Leslie Van Houten Denied Parole for 19th Time

leslie-van-houten_prison.jpg
Parole was denied for Charles Manson follower Leslie Van Houten for the 19th time.

Van Houten, who is behind bars at the California Institution for Women at Frontera, was convicted of murder and conspiracy in the August 1969 slayings of wealthy grocers Leno and Rosemary La Bianca.

A model prisoner, Van Houten had been considered the most likely to be paroled of any Manson cult members serving life sentences.

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Van Houten at the time of her arrest.
Fox News breaks the news of the parole denial.

Van Houten, who some consider the most repentant of the Manson followers, carried out her crimes one night after actress Sharon Tate and four others were killed. Van Houten did not participate in those slayings.

She has had an uneventful prison record, although in 1981 she married and then quickly divorced an ex-convict who was subsequently found to be in possession of a uniform used by pregnant prison employees. Van Houten claimed to know nothing about any plans her ex- may have had to spring her.

Gross-out filmmaker John Waters is among those who championed for 60-year-old Van Houten's release.

She has also been praised by Murrieta-based minister Victor Marx, who was approached by Van Houten while he preached to female prisoners in October. He writes on his All Things Possible Ministries website:

I was caught a little off guard when a lady came up to me after I spoke and thanked me for sharing. She wanted one of my books for herself and one for a friend. This gal told me how important it is for me to share my story with humor to help others out. She has been locked up for 40 years, serving a life sentence. This woman has been all over the media, her name, Leslie Van Houten. She was known for the murders related to Charles Manson back in 1969. The chaplain told me that she had never come to one of her special outreach events, this was her first time. So, please pray for Leslie, that she will come to know Jesus as her Lord and Savior.

leslie_my_name_is_evil-poster.jpg
Closer to home was a depiction of Van Houten in the Canadian-made dark comedy Leslie, My Name is Evil, which rolled at last April's Newport Beach Film Festival. It depicts a young man (Gregory Smith) falling in love with Van Houten (Kristen Hager)--from the jury box he sat in at her murder trial.

The real Van Houten was tried alongside Patricia Krenwinkel and Susan Atkins, who had more connections to Orange County.

A couple weeks before she died of brain cancer on Sept. 24, 2009, at the Central California Women's facility in Chowchilla, Atkins had sought a compassionate release.

Seven years before that, R. Scott Moxley reported in the Weekly that Atkins wanted to leave prison someday and live in Laguna Beach. Arguing vehemently against her release then, or any time, was Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas.

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James Whitehouse and Susan Atkins
However, the prosecutor who helped put Atkins behind bars, Vincent Bugliosi, argued for showing her mercy.

Among Van Houten's Atkins' lawyers over the years was Laguna Beach-based attorney Eric P. Lampel. She was also represented in later years by her husband, James Whitehouse, who attended UC Irvine before getting his law degree at Harvard. He now practices in San Juan Capistrano and often represents those behind bars.

"Susan passed away peacefully surrounded by friends and loved ones and the incredible staff at the Skilled Nursing Facility at the Central California Women's Facility," Whitehouse announced when she died. "Her last whispered word was 'Amen.' No one (on) the face of the Earth worked as hard as Susan did to right an unrightable wrong."

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103 comments
The thinker
The thinker

You got a little in you yourself hon....'

Beanieash34
Beanieash34

I have a friend who spent a little bit of time in there with Leslie. apparently she is very warm hearted and uses her experiences in there to help those with a long sentance cope, that is not an act she puts on for the press, she does not complain about her life but like I'm sure all of you would, hopes to get out. Murders with far less achivements have gotten out on parole and killed again...why do they get out free with redd flags all over them and she gets to sit there? Part of healing is forgiving, being bitter and angry will not bring any of them back. 2 wrongs do not make a right. Keep Manson in there, let Leslie who has reformed and been reborn a kind, soft hearted decent human being live out what she has left of her life in freedom and know that she thinks about what she did everyday and has to live with it. she is dieing on the inside everytime she thinks about it. you all sit there and judge who she WAS, took a good look at who she IS. my heart breaks for her.

Anter Paul20
Anter Paul20

susan did do good things that people did not know about.i wish she knew how i felt but maybe she did iam glad james was there for her. iam here because of her paul a

BuckCronkite
BuckCronkite

I'm thankful God is God and His judgments aren't remotely close to the judgments oozing from many of you sanctimonious bags of human excrement. God chose the Apostle Paul, who wrote 14 books of the New Testament, to be the spokesmen for Gentile believers in Christ. Paul was also a confessed murderer. Granted, he didn't use a knife, like Atkins or Van Houten but opted instead for stoning his innocent victims. But maybe you get the idea of how God views us and how you view others. If not, don't bet God is going to be merciful. You can still have His grace. But not until you realize your own sizable guilt. Have you hated. Have you failed to forgive. Do you covet, lust, fornicate, cheat on your taxes or tell little white lies? Have you attained perfect sinless perfection? Or do you claim sin as manufactured and deep down we're all really good... it's just a matter of finding the goodness. Better give this some thought before you run up face to face with God. He has a different view than yours. He says ALL have sinned and fallen short of glory, and there is NO difference. It's either a perfect score -- or you're lumped in with, yes, the Manson family. He's not grading on the curve, unfortunately. Good luck.

Jimbo
Jimbo

... you do the crime; you do the time.Simple, really.

Jay
Jay

I get so annoyed by the way prisoners are treated. TV's, 3 meals a day, etc etc. I guess we have the human rights folk to thank for all that? Someone I know raped a 6 year old little girl in 2009 and I have heard that he is serving one year in an open prison where he is studying computer courses! Why are we so soft?!! Monsters should be locked up with the keys thrown away and fed bread and water! It's also very amusing the way they all seem to become 'born again Christians' - looking immediately for brownie points from the parole board. Leopards dont change their spots.

Brack Martin
Brack Martin

They will never let her out!! It could have happened to anyone !! She has payed the price, you think she's not really sorry,every day?? Let her go...Set her free!!!

AJ
AJ

I read a half dozen of the comments here.....geez, Michelle E, Katie C., Preacher 714................such sad souls here - I feel sorry for them.

AJ

Diana
Diana

I don't forgive any member of the Manson Family. There simply is no reason to. Plain & simple

ibsjerry
ibsjerry

she can be forgiven and still be punished it is not a one or another scenario

ibsjerry
ibsjerry

she can be forgiven and still be punished it is not a one or another scenario

Patrick
Patrick

Leslie Van Houten stabbed Rosemary LaBianca after she was already dead. How can that be known? The coroner can detect post-mortem wounds. Technically she only is guilty of abuse of a corpse, but: She was THERE when the murders were committed, and by not doing anything to stop them she shares the blame. Someone mentioned Sharon Tate and her unborn child, that was Susan Atkins who did that, not Van Houten, who was not at the Tate house that night. Overall, I feel that keeping Van Houten locked up is purely political at this point, she is a worn out old woman who would never be a danger to anyone. Someone else said that there are far worse people being paroled, that is correct. Society would not be harmed with the release of Van Houten, but some who are on parole now are out committing crimes as I type this.

Cynthia
Cynthia

Has the world gone crazy? Nobody seems to know right from wrong anymore! Why are people screaming about forgiveness? The only ones who can forgive the Manson gang are the victims, their families and God. Murder is to be punished! And she is serving her punishment. Of course she is different after 40 years, but it doesn't mean she should be released. She originally got death!

We are in major trouble, people. Nobody wants to ever be responsible for anything anymore. If you believe in any kind of punishment, you are a hater, or full of vengeance. Heck, nobody even reprimands their kids anymore! What the hell is happening?

It is comforting to know that if you are savagely murdered in your own home by a group of crazed thugs whom you do not know, in several years, everybody will be screaming to forgive the killers, let them go, etc.!

Joe Curwen
Joe Curwen

Yes, she murdered someone, or participated at least. However, the real reason she was tried in the press, by the masses, in addition to the trial in court was that her associates made the mistake of killing someone famous. You can get parole after killing a nobody, but we have a separate standard for those who commit crimes against well-known, beautiful people.

Boog
Boog

Duh.......what's all the fuss 'bout lett'n Leslie go? Just look at Mr. Bush and Mr. Cheney-they DID send thousands to their deaths! Yeah, and what kinda guy gets skunk-drunk, hunts without a license (down thar in Texus, of course), shoots a guy, and doesn't bother to report it until a day later? he was let go!

Leili
Leili

The simple fact is, Leslie and the Manson Family mercilessly tortured and butchered lots of people. I am relieved that she and Charlie are in prison. Bet the victims' families are, too.

Canada
Canada

Drivel ... mindless drivel ... what has religion got to do with anything? Meet each other in hell? And just what is hell? She was found guilty; sentenced to death which then became life in prison .. is 40+ years more than a life sentence? I believe so.Having not turned to religion (born again etc..) does not make her less of a person. The victims will never return, nor are they laying around in heaven playing harps. Mankind (how did those words ever get put together!) has not been kind to anyone. It's time we started. I highly doubt she would be out looking for Buck knives if released. Yes, I'd be her neighbour too. She should be released. Period.

Mikie
Mikie

She was a 19-year old girl at the time of the murders ... She's guilty of being linked to Manson; had she stabbed a dead nobody in the back she'd have been guilty of 'mutilating a corpse',punishable by no more than 10 years even here in the punitive state of Georgia ... Creepy, yeah, but does not justify 40+ years ... Keep in mind the guy who tried to assinate Reagan has been released years ago ... She needs out ... If you intelligenty research the case, you'll see ...

Really
Really

Really?  "The guy who tried to assinate Reagan has been released years ago?"  No, he wasn't released years ago.  He was found not guilty by reason of insanity and has been under court-ordered psychiatric care in a mental hospital in DC for about 30 years.  A federal judge permits him to spend short visits at his parents' house from time to time, but he always has to return to the hospital.

Marist
Marist

Come on! I did a lot of drugs when I was 19. As a matter of fact, I also joined a cult, got brainwashed, and hooked up with more of the "wrong" guys than I care to remember. None of this could have ever made me capable of murdering innocent people, then eating their food and hanging around in their house while their dead bodies rotted in the next room. No matter what drug-induced states I was in, I could have never been convinced that it was ok to do what these women did. These acts were not a result of being brainwashed or being "high." There is something basically wrong with these women that made them capable of doing the things they did. They're only alive because of a fluke that happened to allow it. Leave them in prison.

Judy S.
Judy S.

She's sixty years old for crap sake !! Some of you really need to look at the big picture here. What happened in a drug induced time of life has nothing to do with what she will do tomorrow. You self-righteous asses need to think long and hard before you take another drink and get behind the wheel of a car. Oh..that's different you say! No, it is NOT! Bet you have never had a family member or friend in prison either...hold your breath because it surely could happen in the blink of an eye...for no good reason. You people that want her to 'burn in hell' and to stay in prison forever and freakin hypocrites. As for the woman who hoped that Susan Atkins cancer was painful...sleep well sweetie, she came out better than you, she died with God by her side. Oh, and by the way, I did 27 years with all three of them and they are and were wonderful women.

Really
Really

Oh my goodness.  You're absolutely right--I went back to look at the California Penal Code, and there it is, right there in Section 190:  "If the inmate perpetrated the crime in a drug-induced time of life, then if the Parole Board member is physically capable of driving under the influence of alcohol, and the inmate was and is a wonderful woman, then the Parole Board is required to release the inmate forthwith."

Thanks for sharing.  Most people are too lazy to go look up the code, me included.  Your story provided the incentive to go do that.

imalive
imalive

When those crimes happened, everything was different. Charlie hand fed everyone enough substances to keep them where he wanted them, and to do what he wanted. And he only picked the weak and the mek. He knew what he was doing but they didn't. He'd give them3-4 tabs of acid and eat 1/4 himself so he could control it all, and he did just that. Charlie should rot in hell twice over. Leslie is not as she was then. Some people in prison do get better, insid and out. All these haters have no idea what it's like to be controlled and I hope they never find out, but I believe that leslie has learned and also beleive she has a lot to give.hate what I said all you want, but God does forgive, and it's a good thing because I'm sure a lot of these haters have needed that themselves. Peace to everyone.

vicki
vicki

Imagine if you can. being a 12 yr old girl just on the eve of her teenage yrs., looking forward to dates and falling in love, full of hopes for the future, believing and knowing that all is right w/ your world and having that world rocked by such a horrible crime.... we as a people were promised that these animals would be put to death. Instead,leslie has been living in the country club of prisons BEING EDUCATED (!) sunning in a yard while I slaved away at a dead end job,supporting my children on minimum wages because I was one of the poor population who couldnt afford a tutor for myself or a college education for my children 3 of whom joined the armed services in order to have the funds for collge.My only sympathies lie w/ the fact that the girl wasnt put to death 40 yrs. ago, and that the poor schmucks like me has had the distinct "privelage" of supporting her and so many others like her.

Ron
Ron

why do people want to judge this woman sure what she did back in 1969 was a terrible thing. but you have to give her life back some time or another what going to happen when she meet her maker and he ask her do you ask forgiveness and if said yes what going to happen . it not us to judge her she sever her time let her go . let her be free I believe she been in the whale belly for to long . and to the rest of the comments you people put up here you need to figure out out to get out of the whale belly that your in now like cause every one of yall is running to Tarish look at Jonah he got free. Think about it before you judge someone next

johnny b. goode
johnny b. goode

she shood bee let out. Look @ her: she is just a normal old white woman now. That killing she done - that was a long time ago, another long bygone era, a relic of the past. She were a wilde wanton kid then. That person who did that is no longer recognizable to the woman you see today. Let her go. She is a changed woman. OK, you made your decision. Wen her 20th parole hearing comes uppe, let her go. Make some man happy - some man would love to have her. Let the olde ghosts of a long bygone era fade away.

Diya
Diya

Life is tough and it is a lot tougher when you do stupid things...Miss Van Houten serves as a lesson for us all.She may deserve to be set free but I doubt if she will ever be free again.

Anonymous
Anonymous

Pretty much. I met Whitehouse while visiting an X friend many years ago at Fronteria. I sat right next to him and Atkins across from him. I couldn't believe it was really her until she got up and went outside to be counted, like they all had to do. Her ID card was sitting on the table, it read: Atkins, Susan. They probably shouldn't be paroled, read the book 'Child of Satan Child of God'.

to Anonymous
to Anonymous

...and THAT'S what you got out of all of this???!!!

CHS
CHS

I chuckle when Leslie claims to have been "brain-washed." Leslie, you took a boatload of drugs and then let yourself be persuaded by that loser midget Manson to slaughter two middle-class business owners. This is where personal accountability comes into play. What system of morality approves of this sort of savagery? Did you think you would be part of "revolution"? "Revolution" against what?

Anonymous
Anonymous

Whitehouse was married to Susan Atkins, some of you idiots need to get it straight....!

barbara
barbara

i was 14 yrs. old when the manson story came out. it was haunting then and always will be. there was no excuse for what they did. i grew up at the time of drugs, peace, and love. noone i knew ever did anything like that. they had evil in them to begin with. they should ALL die in jail. the end!!!!

C. Manson
C. Manson

Darn it!

I was depending on that b*tch gettin out to complete my work! Guess I have to move on...

Hey, YOU! Looking for something fun to do? Feeling lonely? Want to join a group of folks who "understand you?" Write me! San Quentin Prison, Attn: Chuck M's "Feel Good Group"

to will
to will

Will,

Keeping an open mind is what everybody had before she brutally SLAUGHTERED two people. I don't think you really did go an view the crime scene and coroner pictures. AND, if you did and you STILL don't get the picture of just how completely deranged someone would have to be to do just a thing...then, my friend, I think you'd better go and get your mental health examined.

Like the rest of society, I agree with her never being let out. Someone who kills without any concern for human life whether two weeks ago or 40 years ago does not genuinely gain the trait at some "later date."

Anyone who would see those pictures realizing they were the ones who caused the scene and not attempt to take themselves out for such a horrible act...is someone who is not sane.

will
will

Gary i am not nuts or a psychopath and the point i was trying to make was if you get your head out of your ass is that maybe she is not the person she was. but i guess that don't matter and i am sorry but what i was saying was not in any way shape or form nonsence. and one thing gary since you don't know me and i don't know you how can you sit there and put me down like i am a nut case or crazy. so here is the thing maybe before saying things about people maybe have a open mind to there point of veiw and that they might have point that even if you don't like what they are saying

mdm
mdm

When she gets out, she will need a job. Maybe she could babysit for your family

Gary
Gary

Will, I don't know you, and you don't know me. So, how about I drop by your house this evening and stab you 14 times, eat your food, and smear your blood on your refrigerator? Since I don't know you, would that make it all right? How about volunteering to die like the LaBianca's died WITHOUT volunteering, and THEN I'll believe your utter nonsense. Frankly, you sound a bit like a Psychopath yourself. Have YOU been to a mental health clinic for a checkup lately? I think you should do that. SOON.

will
will

to will

you miss what i was getting at and trust me i know all about the crime and i have seen all the photos and pic about the crime. and yes i know what she did was wrong but what about all those other who do things like that and git out after 5 to 10 years. what is so goddam with letting her out.

3 things is a changed person

2 is she sorry for what she did and 3

how evil is she now

all i am asking is to have a open mind about this and see that maybe that she is not the same woman she that she was back then

Really
Really

I have an idea.  Rather than pretend you are living in a fairy tale, why not study how our society and government work.  You'll learn about things such as the criminal code, and how there are ranges of punishments spelled out for certain crimes.  Also, you'll learn about the Parole Board, and what they are allowed to consider when making parole decisions.  Hint:  The Board does not have a checklist in front of them with boxes that are labeled "Do I have an open mind" and "Is the inmate the same woman she was back then?".

Frank
Frank

Leslie Van Houten thinks that all she has to do now after all these years is lie and say she is sorry and act like she is sorry and the fact that she participated in murder will be "ignored" and she will be freed to do whatever she wants. And all those people who are supporting her are dangerous people to our society in my opinion and I hope somebody in law enforcement is watching them closely, because they do not seem to know right from wrong either and one never knows what they might do. It's an abomination when society allows murderers to have more rights than dead victims! How anyone in their right mind can feel that freedom is the correct way to deal with a killer is beyond understanding unless that freedom constitutes being "released" to the afterlife.

to will
to will

Will,

Go look-up "Tate Murder Scene" and look at those pictures. Make sure you get the site that has the photos categorized by victim.

I'm not necessarily a person who believes in heaven or hell or god or devil...but if there's evil on Earth...SHE IS IT!

Really
Really

Of course, that "Tate Murder Scene" had absolutely nothing to do with Leslie.  So while you're at it, go look at other murder scenes, too.  Same level of relevance.  Then go read about the crime she committed, so that you won't look foolish when you type about it in public.

dave
dave

I agree with Page. Spending 40k a year on someone who is absolutely no threat is stupid.

She Slaughtered
She Slaughtered

This woman does not deserve to live!

Go look up the crime scene photo's...they're everywhere on the Inet...REMEMBER what she did!

Looking at those pictures makes one realize the brutal savagery that this person invoked on her victims!

No, she does NOT deserve parole! EVER!

It's not a question of what would come in the future...it's recognition of the past, folks! With the exception of Jeffrey Dahmer, I cannot think of any crime that is more deserving of the death penalty than what this woman willingly participated in!

will
will

you people make me sick. you all talk about her being scum and that she has to rot. how many of you knew the people she killed. and you all clam that your are forgive and forget people of god. if that i ask you what would jusus do. i am not saying that what she did was right but the way you people talk you make it should like she is evil it's self. and as a wise man once said when you point fingers at people and the things that they have done wrong you will always have 3 more pointing back at you. and i am sure none of you have ever done a bad thing in your life. so don't give me this b.s. that she don't deserive to get out. don't just look at what she did be for look at what she is doing now. if what she is doing good or evil.

Really
Really

Did you really ask, "What would Jesus do?"  Really?  Are you serious?  When Jesus said "Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's...", he was talking about obeying man-made law.  The California Criminal Code makes is ILLEGAL TO MURDER PEOPLE.  It spells out the CONSEQUENCES of committing the crime of murder.   This is not rocket science.  Unless and until Leslie is deemed suitable for parole by the Parole Board, who is following California Law, then she will stay locked up.  Period.  The End.

(Good grief, where do these people come from?  "Forgiveness?"  "Paid her debt to society?????" Are we living in a fairy tale here, or what?)

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