Leslie Van Houten, along with other members of the Manson cult, murdered a couple in 1969. Now she could be released early.
She belonged to Charles Manson’s (1934-2017) notorious killer cult and helped brutally murder a married couple. After more than 50 years in prison, Leslie Van Houten (73) can now hope for early release.
A California appeals court ruled that Van Houten had a right to a pardon. The court overturned the decision of Governor Gavin Newsom (55), who had previously refused to be released. Newsom justified his rejection by saying that Van Houten posed an “unacceptable danger” to the public. The court has now rejected this, saying that it does not take into account “Van Houten’s decades of therapy, self-help programs and reflection” over the past 50 years.
She stabbed 14-16 times
Born in California, she joined the Charles Manson sect at the age of 19, lived in a commune with other members, and regularly took LSD and other drugs. In August 1969, the cult attacked the couple Leno and Rosemary LaBianca, stabbing them numerously and smearing their blood on the walls of the house. Van Houten himself is said to have stabbed 14-16 times.
The day before, the Manson sect had murdered the pregnant actress Sharon Tate (1943-1969), wife of director Roman Polanski (89), and four of her friends. The crimes made headlines around the world at the time.
Whether and when Van Houten will actually be released has not yet been decided: Governor Newsom could appeal the court decision to the Supreme Court. So far, his office has not commented.
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