68-year-old Leslie Van Houten, the youngest of Charles Manson’s followers, will not receive parole as the decision has been reversed by Governor Jerry Brown.
In September last year, Houten managed to convince a parole board that she is reformed and is suitable for release; it was the 21st time she had stood in front of the parole board at the California Institution for Women in Chino where she was incarcerated more than 40 years ago.
Governor Brown said in his statement: “The question I must answer is whether Leslie Van Houten will pose a current danger to the public if released from prison.”
But “in rare circumstances,” Brown said, “the aggravated nature of the crime alone can provide a valid basis for denying parole, even when there is strong evidence of rehabilitation and no other evidence of current dangerousness.”
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 Houten’s 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
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 and is the only surviving member. 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.”