Charles Manson follower Leslie Van Houten, 70, is recommended for parole and now California Governor will make ultimate decision - 51 years after she brutally stabbed a grocer and his wife to death

A California panel on Thursday recommended that Charles Manson follower Leslie Van Houten, who took part in the brutal killing of a grocer and his wife, be paroled after serving nearly five decades in prison.
After a hearing at the women´s prison in Chino, California, commissioners of the Board of Parole Hearings found for the fourth time that Van Houten, 70, was suitable for release, according to the state Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.
After a 120-day review process, her case will again rest with California Governor Gavin Newsom, who could deny parole, although that move could be challenged in court.
Newsom blocked her release once and his predecessor Jerry Brown did it twice.
Pictured: Leslie Van Houten circa 2017
Pictured: Leslie Van Houten circa 1971
A panel in California on Thursday determined that Leslie Van Houten (left and right), a member of the Manson Family, was suitable for release
Van Houten (right) was one of handful of Manson Family members who took part in the LaBianca killings in August 1969
Van Houten (right) was one of handful of Manson Family members who took part in the LaBianca killings in August 1969

'As with any parole suitability recommendation, when the case reaches the Governor's Office, it will be carefully reviewed on its merits,' Vicky Waters, Newsom's press secretary, said in a statement.
Newsom last year denied Van Houten's parole after he determined her role in the infamous and vicious Manson Family murders overshadowed reports of Van Houten's good behavior and rehabilitation testimonials.
'While I commend Ms. Van Houten for her efforts at rehabilitation and acknowledge her youth at the time of the crimes, I am concerned about her role in these killings and her potential for future violence,' he wrote in his decision. 
'Ms. Van Houten was an eager participant in the killing of the LaBiancas and played a significant role.' 
California Gov. Gavin Newsom (pictured) and former governor Jerry Brown both denied Van Houten's requests for parole
California Gov. Gavin Newsom (pictured) and former governor Jerry Brown both denied Van Houten's requests for parole
Pictured: Charles Manson  is sullen as he is led back into the courtroom to hear the penalty he and this three female followers must pay for the Tate-LaBianca murders of August 1969
Pictured: Charles Manson  is sullen as he is led back into the courtroom to hear the penalty he and this three female followers must pay for the Tate-LaBianca murders of August 1969
Pictured (left to right): Manson Family murder victims included Wojciech Frykowski, Sharon Tate, Stephen Parent, Jay Sebring, and Abigail Folger
Pictured (left to right): Manson Family murder victims included Wojciech Frykowski, Sharon Tate, Stephen Parent, Jay Sebring, and Abigail Folger
In his decision in January 2018, former governor Brown acknowledged Van Houten's youth at the time of the crime, more than four decades of good behavior as a prisoner and her abuse at the hands of Manson. 
'Nobody wants to put their name on her release, but when they're speaking honestly or off the record, everyone wants her to go home,' Rich Pfeiffer, Van Houten´s attorney, said at the time of the decision. 
Details of the parole hearing weren't immediately released but Pfeiffer said in an email that it 'went really well.' 
Pfeiffer said he expects Newsom to reverse the decision again, 'but the courts will have a harder time denying a writ than they did in the past.'
In May, an appeals court denied Pfeiffer's request to release Van Houten on bail or her own recognizance.
His motion argued that her age put her at high risk of contracting COVID-19 and noted that another prisoner in her housing unit had been infected.  
Van Houten has been denied parole four times since she was locked away nearly five decades ago for her part in the LaBianca murders
Van Houten has been denied parole four times since she was locked away nearly five decades ago for her part in the LaBianca murders 
Pictured: Charles Manson followers  Susan Atkins, Patricia Krenwinkel and Leslie Van Houten (left to right)  walk to court to appear for their roles in the 1969 cult killings of seven people in Los Angeles
Pictured: Charles Manson followers  Susan Atkins, Patricia Krenwinkel and Leslie Van Houten (left to right)  walk to court to appear for their roles in the 1969 cult killings of seven people in Los Angeles
Pictured: Charles Manson speaks with reporters as he is escorted by a deputy sheriff and his lawyer, Irving Kanarek, from a Santa Monica courthouse following a hearing in the Gary Hinman murder case
Pictured: Charles Manson speaks with reporters as he is escorted by a deputy sheriff and his lawyer, Irving Kanarek, from a Santa Monica courthouse following a hearing in the Gary Hinman murder case
Van Houten is serving a life sentence for helping Manson and others kill Los Angeles grocer Leno LaBianca and his wife, Rosemary, in August 1969.
She was 19 when she and other cult members fatally stabbed the LaBiancas, carved up Leno LaBianca´s body and smeared the couple´s blood on the walls
The words 'Death to Pigs,' and 'Healter Skelter' - a misspelled reference to a Beatles song - were found scrawled in the victims' blood on the walls and refrigerator.
The killings came the day after other Manson followers, not including Van Houten, killed pregnant actress Sharon Tate and four others in violence that spread fear throughout Los Angeles and riveted the nation.
No one who took part in the Tate-LaBianca murders has been released from prison.
Van Houten, 70, was 19-years-old when she and other cult members stabbed to death wealthy Los Angeles grocer Leno LaBianca, pictured, and his wife, Rosemary, in 1969
Van Houten, 70, was 19-years-old when she and other cult members stabbed to death wealthy Los Angeles grocer Leno LaBianca and his wife, Rosemary, in 1969, pictured
Van Houten, 70, was 19-years-old when she and other cult members stabbed to death wealthy Los Angeles grocer Leno LaBianca, left, and his wife, Rosemary, right, in 1969
The killings came the day after other Manson followers, not including Van Houten, killed pregnant actress Sharon Tate, pictured, and four others in violence that spread fear throughout Los Angeles and riveted the nation
The killings came the day after other Manson followers, not including Van Houten, killed pregnant actress Sharon Tate, pictured, and four others in violence that spread fear throughout Los Angeles and riveted the nation
At her 2017 parole hearing, Van Houten described a troubled childhood. She said she was devastated when her parents divorced when she was 14. 
Soon after, she said, she began hanging out with her school´s outcast crowd and using drugs. 
When she was 17, she and her boyfriend ran away to San Francisco´s Haight-Ashbury District during the city´s Summer of Love in 1967.
She was traveling up and down the California coast when acquaintances led her to Manson.
He was holed up at an abandoned movie ranch on the outskirts of Los Angeles where he had recruited what he called a 'family' to survive what he insisted would be a race war he would launch by committing a series of random, horrifying murders.
Leslie Van Houten pictured in 2016. In one hearing Van Houten described a troubled childhood. She said she was devastated when her parents divorced when she was 14
Leslie Van Houten pictured in 2016. In one hearing Van Houten described a troubled childhood. She said she was devastated when her parents divorced when she was 14
Manson, who died in prison in 2017 at age 83, directed his mostly young and female devotees to murder seven people, including actress Tate, in August 1969 in what prosecutors said was part of a plan to incite a race war.
Although Manson, one of the 20th century's most notorious criminals, did not personally kill any of the seven victims, he was found guilty of ordering their murders.
He was also convicted later of ordering the killings of two others during that summer - music teacher Gary Hinman and stuntman Donald 'Shorty' Shea.
Manson and his followers were sentenced to death in 1971, though those punishments were commuted to life in prison after the California Supreme Court ruled capital punishment unconstitutional in 1972.
Manson (pictured), who died in prison in 2017 at age 83, directed his mostly young and female devotees to murder seven people, including actress Tate, in August 1969 in what prosecutors said was part of a plan to incite a race war
Van Houten's case was overturned on appeal and she was later convicted and sentenced to seven years to life in prison.
Tate's sister, Debra Tate, has routinely shown up to parole and court hearings to oppose the release of any Manson follower. Even though Van Houten didn't take part in her sister's murder, Tate said she didn't deserve release under any circumstances.
Supporters of Van Houten said she had been a model prisoner who mentored dozens of inmates and helped them come to terms with their crimes.
Bobby Beausoleil, the 72-year-old Manson Family member who murdered musician and friend Gary Hinman, was denied parole for the 20th time this month despite pleas that he's a 'completely changed man.'  
Charles Manson follower Leslie Van Houten, 70, is recommended for parole and now California Governor will make ultimate decision - 51 years after she brutally stabbed a grocer and his wife to death Charles Manson follower Leslie Van Houten, 70, is recommended for parole and now California Governor will make ultimate decision - 51 years after she brutally stabbed a grocer and his wife to death Reviewed by STATION GOSSIP on 05:09 Rating: 5

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