Charles Manson cult follower Leslie Van Houten has been denied parole at 68 years of age. She has been in jail since a 1971 conviction for helping kill Leno and Rosemary LaBianca along with other Manson followers. She was 19 years old at the time of the 1969 killings.
The Los Angeles County Superior Court judge didn’t overturn California Gov. Jerry Brown’s earlier decision to deny parole. Judge William C. Ryan said that evidence existed to support Brown’s decision, and that she would still pose a risk to society, the Los Angeles Times reported.
In January Brown overturned a parole board’s decision to free Van Houten. The parole board cited Van Houten’s age, remorse, and efforts to get educated in prison as reasons she should be released. Brown said the heinousness of the crime merits keeping her locked up. Ryan’s decision indicates he agrees with Brown.
“Unless the inmate can demonstrate that there is no evidence to support the governor’s conclusion that the inmate is a current danger to public safety, the petition fails to state a prima facie case for relief and may be summarily denied,” said Ryan, via the Los Angeles Times.
Van Houten testified that she stabbed Rosemary LaBianca in the back at least 14 times. The victim’s blood was used to write messages on the walls.
Van Houten was originally sentenced to death, but because California abolished the death penalty in 1972, she and the other Manson followers had their sentences commuted to life in prison instead, according to CNN.
Charles Manson died in 2017 at 83 years old. He was denied parole 12 times.
Although Manson led the murderous cult, he was never present at any of the murder scenes. He gave the orders that cult members followed, according to The New York Times. His twisted aims were to have his followers commit crimes that others would be blamed for. He was trying to ignite a race war. Out of that race war he expected he and his followers could take control of the world.
Before he was convicted of the major murders connected to him and his cult, he was a troubled youth who had already spent a lot of time in prison for crime. He reportedly never knew his biological father, and his mother was often in trouble with the law during his upbringing.