Member Of Manson Family Released - Here's What You Need To Know

A parole board has recommended freeing one of the young women who was involved in Charles Manson’s crime spree in the 1960s, the Daily Mail reported.

Leslie Van Houten, who is now 68 years old, had made 20 previous appearances before the board. Each time, the officials denied her request to be released from prison. She has been behind bars since 1969 as punishment for a murder she committed at the age of 19. Manson allegedly ordered the killing. The gray-haired Van Houten told the parole board that she is not the same person she was 48 years ago, and that she no longer poses a threat to anyone.

Her future is in the hands of California Gov. Jerry Brown. He has four months to decide whether to agree with the parole board or reverse its decision. In 2016, after another panel recommended Van Houten’s release, Brown intervened to keep her in prison. He claimed she had not adequately explained her actions as a teenager who came from an affluent family and had been a homecoming princess.

The Manson case horrified the nation. In August 1969, the man’s gang of young women committed seven murders. One of the victims was the model and actress Sharon Tate. While Van Houten was not at the scene of that killing, she did take part in slaying grocery store owner Leno LaBianca and his wife, Rosemary, the following night.

At Van Houten’s parole hearing, witnesses described her as a model prisoner who has reformed. When a board member asked why she murdered the couple, she replied: “I’ve had a lot of therapy trying to answer that question myself. 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. I feel absolutely horrible about it, and I have spent most of my life trying to find ways to live with it.”

Van Houten explained that her parents’ divorce, when she was 14 years of age, deeply affected her. She said the split prompted her to drift away from her friends and start associating with kids who were outsiders at their suburban Los Angeles school. Van Houten recalled that she was just 15 years old when she began taking LSD. Two years later, she ran away from home with her boyfriend to check out the “summer of love” in San Francisco's Haight-Ashbury District. After Van Houten went back to her mother’s home, she found out she was pregnant. She told the parole board that her mom ordered her to abort the fetus and bury it in the back yard. The incident led to Van Houten leaving home for good.

While traveling along California’s coast, she met Manson at a former movie set on a ranch outside Los Angeles. He had already created his so-called “family” of followers, who he exploited to carry out the murders in an attempt to spark a race war. Manson ran the group like a cult, brainwashing his followers to revere him as a religious leader.

Source: Daily Mail
Photo: YouTube

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