Parole board recommends release for Manson follower Leslie Van Houten for fifth time

A California parole board again recommended Tuesday that Charles Manson follower Leslie Van Houten be released from prison.

It’s the fifth time officials advocated for the release of Van Houten, 72, who is serving a life sentence for helping cult members murder Leno LaBianca and his wife, Rosemary with forks and knives in 1969. Their prior recommendations were rejected by two governors.

Van Houten was 19 when the LaBiancas were randomly slain by the Manson family, who smeared “Death to pigs” in their blood on the walls of their Los Angeles homes.

The murders came a day after the cult — without Van Houten — killed pregnant actress Sharon Tate and four others.

The two-person panel’s recommendation was once again headed to Gov. Gavin Newsom’s desk after a 120-day procedural review. The Democrat has twice vetoed Van Houten’s release, on the grounds that she “poses an unreasonable danger to society,” and his last rejection is being reviewed by two courts, her lawyer said.

Van Houten was sentenced after she was found guilty of helping Charles Manson followers murder Leno and Rosemary LaBianca in 1969.

“I predict he will reverse this grant as well,” attorney, Rich Pfeiffer said, even though he claimed commissioners had addressed the reasons for her previous rejections.

Van Houten was a teenage runaway when she was introduced to Manson, who was living at an abandoned movie ranch outside LA.

Leslie Van Houten (right), one of the youngest members of Charles Manson's "family," was 19 years old when the murders happened.
Manson followers Patricia Krenwinkel, Susan Atkins and Leslie Van Houten leave an LA courtroom on Jan. 25, 1971. Van Houten was 19 when the LaBianca murders occurred in 1969.

Manson plied his followers with psychedelic drugs and galvanized them to commit random killings to survive a supposed race war that he envisioned.

Van Houten, who was the youngest member of the “family,” previously told the board she took responsibility for “Manson being able to do what he did to all of us. I allowed it. I accept responsibility that I allowed him to conduct my life in that way.”

Manson died of natural causes in 2017 while serving a life sentence.

With AP wires

Charles Manson in 1969
The LaBiancas were murdered a day after Manson family members killed pregnant actress Sharon Tate and four others.
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