Manson follower Leslie Van Houten granted parole by state board

Manson follower Leslie Van Houten granted parole by state board

A panel on Wednesday recommended for the second time that Leslie Van Houten, a follower of Charles Manson, be granted parole.

Photo of Leslie Van Houten circa 1977 from the Herald-Examiner Collection, via the Los Angeles Public Library Photo Collection.

Jerry Brown now has 120 days to affirm, reverse or take no action against the move to end her life sentence.

One year after rejecting her parole the first time, California Gov.

Manson, 82 - who suffered a health scare earlier this year - remains confined in Corcoran State Prison. She is convicted of stabbing Leno and Rosemary LaBianca to death in 1969. At her parole hearing past year, she said she helped hold Rosemary down while another Manson follower stabbed her repeatedly.

After Watson stabbed Rosemary LaBianca with a bayonet, he handed a knife to Van Houten.

A former homecoming queen from Monrovia, she did not join in the August 9, 1969, murders of Sharon Tate, the pregnant wife of film director Roman Polanski, and four others at the Benedict Canyon home that Tate was renting.

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"I don't let myself off the hook".

Van Houten's lawyers have argued that she took part in the violent crimes when she was only 19 years old and has been a model inmate for her entire imprisonment term. This marks the 21st time the woman has been before a parole panel.

After Van Houten was tentatively granted parole, Tate's sister, Debra Tate, coordinated a petition with 140,000 signatures opposing her release.

In 1969, Charles Manson and his followers, dubbed The Manson Family, committed a string of brutal murders so brutal they rival even the most gruesome of horror movies. She was a former high school homecoming princess, an athlete and a cheerleader, before dropping out of school and joining Manson's cult.

The youngest of Manson's followers, Van Houten has been considered the least blameworthy member of the group and has been portrayed by supporters as a misguided teen under the influence of LSD on the night of the slayings.

Last week at a hearing in Los Angeles, in an attempt to increase her chances for release, her attorney brought to the stand another Manson follower, Catherine Share.

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