SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – Governor Gavin Newsom has reversed a recommendation to grant parole to Manson cult follower Leslie Van Houten, who was convicted in the 1969 murder of grocer Leno LaBianca and his wife at their their home in Los Angeles.
Van Houten was a member of the notorious Manson Family and part of the bloody killing spree in July and August of 1969 Manson ordered in hopes of starting a race war. Among the murdered was pregnant actress Sharon Tate.
Van Houten was 19 years old at the time of the Tate-LaBianca murders.
The parole board has recommended her release 3 times. Former Gov. Jerry Brown reversed the first two recommendations. Newsom also reversed the board’s decision, saying decades later, Van Houton’s crimes continue to inspire fear.
“I find the evidence as a whole shows that she currently poses an unreasonable danger to society if released from prison at this time,” said Gov. Newsom in his June 3 review.
The Board of Parole hearings cited the 69-year-old Van Houten’s youth, lack of “prior criminalty,” and “decades of prosocial work and – positive programming.”
Manson was convicted of murder and was denied parole 12 times. He died Nov. 19, 2017.