• Van Houten Released on Parole

Van Houten Released on Parole

Tuesday, July 11th, 2023

Jul. 11 – Leslie Van Houten has been released on parole.

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141 Responses to Van Houten Released on Parole

  1. peter says:

    Good for Leslie. I think she’s earned it.

    • Peter says:

      With the exception of Charles Manson and Tex Watson, all of the Manson killers would have been paroled long ago if not for their notoriety.

  2. Paul says:

    I knew it would happen, she worked hard for this day.

  3. Mike says:

    I’m not really sure how I feel about this. Yes, she worked mighty hard to rehabilitate herself, change her whole mind-set, and train herself for a post-prison career. I absolutely believe that she is no longer a danger to society and that she has completely freed herself of the hold that Manson had once had over her.

    Yet I keep coming back to those awful crime scene photographs, the apparent suicide of Rosemary LaBianca’s son, and the mental breakdown of her daughter. What can Leslie possibly do to atone for her contributions to all of that?

    • Paul says:

      Rosemary’s daughter was quite happy to have Tex Watson paroled, he was the one that actually killed her.

      • Mckinney says:

        The autopsy reports for all the Tate LaBianca victims show multiple non-lethal stab wounds and one or more deep fatal wounds (or gunshot wounds). It’s clear that Watson administered the fatal wounds and his own parole hearing testimony supports this.

  4. Vivian Pickles says:

    I support Leslie’s release, but if this opens the floodgates for, say, Bobby or Bruce…yikes.

  5. Dianne says:

    She was such a positive, inspiring influence on the female inmates. The warden and correctional officers were hugging Leslie after her first parole approval. She’s changed tremendously

  6. Mckinney says:

    I’m pleased that she was released. She’s certainly paid tremendously for the crime and adjusting to life on the outside will be unimaginably difficult for her. Her family now are the people she was close to in prison.

    It will be interesting to see if she ever discusses the crimes or grants interviews after her parole ends. I doubt it.

  7. Old Michael says:

    I can’t say I am happy for her. But I can see how, legally, this makes sense. I do hope she’ll have the decency to avoid interviews or capitalizing on her crimes in any way.

    • happydaysarehereagain says:

      Old Michael: My sentiment exactly. Something tells me she will try to capitalize on her crimes, once again using the name Manson to lessen her culpability and make blood money. Time will tell.

      • Paul says:

        HAPPYDAYSAREHEREAGAIN Leslie not going to write a book and I highly doubt she will do a tv interview. She just wants to live out her parole in anonymity. And for the love of gods please quit the whole Manson blaming jumbo, it’s tiresome now.

        • happydaysarehereagain says:

          Paul: Got to love how you say TW is the one who killed RL. Last time I checked LVH is guilty of two counts of first-degree murder. Now I know you love to revise history by nit picking with the apple/oranges drivel but for the love of God, you can stop now, it’s tiresome. The law is the law. A guilty verdict is just that and you will never change that fact. Now go stand in line for an autographed copy of LVH’s memoir and ignore my posts as I most definitely will yours.

          • Paul says:

            HAPPYDAYSAREHEREAGAIN Yes she was guilty but did she end either of their lives? No she didn’t. Had she killed then she probably wouldn’t have walked out yesterday. You might not like it but mitigating factors exist and are taken into consideration, and the courts and the parole board (since 2016) know that and they are the ones they have done their job right. law is the law as you say.

          • Pam says:

            HDAHA, “Now go stand in line for an autograph copy of LVH’s memoirs.” 😆 😆.

      • Donna says:

        She’s going to need to do something for money. She didn’t pay into social security and depending on her health, and with her age – not much maybe else she can do to have money to live. Anyway capitalizing is the American way. Otherwise she is going to have to have a strong support system on the outside to include financial support.

  8. Louise LaBianca says:

    MIKE: I believe Frankie died from cirrhosis of the liver, not suicide.

  9. Louise LaBianca says:

    MIKE: I only learned of Frankie’s death through a documentary program I was on a few years ago–the producer, Lesley Chilcott, found out about it when she was trying to find victims’ family members. For the record, after the murders our side of the family, Leno’s children, never had contact with Rosemary’s children again. Of course, Frankie and I were the only “children” –young teens–while our older siblings were young adults.

  10. Roger says:

    I’m happy for her that she was finally released I feel like she has earned. Ms Labianca I’m terribly sorry for your loss and the tragedy your family went through

  11. Rich Pfeiffer says:

    Her release does NOT open the floodgates for the others. Parole is determined on a case-by-case evaluation. Leslie’s case was much different than the others, both at the crime scenes and the 50+ years in prison. There are no plans for interviews.

    • Vivian Pickles says:

      I only say this because Bobby “only” killed one person and same with Bruce. Bobby has been recommended for release before, I can’t recall if Bruce has. And neither of those murders have to do with the Tate/Labianca crimes. Not directly, anyway. I just can see it happening now, as I thought Leslie would never get out, even though I have long thought she absolutely put in the work and utilized prison for what it’s supposed to be for: rehabilitation. Clem committed the exact crime of Shorty Shea that Bruce did. Why has Clem been out since like ’85? So many questions…

      • Mike says:


        The short version of why Clem is out is that a) it was felt that he was so fried on drugs that he had no idea what he was doing; the proof in the pudding is that once he got off the drugs in prison, he was a completely different person, and b) he’s the one who actually led authorities to Shorty’s remains, which likely proved remorse and rehabilitation.

        Again, the proof in the pudding is that in the nearly 40 years since Clem was paroled, we have heard neither hide nor hair of him.

        • Vivian Pickles says:

          I hear that, but it took him many years to lead them to the body. He still lied boastfully that shorty was decapitated and in 9 pieces in the interim. As a Family member, why wasn’t he kept in? There’s more proof than not of “Scramblehead” being an act needed to put on when necessary. Whether that’s the case, who knows. But he was just as involved as any of them. He was along on night 2 and went on the ride to find more victims in a church or in traffic or that actor Linda met once. He was so involved! It makes no sense for him to be released and living his best possible life.

    • Wolf's Stare says:

      Great job Mr Pfeiffer, I knew you were the right man for the job, so happy for Leslie.

  12. Mike says:

    Louise, I stand corrected.

    I can only imagine how you must be feeling about this.

    I’m so sorry for your family’s continued loss and pain.

  13. Mike says:

    Mr. Pfeiffer, I know that you are Leslie’s attorney, and I also know that it’s your job to do right by your client.

    Without trying to put you on the spot, sir, but as you stand here in front of Mr. LaBianca’s daughter and other people with less of a vested interest in this case, what do you say to us as far as your feelings about one of the perpetrators of one of the most infamous and heinous crimes being released from prison?

  14. Paul says:

    Mike rich is perfectly right in what he says and some of us would rather hear what he has to say than some other people here I could mention. If you don’t like his position than ignore him.

    And Mike, if someone went out and committed a crime at the same magnitude as that of Leslie’s, they would have been out after 15 years. Only because if the connection to the Manson name and the actions of her codependents is she still there.

  15. Mike says:


    I think I was perfectly polite to Rich. As I said, he is Leslie’s attorney. I’m interested in his personal, non-professional opinions about this matter.

    I feel that the ONLY person here whose opinions truly count for anything is Louise. After all, it was her father who was a victim of Ms. Van Houten and her friends.

    But if you want to turn this into a slanging match… well, I’m sure that the administrators of this web site will do the right thing and toss us both off. Personally, I’m not interested in that sort of thing.

  16. Mike says:

    Paul, as far as Suzanne Struthers is concerned, she hasn’t been right in the head for a long time now. Her own daughter was murdered just a few years ago, which undoubtedly added to her burden. Her “friendship” with Tex was a con by him to get her to testify on his behalf in front of the parole board. Thankfully, that attempted end-run was thwarted by Doris Tate. Tex certainly learned the art of the con and manipulation well from his master Charlie.

    In case you haven’t noticed, Suzanne only appeared in front of the Board that one time.

  17. Paul says:

    I don’t see a slanging match going on here.

    “I feel that the ONLY person here whose opinions truly count for anything is Louise.“ I don’t deny it’s an important opinion coming from someone intimate to the victims but that’s a big leap so they that’s the only opinion that counts. I think most people’s opinion counts on here, maybe not everyone single one but the most part.

    Doesn’t matter how many times she went to the board it’s still pretty bizarre to literally go to your mothers killers parole hearing and tried to convince the board to parole him.

  18. CybeleMoon says:

    Mike, good points.

    Though I was one of those opposed to her release I do think that legally she did meet the terms for being paroled. Unlike Paul and some others I don’t hold youth or drugs to be a mitigating factor in such a horrific murder. By the way Paul, read the case about the “kids” who tortured and murdered a young man named Cordell Richards. Their case was re examined under the Supreme Court decision that a mandatory life sentence was unconstitutional for juveniles. However, the presiding judge resentenced them to life without parole due to the nature of the crime. So not everyone who commits a gruesome murder gets to walk out in 15 years as you say. Different states have different sentences.

    That said I’m not sorry for the long sentence LVH did serve and yes, these crimes often do have long lasting repercussions. On the other hand I do think that she is intelligent and remorseful and won’t write a book. I think she will try to maintain a low profile, but I don’t think her life will be a piece of cake going forward at her age, support or not. I am sure Rich Pfeiffer believes in what he is doing and is not doing it for publicity. He did a very good job because he has a rapport with the clients he wants to represent.

    Louise my prayers are with your family and all the victims.

  19. Mike says:

    Paul, allow me to educate you a bit on the law.

    Even assuming that Leslie did not end the lives of either of the victims – indeed, had she never even touched either one of them – she would still have been found guilty of first-degree murder. Why? The legal principle of vicarious liability. It states that if you are present at a crime scene, know what is about to happen, do nothing to stop it, and offer aid and comfort to the perpetrators of the act, you are just as guilty as if you had committed the crime yourself.

    It is the same principle that convicted Manson of all seven murders, and convicted Susan Atkins of the LaBianca murders even though she never entered their house or touched either one of them.

    Whether or not Leslie stabbed Mrs. LaBianca after she was already dead is moot point. Her participation, even presence, at the crime scene makes her just as guilty as Watson and Krenwinkel.

    To address someone else’s point, I think that Van Houten would be wise to not give any interviews, and to simply live out her remaining time in anonymity. If she does give interviews, or does any speaking engagements, it would behoove her to donate the money to Parents of Murdered Children, or some other similar end, worthy organization.

  20. Paul says:

    You are trying to educate me on things I already know and have known for years. When it comes to suitability for parole, those details are registered and considered in the final decision by the board. If Leslie had actually killed one of the victims I’m sure the board would have twice about granting her. They always count eventually,

  21. Paul says:


  22. Paul says:

    “By the way Paul, read the case about the “kids” who tortured and murdered a young man named Cordell Richards. Their case was re examined under the Supreme Court decision that a mandatory life sentence was unconstitutional for juveniles. However, the presiding judge resentenced them to life without parole due to the nature of the crime.”

    I’ve heard of this case but can’t any recall all the details, I’ll look later. But i don’t recall the circumstances being similar. Did they have a figure like Manson indoctrinating bizarre philosophies and feeding substance to them to convince them he was Jesus Christ and to commit murder or was it just some vicious teenagers who just enjoyed torturing?

  23. Mike says:


    “If Leslie had actually killed one of the victims I’m sure the board would’ve (thought) twice about granting her (parole).”

    Then how do you explain that Krenwinkel, Davis and Beausoleil – admitted or confessed murderers all – have been green-lighted by parole boards?

    Your logic is, at best, flawed.

  24. Pam says:

    Hi Mike,
    Really enjoyed reading your posts. Excellent rebuttal. She was convicted of two counts of first degree murder. No way around this.

  25. Paul says:

    Davis made out he was a bystander in the crimes he committed, and Krenwinkel used the intimate partner battery route. If you think that the mitigating factors are irrelevant then why has Tex Watson not been granted yet? Let’s say Van Houten switched with Watson in terms of their participation in the crimes, would she be a free woman now? I don’t think so.

    • Vivian Pickles says:

      I’m not sure I will ever veer from my personal belief that Tex and Katie did all the killing those nights…

    • Mike says:


      Apples and oranges, my friend. Tex, by his own admission, participated in all seven of the Tate-LaBianca murders. As you have been so fond of telling us throughout this discussion, Leslie MAY have stabbed someone who was already dead (and, as I have said several times, but for a time machine, there is no way to tell which wounds were inflicted by Tex and which by Leslie).

      If their situations were reversed, Tex would be at the halfway house, and Leslie would still be in prison. But they’re not.

      The speculation is fun, but ultimately just that – speculation. Regardless of your feelings about it, Leslie will for all time stand convicted of two counts of first-degree murder. There is nothing you can say or do which will change that.

  26. CybeleMoon says:

    Hi Paul, My point was just that not all murderers get to walk after 15 years.
    I keep thinking though, that that whole era was experimenting with drugs and gurus. Most didn’t choose murder as a message of prophetic enlightenment. I think those who participated ( the few who did) still knew right from wrong. They enjoyed their creepy crawlies and other criminal activities. Other members of the same Manson cult were shocked when they found out about the murders. We may never understand the psychology of those who chose to murder random strangers with knives and bayonets. Sadly for LVH (who was probably the most intelligent of the murder squad) she “chose” to go.

    Mike, I guess all logic can be a bit flawed lol, but I agree about the others that have been green lighted. I don’t know what will happen to them in the future but they are all very old now and probably not the threat that they once were. Jails are becoming overcrowded and over burdened as to the cost of keeping elderly prisoners.

  27. Rich Pfeiffer says:

    I am somewhat in a similar situation as are the victims’ families. A lady I was dating was murdered by her ex-husband. It impacted me so much that I had to stop working on parole cases for a while. I tried to tell her family that if the murderer does get paroled, it’s becuase he had taken the right steps, shown remorse, and has something to offer society or he will never be paroled. The vast majority of murderers are never paroled because they don’t take those difficult steps. If they are paroled, then some good (no matter how small) will happen. If they don’t reform, the murders are a complete waste of lives. The family I was greiving with didn’t want to hear any of this, but it was too soon – I understand. This is really hard for everyone, even the parolee who has to live with what they did.

    • happydaysarehereagain says:

      Mr. Pfeiffer, thank you for opening yourself up and sharing your personal story. Such a difficult situation to be sure and one I hope you and the family of the victim have found some peace.

    • Mike says:

      Mr. Pfeiffer, I’m sure I speak for everyone in this discussion when I say how much I appreciate your honesty and candor, especially as it pertains to your own personal experience. I am truly sorry for your loss.

      Every criminal deserves fair representation, no matter how heinous or notorious the crime. I know you have worked with Leslie for many years; she has a great advocate in her corner. While it is popular to dump on lawyers and their ethics, I’m certain that you are a fair man who has worked doggedly for his client.

      The Tate-LaBianca murders happened when I was 9; I have been following the case practically from the moment the murders occurred. I can say I probably know as much about the case as any layman. I can also say that based on the interviews she’s done, watching her parole hearings and other things I’ve learned, I have waffled back and forth on how I felt about Leslie’s parole suitability for many years. Now that she has finally been granted parole, I know that you will diligently assist in her transition to a world that has changed so much since her incarceration.

      I truly hope that the parole board and the appellate court are right, that Leslie is suitably rehabilitated that she can safely reenter and reintegrate with society, and that she can make some sort of useful contribution with the time she has left. She obviously made a good decision in choosing you as her legal advocate. Let us all hope that she continues to make good decisions.

      • happydaysarehereagain says:

        Mike: You were 9 and I was 6 but I still remember the newspaper headlines and how the evening news of all three channels to watch back then made Tate-LaBianca the lead story. I was a teen when Bug’s HS was released as I was on a family vacation and it seemed everyone had the book, turning page after page with their toes in the sand. I thought how odd it was to read a book like that when the beauty of the Atlantic was before them. Fast forward to my senior year in high school and I chose this case as a presentation in history class. My first A+ in that class was memorable as was the faces of my classmates who were rapt with attention and questions. I’ve been watching this case ever since and at times I wish I could ignore it. It’s ingrained in my conscience, in my youth and as an adult. Movies made to this day; books still being written. How can one escape it when one grows up with this kind of evil in our midst.

        I have no answers, LVH did her time and is free. But she must know her choices, her actions effected an entire society, and many more for generations to come. She has her infamy; she changed the world in ways she’ll never comprehend.

  28. Rich Pfeiffer says:

    One more thing – as attorneys we don’t get inmates released. All we can do is give them advice, direction, and tools that are helpful for rehabilitation. But the inmate has to do the work, we can’t do it for them. That work is not easy for the inmate because they need to look really deep into the crime, what led or contributed to the crime, and how to move forward knowing just how horrible their acts were. If they do the work well, they will never forget what they did and then they have to live with it. I know a lot of you might think this is a bunch of bull but this is how it really is. I’ve been doing this work since 1997.

    • Mike says:

      “I wake up every day knowing that I’m a destroyer of the most precious thing, which is life; and I do that because that’s what I deserve, is to wake up every morning and know that.”

      Patricia Krenwinkel, 1994

      I’m sure Leslie has expressed similar sentiments.

  29. peter says:

    The “vicarious liability” with respect to Susan’s conviction for the LaBianca murders was based in conspiracy because, not only is conspiracy a separate chargeable offense, but as Bugliosi noted in his closing with respect to Atkins and the LaBiancas, “once a conspiracy is formed, each member of the conspiracy is criminally responsible for and equally guilty of crimes committed by his coconspirators which were in furtherance of the object of the conspiracy.”

    Based on this theory, Manson and the other girls were convicted on one count of conspiracy and seven counts of first-degree murder. Leslie was only convicted on the conspiracy count and 2 counts of first-degree murder because she was not alleged to have joined the conspiracy until after the Tate killings.

    This is not the same as felony murder, that anyone who is accused of committing a violent felony with murder if the commission of that felony results in the death of someone.

    What I don’t understand is that in the Manson appeal where Van Houten’s conviction was overturned, the Court held that the proximity in time of the LaBianca’s deaths was sufficient to cement together the burglary-robbery and the homicides as one indivisible transaction and that the “causal connection between the underlying felony and the killings suggests the robbery was not complete and supports application of the felony-murder rule.”

    In Leslie’s third trial the jury convicted her of one count of conspiracy to commit first-degree murder and two counts of first-degree murder. The jury in the third trial was not required to decide that she premeditated and deliberated the murder because the trial court also gave felony-murder instructions.  

    Was Leslie’s conviction on the two counts of murder in the first degree in the third trial based on her conviction on the conspiracy charge? If convicted on the conspiracy charge, is she automatically responsible for the murders committed in furtherance of the conspiracy? Or was it based on felony murder? Why would you need the felony murder charge?

  30. Paul says:

    Cybele “I keep thinking though, that that whole era was experimenting with drugs and gurus. Most didn’t choose murder as a message of prophetic enlightenment.“ I don’t think anyone of those people went to that ranch expecting to turn into a radical cult and be brainwashed into believing a madman’s philosophy. I don’t think they did know right from wrong at that point, their concept of morality was completely skewed. Listening to Leslie’s interview with Marvin Part in 69’ convinced me of that.

  31. Rich Pfeiffer says:

    Leslie’s murder convictions were based on the aiding and abetting theory, the conspiracy was separate. Leslie joined a hippie commune. It took Catherine “Gypsie” Share two full months to convince Leslie to go there. Leslie was out of money and out of a place to live so she finally caved in. It did not turn into a violent cult until about 6 months later when Manson shot Bernard Crowe.

  32. Paul says:

    Rich, how is Leslie adjusting to the halfway house? I know she only got there yesterday morning, but have you heard from her since since she was transferred?

  33. Rich Pfeiffer says:

    nobody is going to hear anything for at least a week or two, maybe more. It all depends on the program and when they let her have outside communication and passes into the community. I’d like to give her some privacy, she has a lot of adjusting to do.

  34. royo says:

    Paul, you were not there and you have no idea . She was found guilty and sentenced to death. She got a break TWICE because California is always soft on crime.

    • Paul says:

      Royo none of us were there but I know this case well enough to make an informed opinion. BTW, 53 years in prison is not a soft sentence.

  35. CybeleMoon says:

    Rich I agree with Mike and HDAHA, thank you for sharing yourpainful story so openly and for your graciousness and compassion on these forums.

    Paul your point about brain washing does make sense. Although I don’t think everyone can fall under a svengali spell in spite of divorce or abortion etc- these people did. Seeing CM in interviews, he is so creepy with all his hissing psychobabble. It made me cringe though I have read a great deal about the 60’s revolution
    I am sure Cielo Drive will give us info as they can and have done on all updates- an excellent site. I hope all will find peace whatever their stand was.

    God bless to all here and now lets throw it out into the universe!! 🙂 ! (I”m a bit of a nut too lol) I hope we all find grace and our own path for fulfillment.

  36. Louise LaBianca says:

    Just a few comments off the top of my head tonight, really tired with the recent media frenzy and family members being hounded by the press. 1) I am infinitely grateful that there will never be a time machine for the purpose MIKE mentioned (!); 2) like many others here, I am still very curious about the different influences Manson had on people and why (not from a legal perspective but more from a historical/philosophical one); 3) I tend to agree with VIVIAN on the Tex/Krenwinkle thing; 4) I am definitely NOT the only one who has an opinion that matters, lol, but I appreciate the thought (middle child here–I grew up 3rd in a family of 4–my half-sister Maurine, rest her soul the little blondie I miss her so much right now).

    Thanks again for the support from many of you here. Much appreciated. Carry on!

  37. happydaysarehereagain says:
  38. Lee says:

    I detect some “Crazy Joe Davolas” in all these Leslie postings, that’s for sure! Wow….

  39. CybeleMoon says:

    I don’t see that all. Many think LWOP would have been a just sentence for such gruesome crimes and others feel that LVH had mitigating circumstance due to brainwashing etc. and should have been out years ago.
    A lot of people thought Hitler brainwashed the masses too. Yet murder is murder.
    She is out now so no argument but people still talk about it as it had such an impact.

  40. happydaysarehereagain says:
  41. Fred Bloggs says:

    happydaysarehereagain says:
    Poignant opinion piece by Louise LaBianca

    It is a poignant piece. She said one thing in particular that really stood out to me, which was:

    “I don’t pretend to be exceptionally knowledgeable about the law, but I do understand that something is askew here. In Dimaria’s letter to Newsom, he says that his parents and grandparents were promised by the Los Angeles District Attorney and police that none of the Manson Family members would ever be released from prison.”

    The DA and the police never had the freedom nor the right to be making promises like that, if they really did say that.
    If they actually said that, I think it was irresponsible and cruel, particularly having no jurisdiction over a decision that was out of their hands and in recognizing the sentence that the perps were actually given.
    I don’t think it is right to say that something was askew in Leslie Van Houten being released from jail. We are quite happy to criticize countries like Russia, Iran, Afghanistan and others for playing fast and loose with their laws as it suits them in regard to people we have a vested interest in. We are happy to declare how we are not like that……until it suits us to be.
    There are lots of laws I don’t like, loads I don’t agree with, but they are binding within the society and the best way to show the younger generation how to be law-abiding is…..by being law-abiding. A jail sentence of 7 to life with the possibility of parole, means exactly that.

  42. Rich Pfeiffer says:

    Fred, Your comment about following the law is spot on. It doesn’t matter if the vast majority want a particular result even if the law does not support that result. If that were the case, we’d be operating under mob rule. Yet – – so many commenting on this site want exactly that.

  43. Maisie13 says:

    If elderly murderers with good prison records and decades of therapy and good plans for life after release are not paroled, how will we have room in prison for the young manic non-geriatric killers out there killing and ready to kill again in prison?

  44. Mike says:

    Vincent Bugliosi himself believed that the Manson girls would probably serve 15-20 years each, with Krenwinkel serving the longest because of her involvement in both nights. I don’t think he ever foresaw any of the women serving more than 50 years, or dying in prison as Atkins did.

    He also stated repeatedly that, despite personal reservations, he believed that Leslie was most likely to be paroled first. Despite his assessment in “Helter Skelter”, Leslie did not grow “harder and tougher”. Quite the opposite; she became sensitive, aware, and only showed the kind of stubbornness that she exhibited at the original trial when she was fighting for her freedom through her various parole hearings and lawsuits.

    As stated before, I truly hope that the parole board is right and that Leslie can do something productive with the time she has left.

  45. Russell Aycock says:

    This is off topic, but is there any merit to the notion that Manson would not be convicted if the trial were held today? I mention this because I only recently learned that Irving Kanarek died in 2020 (at age 100) and Linda Kasabian earlier this year at age 73. Has there been a reappraisal of Kanarek’s work?

    It has always been interesting to me that Manson was convicted for exercising near-supernatural control over the perpetrators, but yet the perpetrators themselves were unable to use this as a defense. For decades they struggled in parole hearings to explain Manson’s influence and why they were no longer under his spell. It seems to me a kind of “which was it?” question. If one can be convicted of murder for influencing others to commit it, where are the boundaries on the level of influence required and the way that influence is applied?

    • happydaysarehereagain says:

      Russell: I wondered about that too. Damned if you, damned if you don’t. While LVH and others denounced their ties to Manson–some were a few years after incarceration–the parole board needs to know if they are paroled what the chances are of them falling into another cult. While the devil made me do it is no defense, their own actions made them susceptible to this type of double standard. Don’t forget the societal change of the 60’s and their drug use were also influential. LVH met all parole requirements to the nth and is out. As for the notion Manson would not be found guilty under today’s standards, I don’t agree. I think he’d be just as infamous now as he was 50+ years ago, he’d just have to share the spotlight with mass shootings and other kooks out there.

  46. Pam says:

    Maybe I’m having a blond moment, but I’m actually wishing her all the best. I sincerely hope she does well. Unlike Debra T I don’t believe she would kill again. I disagree with the release but it’s done. Peace, love and healing to all. Hi Fred, good to see you posting again.

  47. Louise LaBianca says:

    I can see Bugliosi saying something like that to the Dimaria family, who really knows? This is the problem I have with even speaking out publicly but when others speak out for us they don’t get it right exactly. I would NEVER play the he-said/she-said game because it only leads further away from the truth. So I am glad I quoted Dimaria correctly and he seemed fine with it.
    Also, media coverage in the early days, I feel, completely ignored victims’ family perspectives. Everything was spectacle, sensationalized, and I just wanted it all to go away. Yes, of course those from all sides of the “story” i.e. “real life” want to get on to lead a normal existence, whatever that is in the state of California these days. I am just thankful that in nowadays vs. back then, I seem to have found my voice and some people are listening. It’s pretty good really.

  48. Louise LaBianca says:

    PAM: Agreed. Debra is a little over the top sometimes, for sure. I’m glad my sister Cory has offered a more tempered response to media questions.

  49. Pam says:

    Yes, I saw your sister on the same program. She certainly was more reasonable than DT. I’m so glad that you have decided to speak out. I loved your mother’s book.

  50. Rich Pfeiffer says:

    Louise, I’m glad you spoke out as well. And you did it respectfully, your feelings matter. DT has been way more than a “little over the top” and that has really not helped anything.

  51. Louise LaBianca says:

    Thank you, Rich.

  52. CybeleMoon says:

    Fred – good post- always rational.
    interesting points by Russel and HDAHA. Who can know the responsiblity of what they have done but them alone.
    Lee – ok!
    Pam I”m with you too. I do hope LVH will make it now that she is out.. On a larger scale I hope humanity makes it!!
    Louise thank you for your compassionate perspective
    Rich, you are a rennaisance man.

    May we all grow and learn and be grateful.
    From the intolerant I learned tolerance, from the impatient I learned patience, from despair I learned hope, In pardoning we are pardoned -and all that good stuff

  53. Louise LaBianca says:

    PAM: That is cheerful news to me that you enjoyed my mom’s book. I was just looking over some of her interviews from back in the 90s when she was doing the talk show circuit. In one interview she mentioned that as a teenager I was very upset when someone asked me about the trial or something in relation to my last name. “She is the sensitive one in the family,” my mom said. I laughed and cried at the same time.

    You have no idea how happy that makes me to hear! She worked for years on that book while also holding down a full-time job. Cory helped design the book cover.

  54. Dusty Doug says:

    Hola Everybody

    I have been following the conversation here at Cielo especially closely since the news of LVH’s parole status began to transition from possible to probable and finally, to definitely happening. I haven’t commented yet because I have been quite moved by the conversation and, the (mostly) respectful, heartfelt, intelligent, factual, emotional, poignant (at times), genuine and, most definitely, coming from a number of people with their own unique and powerful thoughts about this landmark legal decision.

    I would go as far as to say that my reasoning for not commenting before now was almost wholly due to my not wanting to interrupt the amazing content and flow of the conversation.

    Having everybody’s thoughts and reasoning behind their own personal opinion(s) is always so compelling and valuable…as are the (occasionally) heated back and forth debates and, group discussions. The comments section of many blogs are quite often the most important and informative places to read. I’m sure that everyone at this level of knowledge in the saga will easily agree.

    I am beyond thankful to have been able to follow the most informative and impressive input presented by Leslie’s lawyer (Rich P) who went above and beyond to not only provide his expertise with the legal process involved with this landmark decision being made…but, to respectfully and honestly answer most of the questions posed to him by fellow bloggers. This level of quality input and interaction is very rare and extremely helpful.

    I am also extremely moved by the many comments made by Ms Labianca. The poignancy and honesty that accompanied all of her comments was very moving for me. I can’t even begin to imagine what a difficult and stressful time this is for both herself and her family. I want to take a moment to thank you for your contributions to this dialogue. I am so sorry for the immense devastation that you and yours have had to deal with since the tremendous loss of Leno and Rosemary. I was extremely moved by everything that you spoke of in your comments. I am so very much impressed with your ability to speak with us on such a deeply emotional level and remain respectful despite your (pretty much) lifelong pain and the emotional challenges that accompanied these other difficult challenges.

    I have to say that one comment you made during your response to the cause of Frank Struthers death was something that really hit me in a deeper place that isn’t often reached. I spent a good amount of time trying to completely process my response to and my deeply emotional reaction to your statement and, I *think* that I have a bit more of an understanding of your statement now –

    You commented about how Rosemary’s side of the family no longer communicated with Leno’s (your) side of the family after the murders occurred. I was unaware of this. I *thought * had always been that I would imagine that the two sides of the mixed family would likely have been a good bit less interactive after the murders but, I really felt like that would have been extra lousy to deal with when you were dealing with so much already. I thought about the troubled life that Frank would have to struggle through and I was completely struck by your commenting that you and Frank were the only real “kids” remaining in the blended family at that time. I strongly believe that it was detrimental to Frank to have had to grow up in the shadow of his shady sister Suzan. Especially when she was insanely advocating for the de facto killer of her mother and her stepfather. I have always been impressed with the way that your mother carried herself along with her resolve and dedication to the memory of Leno and how, in addition to her writing her wonderfully poignant book in Leno’s memory, but also how she committed herself to be the family representative responsible for keeping Leno’s memory alive through the media and, being the person who would be responsible for helping her family with processing the grief and, conquering their fears about the murders, the house and, the insidious persistence of the unknown that were difficult to get rid of. I have to say that I truly believe that the decision to break off contact with your side of the family by Rosemary’s kids/family was an extremely important factor in the manner in which Frank’s life transpired. I *think * that having someone like yourself in his own age group would have been a good thing for him and, having someone who would support and steer him the right way like your mother would have only been an asset in his conquering his demons.

    I’ve said enough.

    Thanks to Bo as well for this amazing platform to discuss things in a respectful and friendly environment


  55. Matt says:

    Louise, what is the name of your mother’s book? I would love to read it.

  56. Fred Bloggs says:

    It’s called “No More Tomorrows.”

  57. Matt says:

    Thank you Fred.

  58. Louise LaBianca says:

    DUSTY DOUG: I am glad I can add to the conversation from this uniquely personal perspective. Yes, Frank was 15 and I was 13 going on 14 that summer. He went to live with his dad, who appears to have been fiercely protective of his privacy in terms of the media. I only think this because of the few photos I have seen online. I never met Frank Struthers Sr. or even knew he was around. Suzan evidently had a different father, LaBerge, and I didn’t know that either until much later. I might guess that Frankie did alright living with his father and having his support in his teenage years, at least. Hopefully that is the case.

    My mom’s approach was definitely unique. She immersed herself in all the media coverage throughout the trial while I snuck out with my friends, lol. I hated that media circus, I would physically cringe if I saw a picture of Manson on a magazine or especially if I heard my dad’s name on the TV. You get the idea. But yes, we all got through it and my mom had a very, very supportive role– including the 7 years of sorting through my dad’s complicated estate and keeping his memory alive in various ways.

    MIKE: The book is called No More Tomorrows by Alice LaBianca. Be sure to get the name right because there is another book also with the same title, completely unrelated to the story.

  59. Louise LaBianca says:

    For the record, btw, I have gotten over my adolescent distaste of the “media circus” and, at 67 going on 68 can handle those old media clips much better. I’m mainly here checking in to answer if anyone has questions about the LaBianca family in general, or even a particular one. Think of my position as “rumor control.” Carry on!

  60. Mike says:

    Everything I want to know about Leslie’s current mind-set and extent of her rehabilitation and remorse could be answered by posing the following question to her:

    “During the penalty phase of your original trial, you were asked ‘Do you think about the victims from time to time?’ You answered ‘Only when I’m in the courtroom.’ In 2023, how do you answer the same question?”

  61. Rich Pfeiffer says:

    Mike, she has answered those questions at every single parole hearing. During the first trial, she was still being controlled by Manson. Get this: Manson was able to talk directly to the girls befoe going into the courtroom because the holding cells were next to each other. That’s how he directed what they did (shave heads, carve X’s, sing, dance, etc.) It is SHOCKING that the court personel permitted this contact, today that whould never happen. The parole commissioners were stunned as well. (me too)

  62. Rich Pfeiffer says:

    OK – here we go, there was a confidential informant at the ranch A MONTH BEFORE THE MURDERS. Law enforcement knew Manson had a 30 cal. machine gun and they had some of the casings. They knew he had 4 stolen vehicles and the VIN numbers. It took until a few days after the murders to execute the search warrant. They found 8 stolen vehicles, the machine gun, a bazooka, etc. All were arrested and 2 days later all released, no charges were filed. Manson was on parole, no parole violation. THESE MURDERS WERE PREVENTABLE!!! My last efforts on this are trying to uncover the DA’s coverup. I no longer have a client (Leslie’s released) so some of what I can do in court has been lost. I really think we all want to know the whole truth. The DA is refusing to disclose almost everything.

    • happydaysarehereagain says:

      Mr. Pfeiffer: That’s interesting to know. Are you’re saying since Manson violated his parole and wasn’t hauled in or kept in jail after the raid it would have spared the victims? I’m wondering if it would perhaps have delayed and not prevented the murders since he was hell bound to start his race war and/or have his vengeance against the music industry.

      I’m sure most here are interested in the Tex Tapes as well. Anything you can share with us now that LVH is free and you’re no longer representing her?

  63. Peter says:

    Heres one that requirea much less speculatuon. They could have been prevented if your former client and her friends had stayed home.

    I hope Lelie knows bette thanr to voice opinions like that or she’ll end up back where she was.

  64. happydaysarehereagain says:

    Dusty: Welcome! Enjoyed reading your perspective and hope you continue to post your thoughts.

    Louise: I do have a question, well, rather a statement about your father. It always bothered me that the media rarely mentioned his service during WWII. To think he survived the inhumanity the war entailed only to be butchered by Americans isn’t lost on me. The carving of the word “war” is sickening when considering his service to our country as is PK’s statement that she did it while thinking “you’ll ever send your son to war”. (Paraphrasing, and now TW supposedly admits to doing it) I’ve worked with veterans’ legislation for decades and in this day and age, it would be foremost in the media.

    I guess I just wanted to honor your father’s service to our country. Without him and the greatest generation, we’d be speaking German.

  65. Louise LaBianca says:

    HDAHA: Thank you. There is one old video (c. 1990) where my mom is interviewed and they really focused on my dad’s service in the army. Later today I will post link here so you can see it. It’s pretty good.

  66. Louise LaBianca says:

    The above link is evidently from 1994. 25th “anniversary” of the Manson murders. My mom, Alice LaBianca, had an opportunity to share some nice photos.

    • Pam says:

      Beautiful pics of your dad when he was so young. Thank you for the link. So much was taken. She stole everything from this family. The emotional and financial stability. What a privilege it has been to read your first-hand account. Thank you for sharing.

  67. happydaysarehereagain says:

    Louise: Thank you for the link, which I watched with a sense of sadness knowing LVH is now out living the rest of her life. I don’t know how you do it, but your grace is something we all can learn from.

  68. Louise LaBianca says:

    I’ve had lots of practice ❤️

  69. Matt says:

    Mr. Labianca seemed to be such a handsome and classy man. He is smiling in so many of his photos. It is so sad that no only did they take his life from him for no reason but in such an undignified way.

  70. Louise LaBianca says:

    FRED BLOGGS: I agree with you that the DA and police probably should not have “promised” the Dimaria family anything like that–a point that was not lost on me when I first learned about it only a few weeks ago. Anthony Dimaria was three years old at the time and it obviously made a huge impression on his very young life. Of course, as so many of the news reports point out but I doubt if the majority of readers get it, LVH’s case was not DIRECTLY linked to the Tate murders.

    I do remember quite vividly when it was just the “Tate” murders in the news and the “LaBianca” murders were considered to be “copycat murders.” I think it was not until December 1969 where they were linked together as the Tate-LaBianca murders. Not sure what my point here is–just more on my questioning belief that something is askew. I probably will never be able to shake that feeling.

    MATT: You have that right about my dad. Definitely a classy guy. I remember feeling very proud going around to all the different Gateway grocery stores with him once; I was about 7 years old (1962) so it was the height of their success with new stores opening etc. Everyone loved him.

  71. Louise LaBianca says:

    Note to above, FRED BLOGGS. I read many of the comments from readers and I see way too many where commentators seem to confuse LVH with the other Manson “girls”– this will become important moving forward when PK comes up for parole. I imagine that I can safely stay out of that controversy, given that her role in the Manson murders had a DIRECT impact on Dimaria and Tate families.

  72. Fred Bloggs says:

    Louise LaBianca says:
    I read many of the comments from readers and I see way too many where commentators seem to confuse LVH with the other Manson “girls”– this will become important moving forward when PK comes up for parole. I imagine that I can safely stay out of that controversy

    When you say that you’ve read many of the comments from readers, do you mean in this particular thread or any of the ones that have cropped up over the last 5 years ? There have been quite a few since 2018 and they have been pretty “all-in.” Most of them have concerned LVH and there has been an interesting spread of views. If you haven’t looked at them, I’m not sure that I would recommend them to you because it might be painful ~ it gets a bit loud in there ! Personally, I think they were pretty good conversations and despite some hairy moments, I think a certain respect grew among adversaries, judging by the way we would address each other latterly.
    Addressing your main point, I think it’s a good one, and something of a paradoxical one. It has always been easy to conflate LVH with Pat and Susan, because not long after the indictments, they were identified as “the 3 Manson girls” and I think most people tended to just see “murder” rather than the specific instances. And even though Pat and Susan were guilty legally of 7 murders, it wasn’t as simple as that. Many people, since the advent of the blog, think in terms of what each is adjudged to have actually done when actually discussing the case. So there are often 2 or 3 different levels of discussion going on, some addressing the first night, some, the second {which has its own confusions}, some, the overall conspiracy; it’s not always clear which discussion is happening ! Which, I think, is partly why LVH gets thrown into the Cielo crime. It’s also that there are a number of people that have strong opinions but aren’t informed as to the details ~ and that applies to people on all sides of the debate. However one looks at it, this was a unique case. There really are no parallels that I can think of.
    I have to say, I was surprised that Pat was granted parole.

  73. Fred Bloggs says:

    Louise LaBianca says:
    I do remember quite vividly when it was just the “Tate” murders in the news and the “LaBianca” murders were considered to be “copycat murders.”

    Many people forget that. Yet, in the early part of the investigation, it was one of the most significant aspects of it. It seems amazing to think that it could have been solved in a couple of days, had LAPD been more on the ball. I guess many will say that it is easy to be wise after the event, and often it is, but not in this case.
    In retrospect, it seems odd that the two murders weren’t immediately linked, especially when the information about Gary Hinman was given to the police. That said, I guess copycat murders were also “a thing” back then, although whether they would have occurred so quickly after the prototype, I have no idea.
    Asking you a personal question here, but, how comfortable are you discussing all this ? And does it seem at all strange to you that there are people from all over the world of a variety of ages, that argue and discuss back and forth, and have strong feelings about this case ?

  74. happydaysarehereagain says:

    Fred said: So there are often 2 or 3 different levels of discussion going on, some addressing the first night, some, the second {which has its own confusions}, some, the overall conspiracy; it’s not always clear which discussion is happening ! Which, I think, is partly why LVH gets thrown into the Cielo crime.

    Great point. I also wanted to add that since they were all tried together (exception is Tex) that also contributed to LVH’s lumping into Tate, which could be confusing to a novice.

  75. Louise LaBianca says:

    I was mainly referring to readers’ comments on the articles I wrote for the Sacramento Bee, which also ended up on Yahoo sports (what’s up with that, lol!) where the comments were quite diverse! I never spoke out before so this was all new to me. Also, I sometimes read the general comments people make on various online news articles etc. I think this website, Cielodrive, is one of the best I have seen in terms of objectivity and knowledge about who’s who etc.

    As far as my comfort level talking about the different aspects of such a bizarre thing–the murders themselves–that happened in our family long ago–I can only do it because I know that Dad and Rose’s pain and suffering is long since over. They died once. It’s over for them and I believe in reincarnation, as did Rose. Dad was a bit of a skeptic about religion, although raised as a Catholic. Anyway, I think about those kinds of things and I suppose I am looking for some kind of a larger truth such as why?

    My mom taught me that–to question everything. Why was always the main question. She had refused to raise us in the Catholic church and we went to metaphysical type churches.

    I’m sorry I went off on this religious tangent when all you asked is a simple question! I guess I miss talking with my mom about everything, including the various aspects of the case over the years. She was an expert, not kidding.

    I am comfortable talking about all this; I learn things and I am not surprised that so many people seem to still be interested.

  76. Louise LaBianca says:

    On the actual facts of the case, re: “Manson girls” I was actually confused myself over the years. Apparently I “skipped over” the part where SA did not go into Waverly Dr house but only was in the car with the others.

  77. Louise LaBianca says:

    FRED BLOGGS: My comment “They died once” should have been more like this: They died once but the media keeps replaying the whole murder scene over and over again so that we all relive it. It could be in newspaper reports, movies etc etc etc. I think to do the story right they should bring in the perspective of the victims’ families even if they sometimes/often/always go over the top. I know my family has often been referred to as being silent on the topic; never showing up at parole hearings (except our cousins); refusing interviews etc. I don’t like interviews either. I tried it once on a show my mom was on and I literally froze up in front of the camera. They didn’t use it and thank God for that! I can express myself much better in writing.

  78. Louise LaBianca says:

    HDAHA: I think people confuse LVH with SA quite often for some reason. They will actually place LVH in the Tate house killing Sharon Tate in their minds and in their comments, sorry to say. Media reports from way back when were never too clear and the 3 Manson girls walking/singing together and doing everything together added to the confusion. I can’t believe they are still showing those clips on every single show to this day. I wish they would show something more obscure.

    I have to go back to my “real” job soon. Besides, my partner is getting a little worried about me focusing on these issues too much and I can’t say that I blame him! I wish all of you the very best and I will never forget all of the kind words here. You really helped me get through a difficult time.

  79. Wayne Guild says:

    I am deeply upset by Leslie being released. She has a good 20 years of true freedom ahead of her . I read that she has financial backing and a strong family/ friends support system. She’s a healthy woman who is in great shape . This is wrong!! I can just envision Leslie strolling the boardwalk by the beach and getting her hair and makeup done without a care in the world.

  80. Old Michael says:

    Wayne I didn’t want to see her released either. But I doubt she’ll ever be a woman “without a care in the world.” She’ll always know her crimes are fresh in the public’s mind, and she’ll always realize that wherever she goes there could be someone violently opposed to her freedom and/or someone who would blow her cover just to make her life harder. Also, if she has experienced a strong degree of rehabilitation, she will always feel the pain of what she’s done, and she’ll always know that the vast majority of her life was spent in prison because of the choices she made. I’m not too sympathetic to her, but I gotta say, those are a lot of. “cares.”

  81. Wayne Guild says:

    Mike , the public will
    Forget about her release very soon . Leslie will
    be unrecognizable to the general public. She’s in an auspicious situation. She’s cool 😎 and comfortable 💰

    • Mike says:

      Wayne, I could not disagree more with your sentiments.

      Leslie, for all of her remorse and rehabilitation – both of which I believe are sincere – will NEVER be in any position of comfort. She will be inextricably associated with one of the most infamous and heinous crimes of the 20th century until the day she dies. She will be living in constant fear that someone will recognize her and blow her anonymity.

      Plus, she is not as healthy as you might believe. She spent some time in the hospital in 2020 and 2021 after developing COVID. Her illness may even have been a factor in her eventual release. In any event, I highly doubt that, at nearly 74 and recovering from that debilitating illness, she has “a good 20 years of true freedom” ahead of her. I would dare say that her life outside the prison walls could be tougher in comparison to her life inside.

      Time, as they say, will tell.

      • Wayne Guild says:

        Majority of people in California got Covid . 99% survival rate. Leslie has always been health conscious in prison with yoga and exercise. She has strong family support and numerous friends out in real world . Remember, multi millionaire John waters is a close friend. Her parents left her money as well . Her parents both lived until
        Their 90’s .

  82. CybeleMoon says:

    Mike, I agree with you. She is not getting out in the prime of her life- she is old and as my mom said, getting old is not easy at the best of times! Not everyone lives to their 90’s . With all the problems of today it won’t be easy for any of us. Yes, time will tell.

  83. Matt says:

    My thinking with Leslie is that we won’t see or hear from her again.

    • Terry says:

      Which thus far appears to be correct. I mean, not even as much as a peep. The only thing I’ve read was that she was released to a halfway house, or immediately went to a halfway house, assumedly in California somewhere. I have no idea what the conditions of her release were, if there were any conditions or could legally be any conditions re: speaking to the media. She hasn’t given a media interview in decades…since the 1990’s if memory serves. As to if she wants to or not, who knows? Although I’d presume if she wanted to and was legally able to she would’ve already, unless she’s going to do a book or something. Even with that, I’m not sure what the laws currently are in terms of her ability to write a memoir and having that as being interpreted as her directly profiting from her crime. I did figure when she was first released that with the media blitz surrounding it for the weeks leading up to and after her release it would only be a matter of time before some paparazzi or tabloid news source would find out where she was residing and get some photos or something, just in terms of making a few bucks off it. Nope. Nada. Which is fine, since whatever one thinks she – I believe, anyway – is entitled to live a private life now in terms of media exposure. Frankly, better that than popping up every blue moon a la Lynette Fromme, Sandra Good or Catherine Share to make a few bucks from whoever wants to pay them to recount the Manson association for the umpteen hundredth time. Van Houten has given enough interviews from 1977 to 1994; between those and her multiple parole hearings, I’d be hard-pressed to imagine what else she’d have to say of real interest that she hasn’t said already.

      Maybe if Davis, Beausoleil and Krenwinkel get released Van Houten can hit the road with them. They can swing by, scoop up Grogan, Fromme, Good, Share then go track down Pitman and Moorehouse and they can all find a Senior group home to live in, together again! Instead of sharing Buck knives they can swap meds.

  84. Old Michael says:

    Matt, I hope you’re right.

  85. Mckinney says:

    I think we will see her again at least in photos. Someone will recognize her and sneak a snap as they did with Linda Kasabian. Whether we’ll hear from her is another matter. To us the defining event in her life is the crimes. It may not seem that way to her at all today. Either way she may or may not want to talk. She probably doesn’t know herself at this point. She’ll be overwhelmed adjusting to a new world for a considerable time.

  86. Billy Esquire says:

    Likely won’t be that much to talk about anymore now, huh?

    Bruce Davis might eventually be paroled, but that should be about it.

  87. Louise LaBianca says:

    I expect Ms. Krenwinkle will be duly considered for parole very soon. As in Van Houten’s situation, it’s still been decades and decades since the murders and I believe Krenwinkle also has been minding her P’s and Q’s all along. They’re going to say she’s no longer a threat to society and the law’s the law. Sigh.

  88. Billy Esquire says:

    Louise Labianca wrote: “I expect Ms. Krenwinkel will be duly considered for parole very soon. As in Van Houten’s situation, it’s still been decades and decades since the murders and I believe Krenwinkle also has been minding her P’s and Q’s all along. They’re going to say she’s no longer a threat to society and the law’s the law. Sigh.”

    After decades of being denied parole at her numerous hearings, Krenwinkel was inexplicably granted parole at her last hearing in May, 2022. The granting of parole was extremely surprising to most because of the way she never even came close to being granted parole at her previous hearings. The granting of parole was so odd and unusual that, to me, there appeared to be some sort of political agreements or behind the scenes maneuvering to get said outcome. The granting of her parole was just plain shocking, wrong, inconsistent, nonsensical, fishy and eyebrow-raising.

    Remember, Krenwinkel was second only to Tex Watson in her overall involvement in the crimes on both nights and number of murders committed. She went about her crimes in an exceedingly impassioned and vehement way. She was “all in…all the time!” Because of her leadership role and the zealous manner in which she took part in the crimes on both nights, one would think that would be the perfect situation for Governor Newsom to use his “SO heinous” card to overturn her parole….and rightfully so. Krenwinkel’s behavior on those two nights was SO egregious that it should be the perfect example of exactly when a governor SHOULD use his trump card to overturn the granting of parole at all future occasions.

  89. Louise Kling says:

    Time will tell.

  90. Pam LaPier says:

    May she never know a moment’s peace. Sadly I don’t think she feels any remorse at all. If you’ve ever seen the parole hearings there were no tears, just an emotionless prepared speech. No one and no drug could have ever induced me to kill people when I was 19. If I completely went insane and did that I would never stop crying and I would never seek parole and force the families to relive those nightmares over and over for over 60 years. Unthinkable.

  91. Paul says:

    PAM LAPIER there have been tears, in and out of the board room. Her psychiatric reports and those close to her have said she was remorseful and very ashamed of her crimes. You can easily say it wouldn’t happen to you but if you haven’t been in that situation you don’t know how you would respond.

  92. Pam says:

    I would completely disagree. I don’t think that most people would do what LVH did. She volunteered to commit murder because she was feeling left out from the Tate murders. Linda K was in that situation and her response to CM was, “I’m not like you Charlie.” Leslie could have said this to Manson. There was something in LVH which made her capable of these crimes. She stayed with him long after he started talking about mass murder and a race war. I would rather tell someone no then hurt another person. I hope she does well.

  93. Paul says:

    Pam I never said Leslie was innocent, but she paid for a crimes, more so than most would, whose case didn’t receive as much media attention.

  94. Pam says:

    I don’t think it’s a question of her serving more so than most would, I believe there are certain crimes which warrant a person spending a true-life sentence. The motivation of LVH was sick and twisted. She wanted a race war in which millions would die. She butchered two innocent people to achieve that goal. Her bloody attorney communicated with LL in here. He completely failed to say the most important thing. “Ms. LaBianca, on behalf of my client, I sincerely apologize to you and your family.” That really bothered me. Blimey, what a bloody toe rag. Any decent bloke would have apologized.

  95. Paul says:

    Pam it is not Rich’s duty to apologise on behalf of Leslie, nor does it have anything to do with her conviction. Did she butcher two people? We both know that was not the case. In terms of the motivation, it’s a complex issue. No one is excusing it but there are mitigating factors. She was indoctrinated to believe this war would happen and that she was on the right of the battle. Also how many people who commit first degree murder would you say are not sick or twisted in their mentality?

  96. Louise LaBianca says:

    A. I was perfectly fine with RICH’s comment addressed to me a couple of months back. Let me tell you why. He said, “your feelings matter.” Good enough for a man who has been trying to get his client out of prison for a long time and we, the LaBianca family, stood in his way–I suppose. In the end, it all came down to the parole board decision after all. I sincerely doubt our family will be going through that again. It was hard enough on all of us, down to my poor nephew who never met my dad but only heard about him from family stories. No, I don’t think we will be writing any more letters to the parole board when the others come up for parole. We don’t really want to talk about the law. We just have feelings. Good enough that many people understand that. I don’t see why my nephew had to ever even face the glare of the camera on his very handsome face when he was crying. Sick. Feelings do not need to be shared in public like that. I am glad he is moving on with his own life now.

    B. I wouldn’t really want an apology because, frankly, I think it would be insincere and only offered for show. I am trying to be as honest as I can be, given the huge complexities involved. I can see an apology given when the people know each other–for example, if the murderer was known to the victim and enraged to kill him/her due to an argument or whatever. In that case it would be somewhat meaningful. I don’t know this person other than what I have read about her so therefore, I say, let sleeping dogs lie. Basically, I disagree with the decisions made over the years and from day one, from all the publicity focusing on the killers dragged out for decades to the laws changing etc. etc. A total nightmare from day one. An apology would just be like a slap in the face, completely meaningless so no thanks.

    I hope I have expressed my “feelings that matter” without too much bitterness. I just really wanted to explain why I don’t care about an apology. I know my cousin Angela Smaldino felt very differently, according to one interview I saw with her after a parole hearing. She clearly stated that she was expecting or needing an apology from LVH. Really not sure how that changes anything. Angela looked completely miserable and stressed out; as we later learned, she was suffering from a terrible disease, can’t remember what now. But if it mattered to her at the time, I respect that. Very sad.

  97. Louise LaBianca says:

    As far as all the discussion about who did what and who was actually responsible for the final death blows, I only would like to say I don’t know if that is going to be an issue in November when PK parole hearing comes up. I predict that it will not, given that it seems quite obvious they (parole board) seems bent on getting elderly prisoners out of their system. I could be wrong, only time will tell. But if one can get out on the political prisoner train…

  98. Paul James says:

    None of these monsters should ever be granted parole. It’s a never ending nightmare for the victims’ families.

  99. Stephen Craig says:

    What I find interesting about LVH is that she had not been at the ranch for very long before the murders. If one were to claim she had been programed/indoctrinated by Manson, this process would have had to occur in record time. Not to excuse the others, they had been with Manson (SA and PK) for approximately two years before the crimes. If one were to attribute their roles in the killings as a result of a protracted process of drugs/isolation/indoctrination taking “years”, one could possibly see the validity in that argument. But LVH? Not so. And that fact that she volunteered to go after hearing what happened at the Polanski residence only makes me question her more. For me, I will always think that there is something within her that enabled her to do what she did; a characteristic/mutation that, thank god, most of us do not possess.

  100. Louise LaBianca says:

    FRED BLOGGS: Going back a couple of months, the discussion about Dimaria’s comment on how promises were made by the LADA office re: none of the Manson family would ever get out of prison: my sister Cory confirmed this was true. Now those who made such promises are “all dead,” Cory’s words. Bugliosi, I’m sure. Others as well.

  101. Sean K. says:

    Just read this thread in its entirety and, as usual, much engrossing and fascinating material here. I’m not as astute as the majority of you are on the more technical aspects of the legal morass regarding parole in the state of California, but I have enjoyed the discourse and occasional bantering. It’s all necessary and worthwhile debate to be sure. If any of you have had the patience to muse over my ramblings, you’ll realize I tend to be more focused on the history of the crimes themselves, almost as if in a nostalgic context, and their relation to the zeitgeist of those times.

    HAPPYDAYS: I don’t believe I’ve acknowledged you personally, but I have very much enjoyed your input. I noticed that we are around the same age, but unlike you, I have no memory of when the murders actually occurred. From what my dad has told me, our family was vacationing in Calgary, Alberta on that fateful weekend. I became aware of the case some years later and also remember perusing Helter Skelter when it was a huge bestseller in the mid seventies. In fact, I clearly remember watching the opening segment of the 1976 TV movie from the hallway of my family’s home. I was deemed too young to watch it by my overly cautious mother and was promptly sent to bed. It might have been a school night, but I was nearly twelve at the time and probably could have handled it! No point here, just recollecting.

    And Louise, you’ve always been so gracious and giving when it comes to our comments and questions. Not to beat this into the ground, but we all treasure your presence here and your willingness to fill in the blanks. One of your posts talks about that nebulous period between the crime and the capture of the killers. For a thirteen year old girl, whose world was collapsing around her, this must have been an excruciatingly difficult span of months. I know you’ve mentioned that you chose to process the pain by tuning out the news and the media frenzy and seeking respite with your friends and the music of the era. I know you are protective of yourself and your family’s privacy, but your comment made me curious about something and I completely understand if you don’t want to talk about it.

    My question involves the ostensible ineptitude of the LAPD during the investigation and their failure to link the two crimes. Do you recall your feelings about this at the time? Do you remember any conversations going on, say with your mother, about why the police couldn’t seem to put two and two together? It just seems like it must have been torturous for your family to watch this unfold. And it makes me wonder if the police truly were that bumbling or if they were just withholding information to protect the investigation. It seems highly unlikely, to me, that a so called “copy cat” would read about the Tate murders and then say “Wow, I’m going to do that tonight”! The similarities in the crimes made it so obvious.

    By the way, I was so sad when you mentioned that you lost your kid sister Maureen, that “little blondie” as you so lovingly refer to her. You had mentioned her to me before and spoke of her feeling left out when her father kept her away from the funerals. It’s unfortunate that it left an impression on her. She must have undoubtedly known Leno and Rosemary through those years, so being denied the opportunity to mourn with the rest of the family must have been shattering. Sometimes parents, in their well-intentioned motivations, make ultimately poor choices!

    • Kim says:

      SEAN I really appreciate your posts. The depth Respect and broad thinking that clearly goes into them
      – I just want to add one point about children, mourning, choices that parents made in those days. I’m not really speaking or referring directly or indirectly to this case. I am speaking From the point of view of a health professional, and as someone whose father died in 1973, quite suddenly accidentally,. My mom thoroughly devastated and was left with three children ages 7, 5 and 2

      I don’t think that we can judge surviving parents in those days and say that they made poor choices by not allowing kids at funerals or at these events . It was the trend at the time based on what was understood, that it was better for the child to be shielded from the events. For a lot of reasons the treatment trend was to “protect” the child this way so they were not further traumatized and could heal. Of course since then psychiatry psychology has evolved significantly and we understand that practises of the past were sub optimal to say the least

      So without going into whatever the family dynamics of the la Bianca family were that I know nothing of, One can understand why kids were kept away from funerals as it was the norm at the time . Further to that, we are not speaking of the ” generic sudden loss of a parent”, this situation was a horrific catastrophic profoundly public and traumatic event, and the subsequent days, media attention, police running around only further served to further traumatized everyone directly involved . It would have been overwhelming for the surviving adults to try and figure out what to do and how to help the kids and they were probably getting all kinds of advice from all different directions. It must’ve been hard to make sense of anything

      So that’s all I wanted to say. It was the trend based on what was understood at the time that I ironically experienced first hand.

      I hope it’s ok that I wrote this and I am not stepping on any toes, nor offending anyone

  102. Louise LaBianca says:

    SEAN K: I believe it was her dad’s decision. He was my stepfather Bill, but he and my mom were also divorced at the time and Maurine went to stay with him in La Canada for a couple of weeks. I also stayed with Bill and his new wife Elloree that first week so Maurine and I were together until probably Thursday. Honestly, nobody knew who had done it so Bill was most likely freaked out and protective for her safety!

    The police? Who knows what they were thinking or doing? I read somewhere they were looking for some big ring drug connection. No drugs were found at Waverly Dr. so they probably were looking for a Mafia connection there. I really don’t know!

  103. Louise LaBianca says:

    Main thing I remember is my mom and Sgt Patchett discussed things together alot. My mom was absolutely certain that my dad would never have had ties with the Mafia. She was adamant on that point. I would say my mom’s role in talking to the police was for them to establish some idea of Leno’s character. His mom, my grandmother, spoke in very broken English and wasn’t talking much anyway after losing her only son.

    Anyway, the courts didn’t ask for my mom or any of us on Leno’s side of the family to testify. We were “peripheral” to the case, SEAN K! Thank you for giving me a good word to use at any opportunity, lol!

  104. Sean K. says:

    KIM – Thank you for responding to my comments about Louise’s little sister Maurine (spelled it right this time!). I enjoy your posts as well and am happy you addressed this issue. First, let me preface this by expressing my condolences for your personal loss which must have been devastating for your entire family. Like Louise, you understand firsthand the impact such a tragedy plays on the young psyche. In my personal experience I benefited from a childhood free of tragedy and was blessed with parents who loved me unconditionally. They kept their marriage together, it wasn’t perfect, but it afforded my sisters and I that element of stability that is so crucial for a child. That being said, please forgive me for lacking your insights. The “poor choices” comment was admittedly a poor choice of words!

    In her response, Louise pointed out that at that terrible time, when there was so much uncertainty as to motive, it was more than sensible for Maurine’s father to take such action. That was something I failed to take into consideration. Was there a vendetta against Leno? And if so, was the rest of the family safe? Now, I completely understand her father’s obvious concern for her welfare. My original thoughts were centered on her sadness about having felt “left out”.

    I often ponder the effect such a catastrophe has on a child and wonder how they can even begin a process of recovery. In the case of Louise, I commend her for her courage in opening herself up to public scrutiny here and talking about her experience. She’s made it clear that it acts as a kind of therapy and I’m happy about that.

    Thanks for your input Kim. I’m so sorry you lost your dad and please don’t worry about stepping on my toes!

  105. Kim says:

    Hi SEAN I can tell that u are such a gracious and kind soul ! There is nothing to apologize about really I just wanted to give another perspective Or rather explanation given the times. In life we only know what we know , so as I said there’s really nothing to apologize for. I didn’t mean to come on so heavy but sometimes the written word can give a certain impression . I really like and appreciate Louise input And yours also ! It’s quite a nice bunch we have here and the administrator also is really nice . I’m a pretty open person and trusting also. I can be a bit straightforward at times

    I was pretty annoyed to read that they were wondering about a connection between Leno and the mafia . 😑 I mean of course a successful Italian businessman, what else could be the explanation other than the mafia 🙈 But I guess they were trying to make sense of it also and grasping at anything . Still there were similarities to the Tate murders so you have to wonder how they were proceeding . But I guess the police are people too and it was all just so overwhelming and shocking and public . From what I understand a good part of California didn’t actually sleep much in those days after the events, and I guess that would include the police in their normal lives . And more so the survivors trying to make sense of all

  106. Humorless Wayne says:

    It galls me immeasurably that Leslie is a free woman !!!

  107. Wayne Guild says:

    It has been brought to my attention that Leslie is doing very well to her new freedom and life in so California. It galls me immensely that she is enjoying her life .

  108. Paul James says:

    A good account of why and how this happened, from LA Times July 12, 2023

    “Denied by two governors and forever linked to Charles Manson and his “family,” it seemed unlikely Leslie Van Houten would ever be freed.

    But legal experts say an exemplary and “impeccable” record during her more than 50 years behind bars made the legal challenges to her release an uphill fight.

    “I don’t think most people thought any member of the Manson family would get out alive,” said Laurie Levenson, a professor of law at Loyola Law School. “The crime was horrific, but I think the governor realized he wasn’t likely to overturn the parole commission and the court of appeals.”

    Van Houten was serving a life sentence in the 1969 murders of Leno and Rosemary LaBianca. The California parole board first recommended her release in 2016, and Govs. Gavin Newsom and Jerry Brown had both previously opposed all attempts to free her.

    But last week, after an appellate court overruled Newsom’s latest denial of her parole, he said he would not challenge the move.

    “The governor is disappointed by the Court of Appeal’s decision to release Ms. Van Houten, but will not pursue further action as efforts to further appeal are unlikely to succeed,” Newsom’s communications director, Erin Mellon, said in a statement Friday.”

    Full article …


  109. Kim says:

    Thank you for posting that

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