The youngest member of the infamous ‘family’ of mass murderer Charles Manson has been recommended for parole. Leslie Van Houten, 69, has served over four decades for her part in the grisly 1969 slayings that shook the entire nation.
The convicted murderess, who has appeared in front of the parole board a total of 22 times during her time serving a life sentence, was deemed “suitable for parole” by the panel of state commissioners in Chino, California on Wednesday and may be released soon.
This isn’t the first time Van Houten was almost set free.
Fox News reports, “Van Houten, 69, had been found suitable for release twice previously by the California Board of Parole Hearings. Each of those times then-Gov. Jerry Brown blocked her release after determining she still laid too much of the blame on Manson.“
Gov. Jerry Brown denied her release, finding her “an unreasonable danger to society.”
Now, it’s newly-installed California Governor Gavin Newsom’s turn to decide her fate. That is if the recommendation still stands after a required 120-day review process.
Ms. Van Houten’s attorney, Richard Pfeiffer, believes the outcome will be different this time.
“Since being blocked by Brown, Van Houten has taken 'full responsibility' for the crime, which could help her achieve parole,” Pfeiffer said.
“Van Houten’s attorneys have long emphasized that she was only 19 when she took part in the grisly slayings of Rosemary and Leno LaBianca, and argued that she has been a model prisoner. But release has been strongly opposed by the families of the victims as well as prosecutors and many others.”
The L.A. Times reports, “A former homecoming queen from Monrovia, Van Houten did not participate in the 1969 killings of Sharon Tate — Roman Polanski’s pregnant wife — and four others at the couple’s Benedict Canyon home.
“But the next day, she joined Charles ‘Tex’ Watson and others as they burst into the LaBiancas’ Los Feliz residence and killed the husband and wife.”
Those of us old enough to remember that horrible time of unparalleled terror back in 1969, have a hard time accepting a possible release of any member of the crazed cult.
Social media users reacted to the news, and not very many supported Van Houten's release:
“Youngest Manson cult killer could be freed from jail, why should she be freed how about the young people this cult killed many years ago, let her rot “
“Please do not allow Leslie Van Houten to be released on parole. She made the choice to participate in the murders that she is serving time for. She does not deserve any freedom.”
There's a petition circling internet to keep her jailed.
“Keep Charles Manson Cult Killer Leslie Van Houten from Being Paroled - Sign the Petition”
Hollywood celebrity and Twitter star James Woods is okay with her release, just as long as she ends up in the proper place afterward.
"Why not? She can move to the Governor’s mansion in Virginia. They love murderers there."
The mastermind of the murders and leader of the infamous cult, Charles Manson, 84, died in prison in 2017.
What are your thoughts on this? Has she spent enough time behind bars or does she deserve to die in prison? We'd love to hear from you.