Monday, July 25, 2016

The Long Prison Journey of Leslie Van Houten - What is Fair Versus What is Right

                    

  "Today, at the age 51, after 3 trials and with no parole in sight, Leslie has become a remarkable survivor of a living nightmare. This work presents the first in- depth look at how this "girl next door" became one of Manson's "girls". It also tell's of Karlene Faith's 30 year relationship with Leslie, whom she met while living in prison. To everyone who encountered Leslie - including prison staff, and television journalists, she was not the demon typically portrayed by the media, but rather a gentle, generous spirit who mourned her victims."

      - Excerpt from Amazon page for The Long Prison Journey of Leslie Van Houten- Life Beyond The Cult


"I went back to the bedroom and told Leslie to help Katie stab the woman, even though it was obvious Rosemary Labianca was already dead. Leslie obeyed me, striking mostly on the exposed buttocks, but with none of the enthusiasm Katie showed."

     - Tex Watson in "Will you die for me" 


"And in the transcripts you do have, "81", "Time is important in this case. I think time its important. I think she should be observed for a longer time. She's going down the right path. And I've said to other Boards, my position with Ms. Van Houten is different than with the other members of the Family. I said that sometime I feel Ms. Van Houten should be paroled, but I don't think today is the day", 1981. And then he goes on and says in "82" again, "This is not to say at some future time I wouldn't concur on a parole date. Time is the important factor in her case"

      -  Stephen Kay's words being read back by Leslie's attorney at her 2013 Parole Hearing ( Thanks Cielodrive)




Today I take a closer look at the Prison life, and the chances for release, of Leslie Van Houten.  I will try to put together a fair, complete picture of her time behind bars and her suitability for parole. Frankly, I feel there is no chance that the Governor gives her a pass after denying Bruce several times, and shutting down Susan Atkins- who couldn't even lift her head up or stay awake, during her compassionate release hearing. But, in a political year like this, and with pressure on the prison systems to recede the current levels- ya just never know. Besides, the purpose of this post is to decide what is fair versus what is right- not what is going to happen. Don't we all know those aren't always the same things?  Also, Some of you will be relieved to know that I am not going to mention the commitment offense in any detail at all. I am just going to focus on Leslie's time after she was incarcerated, and what has transpired since. Everyone who has read my comments and posts understands how I feel about the crimes, and the behavior those who committed them demonstrated immediately after. It was unforgivable to me. But the United States Justice and Prison Systems guidelines are not up to me. There are rules, and a process. For the purpose of this excersize we are going to take a look at the facts only of her prison record. I will eliminate the Manson mystique from the realities of our system, and simply review how Leslie has navigated it. I just want to try and answer one simple question. Does LULU deserve to walk?

I once wrote a post asking people to consider the value of life along with the value of a life sentence.  My mind never wanders far from the Labiancas. Justice belongs to them. Nothing LULU has gone through, or suffered is anything at all compared to what she contributed to causing them. I am not going to look at this as if Leslie is "owed" anything. I simply ask:  has she paid her dues to society and is she worthy of release based on our system, and her record? That is what I am trying to determine today.

First a few words about Karlene Faith's book for those of you smart enough to not have wasted the time or money. This book was written from a very strong feminist viewpoint. It is heavily slanted to putting a lot of blame on men, and Charlie in particular. He is referred to as a GURU often. Faith herself, and a couple of others she quotes, use the term " brainwashing" to explain what happened to LULU repeatedly. She goes into great detail about the times Leslie grew up in and how she was "over-socialized to be only feminine". Faith also goes into boring detail about how eastern philosophies were very common and why many young women sought out others for inspiration, indicating in no way was Leslie different from thousands of other girls her age. In other words, she makes excuses for all the wacky shit LULU was into by saying it was "The Times". However, I am quite sure that not every young teenager got pregnant at such a young age, nor replied to swingers ad's. Lulu had a wild streak in her always, but that stuff gets glossed over. By the way. All these years Leslie and her supporters keep trying to paint this picture of the wild and crazy times LULU grew up in as if she had no choice but to turn to drugs and sex. Listen what Lois Smaldino ( Rosemary and Leno's oldest nephew) said about that: ( excerpt from 2013 Parole Hearing transcript I borrowed from cielodrive.com)

" I grew up in the same area within 3 miles. I was- I lived in Arcadia, while she lived in, ya know, Monrovia, at about the same time. I had just gotten married and started having my family while all this was going on. And I had a sister about the same age. And I just- You know that program on TV called Happy Days? That is what it was like living in that area. We used to go to Gwen's drive- in, you know and go to the drive-in movies, play sports, and it was nothing like what is being described here this drug and pot culture. Maybe later in the 70's, but at that point in time that just was not the environment in that community".

Karlene is a strong advocate who repeats throughout this book what a terrific person Leslie is who just made one bad mistake. This is exactly the argument I would make for someone who got drunk and killed someone in a DUI, or a teenager who was playing a joke or prank that went terribly wrong. It just doesn't work for me in the case of a person who offers to go kill someone, and then laughs about it after. There are probably more deserving people of Karlene's passion.

But like the Blues Travelers sing, "There is just no accounting for some peoples taste".

 Faith taught in a couple of Prisons before getting to meet LULU at California Institute For Woman, and she had some hesitation at first. She reached out to a peer and eventually they decided LULU was this incredible person who was just the victim of bad circumstances, times, and people. As for the murders- that was all Charlies fault. She feels, and expresses, tremendous sympathy to all of the girls for getting caught up in Charlies web. She is absolutely convinced Charlie brainwashed them all and ordered the murders. The rest of the book is really a celebration of how Leslie was able to "Break herself Free" of Charlie's hold over her.  She gives all the required details about LULU's prison record, and I will cover those specifics later. She has great reasons for the one or two slip-ups LULU has made, but in fairness, there have only been a couple. Actually, Leslie really did an amazing job of staying clear of any trouble and taking advantage of multiple programs and educational opportunities. It is commendable how well she adjusted and adapted. Faith really pays lip service to the victims families in an obligatory sort of manner. Frankly, however, she really spends 3/4 of the book trying to minimize Leslie's responsibility for her, while pointing out how much responsibility Leslie tries to take at the same time. She really tries to have it both ways. She is a very smart lady too. If you are looking for an argument to support Leslie, this is the most reasoned and well thought out I have ever seen. But its just too much fluff. She just never stops pouring on what a strong, brave, person Leslie is. How determined and resilient she is, as if Leslie has actually been a long suffering victim herself.  I am just not so sure that's an appropriate place to go in Leslie's situation.  The one or two interesting tidbits about this book were early. It was interesting to see how there was no death row for woman at the time, so they had to build one. The interaction between the three of them was something I always wondered about. LULU and Katie stuck close and Susan was considered the snitch. That is another thing- LULU starting talking almost about the same time Susan did, but LULU never took any heat for snitching? Anyway, you do learn in this book that Katie was the last one to let go of Charlie. She still had his pictures up into the early 70's. Also after the Hawthorne Shoot-out, Mary and Gypsy were both put in the special unit with the other 3, so for a few of the years Susan, LULU, and Katie were coming off the Charlie trip- they had these two living with them who were still deep into it. Apparently tired of listening to Gypsy at one point, Leslie told Patt- "I am not into this anymore. I have changed." That was sort of an interesting dynamic. She predictably brags about what an amazing person LULU was while out on bail between trials and gives a nice description of Leslie at the ocean with the wind in her face. She brags about a time  when (with the help of the guards who all loved them) she snuck Banana Splits into the Girls. The Bill Cywin incident is blown off with one paragraph boiling down - not to bad judgement- but a simple need for sex. ( Like we have no idea of the bad judgement people can show due to the simple need for sex lol) The book is for the most part, an attempt to make Leslie sound like a person who really was a terrible victim in many ways. It was not fair or impartial by any means. It was a LULU character remake job and she fought really hard to give you an educated, reasonable argument as to why Leslie should be forgiven, and understood. Friends for Leslie Van Houten were at their peak when this book was written, so she spends some time gloating about that as well. Karlene Faith has written many books on woman and their incarceration. She is also a leading feminist. In my opinion- in her eyes- the woman is never wrong no matter what. The system and the dominate male culture are the blame for anything any of these woman do. She is also a scholar and very bright woman who knows much more about the subject than me. I am just saying- you walk away from reading this feeling like it is as much a sales job promoting LULU as it is a fair assessment of her suitability to be free. Faith argues almost equally that Leslie has earned her freedom, and that it was really not even her fault in the first place. Also, many years have passed since this book was written. The story was being told while still fluid. Add another 15 years, or so, to the legitimate arguments Faith made, as far as the "matrix" for similar crimes, and excellent record and reviews Leslie kept getting. That is where the Leslie argument picks up steam in my opinion...


"I have a really good friend who was convicted of killing two people when she was 19 years old on a horrible night of 1969 cult madness. Her name is Leslie Van Houten and I think you would like her much as I do. She was one of those notorious "Manson Girls" who shaved their heads, carved x's into their foreheads, and laughed, joked and sang their way through the courthouse straight to death row without the slightest trace of remorse 40 years ago. Leslie is hardly a "Manson Girl" today. Sixty years old, she looks back on her involvement at the Labianca murders, in utter horror, shame and guilt, and takes full responsibility for her crimes. I think its time to parole her".

       - John Waters




March 29, 1071- Leslie convicted of murder and sentenced to Death. At the time the youngest woman ever condemned to death row in California. No Death row for woman exists so one is built at CIW.

1972- California Supreme Court People Versus Anderson abolishes Death penalty. Leslie's sentence commuted to Life in Prison which makes her eligible for parole after 7 years.

1974- Helter Skelter is published and author Vincent Bugliosi writes he expects all 3 girls to be released after 15 to 20 years.

1977- Leslie granted a retrial due to the failure to declare mistrial when her attorney died. Jury cannot agree on verdict. This leads to mistrial.

March 78- third trial ( allowed out on bond for several months prior to and during trial) Convicted and sentenced to life with possibility of parole -which the prosecutor in that trial said she would one day be suitable for...

And that my friends is where the Circus starts. The parole hearings begin. Throughout the coming years Leslie would be piling up considerable accomplishments behind bars. Concurrently, there would be a long series of parole hearings first behind the scenes, and then in front of cameras, which would play out over the course of the next 30 years. And this is where we get to meet three people who will play a MAJOR role in the Long Prison Journey of Leslie Van Houten.

Doris Tate, Stephen Kay, and Bill Nelson. Or, As I like to call them: The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly....


 Now I would bet you that when LULU was giggling her way through the first trial, she had no idea that these three people even existed. But, they would end up being maybe the most influential people in her adult life. First of all, Doris found out about these "Friends of Leslie Van Houten" who were gathering signatures for her parole hearings one particular time when it seemed Leslie was very close. So,  Doris raised thousands of signatures against the release to match the hundred or so LULU had for her release. Doris helped push prop 8 through which allowed for the victims impact statements. This has allowed family members through the years to keep the pain real for the parole board. Leslie now had a group of people to make the board feel sympathy no matter how much time passed. Also- no more sex in the clink thanks to Doris. Lulu had been taking advantage of that before it was stopped. Secondarily, Stephen Kay would be the representative from the DA's office at the majority of Leslie's hearings as well as the prosecutor who tried her in the second and third trials after Bug's retired. Kay would not accept a reasonable plea. Instead, he attached the bogus robbery charge which has caused Leslie to stay in much longer than she may have otherwise. She, and the rest of the family, would come to detest this man. Although they say at the beginning of each parole hearing that they are going to accept the findings of the court and are not going to retry the case, Kay consistently recreates the facts and details to maximize the participation of each person whose hearing he is attending. He has flat out lied a couple of times at these hearings. Finally, Bill Nelson. He brought the cameras and media. Now the heat was back on. no more waiting for the years to slowly pass until it becomes an afterthought. Now the spotlight is back on those "Crazy Manson People". Lulu actually walked out of her 1990 parole hearing to protest his presence. She doesn't get many shots, so to forfeit one was a huge sacrifice in my opinion. Before it became obvious he was as much of a nut-job  as some of the Family members, Nelson had an alliance with Doris for a time. Leslie had to see the door which was once slowly opening, was starting to move back in the other direction once these three came into the picture. If you read all of the parole hearing transcripts over the years, you will see that LULU was actually getting really close, for a time, to being paroled. In one hearing almost 20 years ago, she was given her smallest ever denial- one year. The Parole Board told her to take it as a sign that she was getting close and to reward her for her for good behavior. Then she goes another 20 years without any problems or issues, and the denials start getting longer. At one, fairly recent hearing not too long ago- she got the same 5 year denial as Tex? I say the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly had a lot to do with this. If you read or study the parole hearings you will see something very clearly. Things were going Leslie's way. Then this Triumvirate came upon the scene and things took a momentum of their own. It became like a wave that just keeps going and growing, and at some point, Leslie must have realized there was nothing she could do to stop it. Imagine you are getting one year denials and being told how close you are, and then after many more years of no issues- your denials start getting longer...

So then she sued. Leslie and Bruce tried to use the very court system they once laughed at to get relief. I assume you all know how that went. And its hard to make the " I am so very sorry and sincerely have  come to understand the pain I caused others over time," along with the, "I am a political prisoner, this is BS- I should have been out of here years ago" arguments at the same time. Smart people pick up this contradiction. I would bet you 12 Coors-lights that has something to do with how they can keep making the "Still doesn't completely understand the impact she has had on the victims or their families" charge when they deny her. As long as your still complaining about the way you have been treated, how have you been focused on the impact you had on others? Just saying...

Anyway, Back to Leslie's record:

Leslie has been in jail for 46 years and up for parole 20 times.

In all those years she has no 115's (disciplinary write-up's) , and only one 128a from 1981 for talking to a person in detention which was not permitted. She did have the incident with Cywin. He was a fellow inmate who she started communicating with. When he got out they were briefly married. during this time, he was found to be plotting an escape for her. She was found to have had no knowledge or participation with this botched plot. After her last hearing, in which she was granted parole the commissioner of the board told her, " Your behavior in prison speaks for itself. 46 years, and not a single serious rules violation."

Leslie has multiple chronos in her central file for both participating in and serving in leadership roles in; Alcoholics/Narcotics anonymous, Emotions anonymous, Restorative justice, Victims Impact, and Choice Theory courses and programs- among many others.

Leslie has earned her Bachelors in English lit in 1982, and her Masters in Humanities in 2012.             ( which means LULU is more educated than me lol)

Lulu currently has a classification score of 19 which is the lowest allowable for a person with her commitment offense. she has been at that classification for over 20 years.

Lulu has consistently received the highest ratings and reviews in all of her work assignments, and has been placed in positions to Tudor and mentor on more than a few occasions.

On LULU's Psych evaluations for over 25 years she has rated in the very low range compared to other female offenders and placed in the lowest range for violent recidivism.

In her 2010 Psych report the Doctor noted that since the early 70's there is a general consensus among evaluators that Ms. Van Houten does not meet the criteria for axis I or II diagnosis.  This basically means she is not retarded, schizophrenic, suffering from depression, or mentally slow in any way.

The Doctor notes the unanimous consensus she is in the very low to low range to recidivate. in her 2002, and 2004 report both Doctors conclude she would not be dangerous if released into the community. in 1996, 1998, and 1999 her Psych evaluation was prepared by a Dr, McDaniel who found she had developed high insight into her life and drug issues, he notes expressions of remorse and empathy for the victims, he found if released indicators suggest she would comply with the rules of society, and he notes decreased violence potential. There are years of positive reports such as these in Leslie's Central File. A few are even more strongly worded than above in her favor. But I don't feel like looking through any more old information about how great Leslie is.

Look lol I am just not going to go after defending LULU with the same vigor I normally have when trying to make an argument for another subject I feel strongly about. I just do not have the same passion.  This is the very best I can do. Leslie was an exemplary prisoner. It is almost impossible to understand how a young woman of her age could have done more over the years to impress people that she had changed. This ding dong eventually got it. I am just not sure that when she finally understood she was wrong, she felt more sorry for herself and what she got caught up in, than she did for the person she helped to kill. That is a problem for me. Yes, she has accumulated an immaculate record all these years. I will absolutely give her that.





" I feel that when I was young and I was given a second chance in life, that I took advantage of all the things that the prison system offered to come to terms with what happened, to gain awareness of it, to certainly carry my responsibility for what I have done. I understand there are people will always feel that I should never be granted my freedom, and I respect that with the Labianca family, and I apologize to you from the bottom of my heart for the pain I have caused your family, and that will come for generations to come that you have this cloud over you, and I apologize for that."

      - Leslie Van Houten closing statement 2006 Parole Hearing. ( Thanks again Cielodrive)


So, now we must weigh this information and decide whats right. Based on the best information I could find (maybe some of our lawyers can help me here)  the average time served for a person who is sentenced to crimes similar to the circumstances such as Leslie's is about 16 to 25 years. In one of her parole hearings her attorney says according to how the California Parole "Matrix" works she would fall into the 13 to 15 year range based on the factors ("If you look at your rules for an ISL date its 13 to 15 years subject to adjustment for no prior convictions, and no adjustments for multiple offenses.") These estimates are similar enough to give you the general idea that LULU has done way more time than the average mamajamoke.

Here is an exchange between Leslie and Her Parole Board. In 1979. (37 years ago):

Board: "And in looking at these barbaric deeds, you know done for the most illegal reasons, coupled with the uncertainty of your ability to sustain your rehabilitative gains over a period of time, the panel feels it must observe you longer. And we must have more time before we can project a date.

Leslie: "I understand, but will you observe me? I mean is there hope at some time?"

Board: : "Yes" 

Leslie: " OK. That's all I need to know.:

The person whom Leslie was speaking with was Ruth Rush, the Chariman of that particular board. Ruth would go on to become Chairman of the Department of Corrections. If I took away LULU's name and put Jane Doe on her prison resume, we are probably not having this conversation at all. Steve Grogan is an interesting comparison to me.  Is there any reason to believe that Clem, thought to be almost retarded by most everyone on both sides who knew him, was more of a threat as a fairly large middle aged man, than Leslie would be as a wrinkled old woman? Was Clem's crime less heinous than Leslie's? These are the kinds of questions, my mind wrestles with when trying to sort this all out. If you let me go into the facts of her commitment offense, and her behavior during the trial, I can make the best argument you ever heard that LULU should die in jail. But if I keep my promise and just go on her record, post incarceration,  its hard to make any other conclusion than it is time to let her go home. LULU, however, cannot change her name to Jane Doe, and although I wont bring up details of her commitment offense in this post- You can bet that Deb Tate and Company will make sure to keep the Governor aware of exactly who Leslie is and exactly what Leslie did. She is a victim alright, just like Karlene said. But not for the reasons Karlene gave. She is not a victim of Charlie, or the times. It was her own bizarre behavior. Leslie is trapped by a phenomena. She is forever linked to that little 19 year old with the X carved into her head. The Government only gets a few chances to send a message that everyone will hear loud and clear. "The Manson Family" is an easy call for a politician. And although that is not fair, it is not going to change. Leslie had the knowledge and notice that the others didn't about what she was going to get involved in. She asked to participate anyway. It is hard for me to feel sorry for her when it comes to other people saying what she has been through "isn't fair"

At the end of the day, if you ask me what my personal feeling is about her suitability I have to say she has earned her release under the current guidelines. I think she has proven she is suitable for parole. She has earned to right to go home.

I am just glad it is not me who has to make this decision. I feel that I would feel pressure to make a different choice, which would come from my heart, than what I know is the right one in my head.The right decision versus a fair decision. I am not sure in this case they are the same thing. I think its one thing to make the right decision based on rules, and law, and another to make one based on "Fairness". Let me say a few words about fairness. Its one thing for your or I to talk about fairness. It is another thing for Leslie to do it. There are many people out there who write and comment about how unfair this is to Leslie. Some will say she should have been let go years ago. Certainly, her record supports that. For sure, other people who have done similar have gotten out sooner. I am totally in agreement that Leslie has been treated differently. Lets be careful about Fair. I promised not to bring up details of her crime, so lets just say it was a very different type of crime. I just am not sure I want to hear Leslie use the term unfair. Fair depends on who you ask. I don't focus on Leslie when I consider it. I focus on Rosemary. A strong, hard working, self- made, proud woman. Her life was ended in her own home in her prime. We don't have to relive the details. That is enough information for me to decide that if there is any argument that Leslie should be making to win her freedom- it is about her record, accomplishments, and achievements post- incarceration. It should be about her remorse, and her changes in beliefs and values.

The last thing on Earth Leslie Van Houten should ever complain about in her life is what is fair. Rosemary had a right to live her life and she died, and Leslie was originally sentenced to die for causing that and she lived. So, I think Leslie did alright overall in the big picture when it comes to fairness.

And if you are on the Labiancas side of this- Fairness is the last thing on Earth you want to here. How do you decide whats fair when two sides of this look at your decision in two totally different ways so extremely? If you are among those who cheers for Leslie's release, I advise you to pray the Governor does what is right under the law and not tries to decide what is fair. Fair can be a slippery slope in situations like this. Is your priority to be fair to those who harm others or those who have been harmed? Cause one is going to think you were not fair no matter what you decide.

46 years behind bars. What a long Strange Trip its been....

So, there you go. I kept my promise. I did not go into any details about the crime. I did not try to arouse any emotions with the same old gory details. You can all view the Leslie prison record for itself and form your own opinion. As for me, I can't forget the details of the crime ever. I would not be here participating in this if I could. I think Lulu deserves to be granted her date and I will not protest or complain if she is, but I hope she is not, and don't believe she will be. I am aware that is a contradiction, but it is my honest feeling from the bottom of my Heart.

I don't know if that is right. But, I hope that it is- and that this post was- Fair....


                                                    - Your favorite Saint



UPDATE: Verdict in!!!! DECISION TO GRANT PAROLE OVERTURNED!!!! 

I will not re-post the whole thing but here are the highlights:

 GOVERNING LAW
The question I must answer is whether Van Houten will pose a current danger to the public if released from prison. The circumstances of the crime can provide evidence of current dangerousness when the record also establishes that something in the inmate’s pre- or post- incarceration history, or the inmate’s current demeanor and mental state, indicate that the circumstances of the crime remain probative of current dangerousness. (In re Lawrence (2008) 44 Cal. 4th 1181, 1214.) In rare circumstances, the aggravated nature of the crime alone can provide a valid basis for denying parole even when there is strong evidence of rehabilitation and no other evidence of current dangerousness. (Id. at pp. 1211, 1214.)

THIS bold highlighted part above is the answer to all of you who make the matrix or time served argument :)

DECISION
The Board of Parole Hearings found Van Houten suitable for parole based on her age at the time of the crime, length of incarceration, lack of violent crime as an adult, educational and vocational accomplishments, self-help programming, lack of disciplinary history, credibility, detailed relapse prevention plan, “tremendous” level of insight, acceptance of responsibility, remorse, consistent risk assessments placing her at a minimal risk of violence, and parole plans. Van Houten was only 19 years old when she perpetrated these heinous murders. Accordingly, I must give great weight to her “diminished culpability… as compared to adults,” “hallmark features of youth,” and “subsequent growth and increased maturity.” (Pen. Code, § 4801, subd. (c).) The record reveals that prior to joining the Manson Family, Van Houten led a “privileged” life. She reported being raised “comfortably” in the middle class by her father, an automobile auctioneer, and her mother, a homemaker. She sang in the choir at her Presbyterian church, went to the youth fellowship, and enjoyed church camp every summer. In high school, several classmates described Van Houten as “popular.” She was homecoming princess twice, class secretary, and a participant in Campfire Girls and Job’s Daughters. She was tested and found to have “a superior I.Q. in the top five percent of the United States.” She also began to experience some instability in her life following her parents’ divorce when she was 14. She reported that her parents’ relationship was “mismatched” and her mother “married down” and was “embarrassed” by her father’s drinking. Following the divorce, Van Houten indicated that she felt abandoned by her father and angry with her mother. She rebelled by using drugs and had a self-induced abortion sometime during the second trimester of her pregnancy at age 17. However, even after this, she was able to graduate from high school. She attended a business college for a year and became a certified legal secretary. Shortly after receiving her certification, Van Houten went to San Francisco where she met fellow Family members, Bobby Beausoleil and Catherine Share. She traveled throughout the state with them before ultimately moving to Spahn Ranch. She lived on the Ranch for nearly a year before the Tate-LaBianca murders.
Van Houten has now been incarcerated for 46 years. She is 66 years old and has made efforts to improve herself The psychologist who evaluated her in 2016 noted that during Van Houten’s imprisonment, she has “developed greater maturity, independence, and responsibility” and has “led a pro-social lifestyle.” She has never been disciplined for serious misconduct during her incarceration. She earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees and has received exceptional work ratings as a tutor for the past decade. She also received positive commendations from staff She has participated in numerous self-help programs including Alcoholics and Narcotics Anonymous, Victim Offender Education Group, and Emotions Anonymous. I carefully examined the record for evidence of her diminished culpability and youthful characteristics at the time of the crime, and her subsequent growth in prison. I gave these considerations great weight when assessing her suitability for parole. However, they are outweighed by negative factors that demonstrate she remains unsuitable for parole.

 It remains unclear how and why Van Houten drastically transformed from an exceptionally smart, driven young woman, class secretary and homecoming princess, to a member of one of the most notorious cults in history and an eager participant in the cold-blooded and gory murder of innocent victims aiming to provoke an all-out race war. Both her role in these extraordinarily brutal crimes and her inability to explain her willing participation in such horrific violence cannot be overlooked and lead me to believe she remains an unreasonable risk to society if released.

CONCLUSION
I have considered the evidence in the record that is relevant to whether Van Houten is currently dangerous. When considered as a whole, I find the evidence shows that she currently poses an unreasonable danger to society if released from prison. Therefore, I reverse the decision to parole Van Houten.

Decision Date: July 22, 2016
EDMUND G. BROWN JR.
Governor, State of California



I leave you all with this:


 “Ladies who play with fire must remember that smoke gets in their eyes.”

         - Mae West


 “Justice will not be served until those who are unaffected are as outraged as those who are.” 

        - Benjamin Franklin






120 comments:

justice_4_all2010 said...

Tell ya what, I was shocked when I heard Leslie's interview over at Cielo Drive, especially when she says, "It had to be done". I realized she bought the Helter Skelter crap hook line and sinker.

I realized something, that she is stupid, really stupid...but that is no excuse for what she did. Should all prisoners be given a break because they are stupid?

And what about punishment for ones crimes? does that not matter any more?

orwhut said...

St.,
I really like your quotes at the end. It's a pity that neither is likely to happen.

candy and nuts said...

Nice post Saint

Robert Hendrickson said...

It's a little late now, BUT if Leslie or anyone wants to eventually get out of prison, They have to study the LAW, NOT all this "Humanities, Socialist BS." AND if THEY don't understand that, THEIR ignorance will prevent THEIR release.

As a minimum, IF you become a competent "attorney" in prison and HELP other prisoners to get-out LEGALLY, the prison "system" will get rid of you for just the "service" you are providing to other inmates.

WE all become CRIMINALS of some sort or another, BUT KNOWING the LAW is what separates those who go to prison from those who KNOW the LAW. It's just common sense at work here.

Years ago I discovered a BIG legal flaw in the Jury selection system and brought it to the attention of the Court representatives, prompting very heated words to be exchanged. I then expected for Mr. Policeman to be knocking on my door at any time thereafter, but apparently MY only punishment was to be DENIED Jury Duty forever more.

The "system" ONLY works IF "defendants and prisoners" are somewhat ignorant of the LAW and how it works. AND if one relies upon a "lawyer" to save you - well for fuck's sake, you might as well rely upon Charles Manson for guidance.

On another NOTE: "Breaking and entering" someone's HOME for the purpose of "burglarizing" it is punishable by DEATH - if the homeowner choses to believe his HOME is really his CASTLE.

As most know, I see the whole Manson Family affair differently than most, BUT Leslie and the rest would NOT even be considered for parole IF I was the victimized homeowner. And experienced burglars have a 'sense' as to which homes they can safely enter and which to NOT.

Buona Fortuna said...

All that matters here is what the parole law is, and that wasn't followed.
The law is all that matters.
And yet again in a case of notoriety is was broken. When will you all stand up and make sure everyone in your country has basic human rights?
By what I've seen lately in the news... not any time soon.
Enjoy your vengeance.

St Circumstance said...

Buono

What about the Rosemary Labinacas Basic Human right to live? To not have strangers break into her house and stab her and her husband to death, and then snack in their kitchen? Dont we have to protect these Basic Human rights as urgently as we have to give them to those who violated the Basic Human Rights of others?

Vengeance would have been and eye for an eye- Leslie avoided that didn't she?

Dreath said...

Saint: excellent post. I am glad you posted it and in my opinion it is even more relevant post denial then before.

St Circumstance said...

Thanks very much Dreath, Candy, Justice and Orwhut...

one comment I will make on my own post as the decision came after I wrote it.


Although I think he made a fair decision in my opinion, and one I hoped for- I am not so sure it was the right one for this reason:

It isn't her sentence. It isn't the rules of the parole board that bother me. It is what Leslie was told to her face from those deciding her fate.

It is clear they have been more or less telling Leslie all along the way she would someday get out. From Bugs, to Kay, to the Commissioners on her Parole , to her lawyers and supporters- Everyone was telling Leslie if she played by the rules- eventually she would go free. There is an old video I once saw on the now defunct Manson Family Today site of a TV special filmed at CIW. Leslie was sitting in a classroom with a bunch of other women speaking on some subject and making everyone laugh. It may have been filmed as a segment for the Larry King segment she did, I cant remember. Anyway, at some point she is asked how long she thinks she will serve , and answers with the specifics of the matrix and fairly accurate answer as to how many years she thinks she will do. There is no doubt that the system gave this woman every reason to be confident she would eventually be released....

but time moved on and technology caught up. Internet, and media advances made it less and less likely someone could let her walk quietly- the way Clem was. And once it became obvious national attention would be focused on the person who ultimately let one of them out....

it all became promises in the dark... That part, I do not think is right.

Dreath said...

Saint asked: So, now we must weigh this information and decide whats right. Based on the best information I could find (maybe some of our lawyers can help me here) the average time served for a person who is sentenced to crimes similar to the circumstances such as Leslie's is about 16 to 25 years.


A study done by Stanford University in 2011: Life After Limbo: An Examination of Parole Release for Prisoners Serving Life Sentences with the Possibility of Parole in California:

"The size of the lifer population has increased as a percentage of the overall California prison population from eight percent in 1990 to 20 percent in 2010. Most individuals serving life sentences with the possibility of parole are serving time for first- or second-degree murder. The average number of years served by a prisoner serving a life sentence with the possibility of parole is 20 years.

*****

While data is limited, interim information suggests that the incidence of commission of serious crimes by recently released lifers has been minuscule, and as compared to the larger inmate population, recidivism risk–at least among those deemed suitable for release by both the Board and the Governor–is minimal."

I doubt the numbers have changed much in the last six years.

St Circumstance said...

that seems to the common range I could determine too.... Thanks again!

Dreath said...

Saint, I don't think the Governor's decision is 'consistent with the law' which to me, despite what some around here say about the justice system and my profession, means it is 'unfair'.

He cites In re Lawrence, 44 Cal 4th 1181 (2008). But having just read it, it doesn't say what he quotes. Here is the court's holding on the subject. The convict here shot and 'stabbed repeatedly' her 'romantic rival' and joked about it afterwards calling it her birthday present to herself. The then governor reversed the Board and the court reversed him.

"Absent affirmative evidence of a change in the prisoner’s demeanor and mental state, the circumstances of the commitment offense may continue to be probative of the prisoner’s dangerousness for some time in the future. At some point, however, when there is affirmative evidence, based upon the prisoner’s subsequent behavior and current mental state, that the prisoner, if released, would not currently be dangerous, his or her past offense may no longer realistically constitute a reliable or accurate indicator of the prisoner’s current dangerousness.


Rather, the relevant inquiry is whether the circumstances of the commitment offense, when considered in light of other facts in the record, are such that they continue to be predictive of current dangerousness many years after commission of the offense.

When, as here, all of the information in a postconviction record supports the determination that the inmate is rehabilitated and no longer poses a danger to public safety, and the Governor has neither disputed the petitioner’s rehabilitative gains nor, importantly, related the commitment offense to current circumstances or suggested that any further rehabilitation might change the ultimate decision that petitioner remains a danger, mere recitation of the circumstances of the commitment offense, absent articulation of a rational nexus between those facts and current dangerousness, fails to provide the required “modicum of evidence” of unsuitability."

In other words he has to have evidence that the seriousness of the crime then predicts how she will act now and connect the dots and tell her how she can fix that. In my opinion his 'doesn't explain how she got involved' argument doesn't meet this test. It does, however, allow him to pass the buck to a judge and maybe that's even what he set out to do.

If you want to wade through it- here it is:

http://scocal.stanford.edu/opinion/re-lawrence-33123


St Circumstance said...

Wow... I am going to be totally honest. I am out of my league here lol I am going to take your word for it :)

I just think its good with me if they never let her out. I just don't think you continually tell her your going to and then not do it. You just say nothing in the first place. They didn't have to make her any hints or innuendos.

It didn't help her either. As long as people keep telling her she is going to get out if she keeps it up- and she does keep it up- naturally she is going to keep asking when its time, and start to get frustrated when it never comes. Then the other side uses that repeated requesting and frustration to show shes only doing what she is to get out, not any real remorse.

Its been a vicious ride no doubt. I would have no problem with it, except the people who made these offerings to her, are not around any more to have to suffer the embarrassment personally of explaining what Leslie still needs to do lol This was life with possibility of parole- not guarantee of parole. They should have just said nothing but keep working and then Leslie would have had the chance to acquire her perfect record without the shadow of shady motivation hanging over her head.

Dreath said...

Sorry, didn't mean to get so lawyer-technical. Just thought I'd read the thing and see what it said. And was surprised.

St Circumstance said...

I appreciate the insight...

I don't think he has been consistent either which is the thrust of why I think it is the right decision to let her out. But I just don't think she should be let out because its "Fair" to do so. I think the "Fair" thing is that she stay in. I think she should stay in. I hope she always stay in.

But if you consistently tell someone that if they continue to do A, B, and C for a period of time and you will let them go- and they do....

the right decision is to let them go.

Like I said, I am not sure that makes sense to anyone but me lol You have to smoke alot of weed to get to where I am when I do this thinking ;)

Dreath said...

Maybe it says something about both of us because it does make sense to me.

Your argument is really a pretty damn good argument about 'due process'. Due process means the rules under which the state does X to a person have to be fair.

St Circumstance said...

But its not over yet lol from the AP:


Her lawyer, Rich Pfeiffer, said he expected Brown's decision because of the political pressure put upon him. He said he will challenge the decision in Los Angeles County Superior Court, where he hopes Van Houten's parole will fare better "because the judges and the courts have less political pressure than does someone like the governor."

"The next parole hearing could come in as little as a year," Pfeiffer said.

Robert Hendrickson said...

With a handle like "Dreath" you can lawyer-up all you want. AND let's NOT forget that all this discussion concerning one particular "inmate's" troubled situation is what makes this blog an important venue for serious minds to mingle. Neither the governor nor anyone else in government gives two hoots about Leslie Van Houton, the Manson Family or even the present "terrorist" activity.


MamaPoohBear said...

Saint, I appreciate the thought and consideration that went into your posting. It's interesting how two people can take the same information and come to different conclusions. I believe Leslie should be freed. Of course, no one who has died is ever going to walk out of his/head grave. One who has lost a family member, especially in a violent manner, may learn to get through the pain but never really gets over it. It isn't fair.

On the other hand, it isn't fair that association with a schizophrenic nut job, which ended 40 some years ago, is one of the critical considerations of release. It isn't fair that this association is the main reason Leslie is serving more than twice the same time as a less infamous person who did the same crime. It certainly isn't fair that Governor Brown seems to have made a decision that was more favorable to his political career than this woman's life.

I do not condone what Leslie did, not just to Mrs. LaBianco, but her children and their children and their children. But Leslie HAS done as much as any inmate can do to prove that she is ready to live the rest of her life outside of jail with no threat to herself or society. Davis, Krenwinkle, and, especially Tex, deserve to spend the rest of their lives behind bars. But its time to let Leslie go.

St Circumstance said...

Much respect Mama. Thanks for the thoughtful comment :)

ColScott said...

Here is what grabs me- knowing what happened at CIELO she ASKED (some sources sound like begging) to come the next night. This gives credence to the copycat motive theory and proves cray bitch should stay

ziggyosterberg said...


ColScott - That makes more sense than Leslie's claim that 'Manson chose me to go there, because I was Bobby's girl. Everyone knew I was Bobby's girl...his property, etc.'

Let's see, there was Bobby's girlfriend, Kitty, who was pregnant with Bobby's child when this went down. Sandra Good also was pregnant with Bobby's child at the time. Then there's his wife Gail. And Gypsy, also dropped off at the ranch by Bobby.

But, yeah, I'm sure everyone would think that a woman abandoned at the ranch by Bobby a year before, a woman who was f*cking every hippie, biker, ex-con, and music industry person passing through Spahn's, was Bobby's girl, Bobby's property, etc.

Zelda Formaldehyde said...

Great post St ... very much appreciate the effort.
The part that gets me most is that the Governor can take all the information on Leslie, her crimes, her incarceration, her impeccable prison record and her rebuilt character .... and essentially disregard all the good by playing the go-back-to-1969-where-was-your-head-at card. Leslie could try to explain her life and actions from back then until the moon falls out of the sky ... and it would never make a whole lot of sense. It's such an easy, cowardly card to play.
Nothing about Leslie's lifestyle and actions from 1968-1971 are defensible. Nothing. She was an irresponsible, gullible, angry kid. Now take close look, is she any of those things now? Time doesn't heal all wounds and correct all ills. But with effort and maturity, it can solve a lot of things.
In a just world, Leslie and the others would have been put to death back in the early 70's and that would be that. But it was the State of California that changed the game in 1972, not the prisoners. It's not their doing that they escaped death row. They were the pawns being told where and when to dance. Life with chance of parole MANDATES that an inmate be afforded parole should qualifications be met at some point. Leslie has met each one of those qualifications, and quite some time ago. 46 years of essentially flawless behaviour IS remorse. Jerry feels she's still a risk to society? Are you kidding me? You want a risk to society? Go look at Manson. Does she come off as anything like him in any way?
But Jerry is a lifelong Californian; he knows what those murders did to the psyche of the community. He knows he has 2 things in his pocket to deny parole to the Manson Family; terrified memories and a large majority of the population urging him to deny the Family. Incarceration record? Doesn't matter. Endless list of positive psyche reports? Don't matter. Acceptance of her crimes? Doesn't matter.
We all know the story of these people and the horrible crimes. So does Jerry. Doesn't it seem kinda ridiculous that he needs to hear Leslie explain how she went from A to B in her devolution? In the big picture, what does it matter? It's all crazy. We know that. He seemingly needs her to explain the unexplainable. And that's his ace in the hole.
When does reason triumph over irrational fear?
I don't necessarily care if Leslie ever gets out. But when the game has rules, they should damn well be adhered to in the interest of judicial integrity. The legal system creates rules, and then is afraid to play by them. Jerry is a coward; he may as well have released a statement saying he's denying Leslie because she's too old and homely, and doesn't want to subject society to any of that. He manufactured a decision because he could. May as well disband the Parole Board and save the taxpayers some money.
I like courage in all forms. Jerry's explanation provided none. There's nothing more Leslie can do, and he knows that. Still makes no difference.

Robert C said...

It seems to me a lot of the chat centers more on ** retrying ** LVH's case which has obviously already been done with conviction and sentencing. To me this is past, and what the parole board did and Brown should have done instead is weighed the time served in accordance with California law and precedence for the stated crime and secondly, determine if she's suitable *now* for re-entry into public life.

To me there's no doubt she's *comparatively* served more than her fair time, and she seemingly is quite capable to re-enter the public without further incident according to the parole board. There's no further amount of torture (purpose) that can be humanly inflicted upon her that will *more atone* for the actual nature of her involvement. That will be left to what's in her head and soul for the remainder of her life and afterward when who knows what judgements, if any, we will all eventually have to deal with.

orwhut said...

Didn't Leslie's mother make her have an abortion? Maybe she could claim that the murder of her unborn child warped her thinking and hope that the next governor is a republican.

St Circumstance said...

Thanks Zelda and Rob :)

Robert Hendrickson said...

GEE folks, your comments are so intelligently presented and mentally stimulating - how would you'all like to experience the 1973 MANSON film with a LIVE discussion at the New Beverly Cinema in Hollywood, California on the night of August 9, 2016 ?

Be THERE. if you dare.


St Circumstance said...

You couldn't give someone on the other side of the country a little more notice than that? lol

I would love to come out and do that!! Not on two weeks notice though and I have to go to Jersey for a wedding next month.

Next time- please a little heads up!!

Farflung said...

California certainly did stir the pot in 1972, but it was the supreme court which tried the "cruel and unusual" argument (for the third time in five years), in Feb '72.

By November of that same year the citizens said the court was wrong, and amended the constitution to specify the DP was neither cruel, or unusual. So there.

Where were the cries of following the rule of law during that episode?

Then came Bird, who systematically overturned every DP case she reviewed, until she was voted out of office. That should take care of that.

Wellll... The next move had the state slowing the appeals process to a geological pace, where executions were delayed for decades. So much for justice delayed, being justice denied.

Then the type of drugs used were declared as cruel, thus bringing us full circle on this macabre ride, lasting 44 years so far.

But keep voting your will, and the superior thinkers will continue to tell you what you really want. How bizarre.

MamaPoohBear said...

Saint makes a good point. Two weeks notice to get to the Left Coast isn't enough time to plan. Would like to do it though.

justice_4_all2010 said...

What I think Brown did was appeal to the people. I can assure u that 99% of the American people do not want any of the Manson crew released from prison, especially one who was directly involved at one of the murder scenes where all kinds of messages were left in the victims blood.

NOT A CHANCE for her and any others involved with that scene being released...they will find a reason to keep them in... and Brown did.

Can you people imagine the media circus with her release, the TV talk show circuit, the books...the profits to Leslie for being a part of these insane crimes.

What Brown did was prevent California from being the laughing stock of the world.

Glad she is a model prisoner...it is her home and it benefits her to be good there. Many anti-social types do well in prison but revert back to their old ways once released. Weather or not Leslie would does not matter, the statistics are against her.

Kevin Marx said...

Robert said:

"GEE folks, your comments are so intelligently presented and mentally stimulating - how would you'all like to experience the 1973 MANSON film with a LIVE discussion at the New Beverly Cinema in Hollywood, California on the night of August 9, 2016 ?"

Can you record the Live discussion Robert and post to Youtube?

Fiddy 8 said...

How much is admission?

St Circumstance said...

Mr H... I say this with love and respect and only semi- serious ( but a little)

I would love to participate in something like this really badly. BUT, I would get nicely buzzed for a night like this no doubt.

You gotta promise to answer the questions in a straightforward way. No Psychedelic Yoda soliloquies that could mean everything or nothing depending on your mood at any given moment lol

It would be really killer just to listen to you in person anyway as I have been a fan for so long, and hearing about making those films in person would be really great thing to add to my personal list of TLB travels. You are also one person I would love to meet.

But as with Charlie, it would be so much more meaningful to hear your thoughts if I could understand them :) Its like you purposely don't want to be specific sometimes. I really would love to hear you talk very directly and straight about your times with these people.

Robert Hendrickson said...

It's only $8 so I may not be able to retire just yet.

You can film the discussion, BUT you can't get caught.

SAINT: did you ever THINK maybe I have a thick accent which makes it hard to understand me ?

BUT this should be a really cool experience, cause it doesn't take long for an audience to realize THEY can ask ANY question and they may even get a politically incorrect answer.

Just wish everyone would look-up "Black Muslim" before they mention Helter Skelter.

I wonder if Quentin Tarantino will show-up. It's HIS theater and HE wrote "Natural Born Killers"

AND the COL produced NB Killers, before HE swallowed MY marbles.

Robert Hendrickson said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Matt said...

"did you ever THINK maybe I have a thick accent which makes it hard to understand me ?"

Thank you, RH that's the hardest I've laughed since the Republicans ran Chiachi and Duck Dynasty out to the podium! LOL

St Circumstance said...

Me too lol. Touché sir

Zelda Formaldehyde said...

RH, make it Aug.9/2019 and I'm there. I'm walking to the cookie jar to hide my $8 away right now.

Dreath said...

RH: what time does this start?

justice_4_all2010 said...

I have a cage fighting event on the 8th, far east of the city...but if I can, will stalk your show but never enter...taking pictures of all who enter.

Now me and my boys know where to find the Manson supporters...and the BooHoo, LuLu supporters.

Matt said...

psycho tough guy alert...

Cappy said...

I've been following RH for years, and I've never yet understood a word he says.

Matt said...

Well Cappy, there are other forums that operate to a lower common denominator and reading level. Perhaps they would suit you better.

St Circumstance said...

LA Times had interesting and varying comments on the LULU announcement:



In 1971, Manson and some of his “family” members were given the death penalty for their crimes. Capital punishment was later overturned in California, and they were given life imprisonment.

Obviously, Van Houten’s life has not ended, so how can she be up for parole? I know she had retrials, but this does not take away from the enormity of her crime.

Apparently we give more kindness to the criminals than we do the victims.

Pat Beattie, Santa Barbara




To the editor: I was deeply saddened to learn that Gov. Jerry Brown denied Van Houten parole. Brown aspires to leave a legacy of prison reform and restorative justice, but his decision contradicts that goal and misses a tremendous opportunity to teach by example.

Van Houten exemplifies the power of rehabilitation. If a spotless prison record, 46 years served, bachelor’s and master’s degrees and running self-help groups aren’t enough, then what should motivate those who are locked up to make any attempt at rehabilitation? We don’t even expect that much from people in the free world.

Robin McCarthy, Los Angeles

Robert Hendrickson said...

The first showing is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. and the 2nd ?

DREATH if you can make it, please introduce yourself.

There will be a wide open discussion with NO questions barred.

AND there is NO political agenda (except the TRUTH) to be promoted.

BTW: Yesterday Governor Jerry Brown reached the PEAK of HIS political career - HE got to announce the DELEGATE count for California to millions of viewers via the Democratic National Convention.

AND that is most likely WHY he could NOT grant Leslie a parole. If HE had, that would have been the news story. Instead, He was just an old man with a bald head spouting numbers concerning an old lady (Hillary) and another old man (Bernie), THUS proving that a cardboard cut-out of our esteemed governor could have saved the taxpayers a $$ plane fare $$ & hotel bill $$.

NO cheepy "trivago" for HIM.

Robert Hendrickson said...

Dear CAPPY: Did you know YOUR name is such a significant clue to understanding Helter Skelter that it literally confuses EVERYONE.

Sandy said: "Cappy wanted to go, (to the ignition of the Final Battle of Armageddon) but there wasn't enough room in the car ?

So why didn't THEY just borrow or steal a station wagon. OR why didn't Cappy just ride in the trunk ?

Or why didn't THEY just hook-up one of the trailers stationed at the ranch ?

OR how come NONE of those with a first class SEAT didn't give-up THEIR seat to a rejected Cappy ?

Perhaps Charlie Manson didn't NEED to ORDER anyone to go along for the ride - cause there were actually too many volunteers. Maybe that's what Jerry Brown is talking about: WHY did you 'volunteer' Leslie ?

St Circumstance said...

Jerry Has been busy lately:


One of the many things Steve Jobs was famous for was his refusal to put a license plate on the back of his car, a Mercedes-Benz SL55 AMG. Jobs—or someone close to him—spotted a loophole in California DMV regulations allowing six months of grace before a license plate had to be attached to a new car. As a result, the Apple supremo maintained a rolling six-month lease on a series of new SL55 AMGs, replacing one with another just before the grace period ran out.Jobs is no longer with us, but in case any of his disciples were in the habit of copying his phobia of license plates, watch out.

On Monday, California Governor Jerry Brown signed a new law that does away with the loophole. From 2019, California joins most of the other states in the nation by requiring newly bought cars to be issued temporary license plates. Additionally, the law will create a system to allow car sellers to report details of the sale to the DMV, including the date of sale and the names and addresses of the dealer and purchaser.

St Circumstance said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ziggyosterberg said...


Matt said...

"psycho tough guy alert..."


Kickin' ass and takin' names...on the internet.

I haven't seen a guy this tough since....Michael Jackson in the video for "Bad".

Dreath said...

RH: Its highly unlikely I will pull this off. I have court that morning- and I don't know if I can convince my wife of many years that a trip to LA would be a good anniversary get away (even if I could come up with some other excuse ;-)). That said, if I can, I will say hello. In the meantime if I paid you $8 would you answer a question? We could take up a collection here or something.

I also agree with you. I think there is a big difference between what Manson knew and what he ordered. I think his words that night reveal that: "Go with Tex and do whatever he says". I think he was jail house lawyer smart enough to know that this statement is not a conspiracy to commit murder.

Moreover, I think even Bugliosi realized he still had problems with his conspiracy theory. He asked for a jury instruction on felony murder. This tells me he knew he had a good case against Manson for night number two at least on that theory (he did) or that he was at least hedging his bets.

That said, to paraphrase Harold True, if you tell a bunch of crazies there is no right or wrong and tell them to do what they want you are going to have trouble. Especially, if you are the guy who created the crazies.

Matt said...

Ziggy, I would have voted for George Michael in Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go, but I can live with MJ...


Sam Smith said...

Leslie should only leave prison in a body bag and then straight to the prison cemetery in a plywood coffin.

The boy wonder said...

John Hinckley Jr set for release? Surely not! Seems like an imbalance in the system there.

St Circumstance said...

different crimes and sentences, but initially I thought the same thing..

Trying to shoot a President surrounded by Armed Secret Service? You have to be going into that thinking even if you don't kill him- you have a good chance of being killed.

Even if he is legit sick or crazy- does that make him any less a person you do not want living on your street? I do think LULU has a better chance of working out her issues over time than this guy does of getting less cuckoo...

justice_4_all2010 said...

Yea, Yea…heard it all before. I poke and I prod, I worked on a case for two years to find out who was financing the lawyers that were trying to get another murderer released…and things were said through comments that helped me to connect the dots. The financing came through a charity run by the NASCAR driver Tony Stewart. Watch the video of Tony Stewart running down a fellow driver and killing him…he could have avoided it…which leads me to believe many of these murderers supporters are as sick as the people they support.

justice_4_all2010 said...

As for martial arts…sorry, it is true. And I feel if Jay Sebring, Voytek Frykowski had any such training things would have turned out different. Voytek was close enough to get ahold of Atkins, but instead of fighting with her and pulling her hair, had he been trained he would have taken her out of the equation in ¼ of a second, and then he would have rushed Watson.

We are taught, in a knife fight you are going to get cut, but you can limit the damage by rushing them and getting inside….forget all the Hollywood jumping and kicking stuff, inside is where you can hurt your opponent.

As for Tex and the gun, Tex is not a trained shooter, odds are he would have jerked the trigger in a panic and missed Voytek, or not hit a vital area. Than the trained Voytek would have incapacitated him quickly… And what would Krenwinkel have done than…I say head for the hills running

Wishful thinking but things would have turned out different.

And before you criticize me, go down to your local Martial Arts studio and try it…most people quit.

justice_4_all2010 said...

And let me add this, If any of you people were out and some jerks were giving you a hard time...we would help you, no questions asked!

Matt said...

So, by paying close attention to blog comments you found that Tony Stewart funneled money through a charity of his to pay attorneys in an attempt to spring a murderer? All the while he ran over Kevin Ward, Jr. on purpose.

Based on these indisputable facts, you concluded that they key to the Tate-Labianca murders could be discerned by paying close attention to the comments section as we debate the morality and honesty of the California parole system.

Ok, I've got it. Thanks for clearing that up.


Dreath said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Zelda Formaldehyde said...

Ellery Queen lives! He fights east of the city, too. Poor Tony Stewart never had a chance.
But most importantly, it's time for lunch.

The boy wonder said...

Sometimes when I have my daily dose of the manson blog I learn stuff, sometimes It feels like I've eaten datura unwittingly.

St Circumstance said...

I didnt mean to feed you anything that makes you sick lol

Sorry

St Circumstance said...

I had to look that word up ;)

Matt said...

I was beginning to feel Carlos Castaneda's presence myself, boy wonder...


Fiddy 8 said...

"I'm not really into legacies. People talk to me: 'what's your legacy?' I'm here now, I'm doing what I want to do. I'm trying to make stuff happen."

~ Governor Brown from 2013 interviewed at the end of the *History of the Eagles* documentary.

william marshall said...

There's a new special on Reelz channel tonight at 10 pm on Sharon Tate

ziggyosterberg said...


Smoke always drove like a dick. The kid was stupid for trying that shit with him. If it was Junebug instead of Smoke, the kid would still be alive. Junebug is a class act.

And if the kid had martial arts training, he would have done a flying side kick into the car and immobilized Smoke before Smoke ran him over.

Farflung said...

When the supreme court suspended the DP, there were seven states with a life without parole sentence. This seven state minority facilitated yet another set of consequences.

Maine, Michigan, and West Virginia had no DP in 1972, and passed the need for any review. But if you comitted murder in the first (a la Van Houten) you would likely recieve LWOP, and die in prison. Fair? Michigan and Mass. only have LWOP for murder one.

Mississippi, Nevada, Mass. (at that time), and Pennsylvania had both the DP, and LWOP. Presumably those states converted their death rows to LWOPs, but I have no data to back this up.

California's only punishment once the DP was suspended was life, with the possibility of parole. So the Family gets considered for release, and seven states potentially have no such obligation.

This is where I struggle with the micro definition of fair, when the macro view, by design isn't.

Matt said...

If it had been Happy, folks around here would have celebrated. He lived up the hill from me for years.

He made a stink in the local sports bar because there wasn't enough of his memorabilia on display. To appease the redneck they redecorated. Well he moved, and as soon as he did all that crap went into the dumpster.


St Circumstance said...

Farf - comparing Cali law to other states is something I never considered and very interesting

Suze said...

Uh oh, Matt's given out another Rod Serling Award. The only others I remember are MonkeyBoy and Poirot. Justice For All is in unique company. That should be like a hall of fame or something? lmao!

St Circumstance said...

lol Suze... MonkeyBoy- now there is a blast from the past :) I should have mentioned him in this post... He claimed to have had corresponded to LULU and maybe he did?

St Circumstance said...

Debra J. Saunders is a San Francisco Chronicle staff writer. From her opinion piece:

“If the word ‘Manson’ was not attached to Leslie, she would have been out 20 years ago,” attorney Rich Pfeiffer told me about his client, convicted Manson “family” killer Leslie Van Houten, who is serving a life sentence for her role in two 1969 murders. On Friday, Gov. Jerry Brown reversed a parole board recommendation to parole Van Houten, 66, because she is remorseful, has accepted responsibility for her crimes and no longer poses a danger to society. “As our Supreme Court has acknowledged,” Brown wrote, “in rare circumstances a crime is so atrocious that it provides evidence of current dangerousness by itself.”

and...

Pfieffer sees Van Houten at age 19 as the youngest, “most vulnerable” Manson killer. She was not part of the murderous squad who came to Tate’s home. While she helped restrain Rosemary LaBianca and stabbed her at least 16 times, Van Houten claims LaBianca already was dead. Since her conviction, Van Houten has expressed remorse and worked to improve herself. In her 46 years in prison, Van Houten earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees, volunteered as a mentor to other inmates and stayed out of trouble. She fits the very model of redemption.

I asked Jeff Guinn, author of the exhaustive book “Manson: The Life and Times of Charles Manson” if he thought Van Houten should win parole. Guinn said he was unqualified to make that determination, but added, “The only thing I feel I can say with any certainty is that if the decision had been made to let her out, she would not have presented any danger to society.” Guinn was impressed at Van Houten’s unflinching disclosure about what she did, when others might have tried to snow him.

Brown is skeptical of Van Houten’s transformation. LaBianca grandson Tony LaMontagne cut to the chase when he sent a statement to the parole board that asked, “Why are we actually here?”

I believe that if Van Houten is truly remorseful, then she should accept that her punishment is to spend her days repenting in a correctional facility. I don’t make light of prison and the loss of autonomy. But life behind bars is a fitting sentence for torture/murder. Manson’s design was to terrorize civil society. Van Houten tried to burn down that house. She doesn’t get to come back into the house.

Robert Hendrickson said...

WELL. well, just as California's governator Jerry Brown denies a Manson Family member's release from prison, the Democratic Federal Government RELEASES John Hinkley (tried to assassinate Republican President Reagan.) Hey, maybe THEY think old Johnny will NOW try and get rid of crazy Donald TRUMP.

Makes sense to ME.

BUT there is actually a REAL and very interesting story here. Especially concerning the "insanity" defense and $$ money $$.

Hinkley's father was the head of WORLD VISION, a multi-billion dollar Evangelical conglomerate.
AND that's when a Billion dollars actually meant something.

SO, let's get REAL here: IF Leslie's "Family" had that kind of $$ POWER $$ THEY could have BOUGHT there own personal California "governor" and ALL could have been having "Thanksgiving" dinner TOGETHER for the last twenty years.

It's ONLY numbers GAME, so ask yourself: IF the Demorcrats, who love the under-privledged so much, also control the educational system, WHY don't THEY just TEACH these poor souls HOW to play the GAME to WIN ?

AND why did MANSON teach HIS family to play "against" the system ?

Therein lies the answer with a whole lot of cents.

Zelda Formaldehyde said...

I believe that if Van Houten is truly remorseful, then she should accept that her punishment is to spend her days repenting in a correctional facility.

St, her punishment is life WITH possibility of parole. She is not appealing for something outside of what the State has told her she is entitled to. She is not obligated to die in prison. She is entitled to try and rehabilitate herself and make applications for release. Again, those are the State's laws, not hers. I don't blame her for taking any/all steps she wants to try for some years of a free life. It's too easy for any outsider to suggest she just fade away and prepare to die within the walls of CIW.

St Circumstance said...

That was Deb Saunders opinion Zelda- I just reprinted that opinion and a couple I saw in the LA Times to give all of you an idea of what some other people outside the TLB community are saying...

I agree she was entitled to try and make applications and I think she did an amazing job.

orwhut said...

It doesn't take much of a web search to find a few alledged connections between the Hinkleys and Bushs. For instance George H. W. Bush's son Neil and John Hinkley's brother Scott had planned to have dinner together the day following the assasination attempt.on Ronald Reagan. I won't even go into the things about MK Ultra.
Even for a coincidence theorist like me it's interesting to think about.

Zelda Formaldehyde said...

Sorry St. My bad.
Some people seem to breezily miss the "with parole" part of the equation. I'm getting a little tired of that.

St Circumstance said...

:)

terri forkey schultz said...

I totally agree she helped take an innocent womans life with no regrets or regard for the pain that poor woman went through! ! She's lived 46 years long then rosemary did !! Rosemary never got to see what her children accomplished in live to meet grandchildren to enjoy 46 more years lulu is where she needs to be they all should of got death !! Eye for an eye !! No man would ever force me to kill for him most of all a coward like charles manson !!!

orwhut said...
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orwhut said...
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orwhut said...

It's natural to want to be free. Open the cages of any zoo and see how many animals are institutionalized enough to stay put. If any state said that remorse was a requisite for parole and then judged that a person wasn't remorseful because they wanted that parole, it would make the whole process a waste of time. Everyone would remain in jail.

St Circumstance said...

Good point, but let me throw this out there as far as winning over perception- which in LULU's case MAY have helped- maybe not. Pat wasn't getting out ever no matter what. BUT...

for a time in the late 80's- early 90's it was thought that Pat was the most remorseful because it was felt she was not really trying to get out and only attended her hearings as a way to apologize to the victims families. ( Eventually she started trying harder again) Pat got kudos from many for that approach.

Now with Leslie's much lesser crimes, and incredible record- do you think it would have helped her at all if people viewed her that way? Some semi-respect for accepting her responsibility gracefully, and then eventually maybe some pity- Versus suing and asking high profile people to take her cause publicly painting her as a victim? Giving Her detractors something to fight about.

I do not know - just asking?

grimtraveller said...

In the "Aftermath" chapter of George's book [Goodbye Helter Skelter], Charlie is recorded as saying "it's just a matter of ~ inside yourself ~ did you win for what you believed in, or did you lose ? I think we won. Even though we were too little, too late. We didn't make it but we still won. We won within our own dreams. We won within our own selves."

One can look at it from a variety of angles, but taking the Family as a whole, I don't think his estimation is accurate. It may be for him specifically but it's notable that every one of those that did time for murder turned away from his sphere. He actually complains about it in a few points in the book, that they just went back to the "shit" that the parents, schools and churches had been been filling them with, that they'd been running from when they first met him.
It may have happened gradually and in varying degrees, but ultimately, the establishment scored a decisive victory against the Family. More or less all but Sandy & Squeaky did a volte face and began making the journey back to where the society deemed they should have been in the first place. All of them bar Charlie, even Bobby, took on aspects of society's mantles {marriage, kids, education, rehabilitation, religion, remorse, regret, usefulness,etc} and by and large the lives they have led have been pretty far removed from the lives they led when they were famed and fabled. They have publicly adopted the mores of the very society they were legendary for dropping out of. They've utilized the law that they once stood against, they have at times been more law abiding than the ordinary citizen and had to live under strictures that most of us possibly couldn't and wouldn't care to. We could get away quite easily with taking a pen home from work. If one of them did so, it would probably keep getting flagged up at parole hearings well into the future as to why they're unsuitable for release. The ex Family members in jail have been robust in distancing themselves from Charles Manson and the Family way of life, something probably out of the question at the start of October '69. Books have been written, films made, interviews granted etc and it seems that Watson, the late Atkins, Krenwinkel, Van Houten, Davis, Grogan and Beausoleil {and I guess one could add Mary & Linda to that} can do no more to make it known to American society that they were wrong, society was right after all and "normality" is the way to go after all.
And that realization was reached after being subsumed into the values of the society.
The salt is rubbed into the wound by not only having them jump through hoops and acquiescing to formerly discarded ways, but by keeping the door closed to any real recognition of the journey of close on a half century.
It's ironic that Charlie who has maintained the opposite stance is in exactly the same position ~ at the moment.

The boy wonder said...

No need to apologise saintly one, your post make sense or I can at least understand them, Datura not called the devil's weed for nothing.read the experiences section on erowid and wonder why anyone would ever do it, it's allegedly the jimson weed Tex and Co flipped out on once?

The boy wonder said...

Some trips really should be left on the tree and Datura is one of them dude, makes Acid look like smarties from what I've read and indeed most other alkaloids, gives me the horrors just thinking about it and I loves trips!

St Circumstance said...

:)

Matt said...

Some trips really should be left on the tree and Datura is one of them dude

Agreed. Cow pie fungus was always good enough for me.


orwhut said...

St.,
I think you're asking whether I believe Leslie would have gained more sympathy by taking Pat's approach and appearig to have given up hope of getting out and beating herself up every day, than by aggressively seeking parole. Yes, I think she would have. BUT... not even Pat was able to keep that up. It's human nature to want to be free.

orwhut said...

Now when are you going to put up some more bikini pix?:-)

Farflung said...

Everybody loves stats, especially the ones they pull out of some dark recess. So here's a few to consider.

The total number of death row inmates in '72, was around 107.

Of that total, at least 24 died in prison. Amount of time served is unknown.

Around 50 have been paroled. Three (3) of them went on to commit another murder (Kemp, Massie, Stanworth). Massie managed to be one of the 13 executed in California since 1976. Well done sir.

But 3 out of 50 is 6 percent. Am I the only one who finds that rate rather high? Oh, they were measured as no longer a threat to society. Would a six percent miss rate be acceptable for a doctor, airline pilot, or person using the restroom before you?

The number of parolees who comitted lessor crimes are unknown to me, but stats say around 40 percent, or 17 of the original 50 walking among us.

St Circumstance said...

lol Orwhut :)

St Circumstance said...
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Robert Hendrickson said...

FARFLUNG says 3 of 50 paroled KILLED again. OOPS, but isn't that 3 dead bodies TOO many?

STATS and numbers are very important in our society (especially at election time), but NOT so much to the victims, EXCEPT they get a first class ride to a "better" place.

Probably makes sense to KILLERS !


Kevin Marx said...

the Boy wonder said:

"Some trips really should be left on the tree and Datura is one of them dude, makes Acid look like smarties from what I've read and indeed most other alkaloids, gives me the horrors just thinking about it and I loves trips!"

I tried Mandragora (aka mandrake) while travelling thru Greece - I think its a member of the nightshade family, similar to belladonna and datura. It lasted for 32 hours. Its strange in that you forget you've taken anything so everything you see and feel is 100% real - its not like you can take a step back and say "that's not real its just the acid etc I took"

It was a totally crazy thing to do - I didn't know the strength of it at all. I put it down to being youthful and bored - it was Christmas Day and the locally distilled strong liquor (Raki) wasn't alleviating the boredom. A couple of French guys I had met, suggested it - funny enough, when I look back on it, one of them was quite similar in many ways to Charlie!

I didn't beep beep on the roadside like Tex - instead I headed into the mountains and spent most of my time chatting to rocks, trees, bushes etc. They were all very friendly lol. Mostly it was a good experience but overall I would say its definitely not for the faint hearted.

grimtraveller said...

St Circumstance said...

First a few words about Karlene Faith's book for those of you smart enough to not have wasted the time or money

There are some books in the Manson/TLB oeuvre that rate highly, some are crap, some are 'meh' and some are underrated gems. I put Karlene Faith's book in the latter category. I bought it in 2012; it cost a cent short of a $ and cost me $18 to post to England ! It was about 18 months before I got round to reading it because I was kind of reluctant to read what I thought might be a feminist rant. The only reason I'd bought it in the first place was because I couldn't find any books on Leslie by someone that had actually spoken with her. To find one by someone that had been friends with her for 30 years caused me to think it might be worth a punt, especially being so cheap.
Few people seem to rate the book but I think it's a tremendous book. I was actually quite surprised by it because Faith's feminist viewpoint brings a wholly different slant to the TLB murders, murder in general and the American criminal justice system and I found it to be chock full of thought provoking stuff, quite a bit of which I hadn't encountered before.
But I disagree that it's tantamount to a defence of all female criminals or a withering put down of men. While she certainly does deliver bloody shots with both barrels squarely aimed at Manson & Bugliosi, the points that she makes about them both, I've heard a number of people make those points down the years, on these pages even.
With comments such as "she was 19 years old when she participated in murder", "we discussed Leslie's crime and it's effects", "in the mid 70s....she then began the hard work of realizing what she'd done and of doing penance" and "Leslie is not looking for anyone to serve as her apologist. In her interactions with others she is humble, never forgetting her part in a crime she remembers all too well" among many others, Faith is clear that Leslie is guilty of murder and doesn't hide the fact or try to sanitize it.
One of the things that Faith's book demonstrates is how the entire case was not black and white, how it was full of nuances. A number of the points she makes in the book are the same as the ones ST makes in his post.

The boy wonder said...

Respect drude!

St Circumstance said...

Yeah but I made them better lol

Grim I respect if you dug it. I did not. Now maybe others will check it out. I bet a case of Coors lights more people think it's Shiite than like it. But who knows lol. I have been wrong before

Dreath said...

Before I buy this book could we upgrade the beer bet? Mirror Pond IPA? or at least PBR?

St Circumstance said...

lol no chance... since I was 16 years old- Loyalty ;)

orwhut said...

Charlie could have learned something from this woman.
https://www.yahoo.com/news/fbi-woman-robbed-wyoming-bank-return-prison-224157972.html

penny lane said...

Thats sad really.....ignorant question time...does the US have unemployment benefits ?..aka tbe dole?

orwhut said...

We have unemployment compensation but I don't know that she qualifies. She might qualify for a welfare check and food stamps.
I was thinking how many people would be alive today if Charlie had done what she did when he got out of prison.

Robert Hendrickson said...

This morning I put a plate of food on the kitchen floor for the cat (who gets up when I do).

A short time later, my dog got up and tried to lick the plate, but nothing was left, so he pissed on the plate.

At a construction site the workers will build a magnificent structure and leave all THEIR plastic water bottles and other food trash strewn about the grounds.

A phycho-analyst once told me about a man who would never flush the toilet.

ALL of these creatures were/are leaving THEIR "mark." AND that is what "life" is all about -
leaving one's MARK. An artist does it, a builder does it, a filmmaker does it and of course, that is WHY Charles Manson did it. Because without those "marks" nobody else will be able to find THEIR way through life's dangerous journey.

Matt said...

Penny, yes we do. Unemployment insurance though isn't federal, it's handled state by state. Your benefits are limited and determined by your income level and duration of employment.

St Circumstance said...

LA Times :


LOS ANGELES – A lawyer for a Charles Manson follower who was convicted in the 1969 murders of a California couple said Thursday he will ask a court to overturn Gov. Jerry Brown's decision to deny her parole.

Attorney Rich Pfeiffer said he will file a petition Friday seeking the release of 66-year-old Leslie Van Houten after a parole board found she posed no threat to society.

The board had recommended her release but Brown said last week that Van Houten had committed "extraordinarily brutal crimes" and failed to explain her transformation from an upstanding teen to a killer.

Pfeiffer says denying her release solely because of the heinousness of the murders of Leno and Rosemary La Bianca by members of the "Manson family" would effectively be changing her initial 7-years-to-life prison sentence.

Pfeiffer also wants the Los Angeles court to compel prosecutors to turn over taped interviews with another former cult member that the lawyer believes will show how Manson controlled his followers.



St Circumstance said...

"her initial 7-years-to-life prison sentence."


Is that was she was sentenced? lol



"Pfeiffer also wants the Los Angeles court to compel prosecutors to turn over taped interviews with another former cult member that the lawyer believes will show how Manson controlled his followers."


are we back to saying git really wasn't her fault?

St Circumstance said...

See this is why Faiths book is shit as well as why Leslie will never get out.

Plain and simple.

You simply cannot continue to try and tell smart people you understand your personal responsibility, but that you weren't personally responsible. Faith and LULU's lawyers keep asking you to believe that she understands how bad what she did was- but it wasn't her fault she did it. Wrong!!

Even when Leslie gives her obligatory statement where she takes personal responsibility- it sounds hollow as they are weighing what it is she did versus how hard she is trying to move past it...


Leslie's record and the systems guidelines make it hard to keep her in. Thank god- her attitude, actions, and those of her supporters make it hard to let her out.


Here is the final statement I will make on this subject:

I get that it is a catch 22. I know that what I am really saying between the line is not fair. But I also tried to explain why Fair shouldn't really matter in this case. Their is only one way for Leslie Van Houten to Show the victims of her family that she is truly understanding of what she has done...

Stay in prison until someone tells you otherwise or until you are dead.

Shitty place to be, but again- you asked to go there. YOU ASKED. You chose to participate and you chose to joke about it and you chose all of those things while giving no choice to your victim.

You do not get to tell anyone else when it is time for you go home. The longer it takes you to understand that- the more you run out of what time you have left


-Your Favorite Saint

St Circumstance said...

Maybe I am too emotional about this for some of you and that is ok..

But she helped kill people. She cared so little she still had an appetite when she was through. She made a joke about it afterwards and mocked the grieving families.

She was the sole person who asked to be involved. Every person Save Leslie can say Charlie - NOT HER!!!!!!!!!- Sorry Karlene

She went to jail and then decided that at a certain time she would get out, and when that did not happen - she stopped caring about anything else except what was fair and right for her...



None of these murdering assholes care about anything but themselves at this point and why should they. they are finally getting it:

THIS IS WHAT IT FEELS LIKE TO LOOSE YOUR LIFE. SAD HUH???????

St Circumstance said...

And Mr. H:

My father was a career cop. 27 years. In that time he helped form something you may have heard of, or maybe not, P.A.L.

He was a life long member of the Elks Club. Every time you went into an ELKS lodge there was a banner with the letters YHJCTFCTTCCF... ever first time person asked what that meant and was told to put a quarter into a bucket for the answer...

You
Have
Just
Contributed
Twenty
Five
Cents
To
The Crippled
Children's
Fund

In the 15 years I grew up with him- 4 people were taken off the streets and brought into my house to live with me.


My Father Died in 1999 and in a small NJ town with a Police Department of less than 30 people-

over two days- more than two thousand people showed up to pay respect.

Painting a pic of all authorities being out to get you is as unfair as painting all Hippy's like the Manson's, or generalizing any group of people...

I love you and respect you Sir- but you send a very unfair message and wont answer any specific questions about why you have the views you do..

I have been taught to trust the devil you know more than the devil you don't.


Lucky you for having a video camera around at the precise time some maniacs were running loose. If you had more than that to offer...


You would have by now...

the rest is just mashed potatoes...

Farflung said...

Organizations the likes of the Elks, Shriners, and Doctors without Borders, reinforces my viewpoint of "man" being inherently good.

For these collectives of independent thinkers assemble to have fun, and without profit motive, or government mandate, manage to dispense services, to those in need of swift, and nimble relief.

The Elks have another acronym prominently displayed at their clubhouses: BPOE.

I'm told that stands for - Best People On Earth. I don't disagree.

grimtraveller said...

St Circumstance said...

Yeah but I made them better

That may be so. But the essential difference is that Karlene Faith argues from a basic position of equality under the law. And in order to do that, she had to make comparisons between how male cons are seen and how that differs from female cons and the different kinds of treatment that are meted out to both for the same offences. Then she had to draw parallels between the two women that were on the death row {that hadn't yet been built} when Van H, Pat & Susan got there and how both were both released within 10 years of being sentenced to death. Then she had to focus on one of the central reasons for their convictions, namely, being under Charlie's domination/influence. That was a central plank of Bugliosi's case. And she rightly poses the question that if they only did what they did because they were under his aegis, so to speak, and that the reasons were Charlie's and Charlie's alone {and in his closing argument, Bugliosi says HS was Manson's motive, not the women's}, then there may well be something of a contradiction afoot and if, as part of one's coming back to their senses the female defendants recognize this, then it isn't them laying out the blame when they subsequently spell this out. It doesn't spare you any responsibility for what you did but it puts everything into context.
Personally I believe in paradoxes so I don't have a problem with all of that but Faith's book takes each aspect of the saga where LVH is concerned and tries to explain their role.
But she doesn't duck Leslie's culpability, evidenced by statements like "Leslie is not looking for anyone to serve as her apologist....never forgetting her part in a crime she remembers all too well"

maybe others will check it out. I bet a case of Coors lights more people think it's Shiite than like it

I wouldn't argue with you on that. I never know what various contributors will think of a book and I have had a tendency to dig books that are generally trashed like Zamora's "Trial by your peers" and Tex's "Will you die for me ?" or ignored like Clara Livsey's "The Manson women" and George Bishop's "Witness to evil" or forgotten like "Crucified ~ the railroading of Charles Manson" and John Gilmour's "The garbage people." Even George's and Robert's books, which I think are both superb, it is rare that I ever come across someone saying that they really like them and Bugliosi & Gentry's tome, well, I think it's a great book but let's face it, you can almost count on one buttcheek the number of people, even in anonymous cyberspace, that will admit to that.
So you're probably closer to being correct than wrong. But if by any chance you're not, make mine a Cobra zero !

Fiddy 8 said...

I like them French fried potaters.

Robert Hendrickson said...

Dear Mr. SAINT: I love you, respect you and admire your persistence also, BUT may I suggest Pabst Blue Ribbon instead of Coors (too many harmful chemicals included in Coors).

I thought ALL of Leslie's CRIMES were rooted in a one night "Burglary" gone wrong.

YES, it was "extraordinarily brutal", BUT as the Prosecutor CLAIMED and CHARGED her - it was ONLY a "burglary." Now, if the "establishment" is saying that because the "robbery" was to obtain military grade weapons in order to prevail in the execution of a Black and White race WAR - that's a whole different ball game. I mean that's like "Invasion of the Body Snatchers." Are the aliens just "stealing bodies" cause they are hungry or are THEY intending to take over the world. Cause that's NOT unlike the Communists trying to take over the world and thank God for sending Lyndon Johnson down to earth to STOP them.

AND most of the controversy is based on the premise that Charlie Manson "brainwashed" the kids to kill, BUT that they would have killed anyway - without him.

THEN, to make it even more confusing you got some "marble loser" suggesting that IF Lyndon Johnson hadn't gone off the deep end, we might never even have heard of a Manson Family.

NOW, we have a drastic situation where the Communist Body Snatchers have already taken over half of America and convinced the Snatchees THEY have only been converted to Socialism.

So the only thing we know for sure is "snatchers" can be good or bad or both.

grimtraveller said...

St Circumstance said...

She was the sole person who asked to be involved. Every person Save Leslie can say Charlie - NOT HER!!!!!!!!!- Sorry Karlene

But even that is not without context. Crowe, Hinman and Cielo being the major game changers. Van H didn't ask to be involved out of the blue at a point when nothing had happened.

are we back to saying it really wasn't her fault?

Has she said that in the last 25 years ?
It seems that you need everything to be black and white, straight down the line and free of all nuances where these murders are concerned but that just doesn't wash. It would more likely wash if the copycat could be shown to be the only motive, or if revenge for the rape of Linda or the settling of a score for the burning of $1000 on an MDA deal could be shown to be the reason. In fact if HS had absolutely nothing to do with anything it would be pretty simple. "A group of friends decided to take the law into their own hands."
And we wouldn't be talking about it 50 years on.
But it's not straight down the line. It's shrouded in dark cloaks and robes of mystery and there are multiple nuances. It's not like being a Mafia hitman. Even when Charlie speaks lucidly, he lays strange patterns all over the mindscape.
If the reason she was convicted is accurate, then the notion that these murders wouldn't have happened without Charlie and LVH being totally responsible for her actions.......are both true.

See this is why Faiths book is shit as well as why Leslie will never get out.
Plain and simple.
You simply cannot continue to try and tell smart people you understand your personal responsibility, but that you weren't personally responsible


But neither are saying that.
She doesn't count her Mum as being responsible for the murders. But her Mum forcing her to have an abortion played a role in the evolution of the mindset she went on to adopt. Is she making excuses by pointing this out.....or is she trying to trace the ingredients that helped bring her to where she ended up ~ the very thing the guv'nor says she's not doing ?
Bugliosi made it clear in his closing argument that HS was not the women's motive. So even he, her original prosecutor, recognized that there was an element of them being influenced. So why was it OK for him to recognize it and gain convictions on it.....but not her to recognize it and present it as part explanation ?
Besides which, over the years, it's the parole boards that have been asking all of these questions and bringing out what she has needed to recognize and be aware of. So when you say she'll never get out, bear in mind that the parole board that knocked her back 19 times over 37 or so years have said they feel she's suitable for release.

grimtraveller said...

justice_4_all2010 said...


And what about punishment for ones crimes ? does that not matter any more ?

That would be a stellar point if we were 5, 10, even 25 years into her incarceration. We're not. We're at close to half a century. You make it sound like she only got convicted yesterday.

ColScott said...

knowing what happened at CIELO she ASKED (some sources sound like begging) to come the next night. This gives credence to the copycat motive theory

Among other reasons, I think that it takes away credence from the copycat. When Leslie spoke with Marvin Part, she fessed up to murder. She implicated Charlie, Tex and Pat. She wasn't by this point playing her Mike McGann games. The game was up. Yet nowhere did she mention copycat murders to free Bobby Beausoleil. Instead, she talks revolution, the White album and Helter Skelter. She had nothing to lose by talking about freeing Bobby. But she didn't. Not a bean.
Susan Atkins was in exactly the same scenario. And not a bean about freeing Bobby. She fessed up to Graham, Howard, the grand jury, Nancy Jordon, Caruso, Caballero and Bugliosi. She landed everyone in the shit. But not a word about freeing Bobby.
The first occasion I'm aware that the actual "free Bobby" bit comes up is actually from Aaron Stovitz in that Rolling Stone interview of March 1970 {though it came out in June of that year} that got his wrists slapped.
But I find it strange that Leslie says nothing about it then when she tries to align herself to it during the penalty phase, she implicates herself in the Hinman murder in which the world and their dog all know she wasn't at and had nothing to do with.


Zelda Formaldehyde said...

Nothing about Leslie's lifestyle and actions from 1968-1971 are defensible. Nothing. She was an irresponsible, gullible, angry kid. Now take a close look, is she any of those things now?

When one is talking about close to half a century later, this really is the bottom line. Is she any of those things now ? What ultimately is parole about ?

Robert Hendrickson said...

Dear SAINT: I lost my grandfather when I was 15 years old and HE was the greatest man I ever knew - even to this day - and HE was an elder in the Beverly Hills chapter of the Shrinners. I was raised from birth in HIS house until my father returned from WW II. THUS WAR directed my formative years into my grandfather's care.

Strange how a missing father (though replaced by a better man) can have such a drastic effect on a young man's life. BUT I successfully made it to adulthood and then the Vietnam WAR turned MY world all upside down AGAIN.

I'm sorry I don't have ANY feelings for Sharon, Abigail, Voicket, Jay, Leno, Rosemary, Bernard, Gary, Shorty, etc. BUT I do have a host of names I do care for - THEY are all posted on a WALL.

It wasn't until decades later, that I would realize that I was the luckiest man alive to have been created by the most wonderful man (my father) I would ever know.

BUT it's still like: "War, what is it good for ?"

YOU have to admit the "comment" about ME and a video camera is sure relevant today. Just look at all those videos being made concerning Cops, Criminals, Victims and the TRUTH.


BluMoon36 said...

I am currently listening to Karlene Faith's book on audio and Saint's review of it is dead on IMO. ( I did get it at a discount luckily!) it's interesting in that it has a few minor details I had never heard of before but otherwise the author seems to spend about eighty percent of her time making excuses for VanHouten's involvement in the crime. She blames everyone from Bugliosi (sp) to Manson and yes men in general. I do still have about twenty percent or so of the book left to listen to but I don't think I'm going to change my mind about Ms. Faith's biased ( to me anyway) viewpoint.

Excellent review and writing Saint. Thank you!

beauders said...

I'm planning on spending the 50th anniversary in Los Angeles and hopefully will be watching Robert's 5 hour documentary on one of those days.