Parole Triumph: Leslie Van Houten is another step closer to Parole

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Former Manson Follower Leslie Van Houten is one step closer to Parole, Governor’s Office Accepts Ruling Despite Disappointment

Leslie Van Houten
Leslie Van Houten

The office of California Governor Gavin Newsom has announced that it will not contest a state appellate court’s ruling that opens up the possibility of parole for Leslie Van Houten, a former follower of Charles Manson and convicted murderer. Van Houten was serving concurrent sentences for her involvement in the killings of Leno LaBianca and his wife Rosemary in 1971. Governor Newsom had previously reversed her parole grant three times since taking office and defended these decisions in court. While disappointed with the court’s decision, Governor Newsom will not pursue further action as additional appeals are unlikely to succeed.

Van Houten’s attorney Nancy Tetreault, expressed joy at the news, stating that her client is grateful for the recognition of her rehabilitation efforts and understanding of the factors that influenced her involvement with Manson. Van Houten will be released on parole pending a final behavioral hearing, with the exact date kept confidential for her safety.

Leslie Van Houten, now in her 70s, was 19 when she joined the Manson family cult. The brutal killings they carried out, under Manson’s orders, shocked the nation in 1969.The brutal killings began on August 9, 1969, at the home of actress Sharon Tate and her husband, famed movie director Roman Polanski. He was out of the country at the time. The first victims were Tate, who was eight months’ pregnant; a celebrity hairstylist named Jay Sebring; coffee fortune heiress Abigail Folger; writer Wojciech Frykowski; and Steven Parent, a friend of the family’s caretaker.

Leslie Van Houten

Van Houten’s death sentence was later commuted to life in prison after the abolition of the death penalty in California. Manson, Charles “Tex” Watson, Susan Atkins, and Patricia Krenwinkel were also convicted for their roles in the murders. Krenwinkel was recently denied parole, with a hearing scheduled for November 17. Charles “Tex” Watson has been denied parole 18 times and will be eligible again in 2026, while Atkins died in prison in 2009 and Manson died in 2017.

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