Manson Family Member Leslie Van Houten Denied Parole by Governor

Manson Family member Leslie Van Houten, 68, was again denied parole due to California Governor Jerry Brown. In the decision, which was revealed on January 19, 2018, Brown explained that despite over four decades as a model prisoner, “she remains unsuitable for parole.”

Although a California parole board recommended convicted murderer and Manson Family cult member Leslie Van Houten for parole in September 2017, Brown has overturned the recommendation. Brown cites the lack of personal responsibility that Van Houten has taken for her actions as the reason for his decision.

In 1969, when Van Houten was 19 years old, she took part in the murder of Leno and Rosemary LaBianca. The LaBiancas were stabbed to death one day after Manson Family members, unaccompanied by Van Houten, murdered actress Sharon Tate and four others in the L.A. home that she shared with director Roman Polanski.

Leslie Van Houten in 1969

A young Leslie Van Houten; photo:

Leslie Van Houten Got Sucked into the Cult of Manson

Van Houten’s reasons for joining forces with a gruesome, cold-blooded killer like Charles Manson, who died last year in prison at 83, have remained a mystery to many. She had seemingly normal roots, coming from a middle-class family in the Los Angeles suburb of Altadena. But her life changed when her parents divorced when she was 14.

As a teenager, Leslie Van Houten began using different drugs and ran away from home before returning. At 17, when she became pregnant, her mother forced her to get an abortion, an event that caused a deep rift between them.

After several months spent living in a Northern California commune, she eventually joined up with Manson.

Manson attracted people to his cult by providing them with a feeling of acceptance and love that they had not known previously. He used drugs like LSD to disorientate and control his followers, who were often enamored with him.

Charles Manson

Charles Manson; photo:

Leslie Van Houten’s Prison Sentence

Leslie Van Houten will have to remain in prison for the foreseeable future. Brown has shown no desire to parole any of the convicted Manson Family killers.

Van Houten was denied parole 19 times by a panel of state commissioners before being recommended for parole in 2016 and 2017. Both times, Brown denied her.