Youngest Manson Follower Makes New Parole Bid

Leslie Van Houten was 19 during murder spree
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Sep 6, 2017 1:03 AM CDT
In this April 14, 2016 photo, former Charles Manson follower Leslie Van Houten confers with her attorney during a parole hearing.   (AP Photo/Nick Ut, File)
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(Newser) – The youngest of Charles Manson's murderous followers will attempt once more to persuade a parole panel she has reformed and—at age 68—deserves to be released from prison. Leslie Van Houten, who was 19 when she killed for Manson during a series of murders that terrorized Los Angeles over the summer of 1969, was scheduled to appear before a parole panel for the 21st time Wednesday, the AP reports. A similar panel at the California Institution for Women in Chino, where Van Houten is incarcerated, tentatively granted her parole last year but was overruled by Gov. Jerry Brown. Since she was incarcerated more than 40 years ago, Van Houten has been a model prisoner and earned college degrees.

Van Houten has candidly described how she joined several other members of the "Manson Family" in killing Los Angeles grocer Leno La Bianca and his wife, Rosemary, in their home on Aug. 9, 1969. At her parole hearing last year, Van Houten said she helped hold down Rosemary La Bianca while another Manson follower stabbed her repeatedly. She then took up a knife herself and added more than a dozen stab wounds. "I don't let myself off the hook. I don't find parts in any of this that makes me feel the slightest bit good about myself," she said. She was not with Manson followers the night before, when they killed Sharon Tate and four others during a similar bloody rampage. Last week, another former Manson follower, Catherine Share, testified that Van Houten was so young and impressionable that she was afraid to leave the cult. (Read more Leslie Van Houten stories.)

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