A California panel on Wednesday recommended that Charles Manson follower Leslie Van Houten be paroled after serving more than four decades in prison.
After a hearing at the women’s prison in Corona, California, commissioners of the Board of Parole Hearings found for the third time that the 69-year-old Van Houten was suitable for release.
If her case withstands a 150-day review process, it will rest in the hands of California’s new Gov. Gavin Newsom. Van Houten was recommended for parole twice previously, but then-Gov. Jerry Brown blocked her release.
Van Houten was among the followers in Manson’s murderous cult who stabbed to death wealthy grocer Leno LaBianca and his wife, Rosemary, in 1969. Van Houten was 19 during the killings, which came a day after other Manson followers killed pregnant actress Sharon Tate and four others in Los Angeles.
Tate’s sister attended Wednesday’s proceedings and said afterward that she vehemently disagrees with the parole recommendation.
“I just have to hope and pray that the governor comes to the right decision” and keeps Van Houten behind bars, Debra Tate said. Newsom’s office didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
The Los Angeles Police Department disclosed Thursday that it has open investigations on a dozen unsolved homicides that occurred near places where the Manson family operated during its slew of murders four decades ago.
The Police Department made the revelation amid a legal battle to obtain hours of audio tapes recorded in 1969 between Charles Manson follower Charles “Tex” Watson and his attorney. The LAPD has said detectives believe tapes could shed more light on the activities of Manson’s group.
Watson has been fighting to limit the LAPD’s access to the tapes. This month, a federal judge in Texas granted an emergency order preventing the police from executing a search warrant at an office where the tapes are kept.
LAPD officials did not disclose details of the cases and said the department is examining the murders because they occurred near known Manson hangouts around the city.
“These cases have circumstances that are similar to some of the Manson killings,” Cmdr. Andy Smith said. “We are hoping that these Tex Watson tapes can provide us further clues on these cases… We are doing this for the families of these victims.”
Manson and his followers were convicted of killing eight people in a notorious plot to incite a race war that he believed was prophesied in the Beatles song “Helter Skelter.”
Here is a video report from KNBC, Channel 4, Los Angeles:
The federal bankruptcy court should speedily consider Charles “Tex” Watson’s appeal and rule that the police have the ability to search the tapes.
Perhaps and the bankruptcy hearing of Charles “Tex” Watson’s former attorneys is today.
North Texas attorney Bill Boyd made a name for himself defending one of the Charles Manson family members in the murders of actress Sharon Tate and four others. The Collin County resident died in 2009 – but he’s back in the news in Los Angeles.
L.A. police want audio recordings Boyd made of conversations with Manson family member Charles “Tex” Watson, to see if they will shed light on any unsolved slayings. A hearing on the police request is scheduled for Tuesday, according to media reports. Watson, of Copeville, Texas, orchestrated the 1969 Manson slayings. He is still in prison and the recordings came to light when he tried sell them to an author to help pay legal bills.
Here is a video report from Channel 4 (NBC) in Los Angeles:
A prison panel denied parole Wednesday to mass murderer Charles Manson in his 12th and probably final bid for freedom.
Manson, now a gray-bearded, 77-year-old, did not attend the hearing where the parole board ruled he had shown no efforts to rehabilitate himself and would not be eligible for parole for another 15 years.
“This panel can find nothing good as far as suitability factors go,” said John Peck, a member of the panel that met at Corcoran State Prison in Central California.
Also playing heavily into the board’s decision was something Manson had said recently to one of his prison psychologists that Peck read aloud.
“‘I’m special. I’m not like the average inmate,”‘ Peck said. “‘I have spent my life in prison. I have put five people in the grave. I am a very dangerous man.”‘
Peck then spoke for the record directly to Manson, who will receive a transcription of the proceedings: “This panel agrees with that statement.”
The panel deliberated for 20 minutes before making its decision.
Here is the video:
There will probably be no more parole hearings for Charles Manson which is just fine with me and most Californans.
Manson is lucky to be alive, as he really should have been executed decades ago, except for a legal loophole.
When a two-member panel holds a California parole hearing for notorious murderer Charles Manson on Wednesday, he will be represented by state-appointed attorney DeJon R. Lewis, who will urge the state to put Manson in a mental hospital, Lewis told CNN.
Manson, 77, and Lewis, 45, who was a small boy at the time of the “Manson family” killings in 1969, haven’t yet met. In fact, it is unclear whether Manson will attend the parole hearing, his attorney said.
“He didn’t come to my interview either, so I have never met him,” Lewis said in an exclusive interview with CNN. “I went to go interview him last month. I asked the correction officers was he coming out of his cell, and they said nope. And I said OK, who’s the next inmate?”
Former prosecutor Vincent Bugliosi, who co-authored “Helter Skelter” and prosecuted Manson and members of his “family,” said he believed Manson won’t be paroled.
“Look at his two co-defendants right now who are still alive,” he said of Patricia Krenwinkel and Leslie Van Houten, who are still imprisoned on life sentences. “He orchestrated and was behind all the murders.
“It’s preposterous on its face. Basically, it’s a nonissue and not going to happen,” Bugliosi said of the possibility of parole. “Manson knows this. He frequently hasn’t showed up at parole hearings.”
No hospital for Manson – just let him rot there. He deserves nothing better.
Charles Manson is not expected to attend his parole hearing next week, officials said.
A parole board will consider Wednesday whether Manson should be released from Corcoran State Prison, though the chance of that happening is slim. The board has rejected parole for Manson 11 times.
A prison spokeswoman told The Associated Press Thursday that Manson has informed local prison officials that he will not be at the hearing.
Nonetheless, the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office said it would vigorously oppose Manson’s release. “We consistently (opposed parole) and will continue to do so,” said Sandi Gibbons, a spokeswoman.
You remember what Charles Manson and his followers did, right?
Manson and other members of his so-called family were convicted of killing actress Sharon Tate and six other people during a bloody rampage in the Los Angeles area in August 1969. Prosecutors said that Manson and his followers were trying to incite a race war that he believed was prophesied in the Beatles song “Helter Skelter.”
Tate, the wife of director Roman Polanski, was 8 1/2 months pregnant when she was killed at the couple’s hilltop home in Benedict Canyon on Aug. 9, 1969. Polanski was out of the country working on a film. Besides Tate, four others were stabbed and shot to death, including Jay Sebring, 35; Voytek Frykowski, 32; Abigail Folger, 25, a coffee heiress; and Steven Parent, 18, a friend of Tate’s caretaker.The word “Pig” was written on the front door in blood.
The next night, Manson rode with his cohorts to the Los Feliz home of Leno and Rosemary LaBianca, then left three of them to commit the murders.
Manson was also convicted of the earlier murder of musician Gary Hinman in his Topanga Canyon home, and the slaying of former stuntman Donald “Shorty” Shea at the Spahn movie ranch in Chatsworth, where Manson had his commune.
Manson initially was sentenced to death. A 1972 ruling by the California Supreme Court found the state’s death penalty law at the time unconstitutional and his death sentence was changed in 1977 to life in prison.
Here is a photo of the Sharon Tate murder scene:
Charlie Manson deserves to rot in prison for the rest of his life as do the remaining members of his muderous “family.”