Manson Family Killer Leslie Van Houten Is Granted Parole

She had been denied parole 19 times after being convicted of grisly 1969 murders

Last Updated: April 15, 2016 @ 11:42 AM

Former Manson Family member Leslie Van Houten has finally been granted parole after being rejected 19 times before.

The 66-year-old was convicted along with other Charles Manson followers of the 1969 murders of supermarket executive Leno LaBianca and his wife, Rosemary, during the cult’s grisly crime spree.

Van Houten was initially sentenced to death in 1971, but that was repealed when the death penalty was overturned the following year. Her first conviction was also overturned due to the untimely death of her attorney.

A spokesman for the California Department of Corrections said Thursday that the parole board has recommended Van Houten’s release, CNN reported, and the full Board of Parole Hearings will review the decision during the next four months.

They could then send the case to California Gov. Jerry Brown, according to corrections spokesman Luis Patino, and he will have 30 days to decide whether to approve or deny the recommendation.

Van Houten, who grew up in a middle class family in Altadena, California, was the youngest member of the notorious Manson Family having moved into the commune at age 19.

She has been portrayed by various actresses in TV adaptations of the dark story, including Cathey Paine in the 1976 made-for-TV film “Helter Skelter,” Kristen Hager in the 2009 film “Leslie, My Name Is Evil” and by Catherine Wadkins in a 2004 remake of “Helter Skelter.”

More recently, Tania Raymonde portrayed Van Houten in the 2014 film “Manson Girls.”

As for Manson himself, he remains a California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation inmate at Corcoran State Prison. He was last denied parole on April 11, 2012, and will not be reconsidered for another 15 years, at which time he would be 92 years old. 

Manson’s followers committed a series of nine murders at four locations over a period of five weeks in the summer of 1969, the most famous of which was the butchering of director Roman Polanski‘s pregnant wife, Sharon Tate.

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