Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Manson follower Van Houten seeks release from prison because of coronavirus risk

By CITY NEWS SERVICE | news@socalnews.com |
PUBLISHED: May 11, 2020 at 11:50 p.m. | UPDATED: May 12, 2020 at 5:55 p.m.

Los Angeles Daily News

Leslie Van Houten waits with her attorney Rich Pfeiffer before her parole board hearing on Wednesday, Sept. 6, 2017, at the California Institution for Women in Corona. Leslie Van Houten was the youngest of Charles Manson's followers to take part in one of the nation's most notorious killings (Stan Lim, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)




Three female defendants in the Manson court case are shown, from left to right: Susan Atkins, Patricia Krenwinkel and Leslie Van Houten, March 29, 1971 as they return to court to hear the penalty ending a nine-month trial in the Tate-LaBianca murders of August 1969. (AP Photo)

Van Houten is imprisoned at the California Institution for Women in Chino.

The motion to California's 2nd District Court of Appeal was submitted by Rich Pfeiffer, who had requested bail or release for his client, based on her age, in February. The court has not acted on that motion, Pfeiffer said.



"Today I learned that an inmate in Ms. Van Houten's housing unit tested positive for COVID 19 and she is presently being quarantined," Pfeiffer said. "Due to her advanced age, this puts Ms. Van Houten at a high risk."

Van Houten is 70.

Pfeiffer added "Ms. Van Houten is not opposed to home confinement… and she can arrange for all costs outside of prison."

Van Houten - who is serving a life prison term - was convicted of murder and conspiracy for participating with fellow Manson family members Charles "Tex" Watson and Patricia Krenwinkel in the August 1969 killings of grocer Leno LaBianca, 44, and his 38-year-old wife, Rosemary, who were each stabbed multiple times in their Los Feliz home.

The former Monrovia High School cheerleader did not participate in the Manson family's killings of pregnant actress Sharon Tate and four others in a Benedict Canyon mansion the night before.

Van Houten has been recommended for parole three times, but those recommendations have all been reversed - twice by then-Gov. Jerry Brown and once in 2019 by Gov. Gavin Newsom.

Van Houten is still a threat, Newsom said last year.

"While I commend Ms. Van Houten for her efforts at rehabilitation and acknowledge her youth at the time of the crimes, I am concerned about her role in these killings and her potential for future violence," he wrote in his decision. "Ms. Van Houten was an eager participant in the killing of the LaBiancas and played a significant role."


UPDATE:

May 14 2020

Press-Enterprise  Riverside CA


LOS ANGELES — A state appeals court panel Wednesday rejected a bid to release former Charles Manson follower Leslie Van Houten on her own recognizance or bail after an inmate in her prison housing unit tested positive for coronavirus.

Van Houten’s attorney, Rich Pfeiffer, wrote in a new motion filed Monday that his client is now 70 years old and that “her age makes her a very high risk to succumbing to this life-threatening pandemic” although she is in “relatively good health.”

He noted in the filing that an inmate in Van Houten’s housing unit tested positive for COVID-19 and is being quarantined. He wrote in the motion that Van Houten was “not opposed to home confinement” and that she can arrange for all costs outside of prison.

Van Houten is imprisoned at the California Institution for Women in Chino.

Van Houten has been recommended for parole three times, but those recommendations have all been reversed — twice by then-Gov. Jerry Brown and once in 2019 by Gov. Gavin Newsom.

In February, the defense had asked the panel from California’s 2nd District Court of Appeal to speed up her appeal of Newsom’s decision.

Van Houten — who is serving a life prison term — was convicted of murder and conspiracy for participating with fellow Manson family members Charles “Tex” Watson and Patricia Krenwinkel in the August 1969 killings of grocer Leno La Bianca, 44, and his 38-year-old wife, Rosemary, who were each stabbed multiple times in their Los Feliz home.

The former Monrovia High School cheerleader did not participate in the Manson family’s killings of pregnant actress Sharon Tate and four others in a Benedict Canyon mansion the night before.

32 comments:

DebS said...

California is letting lots of prisoners out due to COVID-19. The prisoners who are short-timers aren't even getting ankle bracelets and they are not keeping track of them very well either. A prisoner was released to Stanislaus County and was to contact the parole office there upon arrival. He left the prison and caught a ride to Sacramento County with another prisoner who was released and went to that prisoner's mother's home. He then called a relative in Mendocino County who went to Sacramento and picked him up and brought him to Ukiah. He did call Stanislaus and informed them he was in Mendocino County which set off a chain of reactions where the Mendo sheriff's department eventually had him tested for the virus. He was positive and put in isolation. This isn't the only instance where this has happened in California.

That said, I don't think that Leslie will be allowed out of prison. Her attorney is certainly doing everything he can think of to get her released. Prisons are like Petri dishes for the virus and it is a sad situation for the prisoners. Our president's buddy, Paul Manafort, was released on home confinement in the past couple of days and his unit did not have any virus cases or positive tests.

Unknown said...

I'm betting she doesn't get out. No politician is going to risk his/her career over anything / anyone with the "Manson" label attached to it.

Peter said...

If her name was Leslita Vanotez instead of Leslie Van Houten, she would be out already.

AustinAnn74 said...

Why should she get out? Ridiculous!

starviego said...

"Van Houten is still a threat, Newsom said last year."

This is why I hate politicians.

Unknown said...

"Why should she get out? "

"Lulu" was certainly guilty of abusing a corpse and complicit/present during Tex & Katie's 2 murders.
"Adam Gabriel" is "out" and plays a pretty mean guitar. I think we just might survive if she was moved to a halfway house.

But she's tainted with the Manson brand, and Gavin Newsom wants to keep his job ... maybe even run for President someday -
so she isn't going anywhere.

Dan S said...

She received a death sentence. Dodged that bullet and now is scared of novel coronavirus . stop being scared and come to now

orwhut said...

It sounds as if Leslie's attorney is asking for a release until the virus threat is over.
It's my understanding that California governors have the authority to reverse the "PAROLE" of a convicted murderder. If this is a release without parole would Gov. Newsome have the authority to keep her in prison? Maybe a different law applies.

beauders said...

Hopefully Newsom doesn’t have to sign off. Fifty years is enough for the crime she committed and her prison record. Let her out. If I was Krenwinkel I would try this route as well.

Matthew said...

I think that Leslie should be released. She did a horrible thing as a teenager and has shown remorse and rehabilitation. If the Manson brand was not on her, she would have been released long ago. Going off topic here for a minute. It used to be that if you went on google maps and went over the Santa Susanna Pass Rd, Spahn ranch and the manson cave were both labeled. Around the time of the 50th anniversary and the coming out of the movie Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, those have disappeared. I wonder if the people in that area petitioned to have that removed to keep people from going there.

Matt said...

I wonder if the people in that area petitioned to have that removed to keep people from going there.

I doubt it. Those have been horribly kept secrets for quite some time.


John Seger said...

Lou Lou isn't going to get out. It's beyond disgusting and ridiculous to use the pandemic as a way out. She isn't going anywhere

Fayez Abedaziz said...

Guv Brown you let me down and guv newsom what you did is not moral or practical reason
Kindly refrain from being in the way of the rules and of the law

Proteus said...

The Eighth Amendment includes the words:

Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

and presumably one intention of this is to prevent the Federal Government imposing unduly harsh penalties as punishment for crime after conviction.

It’s not so clear, however, as to what Cruel and Unusual Punishments actually are, although I would suggest that the case of a fifty year sentence for a person who was initially tried three times before being sentenced to seven years, and has since then faced twenty-two parole boards and been recommended for parole three times might be a candidate.

Judge Bob Krug probably said it best. After her thirteenth unsuccessful parole hearing he ordered the application to be reheard because their reasoning turned solely on the unalterable gravity of her offense and effectively gave her life without parole, "a sentence unauthorized by law". Cruel and unusual? Well, you decide, but there can be little doubt if she had not been who she was she would have been free a long time ago.

AstroCreep said...

She was a willing participant in the savage killings and mutilation of two completely innocent people... a mother and father. She willingly restrained the woman while her husband was being butchered and btw, that innocent woman got to spend her last moments listening to her husband getting carved up in the other room... Then, she just stabbed the body, mainly in the ass so hey, no biggie. She was already dead. Then it’s off to the kitchen for some chocolate milk and watermelon followed by two or more years laughing at cameras, parroting Charlie, and making a mockery out of the trial with all the others.

Her poor judgement and bad decision making isn’t isolated to “I just stabbed a dead body” - she spent years in that mind frame, not moments. Still a threat? Who knows- maybe if she’s around the wrong people again she’ll make another few years of bad decisions and wrap lamp cords around one of your mother’s necks while someone sticks a knife in your father’s neck.

AustinAnn74 said...

Abusing a corpse? Mrs. LaBianca was a corpse? I thought she was a frightened, screaming woman with a pillow case over her head, hearing her husband being gutted in the other room all the while knowing she was next. These people suffered brutally and to minimize her actions is nauseating. With all due respect, I don't understand this, never will. Oh, she's scared of getting coronavirus and DYING, but had no care whatsoever that she helped the LaBiancas die? She was the cornavirus back then!

Rock N. Roll said...

Hey Peter, why do you think she would be released if she had a Latinx surname?

Peter said...

Hey Rock. Because California lets all its illegals out of jail. Thanks for playing.

Matthew said...

Two sides of the coin here. In most States, if not all, the only people being released for the virus are non-violent offenders. Leslie certainly does not fall under that category. At the same time, each time a governor overturns the parole recommendation they state the heinousness of the crime. The facts around her action were most definitely heinous but that is not going to change with time. Therefore, her judgement of life with parole is not possible. I also don't understand how she can still be considered a danger to society. She has followed every rule, has shown true remorse, and is rehabilitated. I agree that her actions are unforgivable but if we are to give her that chance at parole and then deny her of that because of things that she can't change just doesn't seem fair. Just give her life without parole and call it a day or let her out.

Also, not everyone with a latin name is an illegal. That's pretty racist.

gina said...

Leslie has a a chance at parole because of a mistake in the original law. When the death penalty was overturned, those sentences should have been changed to "life WITHOUT the possibility of parole". I have seen her interviewed-- she says all the right words, but her eyes are empty and hollow. She should not be released.

AustinAnn74 said...

I agree wholeheartedly!

DebS said...

Leslie had three trials. The first was 1970-71 when she was tried with Manson, Krenwinkel and Atkins. Because her attorney, Ron Hughes, died during that trial she was granted another trial. The second trial ended in a hung jury. So, she had a third trial and that resulted in sentence of seven years to life. She is rightfully entitled to go before a parole board and be considered for release.

cielodrivecom said...

The motion that the court denied was filed in February and didn't have anything to do with COVID

Robert C said...

With the exception of DebS and a few other intelligents, what I'm reading here is "Court of Kangaroo" stuff. Emotionally charged words like 'gutted' to slant ones position or suggesting the "but her eyes are empty and hollow" as a good device for testing guilt and deciding punishment have very little to do with the real law. As I've said long ago, keeping LVH in the pen for 50 years while releasing murderers who've done their 20-30 years and good behavior is just bad form for the State of California and lessons their creditability. And she's in for what really … *** abetting *** a murder, not actually committing one ? This has politics and Hollywood power all over it.

AstroCreep said...

Robert C- You’re guilty of your own claim. “Possibility” of parole doesn’t mean the guarantee of parole. Nor is there any rule that says if someone “commits crimes that shock the world” that they should be treated like someone else because “that’s fair“.

What credibility has California lost? Please explain your own kangaroo court reasoning for California losing all of its credibility.

So which is it? Blame the GOV for LVH’s poor choices because he won’t release one of the most notorious murderers in history? Or is it the Hollywood elite that should take the blame for her actions?

I find it disturbing that anyone here would be worried about poor LVH or any of the other killers being released.

Rock N. Roll said...

Hey Peter, you’re a racist asshole. Fuck you.

Proteus said...

It's always interesting (in this thread and others) to see how the views of trained lawyers or those who work close to the legal profession, who think with their minds and apply their own experience, differ from others who think with their hearts (or possibly other organs of their bodies).

With regard to the issue of LVH's 50 year incarceration I side with the former, and to the others recommend the words of Ludwig Josef Johann Wittgenste in his Logisch-Philosophische Abhandlung when he wrote Wovon man nicht sprechen kann, darüber muß man schweigen.

For those who do not speak German this is usually translated as "Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent".

Proteus

Dan S said...

Leslie s death sentence was over turned. Good point.
Abusing a Corpse: great heavy metal song title.
Also: Desecration of Human Remains
Thanks, Forensic Files!

Peter said...

I call 'em like I see 'em. Fuck you harder.

gina said...

Robert C....empty, hollow eyes, on their own merit, should not be used to determine guilt or parole, of course. But you miss my point. Leslie says words of regret and responsibility, but her empty hollow eyes belie those feelings. She is saying the words she knows people want to hear, but there is NOTHING behind them. She has never taken responsibility or shown true regret for what she did. That's what I meant.

AustinAnn74 said...

Gutted, sliced, stabbed....does it honestly matter? A metal object was jammed inside two human being who were at home asleep. Enough said.

Awaitingmyescapewithlove said...

Bobby should also be released. He only murdered 1 person.