Former Charles Manson Follower Leslie Van Houten Paroled After 53 Years

former charles manson follower leslie van houten paroled after 53 years
AP Photo

Leslie Van Houten, the former follower of Charles Manson who was convicted in 1971 of two notorious 1969 murders, was paroled and left a state prison in California on Tuesday.

The New York Times reported:

Ms. Van Houten’s lawyer, Nancy Tetreault, said she was taken early Tuesday morning to transitional housing at an undisclosed location. “She’s going to have to learn to live in the world after 53 years in prison,” Ms. Tetreault said in an interview. “So that’s going to take some time.”

Ms. Van Houten was 19 when she and other members of the so-called Manson family broke into the home of wealthy grocer Leno LaBianca and his wife, Rosemary, and stabbed them dozens of times on Aug. 10, 1969.

The LaBiancas were murdered one night after five people were killed at the home of movie director Roman Polanski — including his pregnant wife, the actress Sharon Tate. The murders were carried out at the direction of Charles Manson, one of the most notorious murderers of the 20th century, who died in 2017 at age 83.

Fellow Manson Family members Patricia Krenwinkel and Charles “Tex” Watson were with Van Houten during the LaBianca murders. Van Houten held down Rosemary LaBianca while Krenwinkel stabbed her in the collar bone and Watson stabbed her with a bayonet eight times. Then, Van Houten stabbed Rosemary LaBianca in the back and buttocks 14 to 16 times. Afterwards, Van Houten cleaned the area of fingerprints, changed clothes, and drank chocolate milk out of the LaBiancas’ refrigerator.

former charles manson follower leslie van houten paroled after 53 years

The home of Mr. and Mrs. Leno A. LaBianca, who were found slain on August 10, 1969, in the Los Feliz district of Los Angeles, is seen on August 11, 1969. (AP Photo)

As Breitbart News reported in May, an appeals court in California overruled Gov. Gavin Newsom’s (D) decision to deny her parole after more than half a century in prison for her crimes.

As Breitbart News noted at that time: “Van Houten, 73, who was convicted and sentenced to life in prison for the stabbing murders of grocer Leno LaBianca and his wife, Rosemary, has reportedly been a model prisoner, and her attorneys have argued that she poses no danger to society.”

former charles manson follower leslie van houten paroled after 53 years

Susan Denise Atkins, (left), Patricia Krenwinkel (center), and Leslie Van Houten (right) laugh after receiving the death sentence for their part in the Tate-LaBianca killing at the order of Charles Manson. (Getty Images)

The Los Angeles Times reported: Judges for the appellate court in Los Angeles wrote that Newsom’s rejection ‘fails to account for the decades of therapy, self-help programming and reflection Van Houten has undergone in the past 50 years.'”

Newsom decided not to appeal the court’s decision.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.

Authored by Joel B. Pollak via Breitbart July 11th 2023