On Wednesday, a panel of California state commissioners in Chino granted parole to 68-year-old Leslie Van Houten, one of the infamous Manson cult members convicted in the murders of Leno and Rosemary LaBianca in 1969. She is currently serving a life sentence in prison.
It now falls to California Governor Jerry Brown to decide whether Van Houten will in fact receive parole. Last year, Van Houten was also granted parole, only to have Brown overturn the decision. In total, she’s been denied parole 21 times. Co-conspirators Patricia Krenwinkel and Charles “Tex” Watson have repeatedly been denied parole, and Manson himself, now 82, remains in prison, too.
Van Houten was 19 years old when she committed the awful crime, an account of which was given by the Los Angeles Times in today’s write-up:
“Van Houten was part of a group that stormed into the LaBiancas’ home in Los Feliz. As Charles “Tex” Watson stabbed Leno LaBianca, Van Houten and another woman held down Rosemary LaBianca.
After Watson stabbed Rosemary LaBianca with a bayonet, he handed a knife to Van Houten. She testified to stabbing Rosemary in the back at least 14 more times. The blood of the victims was used to scrawl messages on the walls, as had been done at the Benedict Canyon home.”
Following a 120-day review process, Brown has 30 days to approve, reject, or do nothing about the panel’s decision, according to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.