Manson Family killer Leslie Van Houten to be paroled, lawyer says, after Governor Newsom drops fight

Leslie Van Houten, a follower of Charles Manson who was convicted of two murders, will be paroled in weeks, his lawyer said on Friday after the California governor said he would not challenge the decision in court Supreme of the State.

“She’s thrilled,” Van Houten’s attorney Nancy Tetreault said.

Van Houten, now 73, will be released on parole in the coming weeks after spending more than five decades in prison, Tetreault said.

An appeals court ruled in May that Van Houten was eligible for parole, reversing Governor Gavin Newsom’s decision to deny parole.

Newsom, who has repeatedly blocked efforts to have Van Houten paroled, had until Monday to file a challenge with the state Supreme Court.

Newsom, a Democrat, said Friday he would not.

“The Governor is disappointed with the Court of Appeals decision to release Ms. Van Houten but will not pursue further action as efforts to appeal are unlikely to succeed,” spokesperson Erin Mellon said. from the governor’s office, in a statement.

“The California Supreme Court accepts appeals in very few cases and generally does not select cases based on this type of factual determination,” the governor’s office said.

Van Houten is serving a life sentence after being convicted along with other cult members of the 1969 murders of Leno and Rosemary LaBianca in Los Angeles.

A jury convicted Van Houten in 1971 of two counts of first degree murder and one count of conspiracy to commit murder. She was originally sentenced to death, but that was overturned and she spent 52 years in state prison.

Van Houten appeared more than 20 times before the National Board of Parole Hearings. The board has recommended Van Houten be paroled five times since 2016, according to the state Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

Newsom had revoked Van Houten’s parole grant three times. Before him, Governor Jerry Brown overthrew him.

In August 1969, Manson and another cult member entered the LaBianca home and tied the couple up.

Manson then told Van Houten and another person to come in and follow the instructions of another cult member, Charles “Tex” Watson, according to court records. Watson told them to kill Rosemary LaBianca, and Watson killed Leno LaBianca.

The day before the LaBiancas died, Watson and other cult members, but not Van Houten, killed actress Sharon Tate and others in Tate’s house.

Manson, serving a life prison sentence, died in a hospital in 2017. Watson is serving a life prison sentence.

Tetreault said Van Houten no longer poses a threat to society. Van Houten has been working on her rehabilitation and undergoing therapy for decades, she said.

“There’s no evidence, there’s nothing in her current file that shows she’s dangerous,” Tetreault said, adding, “She’s an older woman and she’s really, really nice.”

This article originally appeared on

Leave a Comment