The 20th time was not the charm for Charles Manson follower Leslie Van Houten, who was again denied parole yesterday. The 63-year-old's next chance to seek parole won't come for five years. KABC-TV reports that Van Houten went into "unprecedented detail" during the 8-hour hearing. From it and the AP:
- Manson "could never have done what he did without people like me," she said.
- She said that when she heard the Manson family had killed Sharon Tate and others, she felt left out and asked to go along the second night, during which Rosemary and Leno LaBianca were murdered.
- Asked if she would have done the same had children been involved, she answered, "I can't say I wouldn't have done that. I'd like to say I wouldn't, but I don't know."
- Houten repeatedly said that she was traumatized by her parents' divorce when she was 14, her pregnancy soon after, and her mother's insistence that she have an abortion.
- Still, she said, "I know I did something that is unforgivable, but I can create a world where I make amends."
The board was not convinced. The board's commissioner said the former homecoming princess still didn't satisfy this question: How such an intelligent and well-bred person could have had a hand in the "cruel and atrocious" murders of the LaBiancas. At just 19, Van Houten was the youngest of Manson's convicted followers; she has since earned two degrees and worked with elderly female inmates.