Wednesday, November 10, 2021

Leslie Free?


Are you on the side of the governors who perpetually say tough luck to Manson group paroles or do you think Leslie is punished enough? Like in your heart and gut. Not who did what time. Not listen here Green she was sentenced to this and then that so fuck her. Just you and your thoughts. If they gave you the key and it was up to you and no one else would ever know you had anything to do with the process, would you keep her locked in there?

One could make an argument that this whole situation we endlessly debate was created by putting our youngest into cages. And then possibly that person could take their thoughts to the next point by saying we look like cavemen and women locking the old and infirm into similar cages. 

Leslie has spent my lifetime in the hallways. Part of the reason I think is because she sang in the other hallway. And I truly respect Doris' question about the victims' paroles. Moreover, the tribal survival part of me knows we need to remove weird murderers from our mix for the general safety of all. 

The intellectual side of me (if there is one) wonders why California is still intent upon imprisoning a woman who carries the overall threat level of a cicada shell. I'd free her in the name of empathy if they handed me the key to her cell. 

What sayest you? 

123 comments:

Dan S said...

Let her out duh. This is ridiculous

Matthew said...

If she meets the criteria for release by the parole board, she should be released. She is certainly not a danger to society and understands and has remorse for her actions. If she stays in prison as not to hurt someone's political career then she is a political prisoner. And if one person says that she should only get out when the victims rise from their graves, I'm gonna scream really loud. That is such a strange argument and not a stipulation to parole

GreenWhite said...

1000 Green Points for each of you gents!

Rod Gearing said...

Let her out. Those murders were the result of a once in a lifetime confluence of people, events, and the times, so to argue that she’s an ongoing danger is ridiculous.

GreenWhite said...

Rod gets 1000 green points too.

orwhut said...

We can save some typing if we copy and paste from last year.

GreenWhite said...

LOL whut!!!!!

Buntline said...

They could have left her on the outside in 1976 and I don't believe anything else would have ever happened except that she would have become some wealthy soccer mom. A release in the mid-80s, a la Grogan, would have been about right for the severity of her crimes, in my opinion.

I also believe that Bobby Beausoleil and Bruce Davis, murdering scumbags that they were, have also served excessive sentences due to their Manson connection.

I suffer from an unhealthy hatred of pervy 60's Clem Grogan, but even I can't summon up any particular feelings about the elderly jazz guitarist version.

Fuck Watson and Krenwinkel though. They can rot.



This court is now in recess. You are all excused.

GreenWhite said...

Bunt gets 1000 green points. Whut gets theirs too for always being kind enough to interact with my weekly nonsense.

J-Dog said...

Leslie should be freed.
So many people have done so much worse and did much less time.
Leslie Van Houten is no threat to society and has served her time well, helping others. I also imagine she will have a supervised parole for some time.
In Tex Watson's recent parole(denied) hearing, describing the LaBianca crime, he says Leslie stabbed a dead body.

BTW, I wonder if Gov. Newsom will deny parole to Sirhan Sirhan?

To say more, would mean less.

Peter said...

If her name was Leslitta Hernandez she would have been on the street years ago.

GreenWhite said...

1000 green points each for J-Dog and Peter.

Jenn said...

Peter blurted out: “ If her name was Leslitta Hernandez she would have been on the street years ago”

Because Latin criminals serve less time for their crimes than others do? Is that your point?

Jenn

Jenn said...

Yes, of course she should be released. I’m a “Lefty” who also tends to be tough on murderers. But she has met the criteria for release as the law stipulates. She is clearly no threat. Her time served is obviously such that it can serve as a detriment to other potential murderers. She should be released.

Watson and Krenwinkle? Screw them.

Jenn

Peter said...

The point. Is of no return and you've reached it.

Peter said...

And I believe the acceptable term is Latinx.

Jenn said...

Peter: “The point. Is of no return and you've reached it.”

So what IS your point?

Jenn

Jenn said...

“And I believe the acceptable term is Latinx.”

All of them who I know don’t care.

tobiasragg said...

Well jeez, where to start?

We do not simply lock our young people into cages for no reason. Nor do we keep them there when they grow elderly. If we are thinking of Manson when making this statement, one must remember that the dude was locked up quite often in his early years but also that his actions landed him there. He was also sprung on multiple occasions (when he wasn't springing himself prematurely) and with perhaps only one exception he never really made an attempt to turn his life around.

So no, people are locked away for reasons.

The reality of Van Houten's situation is obvious: no politician in his/her right mind would spring a Manson murderer. Not if they were planning to seek reelection, that is. That is a reflection of the public fear that these criminals had a significant hand in creating. It's kind of a "sucks to be you!" situation.

Do I have empathy for Van Houten? Oh yeah, of course. I think that is part of what draws many to this case. It's a "there but for the grace of god . . . " kind of response.

What would I do if I privately held the key? Honestly, I would toss it into a bush and go on with my life. I really don't care one way or the other.

Zeke002 said...

I do think that of the stabby four, Pat was the most spellbound and bewitched by Manson. Obviously her savagery in '69 is impossible to set aside but I do believe 100% in both her remorse and rehab. Leslie too.
I wonder if any real research has been done on the political fallout Newsome or any Cal guv would suffer. I mean, really...a guy who was impeached twice, goaded a deadly insurection on our Capital, and is directly responsible for maybe a quarter million Covid deaths because of his insistence that it would all "just go away"...this guy will be the Republican nominee in two years.
And we fret about two harmless old ladies
No sense makes sense.
Amen Charlie.

Unknown said...

Should have been released years ago but then again if a one legged brain cancer sufferer was deemed a threat to society, then she's fucked

Doug said...

What Zeke said

Ima Fibbin said...

I'd let her out. I agree with Unknown, never understood why Arnold thought Susan was such a threat in her condition. Leslie is no threat, neither is Pat, at this point. Bruce and Bobby too, with heavy supervision, shouldn't be an issue since they're all elderly. I'm not excusing what they did, but enough is enough.

GreenWhite said...

They told me I shouldn't give away all my green points as soon as I got them but dagnabbit everybody on here gets a thousand!!!! Unfortunately a thousand green points at the current time only earns you a bouncy ball in our store OR my favorite, an 8.5 x 11" reproduction movie posters (B&W and cyan only sorry) of the French film Le Ballon Rouge!!!

GreenWhite said...

Tobias - all the bushes in VV have hobos in them.

tobiasragg said...

Ha! Well let the hobos decide, then. They kind of already are . . .

Lemon1 said...

She aint going no where....

GreenWhite said...

Tobias - Stop making me crave your awesome but dangerous neighborhood's best buffet, you know it, I know it, Schmidt's! Or you just cream puffs. Maybe the reuben sandwich on the marble bread.

GreenWhite said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
GreenWhite said...

Unk - Typically when commenters start off with hilariously mean-funny things the relationship usually ends badly for me, but I'm willing to take a chance here and give you a Steve Martin - Funny But Wrong Award for the Sadie comment. You made me laugh.

Peter said...

It's inhuman to punish people by locking them up. Most would disagree with me, but a one time physical or financial punishment or if dangerous a branding or even an amputation would be better.

Speculator said...

Your last two sentences are very easy to say when you haven’t had to live through the nightmare of your daughter and grand son being brutally murdered and then watching the pieces of shit who shared joined enterprise in doing it say how sorry they are and please let them out of prison. I doubt you’ll scream as loud as the victims did.

Speculator said...

Well seeing as you’re bringing politics into it, how is your harmless old man doing since he took over?! Does he even know what year it is let alone what day???!

Speculator said...

I’m not so sure about the inhumane bit but it’s definitely expensive to the tax payer! I think locking Watson in a room with Paul Tate and a few other relatives of the victims and coming back to clear the mess up a few hours later might’ve been some way towards restorative justice!!

tobiasragg said...

"never understood why Arnold thought Susan was such a threat in her condition."

Part I

"Threat to society" is only one of several factors parole board types consider when making these decisions. There is also the offender's insight into & understanding of their crimes, their understanding of the impact of those crimes on those offended, the solidity of post-release plans, and - and this is the biggie for Manson people - nature of the offending crime.

The above laundry-list provides lots of different reasons to deny someone parole when board members feel like jerking around former Manson family members. In fact, now that we have decades of these hearings under our belt, it can be rather fascinating to contemplate the trajectory of these prisoners' quests for freedom . . .

Tex was Manson's eager Dobermann, and he has proven himself to be just as obedient when it comes to pleasing his ever-rotating collection of parole board masters. Each hearing ends with the expected denial, of course, usually doled out in increments of five years. That's a given. What follows is an ever-changing laundry list of reasons behind the denial. Grave concerns the board members share over Watson's unsuitability for release. Tex then spends the next five years attempting to correct or change these issues, only to be denied for different reasons the next time. It's gotten to be almost pathetically comical, and this latest round has been among the most entertaining.

See, Tex has proven to be more than a little thirsty for fame. Not exactly the best look for an internationally-known spree killer, but then again Tex has always been a bit thick. A visit to his jesus website used to be MANSON! MANSON! MANSON! He was peddling a (free) book bearing the title "Manson's Right Hand Man Speaks Out!" - the cover of which listed the names of all of the people he offed in bold typeface. Five years ago, the board brought all of this up as being more than a bit concerning. Ever eager to please, Tex attempted to pull off a kind of self-reinvention, kind of like when Robert Downey Jr. transformed himself from drugged-out tabloid has-been to big-budget international superhero. The website was relaunched as JESUS! JESUS! JESUS!, the Tex moniker was dropped entirely, the book was retitled and the victim names scrubbed off. The parole board patted Tex on the head approvingly, with a "Good boy, that'll be five more years!"

We'll see the murderer-formerly-known-as-Tex again when he's 80. That's 16 in dog years, by the way.

tobiasragg said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
GreenWhite said...

That was incredibly nice.

tobiasragg said...

Part II

Watson's journey is boring and pedestrian, though, when compared with Van Houten's.

Parole board members are political appointees. They tend to be a Governor's golfing buddy or the wife of a deep-pocketed campaign donor. You'd think they'd be more-or-less in sync with the man in the statehouse, but this has definitely not been the case when it comes to the potential parole of Ms. Leslie Van Houten. In fact, there is a curious push-and-pull bit of power struggle going on when it comes to Leslie and it's been entertaining to watch this play out over the last decade or so.

As we all know, Leslie has been granted parole on multiple occasions in recent years. It has become an annual tradition: each year, the President pardons a turkey and Leslie Van Houten is too so pardoned. And then the new year dawns and whoever is playing Governor issues their annual denial - along with the reasons for that denial. Toward the end of the the ensuing November hearing, the board then responds to these gubernatorial concerns in their rationale for granting parole. Rinse and reset, year over year. Leslie must be running out of nice clothes to wear to these things by now. I suspect we'll begin to see known parole outfits reappearing on her soon, in just the way Royals followers would note when Lady Di dared to wear a dress in public that had already been seen. "Ah yes, that's the 2014 denial dress, doesn't she look fabulous in this one?"

This month's hearing has been the most interesting, as we shall see once the transcript becomes available. This month, the board was meticulous in responding, point-by-point, to the concerns the Governor expressed in his denial earlier this year. Tit for Tat. Like a tennis match. It is almost as if they are trying to paint Newsom into a corner, leaving him with no available reasons to employ the "denied" rubber stamp yet again.

Of course, there is always that old standby: "lack of insight". Means nothing and anything at the same time.

Rumor has it that Krenwinkel is cancer-ridden and without much hope left. We'll see if she ever makes it back to the WIC parole hearing room, though if she does it could well be on a hospice gurney, Atkins-style.

Watson has no hope at all. He was never too bright to begin with, and the memory seems to be faltering badly. This latest hearing was almost embarrassing, as he fumbled to remember his criminal actions from decades ago. Hell, he had the Commissioner completing his sentences half the time during last month's meeting. My guess is that in five years' time the senility will have really kicked in and whoever is Governor at that point really will have a legit "lack of insight" card to play.

Leslie, though? Leslie has two shots this year. Not only has the knightly parole board cornered Newsom's king on this latest hearing, there is a lingering technicality from the last parole go-round that is before the California Supreme Court. Newsom was a week past his thirty days to issue his denial once he finally got around to doing so, and that just might be the thing that finally cuts Leslie loose.

As the Manson crowd tends to be a conspiracy-loving bunch, I will close with this thought: could it be that this late-denial "oopsie!" on Gavin Newsom's part last year is actually his way of allowing Van Houten to slip between the bars without actually taking responsibility for the springing? Let's face it, this would hardly be the strangest thing we've ever seen associated with this case.

GreenWhite said...

These should seriously be posts. The Newsom twist is pro.

tobiasragg said...

Hm...maybe I should delete and we'll make it one. I always toss these off then reread AFTER I post and I want to apply a serious editorial hand, lol. And then I remind myself that I'm just informally blog commenting. Hey did you get that pic I sent to you? I wanna relive that weekend all over again in some ways!

GreenWhite said...

Haha yeah I just saw it! No need to delete. The comments sections of this blog are gold mines. Any erudite scholar knows as much.

grimtraveller said...

tobiasragg said...

What follows is an ever-changing laundry list of reasons behind the denial. Grave concerns the board members share over Watson's unsuitability for release. Tex then spends the next five years attempting to correct or change these issues

From where I stand, the overall view behind why Watson gets denied doesn't really change.
Unless the board of the future has some kind of unforeseeable mercy on him because of his age or even his health, it seems impossible for him to ever be granted parole, let alone it be passed by a guv'nor. Back in 2016, he more or less reached the point of no return. None of his explanations as to how he came to be where he ended up, are going to change. In all seriousness, how can they ? At 75 {and by his next hearing he'll be 80} he's not going to bring any great, earth-shattering new revelation that he hasn't already covered, ad infinitum. And because he pitches things through the lens of his faith in Jesus, he can understand his past errors and weaknesses, but a secular parole board can't. So he has nowhere to go. It's an irony that has occurred to me for a number of years now ~ the very thing that gives him his sense of self and well-being is the very thing that ultimately keeps him in jail.

This latest hearing was almost embarrassing, as he fumbled to remember his criminal actions from decades ago

I didn't find it almost embarrassing. I found it cringeworthily embarrassing. But then, to be honest, most of his hearings are.
He's always struggled to remember his criminal actions, even in his books, and relies on what has been written about what he did. Back in the day, I think this was simply because he had no regard for what he'd done, let alone the people he'd killed. And as he began to go through his changes in Christ, the gravity of his actions weighed more and more on him, but without the requisite memory of the actual happenings. That's always going to get in his way, and so we get these half recollections that come across like he's trying to look for ways to seem like he's taking responsibility while at the same time seeming ever so shifty. It's a deadly combo. I think he makes various parole board members feel ever so uncomfortable, and I, for one, would be amazed if he ever walks out of any prison.
I've said, many a time, if left to me, I wouldn't parole him. Seven actual murders is a bridge too far. But equally, in Christ, he's freer than most of the board members that deny him. That he's in jail doesn't impinge on his freedom, which of course sounds ever so arcane or downright ridiculous.

Peter said...

When they say threat to society, they mean threat to their reelection chances.

Ima Fibbin said...

I agree Peter. Also, I never mentioned Tex in my comment above. He can rot where he is.

gina said...

I am going to go out on a limb and disagree here. I have watched every parole interview with LVH. I see no understanding or remorse in her. She repeats the same rote words every time. There is no feeling behind it. Is she a danger? Probably not. Has she learned the game? Of course, she's had 50 years to do it. Would she have stabbed RLB if R was still alive? I have absolutely no doubt she would have; she begged to go the second night. Is she sorry? I don't think she understands what that means. She is empty...no soul and no true understanding behind those eyes.
Is it political? Of course. But that doesn't change what she did.
If I had the key I'd toss it in the ocean.

Speculator said...

Well said. As others have said in the past, if any of these had true remorse for their crimes they’d decline the parole hearings.

GreenWhite said...

I definitely feel that way about Tex and Bruce.

Gorodish said...

grimtraveller typed:

...And because he pitches things through the lens of his faith in Jesus, he can understand his past errors and weaknesses, but a secular parole board can't. So he has nowhere to go...

...And as he began to go through his changes in Christ, the gravity of his actions weighed more and more on him, but without the requisite memory of the actual happenings...


If Watson is "pitching things through the lens of his faith in Jesus", why does he never cop to Donald Shea's murder? Is Jesus telling Tex "no Charles, you're already forgiven; don't admit to that one?" Does self-preservation win out over love of Jesus? The "requisite memory" of Shorty seems to be completely blanked out. At his turn at the latest hearing, Anthony DiMaria came right out and added Shorty to the victims list. When it was Debra Tate's turn to speak, she described Watson (being the actor he is) as having a "shocked look" on his face when DiMaria mentioned Shorty. His lawyer feebly protested, but the parole board commissioner (Grounds) blew her off and told Tate to continue. Shorty is the stink bomb in Watson's last few hearings; ever since his fellow forgiven friend Bruce Davis (and Grogan) chucked him under the bus. I believe the past few board commissioners have had Shorty in the back of their minds as they pass judgement on Tex's "lack of insight". Sorry grimster, while I don't doubt the sincerity of many people who have found Jesus, I'm just not buying this one-46 years notwithstanding.

tobiasragg said...

Did you catch Tex's little monthly post for November? He has taken to creating lengthy religious ramblings each month and the November post begins with:

"Happy Thanksgiving! Sometimes it is hard to give thanks, especially after a lengthy parole denial, but the apostle Paul reminds us “…in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”

I'll spare you the rest. Man, that prison chow's just gotta be getting old by now, right?

GreenWhite said...

I gotta agree with the General on this one, Grim. Great to see you back.

GreenWhite said...

Tobias - He'd trade his upcoming turkey dinner for the Gerber jar lol. I've been refreshing on Tex's malarky via Myra Elvira lately. Here's a link to an audio read of his book for anyone who might've missed when I posted before.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gYpCfK1-GUc&t=5457s

Here's a summary. Yeah I did it - whatever it was - every single time I got caught for it - from the lid of grass to the typewriters to the blobs and all the other things GreenWhite forgets right now but there was always a person who put me up to it. Also I had Mr. Spock hair. Finally, Greenwhite hopes I get the kind of dementia where I pee my pants a lot. Fin.

Dan S said...

The typewriters! Perfect example of his overdoing it to impress the leader of his peer group

Tony said...

Leave her go, she didn't kill anyone

AustinAnn74 said...

Gina,
I agree with everything you stated and am appalled that so many people feel she should be released to enjoy the rest of her days. That's the way people seem to think nowadays: a misunderstood "girl" simply just poked at a corpse a few times with a metal object.....no need to overreact, right?

GreenWhite said...

*11/12/2021 Greenwhite earns Austin Ann badge.

Chris B said...

California has that law that whatever your crime partners get up to you are equally guilty too. In law isn't she is guilty of everything that Tex and Pat did and vice versa?

The current California law is something like a murder in the course of a robbery is a felony that carries a life sentence without parole. Added to that it was multiple murder, home invasion and could be viewed as having elements of torture and it had a big impact on the community, so slightly more serious than stabbing one corpse.

That said in her 1977 trial if found guilty of manslaughter she could have been released on time served.

Either late 1980s or early 1990s two out of three parole board members voted for parole and she was told it wouldn't be much longer.

Average murder sentence was something like 16 years so at max 32 years could have been enough.

She was originally sentenced to death but did get two retrials and six months on bail. The state did alter her charge to make it impossible for a jury to find her guilty of manslaughter only.

Didn't she turn down an immunity deal pre-trial in 1969?

Tony said...

She's reformed and has been a model prisoner. What else has she got to do for goodness sake?

tobiasragg said...

"What else has she got to do for goodness"

Sit quietly and wait to expire.

Lesley at fab4info.com said...

Its nothing to do with letting Leslie out of prison its all to do with the political situation, whatever party approves her or other Manson members will always have it used against them in a political campaign or election

tobiasragg said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
tobiasragg said...

It has everything to do with letting Leslie out of prison, these decisions circle right back to Leslie and the nature of her crimes.

These crimes created an extraordinary amount of public fear and they left a decided negative imprint on society. Politicians are chosen to represent the population, naturally their decisions reflect the concern and the fear the populace suffers from.

Blaming politicians is a distraction. The responsibility for these crimes & their impact remains on the shoulders of those who committed them.

Tony said...

It looks for certain that she'll never be set free as long as the Governer of California has the final say which is ridiculous really, they may as well have the parole hearing at the Governers office

gina said...

Tobias--
YES!!!!! Perfectly stated.

Lesley at fab4info.com said...

Tobias - I actually agree with what you say, the crimes were and still are horrendous, there is not excuse or justification but you cannot ignore the political connection, what is the answer to this ? either way the victims never even had a choice

tobiasragg said...

Leslie, it's like I said above. And like you said, before me.

Political decisions tend to reflect the will of the public. At least a portion of the public. As you point out, any Governor intentionally allowing a Manson murderer to walk is going to have to answer for that act when reelection time comes around. Why bother with a controversial decision like this one when there are already so many tricky decisions to make in the public policy arena. Covid restrictions can be thorny, as one must balance the needs of commerce with the risks to public health. Denying a Manson murderer parole? That's an easy call.

As I suggested above in these comments though, Newsome might have provided Van Houten with an opportunity by delaying his parole denial last year until seven days after the thirty days he had to issue his decision. While all humans make mistakes and overlook things, it seems unlikely this was a mistake. Newsom's delayed act, intentional or not, puts Van Houten's fate in the California Supreme Court's hands. While California's Supreme Court justices are appointed, they must stand for Yes/No reelection occasionally to retain their seats. Their terms are twelve years, though, making them far less susceptible to public whim on individual decisions. Watson and Krenwinkel seem unlikely ever to get this far, but for Van Houten, this might be her best shot at freedom. The court decision is expected some time in 2022, I believe.

To circle back around to your original point, pointing the finger at a politician on something like this makes about as much sense as Sandy Good's wide eyed "the government kills people every day!" when trying to defend the Tate-LaBianca actions. Just as old Charlie used to suggest that he was merely "a reflection of you", so too are politicians a reflection of those they serve.

"Don't follow leaders, watch the parkin' meters" and all that.

I will also share that, if Van Houten's court challenge fails to free her, probably the best course of action she could take at this point in her life would be to hire a PR firm. It is unclear what kind of monetary support she might enjoy from friends and deceased parents and if she'd even have the funds available to pull off such a thing, but the surest way to change a politician's mind is to change public perception.

I imagine everyone reading this has viewed the old Diane Sawyer "Turning Point" program on this matter - many of us have likely seen this multiple times. It seems fair to say that Van Houten emerged from this airing smelling as much like a rose as one in her position can hope for. Leslie was frank and unhesitating in sharing what she had done, but her repentance and her inner humanity was also put on display. She seemed as utterly normal as the soccer mom next door - but her segments were also shown alongside quotes from Krenwinkel and the boogeyman Charlie, and overall her appearance was in service of telling the Manson murder story. A good PR person or firm would separate Van Houten from those demons from the past and arrange to present her on TV and in print as the harmless soccer grandma she has apparently become. There are no guarantees that something like this might work, but it would certainly give her a better shot with the Governor than she seems to have right now.

Zeke002 said...

Now that would make a fascinating movie or book...inside the PR firm hired to free Leslie. Or how about a Christian org that decides its mission is to free Tex as a promotion of forgiveness.
I enjoy contemplating thoughts of TLB relevance in the present. I've always yearned for for another real trial prosecuting Tex for Shorty's death.

Dan S said...

Can we make tale of the 2 Charlies: diarreha mouth meets poo brain an official motive?

aerdna.nivel said...

What is the point of continually putting her in front of parole if it's just overrides by someone who does not have a clear understanding of her progress and rehabilitation. Newsom should not be able to veto this time and time again. It's cruel at this point. She has served her time and then some. It is time to let her go free.

Ajerseydevil said...

Set me Free why don't you Babe

grimtraveller said...

gina said:

I have watched every parole interview with LVH. I see no understanding or remorse in her

How would you actually quantify that ? What, to your satisfaction, could she, as someone you don’t know, have any relationship with or have spoken with at any length {unless you have !}, do to show she has remorse ? I’m genuinely interested in how one can conclude a person has no remorse when they’ve stated for years that they have. What does she need to do to demonstrate remorse ?

She repeats the same rote words every time

Does that surprise you ? You pretty much do the same thing, with tiny variations. Every human does. Every time someone asks you how you are, is your reply different each time ? I wouldn’t mind betting that there’s a lot more rote to you than perhaps you realize. But that doesn’t really mean there’s nothing genuine in those things you may be rote about.
Also, she more or less gets asked the same questions every time. Throughout the last 70 years, people that got asked the same questions wherever they went just wrote a book and said, “whatever you want to know is in there !”
Mind you, that backfired with Charles Watson.

There is no feeling behind it

Given that you’re not her, how can you know that ? How could she express feelings to your satisfaction ? If she broke down and cried, would you say she was putting on an act ?

Has she learned the game? Of course, she's had 50 years to do it

The rules of the game weren’t set by her though, were they ? She had 19 knock backs over 38 years. She had little choice but to learn how to express herself in ways that spoke to the parole boards and what they needed to hear. She would have been a total idiot if she didn’t learn something from those 38 years.
On the other hand, Charlie and Bobby didn’t/haven’t “learned the game.” Bobby in particular has frequently been roasted as a result.

Would she have stabbed RLB if R was still alive? I have absolutely no doubt she would have

If one takes her own words and add them to the autopsy, not only would she have, but she actually did. But you seem to accept that she didn’t stab Rosemary when she was alive. At least, your question seems to imply that. So can you seriously justify 50 years in prison for someone that you believe stabbed a dead body ?

she begged to go the second night

It never does a person’s argument any good if they have to resort to that which is not true, in order to bolster that argument. There is a universe of difference between being prepared to, wanting to go out and kill, and begging to go. I can point to where she has stated her position on this ~ can you point to where she has stated she begged to go ?

Is she sorry? I don't think she understands what that means

Can you explain how you come to that conclusion, because that’s quite a statement. Why don’t you think she understands what ‘sorry’ means ?

She is empty...no soul and no true understanding behind those eyes

How do you know this ? Even if it's just an opinion, how would you sell this to someone ?

Is it political? Of course. But that doesn't change what she did

Are you the Gina that sometimes comments over at CieloDrive.com or who has commented here once in a while ? If you are, you stated earlier this year that you used to think Leslie was being treated unfairly because of the Manson connection. If that’s the case, what changed your mind ?
Anyway, you appear to be saying that it doesn’t matter if the reasons for keeping in jail someone granted parole are dodgy, as long as that prisoner is kept in.

gina said...

I am not the same Gina. I don't know that website.

These are my instincts from the times I have seen her interviewed. None of us "know" her. It's all conjecture and opinion and this is mine. Clearly, I can't "quantify" my feelings or "sell it to someone". It's just how I feel.


TabOrFresca said...

Like the pod people of “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” is there more than one?

https://athletics.nec.edu/sports/mbkb/2021-22/releases/20211113pwrx1i

grimtraveller said...

Speculator said:

if any of these had true remorse for their crimes they’d decline the parole hearings

Spec, you should, if you don’t already, know that I respect you and even where I don’t agree with you, enjoy your take on things. But that’s just weak mate. I think that is an argument put forth by people who honestly cannot articulate why someone who has an excellent prison record over a 47 year period, who has worked hard to be rehabilitated by reps of the very society that they once flashed their bum at, who has actually shown growth that we can all follow, mistakes and all, should remain in jail.
That is honestly one of the weakest points of view I ever come across.
Interestingly, Charles Watson declined some hearings, I think, back in the 90s. I’ve never heard a single soul credit him for that.
Squeaky waived a parole hearing. But it wasn’t because she was remorseful !
Charlie refused to go to quite a few parole hearings. He was the polar opposite of remorseful.
That argument just does not stand up when examined. And it should always be pointed out that it isn’t criminals in jail that set the laws of any state or country. If the law entitles an inmate to the possibility of parole and they show, by their behaviour, that they are moving away from the mindset that brought them to prison in the first place, then they know that they have a heck of a lot of work to do, much in depth analysing to go through, many knock backs etc, especially if they’ve murdered or done something equally horrendous.

I have long believed that there are some inmates that should never be released from prison, even if they’re remorseful. In fact, they may well be remorseful but have drives that make their release potentially ‘unsafe’.

grimtraveller said...

gina said...

I am not the same Gina

A few Ginas about ! My sister in law is named Gina !
Are you the "gina" that believed last year that Leslie could kill again if she was released ?


It's all conjecture and opinion and this is mine. Clearly, I can't "quantify" my feelings or "sell it to someone". It's just how I feel

Fair enough. But on what do you base those feelings ? All of our feelings are based on something.

Speculator said...

Grim - I respect your views too - they are always very thoughtful and well expressed. I must disagree with you though on this point. Regardless of the parole system and what it entails of a prisoner, if a killer has genuine remorse for brutally taking a life would such remorse not be lifelong and wouldn’t someone with such remorse want lifelong punishment and thereby waive any relief that the system may offer them? I’m talking about the relationship between the killer and his/her victim here.. All the things that you have said point more towards the relationships between the killer and the system and the killer and the society that he/she hopes to rejoin. Here’s a question for you. Which do you think is the most powerful emotion within LVH - her remorse for the victims or her desire to go free?

tobiasragg said...

"Which do you think is the most powerful emotion within LVH - her remorse for the victims or her desire to go free?"

You posed your question to Green, but I will offer that human emotion and desire is not that tidy. One can feel an enormous amount of guilt & shame over a prior act and still want to build a positive life for themselves in society. Our system is built in such a way that one has the right to ask for parole consideration, after all. Doing so does not negate the feelings of guilt.

Zeke002 said...

If one is vociferous about letting Leslie rot...shouldn't they be equally zealous about convicting Tex of Shorty's murder and getting a death penalty? If there is anyone in the history of American crime that deserves the chair it is Charles Watson.
Why argue against Leslie and stay strangely silent regarding real justice for Tex. Just seems incongruent to me.

tobiasragg said...

Invalid comparison.

Each case exists in and of itself. Watson would have been convicted of Shea if the DA felt they had the evidence to convict him. They did not feel they did and by the time the Shea trial came around there was little point anyway, as Watson had already been convicted of multiple murders & sentenced to death.

Van Houten? Well, she's jumped through her hoops enough to at least get the nod from the Board, but the court of public opinion is another hurdle altogether. Not sure how she manages to clear that one, though she may be cut loose thanks to the technicality I mention above in these comments.

grimtraveller said...

Chris B said:

California has that law that whatever your crime partners get up to you are equally guilty too. In law isn't she is guilty of everything that Tex and Pat did and vice versa?

Yes. In law.
But we approach TLB from a variety of angles and sometimes we’re talking from a group perspective and sometimes we’re talking from an individual’s perspective. And when a parole board is trying to decide the fate of the individual murderer, they have to take into account what the individual did. The “equally guilty” bit is more for the purposes of trial and conviction than parole. Obviously, the perp has to acknowledge guilt within the group setting, but in reality, it’s what they did that, by the 44-year mark, gets looked at. Have you noticed that in the majority of the conversations that have taken place re: Leslie, Leno LaBianca rarely rates a mention ? Because we simply don’t think of him where she is concerned because she didn’t touch him, even though she’s legally guilty of his murder.

The state did alter her charge to make it impossible for a jury to find her guilty of manslaughter only

I’m not so sure it was impossible for them to find her guilty of manslaughter, but the state did change/amend the charge. It’s easy to see why they did it. Nothing had changed between her first and second trial except the rather significant volte-face from Leslie. No longer was she the sometimes disruptive, sometimes snappy, sometimes angry, sometimes laughing and singing defendant that was confessing to being part of the Hinman murder and prepared to go to the gas chamber and talking about the copycat and being high on acid while committing murder. By that second trial, she’d renounced Manson and all she had stood for in 1969-71 ~ and the jury was hung. LE, it seems to me, were genuinely afraid that she might walk in a third trial. Which would have been a major miscarriage of justice, given that no details had changed between the commission of the crimes in ‘69 and…...the commission of the crimes in ‘69 ! I think they were a bit naughty, but it does make one wonder whether or not any of the women might have walked or gotten a lesser sentence had they been tried on their own in the original trial. On the other hand, the whole world and her brother knew exactly what she’d been part of by 1978.

Didn't she turn down an immunity deal pre-trial in 1969?

Yes. But although it’s easy for me to say she must still be kicking herself for not taking it, it’s actually unclear as to whether or not Mike McGann, the detective that spoke of the immunity, actually really had any authority in the matter or whether he was trying to get her to admit to knowing who was involved in the Cielo crime. I can also see why she didn’t bite ~ at the time, no one outside of the Family knew she was involved in the murders. So why should she have implicated herself ?

Dan S said...

She ain't exactly charlene gallego or karla homolka.

TabOrFresca said...

“Can someone tell me how much LVH has paid in the VF civil suit”. If she hasn’t contributed how is she ready?

TabOrFresca said...

Excuse me this is a test to see if I can still post to this article. I’ve been having a problem making a post stick.

TabOrFresca said...

My default answer to “Should LVH be released” is “no”.

Up until about 1990 there was a common statement made concerning which data processing equipment you bought. “You don’t get fired for choosing IBM”. For the executive branch saying “No” or not changing what is in place is usually an acceptable answer.
Every case is unique and has its own considerations.

Two questions I would ask are “Has enough time gone by” and “What mark of Cain has the legislature defined for this case”.

TabOrFresca said...

Back in the 1980s I asked a work colleague from Germany whether they thought that the European Disneyland would end up in Germany and they said “No, enough time has not passed”.

When LVH had her first recommendation to be released Manson was still alive and while he died before the next one, 50 years plus a couple had not passed. Getting past the 50 year anniversary was important and releasing her on 51 would place to much emphasis on 50 years. Year 52,53, etc may be enough time.

TabOrFresca said...

God was supposed to place a mark upon Cain so that others would leave Cain alone.

Likewise, LVH should be in stealth mode when released.

TabOrFresca said...

What happens if LVH is released? Is she wearing a boot for life?

TabOrFresca said...

How do you keep reporters, and bloggers from leaving her alone. Someone from Ohio, Texas, NC or MA could be a pest (like a Bill Nelson junior) and how can California stop people from elsewhere from bothering LVH or keep LVH from promoting herself as “poor mistreated LVH”.

TabOrFresca said...

What are the restrictions? if any?

TabOrFresca said...

Will she be restricted from
writing a book, going on talk shows, publishing on social media?

TabOrFresca said...

How about alcohol, marijuana?

TabOrFresca said...

Can she go to playgrounds and schools?

tobiasragg said...

Parole terms vary widely from inmate to inmate & state-to-state. For instance, one condition placed upon Sandra Good when she was paroled was that she not reside or venture closer than XYZ to Charles Manson (can't remember the distance) or have any communication with him. She settled near family in Vermont until her parole was over and bam - right back to the Corcoran area, lol! She lived quite close to the prison he was housed in but she was still allowed no contact. Didn't bother Blue a bit, she said, because she can "feel his vibrations" and that was apparently good enough for her. One imagines that Stimson kept the indirect dialogue going between the two for the rest of Manson's life.

In California, convicted murderers are generally kept on parole for life, though there are exceptions. There is a half-way house situation for a period of time (usually 3-5 years, though this can vary too) and after that the person has to live in an agreed-upon county, consent to unannounced searches whenever "the man" is feeling it, and they must gain approval for house moves, etc.

No boots, no shopping restrictions, but as I said many conditions can be specific to the individual. In Leslie's case, she'd likely be forbidden from contacting a named list of former family members and, of course, victim relatives. As one might imagine, the parole system struggles to keep up with everyone under their watch, and given Van Houten's age & circumstance, it's likely she wouldn't be under incredibly harsh scrutiny, at least after the first bit of time.

Leslie herself has said that she would want to change her name and live as quiet a life as possible. The state provides no protection from press or public, so she'd be on her own there - as an aged Squeaky discovered when a tabloid cornered her in a Walmart parking lot a few years ago. So much for ATWA eh, Squeak?

TabOrFresca said...

Sorry for the chopped format. I’ve tried a dozen times over 24 hours to paste in and for some reason it wouldn’t stick.

TabOrFresca said...

Thanks

GreenWhite said...

ToF - No worries. Blogger is finicky.

Chris B said...

Hey Grim!
My understanding is that 1977 the jury was split on guilty of murder or guilty of manslaughter with diminished responsibilities.
1978 the charge was amended to including theft which then bumped it up to murder whilst stealing which meant that the jury could no longer consider any mitigating circumstances. They only had two options: guilty of murder or not guilty. Manslaughter was off the table.
For me the big thrill is after several trials 1978 was when Little Paul Watkins swapped sides to become a defense witness instead of a prosecution one.

Chris B said...

Weird one about LVH living a quiet life is that she apparently attended the Oscar ceremony in 1978 when she was on bail.
I have watched loads of the footage on YouTube trying to spot her but no joy so far.

Chris B said...

I read somewhere that when the girls went to death row that there were two other women sentenced to death in the new block with them. Both were released before 1980.
In some respects the state is a bit weird in that from 1974 it started prepping them up for those first parole hearings in 1978.
I do sometimes consider that during the trial that they seriously thought they were in for ten years or so (suspending death sentence was already going through the courts when they were on trial). Atlins comes across as particularly chill about it all back in the day and only gets grumpy towards the end of the 1980s. Beausoleil is similar in attitude.
Average served was 16 years which is pretty much what Grogan did.

GreenWhite said...

Chris B - 16 year average for murder in California?

grimtraveller said...

Chris B said:

My understanding is that 1977 the jury was split on guilty of murder or guilty of manslaughter with diminished responsibilities.
1978 the charge was amended to including theft which then bumped it up to murder whilst stealing which meant that the jury could no longer consider any mitigating circumstances. They only had two options: guilty of murder or not guilty. Manslaughter was off the table....


Gotcha. This piece gives some interesting stuff on it. Were you involved in it ? I thought the 2nd last comment might have been you.

I read somewhere that when the girls went to death row that there were two other women sentenced to death in the new block with them. Both were released before 1980

Yeah, in Susan Atkins "Child of Satan...." book, she mentions them, referring to them as Claire {the one that murdered an old woman during a burglary} and Jennifer {who killed her lover's wife}. In St Circumstance's favourite book, 🥶 "The Long prison journey of LVH", Claire is called Jean and Jennifer is called Linda. I can't tell whether Karlene Faith just used pseudonyms to protect the women or whether to trust Susan Atkins as to their real names, given her penchant for fanciful storytelling. But according to Faith, they were both paroled within 10 years of her meeting the Family women. Claire had been in the death row hospital for 3½ years before joining forces with the others. She was apparently the one that inspired LVH to stand up for her rights within the jail system.

aerdna.nivel said:

Newsom should not be able to veto this time and time again

I don't have a problem in principle, with the guv'nor being able to veto a parole recommendation. I think checks and balances are important. Parole boards are not infallible. What I have a problem with is when a guv'nor vetoes a recommendation and the reasons they give in support of their decision are demonstrably untrue. For example, in his first nix, Newsom stated something to the effect that Leslie wasn't showing sufficient insight because {among other untrue things he stated} she hadn't regarded Charlie giving her drugs and sodomizing her on their first meeting, as abuse. Completely ignoring the fact that she'd been up for it. If the guv genuinely thinks she should remain in jail and can solidly back it up then they should do so, not come out with the wivvle-wavvle that he & Jerry Brown have been parading for the last 5 years.

Unknown said:

Should have been released years ago but then again if a one legged brain cancer sufferer was deemed a threat to society, then she's fucked

The one legged brain cancer sufferer was deemed a threat in her last parole hearing of 2009 {three weeks before she died} because she kept on denying that she'd stabbed Sharon Tate when she'd admitted it in court and it was part of the court record; through her lawyer, stated that the DA's office paid Virginia Graham and Ronnie Howard $25,000 to go in front of the jury and lie, plus a much overlooked, hardly ever commented on, but devastating letter from Barbara Hoyt. The board that denied her parole also felt she was in denial. The polite way they put it was that she minimized her involvement and the racial beliefs she held, and when she said she was a reluctant follower and scared to leave.
One needs to look beyond her physical condition in coming to a conclusion as to why she died in jail.

Speculator said:

Here’s a question for you. Which do you think is the most powerful emotion within LVH - her remorse for the victims or her desire to go free?

I think it would be the latter. That's the human way, if there's the remotest possibility of freedom. But that in no way cancels out or weakens the former. The two go hand in hand.

Chris B said...

This is my understanding of what they could expect back in 1970.
I do think a lot of the theatre and spectacle during the trial was that the scrapping the death penalty was coming and that they would be out in say 10 to 16 years.
I always find it odd that the girls were having practise parole hearings from 1974 onwards when their appeals didn't come through until 1976.
Lot more education and rehabilitation back then compared to life without parole and max security regimes nowadays.

Chris B said...

Yes. I believe I wrote that article. I used to have an office job with a lot of downtime where I could idle about for hours researching this stuff.
I have still yet to read the 1977 and 78 transcripts. Shame that there seems to be little interest in the last stand of TLB on the interwebs.

GreenWhite said...

Write it up, Chris. Myself and others are surely interested.

tobiasragg said...

Chris - well, we've just had the 50th anniversary which of course featured any number of new books, media pieces, TV & film content and even events. I happened to be in LA that weekend and it was a bit of a wild time to be in the city. Sidenote: I do wonder if those events were covered here at the time? I should do a search & see . . .

Given that, I'm not certain how much territory is really left to explore here, aside from the ongoing parole attempts and retrospective deep dives. We're probably within 5-10 years of having most all of the key players dead, though it is worth noting that 75 year-old Tex believes he still has 15-20 years ahead of him, lol.

I feel like the very early parole hearings are among the most interesting, actually. Krenwinkel's first in 78 or whenever that was is particularly amusing. The process was still quite new and much of the first hour consists of everyone just trying to figure out how exactly to go about things ("what was that new law, again?"). The parole members confess that they didn't even know who Krenwinkel was when waking up that day and seeing her name on that day's schedule. It wasn't until they began scanning the case file that they realized oh jeez, it's one of those Manson people. There are no victim representatives and Krenwinkel's attorney had been appointed at the last minute and was almost completely unfamiliar with the case - Pat had to fill her in on things that morning, prior to the hearing. Hilariously, Krenwinkel wasn't informed that the D.A. would be present ("what's HE doing here?") and the two end up bickering over the original trial and the facts of the case. That, and Pat's comparing leading up to the crimes to the process of making popcorn balls.

Those early hearings are full of fun little factoids about the crimes and life on the ranch that are often overlooked in traditional coverage of these events.

The one other parole hearing of particular note is one of the few that Manson chose to attend back in the 80s or 90s, I can't remember the year. That one is better viewed than read, I think. It's posted on YouTube, you may well have watched it already. But here we have a dude who knows he has no hope at all of being sprung and who attends seemingly out of boredom, just to spar and argue with the Commissioner. It's pretty hilarious stuff.

Chris B said...

Over on Lynyrd's blog I did upload an article on the parole hearings for all of them as to whether or not there are transcripts/recordings etc.
When I wrote the articles it was back when Google had newspaper searches and you could really find some good details in random articles.
I have been following this case since 1986 and have long since given up on whatever the truth of it all is, it's just a huge tapestry now too big for one mind to keep on top of it all.
I would love to find out more about the 1973 Stockton Shootout trial as it was the Greatest Hits one when the accused got the TLB convicted on the stand as character witnesses.
Film director John Waters attended it and has written a little about it but that's about all I have ever read on it.

tobiasragg said...

Out of curiosity, what is the "Lynyrd blog"? I'm a person with far too many interests and this is just one, so the "deep" dives I've done tend to be a bit less deep than those really committed to this thing. At least, that's how I feel sometimes, though I get the sense that my sense isn't quite as true as I think, sometimes.

My initial curiosity is pretty typical and starts with the requisite HS reading at 14 years of age. As it turned out, I was out in LA later that same year to visit family and I forced my uncle to drive me around to all of the spots - the murder houses, Spahn, etc. This would have been 1976-7 or so. Interestingly, my uncle had been friends with Frank Struthers Jr. growing up, and he regaled me with all kinds of stories from that connection. For the life of me I cannot remember a thing about what he related back then, but apparently both my uncle & Struthers were deep into the enjoyment of alcohol & other fun stuff once they hit their latter teens/20s and there were some fairly deep convos about these events. I should ask my uncle about this again one day, but he has become rather annoying in his older age and I'm not feeling eager to really connect in any sort of significant way.

The other more significant "touch" I've had with these events (aside from the usual online/book/blog stuff) came during the events associated with the 50th that I mentioned above. I won't deep-dive here, but I did spend time with "Pooh Bear" and Stoner and the Tom O'Neil guy and a bunch of other Manson "freaks" and it was all pretty enlightening. And strange. And not so strange, too. Oh yeah, and I also got to spend a little time with Scott Michaels, who was obviously quite busy that weekend but who remains one of the more well-informed & balanced individuals interested in these events.

Probably the most fascinating thing I did that weekend was a comprehensive gallery show that a place called Lethal Amounts did somewhere in the Westlake neighborhood of LA. I somehow scored an invite to the preview evening (night before opening) and it was absolutely nuts - filled with all of the people we hear and read, likely some folks hanging around here at times. I was just telling Green about this last week, in fact. The gallery show itself was incredibly well-curated, they pulled together collections from family members & private collectors. One could have spent an entire day exploring everything on display - they had everything from Manson's possessions at the time of his death (the pocket change, the invaluable jeans, wife beater t-shirts, etc.), a lot of artifacts from Spahn, Manson's artwork, etc. etc. An entire room was devoted to the victims and they had artifacts from Sebring's salon, Steven Parent's school pics, the gamut. There were also a ton of polaroids from the crime scenes and from family members themselves (who knew they were taking family pics at the time?). Sorry, not sure what motivated me to go on about these things, I will shut up now. I recently ran into a blog with a shitton of pics from the preview night I attended, if I run into it again I will share it here. Until then, perhaps this will suffice. Thanks for reading my nonsense.

https://jennvasquez.com/2019/08/14/lethal-amounts-presents-exclusive-charles-manson-exhibit/

tobiasragg said...

P.S. The one too-vague tidbit from my Uncle on Frank Struthers that I DO remember involved the discovery of the crime scene the next day. My Uncle told me this story as we stood in front of the gate of his friend's former home. I know the details that we all know now from having read of the events, but what stands out to me from the story-telling is that they had gone into the house, it was Frank and the boyfriend who stepped into the living room and spotted Leno on the floor. The boyfriend, who was much older, said "come on . . . " to get them out of there, back to the kitchen, but Frank just stood and stared, kind of glued to the spot (I can only imagine). The boyfriend tugged on his shoulder and said something like "let's get out of here" or whatever and they went back to the kitchen. The boyfriend went to call the cops and (this is the part that really sticks in my memory) as he was doing that, Frank's older sister just gave him this weird look and pointed to the fridge. He turned and saw what was there, which must have made zero sense in that very shocking moment. For some reason it was that description of the look and pointing that really resonated with me. The other thing was later, they'd left the house to get help and then they had to wait, and Frank said he was very worried about the dog or dogs. They'd left the dog(s) back at the house and he was wanting to go back for it/them, to get them out of there. The sister/boyfriend wouldn't let him go back though, so he had to wait. God, I wish I remembered more, perhaps I should give that uncle a call (ugh!).

kraut_iznota_knotsy said...

Let Lulu GO!
As far as I'm concerned the only thing she's guilty of is abuse of a corpse. Hardly worthy of a life sentence.

We'll pick her up at the gates, drive her to Spahn, and celebrate her marriage to Stoner!!

=D

GreenWhite said...

Tobias rocks his keyboard he gets answers.

http://www.lsb3.com/

Chris B said...

Lynyrd is LSB3.com.
About a decade ago this site was super cool and there was Cat's site and the colonel's and cielodrive.com was on the up and the was Michael's manson site.
LSB.com was seen as a bit of a poor relation so I wrote for them.
As is always the way with this subject everything is all about falling out with everyone else.
I was offered the chance to write for here but only if I never wrote for LSB.
My thing is I speak to you all and I don't take sides.
I am UK based and obviously see all Americans as not really my cultural scene. For me this whole thing is history without the moral outrage.

GreenWhite said...

Chris B - I am writing about Mary Brunner this week. I saw your comment pop and wanted to take the opportunity to say your piece on her in 2013 is freakin amazing. Just wow. Really loved your commentary on your retrial motion. Here's the link for anyone interested. I'll link it again on Monday when I publish. Cheers, Chris.

http://www.lsb3.com/2013/12/the-perjury-of-mary-brunner.html

GreenWhite said...

Well, not your retrial motion I suppose.

GreenWhite said...

Ugh. Extract. Still amazing.

tobiasragg said...

Thank you for ID'ing the blog, that one looks worthy of some casual exploring.

I am confused by Green's response, though. This seems to be a posting from Burton Katz's book, not authorship from Chris B. Chris cites the excerpt properly, but why the personal kudos from Green? Seems like those would be more appropriately directed at the judge.

Nevertheless, it is heartening to see that at least some others recognized the courtroom drama associated with Brunner's testimony that day. Had this been authored by, say, a TV courtroom drama hack and aired on NBC or something, people would be changing the channel. It's just SO over-the-top and ridiculous - but then again, this entire Manson affair was over-the-top and ridiculous. Even just reading the transcript, one can feel the flop sweat dripping from the Cupid nose and the real motivational squirm happening in the witness stand. In the end, self-interest won out and today Brunner ages silently in the wintery Wisconsin suburbs while Cupid continues to produce shitty prison music while whining for parole in his free time.

Somewhere, above in these comments or comments elsewhere, I mentioned my interactions with Michael "Pooh Bear" a few years ago. He had spent years distancing himself from his infamous father and yet, in more recent years, expressed some level of forgiveness or at least a hopeful grasping for the good in the old man. Kind of like the grandson dude depicted in the tabloid funeral program, "tell me some good stuff about him" a curious Jason Freeman asks Snake, with a kind of pitiful hopefulness.

That was the Michael I encountered a few years ago at a 50th anniversary event. In middle age, "Pooh Bear" seemed more than a little bewildered and also kind of gently delighted with all of these hundreds of people gathered to "celebrate" - or, at least, acknowledge - his father's place in history. Given that, the scene were were in, I confined my part of our conversation to stupid and easy stuff - music, bands and the like. I did comment on the rather freaky assemblage of humanity we were surrounded by and asked him if this all seemed strange to him, somehow. His reply was an almost nervous giggle and an "I guess . . . " My one little nod to Manson history was to meekly inquire about his mother's well-being, and he offered an equally-meek reply. We left it at that.

But oh, how I think we all wish that the former librarian/original Manson gal would write a book or engage somehow publicly on her now far-distant past. One wonders where her head is at now, in her twilight retirement years. A retired Manson gal, what an interesting concept! Does she look back with Van Houten-levels of regret? Does she maintain a Gypsy-like detached bemusement of the crazy antics of the old days? Or does she continue, in Squeaky/Sandra fashion, to quietly believe in the crazy train truths that seemed so plain to see, so many years ago?

Of all the former hard-core Manson people, Mary Brunner seems to have emerged the most unscathed. Or maybe not. We will likely never really know.

tobiasragg said...

P.S. Sorry Green, your last comment came thru as I was composing the above. You corrected yourself nicely there. I owe you an email. I apologize for the delay.

Dan S said...

This is why you gotta go back and read the comments even after newer posts are up! More on the stockton shoot out would be very interesting (i remember one in depth post on this blog) and the early parole hearings sound like a gold mine. Mr. Chris, write it up please! I obviously do no research!!!! That link from grim to chris s lvh article should be in the post proper
Thanks

GreenWhite said...

Yeah Tobias, I didn't understand at first because it was the 55th thousandth link I followed after two days of "Mary Brunner Testimony" etc etc "Bobby Beausoleil legal" Google searches. And then of course there's no edit on Blogger so it's like wtf do I do now?

What really sticks with me is when Mary tells Judge Keene (sp?) (who those of us of a certain age only remember as the kindly old judge on Divorce Court after school on tv) something the effect of Bobby used me to kill Gary and you're using me to kill Bobby.

And then Keene assigns Mary a lawyer despite her protests, they break for lunch, and Mary stumbles back into the courtroom looking tired and confused like the Rosenbergs while the other girls are back there doing the blinking game. It's just wild.

I think they seriously thought if Mary recanted her testimony it would force a retrial. And that's best case. They really kinda seem like if that happens, cool, but if Mary gets sentenced to death also cool. I can't wrap my head around it.

Cool on the email. Your comments in the posts are great.

GreenWhite said...

I'd love to hear the transcript of how they reeled Mary back in during the lunch break.

Chris B said...

Did you catch it in Tex's most recent parole hearing where he names Mary as being one of his few girlfriends at the Ranch?
Her mid-1970s appeal is knocking about the Internet. The one where they decide that she did abide by the terms of her immunity deal and could not be tried for Hinman despite recanting.
At the time I believe she was in with the Manson Girls having been sentenced to something like 20 years for the Stockton Shootout.
Apart from that picture of Atkins with her and Gypsy (all three dressed in white) I know very little about the time they all served together other than a supposed attempted breakout.

Chris B said...

The link for People v Brunner appeal decision from 1973
https://law.justia.com/cases/california/court-of-appeal/3d/32/908.html

Unknown said...

I visit this site rarely and posted this comment in response to GreenWhite’s post in September that touched on a similar theme. So apologies if you’ve already read my thoughts on this.

I have no doubt that LVH’s involvement with Manson and her specific involvement that night are firmly in evil territory. So much so that the original death penalty would have been totally justifiable and I’m sure many others would have agreed and also agree that she should die in prison, no release.

One of the common reasons I hear for her continuing incarceration is that ‘a leopard never changes its spots’. However if we consider she was found guilty and sentenced based on the events of a few hours and has since that evening as proven by prison records (if I can use the term) been a model prisoner for 50+ years, then she clearly has changed.

However it’s not for me to decide, I don’t know enough about the case and I’m not qualified to judge. But, the parole board do and are; and if I were them I’d walk into the Governors Office and ask him what qualifications/knowledge does he possess that overrides their opinion. Or even more bluntly, tell the governor to stuff the role they are performing as it is obviously a waste of time and resources.

tobiasragg said...

The Governor's qualification is that he was elected Governor. Just like the Governor before him. And the one who will replace him.

Ours is a system of checks-and-balances. This is deliberate. As we all know, bad things can happen when too much power rests on a single body or individual. And so we govern by committee, so to speak. Every entity that makes a decision has another entity that weighs in on that decision. And it works. Imperfectly, but it works.

Just as congress does not quit when a President overrides their veto, the same is true here. Personally (as I suggest above) elected executives (Gov, Pres, etc.) tend to make decisions that reflect the public will, or at least their understanding of that will. Let's face it, as one parole board member said to LVH recently, "I feel that you may be ready to rejoin the public, I'm just not sure if the public is ready to have you rejoin them."

Chris B said...

I suppose the gag is that justice is supposed to be blind and to give it to an elected representative takes off the blindfold.
Here in the UK our top elected person who had responsibility for whether or not certain notorious people got granted parole or not has had that power taken away from them and given back to appointed judges for this reason.