Charles Manson disciple Leslie Van Houten, was approved for parole on Thursday, April 14, 2016, according to US News Weekly. A panel at the California Institution for Women in Chino came up with a preliminary conclusion that the 66-year old should be recommended for parole. The brutal murders occurred in August 1969 when Manson and his followers stabbed to death pregnant actress Sharon Tate, the wife of director Roman Polanski. The next day the unholy group murdered the LaBiancas. Van Houten stabbed Rosemary LaBrianca 14 times.
The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office continues to oppose her parole. Van Houten was originally given the death penalty by the jury before the United States Supreme Court ruled in the Furman case the death penalty was unconstitutional because it was cruel and unusual punishment. Her death sentence was then commuted to life along with all the other convicted murderers on death row.
The State of California then re-wrote its death penalty law so that it complied with the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision. Legendary prosecutor Vincent Bugliosi handled the case for the district attorney’s office in Los Angeles. He later wrote the bestselling book Helter Skelter about the case. Van Houten has been denied parole 19 times, according to the Los Angeles Times.
While the recommendation of the board is usually followed, it will still have to be reviewed by the parole board’s legal team and then approved by Governor Jerry Brown. Brown could block her release, but his office refused any comment yesterday.
Cory LaBianca, daughter of the slain couple, said she was disappointed this week that the review board on Thursday recommended Van Housten be released out into the public. She further said, “The least we can do, for someone who commits a crime against another human being, is to keep them in jail.”
On Aug. 10, 1969, a 19-year old Van Houten stormed into the home of Leno and Rosemary LaBianca. As Charles “Tex” Watson stabbed Leno, Van Houten and another comrade held Rosemary down. After Watson stabbed Rosemary with a bayonet, he gave the knife to Van Houten who stabbed Rosemary in the back at least 14 times.
“And I took one of the knives, and Patricia had one knife, and we started stabbing and cutting up the lady,” Van Housten testified in 1971. The blood of the victims was then used to scrawl messsages on the walls of the home.
Prosecutor Bugliosi once spoke in Wichita Falls about the Manson case and said the leader sent his minions out to commit the murders like robots while he never appeared at any of the crime scenes. During his address to the Wichita Bar Association Bugliosi said it was a very unique case in that Manson never stabbed to death any of the victims himself. He said his main difficulty in convicting Manson was to connect him to all the murders.