Leslie Van Houten, a former follower of Charles Manson’s cult, was recommended for a parole on Thursday, April 14, more than four decades after she and other cult members went to prison for killing a wealthy grocer and his wife, Leno and Rosemary La Bianca, who were part of the notorious slayings carried out by the Manson Family over two nights in Los Angeles in 1969.
Van Houten, a 66-year-old woman, says she was numb when she heard that a panel recommended her, according to her attorney, Richard Pfeiffer. Even though she was recommended, the parole is not guaranteed, since the decision has to go to an administrative review, and if it is upheld, it will go to California Governor Jerry Brown, who will make the final decision.
Van Houten says she does not let herself off the hook, because she does not see anything that makes her feel good about herself in this situation, according to what she said to the parole panel.
Asides from that statement, her attorney told the Los Angeles Times that she was found suitable for parole according to 18 psychiatrists evaluations that were done on her over three decades.
She was 19 when she committed the murders of Rosemary and Leno La Bianca. Van Houten had to tell the parole panel how she did it. According to her, she held Rosemary down with a pillow and lamp cord while Charles “Tex” Watson, another Manson Family member, stabbed her. Then, the man passed the knife to her, and Van Houten proceeded to stab Rosemary 14 times. The word “WAR” was carved on Leno La Bianca’s stomach. Later, they used the blood to write messages of revolution on the walls of their home.
Van Houten claims she thought Charles Mason was Jesus Christ.
For the people opposing to the parole, her attorney said, “The opposition to parole has always been the name Manson. A lot of people who oppose parole don’t know anything about Leslie’s conduct. Her role was bad. Everyone’s was. But they don’t know what she’s done since then and all of the good she’s done.”
Source: The Wall Street Journal