68-year-old Leslie Van Houten, the youngest of Charles Manson’s followers, will attempt to convince a parole board that she is reformed and deserves to be released from prison. This will be the 21st time she has stood in front of the parole board at the at the California Institution for Women in Chino where she was incarcerated more than 40 years ago.
In 1969, Van Houten was 19-years-old when she stabbed to death eight-month pregnant actress Sharon Tate and four others during a late night bloody rampage in Los Angeles. She said, “I don’t let myself off the hook. I don’t find parts in any of this that makes me feel the slightest bit good about myself.” A petition created by Sharon Tate’s sister has gathered almost 150,000 signatures opposing the early release.
Van Houten was also responsible for the murder of grocer Leno La Bianca and his wife, Rosemary, in their home. She held down Rosemary as another Manson family member stabbed her before taking the knife herself and stabbed the victim more than a dozen times.
Pictured above: Sharon Tate and husband, director Roman Polanski, and Charles Manson
Due to a change in the Californian law, those who committed crimes under the age of 23-years-old will now have their youth taken into consideration when seeking parole. Due to this change in the law, Van Houten will attempt to achieve an early release. She is considered a model prisoner and has earned several college degrees behind bars.
Van Houten was a high school cheerleader and homecoming princess but following her parents’ divorce and a teenage pregnancy she ran away from home. She then found herself involved with the Manson family. 82-year-old Manson and Van Houten are the only members still alive today with the other followers dying behind bars. Speaking of why she did not leave the cult, she explained, “Some people could not leave. I was one of them that could not leave.”
UPDATES ON VAN HOUTEN’S PAROLE HEARING AS THEY HAPPEN