Member of Charles Manson’s Cult Paroled: Now Gov. Brown Must Decide


Charles Manson cult member Leslie Van Houten was granted parole Wednesday and that means Gov. Jerry Brown (D) has to decide whether she will be released back into society.

He refused to release her last year.

According to the Los Angeles Times, 68-year-old Van Houten is imprisoned for the 1969 slayings of Leno and Rosemary LaBianca. She was part of the group that entered the LaBiancas’ home, and she held Rosemary down while Charles “Tex” Watson stabbed Leno. Watson then stabbed Rosemary and handed the knife to Van Houten, who “testified to stabbing Rosemary in the back at least 14 more times.”

She has appeared before the parole board 21 times and has been paroled twice, counting Wednesday’s parole. She was paroled for the first time last year, but Brown refused to let her go, saying she was “an unreasonable danger to society if released from prison.” The state will now conduct a 120-day review of the parole panel’s decision, after which Brown will have 30 days to “uphold, reverse or modify the decision.” And because Van Houten’s parole came from a panel of state commissioners, Brown also has the option to “send the decision to the full Board of Parole.”

His final option is to do nothing, which means Van Houten’s parole will stand.

NPR reports that none of Charles Manson’s “murderous followers in the Tate-LaBianca killings have been released from prison so far,” But Van Houten told the parole panel she feels “absolutely horrible” about what she did and has “spent most of [her] life trying to find ways to live with it.”

Yet in the same parole hearing, she also suggested she has trouble remembering everything she did. Van Houten said, “To tell you the truth, the older I get, the harder it is to deal with all of this, to know what I did, how it happened.”

AWR Hawkins is the Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and host of Bullets with AWR Hawkins, a Breitbart News podcast. He is also the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at


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