Leslie Van Houten’s Parole Has Been Revoked for the Fifth Time.


Governor Gavin Newsom of California has rejected the state’s parole board’s recommendation to release Leslie Van Houten, a former Charles Manson follower and convicted killer, from prison, stating that she continues to represent a threat to public safety.

Van Houten was 19 years old when she met Manson and became a member of the deadly cult dubbed the “Manson family.” In 1971, she was convicted of murdering supermarket executive Leno LaBianca and his wife, Rosemary, in their home.
She is currently 72 years old.

“Ms. Van Houten continues to lack sufficient understanding into the risk factors that contributed to her previous violent behaviour and the ability to guard against succumbing to similar pressures in the future,” the governor wrote in his Tuesday judgement.


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According to Newsom, Van Houten has not sufficiently addressed “why she joined and remained in a violent cult or the triggering events that led her to murder Mrs. LaBianca” after over 52 years in prison.

“I am unhappy and will explore my legal options,” Van Houten said in a statement released through her attorney, Rich Pfeiffer.
Pfeiffer told CNN that he was not surprised by the governor’s decision, adding that he “can’t imagine any governor releasing her, but would love to see someone have the bravery to do so.”

Van Houten was sentenced to death following her conviction. However, her death sentence was commuted to life in prison. She became eligible for parole for the first time in 1977.

California’s parole board recommended her release for the first time in 2016. Former Governor Jerry Brown vetoed the decision twice, citing the heinous nature of the murders and Van Houten’s willing participation, and the current governor vetoed it twice. This is the third time that Newsom has declared Van Houten unsuitable to reintegrate into society.



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“She continues to hope every time,” Pfeiffer explained.

Van Houten is currently incarcerated in the California Institution for Women in Corona and is expected to return in May 2023 for another parole eligibility hearing.

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