you come up against it frequently ? There is so much misinformation regarding this case and all sides perpetrate it. And do so often in support of the points being made. So it’s only fair to say, “well, hang on a minute…..”
    Besides which, I recognize nuance and paradox in life. I find it to be more real than straight down the line, black and white scenarios. Not always but far more often than most I encounter would care to acknowledge.
    Till we meet again young sir………..

    You seem like a nice enough chap

    I wouldn’t go betting your life savings on that, Billy. 😀

  89. Billy Esquire says:

    There you go again, Fred. Lol….😜

    Fred Bloggs: “Fascinating that thinking about something and being able to articulate it should be viewed as obsessive.”

    Oh, so you disagree that you’re obsessive, Fred? No more than anyone else? Riiigt…😉

    Somehow, I think you understand all too well, Fred. Let me count the ways. The obsession/compulsion I’m referring to is when you repetitively quote others and then write 3,000 word compositions on what you quoted, and then doing that over and over and over again with everyone you feel the need to correct, as if it’s your job. Sometimes it gets so bad that you come back the next day to take up where you left off and write another 10,000 words. And if you haven’t been around in awhile, you even go back and quote people from several weeks ago just so you’ll get your opinion in to what they said. It’s as if you think the main reason people come around here is to read what you say. I know it surprises you, but that’s NOT the only reason people come here. It’s obvious you use this forum as your personal blog, hence “Fred Bloggs,” but try to control yourself.

    Billy Esquire: “You seem like a nice enough chap.”

    Fred Bloggs: “I wouldn’t go betting your life savings on that, Billy.”

    I knew that, Fred, but thought I’d be nice. I shouldn’t have said that. It’s all about Fred ladies and gentlemen! 😃

  90. NoJusticeNoPeace says:

    Some people are wordy. Some, like me get to the point without a dissertation. Bloviated I’m not. My point of view is simple. Let her rot. The end. Lazy, no and if I want to digest knowledge it’s not from opinion. I prefer facts. What I’m lazy about when it comes to Mr. Bloggs is it seems if he has a schtick, it is dazzle ’em with bullshit, per selected line to drown you in words. If a man’s measure is by key stroke Fred is the tallest on the forum.

    That said, Fred’s pretty cool. No worries when you tune out the verbiage and look for the gist.

  91. Cybele Moon says:

    Yes, NJNP, we all have an opinion and some like to analyze more than others. Obviously Fred got under Billy’s skin. I was called a troll once because I gave a negative opinion on a Youtube post.
    But if it’s out there then there should be free speech for all pro or con, or else disable comments. There is controversy here and if someone wants to flaunt their mastery of English or logic or debate so be it. It’s always an interesting forum.

    Now as for LVH, it won’t bother me at all if she remains in prison. However, I get the argument legally that supporters claim, but I also agree with Fred, about how if she does get out it is a mercy and not a right that is owed to her no matter how mitigated her participation was. They were a pack intent on murder. I still can’t imagine any more terrifying or horrific experience that their victims suffered unless you were attacked by sharks.

  92. Michael says:

    Hey, we’ve all got our own style here. We reserve the right to be as lengthy or as brief as we want in our posts, and we likewise reserve the right to read, ignore, comment on, dispute, agree with, or just laugh at what someone else has posted. It’s a level playing field here and I hope we keep it that way.

  93. Billy Esquire says:

    Thanks, NoJustice, I’ll try to look at it like you said. Generally, I would have never mentioned Fred’s verbosity because that really wasn’t what bothered me. I just became overly incensed a few days ago because it seems that Fred’s main reason for being here isn’t to simply state his opinions on everything (and all the cast of characters), like everyone else does. His main purpose seems to be coming around and critiquing what others say and correcting everyone publicly when he perceives they don’t have it right. It’s like a drive-by bashing, and no one is spared! After everyone receives their needed flogging, he disappears again. I just found it especially tiresome that particular day. Sorry, Fred….sorry, everyone.

    But I’ve said all I wanted to say on the subject and I’ll say no more.

  94. Christy says:

    About 10 -15 years or so ago some guy was sentenced to 52 years for driving his car into another one and killing three people and seriously injuring a fourth. He didn’t mean to kill anyone he was drunk driving. Yet Leslie here should be forgiven for participating in a murder.

  95. Fred Bloggs says:

    Billy Esquire says:
    it seems that Fred’s main reason for being here isn’t to simply state his opinions on everything (and all the cast of characters), like everyone else does. His main purpose seems to be coming around and critiquing what others say

    That statement sums you up as nothing else you’ve said could, Bill. I like to engage with others, respond to what they say, agree or disagree and respect their view and their right to a view. I show the extent to which I value peoples’ opinions and am sparked off by things they’ve said by quoting them so at least whoever may want to read what I say knows what I’m responding to. I’m not the only person that does that here.
    You on the other hand just want to talk to yourself and spout your opinion, regardless of what anyone else may think. For all the difference you make in a public forum, you might as well just keep your thoughts to yourself. You’re in effect saying what you think is irrelevant. Which is ironic because actually, I think you brought up lots of great talking points.

    After everyone receives their needed flogging, he disappears again
    Like many people that contribute to blogs, I do have a life. Not everybody sits by their computer or phone waiting for blog action !

    Oh, Billy !

  96. Fred Bloggs says:

    NoJusticeNoPeace says:
    if I want to digest knowledge it’s not from opinion. I prefer facts

    Crazy, huh ? I learned a long time ago that opinions might be interesting, facts might not be quite so interesting but opinions formed with facts in mind may not solve much but make the best conversations !

    dazzle ’em with bullshit, per selected line to drown you in words

    Why, thank you sir. I think. 😜

    No worries when you tune out the verbiage and look for the gist

    I agree. A mate of mine used to say {no offence to non meat eaters} “chew the meat and spit out the bones.”
    Words to live by.

  97. Fred Bloggs says:

    Michael says:
    we likewise reserve the right to….ignore…..what someone else has posted

    I totally agree. I think of it like a song on an album one doesn’t like. It doesn’t matter what the artist had in mind, how much they fought for the song, how deep it is, how long it took to record and all the rest. If you don’t like it, don’t listen to it !

  98. Fred Bloggs says:

    Christy says:
    About 10 -15 years or so ago some guy was sentenced to 52 years for driving his car into another one and killing three people and seriously injuring a fourth. He didn’t mean to kill anyone he was drunk driving

    Do you think that was a fair sentence ?

  99. Fred Bloggs says:

    Billy Esquire says:
    it seems that Fred’s main reason for being here isn’t to simply state his opinions on everything (and all the cast of characters), like everyone else does. His main purpose seems to be coming around and critiquing what others say and correcting everyone publicly when he perceives they don’t have it right

    Things are not always as they seem.

  100. Fred Bloggs says:

    Cybele Moon says:
    But if it’s out there then there should be free speech for all pro or con, or else disable comments
    That’s what I’ve always thought when it comes to public forums.

  101. Fred Bloggs says:

    Cybele Moon says:
    we all have an opinion and some like to analyze more than others

    If I tried that in Russia, China, Zimbabwe or North Korea I’d get more than Billy moaning online. So I guess I should be grateful that I don’t have the state security forces kicking down my door because I happen to like conversation at times.

  102. Fred Bloggs says:

    Billy Esquire says:
    Billy Esquire says:
    There you go again, Fred

    You made a point that you couldn’t work out what I thought of LVH’s parole and asked me if I’d ever said. I should have known that you didn’t want a response because you’re into talking to yourself.
    Silly me. 🔥

  103. Fred Bloggs says:

    Billy Esquire says:
    After everyone receives their needed flogging, he disappears again

    I know you said this to NJNP but don’t tell anyone………….but this could kind of imply that you have been noting my absence and awaiting my reply. ⭐️✨ Otherwise how would you know and why would it matter ?

    It’s all about Fred ladies and gentlemen!

    Naughty of me, but I’ve just been playing with you for the last 7 posts. In a sort of obsessive, superior, 🧐 verbose, flagellating, drive~by kind of way.
    Short sentences too ! 🤮

  104. Christy says:

    Fred, the guy had a previous dui. He’d been involved in a one car accident, he was the only one in the car. The conditions for him was a suspended license, attending alcohol intervention classes and community service. One other thing. It sounds like he either avoided jail time or cut it down by signing a document that said he understood if he ever caused a fatal accident by driving drunk he knew he could be prosecuted for 2nd degree murder.

    By the time he killed the three people he was driving on a suspended license. Wasn’t supposed to be drinking yet spent the afternoon and early evening at two bars. How he managed to drive as far as he did amazes me (I’m familiar with the area). He also tried to leave the scene.

    It’s weird because he was with his cousin and I think was his cousin’s car. They weren’t heading home either. He completely disregarded previous warnings. Thing is even though he’s not supposed to be drinking he could have at home or his cousin’s house and nobody would know. Yet, instead, headed to a bar. I think it’s this disregard for the law that drew this sentence. That and it looks like he’d do this again since he either can’t or refuses to stop.

  105. Cybele Moon says:

    Ok ok lol!! Lively stuff at any rate!! I do try not to take things said against my opinions too seriously. e.g. I had a very civilized exchange with Mr. Pfeiffer before. I didn’t agree with everything he said but I respected his conclusions and stance from a lawyer’s position.

    Now for something else. Rich Pfeiffer appeared in a program I just happened to watch last night about two murders that have remained unsolved and that occurred around the same time as the Tate LaBianca murders. It was a segment of “People Magazine’s Investigative Reports”.

    Two young women were found brutally stabbed to death during the year 1969 and in the same vicinity as Tate/LaBianca , one earlier in the year and one later on. They were also quite horrific. Some investigators believe it could very easily have been someone in the Manson family and have pursued that. There was some emphasis put on “The Tex Tapes” once again which is also covered in the book “Chaos.” Mr. Pfeiffer speaks about them on camera and has tried many times to get them released. Even the investigative reporters wonder why they haven’t by now been made “public knowledge” and are being kept secret. Of course the old conspiracy theories then raise their heads – but it does make you wonder!!

  106. Pam says:

    I find it fascinating the people who support these killers. What a waste of energy. All the support should be for the victims. I think of the pain and suffering of Doris Tate, this crime destroyed her family. These killers receive free housing, food, education and medical care. What did they give their victims? There should NEVER be parole for these types of crimes!

  107. Cybele Moon says:

    Christy there are so many stories like that. Apparently the woman (Audrey Kishline) who started Moderation Management ( for those who don’t want to completely quit drinking) also ended up killing two people. Such a tragedy!!

    Pam I hope you don’t mean me! I have no problem with them all remaining in jail til they die. I also think it’s possible LVH may get parole no matter how I feel. But I do think we all deserve a forum to speak without insults ( if possible lol).

  108. Billy Esquire says:

    Sitting here thinking about California letting tens of thousands of jailbirds out of prison due to the virus, and wondering what ridiculous reason Newsom is going to make up THIS time for not letting Leslie be one of them….despite her age and risk for Covid.

    Should we all put our best guesses in for how he’s going to overturn her 4th parole?

    My guess is that he’s probably just going to stay with the tried and true excuse of the 71 year old lady still being much too dangerous to be let out! 🤔 😏

  109. Cybele Moon says:

    Billy, they didn’t let Susan Atkins go either and she would not have been a danger at the end. I doubt if Watson, Beausoleil, Davis or Krenwinkel will be released either. Unfortunately or not unfortunately, the memory of the horrifying butchery of the crimes themselves has played a part in so many not wanting any of them released- ever. This has always been a very unusual – and savage murder case and story. I don’t know if I could ever trust anyone’s thinking process who had been involved in something like that. But we shall see what happens.

  110. Billy Esquire says:

    Cybele, Susan Atkins was never recommended for parole like Leslie…not even one time, much less 4 times. Prior to her death, Atkins also hadn’t been in prison anywhere near as long as Leslie has been. Atkins died at age 61, Leslie is nearly 71.

    I try to look at it only logically, not with “feelings” involved. Is Leslie eligible for parole? Yes, she is. Has she met the conditions and qualified for parole? Yes, 4 times now, according to the parole board. Therefore, she should be set free. And she would be if the governor was being fair and honest, but he is obviously not….and everyone knows it.

    Leslie’s future is black and white; it’s completely logical. What’s not logical, and is instead wholly unfair, is when politicians continually REFUSE to set a prisoner free after they have clearly qualified for parole. Politicians should not be allowed to hold a human being purely for political reasons, yet, everyone knows full well that’s exactly why Leslie is being held. It’s inhumane and it’s cruel punishment. She has met all conditions for parole many times over. Politicians should not be allowed to hold her without legitimate reason(s), and if they do, they should be swept from office because they are corrupt. That is supposed to be the world we live in. Doing the right thing is supposed to matter because it’s important.

    There are many here that believe Leslie and all the rest should rot in jail. That is their opinion and prerogative and that’s fine. But it’s goes directly against her sentence and the whole parole system. You can’t just make the rules harder for her because of how sensational the case was.

    IMO, the only reason Leslie is STILL being held is not because of what SHE did, but because of what Manson did…..and the rest, especially Watson. That’s not fair.

  111. Fred Bloggs says:

    Christy says:
    I think it’s this disregard for the law that drew this sentence. That and it looks like he’d do this again since he either can’t or refuses to stop

    I think you’re right. While I do think 52 years was overly harsh, I certainly think he should have gone away for a seriously long time. I started school 52 years ago !

    Pam says:
    the people who support these killers. What a waste of energy

    They obviously don’t think so.
    And is it a waste of energy to stand by someone that has erred ? To be of the persuasion that some people can respond to a second chance ? Is that uncivilized ? I don’t know if you believe in God or not but if you do, then you obviously can’t think much of God because having support for those that go wrong is God’s way. And that, in no way, means that the families and loved ones of victims must ∴ be unsupported or are unsupported.

    These killers receive free housing

    Such as it is. A tiny cell that one has to shit in as well as eat in and an environment where one is constantly looking over one’s shoulder. I spent one afternoon in a police cell. That was enough for me. They can keep their free housing !

    food

    I know I shouldn’t laugh, but I had to the other day when I was watching a video that an ex-con made in which he was talking about being in a jail in Atlanta in 1998/99 and the meat that they were given to eat not only couldn’t be identified, it was apparently “Gulf war issue” and had an expiry date of 1992 stamped on the boxes !

    education

    Even if someone is in prison on a LWOP sentence, do you not think that it could be better and in some way productive for society to have people receive an education of sorts in prison ? Can you not think of any benefits to this ?

    medical care

    The real underbelly of being against the medical care of prisoners must be a mindset that in effect says that anyone that errs, even in murder, may as well be thrown away. Yet though many of us may instinctively feel this I bet it would be different if it was our spouse, sibling or best friend.

  112. Fred Bloggs says:

    Billy Esquire says:
    Should we all put our best guesses in for how he’s going to overturn her 4th parole?

    I remember on another blog back in 2016 asking a similar question with Jerry Brown. It was about that time that it began to dawn on me that minds from the Guv’nor’s office were made up beforehand and after that, it became a ‘watch and see’ to see if one was right.

  113. Fred Bloggs says:

    Billy Esquire says:
    Cybele, Susan Atkins was never recommended for parole like Leslie…not even one time

    Huh ? When I use facts and a little correction to add weight 💣 to a point I’m making, I’m…………..

    kidding with you mate ! 😏

    Politicians should not be allowed to hold her without legitimate reason(s)

    In all honesty, I’ve had to think long and hard whether or not to reply but I’m going to 🔮 because it’s a truly important point raised and I’m genuinely curious what you think, particularly as you are of the opinion that Leslie should be freed.
    Firstly, do you believe it is possible for the parole boards {yes, even 4 of them} to have gotten this wrong ?
    Secondly, whose legitimacy is the important or overriding one here ? In other words, when you say “without legitimate reason(s)” are you accepting that the Guv’nor could have legitimate reasons that may differ from what you believe to be legitimate ?
    Is there anything that the Guv’nor could say that you might take as legitimate even though you disagree with it ? Could there possibly, in your mind, be a legitimate outcome for you in this case that totally differs from the outcome you think would be just ?
    Billy, I’m not just trying to throw in a funky drum pattern here, nor am I critiquing or criticizing your stance or saying you’re wrong about anything. You’ve been spared the drive~by ! 🚙 But I am curious. Contributors like Cybele, Michael and Stephen take the approach that they don’t want to see Leslie paroled and think she should remain in jail but they do also accept from a range of things such as having met the parameters of the parole conditions, sympathy, her not being a current danger {with some variables on Cybele’s part} and a likelihood she’ll be paroled one day, that most that are against her parole won’t even entertain.
    What say you ?

  114. Christy says:

    Cybele, I remember the the story but couldn’t remember the name. Thanks 😊

  115. Michael says:

    Billy, as always, we get down to the difference between moral and legal. I agree with many of your points about Leslie’s legal qualifications for parole, and am still morally opposed to her parole. This is similar to the way I feel about a number of things I know to be legal, but also believe to be immoral, and I know the law cannot be determined or enforced only by my sense of what’s moral.

    But your one point – “IMO, the only reason Leslie is STILL being held is not because of what She did, but because of what Manson did…..and the rest, especially Watson” – really stuck in my craw.

    No, no. Leslie is still being held, and a large part of the public wishes her to still be held, because of what SHE did. SHE willingly joined the killing party. SHE held Mrs. LaBianca down. SHE stabbed Mrs. LaBianca numerous times. SHE assisted in wiping the residence down for fingerprints. SHE laughed, sang, and skipped down the halls in mockery of the horror she was part of, SHE said, when asked on the stand about remorse, “Sorry is a five letter word. Why should I be sorry? It happened.”

    These are the words and actions of Leslie Van Houten, not Tex, Susan, Patricia, or Manson.

  116. Christy says:

    Yes, Fred the guv’nor, and why am I seeing PG Wodehouse whenever you use this term I don’t know. But he may see things that don’t fly,

    You asked me about a drunk driver conviction that I posted the other day. I’m not sure. The drunk driver didn’t mean it even though he drove at high speed through a red light. Or maybe he did? Like Leslie?

  117. Cybele Moon says:

    Billie, I get what you are saying – but- Manson- or I should say the ” Manson family” was part of a collective. On his own Manson was just another grubby, ex con, pseudo guru who I will admit did manage to con his followers. However his followers liked his con and chose to follow. They stole, did drugs, had orgies and practiced their creepy crawly missions before the events. The murders were part of a collective mission and without all of them would not have happened. LVH was part of that.

    Fred just a small point- as for housing; many inmates in the women’s prisons have more than a tiny cell with a toilet. In Atkins case all the units lead out into a large park like green space “like girls dorms” according to a journalist who visited her and the others before Atkins became ill.

    Like Fred eloquently said, I’m among those like Michael etc who are “morally” against her parole but accept that according to law she may be released for the reasons put forth. The legal system doesn’t always equate with justice.

  118. Fred Bloggs says:

    Michael says:
    But your one point – “IMO, the only reason Leslie is STILL being held is not because of what She did, but because of what Manson did…..and the rest, especially Watson” – really stuck in my craw.
    No, no. Leslie is still being held, and a large part of the public wishes her to still be held, because of what SHE did

    I think this is one of those instances of paradox in this case because both are true. I don’t agree with Billy that the only reason LVH is still in jail is because of Manson, let alone Watson but it almost goes without saying that the Charles Manson and Family connection is a huge part of it. Both Guv’nors cite it in their responses when overturning the parole board recommendations. It has always been a major centrepiece of every parole hearing and trial LVH was ever in. Bearing in mind that the two women that were on death row when she arrived there not only had their sentences commuted to life like LVH, they were both paroled within 10 years of that. Their murders were every bit as brutal as LVH’s because murder is brutal, regardless of how it occurs. If the end result is a person having their life deliberately taken away, then the means are much of a muchness. So the Manson connection cannot be shied away from. She’s known as a Manson killer or a Manson Family killer or such words. They emphasize Manson’s race war when representatives of the DA’s office go to argue against her parole. The present Guv’nor uses her supposed failure to see her drugged sodomy by Manson in 1968 as abuse at the time as part of his reasoning as to why he’s refusing her 50 years later. Neither of the rejecting Guv’nors have hidden that they are using the Manson effect.
    Yet at the same time, it is not right to say that the only reason she is still in jail is because of Charlie and the others. As you point out, she is in jail because she committed murder. She wanted to murder and has always pretty much said that she was in her right mind, not suffering any kind of mental illness. And some people, whether it was members of boards that used to reject her parole, or the Guv’nors that have subsequently overturned the decisions by the recommending boards, were simply not comfortable with Leslie Van Houten walking the streets again. They were not or are not of the mind that she was right for parole and in reaching those mindsets, they look at her and her actions in the period in question. And that looms large.
    I always thought it interesting that Vincent Bugliosi, even though he thought she’d be out within 20 years or so, thought she’d grow harder and he had no confidence of her ever changing. I think he was wrong on both counts but I’ve always paid attention to his reasoning for the latter. He was always of the opinion that someone that did what she did must have something within them to have enabled that. And as a result, he was not confident that people change just because they’re in prison, even though he commended her on what she was doing at the time. So I can see why she’s been turned down in the past and why the guvs might have overturned her recently. The problem is that they can’t justify it. Legally you can’t just go on a feeling and they’ll continue to have a problem as long as they keep going the way they have.
    But as to why Leslie is still in, as far as I can see, it’s paradoxical. But many of us don’t even care about whether or not paradoxes exist, much less understand or even try to understand or grasp them.

  119. Fred Bloggs says:

    Christy says:
    You asked me about a drunk driver conviction that I posted the other day. I’m not sure. The drunk driver didn’t mean it even though he drove at high speed through a red light. Or maybe he did? Like Leslie?
    While one can never know what’s in a person’s head when they do something, it would be surprising if that drunk driver had actually meant to kill. That would make it murder.
    But either way, I still think, given the facts you outlined, a very long jail sentence was right and just. 52 years just seemed very long to me for what he did. It’s a long time. Nixon won the American presidential election first time around, 52 years ago. Martin Luther King was murdered 52 years ago. Bob Beamon set an olympic long jump record with a ferociously long jump 52 years ago. Roman Polanski married Sharon Tate 52 years ago. It’s a very long time.

  120. NoJusticeNoPeace says:

    Thinking of the victims today and not about the rights of the murdering fucks who put them in their graves 51 years ago.

  121. Billy Esquire says:

    Fred: “Firstly, do you believe it is possible for the parole boards {yes, even 4 of them} to have gotten this wrong?”

    In California, I believe it’s more likely that parole boards get it wrong because they are more likely to parole people who SHOULDN’T be paroled. Because, let’s face it, those in control of this once great State now have a penchant for allowing the worst among us to go free or to never be apprehended in the first place. But in Leslie’s case, the Board’s decision on her parole was/is about as easy as it gets. So they certainly didn’t get it wrong. It was the only conclusion they COULD reach.

    At the time of her first parole in April, 2016, she had been confined for 46 years and had never been cited for aggression or even small/insignificant incidents of inappropriate behavior. NEVER….in 46 years! She was the definition of a “model” prisoner. She obtained her B.S. and Masters degrees, and was well known for being helpful toward other prisoners, and was on all sorts of groups and committees within the prison. It was literally like you couldn’t find a better example of a person than Van Houten over the 46 years of her incarceration. But was that surprising? Not really, because being a violent/aggressive/volatile person was never who she was. Only on that one night, and there are a multitude of reasons it occurred (which I have detailed previously).

    So no, Fred, in light of her behavior over the previous 46 years (and since then), I wouldn’t be surprised if the Board may have been pressured to deny her parole again, because of who she was, but they just COULDN’T deny her again. The evidence of her meeting the parole guidelines was just too overwhelming, and continues to be. Even THEY couldn’t deny her parole, even though the bigwigs likely wanted them to. Leslie had just been too perfect….for 46 years, and they couldn’t say no to her again. It was just too obvious she had earned parole. And over the past 4 years since, she has remained “perfect”. That’s why they continue to parole her. The phrase “beating a dead horse” definitely applies to Leslie remaining imprisoned, because there’s so clearly no justifiable reason to keep her confined any longer. Keeping her in prison achieves….nothing.

    I read the entirety of Leslie’s 2016 parole hearing last night and I highly encourage everyone here to read it because it is quite enlightening. The only problem is…..it is LOOOOONG! But it’s worth it. In it, there is a lengthy question and answer period where the Presiding Commissioner asks Leslie questions about her entire life. And I mean just about EVERYTHING about her life. By reading it, you begin to see exactly how a once good, non-confrontational, always wanting to please girl got caught up in something so strange and evil, and why she just couldn’t find her way out of it. And it was pretty much for the reasons I have described here before (i.e., mainly Manson and repetitive mind-altering drug usage).

    There were 6 main events that set Leslie on the road she wound up on: her parents’ divorce, getting involved with the wrong crowd when she was a teenager and using drugs (beginning at 15 years of age), getting pregnant and being forced by her mother to abort the baby when she didn’t want to (in her own house!), meeting Catherine Share and Bobby Beausoleil, which then led to meeting and being completely manipulated and devoted to Manson and his wishes, and frequent drug usage at the Ranch (which altered her ability to distinguish reality and made her susceptible to Manson’s absurd preaching and orders).

    Leslie has always refuted that she was crazy or didn’t know what she was doing at the time of the murders. This may have been true, but I believe Leslie is confusing “being aware of what she was doing” with being ok mentally, or psychologically. Because she was clearly NOT ok mentally at the time of the murders. And this was never properly considered during her trials and punishment.

    The Commissioner even asked her during the parole hearing how in the world she could be capable of going about normal, day to day activities, while at the same time, believing Manson’s stories of the race war, Helter Skelter, and going down into a hole for 150 years? Her answers made it clear that she was anything but ok mentally. She could not distinguish reality because she was too brainwashed and controlled by Manson. When “thinking and emotions are so impaired that contact is lost with external reality,” that is the very DEFINITION of psychosis. She was so controlled by Manson that she literally would have done anything to please him. She thought whatever he told her to do was the RIGHT thing to do! She thought some things might be hard to do, but if he wanted them done, that was ultimately the RIGHT thing to do.

    So this is clearly psychosis, and she was clearly delusional and hallucinatory during this period of her life (which are also both supportive and definitional of psychosis. Leslie claims she was mentally fine when everything was occurring, but then she’ll relate in the same breath that she was sure she was an angel back then and was worried because she was worried about people seeing the wings budding on her shoulders! Sorry, but these beliefs aren’t signs of mental stability or competency at the time.

    Here’s a perfect indication of how far gone Leslie was when everything was going down. It is for these reasons that I don’t believe Leslie should have received a life sentence, even with the possibility of parole. With no history of violent offenses and the sentencing never really allowing for the MAJOR fact that she was brainwashed by one of the best in the business, she should have never received a death sentence or a life with possibility of parole sentence. And certainly not over 50 years of incarceration, considering her “no criminal background” history. It’s just unconscionable. You leave bad people in prison forever. Leslie did not have a history of being a criminal or “bad” person; she does not qualify. She had the terrible misfortune of getting hooked up with Manson, and his manipulation cannot simply be discounted, or ignored, when determining her punishment. But is IS and HAS BEEN ignored. Her punishment does not fit her crime, her background, or the circumstances.

    These are important parts I have copied and pasted from her April, 2016 parole hearing….

    http://www.cielodrive.com/leslie-van-houten-parole-hearing-2016.php

    INMATE VAN HOUTEN: ….who were we to question what he (Manson) felt needed to be done.

    PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ZARRINNAM: And did you ever think what was the motive of this and we’re killing young people or these individuals specifically? What was the plan or —

    INMATE VAN HOUTEN: The plan was to have it blamed on blacks so that the whites would retaliate and the blacks would retaliate and there would be a revolution.

    PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ZARRINNAM: So Pat tells you this and then this is the — obviously the night before the murder. Then what happens?

    INMATE VAN HOUTEN: So I knew that she had crossed the line.

    PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ZARRINNAM: What does that mean?

    INMATE VAN HOUTEN: She had participated in the crimes, that she was committed to the belief of Helter Skelter, and I wanted to also show Manson that I equally believed in him and the necessity for this and I wanted to be selected to go the next night. So —

    PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ZARRINNAM: So an individual that’s never harmed anybody, never killed anybody, you were ready to kill?

    INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I felt that I was, yeah.

    PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ZARRINNAM: No questions asked.

    INMATE VAN HOUTEN: On my part?

    PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ZARRINNAM: Yes, on your part, obviously.

    INMATE VAN HOUTEN: No. I felt that I was obligated. That it was something that needed to be done for the betterment of mankind, you know. And it’s absurd to sit here right now and talk to you like that, but that’s who I was.

    PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ZARRINNAM: You said you stared off to the den. What do you mean by that?

    INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I was standing in a doorway and like kitty-corner from the bedroom was a den.

    PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ZARRINNAM: Okay. Why were you standing there?

    INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I was overwhelmed with what was happening. I —

    PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ZARRINNAM: Overwhelmed how?

    INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I believe that thinking about being able to be a part of that much violence and then actually having the gumption or whatever it is to see it through. I feel that I know that I was having a hard time holding onto what was happening at that moment. I’m not saying that I suddenly felt it was wrong. I became more critical of myself that I wasn’t as able to participate as Tex and Pat.

    PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ZARRINNAM: Had you seen the stabbings yet — any of them?

    INMATE VAN HOUTEN: No. Not at that point. I was just staring into the den.

    PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ZARRINNAM: Then how did you know stabbings were occurring? Did you hear?

    INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yeah, I —

    PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ZARRINNAM: What did you hear?

    INMATE VAN HOUTEN: The sounds of death, guttural sounds, struggles. Then he turned me around and said do something, and that’s when I stabbed Mrs. LaBianca in the lower torso.

    PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ZARRINNAM: How many times did you stab her?

    INMATE VAN HOUTEN: At the time, I couldn’t have told you. Coroner’s reports say between 14 and 16 times.

    PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ZARRINNAM: Why did you stab her?

    INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Because Tex told me to and I knew I needed to do something. And during the LSD trips, Manson had talked about us doing horrible things to the bodies and I knew I wasn’t capable, so I stabbed her multiple times rather than mutilate her any further than had been told us.

    PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ZARRINNAM: Let me ask you this. You would have done anything at this point, right? If there were babies in the home, would you have killed babies, newborns, toddlers?

    INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I’ve been asked that a lot, and to honestly answer that question, I don’t know. I think I would have if he’d have said.

    PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ZARRINNAM: And that’s more to ask obviously the degree of alliance that you had with Manson — the brainwashing — more than — people want to know or I want to know how deep you — it was. So you would have done — would you have killed yourself?

    INMATE VAN HOUTEN: To answer that honestly, yeah. Yeah. I feel in a sense I certainly surrendered myself completely, morally, ethically. I sold everything out.

    PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ZARRINNAM: And what was that moment in the den about?

    INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I was just staring there. I think I was just trying to get a bearing. I wasn’t really conscious. I just stared. I think I was trying to get a bearing. It was a horrible thing that happened and I think I was trying to —

    PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ZARRINNAM: Do you believe that Ms. LaBianca was dead at the time you were stabbing her?

    INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I believed it at the time.

    PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ZARRINNAM: Why did you believe it at the time?

    INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Because she wasn’t moving. It seems that way.

    PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ZARRINNAM: Would it have made a difference in your behavior?

    INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I don’t think so. You know I don’t let myself off the hook, you know. I don’t find parts in any of this that makes me feel the slightest bit good about myself in looking back at what I did.

    PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ZARRINNAM: When people say the name Manson, what do you think people think about?

    INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I think that surrounding that name now is a myth of a person that had great ability to get other people to do what he wanted and that he represents a very ghoulish part of Americana now.

    PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ZARRINNAM: Do you think that name invokes fear in people?

    INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes. Although I’m not so sure if it’s the kind of fear that was in the 70s and 80s. I think he’s almost a caricature of horror now, you know. I think that — I’m not — I think that the fear was that people’s homes were no longer safe. That there was no rhyme or reason why they were selected, and that meant everyone was vulnerable. But society has scared itself a lot.

    PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ZARRINNAM: True.

    INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Through the movies and stuff, so I’m not sure it has the same impact as the 70s and 80s. I think he’s more of a cartoon now, to tell you the truth, as a human being.

    PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ZARRINNAM: But you do agree that the perception of Manson in the general population evokes fear to a certain degree?

    INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes.

    PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ZARRINNAM: Evil.

    INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes.

    PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ZARRINNAM: To a certain degree.

    INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Yes. And I understand that I helped contribute to that.

    DEPUTY COMMISSIONER LAM: Before he sent you out on this murder, did he — besides indoctrinating you, did he test your resolve? Does that make any sense?

    INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Did he test —

    DEPUTY COMMISSIONER LAM: Your resolve in going through with this? Did he put you through any tests?

    INMATE VAN HOUTEN: He would see how far each of us were into him on a daily basis. He —

    DEPUTY COMMISSIONER LAM: How did he go about doing that?

    INMATE VAN HOUTEN: He like would bump into us on the boardwalk or something like that and would begin making faces and seeing how well would we keep up with his faces and spend time and see what we were doing, and there were some women that I think he checked how we were doing. I’m sure he talked to Pat about things regarding me, and Catherine Share certainly was involved in who I was and how I was doing. So I think he had a network of ways of watching how far were each of us with him.

    DEPUTY COMMISSIONER LAM: So during that entire time, you were not aware at all that you were slowly being brainwashed?

    INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I thought I was becoming a better person, a more in-tune person. I didn’t think of it in terms of brainwashing. It was right there, you know, be one, be one with him, surrender yourself, give up all of the teachings of really the three main institutions that help people become part of a community.

    DEPUTY COMMISSIONER LAM: Well, that’s very far fetched from that to violence. So why didn’t the violence wake you up? The concept of killing, what did he — maybe I should start by asking you what did he teach you about death and killing?

    INMATE VAN HOUTEN: That we were all one. That bodies are shells. That our spirits live forever. That there is no death.

    DEPUTY COMMISSIONER LAM: So when you kill, what does that mean?

    INMATE VAN HOUTEN: That the shell isn’t there.

    DEPUTY COMMISSIONER LAM: So that helps you to make it easier? Does that make it easier for you to kill when he taught you that? That when you kill, a shell isn’t there?

    INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I don’t know if it made it easier, but that was the philosophy. That you — that we were killing ourselves. That — and you know, with all honesty, once in the house, it was certainly clear that that was not — all of the preparation was not reality at all. In the house it was very clear to me that it was two individuals who had lives and wanted to live.

    DEPUTY COMMISSIONER LAM: It’s my understanding that the control continued even when you were at CIW after the first trial. Is that correct?

    INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Pretty much. And it took me three years after being here. And the warden at the time made a real effort with my mother to do things to bring me back to my family of origin and begin the process of re-indoctrinating myself to what the norms of society are.

    Fred, again, you asked if I believe it’s possible for parole boards to have gotten Leslie’s parole wrong. As I said, not only do I think it’s not possible they got it wrong, but considering all the facts, there’s really no other conclusion to reach other than paroling her.

    Deputy Commissioner Lam was so impressed by Leslie that he told her this at the end of the hearing in 2016….

    “I think you answered every question that I needed to know to feel safe in my heart and my intellect that you are ready and you are safe to be released. And I think you have tremendous insight, and if you are not rehabilitated, I don’t know who is. But I want to put on the record something else that is — cannot be ignored, and that is I printed out every single one of your psych reports all the way back to ’71 and read them all. And from 1980 until today, 17 doctors have said that you are a low risk to an extremely low risk and that you — on psychopathy you rank very low to low which tells me that — which actually fits into the understanding that you were brainwashed, and that’s why we see a girl who didn’t have any violence before commit this horrific crime, and when she comes out of it, we don’t see any more violence. I think all the facts fit.”

    DEPUTY COMMISSIONER LAM’S FULL STATEMENT TO LESLIE IN 2016: ….I mean the facts of your case have been heard so many times that I found such consistency really over the years that we didn’t — I didn’t feel I needed to drill much into it, but that would explain to me why you spent two months after the murder in Death Valley looking for this hole, the bottomless pit. You were gone. So for me, your hearing, it was very important for me that you understood how all that came to be and how you deprogrammed from it and where you are at this point, and I think you answered every question that I needed to know to feel safe in my heart and my intellect that you are ready and you are safe to be released. And I think you have tremendous insight, and if you are not rehabilitated, I don’t know who is. But I want to put on the record something else that is — cannot be ignored, and that is I printed out every single one of your psych reports all the way back to ’71 and read them all. And from 1980 until today, 17 doctors have said that you are a low risk to an extremely low risk and that you — on psychopathy you rank very low to low which tells me that — which actually fits into the understanding that you were brainwashed, and that’s why we see a girl who didn’t have any violence before commit this horrific crime, and when she comes out of it, we don’t see any more violence. I think all the facts fit. That is not to say that I don’t hold you accountable because you led yourself to that point, but I do want to read — because I think it’s very — supports this grant, you know. In ’85 Dr. Cotter says that there’s no contraindication to your release other than public opinion. ’86, Dr. Weathers says that your rehabilitation is complete. Your violence potential is low. Every single person says you were low or extremely low. I believe Dr. Coburn even said that he felt safe enough for you to live on the upstairs of his home. So you know, in reviewing this and digesting everything, I have to ask myself, okay, one doctor, you know, okay, maybe incorrect. Two, three, four, five, but 17 over 36 years. I cannot sit here and be dishonest with the facts is what I’m telling you. And is that to say that if every case 17 doctors said you’re safe, I would rubber-stamp it? No. What I saw in the last five hours tells me that they’re right. I didn’t see — beyond all the factors of suitability, insight, no assaultive juvenile record, rehabilitation up the wazoo, beyond all that, I’ll be honest with you, what I look for in the end is whether you still have criminal thinking, criminal behavior, any vestiges of that criminal mind, and I saw nothing today. And I think after five hours you don’t see any, I have to stick with what the evidence shows and not pretend that something is there when it’s not. So I really commend you. You know, usually after a grant, I like to tell inmates that the only way you can keep the memory of suffering alive and the memory of the victims alive and the victims’ family alive and what they’re going through is to live a life of integrity and pay it forward. But in your case, you’ve already been doing that for so long, so I guess all I have to say is keep it up and I wish you good luck.

  122. Cybele Moon says:

    Billie, allow me to comment on a couple of things from my point of view

    You say she was a once good girl (a home coming princess etc) whose circumstances brought her to that unfortunate situation.

    Many had parents divorce, or maybe had an abortion or did drugs and especially at that time met all kinds of crazy people etc etc but did not find themselves involved in such gruesome crimes.
    (Leslie had reached the age of reason and was really past her teenage years- 2 weeks shy of her 20th birthday.)

    Many of us have had pretty good behaviour all our lives and not had to be under supervision of those behaviours.

    Many of us had to pay for our own education and degrees and not had the government provide those opportunities.

    So all of the above are what most law abiding people live by all their lives in spite of the hardships and tragedies that are part of life.
    If she is released then it’s due to forgiveness and mercy and not a right that she is owed. Real justice would be that they all remained behind bars and previously some felt the death penalty was warranted.

    And as NJNP said, may the memories of the victims be the first priority of this day. May they all rest in peace.
    I don’t admire Leslie for finally doing what most of us have done all our lives.

  123. Stephen Craig says:

    Billy states in re: LVH and the murders;

    “…because being a volatile/aggressive/violent person is never who she was. Only on that one night and there were a multitude of reasons of why it occurred (which I have detailed previously).”

    For me, this statement is representative of what the “core” issues/concerns about murder/accountability/punishment/redemption I have about this case and this particular defendant; for Billy’s intent is in writing it is to point out certain facts about LVH background and any pre-murders violent tendencies/or lack there of to illustrate a major component for her receiving parole: propensity to/history of violent behavior. Clearly, for Billy (and I say this with total respect for his opinion) this statement demonstrates that she is not a risk in any way, shape, or form, but she is, instead actually, essentially “perfect”. However, when I read the same statement, I “see it” through a totally different “lens” and what he writes only reinforces my hopes that she remains incarcerated until the day she dies.

    Like everything, our opinions about the facts of this case are determined by the “lens” in which we view the same set of facts. I haven’t read anything to the contrary, so I’ll assume what we can all agree upon is that on the early morning hours in early Aug. 1969, seven innocent people were brutally butchered in their own homes by strangers. Police later determined who the culprits were; there was a trial, a conviction, and an initial sentence for all convicted of death. In 1972, the Supreme Court abolished the death penalty, and these same defendants were now eligible for parole after 7 years. One of the defendants had her conviction overturned, and after two subsequent trials she was eventually convicted of a lesser charge(s), and many thought she would be released for “time served”. That was not to be the case, and she has now spent over forty plus years in jail since her last trial ended.
    Her continued incarceration has been fodder for much public debate: Some sympathize with her and lobby for her parole to be granted; while others lobby officials for her continued incarceration. And all of “this” is what has brought you and I together to discuss with each other probably the most famous crime/criminal trial in U.S. history. And it all started 51 years ago today. Each of us gets a lot of “mileage” out of this fascinating event, and many times it is evident how passionately we each feel about this case. Each of us has our reasons for our “passions” and our need to communicate our thoughts with those who share our interest in the Manson Family and the crimes they committed. Some of us are more vested/rigid in our opinions, while others seem more malleable. It doesn’t matter; we are all who” we are” and that’s what makes participating in this forum so interesting. So I appreciate what Billy wrote, but as I read it, I realized just how differently many of us view the same set of circumstances (post-trial), and that what for him were reasons why LVH has earned her parole, simply underscored for me the need her for continued incarceration. And I guess neither of us is “right” or “wrong”, it is simply how we “feel”.

    But now that I think about it; there is a “wrong”, and a great one. It is a wrong that no prison sentence can “right”; an injustice so tragically profound that it is hard to imagine the reality of it all. The loss of seven innocent people under the most heinous circumstances imaginable. Whatever happens to LVH, “happens”. Right now her future is in the hypothetical. But it is not the “future” that brings us all here to this forum; it’s the “past”. So whatever your opinions of LVH, the others, and the possibilities of parole let known of us forget “who” this is all about.

    RIP To All The Victims who truly “lost” everything that ever could have been.

  124. Billy Esquire says:

    Two thumbs up for your write-up, Stephen. Wonderfully written. 👍👍

    And also, thanks for pointing out that this is August 9th….exactly 51 years since the murders began. I hadn’t even thought about that.

    As much as I have written, I don’t think I have expressed what I really think very well.

    Cybele said, “If she is released then it’s due to forgiveness and mercy and not a right that she is owed.”

    Stephen said, “Clearly, for Billy….she is not a risk in any way, shape, or form, but she is, instead actually, essentially “perfect”. However, when I read the same statement, I “see it” through a totally different “lens” and what he writes only reinforces my hopes that she remains incarcerated until the day she dies.”

    The reason I focused my response mainly on PAROLE was because I was responding to Fred’s direct question to me about the Board’s parole conclusion. Yes, I DO think she has earned her parole under the law….many times over. But there’s more to it than that.

    My main problem with Leslie (especially) is with her original sentencing to begin with. I believe the severity of her sentence occurred because all those that participated in the killings were all lumped in together. I think that was a major error when you’re discussing individual punishments. I think it was unjust. In essence, they DIDN’T get “individual” punishments, based on what they each did, they got a GROUP punishment. The offenses of all the participants in the murders were judged as ALL being equal, when they were not even close to being equal. Since when is that fair? They didn’t get individual trials, they got a group trial. I’ve always felt that Krenwinkel and Watson got what they deserved for their parts in the murders, but Atkins and Van Houten did not. The difference? Atkins and Van Houten had reservations about killing and at least tried not to participate. In addition, I don’t think we’ll ever know exactly what Atkins did in everything she was involved with, but we have a pretty conclusive idea of exactly what Leslie did. And I don’t see it as being commensurate with the others.

    It was Watson’s evil butchering of every single murder victim on August 9th and 10th, 1969 that made this case what it was. It was primarily what HE did that made the case unforgettable and historical. Krenwinkel, too, had a major part in the murders on both nights. Atkins and Van Houten didn’t, yet received exactly the same sentencing. I’ve never agreed.

    All that participated on those 2 nights (except Kasabian….which was extremely unfair) were judged as severely as if they had done exactly what Watson did. That is absurd to me.

    Maybe I’m applying sentencing and justice more to how things are today. Is punishment/sentencing not as severe today as it was back then? I don’t really know, to tell you the truth. But it does seem that defendants today get a lot more “considerations” (for lack of a better word) than they did in 1969.

    For instance, did they even consider the circumstances and lesser rolls Atkins and Van Houten had in the murders? Did they consider their prior criminal histories when handing down sentencing? Did they consider that all were victims of a madman’s brainwashing techniques when considering appropriate punishment? Or, did they all receive the same sentences because they were a “family” and all had rolls in the murders? Well isn’t that easy and convenient to just give them all the same sentence….regardless of what they actually DID? That’s poor justice and it was definitely poor lawyering.

    From everything I’ve read, I don’t think Manson’s intentional brainwashing and control techniques (assisted by mind-altering drugs) were really ever considered as a reason NOT to lump all their punishments together. Was that fair? This occurred without the kids really even realizing what was going on. Now if they had KNOWN that he was one of the world’s most foremost cult leaders and what his intentions were, and they STILL elected to stay with him, that would have been different. But they didn’t know that, did they?

    I also consider…..victims of other cultists throughout history have garnered mostly sympathy (i.e., David Koresh, Jim Jones, Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh), but not the Manson kids! Why is that? Manson was probably the most world famous cultist who sought to control people and make them do things they wouldn’t ordinarily do, but instead of considering how HIS victims were taken advantage of, they were scorned and given death sentences? How come? Because they should have known better? Well, they might have known better but they were also kids who were systematically taken advantage of by one Charles Manson, who was very good at what he did. And they were completely unsuspecting of what he was doing. Instead, he fooled them so well that they trusted him completely, and with the aid of the mind-altering drugs, he even made them believe his insane prophesies. Leslie intimated that even when she was in a lucid state, she still believed all the things Charlie said. His brainwashing was THAT complete. That’s how much she trusted and believed in him. She totally believed he was special and god-like. Ultimately, that’s why she did the things she did.

    I know people will say, “But lots of kids used LSD back then and they came nowhere close to doing what the Manson family members did”. That’s true, but they also didn’t have someone in their ears and heads, constantly transforming their minds with lies while under daily illicit drugs that made them believe everything they heard from a madman….over and over again for months on end. So the question should be, “How many of those kids that took LSD in the 60’s probably would have wound up exactly like the Manson clan if they had been exposed to it day in and day out? I’d say probably a lot. Not all, obviously, but probably a lot.

    What I’m saying is….it was Manson that screwed up those kids to the degree they were screwed up. They would not have done what they did without Manson. He was the “X-factor” that other drug using kids in the 60’s didn’t have. He took advantage of them. Yes, most were all considered to be “adults,” but they were still controlled and abused by one of the most infamous, noteworthy and charismatic cult leaders in the history of cultists….and their trials and punishments were as if NONE of that was considered.

    All that is to say, I don’t think Leslie should have ever gotten the death penalty, or life with the possibility of parole, to begin with. That punishment is simply not commensurate to all the facts and what SHOULD have been major considerations in her case when determining sentencing and proper justice.

  125. Cybele Moon says:

    Billie,
    respectfully,
    I know most of Leslie’s supporters point out that she was not as bad as the others at the scene and it is possible and I accept as I said before that she may be released. I also think that she may be remorseful and rehabilitated and I hope she has found her own peace if that is possible.

    However, I wonder if Mrs. Labianca thought Leslie was a reluctant participant when she (LVH) put the pillow case and lamp chord around her head and neck and held her down while Mrs. Labianca’s husband was screaming in the next room and until Krenwinkel tried to stab her and then of course the eager Tex when he was finished with Mr Labianca. I can’t imagine the horror of it all and because of this I am not sorry for all the time she has had to spend behind bars. I also know that her behaviour afterward was not indicative of regret or sorrow. That they finally realized later that Charlie was a con man does not excuse them.

    You used the word kids’ being manipulated but I venture to say there were only one or two kids under 15. Leslie was 18 when she joined the family and not there that long before she volunteered on the mission. There were a few who left the family when it got too crazy and who would never have participated in murder. People do know right from wrong in our society. I agree with Fred, that those who stayed wanted to stay. And yes I suppose Charlie knew who would be capable of killing but that doesn’t excuse the killers. So to me that argument doesn’t hold. So I am with those here who feel a real life sentence was warranted.

  126. Billy Esquire says:

    Cybiele,

    When people bring up the victims, when the subject we’re talking about is the suitability for parole, it’s not even applicable, to me. That might sound harsh, but one has absolutely NOTHING to do with the other. Leslie’s conditions and suitability for parole have nothing to do with what she did. Her life sentence with the possibility of parole was already determined. So when you talk about what the dead might have “thought” at the time of the crime, when all we’re talking about is suitability for parole, we might as well be talking about whether it was cloudy that day. One has nothing to do with the other. One’s not applicable to the other. Parole has to do with her behavior in prison, because she’s ELIGIBLE for parole. Period. What her crime was has nothing to do with her eligibility for parole. Your personal feelings on whether she should be paroled is a totally different matter.

    As far as the girls’ behavior during the trial, the reason(s) for it have been well documented. That was all Charlie’s doing. They were still under his power during the trial. He told them what to do, so they did it. It’s as simple as that. To me, that is just another indication of what Manson did to them, and how mentally out of it they really were. They did as they were told. Manson was their whole world; he was everything to them.

    Have you ever heard the word “kids” used to describe “college kids”? It’s a common term, used to describe not only “young” children, but even “kids” in their early 20’s. To suggest that the term “kid” should NEVER be used to describe someone older than age 18 is a bit trivial, don’t you think? Would it have made a significant difference if I had called them “young adults”?

    As far as Leslie “wanting” to stay, actually, she didn’t. She stated in the 2016 parole hearing that she told Manson she wanted to leave the Ranch because she was exhausted. His response? He drove her up to a cliff in a dune buggy and told her “If you want to leave, you might as well jump because you’ll get caught in the revolution and you’re going to die anyway”.

    Leslie told the Presiding Commissioner “….it wasn’t that I necessarily didn’t believe him. I just wanted to go. I didn’t know where I was going to go. It wasn’t like I was going to go home”.

    Here’s the additional questioning about this during the 2016 parole hearing….

    PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ZARRINNAM: Looking back why do you think you believed what he said to be true? Just looking back at it today. I know you’re trying to — you’re telling me in a narrative fashion, but in a simple way, why do you think you believed everything he said?

    INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I believe I wanted someone to have all the answers at that time. That I wanted to surrender my life to someone. And I believed that he was an extraordinary person. And I didn’t believe I had or I didn’t see that I had alternatives. I felt that I was obligated because of who he was as a human being. Like he would, you know, Manson, son of man, you know, all those connections that I felt that I owed him that for who he was.

    PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ZARRINNAM: So at that point, if he said anything, you would have done anything.

    INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Pretty much. There was an incident one time where Catherine Share was holding a cord that was being rotated into a wench on the dune buggy and he had told her to hold it and guide it and walked away and didn’t tell her to let go. And her thumb was beginning to get caught, you know. It’s just — I just use that as an example. I think any of us — well, I can’t speak for everyone because I was the one that went that night. I would have done anything.

    PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ZARRINNAM: Knowing what you know today, what could you have done when you were at the ranch differently? If you get to go back and talk to your 19-year-old self, something that may have changed the last 50 years of your life, what could you have said? Is there anything you could have said given that you were brainwashed to that degree that would have changed the circumstances that —

    INMATE VAN HOUTEN: To try to wake myself up?

    PRESIDING COMMISSIONER ZARRINNAM: Yeah. Anything you could have said looking back?

    INMATE VAN HOUTEN: I don’t — I honestly can’t say that there would have been because I believed in him and I don’t think that a grounded mind telling me to get out — I didn’t see the con artist tricks, you know. I just — I had gotten to the point where my own intuition was what I criticized more than anything, so those parts of my humanity that were left from my prior life were things that I criticized to destroy within myself, you know. I wish there were. You know I wish there were something that I could have gone back and said, but I was so dependent and felt such loyalty that I don’t think I would have listened.

    **End of transcript.

    In addition, it was likely that Leslie was too scared to leave for fear of what Charlie, himself, would do to her. She was aware that Manson allowed some people to leave if they wanted to, but not everyone. Those he didn’t want to leave were well aware of it. I’m sure all the regulars at the Ranch talked to each other and told each other things Charlie had said or done, at least on occasion.

    One important point on this subject is that Catherine Share attended Leslie’s 2017 parole hearing in order to advocate for her parole. She told the Commissioner that Manson “once severely beat her and got a male cult member to vow that if she ever fled, the man would hunt her down and drag her back behind a car”. This “male cult member” was Steven “Clem” Grogan.

    Share also testified during the 2017 hearing: “Some people could not leave. I was one of them that could not leave,” said Share, who said she later regretted enticing Van Houten to join the cult. “I don’t think (Van Houten) felt like she was free to leave.”

    “Share acknowledged in her testimony that she didn’t know for a fact that Van Houten had been prohibited from leaving the cult, or hadn’t actually left at some point. She also acknowledged that others had left the Manson clan without being harmed.”

    https://apnews.com/0700891f5cb8485a9c078d7fddf0e3d9/Follower:-Manson-threatened-grisly-death-if-she-left-cult

  127. Cybele Moon says:

    wow Billie,

    I thought that the fact that there were victims that as you call them “the dead” was a relevant factor. The “horror” of these crimes was a relevant factor.

    Of course, we all have our own ideas about guilt or innocence but never think this is about “justice.” It’s only about parole suitability and come to think of it they have let people go who were suitable that went on to commit more rapes or murder (not saying that LVH would.)

    All the little tidbits and stories quoted that are supposed to make Leslie less responsible are irrelevant too and for that matter they are irrelevant to most others which is why she has remained incarcerated this length of time. If Leslie wanted to leave, why did she volunteer to go on the murder spree? She could have stayed at the ranch. She was not forced to go.

    None of us will ever know the full truth I’m sure.

  128. Stephen Craig says:

    Billy:

    You may want to “rethink” some of you response to Cybele specifically in terms of victims/applicable to suitability for parole. Now, I will readily admit that the parole hearing I attended/”testified at” was not in California, but I do know from having personally gone through the process, that the victims, who they were, what they endured in their last moments, and the impact of their death on their families etc…, was very much a part of the process. Quite frankly, that’s why we (myself and my murdered cousin’s brother) were there at the parole hearing: to essentially not only speak for ourselves, but to most importantly to do our best to speak for our loved one, whose loss was the reason all of us, including his killer, were in that room that day. Who my cousin was and what he endured in his last moments were pivotal in the Board’s determination of whether or not his murderer would be paroled (he was not the first time (this time) he came up, but he was the second). In my cousin’s case, and I would assume in the case of all Manson defendants, whatever “progress” his killer made in jail ( therapy/self help groups/”finding God”) was countered by the DA/ourselves with the incredibly violent circumstances of my cousin’s murder. So even though this particular defendant had “improved” himself over the years, the first time he was denied parole one of the main reasons was the heinous nature of the act itself. The Board was taking into account what had transpired in my cousin’s home the night he was killed and determined what the victim endured at the time of the killing supported continued incarceration. In LVH’s case, I do recall reading (and please correct me if I’m wrong) that one of the reasons either Brown or the present governor stated for overturning her parole was the “violent nature of the act (of killing). So even here, if I am correct in my recollection, the victims and the circumstances of their deaths are always considered when determining the eligibility for parole, or, in LVH’s case, the overturning of the Parole Board’s decision.

  129. Cybele Moon says:

    PS: and as for the kids stuff yes we can call college age kids etc. but you are trying to use it (I think) as an argument against culpability and most”kids” do know right from wrong.

  130. Christy says:

    The various attorneys Leslie had tried to separate her trial from the others. She fired them all. Hughs didn’t try that and he didn’t become more independent until later in the trial.

    Lots of followers left the family. Some for good, some came back then left again. Kitty Lutesinger is an example. It seems her life was only in real danger when she ran in the desert. Leslie probably could have left and gone home to Alta Dena and not be in any danger except for drive by insults.

    Leslie also is reputed to have had a mercurial temper and beat up her sister. So she did have this in her.

  131. Christy says:

    I want to add that followers of Koresh and Rajneesh generally are not viewed favorably. Koresh seems to draw sympathy from anti government militia sympathizers. Which is why Timothy McVeigh claimed one of the reasons for his terror attack was Waco. Rajneesh is seen as a con man and his supporters stupid and some criminal.

    The only other one is followers of Jim Jones. His followers were mostly poor minorities with roadblocks in their way. Unlike the four, Watson, Atkins, Krenwinkle and Van Houten. Getting out of Guyana in 1978 was far more difficult than getting out of Spahn Ranch in 1969. A number of Jones’s followers were murdered as well when the suicide plot hatched. But those true believers who murdered the delegation that was trying to check on the accusations of possible human rights abuses aren’t seen as victims.

  132. Fred Bloggs says:

    Billy Esquire says:
    Leslie has always refuted that she was crazy or didn’t know what she was doing at the time of the murders. This may have been true, but I believe Leslie is confusing “being aware of what she was doing” with being ok mentally, or psychologically. Because she was clearly NOT ok mentally at the time of the murders. And this was never properly considered during her trials and punishment

    People that believe all kinds of things can be and way more often than not {in my opinion} are OK mentally. I made the point earlier that as a Christian, I could be seen as totally delusional, just by pointing out that God has shown me things that I couldn’t have known but which were later confirmed or that I have prayed for things that came to pass, let alone some of the stuff I firmly believe is going on in the spiritual realm or some of the more esoteric past and future happenings where God is concerned. Yet there are honestly few people that would say I’m not in my right mind.
    When I first appeared on the TLB blog scene, I made a point to someone that while western, more “enlightened” folk on the scene castigated Helter Skelter as being a batshit crazy delusion believed by delusionals, if you went to the third world or debated with some Jewish, Christian/Catholic theologians or some with an acid enhanced mind, there’d be nothing particularly unusual about the notion of someone receiving visions or prophecies, regardless of their content. I tend to be seen as someone that makes a defence for HS; what I mean by that is that while I think it’s a ridiculous “prophecy” I can easily see how someone could reach it as a conclusion ~ and also how others could come to believe it. I grew up in a culture that believed just as esoteric things as helter skelter !
    And I still find it interesting that many of the others that believed in it and all its tenets yet didn’t kill, are not viewed as having not been in their right minds. Furthermore, how many people would apply the same set of criteria to Tex as they would to Leslie ? Why is Tex the butcher and not the victim when he believed as Leslie did and was heavily on acid as well as speed ? Why is he deemed to have been in his right mind ?

    The Commissioner even asked her during the parole hearing how in the world she could be capable of going about normal, day to day activities, while at the same time, believing Manson’s stories of the race war, Helter Skelter, and going down into a hole for 150 years? Her answers made it clear that she was anything but ok mentally

    She was no different to many church members that believe much of what comes out of the mouth of a charismatic preacher. I’ve actually {more times actually, than I’d care to admit happens !} been in meetings where the mass of the crowd have been swayed powerfully by what is being said from the pulpit and I’ve sat there thinking whatever the equivalent of “WTF ?” in Christian circles would be ! 😇 Because what I was hearing was {in my opinion} so wrong {and not challenged or questioned because the set up militates against that happening until it’s too late, if at all} but delivered so persuasively and with obvious charisma and force and on every one of those many occasions, the person delivering was someone that was respected {loved and adored, even} by the vast majority of those hearing. And that is instructive ~ few of those hearers, had mental problems but they did put into practice love and respect and sometimes, part of that is taking on board what those in authoritative positions {whether actual or self imposed} tell you. Even where one might have serious reservations, one may silence those reservations, thinking that the speaker somehow knows better.
    But that happens in a myriad of situations in everyday life, ranging from the school playground to the government or company.

    she was clearly delusional and hallucinatory during this period of her life (which are also both supportive and definitional of psychosis. Leslie claims she was mentally fine when everything was occurring, but then she’ll relate in the same breath that she was sure she was an angel back then and was worried because she was worried about people seeing the wings budding on her shoulders! Sorry, but these beliefs aren’t signs of mental stability or competency at the time

    Spiritual beliefs often enable the believer to see beyond where those that do not believe are able to see. Leslie claims she was mentally fine when everything was occurring because she knows that she was. Two very telling episodes are her, in private, telling her lawyer of her getting cold feet as Pat tried to stab Rosemary and that she sometimes cried when she thought of Frank Struthers, finding his Mum and stepdad and didn’t want to think about it so she tried not to. Silencing one’s conscience shows something going on that emanates from the one doing the silencing which indicates to me that she was compos mentis, if deceived.
    I used to have a friend who told me a number of times that he believed that children can see beings and other things that adults have lost the ability to see. He believed this wholeheartedly and there was nothing “out of his mind” or “not in his right mind” about him.

  133. Fred Bloggs says:

    Billy Esquire says:

    The reason I focused my response mainly on PAROLE was because I was responding to Fred’s direct question to me about the Board’s parole conclusion

    There were 3 more important questions in there that you didn’t answer !

    My main problem with Leslie (especially) is with her original sentencing to begin with. I believe the severity of her sentence occurred because all those that participated in the killings were all lumped in together. I think that was a major error when you’re discussing individual punishments

    When one of the charges is conspiracy to commit murder, the group is dealt with as a group. Which means that regardless of what occurs, that they all went as a group means they are equally guilty of whatever outcome happens, even if they didn’t actually do a specific deed. From the start Leslie identified herself as being part of the group and its aims, hence when it came to sentencing they received the same {in effect} sentence.
    An interesting comparison would be 911. Should Bin Laden have received the same sentence as say, Atta who was the main guy on the ground {or rather, in the air} ? Or should the guards that carried out shootings of Jewish people during WW2 be as culpable as the commandant that issued the order ? Two different scenarios but the end result is the same. If the sentence for murder is LWOP or death then the person who kills one is going to have the same sentence as the person that kills 350.

    In essence, they DIDN’T get “individual” punishments, based on what they each did, they got a GROUP punishment. The offenses of all the participants in the murders were judged as ALL being equal, when they were not even close to being equal

    Leslie described in cold and calculating detail during the penalty phase that exists purely to determine whether the perp lives or dies that she killed, that she wasn’t sorry and that her sorrow wouldn’t bring back Rosemary LaBianca. What was the jury supposed to do ? Ignore her ?

    Since when is that fair? They didn’t get individual trials, they got a group trial

    That was their choice. Whenever a lawyer angled for an individual trial or a move to ensure the women would be deemed unfit to stand trial, they were sacked.
    Not that long before she died, Susan Atkins said some of the wisest things to ever come from her {and wisdom was not her stock-in-trade} when she said:
    “Unfortunately in our Legal System, if you choose to commit suicide on the stand there’s nothing anyone can do to stop you”.
    The main reason they went for the joint defence was that nothing any of them said against each other could count without independent corroboration. So they thought they were being smart. Don’t forget, they all pleaded ‘not guilty’ and not by reason of insanity or anything like that. Straightforward ‘not guilty’.
    I’m in partial agreement that some conspiracy laws and the way they are applied are really awkward and unfair but not when it comes to Leslie. I don’t believe in the death penalty per se but per Leslie’s contribution, she got the fullness of what was just ~ and I say that as someone that fully embraces the paradoxical nature found in this case.

  134. Fred Bloggs says:

    Billy Esquire says:
    Atkins and Van Houten had reservations about killing and at least tried not to participate

    Reservations only at the very moment they were expected to plunge the knife. Both still did however. I think it is the hugest stretch imaginable to say they “tried not to participate.” Both women both showed and stated the opposite. What is truer to say is that they relied on Tex for their fortification. Linda Kasabian and TJ Walleman are the only ones that actively “tried not” to participate in murders they were ordered to commit.

    It was Watson’s evil butchering of every single murder victim on August 9th and 10th, 1969 that made this case what it was. It was primarily what HE did that made the case unforgettable and historical

    The case’s notoriety hinged on two things primarily ~ the savagery of the deeds aligned to the personalities and affluence of the victims and the ex-con mastermind and the young middle class “hippie” chicks accused then convicted of said deed.
    It’s funny that Charles Watson is pretty low down the league table of American murderers.

    For instance, did they even consider the circumstances and lesser rolls Atkins and Van Houten had in the murders?

    So much of what you’ve said is purely retrospective. Yes, you are looking at this through decidedly latter 20th/current 21st century eyes. You’re not looking at this through the eyes of a 1970/71 prosecutor, judge or juror who has heard the stuff that the women said in trial. I don’t know if you’ve read the actual trial transcripts {you can acquire them from the LA county DAs office} but they are really interesting. It took me months to go through them {and there were a few pages missing !} and some of it was a hard slog but they gave me an edge to my understanding that I simply didn’t previously have. Which is not to say that everyone has to read them or can’t have valid and insightful views if they don’t {after all, most contributors on all the sites haven’t read them and there are plenty of great views}, just that for me, there are some statements I couldn’t make again having read them.

    Did they consider that all were victims of a madman’s brainwashing techniques when considering appropriate punishment?

    The defence brought out loads of psychiatrists and they tried all of that. It didn’t work because the women knew what they were doing.

  135. Fred Bloggs says:

    Billy Esquire says:
    it was definitely poor lawyering

    Arguable. They tied their lawyers hands to a large extent.

    From everything I’ve read, I don’t think Manson’s intentional brainwashing and control techniques (assisted by mind-altering drugs) were really ever considered as a reason NOT to lump all their punishments together

    Leslie’s lawyer, Maxwell Keith, pushed that one to the max. He actually came right out and said it, that Manson was the fulcrum here and tried to minimize Leslie’s involvement at every turn. He actually did a better job than any of the other lawyers in my opinion.

    Leslie intimated that even when she was in a lucid state, she still believed all the things Charlie said. His brainwashing was THAT complete. That’s how much she trusted and believed in him. She totally believed he was special and god-like. Ultimately, that’s why she did the things she did

    True. But that doesn’t make her incapable of reasoning for herself. I don’t think that’s giving her credit for her intelligence and it kind of takes away from her just how hard she’s worked and how far she’s come since those darkened days. Lots of Hindus believe in the reincarnational process, really believe and trust in it. Are they nuts because of this ?

    What I’m saying is….it was Manson that screwed up those kids to the degree they were screwed up. They would not have done what they did without Manson

    I believe the latter part of that but not the former insofar as life is a continuum. If you’re on the road to being screwed up or are screwed up and someone takes you further down that road, to what extent did that someone do the damage ? He didn’t appear fully formed. People contributed to him being the way he turned out. Contributing and making are very different however.

    She had the terrible misfortune of getting hooked up with Manson, and his manipulation cannot simply be discounted, or ignored, when determining her punishment. But it IS and HAS BEEN ignored

    By 1977 she had turned her back on him and it was taken into account which is why she got the sentence she got. And I’d stake my life that few people that day believed that she would still be in prison in 2020. Some may have hoped it, but the prevailing noises from LE were that she’d not be doing much more time, especially having been out on bail for 6 months.

  136. Michael says:

    I really can’t separate Leslie from the others, except on the very minor technical point that she probably didn’t stab a living person, whereas Charles W., Patricia, and Susan did (Susan having probably stabbed Frykowski in the leg during their struggle.) Other than that, she restrained victims, assisted direct killing, destroyed evidence, and generally gave her full support during the act, just as the others did.

    Any “brainwashing” or “Manson controlling” pass given to her would have to be given to the others as well, so again, I can’t see the difference.

    You’re right about the liability of being lumped together during the trial, but again, that was no more true of Leslie than it was of Pat and Susan.

    In general, I see the same level of zeal and participation, allowing for the fact that all three girls showed moments of ambivalence during the actual crimes. So I feel the same limited amount of sympathy for Leslie as I feel for the others, and I continue to feel the much higher level of sympathy for the victims who are gone and the families who are still in pain.

    There are nuances and paradoxes in this case as there are in all cases, and complications of background and motive can be found in any crime. But those nuances and paradoxes pale in comparison to the simple fact that senseless deaths happened at the hands of people who had a choice to make, knew what they were doing, and choose wrongly.

  137. NoJusticeNoPeace says:

    Billy Esquire says:
    August 10, 2020 at 8:52 pm
    Cybiele,

    When people bring up the victims, when the subject we’re talking about is the suitability for parole, it’s not even applicable, to me. That might sound harsh, but one has absolutely NOTHING to do with the other. Leslie’s conditions and suitability for parole have nothing to do with what she did.
    ________________________________________

    As the bulbous vein in my forehead subsides and the torrent of foul language leaves my fingertips numb by backspacing, this statement…THIS… is why I’m here.

    To assert the victim(s) have nothing to do with their murderer’s parole is high quality manure; their voices silenced forever and their loved ones desperately trying to speak for them. Such a gratuitous statement is cruel and without empathy for the victim, let alone their families.

    It’s all about the rights of the murderer. I’ll never understand anyone who feels as you do Billy. That’s unacceptable.

    If I say more I’ll no doubt violate forum niceties.

  138. Cybele Moon says:

    Agreed NJNP!
    and well said Michael.
    Fred, I’m re reading your first post above, but I agree with your last post “that they knew what they were doing” – brainwashed or not.
    Christy, Jim Jones was also horrifying story – so was Heaven’s Gate on a smaller scale.

    Billy prayers for your family . I know exactly where you are coming from and am with you my family having known someone close who was murdered also in a rape situation. Her young daughter came home from school to find her dying in a pool of blood in the kitchen. The ramifications were far reaching and tragic for the whole family but especially the children. The young son later committed suicide. The perp was caught and guess what! He had done this before but had not murdered until now. He was killed in prison by another inmate.

    I will always side with the victim’s families.

  139. Cybele Moon says:

    correction!! not Billy ( whose name I also mispelled)
    apologies to Stephen
    I meant Stephen Craig, I empathize totally.

  140. Cybele Moon says:

    PS: Fred

    It took a while to read through everything but you make perfect sense in countering what Billy Esquire says and believes. He will of course come back to the “she meets all requirements for parole” I’m sure. But as for Leslie’s diminished capacity and lessened participation you have explained that so lucidly and logically why it just isn’t so. By the way apparently Mohammed Atta also asked for forgiveness for what he was about to do before he did it.

  141. JNL says:

    This post is my first, and I do so with hesitancy because, unlike the other posters, I do not have a solid grasp on the details of the TLB crimes.

    I think Leslie is different from the other Family members, but only on the intellectual level. For Leslie, the act of murder seems to have been an intellectual issue. It was an idea. And she committed to murder to prove a point. She is different than Susan and Pat. I believe Van Houten has admitted that she thought about committing murder for two days. (I hope I am correct on this point.) Well this scene is a horrible one: a barefoot Leslie sitting in the shit hole that was the ranch, eating food from a dumpster and asking herself if she could murder someone. She did not spend two days thinking what she had done with her life or how to get away from the ranch, because she was totally committed to Manson and the family, I believe, within the first week that she returned to the ranch. Leslie Van Houten is a ‘different’ type of murderess.

    On the tendencies of criminality and ‘depravity’ Leslie was ready-made for Manson and his gang. She seems to have missed the ‘fun’ days of the family. I believe she joined up with the gang rather late, and as their crimes intensified Leslie’s attachment to Manson did not weaken. She did not question them. And her amoral actions are even hard to write about. She did not bring to the family table any money or materials, only her own person. Her primary role in the family seems to have been as a sexual doormat for Charles Manson. Van Houten keeps referring to herself as “Bobby’s girl,” and whose job it was to keep Bobby happy so he would stay. Well she was not very good at her job, because Bobby kept leaving the gang, and when he did return it was with another girl beside him. Manson and every other guy in the family had their way with Leslie and they proceeded on to their particular favourites. She was handed off to musical types and bikers. When Leslie did show an independent moment, it was not to try and break away from the ranch, but to take a biker to the hills for a night of sex. Her lawyer, in one of parole hearings, asked Leslie if she felt “used” by all of the men she had to service, and she replied “no, I didn’t.”

    Leslie is a complicated person; she is multi-layered. She had (has?) a weak moral fibre. I might be on shaky ground when I say this, but I do not believe Manson had much influence over her. I do not see her as an innocent who got tangled in a terrible environment. As Leslie ‘matured,’ she seems to have approached every issue as an idea, and once she accepted the idea she was committed to it, e.g., at 18 her aim in life was to get high and laid as many times as possible and to avoid legit work as much as possible. She took that road and ended up at the ranch with Manson and did not want to leave it. The ‘problem’ with Leslie is how could someone so intelligent be so stupid. But if you approach her in a certain way, it is easy to breakdown how she became so attracted to Manson and the family so quickly.

    I agree with Fred that the person primarily responsible for Van Houten’s incarceration is herself. I believe she has deserved every day she has spent in prison. I am with those posters who believe Leslie should remain in prison.

    ————–

    I had not read anything on the Manson Family for decades. I started again three weeks ago doing research on the guitarist Mike Deasy. CieloDrive.com is an outstanding site. Some of the Audio Archives (Al Springer, Leslie’s police interviews in November, 1969) are extraordinary. The comments made on this site are generally of a high standard.

  142. NoJusticeNoPeace says:

    Welcome to the forum JNL.

  143. Billy Esquire says:

    Fred Bloggs: “There were 3 more important questions in there that you didn’t answer!”

    Lol….I know! I wrote so much on the first one I was planning to come back the next day to respond to the others (like you do), but I got sidetracked responding to something Cybele said.

    Fred Bloggs: “Leslie described in cold and calculating detail during the penalty phase that exists purely to determine whether the perp lives or dies that she killed, that she wasn’t sorry and that her sorrow wouldn’t bring back Rosemary LaBianca. What was the jury supposed to do? Ignore her?

    If her defense had been proper, her lawyer should have used her answers as evidence to the jury of her brainwashing by Manson and her inability to competently understand her deeds. Because what person in their right mind would have answered like that? No one. But Leslie answered direct questions like that all the time, probably knowing full well it would further incriminate her. Lucid and sound minded people do not do that. Leslie answered incriminating questions truthfully, because even though she knew it might damage her, Charlie wanted it done and that was all that mattered (in her mind at the time). She even said she would STILL do the crimes again! Why? Because of Charlie! What right minded person would say or do such a thing? She looked at what she did as unfortunate, but the right thing, because in her mind, Charlie was never wrong. She thought that someday, people might know why these horrible acts HAD to be done. People might not understand right now, but that’s because they didn’t know Charlie like she did. They hadn’t been taught about the future like the family had. That was the way she looked at things, and it’s why her sentencing and punishment were not proper, because her mental state was not considered.

    A jurist would have to be an idiot just to take Leslie’s statement of “no sorrow” at all for the victims at face value. Any lawyer worth their salt would have used these crazy things she said as evidence to the jury that something is seriously wrong with this girl’s brain. Nothing could have proved her psychosis better to the jury than for them to hear her crazy answers to those questions. Her answers to the questions were proof of psychosis for the jury to hear with their own ears. It was further evidence that her guilt and punishment should be looked upon totally different from someone who was not manifesting delusional behavior. It’s essentially along the same line as using insanity as a defense, although I don’t think “insanity” would be the proper term. But the girl could clearly not properly reason reality.

    Michael: Excellent write-up!

  144. Fred Bloggs says:

    Billy Esquire says:
    If her defense had been proper, her lawyer should have used her answers as evidence to the jury of her brainwashing by Manson and her inability to competently understand her deeds. Because what person in their right mind would have answered like that? No one

    Actually, lots of people might have. Right now, there are people that are perfectly comfortable with the actions of “terrorist” groups that they support {if only intellectually}. They are totally at home with the notion of a suicide bomber blowing people to bits and just seeing the victims as “collateral damage.” Which is a roundabout way of saying that one feels no real sorrow at their deaths, just without having to use those words. But are you arguing that they are not in their right minds ?
    Obviously I’m to a large extent conditioned by my trust in God but I am under no illusions about the nature of a human being. We can do some of the worst and most depraved acts imaginable ~ and be of sound mind.

    But Leslie answered direct questions like that all the time, probably knowing full well it would further incriminate her. Lucid and sound minded people do not do that. Leslie answered incriminating questions truthfully

    This is one of the problems that re~running the original trial is always going to bring ~ Leslie was honest to a fault in some areas and lying her blaggers off in others.
    To say that answering incriminating questions truthfully was a sign that Leslie was not in her right mind is, in my opinion, ridiculous.

  145. Fred Bloggs says:

    Billy Esquire says:
    even though she knew it might damage her, Charlie wanted it done and that was all that mattered (in her mind at the time). She even said she would STILL do the crimes again! Why? Because of Charlie! What right minded person would say or do such a thing?

    Someone that believed in Charlie.
    In subsequent years, Pat, Susan and Leslie spoke a number of times of some of the behind the scenes shenanigans during the trial and how Charlie would give them instructions on what to do that day and how to disrupt proceedings. Not once did any of them ever say that they were against what he was proposing. In retrospect they pointed out how awful it was of him taking no responsibility and seeking to dump them in Death Row. At the time however, they could see where he was taking this and why.
    There are some important facts to be borne in mind. Firstly, it’s not as if any of the women were actually innocent of what they had been accused and convicted of. Secondly, the chief reason behind their disruptions was the fact that they were not allowed to represent themselves. Manson had at one point been his own lawyer but he misused the opportunity and his lawyer status was revoked because the judge felt he was showing incompetence and because it was a capital case {ie one that could net the death penalty} he wasn’t willing to take the chance on Manson doing something facile or foolish that landed him with a death sentence when it could have been avoided.
    As an aside, I fully see the judge’s point but I’ve long felt he was mistaken; I think he should have given Charlie a stiff warning and allowed him to continue as his own lawyer and then if he still carried on with his daft motions, then revoked his lawyer status.
    But I digress.
    So this is why the women were being disruptive. It was nothing to do with not being of sound mind. Whether or not they believed in a revolution that some thought to be stupid or not, the fact is that they knew they were guilty. And they trusted Charlie more than they trusted law enforcement because Charlie always emphasized the law of the jailhouse which was “never snitch.”

    in her mind, Charlie was never wrong

    Some Trump supporters are like that about the Donald. Some Putin supporters are like that about Vlad. Many Jeremy Corbin supporters were like that while he was the leader of the Labour party in the UK, even though it was plainly obvious to anyone looking that most of the country was turned off by him. One could say this about so many different people at different times ~ yet the essential question remains ~ is this proof that those supporters are out of their minds ?
    Believing a delusion does not mean you are not of sound mind. There are doctors and dentists from cultures that believe in FGM and the covering up of women and the reasons why these horrors are perpetrated. Would you not allow such a doctor to operate on you or such a dentist to do root canal treatment on you because they believe those things ?

  146. Fred Bloggs says:

    Billy Esquire says:
    That was the way she looked at things, and it’s why her sentencing and punishment were not proper, because her mental state was not considered

    Tex thinks his sentence {the death one} was just. Susan believed her sentence {the death one} was just. Leslie doesn’t complain that her sentences were unjust. Her initial problems weren’t with the death sentence ~ it was with it being commuted to life. She said this meant she would have to think about what she had done.
    Manson went through the rest of his life never taking any real responsibility because he didn’t kill any of the TLB victims by his own hand. That is how many commentators, whether they be Charlie supporters or not, see it. He didn’t actually kill anyone even though legally he was guilty. And that is how the women saw it in ’69~’71. So it wasn’t because they were nuts that they went along with him. There are many perfectly rational and sane people right now that take the view he didn’t kill anyone.

    A jurist would have to be an idiot just to take Leslie’s statement of “no sorrow” at all for the victims at face value

    That’s both harsh and unfair. The books written by the jurors William Zamora and Herman Tubick {“Trial by your peers” and “Inside the Manon jury”} are both a great and in my opinion, indispensable read. They both contain some tremendous insights into the various jury members and the defendants. They spent 9 months observing the defendants. They kind of got to “know” them in a way that juries don’t usually get to know people they are in judgement of. They got to see all of their foibles, their disruptions, Manson’s domination, their statements etc. They got to see all the sides of them. There’s actually a really lovely bit in Tubick’s book where, on his birthday, he said Manson looked at him in court and silently mouthed “Happy birthday” to him and later, during a recess, as the women were being escorted past the jury room, they were singing “happy birthday to you…”
    So they got to see many different sides to the women over those 9 months. Furthermore, the one defendant that gave them the most trouble in terms of both the initial sentence and the death sentence was…….Leslie Van Houten. There was reluctance to do both and they really debated and looked into the circumstances of her participation. There was speculation at the time that Bill McBride, one of the jurors, had the hots for Leslie and he was the one that wasn’t entirely sure at first. As a result they had a lengthy debate about her. But what with all of the psychiatrists that the defence brought in, observing them all that time and listening to them, I think they had a way better view of where those women were at than you give credit for. Leslie wouldn’t say they were unfair or idiots.

  147. Fred Bloggs says:

    Billy Esquire says:
    Any lawyer worth their salt would have used these crazy things she said as evidence to the jury that something is seriously wrong with this girl’s brain. Nothing could have proved her psychosis better to the jury than for them to hear her crazy answers to those questions

    What you call those “crazy answers” need to be taken in the context of what happened during the trial. When the jury heard Leslie speak it was in defence of the copycat defence which as we know, was the Family’s attempt to get Charlie off the hook and totally discredit Linda Kasabian by saying it was her idea. In doing so, she implicated herself in the Hinman crime and took Mary Brunner out of it. You earlier talked about her truthfulness but actually, she straightforwardly lied. Those lies are the very thing you said a rational person would do. Because she wasn’t involved in the Hinman murder at all. What the jury heard Leslie say was that she loved Bobby and wanted to help get him out of jail so she went along with killing the LaBiancas and making it look like the Hinman murder so the police would release Bobby. That her story was full of holes was not because she was not in her right mind, but because the copycat was a desperate attempt to get the attention away from Helter Skelter. Leslie didn’t talk about HS during the trial. None of her “delusional” thinking on that topic came up at all. She barely, if at all, mentions Manson. In fact, Sadie told Bugliosi during the trial what a load of shit HS was. It’s there on the record.
    The lawyers didn’t want them confessing to the crimes for which they were guilty anyway but the women said they had a right to testify and the judge agreed. So they confessed to murder, but lied as to the reasons why they’d murdered.
    Their lawyers tried to show that they were mad. It didn’t work. By actually doing the things you suggested, they only emphasized how rational and articulate Leslie and Susan were.
    They tried to show that their minds were acid fried. It didn’t work. They had drug researchers, psych~whatevers {cologists, chiatrists, coanalysts}, doctors etc on behalf of the women. None of the defence lawyers believed in the death penalty and they pulled out the stops to do what they could to show that these women weren’t in their right mind and at every turn, the women said “we are of sound mind, we knew what we were doing and we’re not sorry !”

  148. Fred Bloggs says:

    Billy Esquire says:
    the girl could clearly not properly reason reality

    If anyone showed they weren’t living in reality, it was Pat.

    Leslie reasoned reality sufficiently well to cover up her tracks, lie to the police and lie during the penalty phase of the trial.
    Also, looking back on the trial, Stephen Kay said that he used to sit and have deep conversations with Leslie about the death penalty. She was of sound mind and could debate her side of things with such depth and conviction that this is what Kay remembered about the trial 40+ years on.

    Earlier, you said something about Leslie’s parole not being about the victims and you got slated for it. To be honest, I think I know where you were coming from on it and I understand the point you were making. And in the context in which I took what you were saying, I agree with you. It doesn’t mean the victims aren’t important {how could it ?}, just that 51 years after the commission of these murders, whether a person is to be paroled or not, given the strides Van Houten has taken and her recognition of what she did to the LaBianncas, is not predicated on the victims. That a murder occurred tells you there were victims. So they are not nearly as important to the process of deciding whether or not a person may or may not be fit to re-enter society as the potential parolee. And neither are their families. That probably sounds really harsh. It’s not meant to, but sometimes, things that may be true may sound harsh.
    But I would make a similar point to you about Leslie’s trial and sentence. By re-running the this, that and the other and saying ‘this wasn’t fair’ and ‘that wasn’t fair’ you’re not really acknowledging what Leslie Van Houten has had to do and come to grips with over the years. She didn’t say her trial and sentence was unfair. And even when her sentence was overturned, it wasn’t because of faulty evidence or a lying witness or something that was actually material to the case. It was because her lawyer went missing. The irony there is that the guy that replaced Ronald Hughes did a much better job and represented her in her subsequent trials, but no matter. It was felt that everything had to be seen to be working properly and that a mistrial should have been declared ~ for Leslie.
    As NJNP has pointed out a few times, she’s had 3 trials. Absolutely nothing changed evidentially or factually between the 3, yet there were different outcomes, either from the jury or the prosecution. It’s possible that either jury could still have voted death if found guilty.
    It’s only my opinion but I think trying to right what you see as her trial and sentencing wrongs actually undermines her parole attempts. For one thing, why go through all that she has in the last 47 or so years if the only problem was that she wasn’t in her right mind and therefore wasn’t responsible for her actions ? Because that’s in effect what you’ve been leading to ~ that somehow, she was impaired mentally.
    That does Leslie no credit in my view.

  149. Fred Bloggs says:

    NoJusticeNoPeace says:
    As the bulbous vein in my forehead subsides and the torrent of foul language leaves my fingertips numb by backspacing, this statement…THIS…If I say more I’ll no doubt violate forum niceties

    Steady on, old chap !
    Billy wasn’t saying the victims don’t matter. He wasn’t denigrating their families.
    In any murder there are victims and those left to pick up the pieces.
    In assessing a parolee, one thing that never changes is that people have died. That can’t be altered. Therefore there comes a point in which their immediate importance to the conduct of the parolee since the murders and their potential parole is diminished and ultimately no longer a main weight in the matter.
    In a way, one has to be able to look beyond the victims in the matter of granting parole. To a large extent, the very existence of parole tells me that whichever state or nation has it built into it’s legal system is saying that at some futuristic point, one has to look beyond the immediate victims of a crime. I don’t say it’s right or wrong {because at different times in different cases it’ll be either}, just that it is.

    Cybele Moon says:
    He will of course come back to the “she meets all requirements for parole” I’m sure

    I’d not argue that she doesn’t. But the one person whose arguments count more than anyone is that of the Guv’nor and over the last few years they’ve done a lousy job of articulating and justifying their refusals which leads many to the conclusion that they can’t articulate or justify their refusals.

    apparently Mohammed Atta also asked for forgiveness for what he was about to do before he did it

    I’d love to know how anyone knows this.
    But that aside, asking for forgiveness before you commit a heinous act {or even one that’s sinful but not heinous} is precisely the reason why said person can’t be granted forgiveness. It more than implies knowingly, willfully and deliberately doing what the person knows to be wrong, not even what they think the victim might consider wrong.

  150. NoJusticeNoPeace says:

    Fred: The statement Billy made was taken as was. I don’t peek through the pines to see the forest but at times I do laboriously read your posts. (don’t fall over) And as is my want, I could give a flip about LVH’s progress while incarcerated. As Cybele said, why give her credit for what people do every day.

    Victims stay in their graves, their families never recover, they are frozen in the horror and loss and are expected to acquiesce to the progress of the murderer at their nth parole hearing and will at every opportunity given to them, since the victims are largely forgotten, bring to the attention what this is always about. The victim at the hands of Ms. Perfect in Prison.

    The forest I see is one of faceless victims that become less important, less valuable since their worth is compared to how many degrees, how many counseling sessions, how many self help classes ad infinitum is given-yes, given- to the very one who chose-yes chose- the situation everyone finds themselves.

    I’m getting better at back spacing.

  151. Cybele Moon says:

    well said NJNP!!
    “The forest I see is one of faceless victims that become less important, less valuable since their worth is compared to how many degrees, how many counseling sessions, how many self help classes ad infinitum is given-yes, given- to the very one who chose-yes chose- the situation everyone finds themselves”

    Billy you believe Leslie was not as culpable because she was not in her right mind, And as Fred says then that must apply to all of them but he also says
    “Right now, there are people that are perfectly comfortable with the actions of “terrorist” groups that they support {if only intellectually}. They are totally at home with the notion of a suicide bomber blowing people to bits and just seeing the victims as “collateral damage.” Which is a roundabout way of saying that one feels no real sorrow at their deaths, just without having to use those words. But are you arguing that they are not in their right minds ?”

    So who cares! They did it, You have never acknowledged the fact that many other family members were horrified and would not have done this. Many actually left the group but instead of leaving which you say Leslie wanted to do she instead asks to go on the murder mission.
    I will never excuse her actions but I do acknowledge that she’s met parole requirements though I hold her in no way non compos mentis or less culpable.

    I do nevertheless appreciate all the posters here and acknowledge we may all look at situations from a different perspective.
    Great discussion everyone! and welcome JNL

    PS Fred, I am probably wrong about Atta, it was another who had expressed some sympathetic feeling over what they were about to do. But it was a long time ago I had read the account and now cannot find it but that stuck in my mind. – kind of like LVH saying she felt sad for the Labianca children finding the bodies that they had murdered the night before.

  152. Billy Esquire says:

    Fred Bloggs: “To be honest, I think I know where you were coming from on it and I understand the point you were making. And in the context in which I took what you were saying, I agree with you.”

    I’m glad you understood what I was saying, Fred, and what I meant when I made that statement. I knew I would be berated for it, but I really couldn’t think of any other way to say it, while also trying to get my point across. If it sounded awful to people, that’s not how I meant it. I would never disrespect the victims or their families.

    Fred Bloggs: “It’s only my opinion but I think trying to right what you see as her trial and sentencing wrongs actually undermines her parole attempts. For one thing, why go through all that she has in the last 47 or so years if the only problem was that she wasn’t in her right mind and therefore wasn’t responsible for her actions? Because that’s in effect what you’ve been leading to ~ that somehow, she was impaired mentally. That does Leslie no credit in my view.”

    I actually have to agree with you on this, Fred. I’ve been very torn about sharing my thoughts and feelings. Most people that come here mainly express ONE thing….that being their thoughts on whether the 5 remaining people in prison should remain there or get parole. But there’s SO many other thoughts, beliefs and feelings we probably all have regarding those 5 people. Some people express more of their personal thoughts than others, and that’s what makes this site so interesting.

    Fred, you also said something else I agree with when you suggested…if I believe that Leslie received unjust punishment because her mental functioning and competency at the time of the crime was not properly considered, then that would have to apply to all of them….because they were all in the same environment and conditions. Logically, I agree with you….that assumption should be exactly right. However, that’s not what I feel or believe.

    Of those who went to prison and still remain there, the only one I focused in on and had an interest in what happens to her was Van Houten. From observing her overall affect and demeanor on various interviews, I couldn’t help but wonder how in the world did this girl find herself serving a life sentence in prison? From watching one certain video of her on YouTube, it was like, “This girl doesn’t belong in prison!” It was like watching a duck out of water. And then through my in depth study of her case, I came to feel over time that prison is not where she needs to be….at least now. I always agreed that she deserved prison time for what she did, but 50 years now? And the more I look at her case, I can’t help but think her sentencing was a travesty. Something just isn’t right. I really look at it as though she was sick when the crimes were going on, and then she got her health back. And I just don’t think that calls for a life sentence.

    I assume most everyone here has done an above average amount of research and studying on this case, otherwise, we probably wouldn’t be here. I’m sure we’ve all found the case fascinating, for a variety of reasons. And in the cast of characters, we probably all find some of them more interesting than others. And I’m no different. After my endless hours of reading and watching, my focus went to Leslie pretty quickly, and only to her….not the others. Suffice it to say that I didn’t see the others as “ducks out of water”.

  153. Michael says:

    Billy, maybe you see something I don’t see. In looking at the comments and behavior of all three “girls” during the trial, I see all of them as impaired, deluded, cavalier about their crimes, not legally insane, but compliant to Manson and his craziness.

    Then, as years passed, I see all three maturing to the point of disavowing Manson, admitting full responsibility for their crimes, growing in maturity, and growing in remorse and horror at what they’d done.

    Of course they are all unique in their process and personalities, but looking at Patricia and Susan in their later interviews, is there really that much difference between them and Leslie when it comes to their apparent emotional development? Or, for that matter, their status as ducks out of water in the prison environment?

    Granted, we have only their interviews and public statements to go on, so we can’t know the extent of their integrity. But if we go just by what we’ve seen, then what I have seen in Leslie is not remarkably different than what I’ve seen in Susan and Patricia as well. (Exception: Susan always seemed more theatrical to me and inconsistent in her accounts.)

    I think it’s legitimate for someone to remain in prison, whether they’re a duck out of water or a duck comfortable in the pond. It’s the crime which put them there. If they have grown to the point where they’re no longer “at home” in a criminal environment, that’s commendable. But it doesn’t negate the reason for their incarceration.

  154. JNL says:

    Billy Esquire – I, too, think Leslie is the only interesting one among that lot of shits. Holy smoke and bloody hell, she is some girl. I probably should not say what follows, but I will: Several days ago when reading about Van Houten it struck me that I wish it were June, 1969, so I go to the ranch and drag her out of that dump. She would have fought like a wildcat, but I think I could have handled a 19 year old Van Houten. But she is a killer, and one cannot forget it. Leslie keeps insisting that she has had only one violent act in her life. Sorry, honey, that one was way too much. She has to go down for it, even if it means being carried out of prison in a pine box and dumped into an unmarked grave.

    Those persons who want Leslie to remain in prison believe she was an active, willing agent in the key moments of her post-abortion life. Soon after she hooked up with the Manson gang, Charlie’s tone hardened. Van Houten accepted it. There were plenty of drugs and sex in the family and Leslie was clearly ecstatic with them. But the conditions in the ranches were full of poverty, amorality and hate. Who would choose to live in them? Leslie did. I am convinced she could have walked away. She was a LA girl; she knew the turf. She was in the city numerous times. I believe LVH was picked-up for hitchhiking in the San Fernando Valley in April, 1969, and she was alone! (I hope I have the facts correct on this point.)

    Leslie’s downfall was a combination of her weak ethical code and her intellectual arrogance. The police interviews of Leslie’s that one can hear on this site are stunning! All of her voices and faces are on them. The detective is really working on the girl. He is telling Van Houten that the “family” is not her real family; they are not her real brothers and sisters. But LVH would not budge on that point. Leslie chose in late November, 1969 to stick with Manson and the gang, even after the detective answered her question, “What is a grand jury”? LVH knew she killed. But she sized up the situation and thought her, new, family members would keep their mouths shut – even when Leslie came close to spilling the whole story to the coppers.

    There are persons who believe that full retribution must be met for a criminal act even if the perpetrator is “rehabilitated.” It is not vengeful for the State to so do. Incarceration is retribution is vengeance. It might not seem fair or right, but in our world there exists the inequality of condition, in all social relations. The conditions of the Manson family crimes are different from others. I think they should have exceptional status. I am a long way from LA, but those crimes clearly have had a profound affect on the city and the county. The DA’s office down there fight like hell to keep Leslie in prison for a reason, and many people think it is not unreasonable for the office to do it.

  155. Cybele Moon says:

    Billy, thank you for sharing your thoughts
    – though I agree more with Michael and JNL.

    I have read on the face book Cielo Drive that many thought LVH was “hot!”
    It is interesting on a psychological view I think. I believe a lot of males would have been attracted to her and as a female I too did find her case interesting – but all of them were fascinating and had a story. Leslie was very pretty in a very American way, and looked like a homecoming queen. She had had a middle class upbringing, went to church, was athletic etc. She appeared very “normal.”

    I thought Gyspy (Catherine Share) had a much more interesting life for example, a musician born of musician parents in Paris WWII. her mother was Jewish and both parents were in the French Resistance and had committed suicide. Anyway she did not participate in the murders but had been with Manson for a long time compared with Leslie who was there less than a year. I doubt any of us will ever know or completely understand “what went wrong” and some of us put it down simply to pure evil.

    It’s interesting how some males have said they wanted to “save” Leslie. I think part of the morbid fascination with this case was that it was young (and pretty) women who committed or participated in these brutal murders and they were the daughters of law abiding citizens for the most part.

    As for social movements, the murders just confirmed what “normal” society believed,- that the hippie movement was no good and indeed ended up as an unmitigated disaster at the end of the sixties with these murders. The Manson murders effectively ended the whole hippie scene which up till then had professed peace and love.

  156. Cybele Moon says:

    PS,- oh and I forgot about the rolling stones and Altamont!

    “Storming Heaven” by Jay Stevens is a fascinating book on that era and LSD.
    https://www.amazon.ca/Storming-Heaven-LSD-American-Dream/dp/0802135870

  157. NoJusticeNoPeace says:

    If it looks like a duck, quacks like a duck…

    and secures a flailing, terrorized woman and helps stab her to death a minimum of oh say a confessed 16 times–give or take, hmm, could’ve been alive or already butchered depends on which way the tide flows– guess what?

    It’s Leslie Van Houten who ran a fowl of her own making.

  158. Cybele Moon says:

    NJNP- as I said before you don’t mince words!! Clever play there btw.

    There will always be those who sympathize with inmates and especially notorious ones. Some get involved for spiritual reasons such as Sister Helen Prejean.

    In extreme cases for example how the heck could Tex Watson get someone to marry him!! Atkins married her lawyer, and I believe Beausoleil married more than once in prison.

    I believe this phenomenon even has a name – hybristophilia!

    Good grief!!

  159. Michael says:

    You’ve got a terrific reality show concept there, Cybele.

    “Hybristophilia Eye For the Manson Guy”

    Contestants vie to see who wins the former Manson follower. He announces his choice in the visiting room as the rejects weep.

    The producer comforts them by announcing they’ll get another chance on the upcoming spinoff series “Last Mansonite Standing.”

  160. NoJusticeNoPeace says:

    Cybele & Michael: Manson Family Feud. Get three X’s you win.

  161. Christy says:

    Cybele,yeah, I couldn’t understand how someone could marry Tex either. But, yes, there seems to be something about these infamous inmates that attract people. Just in the U.S. alone Ted Bundy got married and so did Richard Ramirez aka The Night Stalker. Scott Peterson, who killed his pregnant wife and dumped her in the San Francisco Bay, gets letters all the time. Then there’s the two Menendez brothers who killed their parents. And both Leslie and Susan got married in prison. All these trials were high profile.

    I also agree with your theory about how Leslie’s looks affected how she’s viewed. Of the three Susan had the sadder background but didn’t inspire the kind of support Leslie had and has now.

  162. NoJusticeNoPeace says:

    2013 LVH parole hearing, Anthony DiMaria, nephew of Jay Sebring, was a family representative for John DiSantis, nephew of Leno and Rosemary La Bianca. In his statement he brings to light exactly what I feel is the gist for her quest for freedom:

    ” In today’s and previous Parole Hearings, there has been much discussion on influences of Ms. Van Houten before her crimes, accountability, whether Ms. Van Houten remains a threat to society, rehabilitation and suitability for parole. The La Bianca families would like to address these issues. Regarding drug and Manson influence, today attorney Satris and Ms. Van Houten submit to the Board that the inmate alone is responsible for her crimes. But at a recent hearing, Ms. Van Houten’s attorney, Christie Webb, asserted that her client was rendered mentally incapacitated from chronic LSD abuse and Manson control. Ms. Webb states, “Leslie was vulnerable and she was controlled by drugs and Manson’s brainwashing.” At the petitioner’s last hearing, her then-attorney, Brandie Devall, says, “It is abundantly clear that Ms. Van Houten has never used drugs as a crutch or a reason to justify this life crime.” But just a few years previously, Ms. Webb declares, “All that LSD changed the chemistry of her brain.” These conflicting stances were made just a few years apart at recent Parole Hearings. And between the two proposals, one must imagine completely different realities. The stark discrepancies are borne out on the record. Long-time supporter and friend of Ms. Van Houten, filmmaker John Waters, quotes Ms. Van Houten in his article Leslie Van Houten, A Friendship. “I became saturated in acid and had no sense where those who were not part of the psychedelic reality came from. I had no perspective or sense that I was no longer in control of my mind.” These contradictions, made in distant and close proximity of each other gives one pause to realize that genuine accountability gives way to tactical strategy.”

    Tactical strategy. Betcher ass it is.

  163. Fred Bloggs says:

    Cybele Moon says:
    how the heck could Tex Watson get someone to marry him!! Atkins married her lawyer, and I believe Beausoleil married more than once in prison

    Bruce Davies and LVH also married in prison.
    Those people that married the jailbirds had their reasons too. Maybe they actually did love the people they were marrying. And more importantly, the state allowed it which tells you something quite revealing ~ that LE foresaw a day when the perps would possibly be paroled.
    When Doris Tate and others campaigned for victims rights, it is interesting that they went for things like the shutting down of conjugal rights. It was a good and clever move because it cut off the avenue of parading the presence of kids and some kind of family set up as further weight in the parole stakes and has contributed big time to the perps in the Manson affiliated murders remaining in prison, which was the main aim in the first place.

    I believe this phenomenon even has a name – hybristophilia!

    Hybristophilia is something altogether more insidious and yucky than just being attracted to some perp that happens to be in jail. After all, if one’s husband or wife ended up in prison, that in itself wouldn’t make them any less attractive to the person that was married to them. Hybristophilia is a sexual thing whereby one’s sexual excitement comes about precisely because of the level of depravity in the acts of the perp one finds attractive so the worse their offence, the more of a turn on it is.
    I consider that sick in the head.

    Good grief!!

    That pretty much sums up hybristophilia !

    The Manson murders effectively ended the whole hippie scene which up till then had professed peace and love…..oh and I forgot about the rolling stones and Altamont!

    This is generally taken as how it was but a look at history reveals otherwise. As early as October 1967 actual Hippies were proclaiming the death of the movement. Interestingly, months before that, Beatle George Harrison had gone to Haight-Ashbury to check out the Hippy scene and had been disgusted by what he discovered, to the extent that he stopped taking LSD after that visit.
    When I’ve heard people talking about the Manson murders being the effective end of the Hippy scene {I think the writer Joan Didion helped push that “death of the 60s” mantra}, I wonder why people don’t go back 2 years. Apart from the “Death of Hippy” procession of ’67, people forget that the year following the summer of love was a violent year filled with violent protests, assassinations and the resulting harder edge from the love children and very little talk of love, peace and flowers. That prefaced the TLB murders.
    Besides, Hippiedom didn’t end in the 60s.

    “Storming Heaven” by Jay Stevens is a fascinating book on that era and LSD

    I had that book on my bookshelf for around a decade before I finally got around to reading it in 2014. It is a really good book although it gets a little thin once he gets to the 70s.
    Interestingly, it doesn’t touch on the Manson thing.

  164. Chris says:

    Yeah billy. Protect Pat. But she’s not pretty.

  165. Christy says:

    Fred I grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area, I’m 59. It’s impossible to describe. I was 6 during the summer of love, my parents worked in Oakland during both Black panther movements and anti war protests. As far as I’m concerned if Leslie gets out I don’t care as long as she isn’t next to me. And, yeah, I know that’s being a jerk on my part.

  166. Fred Bloggs says:

    Reply
    Christy says:
    my parents worked in Oakland during both Black panther movements and anti war protests

    A couple of weeks ago on PBS America there was a great documentary called “Vanguard of a revolution” about the Panthers. It was brilliant, if somewhat sad. I ended up watching it 4 times in 2 days. I was rigging up our freeview TV set up from the set up I’d previously had so that’s my excuse ! 😎

    As far as I’m concerned if Leslie gets out I don’t care as long as she isn’t next to me. And, yeah, I know that’s being a jerk on my part

    I don’t actually think that’s being a jerk at all. If you think about it, there’s bound to be all kinds of hoopla from media, admirers and detractors alike if she were released. Who’d want to be living next door to that ? 🤔 😬 🤢

  167. Christy says:

    Fred, thanks for the recommendation of the documentary. I am going to watch it if I can get hold of it.

  168. Aimee Real- Giles says:

    When does Sharon get her parole? When do the families get their parole from the murders? She did a crime, she can do her time. She and the entire Manson family can rot in prison as far as I’m concerned.

  169. louis says:

    Leslie could have decades to go yet.

  170. Dee says:

    You know what? Aside from my personal feelings and emotions related to this case and my utmost sympathy and respect for all victims, I AGREE. Clearly the law is not being followed and if you compare her case to countless others since she’s been in there, I really think Leslie is being treated unfairly. People keep saying where’s Sharon’s this and that. Well, Leslie didn’t kill Sharon. People are just ranting based on emotions, and I find myself doing the same. But if this case was tried today I’d bet it’d have been done very differently. There’s a reason the jury hung. I’m not even sure that the charges and the sentences were appropriate in the first place. What’s gross is that Tex Watson got to procreate! That right there is a disgusting affront to justice and the memory of Sharon. LESLIE WAS NOT INVOLVED IN THE TATE MURDERS AND KNEW NOTHING ABOUT THEM. And I think there is compelling evidence, on record, that FORTY ONE of the stab wounds were POST MORTEM. While Leslie is despicable and did a despicable thing, I think that she probably did feel ambivalent and avoided participating until the end when Watson told her to do something. Again, NOT saying she should be excused, but I’d seriously bet that Leslie would not and should have been charged the same as the others and that the evidence supports that. She definitely wouldn’t have been charged with 1st degree and given the death penalty under any other circumstances.
    She should’ve been paroled long ago. The system allows for people who’ve done far, far worse to be rehabilitated and released and there are far worse than Leslie walking the streets after far less time. Stop acting like a mob and at least be consistent.
    Bless all those affected by these terrible crimes. And the rich people who built that hideous monstrosity should rebuild Sharon’s magical house because she loved it and would never wanted it torn down like that. So wrong. Breaks my heart.
    I have thought a lot about it, and I think Leslie is the one person who should be released and I don’t think she’s a harm to anyone. I am basing that on the way the laws are supposed to work and on her specific crime and circumstances—not just considering the whole of what happened over the days of the Manson crimes.

  171. Bill says:

    Leslie has seemed genuinely remorseful for her crimes for a long time. She has tried to use her time in prison to atone for what she did, counselling other inmates. I do not wish to minimize the horrific Labianca murders Leslie was involved in. But her participation in that was stabbing Rosemary postmortem, obeying Tex’s orders to “Do something!” as Charlie had stressed they must all “get their hands dirty.” Having served 50 years, she’s paid her debt. She should not be held to the same standard as Watson, Atkins and Krenwinkel, who really should die in prison.

  172. Kurt says:

    This anger towards Leslie is crazy. She never killed Sharon Tate, and she wasn’t even on the property during the time.

    She assisted in the death of one person, and that was in 1969.

    Let her go. She served her time already.

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