Wednesday, May 31, 2023

Manson follower Leslie Van Houten should be paroled, California appeals court rules

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A California appeals court said Tuesday that Leslie Van Houten, who participated in two killings at the direction of cult leader Charles Manson in 1969, should be released from prison on parole.

The appellate court's ruling reverses an earlier decision by Gov. Gavin Newsom, who rejected parole for Van Houten in 2020. She has been recommended for parole five times since 2016. All of those recommendations were rejected by either Newsom or former Gov. Jerry Brown.

Newsom could request that California Attorney General Rob Bonta petition the state Supreme Court to stop her release. Bonta's office referred questions to Newsom's office, which didn't respond to queries about possible next steps.

Van Houten, now in her 70s, is serving a life sentence for helping Manson and other followers kill Leno LaBianca, a grocer in Los Angeles, and his wife, Rosemary.

Newsom has said that Van Houten still poses a danger to society. In rejecting her parole, he said she offered an inconsistent and inadequate explanation for her involvement with Manson at the time of the killings.

The Second District Court of Appeal in Los Angeles ruled 2-1 to reverse Newsom's decision, writing there is "no evidence to support the Governor's conclusions" about Van Houten's fitness for parole.

The judges took issue with Newsom's claim that Van Houten did not adequately explain how she fell under Manson's influence. At her parole hearings, she discussed at length how her parents' divorce, her drug and alcohol abuse, and a forced illegal abortion led her down a path that left her vulnerable to him.

They also argued against Newsom's suggestion that her past violent acts were a cause for future concern were she to be released.

"Van Houten has shown extraordinary rehabilitative efforts, insight, remorse, realistic parole plans, support from family and friends, favorable institutional reports, and, at the time of the Governor's decision, had received four successive grants of parole," the judges wrote. "Although the Governor states Van Houten's historical factors ‘remain salient,' he identifies nothing in the record indicating Van Houten has not successfully addressed those factors through many years of therapy, substance abuse programming, and other efforts."


284 comments:

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Fart Smeller said...

Another problem with our "justice system"

I highly doubt that Van Houten poses any "threat" to society (the homeless druggies all over San Francisco pose more of a danger) however do to the nature of her crime and it's infamy -- NO she should not be released early. She NEEDS to die in prison by either old age or a nice shank to the neck!

Jay said...

If you take the infamy of the crimes out of the equation, it is highly unlikely that she presents a danger to society any more. She long ago renounced Manson, and she is so old she would break a hip if she tried to creepy crawl a house. Like it or not she might go free since she seems to have met all of the legal standards. The only standard she doesn't seem to meet is the public opinion standard, which is a helluva hurdle when it comes to TLB.

St. Circumstance said...

Well, If Lulu gets out I will eat crow, as I wrote for many years on this blog that it would never happen. I still believe it never should.

However, I do take solace with the same thought I had if they had released Susan Atkins on compassionate release when she could barely lift her head. At this point does it really matter? Leslie's life is over. She dies at tax payer dollar or some sucker who feels bad dollar?

It no longer matters much to me.

grimtraveller said...

Unknown said...

F#ck the victims
FREE LESLIE!


I'm generally a merciful man and I believe wholeheartedly in freedom of thought translating into free speech, whether that speech is sensible, 'meh' or heartily stupid.
But if I heard that "Unknown" got mugged on their way home and then ripped up and bitten by a couple of rabid dogs and then found their pride and joy car had been set alight by some uncaring neighbourhood teenagers out for a cheap laugh, I for one, would struggle to muster up any sympathy, let alone empathy, after that comment.
I suspect that Leslie herself would be genuinely appalled at anyone saying that about the victims. I think even Tex and Charlie {were he alive} would be, too.

grimtraveller said...

St. Circumstance said...

Well, If Lulu gets out I will eat crow

Well, look at it on the bright side, ST, if you must eat crow, it's better than having to eat prison food issued from the Gulf War 1991 !

grimtraveller said...

Fart Smeller said...

NO she should not be released early

54 years in the slammer is "early" ?
The majority of people I know weren't alive 54 years ago !

St. Circumstance said...

Yes Grim lol You got me there :)

gina said...

I disagree that she has shown any remorse or true understanding of her crimes. I don't believe she poses a danger, but she did what she did and she needs to stay where she is.
I know many murderers of less famous/not famous victims have been released on parole, but I don't think they should have either.
And how many of those stabbed a stranger for NO OTHER REASON than somebody told them to.

Rita Metermaid said...

There was a dissenting vote from a Rotschild .. so the masters of the universe (in their own minds) have said NO she musn't be allowed to be free. Can't be freeing someone who exposed their plan for humanity way back in '69. How 'bout we see what the REAL master of the universe says about it?

jempud said...

What this drives home for me (an Argentine of UK descent) is the inability of people living outside the US to understand their legal systems. How can a person's parole chances depend on a local politician's chances of reelection? How can parole be regularly refused by referring to the nature of the crime? How (and this goes beyond the Van Houten case) can one's trial and sentence depend on how much you can spend on a lawyer? How can a misguided, manipulated, insecure and drugged up nineteen year old spend longer in prison than many hardcore criminals who have committed far worse offences? Is she not after Krenwinkle the woman who has served the longest sentence in US history, even though being recommended multiple times for parole? Europeans (and Argentine ducks) mostly find this incomprehensible.

I'm not defending Van Houten - the truth is that it should be for the judges and courts to decide her fate, not me. I accept that if I live in a society then I in turn must accept the mores and selected authorities of that society. But I don't have to like it, and I frequently fail to understand it.

The truth of the matter is that Van Houtem's case has emotional triggers. Until or unless people learn to reason with their mind rather than their heart (and yes, I am referring to people who have posted here) justice can never be served. Take away the context (pregnant Hollywood victim, master criminal, naked girls, huge hype - not that Van Houten was even accused of the Cielo Drive killings) and Lulu would not now be hoping for parole but living it, and we would not be talking about it/her at all.

brownrice said...

Well said, Jempud.

St. Circumstance said...

I think you have parts of that right Jempud, but not all lol. I respect your opinion and personally I can absolutely admit Leslie pulls emotional triggers for me. Fair enough.

But it is not for the reason you suggest. Naked Girls, Hollywood victim, Mastermind, none of that really pushes my buttons. Made the case famous, but not what bothers me. Breaking into the home of a hard working woman and torturing her husband to death, then beating and stabbing hear to death in her bedroom. That worries me alot more. Leaving Kitchen instruments sticking out of their bodies while making a snack in their kitchen. A little different concept in my mind. Dancing around the court room at the trial while their families had to watch them joke about what they had done. These are the things that trigger me personally Sir. AS far as the rest...

Leslie was sentenced to Die for this crime. She did not. Then Leslie was sentenced to Life. She might not do that either it seems. In my very detailed research of Leslies Prison time I have read or watched ( sometimes both)every parole hearing she has had. I have watched every prison interview she has given. Read a book that contained alot of her prison correspondence with family and friends. It is clear to anyone with an honest and open mind that when Leslie went to jail she remained rebellious until the moment that the Death penalty was overturned. At that point she started publicly telling people when she would be released. I believe with all of my heart that Leslie expected to be out within 7 to 10 years for the crimes I described above. And, for that exact amount of time- she played the part of remorseful. From the moment she started to realize that her time frame was not going to happen- the remorse facade immediately vanished and it became about her being treated unfairly... The longer the time went- the louder it got. But the Labiancas stayed quiet.

You say if she wasn't in the Manson Family- she would have been out on parole a long time ago living her life and nobody would be talking about her.

I say if she wasn't in the Manson family she would be quietly doing her time for the two lives she took and nobody would be talking about her...

Life with possibility of parole is just not the same as Life with guarantee of parole. It looks like she might get out of both the Death Penalty and Life sentence. I think Leslie has done ok with the court system. But again, I agree I have an emotional response to this, so who knows???

tobiasragg said...

"The truth of the matter is that Van Houtem's case has emotional triggers. Until or unless people learn to reason with their mind rather than their heart (and yes, I am referring to people who have posted here) justice can never be served"

Yes, I think this is where many people feel “stuck” when it comes to accepting a potential LVH release. Myself included, at times. As we all know, when the death penalty was briefly rescinded in 1972, the next most-severe punishment was applied: life with. Life without parole did not exist back in that day, of course. If it had, LVH and the other Mansonites wouldn’t be appearing in our news feeds every few years.

"Life without" seems to be where a lot of folks hope this whole mess would have landed. And lets face it, the crimes more than justify this attitude. But the legal reality is that these Manson folks do have a chance to earn parole and it does appear in this case that LVH has done all she can to meet and exceed that criteria. As a society we have established rules and guidelines for those dwelling in the correctional system to abide by. If we stop honoring the very rules “we” as a society have authored, exactly what kind of society are we, at the end of the day?

Personally, I’m conflicted enough over the LVH matter that I’ve stopped caring what happens. I loathe what she & the others did and it is impossible for me to shake my disgust over these crimes. But intellectually I also recognize the hard work that LVH has put in over the decades and judging simply from transcripts and rare media appearances, she does seem to have developed into a responsible and (dare I say) even likable human being. Emotionally, I’d prefer a “life without” situation but given the actual circumstances I feel a LVH release makes abundant sense. Her admirable turnaround and a successful release provides a pretty upbeat ending to this mess of a story.

St. Circumstance said...

That is a very reasonable and thoughtful post Tobiasragg. Here is where I disagree with you lol Although, Again- you made a very articulate point. I only ask you to consider one thing at the end of what you wrote:

Leslie has a very strong post incarceration record. No doubt about it. But let me ask you this. She was trying as hard as she could to get out. What else do you expect? Being a nice and likeable person in interviews and parole hearings is part of the job if your trying to get out. If you are truly reformed the point of the whole thing is to show you are truly remorseful for your actions. Her actions spoke differently from her words in what I studied all those years. She had a boyfriend sneaking in escape gear at one point. Sure- she knew nothing about it. OK lol. So she dealt with a lunatic - does that show great judgement even if you believe her (Again at her word) for another ridiculous choice of people to associate with- even after years? She sued the Parole Board at one point. She was organizing groups to help get her released. Was Leslie spending more time paying retribution, or working on getting out? Not sure her release is going to be such a happy ending for the victims families either ...

But I think most of what all of you say has some truth. and I am absolutely emotionally triggered lol

tobiasragg said...

"Was Leslie spending more time paying retribution, or working on getting out?"

I imagine both things are true. If we're going to break it down, sitting in confinement for five decades is certainly "paying retribution" and sure - I think anyone who is incarcerated is wanting to "get out" and they certainly work at achieving this goal. Is this not the entire point of a rehabilitative justice system? As Pat so kindly informed us during an interview associated with her Court TV-aired parole hearing [insert eye-roll here], the corrections system is designed to prepare prisoners to "rehabit" or rejoin society one day.

So yes, you are correct - Van Houten was doing her job, she has been doing what she is expected to do. Now, you are questioning her interior motives and I don't think that either of us can speak accurately on that, as we are not Leslie Van Houten and we do not live alongside her, so we're not privy to her private conversations. As for the husband? She was pretty forthright with John Waters on that one, saying that she married for the sex. She also recognized that as a fuck-up on her part.

As I shared above, I've mixed feelings about all of this but honestly, who cares about what I think or feel anyway? I'm just some dumbass looking on. I do have to place trust in those whose jobs ARE to make such assessments on prisoner releases. If five or six different parole board iterations declare LVH fit to reenter society, and if the legal system is backing them up on that assessment, I'm content with that conclusion.

St. Circumstance said...

I think you are a reasonable person and appreciate your opinion and thoughts.

Thanks!

tobiasragg said...

"It is clear to anyone with an honest and open mind that when Leslie went to jail she remained rebellious until the moment that the Death penalty was overturned."

Hey, St. C - have you viewed the film "Charlie Says" and/or read the book it was based on? If not and if you have interest, you might check it out. The film, that is. The book is god-awful. Should have been good, as it was authored by the psychologist or counsellor or whatever who was engaged to try and help turn the three Manson girls around. Great subject and that story is a compelling one, but at least a third of the book is the author going on and on - and ON - about herself. It gets quite tiresome. Easy to skip the book.

But the "Charlie Says" film - THAT is actually quite good! I went in with very low expectations. How many crappy Manson films exist out there? I was really surprised at how good this film was. First, they create an incredibly accurate recreation of the LaBianca murders, with only one very small mistake.

I bring this up because of your comment on Leslie's attitude change after the death penalty bit. You are right, her attitude DID change after that, but this wasn't a cynical choice on her part. Rather, her change happened thanks to a really incredible series of events.

The Manson girls were being kept confined together, away from the rest of the prison, in a little cottage area. Once it was learned that they were not going to be executed, the Warden says that he had a problem on his hands. What were they going to DO with these women? They were in no condition to join the general population and they were still drinking the Charlie Kool Aid at that point. So this warden creates this plan for them, one that involves the parents, prison staff, and outsiders like this psychologist woman. Everyone had their part to play in chipping away at the hold that Manson continued to have on them. The prison guards began spending "casual" conversational time with each of the girls, they would talk about normal, real life things like trying to pay the mortgage or dealing with a family problem. The parents did their part - Leslie's mum would bring family photos during their prison visits (she and the father, who were divorced, joined forces in this effort). They would look at the photos together with Leslie and talk about the memories associated with each photo - bit by bit, reminding Leslie of who she once was. And this psychologist, she did the deep-dive exploration work with the young women - sharing of herself very personally and thus coaxing them into doing the same.

It took a while, but the results were pretty incredible. Leslie was the first to "break" and she was the most immediately successful - probably thanks to the strong presence of her parents in this process. There is a fantastic moment in the film that actually happened in real life - after months and months, Leslie finally turns to the other two and says aloud "what if it all isn't true?" - meaning the Manson bullshit that they were still clinging to. The film handles this a bit dramatically, but that was the breakthrough moment. It took a while longer, but gradually they began to pick apart all that Manson had taught them - replacing bullshit with reality, piece by piece. Pat's transformation took the longest, she would go back and forth for years after this. Manson's picture would be hanging on her wall, then suddenly she would rip it down with disgust. Only to replace it again. Susan turned Jesus freak, of course. But Leslie really did walk away from that entire situation for good.

Sorry, that was a lot of words. But I guess your observation that I quoted above my verbiage kind of set my mind off, remembering this book & film. This might be a great time to rewatch that one - it's not perfect, but it really tells that tale of the Manson girl rehab effort quite well.

St. Circumstance said...

The Movie "Charlie Says" wasn't as unwatchable as most of the others- but it was based on two books. One was a joke, and the other was written by Carlene Faith or something close- I forget her exact name- I read it, and it was a totally feminist approach to Leslie and all the Girls. Basically because Men have been evil forever = that excuses whatever they did because it was the manipulative Mans fault. Utter garbage.... They snuck in the girls Ice Cream - they brag about at one point. Having sex with complete strangers is ok because a women has needs- but oh if that stranger brings incriminating evidence with them- that's not her fault either. That book forgave them and made excuses for everything. Not just LULU- all of them. Garbage

But I think Grim liked it lol :)

Want to see a good Manson Movie with serious cast, realistic story and some decent writing- " Manson Family Vacation"

grimtraveller said...

St. Circumstance said:

I think you have parts of that right Jempud, but not all

I agree. And I’ve long been a Jempud admirer, probably since 2015. I have an almost inbuilt respect towards anyone that remembers, let alone references Jemima Puddleduck ! I don’t actually know anyone that remembers her.

Naked Girls, Hollywood victim, Mastermind, none of that really pushes my buttons. Made the case famous

Given the way the press had become increasingly important in the lives of people the world over {it was almost the internet of its day, in some ways}, in terms of keeping people informed {among other things}, the facts of the case even before the discovery of the Family was enough to keep it high-profile. When Charlie and the women emerged, well, stratospheric doesn’t even begin to describe it. Here we are 54 years later....

Leaving Kitchen instruments sticking out of their bodies while making a snack in their kitchen

This is a really weird one. In my family, when my brother and sisters and I were kids, we were really hot on anything that would “put us off our food.” It was a regular saying of ours, “Urgh, that put me off my food !” I remember in about 1973 during the power cuts, when the lights came back on, my Mum would put dinner together for us because it was late {the lights came back on an hour after we were supposed to be in bed} and it was one of the only times Mon-Thur that we watched adult TV late. And sometimes, the news would be on or there’d be some documentary and I always remember one called “The British Empire” about India and part of it spoke of the starvation and showed photos of starving people and my older sister and I complained that we wished we hadn’t watched it because it “put us off our food.”
I’ve never met anyone else that thought that way. Even to this day, there are things I’m not interested in watching before I eat or while I eat. It’s even hard to watch re-runs of CSI Miami and NYPD Blue while eating, or at least the bits where a murder or even a death takes place. But it seems to be something that was unique to my 2 sisters and I. Even my kids think it’s weird that something gruesome would put me off eating.
So when I first read “Helter Skelter” and read that the LaBianca murderers actually ate and drank in the near immediate aftermath of their murders, I was gobsmacked. I was probably more amazed that they’d eaten food straight after committing murder than I was that they’d actually killed people !

Dancing around the courtroom at the trial while their families had to watch them joke about what they had done

Ok...but you know, this is one that requires some application of nuance. I think I’m on safe ground to state as an opinion that this is not something that came from deep within them. I’d go further and say that they would not have behaved that way had Charlie not been with them. After all, Susan wasn’t dancing and singing at any of her appearances at the Hinman trial.
And going one stage further than that, all 3 have stated after that Charlie put them up to it. He is the one whose stated aim, even at the time, was to cause as much chaos as possible. It was him that tried to get the trial wrecked by bringing in Irving Kanarek, the same Kanarek who was so well known as a trial wrecker that another prosecutor, rather than face him in a trial, had actually quit the job. It was him that tried to get the trial wrecked by holding up to the jury the newspaper with the headline about the president saying he was guilty. It was him that did things that he hoped would get the headlines away from the actual testimony of the day’s proceedings. So having the women laughing away before they came in and while they were in was Manson to a tee.
Now, this doesn’t keep the women and Leslie in particular from responsibility. She was a willing participant. But she was a willing participant that would never in a million years have acted that way at trial had she been on her own.

grimtraveller said...


St. Circumstance said:

Leslie was sentenced to Die for this crime. She did not

Yes, she was sentenced to die.
But here’s a die-hard reality, St. If California had not done away with the death penalty, we would be speaking today about the Leslie Van Houten case as a gross miscarriage of justice. We would. Because her sentence was overturned, not by the commuting of the death penalty {although confusingly, that came first}, but because on appeal, it was found to be an unsafe conviction because her lawyer had disappeared. A mistrial should have been declared, was the verdict.
So that original sentence is null and void. It’s irrelevant in any discussion. People keep bringing it up because they don’t enquire as to what the law actually says or said. It’s different for Charlie, Susan, Pat and Tex. They escaped death with the abolition. But Leslie’s is something else altogether.

Then Leslie was sentenced to Life. She might not do that either it seems

Apart from 6 or so months in the late 70s, she has been in prison from the age of 20 until now at what, 74. I’d call that life.
But she wasn’t sentenced to life. She was eventually sentenced to 7 years to life with the possibility of parole. Most people that grizzle about the Mansonistas and parole don’t like that little bit on the end and that’s why you get so many people saying not very informed things like “Leslie got her parole when the DP was abolished - if they were so remorseful, they’d do the decent thing and not apply for parole.” Aside from the fact that Squeaky did that and gets little, if any, respect for it, or that Tex and Bruce have done that at some point in the past, that little bit on the end is as much a part of the sentence as the front end.
Leslie has only been obeying the law !
Ironic, isn't it ?

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

St. Circumstance said:

It is clear to anyone with an honest and open mind that when Leslie went to jail she remained rebellious until the moment that the Death penalty was overturned

Leslie was rebellious beyond that. The DP went in ‘72. Leslie didn’t leave Charlie’s orbit in ‘72.

But this is important; the beginning of Leslie’s trajectory away from her ‘66-’71 mindset coincided with the abolition of the DP. Once the death penalty was done away with, the prison authorities were left with this dilemma; what happens to the Manson women ? If they were just going to die, then who cares ? But if they were going to live their lives in prison with the very real possibility that one day they could be walking the streets again, then something needed to be done to “bring them back,” as it were, to a right mind {i.e., society’s}. Most of the society didn’t care. Fortunately, some people within the prison system did. And the likes of Karlene Faith were instrumental in re-educating Leslie. She arranged for feminist and Black lecturers to work with the women on death row {such as it was} and demonstrate just how they were seen both by women who were at the vanguard of experiencing real changes in their lives, and by Black people who were justifiably insulted that yet another White group thought its actions were the “help” the Blacks of America needed. Added to this, there was, as Susan notes in her “Child of Satan” book, the realization from Pat and Leslie that perhaps Helter Skelter wasn’t coming down after all. Plus, Leslie’s parents and siblings stuck by her and loved her and visited her. All this together combined to open her eyes to how she’d been so wrong in her adoption of Charlie’s path.

Gradually, she had to deal with how she was to live her life, which meant taking stock of what she’d done, and it’s no surprise that this sent her into a depressive spin in which she succumbed to an eating disorder. As acid and Charlie had revealed to her that beyond physical death was bliss and nothing to fear, she herself noted, she didn’t have a problem with dying for what they’d done. She had a problem in living with what she’d done. Even back in ‘69, before there was any trial to dance and sing through, she’d told Marvin Part that she sometimes cried when she thought about Frank Struthers coming home and finding his dead parents and the fact that she was a similar age to Suzan....so she didn’t allow herself to think about it.

The key word with Leslie Van Houten is “gradual.” Your point St, refuses to take in the totality of all the events going on at the time they were going on. That abolition of the death penalty was crucial in the existence of Leslie Van Houten, not because it enabled her to suddenly think “Ooooh, I can get out of jail now,” rather, because it was the spark that ignited the eventual wake-up call that someone that had committed murder for something as fanciful as HS, was in dire need of. No one else could reach her or the others up to that point.

So yeah, you can say “It is clear to anyone with an honest and open mind that when Leslie went to jail she remained rebellious until the moment that the Death penalty was overturned” and technically, it has merit. But if it’s true, it’s not true for the reasons you are positing. It’s true because life is a continuum. And people change within that continuum.

St. Circumstance said...

Maybe - Maybe not. If she died at 39- would that make it any different if she dies at 79?Remember my post- "Measuring the value of life versus the value of a life sentence" ? If she gets out and is still alive- she did not do life. But maybe that is just semantics.

Grim, You always make great points and I have had mine on this subject.

St. Circumstance said...

Have at it :)

grimtraveller said...

St. Circumstance said:



At that point she started publicly telling people when she would be released

I can’t answer that. But I can say this; Bobby, Charlie and Leslie made noises about the paltry length of whatever incarcerations they would face. They talked about being out in 7 years, starting their own “Family” when they were out, going to the desert when they got out. During their trials, they clearly didn’t expect to be in prison for too, too long. And they got an almighty shock. For someone who boasted that prison was his home and that Bugliosi was just sending him back, Charlie didn’t half talk a lot about wanting to be back in the desert a lot and how witnesses like Paul Watkins better not be around the desert when he got out.
There’s another reason that Leslie would be telling people of her impending release. Having reached the point where she could see how she’d been bamboozled, she mistakenly assumed that everyone else would see it too, or at least give her credit for realizing the error of her ways.
But there was the matter of those murdered people and the memories of those that had to deal with the havoc wreaked by what she had been part of, which, as Anthony DiMaria frequently points out, has ramifications to this very day…...

I believe with all of my heart that Leslie expected to be out within 7 to 10 years for the crimes

Well, she wasn’t the only one. Maybe not as quick as 7-10 years, but Stephen Kay made a lot of positive noises about her being out relatively soon. In 1980, he said he could envision her being out by the age of 40. He went on to say later “I really had high hopes for Leslie, more so than any of the others. I mean the others I've always maintained the position that I don't think they should ever be paroled, but I really saw a spark in Leslie, because I've always thought she was the smartest and maybe the most normal of all of them." {He only changed his mind when she got married in ‘82 to a guy who it was thought was trying to break her out of jail}.
A parole board member told her in 1985 that she was closer to parole than she might realize.
Vincent T thought she’d be out in 15-20 years. In his and Gentry’s book, he pointed out that the average incarceration in California at the time was 101/2-11 years.
The judge, Gordon Ringer, that sentenced her in ‘78 said "I've made up mind what I'm going to do. The difficulty is explaining the reasons why I'm going to do it to Miss Van Houten, to her counsel, to her family, who obviously love and support her, and also to explain it to those who are not of her family that have written in support of her.
"The two opposing sides talk about two different times. The district attorney talks of 1969, the defense talks of 1978.
"Talking of those two sets of years is talking about two different philosophies of the criminal justice system, one of which emphasizes punishment, deterrents, isolation, the other of which, without regarding the elements I just mentioned, relies upon rehabilitation.
"I have to consider the progress which Miss Van Houten has undoubtedly made with what was, in fact, the barbarous deed that was done and the barbarous means that were used... .
"This case is a special one. It will burn in the public consciousness for a long period of time. ... And that in this case, even though progress has been made, the balance must, in my judgment, be drawn on the side of punishment."

If the people responsible for convicting, sentencing and considering her [for parole] said these things and obviously thought them, was Leslie being unrealistic ? I don’t think she was. You don’t hear those things and think “I’ll never get out !” If your punishers put out positive words about you, you'd have to be Eeyore to ignore all that.

grimtraveller said...

St. Circumstance said:

From the moment she started to realize that her time frame was not going to happen- the remorse facade immediately vanished and it became about her being treated unfairly... The longer the time went- the louder it got

Consistently, her remorse has been remarked upon.
Do you not think that some {not all} of her treatment has been unfair if you consider it in a detatched manner ? Let me give you one recent example and get your thoughts on it. In a recent hearing consideration, Guv’nor Newsome rejected her recommendation for parole. As part of his reasoning, he mentioned that she stated that when she first met Charlie, he gave her drugs and screwed her butt. He went on to say that she did not view this as abuse which cast very much into question, her insight into how she ended up murdering. He has made the point about her lacking insight a few times now, like Jerry Brown before him. This is demonstrably incorrect. One only has to read the transcripts of her hearings going back to, say, 2002, to see that she has poured over her history ad nauseam in providing the road map of how she got to the point where she wanted to go and kill. To be honest, I’d go as far as to say that anyone that has read her parole transcripts from 2002 to the present one {that’s 11 of them}, whether they like her, hate her or don’t care either way, whether they feel she should remain in jail or whether they are part of the vocal “Free Leslie” brigade, and cannot understand at least in her own tellings how she came to where she ended up, that person simply doesn’t want to.

One can see it in her detractors. You’ll hear tons of “just because your parents divorce/just because you have an abortion/just because you do drugs doesn’t mean you’ll murder. I know lots of people that have gone through the things she says she went through and they didn’t kill anyone” type statements. And you know what it demonstrates ? It shows that even her detractors can clearly understand her insight. They just happen to reject it. But they understand it. They think she’s making excuses. But they understand it ! They don’t like it. But they understand it. They can see it.
So when the guv’nor says she lacks insight, he is actually condemned by the very people that happen to agree with him.

Leslie has every right to say “I think this is unfair” if that happens to be what she thinks. That she is a convicted murderer is about as relevant as hay fever to a hippopotamus. Just because someone is a prisoner doesn’t mean that they forfeit the right to complain about unjust treatment if they think it’s unjust. Put it before the relevant authority and test it. Her detractors didn’t complain whenever she received parole denials or when the guv’nors fulfilled their legal duty and overturned their parole board recommendations or when the courts supported them.

Incidentally, it should be pointed out yet again that this matter is far from over. But in reality, we know that anything other than a parole denial signals an important sea change.

grimtraveller said...

St. Circumstance said:

Remember my post- "Measuring the value of life versus the value of a life sentence" ?

I do. It was a thriller par excellence. I really enjoyed it.

If she gets out and is still alive- she did not do life

She wasn't sentenced to "life." The very nature and structure of her sentence left plenty of wiggle room.

Life with possibility of parole is just not the same as Life with guarantee of parole

As far as I’m aware, there is no sentence called “Life with guarantee of parole.” Whatever one might think of parole, one thing that’s for sure is that the parolee has to have behaved themselves while in ‘stir’. Now, it might be deceptive good behaviour and saying the right things over 10~20 years, in order to get out and continue a life of crime, but while inside, the prisoner generally has to behave themselves ~ showing that they can.
It’s different in England. Unless one has really gone to depths of depravity, a life sentence here really means a long, long sentence with a minimum length of time, but parole is more or less built into the sentence if the prisoner behaves. Often, this isn’t satisfactory either.

I think Leslie has done ok with the court system

Convicted criminals are supposed to do OK with the court system ! It is supposed to be a fair system. The California system is actually quite a clever one because there is sufficient space within it for interpretation and that very interpretation is open to scrutiny.
Believe me, it’s better than the situation that exists in Russia, China, Zimbabwe, North Korea, Nigeria, Iran, Saudi Arabia and others. In some of those places, you disagree with the “powers that be” and you might never be heard from or of again…...

grimtraveller said...

St. Circumstance said:

I say if she wasn't in the Manson family she would be quietly doing her time for the two lives she took and nobody would be talking about her…

I’ll tell you why I fundamentally disagree with that. When Leslie, Pat and Susan were sentenced to death in ‘71, they were put into a specially constructed death wing at CIW because there wasn’t a “Death Row” for women there. Now, there were two women with them on that wing. Depending on whether you go with the Susan Atkins “Child of Satan” or the Karlene Faith “Leslie’s long prison Road or whatever it’s called” {Subtitled “The most treasured read of St Circumstance”} accounts, they have different names ¬> Claire/Jean and Jennifer/Linda. Their names are not important, what is important is why they were on death row. Claire had brutally murdered an old lady during a burglary {like Leslie, the victim was a stranger} and Linda {now, there’s an irony !} had savagely murdered her lover’s wife. It wasn’t a crime of passion done in the heat of the moment, it was premeditated and thought out.
Within 10 years, both women had been paroled.
If one was to take the Manson name out of it and just regard this as “any other murder case” {I’m aware how crass that looks, forgive me}, whether rightly or wrongly, taking into account the biases sometimes towards female murderers {and that bias is more aimed at women that murder, or are complicit in the abuse and murder of, children, especially their own} then the facts seem to militate far more towards parole. Think about it ~ a woman who has turned up to murder, finds that she can’t and calls the bloke in the party to do the stabbing deed. Then, he has to pressure her into stabbing, now that the victim is lying inert on the ground. She thinks the victim is already dead. Her rationale for this is that, while the bloke was stabbing, she was out of the room and she could hear the other victim of stabbing and he was making gurgling sounds. So when she’s directed to stab the body on the ground and the body is still and there’s no sounds, she concludes that the woman is dead. So combined with being in the presence of someone who has already been in the news worldwide as a five-time murderer, and the fact she set out to kill, she proceeds to stab the body on the ground.
Fast forward 20 years or even 15 years. The woman has a near-spotless prison record. There was no dancing, singing, laughing and snotty anger at trial. She took her lumps. She’s helped other inmates in prison. Earned a university degree. Remember what Bugliosi said the average incarceration in California was for murder back then, 10 – 11 years. Is it feasible that after 52 years {54 if you count actual incarceration} this woman would “be quietly doing her time for the two lives she took and nobody would be talking about her…” ?
The only way I’m even going to countenance such a thought is for you to bring actual documented evidence of women that have found themselves in a position where after half a century, they are in jail for murder, have behaved themselves, and are sane and past their late 60s.
I’m not saying none exist. Life’s funny. But if they do exist, I want to know about them and I want them in sufficient numbers, not just one or two.

tobiasragg said...

Yes, Manson Family Values is surprisingly good. It suffers from being rather painfully low budget. So low budget that one is tempted to bail out at several points early on. But that script is solid and contains a very pro-worthy plot twist. If the viewer can hang in there thru Act One (first 60ish minutes), the payoff is very pleasing.

The Charlie Says film I liked because it dramatizes the LVH journey that Grim eloquently describes. If one wants to retain the view that Leslie's transformation was an instant and cynical one, that's cool. But it is also entirely inaccurate. I do try and form evidence-based opinions where I can, and in this case all available evidence points in one direction. Even though parts of me don't like that result, I get it and I have to agree.

As this seems to be LVH week in MansonLand, I thought I would share two excellent Leslie-related pieces. These will be (very) old news for many here, but one or both might be of interest to readers who have not yet discovered them:

Ear Hustle - "Home for me is really a memory"
This is a podcast done with Leslie, with the hosts cobbling together several months' worth of phone calls into a highly informative, lengthy discussion of sorts. This isn't very old (2021) and it gives one a good view into Leslie's mindset and on what her life in prison has been like in recent years. Very much worth the listen, if one has not.

https://www.earhustlesq.com/episodes/2021/6/9/home-for-me-is-really-a-memory

John Waters - "Leslie Van Houten - A Friendship"
This is a long, five-part essay from 2011 that was actually an excerpt from Water's book pubbed by the Huffpost. Waters and Van Houten have been friends for decades and here we have a really insightful and sometimes screamingly funny take on what it's like to know a former "Manson girl". Because they are such good friends, Waters gets to ask the really fun questions like "when you were choosing from Rosemary LaBianca's clothes after killing her, did you REALLY flip through the options to find something that might look good on you?" Worth the reread, as well as a first read:

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/leslie-van-houten-a-frien_b_246953

tobiasragg said...

Hey St C - you should give the Ear Hustle pod a listen if you care to. There, Leslie speaks to almost all of the points we are discussing here. These are the same points being discussed everywhere right now, but I've been giving this a relisten with this conversation in mind and I find the wide-ranging exchange even more fascinating that I did originally.

I have often wondered just what it might be like to be a "Manson person", as Leslie is. Here she speaks of who she was and how she views that person now, all of these years later. She talks a lot about how she got there. She can be quite frank and she expresses surprise over the fact that she is beginning to learn how to feel a bit of compassion for that former LVH.

More than any book or transcript or film, I think it was this fascinating conversation that began to lead me to see the other POV on this whole Manson/parole thing. This is about an hour long, it is worth the listen. It may not change your mind; as it certainly didn't change mine. As I share above, half of me agrees with most everything you post here. But this did humanize the entire thing for me in a way that no other source really has, outside of reading key transcript passages.

jempud said...

My thanks to the Grim Reaper a) for his kind words (I in turn am an admirer of his informed opinions and rebuttals) and b) for making so eloquently replies that echo what I would have come up with.

Saludos de Patagonia.

Jem

grimtraveller said...


Rita Metermaid said:

There was a dissenting vote from a Rotschild .. so the masters of the universe (in their own minds) have said NO she musn't be allowed to be free. Can't be freeing someone who exposed their plan for humanity way back in '69

I don’t like either where you’re going or where you’re coming from with that, Rita.

St. Circumstance said:

Remember my post- "Measuring the value of life versus the value of a life sentence" ?

It was one of the few of yours that I never got involved in. I was in a ‘lurking’ phase and I really had to exercise discipline not to comment !

At this point does it really matter? Leslie's life is over

Last Saturday, I caught the tail end of an interview on the radio by someone that had been talking recently with Henry Kissinger, and they were celebrating his 100th birthday. The guy being interviewed was marvelling at the fact that Kissinger still thought he was relevant in the world and that his opinions mattered.
Yet there they were talking about him and his opinions.
I bet Henry didn’t consider his life to be over 26 years ago !
On occasion, I talk with this lady of 81 that lives around the corner from me, to whom I deliver a newspaper. She gallivants all over the country, has just had laser eye surgery and is extolling the merits of her wonderfully improved sight; we had some fascinating chats last year when the Queen died. She’s a retired nurse and at the time we were talking about what we felt was the folly of people from all over the UK converging on London to look at the Queen’s coffin {not even the body !}, I thought she was in her early to mid-60s. When I eventually learned her age, I could have fallen off my bike if I was dramatically inclined.
I wonder if we make it to 74, if we’ll consider our lives to be over.
Even if Leslie got out of prison and only lived to the age Charlie was when he died, I’d say her life was far from over. In fact, in a very real way, if she was released on parole, she’d possibly have a greater zest for life and new experiences than most of us.

grimtraveller said...


St. Circumstance said:

the other was written by Carlene Faith...I read it, and it was a totally feminist approach to Leslie and all the Girls. Basically because Men have been evil forever = that excuses whatever they did because it was the manipulative Mans fault. Utter garbage...That book forgave them and made excuses for everything...But I think Grim liked it lol

Let’s break that down into manageable chunks.
Yes, it took a feminist approach to crime, women, males, Bugliosi, Manson, LE, prison and America. ⚖️πŸ—½ I remember that I had it on my bookshelf for a couple of years or so before I read it, and I was half reluctant to read it because I thought it was going to be a load of feminist horseshit, which I wasn’t in the mood to read. But, and this was long before I got involved in any blogs, I read it because my curiosity more often than not, plays an aceπŸ…°️ to my assumption’s King,♚♕ and I was pleasantly surprised. πŸ™‰
I don’t think she takes a “men are evil forever”πŸ‘Ί approach at all. She explains how women had tended to be viewed and treated in the criminal justice system. Can you honestly demonstrate that any of her findings were false or untrue ? She points out that Manson was manipulative🀜🀦‍♀️ and that he manipulated the women. Untrue ?
She points out that LE offered Leslie immunity to turn state’s evidence – untrue ?
Does anyone, even if one hates her guts, genuinely believe she would have committed these crimes without Charlie’s input ? Having gotten cold feet at the moment of truth, despite wanting to be a good soldier, would she have stabbed Rosemary were it not for Tex ? I’ve pointed out before that none of this excuses Leslie. Had the Family evaded capture and let’s say for the sake of argument HS really had started to come down, Leslie would have been thanking Tex for fortifying her in her hour of need, not castigating him for ruining her life and trying to get the Tex tapes. So pointing out the male influence in her crimes is not a mechanism to minimize her involvement, it is simply stating a fact that really isn’t in dispute. As the Col once said, multiple things can be true at once. Faith’s point was never that the incidence of manipulative males = Leslie is innocent and didn’t mean to do what she did and as a result should be let out of jail because she was a misguided acid head.
It wouldn’t be good feminism !
And nowhere does Faith even imply Leslie is not guilty nor deserve to be where she was. I can’t remember which thread it was {I think it was on Lynyrd’s blog as I have a vague recollection that I might have been responding to Katie there}, but there’s one where I give a series of statements that Faith makes in the book that directly counter and flatly contradict what you say.
I feel it is mischaracterizing the book and Karlene Faith to say she made excuses for them. Her book simply provides the side of the mountain that “Helter Skelter” doesn’t. It does what George Stimson’s “Goodbye Helter Skelter” and others do ~ it rounds out the picture that the first 8 or so books on the topic {most prior to “HS”} present. It gives things from a perspective that is more focused on Leslie {who, after all, is the main subject of the book !}. Vincent Bugliosi stated categorically that he felt she would grow harder in prison and that he had little hope for her rehabilitation. If HS is the only book one ever reads on the subject, that’s what you’ll be left with. Neither Stimson nor Shreck are interested in presenting Leslie as a human being worthy of being thought about. White, Hendrickson, Emmons & Sanders didn’t. Clara Livesey presented her in the most negative light possible, but at least she dealt with her as a thinking person.
I’m not so sure that I would say “the book forgives them.” It’s about a murderer getting on with their life and trying to make amends for something they know can never be amended,, complete with all the paradox and nuance that that entails.
And yes, I did like it. It nudged me further along the line of not judging a book by its cover.

grimtraveller said...

In his and Gentry’s book, he pointed out that the average incarceration in California at the time was 101/2-11 years

That should read 10½ - 11. It looked like Bugliosi was saying 101 to 211 years !
Mind you, some people would like that !
And if you think that's daft, when the jury was being selected for the TLB trial, one prospective juror said he felt that the guilty should get far worse than the death penalty !

tobiasragg said:

It may not change your mind; as it certainly didn't change mine. As I share above, half of me agrees with most everything you post here. But this did humanize the entire thing for me in a way that no other source really has, outside of reading key transcript passages

And I think that this is really important. There has long been a tendency to not view notorious criminals as human. I suppose it's almost natural, especially when one looks at some of the dastardly deeds of a criminal. Now obviously, we know they're human, but we can so often leave behind the reality that this could be one's sister, Dad, loved uncle, brother, Mum, good friend from childhood, great aunt, child, close cousin, neighbour that you always got on well with etc.
Humanizing a convict doesn't equate with being on board with their crimes or parole plans or all of the other things that one gets accused of when one tries to show things from the perp's perspective.

Peter said...

The idea that Leslie has spent every day of the last 50 years thinking that if she plays her cards right she might one day get out seems a little silly. There probably comes a point around year 10 where you accept the fact that this is where you are at and this is lilely where you'll stay And you make the best of it.

St. Circumstance said...

Peter it may seem silly to you, but its just the way it is. At around year 10 Leslie was just starting to fight. "Friends of Leslie Van Houten" was created ( And not in the first 10 years either) - an organized effort to help her get released. She was so invested in her parole chances- she actually skipped a hearing in protest because someone was in attendance who she thought was unfairly involved to prevent her from getting out. Sound like remorse or petty spiteful reaction? Then a few years further down the road when nothing else was working she sued the Parole Board. Are these the actions of someone who has accepted her fate and is making the best of it? Susan Atkins was with Donald the fat guy because of sexual needs? Or because she thought he was rich and could help get her out? Ever seen a pic of the guy Susan married lol How long did Susan need him for sex when she found out he was broke? come-on man... they were all scheming and fighting to get out the entire time. Save Pat. For awhile Pat stopped attending her hearings and seem resigned- but after long enough- even she too started crying unfair. Up until the day Susan Atkins died she was suing to get out. Its all there to read if you want...

Grim- I cant match you word for word, because I am going to have a weekend lol. I do not know the motivation for any of the Manson books outside of Helter Skelter, but I have a strong opinion about two of them.

Carlen Faith Book- I do not think that Leslie would have killed anyone if it hadn't been for Charlie BUT... If my aunt had a penis- she would be my uncle. Life is not about IF lol

Faith fawned all over the girls and showered them with compliments and adoration to the point of nausea. These were people who tortured innocent people and then danced and laughed about in front of their families. How about some grace? Wanna help them- fine. Want to work with and rehabilitate them- great. But to promote them and try to force the idea that they are such very special young ladies who were simply misunderstood and under the influence of the Evil Man- is very short sighted, and misleading to the true nature it takes a human being to have to do things like they did.

Second- George Stimson did not write his book to show the other side of the anything. I spent 4 days with the guy. Drove around LA with him one afternoon one on one. He took me by Sandy's childhood home to take some pics for her. I think I have a pretty good idea what his motivation was. George loves Sandy. Sandy loves Charlie. George wrote his book specifically to dispel Helter Skelter and resolve Charlie of responsibility for TLB. I am pretty sure it was not much deeper than that. I liked the book though..

Anyway. No more for me. As I said. If Lulu gets out and dies free- I wont lose any sleep. Her best days are behind her and Ill take solace in the fact that she will spend her final days realizing all she has missed and what she lost. I will leave the last word to others because as I also said...

Looks Like I was wrong about this one

shoegazer said...

I wonder if we make it to 74, if we’ll consider our lives to be over.

The way it seems to work is that the "normal" person--and by far most are born normal--is born with a sort of "zest" for life and living.

This is very strong, causing the individual to value his/her life, and this of course has great evolutionary value, enabling one to desire to live long as long as the zest if there, co-incidentally reproducing, in many cases. So reproduction is not a reason to live so much as it is a side effect of desiring to remain living.

Gradually discomfort sets in, and the rate varies greatly among individuals. Discomfort can be mental, physical, or both. The "zest" remains constant, while the discomfort varies, but always trends upward.

When zest and discomfort are roughly equal, one's life has little personal value--one feels very ambivalent--and if discomfort exceeds zest, life can become a burden.

This excludes accidental or catastrophic death, and again, it varies across indivduals, but always ends up the same.

shoegazer said...

It looked like Bugliosi was saying 101 to 211 years !

Not to worry. With good behavior that can be cut in half...


(credit to Woody Allen)

grimtraveller said...

St. Circumstance said:

she actually skipped a hearing in protest because someone was in attendance who she thought was unfairly involved to prevent her from getting out. Sound like remorse or petty spiteful reaction?

It sounds like someone genuinely believing that she would not get a fair hearing with a particular person and being prepared to lose a parole decision in order to register a strong protest. Because when the lawyers object in the hearings, that serves as much use as fire on the ocean bed. It has nothing to do with remorse and if one thinks it was spiteful, balance that against the net outcome ~ she stays in jail.

Then a few years further down the road when nothing else was working she sued the Parole Board. Are these the actions of someone who has accepted her fate and is making the best of it?

If you're stating that she could see that she was getting nowhere and thought to herself, "Ah, I know what'll spice up some action and get things rolling and get me released ! I'll sue the parole board," then your respect for the intelligence of this particular criminal is woefully lacking ~ and partially making Karlene Faith's points for her.
And that is ironic.
What would you suggest a perp on a 7-to-life with the possibility of parole do for 45 years ?

Regret their actions ? Done that.

Work on their entire mental oeuvre {something that relatively few human beings ever actually do} ? Done that.

Write letters to the victims' family members then chuck them, realizing that anything one says might be considered trite and patronizing ? Done that.

Get a good education ? Done that.

Live each day serving other inmates, turning them away from the kinds of mindsets that got them into prison in the first place, and helping them to adjust to their new world ? Done that.

Cry and suffer the mental agony of knowing you have violated the ultimate taboo and that there is nothing you will ever be able to do to reverse it ? Done that.

Learn to live with the reality that possibly thousands, maybe even millions, of people that don't know you, will never know you and don't want to know you, nevertheless hate your guts and like fart smeller in the first post, would be quite glad if you not just died in jail, but She NEEDS to die in prison by either old age or a nice shank to the neck! ? Endlessly doing that.
Etc, Etc, Etc.

Perps like Leslie fight for parole because somewhere along the line, they can see that even though most would condemn them to nothingness forever, that is just not the way human beings are really made or really are, if you don't believe we are made, and maybe, just maybe, she suspects that very few would apply what they deem for her, on themselves were they in the same situation.
Oh, and also, she wants to rejoin the very society she stuck 2 fingers up at all those years ago.

grimtraveller said...

St. Circumstance said:

Grim- I cant match you word for word

St, I can’t match me word for word !πŸ˜†

Faith fawned all over the girls and showered them with compliments and adoration to the point of nausea

I do not read her words and come to that conclusion. I’m not going to say that you are wrong on that, only that I don’t read that.
I will say that we need to be careful here. Almost everything ever written about Susan, Pat and Leslie, was uniformly negative. Even the pro~Charlie tomes and articles weren’t pro the women.
It’s a bit like Hitler. It is so ingrained in us from the moment we can understand anything, that he is the universal paragon of utter, unredeemable inhuman evil.πŸ‘Ή So anyone saying anything that does not conform to our universal condemnatory standard is like a bucket of ice water poured over one as one sleeps. But is that realistic ?
All Karlene Faith did was speak about them as human people and not animal murderers. She didn’t say they weren’t animalistic murderers {she makes clear what she thought of their actions and there’s nothing complimentary there}, just that they need to be understood, not just dismissed.
Perhaps if people along the line had done likewise with Charlie Manson, he wouldn’t have developed amorality.

to promote them and try to force the idea that they are such very special young ladies who were simply misunderstood and under the influence of the Evil Man- is very short sighted, and misleading to the true nature it takes a human being to have to do things like they did

Hang on, you have frequently said across the years that you don’t understand them. So they are, to some extent, misunderstood. ‘Misunderstood’ does not mean ∴ it’s OK to kill or that society is to blame for what they did etc. Why are we so threatened by the notion that we haven’t understood someone who does horrendous things ?
And they were under the influence of a man. You’ve written loads of brilliant and enjoyable threads & posts {well, Rob King didn’t like them !} attesting to the very fact, in cash or in kind. Karlene Faith merely echoes your sentiments and observations.
I do agree with you on one thing though and that’s your comment about human nature. The thing is, for me to agree with you necessitates me making a “religious”/spiritual {well, actually a Christian} point that you won’t agree with at all.

Second- George Stimson did not write his book to show the other side of the anything

Sorry mate, but yes he did. He does not agree with the prosecution version of things. And you succinctly outline what he was trying to show in his book. That is the other side. Or rather, it’s one other side. And it’s an “other” side that has no interest whatsoever in showing anything positive regarding Susan, Pat, or Leslie.
Whether you drove one on one with him around LA isn’t really relevant. He openly states what he is trying to show. He says it in his book, he said it in different ways on this blog over a number of years.

Ill take solace in the fact that she will spend her final days realizing all she has missed and what she lost

That, my friend, is one of the primary things that putting a perp in prison is meant to achieve. I would actually hope they agonize over what they have done, whom they have so hurt, and what they have missed. I want it to bloody hurt them real good. Then I want it to πŸ«€πŸ§ πŸ‘ŠπŸ½πŸ’₯ hurt them real bad.
For an important period.
Then when it’s producing its fruit and they are on the road to rehabilitation, they are in a better position to get back on track ~ at the back of the line. The perp may not make it. Sometimes, even the rehabilitated perp has gone too far to realistically be safe to rejoin society. They may have quirks or triggers that it simply isn’t wise to take risks with. But if they’re genuine, they can do good from behind closed doors in jail. Usefulness is usefulness, wherever it is displayed.

grimtraveller said...


St. Circumstance said:

Looks Like I was wrong about this one

You may not be, actually. A sea change may be a sea change, but it's not dry land.

starviego said...

If they can free the vile Manson Family member Chuck Green, they can free Lulu.

St. Circumstance said...

I think the fact I talked to Stimson directly one on one about his book is relevant. Do I trust why he told me he wrote it, or why you think he wrote it? Is was not written for any other reason but to get Charlie as far removed from TLB culpability as possible, because that's what Sandy wants us to think. ( he did not tell me the last sentence- That's all me) Take that to the bank.

What and why do people need to write positive things about these killers? Do you think the Brown or Goldman family want to read new books or news stories about how great of a football player OJ was, or all the charity he gave to before he slaughtered their kids?

I would like to just stand up next to Carlene Faith while she does a public reading of her book and be allowed just to show pictures while she talks. Do you think she would do that with me? As she tells everyone about all of Leslies accomplishments, I will show pics of Rosemary with the stab wounds. Leno with his beating. Leno with the tuning knife sticking out of his stomach. Writing in blood on the walls. Discarded food from the snacks they ate after they butchered these people.

Are these the people who really need your time and energy to defend and spend time trying to glorify and rationalize for? Why?

And, as a long time TLB scholar ( Have you and I earned that title yet? I think only Col gets to annoint us) You should know that Leslie, Susan were nothing to brag about before Charlie anyway. Faith brushes off Lulu teenage pregnancy and every bad decision she ever made- it wasn't just TLB. She has an excuse, reason, or answer for every single fuck up along the way. And there were plenty. Leslie never did one single thing a person could be proud after about the tenth grade. It was all trouble until she got to jail. Leslies greatest accomplishments of her life all happened in jail lol. And at this point who cares? She got lucky as hell and was spared her life. That gave her the idea she could some day get out, so she played by the rules and did what she was supposed to do. What were her options? Break rules and lose what very little privileges' she had? I just don't see anything worth praising at all????

Maybe I just don't get it....

tobiasragg said...

"She got lucky as hell and was spared her life."

Rich Pfeiffer raises a very good point when people post thoughts like this. Leslie was never going to be executed. She appealed her original sentence and that sentence was overturned.

P.S. I didn't realize reading creepy books made one a scholar. Yee haw! :D

St. Circumstance said...

No Tobia- you have to read MANY creepy books to become a scholar and I am still not sure I am even close to some of the people here.

Leslie was convicted and sentenced to Death. The dealt penalty was overturned in 1972. That commuted her sentence to life in prison. 4 years later an appellate court overturned the decision which granted her a retrial. That trial was declared mistrial and she got a third trial a couple of years later. I think she got 7 to life in that trial.


She was sitting on Death Row and was sparred by the very courts she spits on all these years. If you ask me she got luck as hell and caught a a few breaks from the system so many rail against. The Labiancas were not lucky enough to have a court decision save them I might remind you.

But again, maybe its just me- a wannabe TLB scholar

grimtraveller said...

St. Circumstance said:

I think the fact I talked to Stimson directly one on one about his book is relevant. Do I trust why he told me he wrote it, or why you think he wrote it? It was not written for any other reason but to get Charlie as far removed from TLB culpability as possible

St, you miss the point I was making in mentioning George {and the other writers}, while simultaneously making my point for me.

because that's what Sandy wants us to think. ( he did not tell me the last sentence- That's all me)

Ah...... πŸ₯³

Take that to the bank

You wouldn't say that if you knew my bank manager ! πŸ’†

as a long time TLB scholar ( Have you and I earned that title yet?)

I don't think of myself as a scholar or researcher, just an interested party.

I think only Col gets to annoint us

Well, I've gotten off the bottom wrung where I resided for many moons as "Grim, you ignorant slut."
I quite liked the status of ignorant sluttery.

What and why do people need to write positive things about these killers?

Susan Atkins, in one of history's truly great ironies, helped to save a woman's life in jail when the woman had slit her wrists. But there can be absolutely nothing good about that, right, because it was Susan Atkins ? Shitbag Susan who said some unspeakable things to Sharon Tate in 1969. And helped murder her.
I honestly wonder how you would handle it if that woman had been your auntie or your big sister. There again, it is possible to hate what someone did, what they stand for, be of the opinion that they should stay in jail till they die and still recognize a good thing that that person did. It is also possible to defend someone's honour when few others do, yet be of the belief that they pay the requisite penalty for their crimes.
Until the State says otherwise.

St. Circumstance said...

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

Grim let me answer that for you with a True Story- very brief.

Rachel is a lifelong friend of mine. I grew up with her in NJ. I saw her as recently as last fall and have a picture of us sitting together by the pool at a mutual fiends house while I was up visiting. My best friend from high school dated her for 10 years during and after we went to school, and she is neighbors with another one of my close friends and we have all known each other since we were kids.

About 3 or 4 weeks ago another one of my close friends from school, who is now the Mayor of a town close to where I grew up, posted a video on his facebook of a young cop getting clipped by a hit and run driver on his last day of duty before transferring to a school monitor role. The cop was on side of road helping out a disabled vehicle with flashing lights on and the person drive right into both cars. The cop dove on hood of car, but broke his leg and has some other injuries.

Turns out the hit and run driver was Rachel.

Grim- I have known her and her family all my life. She lied about it. I know her and I know she was out late on a Saturday with her kids and husband home. I know she is lying when she says she "Thought she hit an animal".

We will never be the same. Sorry. She could have killed someone and almost did. Then she lied to try and get off. She is trying to use sympathy and crying and blaming others and the loss of her mother for her issues. She is going to jail and that is where she belongs. If Rachel had looked at us in the eye and told us the truth, and just said how sorry she was- it would be one thing. To lie and make excuses is another. Some of our friends don't care and support her unconditionally. I will not. And in this case- nobody even dies thank God.

I live my life by a set of core values that means a whole lot to me and number 1 is that 100% accountability begins with me. I believe people can make mistakes and I am not without empathy and mercy. I do not believe in the Death penalty personally. But I do need to see someone take personal accountability for their actions before I can personally get there and nothing I have ever seen in Leslies actions shows personal responsibility. Nothing. She was laughing joking in the early days on camera telling reporters how soon she would be out. When that didn't happen it became Angry Leslie who isn't being treated fairly. I never once saw her show any type of look in anything I have seen that looked sad or guilty. It was smiling or pissed off. With the exception of the parole hearings and even at a few of them- the anger showed through. I think Bugs might have been closer on that one than you think.

Even the ruling above: "At her parole hearings, she discussed at length how her parents' divorce, her drug and alcohol abuse, and a forced illegal abortion led her down a path that left her vulnerable to him."

Is Leslie taking responsibility here? Is showing remorse accepting reasonability and punishment for what you did- or is explaining why you did it good enough?

Sigh... I dont know. But I never thought you were an ignorant slut lol

Rita Metermaid said...

Grimtraveller.. Not sure where you think I'm going with this.. I'm pretty sure that no psychiatrist, psychologist, no governor and especially the "dissenter" live in LVH's mind-- HOW can those azzholes keep saying she doesn't know why she did what she did when she has told them time and again? Leslie is the only one who lives inside her heart and mind (other than her loved ones). Seems to me she's been remorseful and needs forgiveness. I believe in God and forgiving others... or were you referring to the "dissenter's" name when you said you don't like where I'm going with this?

AustinAnn74 said...

No matter how proper, sweet & "not a danger" this bag is, in my opinion, she needs to stay inside and live the rest of her life in an institution, but it is what it is....

Peter said...

You say life is not about "ifs" . The law is filled with them. In my particular line it even has a name "the but for world." There is also the "reasonable man" in negligence. Causation is all about "Ifs .

grimtraveller said...

St. Circumstance said:

Is Leslie taking responsibility here? Is showing remorse accepting reasonability and punishment for what you did- or is explaining why you did it good enough?

A parole board has before them a murderer. The murderer is eligible to apply for parole. But parole is, by no means, a given. As you pointed out, parole is not guaranteed. So that board needs to work out as best as they can without being mind readers and without the benefit of being 24/7 flies on the wall in the murderer's prison whether or not this person can be let out among the rest of the population. It's an awesome responsibility. Their decision, if a positive one that goes through, could have huge implications for everyone living in that state.
So they ask questions. They have to. They have to ask searching questions. They want to know what could possibly have been part of this person's journey that brought them to a place where they not only were prepared to kill, but actually murder...and did. Lots of people are prepared to kill. Anyone joining the military. Many whose lives are in real {and unfortunately, sometimes perceived} danger. Many whose children's or sibling's or parent's lives are right there and then in danger. But murder is something else. I'd hazard a guess that a large slice of the people that have an interest in this case {and others}, are curious about the series of circumstances that came together to bring someone to that point. Juries are no different. And parole boards too. I suspect many cops and lawyers are too, they just rarely admit it. And if board members are asking questions, what's a perp going to do ? Not look into possible events that they reacted to and from which they began or continued to house a particular mindset ? Not answer questions ? Leslie and Tex have tried that one. It got them further back than nowhere.
Granted, some people are so hung up on punishment that they don't want to know why, and they will scoff at every piece of the explanation puzzle. And many perps aren't honest enough to take responsibility for their actions and look honestly at how they came to the point they are at. Instead, they blame rather than explain. Leslie was asked from day one why she did what she did. HS was her answer to Marvin Part in '69. And people have been asking her for 50 years, how did you come to believe that claptrap ? And she's been telling them.
No, explaining isn't "good enough," but it goes a long way towards enabling parole board members to make the kind of momentous decisions they have to.
You look at Leslie and see someone cynically playing the system, who isn't really sorry, who doesn't really have remorse, who just wants to get out, who has been a spoiled little princess, petulantly daring to take on LE when she doesn't like their decisions. I look at her and see someone who committed murder with mitigating circumstances {and before all those committees jump on me, all that means is that the events are nuanced, not that she was innocent by the back door} and has been in prison for over half a century. And has had to do a lot of growing up {much in the disadvantageous position of the public eye} and has done the very volte-face that much of society was demanding of her in 1970/71.


But I never thought you were an ignorant slut lol

The Col has his own inimitable way in cyberspace.

grimtraveller said...

Rita Metermaid said:

or were you referring to the "dissenter's" name when you said you don't like where I'm going with this?

Yeah.
If I'm way off beam on this, then my apologies and I will happily eat a public slice of humble pie. But when I see "There was a dissenting vote from a Rotschild...so the masters of the universe (in their own minds) have said NO she musn't be allowed to be free...Can't be freeing someone who exposed their plan for humanity way back in '69" turning up in the same paragraph, in 3 lines, well, I see Anti-Semitic red flags waving all over the horizon and anti-Jewish world domination propaganda silting through the drains of cyberspace.
There again, maybe I'm over-sensitive, and I'm happy to be wrong.

St. Circumstance said:

I know she is lying when she says she "Thought she hit an animal"

I can't comment on that. I can say that if it were me, having not been there, I could say "I think she is lying" or "I don't believe her." I couldn't say "I know" because I wouldn't know. The best I could do would be to strongly suspect and have reasons for doing so.

nothing I have ever seen in Leslies actions shows personal responsibility. Nothing

That's very absolute. Don't take this the wrong way, but I think you see what you want to see. I strongly suspectπŸ«‘πŸ™„ that if she regularly broke down and cried, you'd say she was putting that on for the board.

I never once saw her show any type of look in anything I have seen that looked sad or guilty

I wasn't aware that there was some universal standard look of either that is clearly so easy to read in someone we've never met.

I think Bugs might have been closer on that one than you think

I think he was completely off the charts in wrongness about all three women. And I still think his and Gentry's book is superb.

Even the ruling above: "At her parole hearings, she discussed at length how her parents' divorce, her drug and alcohol abuse, and a forced illegal abortion led her down a path that left her vulnerable to him."
Is Leslie taking responsibility here?


About the above ruling ~ we are informed that she discussed at length. Discussions are two-way encounters. And in a parole hearing, the perp does not set the agenda, neither do they make the running. They are asked by the board certain questions. They answer or they shurrup.
A number of us have had a laugh down the years at Bobby trying to make the running and set the agenda in his hearings, and how the members were wise to that and how arrogant it made him look.

gina said:

I disagree that she has shown any remorse or true understanding of her crimes

gina, a genuine question here. What would Leslie need to do to show you that she is remorseful ? Or what could she have done up to this point to show that she has remorse ?
And what is it that she has said in all those explanations of her crimes that bring you to conclude that she doesn't truly understand them ? Do you think anyone understands them or can understand them ?

St. Circumstance said...

St. Circumstance said...


"That's very absolute. Don't take this the wrong way, but I think you see what you want to see. I strongly suspectπŸ«‘πŸ™„ that if she regularly broke down and cried, you'd say she was putting that on for the board."


That might be true if she did it regularly lol- but isn't it kinda strange she has almost never has done that at all? She gets upset about herself and her situation. Every time in a parole hearing she talks about the actual crimes or Labinancas she gives generic, lawyer written statements with almost no emotion at all??? Her only passion comes when discussing herself and her reasons for WHY we should understand WHY she did what she did. Does that make you comfortable she has accepted responsibility for WHAT she did? Or again, is she asking us to forget that because she went through what so many people go through. Her parents got divorced. She got pregnant as a teen-ager. She dropped out of High school. So far this could literally be my mother lol No kidding. She had a "Forced Abortion" Did anyone "Force" her to get pregnant? Charlie was not around then so we cant blame him for that. Does Leslie get responsibility for anything? Are these reasons to slaughter people and stick knives in their bodies while you eat food from their refrigerator?

Grim- I think in your last paragraph we might both be a little right :)

St. Circumstance said...

Gina- Just point Grim to my above comment lol... but it probably wont work ;)

grimtraveller said...

St. Circumstance said:

isn't it kinda strange she has almost never has done that at all?

No.

Does that make you comfortable she has accepted responsibility for WHAT she did?

Yes.

She had a "Forced Abortion" Did anyone "Force" her to get pregnant?

Ouch !

Does Leslie get responsibility for anything?

Yes.

Are these reasons to slaughter people and stick knives in their bodies while you eat food from their refrigerator?

No. And they've never been presented as such. Well, not by her. They're more presented as reasons by her detractors. And only for the purposes of then following up with pretty much what you said, which is essentially "so what ? Lots of people go through that, and they don't murder strangers. They don't murder at all."

it probably wont work

Only because I'm interested in gina's thought process, too.

St. Circumstance said...

Fair enough as always. Grim- you are a very thoughtful person.

I always respected you. Even while I dont always agree. But I guess that's what this should be all about :)

Gina my apologies for stepping out of my lane.

Rita Metermaid said...

Grimtraveller .. I wasn't being Anti-Semitic.. that family is Eastern European, not Semitic. It has been proven by DNA testing. They are Khazars. Those that claim to be jews, but are not-- The Bible talks about them, says they are the synogogue of satan. It's not an internet conspiracy theory. The Bible is playing out in real time during these crazy times. BTW.. have enjoyed reading your posts over the years. You have a brilliant mind!

tobiasragg said...

I am a huge Big Brother fan. For those unfamiliar, this is a U.S. reality show, one that also happens in many other countries. The format is simple and rather predictable: stick sixteen people into a fake house together, cut them off from all reality, and see which one is left standing at the end. The entire BB “house” is monitored by cameras and microphones and the daily events are broadcast 24/7 on the internet for weirdos like me to peer in on. We watch these people do everything but use the bathroom – and there is a camera & mic in the bathroom too, in case it is needed. For those three months, Big Brother players are among the most scrutinized people in the U.S. Even the President is afforded more privacy than these people.

There is an interesting phenomena associated with the Big Brother experience. Sometimes contestants seek to fake their way through the experience, to be or to act like someone they are not. But this always proves impossible. Given the long-term duration of this reality show experience and the high pressure situation these people exist in, sooner or later the mask is dropped and we see the “real” people reveal themselves.

"So that board needs to work out as best as they can without being mind readers and without the benefit of being 24/7 flies on the wall in the murderer's prison whether or not this person can be let out among the rest of the population."

This Grim quote motivated this reply. Reality show contestants and chief executives aside, federal prisoners are among the most scrutinized people in this country. Their every action, quote and decision is being monitored by fellow inmates and prison staff. Then there are the psychologists, the counsellors, the group leaders. Reporting in prisons is akin to police reporting and, like the Big Brother house, prison is a very intense, high-stakes environment to exist in. Sooner or later, the masks get dropped and the personal reality is revealed.

Its fun to bandy about opinions based on parole transcripts and Diane Sawyer interviews from decades ago, but I always feel that anyone who claims to "know" what is in a person's heart or head is full of shit. Not that folks are not permitted their opinions, of course, but in cases like this I do think it safe to trust the legal system and the incredible hurdles they place before inmates. Were Van Houten still violent or insincere or full of caca, I think the mask would have dropped ages ago. I also think that advocating for oneself is not at odds with regret. Multiple things can be true at once and human emotion is not that cut-and-dried. One can "feel" multiple things at once, so stating something like "Leslie said THIS back in 1988, so she isn't really sorry that Rosemary is dead!" is sheer silliness. If one cares about basing opinion on some shred of reality.

I share the above as someone who takes comfort in the fact that these people remain behind bars, for what it's worth.

Cielodrive.com said...

Wojciech Frykowski’s granddaughter was on Big Brother

grimtraveller said...

tobiasragg said:

John Waters - "Leslie Van Houten - A Friendship"
This is a long, five-part essay from 2011...Worth the reread, as well as a first read


I thought that was a really good piece, very revealing and informative. I'd vaguely heard of it before but I'd never actually come across it. Over the years, there have been snippets of quotes and stories and I've sometimes wondered where they come from. Well, John Waters turns out to be the source of so many of them, bits like the fairy wings and the elves. Perhaps the most interesting part actually, were his connections to Lu, Tex's German girlfriend and indeed, his relationship with Tex in those early years of incarceration. All very eye-opening.

St. Circumstance said:

Are these the actions of someone who has accepted her fate and is making the best of it?

Um, yes. What was her fate ? 7-to-life with the possibility of parole. I suspect most human beings, being given a sentence like that, having renounced a Charlie Manson and being some 3 years into that renunciation and having been out on civvy street for 6 months, and having experienced a hung jury in a second trial {which indicates a sea-change from "death !"}, would apply for parole. Everything she's done, in actuality, constitutes "making the best of it and accepting her fate."
The courts prescribed her fate, not public opinion. The law laid down the conditions by which she was to, from there on in, abide. That's all she's done. You want to know who didn't accept their fate and make the best of it ?
Charlie.

they were all scheming and fighting to get out the entire time

Scheming and fighting ? You mean by renouncing the Family, their past folly, coming to terms with their murderous selves, gradually, and behaving themselves and getting educated and whatnot ?

That gave her the idea she could some day get out, so she played by the rules and did what she was supposed to do

54 years, St. 54 years. You make it sound like she's done 12 days in a cop cell.

What were her options? Break rules and lose what very little privileges' she had? I just don't see anything worth praising at all????

That's possibly because you've never done jail time.
Her options were to do a Bobby Beausoleil, whose desire to get out has been just as strong and who has been inside even longer. But look at how he has handled himself over the same 54 years.

grimtraveller said...

Rita Metermaid said:

have enjoyed reading your posts over the years

While that's nice to know, it isn't going to stop me disagreeing with you or finding problems in what you said or go on to say.

I wasn't being Anti-Semitic.. that family is Eastern European, not Semitic. It has been proven by DNA testing. They are Khazars. Those that claim to be jews, but are not-- The Bible talks about them, says they are the synogogue of satan

πŸ˜‘
There is so much I coud say in reply to this, but this isn't the time or place to, because we'll be so off-topic we would give little sidetracks a bad name. Suffice it to say, I think you've got the wrong end of a pretty jazzy stick. If you want to discuss this, leave an e-mail address with DebS or GreenWhite on the main page and I'm happy for them to give you mine.

The Bible is playing out in real time during these crazy times

That's a yes and no of such nuance and paradox, it can't be discussed here. Not without sending everyone to sleep for many an hour.

St. Circumstance said:

Even while I dont always agree. But I guess that's what this should be all about

There's a number of people down the years that it has been great to joust with and you have long been one of them, even if Rob King/Zeke 02 doesn't think so !




Rita Metermaid said...

Grim... I wasn't trying to really take things off topic, I was simply trying to express my disgust at the person who wrote the dissent. It is my 'opinion' that those people have no business being a part of the American government. That's all.

grimtraveller said...

I was the one that was veering towards taking it off-topic.

Rita Metermaid said...

Grim.. I am having to use my onscreen keyboard in order to type..need a new computer but not wanting to buy one during these whacky times. Since I can only peck along one key at a time, it isn't very pleasant.. otherwise I'd give you a run for your money on proving me wrong.

St. Circumstance said...

John Waters wrote that letter a long time ago and its garbage. Why waste your time? A guy who makes movies where people literally eat shit thinks Leslie is a nice person. Wonderful. He got Johnny Depp to mention her or visit her or whatever. Another great person. Leslie is not like you or me. At least not me lol.

If these are your role models then its no wonder you think LULU is ok.

One honest question.

Do you want to live in a society where a person can break into your house. Kill your partner then murder you. Write in your blood, make a snack. Dance around the court room in front of your kids after I do it- then get back on the street in 7 years?

Do you think that is what our system is about? After a certain amount of time you are OWED something after you do a crime like that?

Sigh...

Grim you asked me How I would feel if Leslie was my mom or aunt lol That really shows me how little you get this. Really? How about if Mrs. Labianca was your mom or aunt? Leslie was the perp not the victim.

I think it is important to remember that. Leslie had the chance to make her own future and her own decisions. Rosemary did not.

grimtraveller said...

St. Circumstance said:

John Waters wrote that letter a long time ago and its garbage

I thought you'd say that. I read it for the first time over the weekend and I was going to post something like "it's interesting how two people can look at exactly the same thing and come to completely different conclusions about it."

Why waste your time?

For me, it's rarely a waste of time gleaning as much insight into someone and their situation as possible, in order to be well-informed about that person, which then puts me in a position where I can understand them, as much as one can without meeting them or communicating with them. And that means, as odious as it may sometimes be, that one will have to broach a variety of sources. I have done the same thing with Charles Manson ~ I haven't just taken "Helter Skelter" as the only and final word on matters. I wholeheartedly disagree with Nick Shreck, George Stimson, Michael White and others that come from their particular perspectives. But their writings are crucial to the story and its overall picture and I want to catch their important perspectives.
But that's just me. I'm told I'm a noseyπŸ€₯ sod !

grimtraveller said...

St. Circumstance said:

A guy who makes movies where people literally eat shit thinks Leslie is a nice person. Wonderful...Johnny Depp...If these are your role models then its no wonder you think LULU is ok

I'm no fan of John Waters. But I don't have to be, in order to recognize him doing a good piece of writing, even if it was a long while ago.
I'm no fan of Johnny Depp. But what's he got to do with the price of bread ?
Neither are my role models. If I'm honest, I ceased to think that way when I was 16 going on 17.
And when you say "Lulu is ok", I'm not sure what you mean. I think she has been in the right place for what she did. But I'm not afraid to tussle with the nuances within her crime and point out where she was wrong, where Charlie was wrong, where the state has been wrong, where the families of the victims have been wrong, where LE have been wrong and where I think commentator's opinions are/were wrong. You don't shy away from telling me when I'm wrong. TouchΓ© !
Is Leslie a "nice" person ? I don't know her. So I can't answer that and in any case, it's irrelevant.
Has she done the things, once confined, that are "possible" for a murderer who wants to try to make amends it is impossible to make ? I think so. She can't bring back the lives she helped end. But, she can do a Charlie and house a "fuck off you bastards !" attitude, or she could serve her sentence, knowing that the system that judges her has left her a chance to go the other way and get back to who she may well have been had she not descended into madness {figuratively, not literally}. It's a tiny chance, and it is wholly dependent, initially, on her turning around and then maintaining progress ~ and it still might not materialize. I don't pretend Leslie is a superhero. But neither do I hold her as an unrepentant icon of evil and depravity. She may have been, once, but she moved away from that.
St, I'm a Christian. I don't say that lightly and I don't hold myself as superior to anyone else. In point of fact, I know what merdelurks within myself, where that has led and where it could continue to lead if God hadn't intervened. And so forgiveness and the chance to put something behind one is more a part of my existence than eating and brushing my teeth. Moving on, if someone is willing to do so, is something I just cannot ignore because of the gravity of what one has to move on from.
Bobby hasn't really moved on. His 1969 arrogance has followed him right up to now. And it was plain for his last couple of boards to see. We could see it. Charlie never moved on. Just the fact that he contacted Leslie, Susan and Pat and tried to get them to fall back into his orbit told me that. It might surprise you to hear me say I don't count myself as a "Leslie supporter." But am I in support of the efforts she's made, the gumption she's shown, the "never say die" attitude she's housed when things have gone against her ?
Sure bloody !
And I think Guv'nors Brown and Newsome have been wrong. However you want to dice and slice it. I don't think Gav the Guv was wrong to overturn Pat.

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

grimtraveller said...

St,
As an aside, I have never called Leslie "Lulu." To be honest, and don't take this the wrong way, but no one I've encountered in TLB land calls her that with any frequency ~ except you. "Tex", "Katie" and "Sadie" seem to me to have been well established AKAs, even within the Family. "Lulu", not. I don't recall anyone ever referring to Leslie as Lulu. Even when I first read HS, in the photo section she's called Lulu, but I noticed, even when I was 15, that she's hardly ever, if ever, called that in the book.

grimtraveller said...

St. Circumstance said:

Do you want to live in a society where a person can break into your house. Kill your partner then murder you. Write in your blood, make a snack. Dance around the court room in front of your kids after I do it- then get back on the street in 7 years?

No.

Do you think that is what our system is about? After a certain amount of time you are OWED something after you do a crime like that?

No.
My position on this is unequivocal. Prisoners serving sentences are owed nothing. They should be provided shelter, warmth, a bed, decent food, access to education if needed, and learning practical skills, somewhere to bath/shower, a fairly well-stocked library and somewhere to watch TV because part of preparing someone to re-enter society {which is what rehabilitation is} is for them to keep abreast of the world they are one day going to re-enter, with all its changes, and newspapers for the same reasons. They should be able to exercise and have leisure activities. But owed ? Nah.
But parole is not about what is owed.

you asked me How I would feel if Leslie was my mom or aunt lol That really shows me how little you get this...Leslie was the perp not the victim

No. It doesn't show that. I wanted to determine how you would deal with someone close to you that you love, like a Mum, Dad or brother or favourite aunt committing murder. And then over the years moving away from that mindset and becoming rehabilitated. That's the reality that many people on the outside have to live with.
It was nothing to do with any victimhood towards Leslie.

Incidentally, the word 'victim' is a terribly emotionally loaded word. And certain folk on various sides of this saga have been victims in the last 54 years. They should not all be lumped in the same box. There have been victims of murder. Victims of crimes. Victims of poor representation. Victims of wrong decisions etc, etc, etc. Different classifications of victim, but victims nonetheless. They are not the same.

Really? How about if Mrs. Labianca was your mom or aunt?

If it were before I was a Christian, I'd want her dead. Or, if not dead, suffering the most inhumane horrors in jail. Of course, I'd never know about it, but that's what I'd want. I'd want her in a rat'n'roach-infested cell with spiders out of reach, for good measure. Getting bitten and beaten regularly. Ill. Diseased. Her life made a misery by the screws and by the other inmates. I'd want them shoving implements up her jacksy. I'd want them taking her stuff. I'd want them burning her letters. Pissing in her food. My desire for vengeance, continual, nightmare-filled vengeance, would know no bounds or depths. Every bastardly morsel of my being would be focused on her eventual destruction. Screw her rehabilitation ! You killed my Mum, you *$"£+=_(^*! dirty nutcase bitch-slag-whore-slut ! Over something that wasn't even happening but which you wanted to start and it never did !! Damn you to Hell !!!
However, if it were at any point in the last 38 years, I'd struggle. I'd struggle with the very real mindset described above versus the reality that I believe in, and benefit from, forgiveness and a second chance. It's not just a theory to me. Having had friends and family members that were murdered {although in one instance, it couldn't be proven that it was murder} as well as having people that mean a lot to me actually murder, it's not something I'm a stranger to. But one thing I've learned is that each case has to be taken on its own because nuance abounds.

Leslie had the chance to make her own future and her own decisions. Rosemary did not

Taken as a given. This is why, for me, there is no league table of murder. There is no, "this was heinous, but this one wasn't quite as…" Regardless of how a murder victim died, they were murdered. They had their life taken away.

St. Circumstance said...

" Shes a real LULU" my grandfather used to say that. I dont even know what it means really. I always liked that word lol

I think Leslies prison record is really good, but I dont think it matters. Again- what were the options? Act a fool and make it worse for herself? She got an education. After 40 years with nothing but time is that really so impressive? When she had to have self discipline to make the grade she couldn't hack it. When she had almost nothing else to do- she picked up the books. Really is that so awesome?

I think that Lelsie committed one of the most heinous crimes in History. The story stayed alive for 50 years. There are reasons for that. She didn't kill someone in heat of passion, or drunk driving. She had the foresight of KNOWING what she going to be asked to do, and she chose to do it. She had a choice. Labiancas did not.

Then she made a big joke out of it. Ever read "Imafibbon" its an essay LULU wrote shortly after going to jail. It was all a big game. Did an interview a few years later on TV smiling and joking with classmates in what looked alot like a school classroom. Showing off in front of people and telling the reporter she would get out in about 7 to 10 years as per the "Matrix" not a worry in her face.

Then she started complaining and crying, and that has been going on since. I have seen not one show of real understanding or regret in all this time. She just never showed it. She reads her statement at the hearings and wont even take questions after awhile about the "Commitment offense". She always looks at the lawyer and nods after she is done as in" I did it just like we practiced"

I will never change anyone's mind on this I guess and that's ok.

It makes sense to me lol :)

St. Circumstance said...

But honestly Grim- one final set of questions for you. Then we can agree to disagree. And I thank you for his back and forth and hope I stayed respectful.

How many people do you know who could do what they did? Who have you ever personally met that is capable of this, or anything even close?

Leslie knew ahead of time that she was going to be asked to murder someone. She walked into a strangers house and heard up and close people being tortured and begging for their lives. She saw a woman bleeding to death and making sounds and smells that would nauseate 99.9% of human beings. After all of this- she stabbed Rosemary. Nothing phased her at all. Nothing. Then she stuck around while they ate food and wrote in blood. She went back to the ranch and acted like it was nothing. She played games with the investigators and She danced around the court house and sang and smiled while the whole world watched her without a care in the world.

That doesn't scare the shit out of you? Do you think that whatever it is inside a person who can do something like that ever goes away?

Is Leslie Van Houten not a danger to society by her very nature?

St. Circumstance said...

And a final waring to all of you who think this was such a long time ago ,and it could never happen again...

There is still a network among the Manson Family. I know it. I have seen it up and close. Met some of the players, and have talked to some people I trust who have actually met with some of the family members. They still talk, they still believe all of that shit. Sandy still to this day thinks that killing Sharon was no different than Killing a tree. That is almost a direct quote.

Is there any guarantees that Leslie doesn't reconnect with one or more of the others?

There was a fairly recent documentary. I forget the name but it was mostly about the girls- But George was interviewed in it. If you don't think that at their age they cant be scary and angry anymore- just watch Sandy in this documentary. The lost gaze in her eyes has not changed one bit in all these years. Nor has her anger or rhetoric. Again- its her nature. It doesn't go away. and it scares me to death and I told George that personally. She scares people.

To me they are all scary and the people who actually did the crimes- are even scarier still. Sandy is mostly talk. Leslie was not.

grimtraveller said...

St. Circumstance said:

"Shes a real LULU" my grandfather used to say that. I dont even know what it means really. I always liked that word lol

It means something pretty outstanding, either outstandingly good or outstandingly bad. The context determines whether it be good or bad. When the Cielo murderers were watching the reports of their exploits the following morning on the news, Susan said, "the Soul sure did pick a lulu," in other words, Charlie picked a plum, i.e. a set-up that was going to make headlines. Interestingly, in the grand jury hearing, she denied that the Soul was Charlie.

St. Circumstance said...

LOL I must admit- I don't think I really remembered that?

Funny :) I am going to associate it with my gramps though- much more pleasant memories lol

grimtraveller said...

St. Circumstance said:

hope I stayed respectful

Always a gent, St. Passionate and articulate, I think you are actually a good rep of many that would hold the same viewpoint.

How many people do you know who could do what they did? Who have you ever personally met that is capable of this, or anything even close?

Honestly ? For most of my life I've known people with absolutely no current regard for other human beings and some of them went on to commit murder. Only one of those people {she murdered her partner and 6-year-old, driving pencils into the child because she thought she was a vampire} was mentally ill. Others committed rapes, and violent robberies. I remember once, running into one of them who was telling me how he and his accomplice {one of the first kids I ever worked among, before I ever met him, everybody said he'd end up in jail; I remember his sister getting pregnant at 12} eventually did jail time for tying up this woman and..I won't go further into what happened, but I will never forget how he relayed it to me, like it was the woman's fault.
And Twinks {we used to call him 'Twinkletoes' because of the way he played soccer} was one of the nicer guys !
Just after my first kid was born, some of my nieces and nephew came round to see the baby and we were talking about kids, how they need to be nurtured and kept away from the wrong kind of people, as you do, as a new parent. Anyway, I was telling them about this guy that I'd been very close with, one of the kids. He was a hoot, he was so funny. Loads of people really took to him. He was so responsible. But he caved in to peer pressure and went the crime route. I was telling my nieces and nephews that I heard on the grapevine that he'd killed someone. They possibly thought I was just talking it up. The telly happened to be on, although we weren't really watching. Then about 10–15 minutes after I'd relayed the story, his face came up on "Crimewatch UK". He looked exactly as I'd known him except he had this little moustache and beard and the reporter said he was wanted in connection with the murder of a taxi driver up in Luton.
I nearly fell off my chair ! "Blimey ! There's that guy I was talking about !"
He skipped the country and was later caught up with in Nigeria and extradited back to England. Found guilty.
Yeah, I think I've known people that could do this. Some are still doing life. Now, whether any of them in particular would have killed to further HS, I cannot say. But I can say that I have known and still know hundreds of people with beliefs that I would call beyond bizarre. I'm not so closeted that it's lost on me that people could, and have, said the same about me, by the way.
The thing is, most of the people involved in murder or really violent acts {I know someone that stabbed an old man in the eye. I know 2 guys that cut people's throats} that showed no regard for human beings were all really young.

St. Circumstance said...

Its no wonder we have different perspectives. That is really crazy. I grew up in small town in NJ. My dad was a cop for 26 years and not one murder occurred in his career. I have known two people in my life who killed anyone and in both cases I had met them or played sports against them once or twice and neither was anything like you described...

Maybe I am programmed in my own way, but its safer my way lol

grimtraveller said...


St. Circumstance said:

Leslie knew ahead of time that she was going to be asked to murder someone

Another kid I was close to used to go out mugging people. He didn't care if he hurt them. He would go out 'tooled up' and he killed someone in the commission of an armed robbery. But before the guy died, he shot the kid and he ended up dying from his wounds. To be honest, he got the inevitable results of his then current life, although I wish neither had died.

I'm not defending Leslie on this, and you can discount this if you wish, it makes no difference to her guilt or the eventual outcome of the night of August 10th or whether she's been stitched back together again. But I will point out that she did not view what she was doing as murder. Now, don't pounce on me, I'm not arguing that ∴ it wasn't murder. I like to broach all the nuances, however. Pat and Tex regarded it as murder. Earlier, I said I've met people with beyond bizarre beliefs. This was one of those. But when people get the wind in their sails and believe, while their actions might be the same as those of someone who just goes out to kill for revenge or money, the internal process is not. And like soldiers on a mission that they know involves killing, there's a different mindset.

The irony of Leslie's actual conviction in that third trial is that the DA had to change the charge to include robbery, which had the net effect of making irrelevant any diminished capacity defence. None of the details had changed between 1970/71 and 1978. But the 1977 trial brought it home rather clearly that hey, this woman is likely to be seen as she presents herself now, just as in 1971 she was seen as she presented herself then. And LE couldn't afford that. They were afraid she'd gt off. My point is that even they realized that there was more to it than her just going out to murder someone, one night. She was hoping Jesus would select her for his divine mission because she wanted to please Jesus.
We can reject that all we like. But in my opinion, one can never get close to real understanding if one does. Understanding and grappling with the nuances don't excuse. They help one to accurately apply justice, if possible.

grimtraveller said...

St. Circumstance said:

That doesn't scare the shit out of you?

Well, no. Those of us that find this case interesting for whatever reasons, one has to remember that we're all pretty removed from most of its realities on a day-to-day basis. I might be wary of some of the crime and criminal potential in the places I hang out or where I live, but the Family or ex-Family in particular ? No. What they inspired ? No. It's not really affected my world.

Do you think that whatever it is inside a person who can do something like that ever goes away?

Yes. I mean, it depends doesn't it. As Tobias pointed out earlier, over a 45-year period {let's take it from the end of the 3rd trial as it's not neat prior to then with when she was arrested then incarcerated, then tried, then jailed, then released}, unless one is an actor of greater propensity than any actor that has ever walked the screen or stage, your mask will slip. That's why when people have a go at Tex and say he only flouts his religion so he can get parole, I have to, as someone that actively shares the same faith as him, say woah ! I've never heard of anyone keeping up that kind of pretence for 48 years. Sure, he has done stupid things, we all do as Christians, it's the nature of the beast. But he has gained nothing from being a Christian. What is there to pretend about ? And with Leslie, as Peter said earlier, it would be the most incredibly idiotic thing if she had put all this energy over nearly 50 years, into just getting out of jail for the sake of it. One would be torn between trying to decide if it was indeed utter idiocy or the sheer genius of calculation. Except that 50 years is a long time.
I've said before, there are some people it would not be safe to ever release, even though they are eligible to apply for parole. I've mentioned before, Edmund Kemper. Had Jeffrey Dahmer lived, he would have been another one. Over here in the UK, the Yorkshire Ripper and Ian Brady, no way, were they still alive. There are some kinks and quirks that you'd have to be more than 100% sure would never emerge again ~ and of course, that is not possible.
I've often thought about soldiers in war. They are trained to kill and they kill. Sometimes with relish {let's not pretend that there are some who don't enjoy killing 'the enemy'}. Which comes first ? And then some commit atrocities in war. And then when war is over, they never return to that way of being again. So is it "something inside them" that is fixed and intractable or is it something that can not only be nurtured, but controlled, both from within and without ?
I'd say it can be either or both.

St. Circumstance said...

Leslie Van Houten was born into a place and time that I have dreamed of all my life. I would give anything to be in SoCal in the 60's. The world was wide open and the possibilities were limitless. She had a very good start in life. She was not crazy nor did she comes from the streets and murder out of desperation or any other reasonable reason. She had every chance to do whatever she wanted with her life. She chose to take a life. Let me show you a person who you should really think about and care about. You want to admire someone for accomplishments?



Rosemary LaBianca was born in Arizona to parents who divorced. Her birth name was Ruth Katherine Elliott. Her mother took her and her brother, William, to live with her, and her father took her two older sisters.

However, her mother was not able to support her two children and placed them in an adoption home. Ruth and her brother were separated at the adoption home when Ruth, age 8, was adopted by the Harmons, a California couple in Fullerton, who had lost their own daughter to disease. The Harmons renamed her, after their deceased daughter, and thus Ruth became Rosemary. It was in a 1957 Ford that Rosemary entered the business world; converting an old Gateway Markets truck into a mobile dress shop under the name Boutique Carriage. It was a success, and the business grew; with a partner, Rosemary opened a dress shop/gift store within a Gateway shopping plaza on 2625 North Figueroa St. While her businesses flourished, Rosemary made smart investments in stocks and commodities, and suddenly she was a millionaire.


lol I just dont get it. Now there is someone who has some accomplishments and did some things I can respect :)

grimtraveller said...

St. Circumstance said:

Is Leslie Van Houten not a danger to society by her very nature?

She was.

a final waring to all of you who think this was such a long time ago ,and it could never happen again...

One only has to study Al Queda and ISIS and similar to know these kinds of storms gather all the time.

Is there any guarantees that Leslie doesn't reconnect with one or more of the others?

No. But why would you reconnect with people you knew at 19, 20, 21, that you haven't had contact with for half a century ? Aside from the fact that loads of them are dead. Not only that, she would know she'd be under stringent observation.
And really, when you talk about "one or more of the others" who are you talking about ? Who, of her known class of '69 is still a Mansonista ?

To me they are all scary and the people who actually did the crimes- are even scarier still

Clem was viewed back in the day as the scariest of them all, perhaps more so than Susan. As far as we know, he has been clean and lawful since 1985.
Does Leslie really scare you ? Pat ?
I'm not going to belittle your view here, we don't know what goes on in their heads. You gauge current concern by their past. I gauge current concern by what I've seen and read up on what they've done over half a century. Weighing up the balance of probabilities, I'd say Leslie is rehabilitated and that Gav the Guv only has himself {with a little help from Jerry Brown} to blame for the current dilemma, because he could not justify his reasons for nixing her parole. But as has been pointed out, it ain't over yet.

Sandy is mostly talk. Leslie was not

My impression has long been that Sandy was mostly talk precisely because Leslie, Pat and Susan weren't.

Peter said...

Squeak, Nancy, Sandy, all still carry the torch.

Peter said...

If I were Bobby, or Bruce, or Tex, I would go for my PhD so that they would have to refer to me as Dr.

tobiasragg said...

This back-and-forth has made for somewhat interesting reading, well done. There will be no agreement achieved here, but that's rather beside the point. The two of you have dueled intellectually with class and respect and that is appreciated. As I have already shared, I have no real dog in this fight, I actually agree with many of the things both of you say. I do have a couple of cents in my pocket, so I'd like to toss them into the ring. A few cents aren't worth a whole lot these days, but what the hell?

"The irony of Leslie's actual conviction in that third trial is that the DA had to change the charge to include robbery, which had the net effect of making irrelevant any diminished capacity defence"

Vehemently agreed. Introducing a trumped-up robbery charge into the mix was ridiculous and completely at odds with all known evidence. It was a technicality and the D.A. was desperate to grasp at any straw to gain a conviction that would actually stick by that point. Even more astonishing was the fact that that third trial judge actually allowed the prosecution to enter murder victim photos from TATE into Leslie's LaBianca trial as "evidence". Leslie was not present for the Tate crime and that evidence did not relate to her culpability at all. It IS true that she states she WANTED to be there, but she wasn't.

I don't disagree with that trial's verdict, but the prosecution's case was a bit of a joke in that one.

"Squeak, Nancy, Sandy, all still carry the torch."

This is quite true, but one cannot apply St. C's causation argument in this case. It is rather ridiculous to suggest that Sandy's feelings about Manson have anything to do with Van Houten. St. C really lost me with that one.

"Leslie knew ahead of time that she was going to be asked to murder someone"

Yes, she did. But that Leslie was also quite concerned with getting a proper top to wear so that her fairy wings could function properly.

Realizing that agreement is not the intended outcome of this exchange, this back-and-forth is actually reflective of the two different, broadly-defined views on what corrective justice actually IS or should be in our society. I will use a fun little listening exercise to illustrate my rather-obvious point:

If one believes that justice should be punitive in nature, listen to the Marvin Part Leslie tapes and view this parole situation through that lens. That Leslie was completely nuts, she was disconnected from any sense of reality, and she should continue to be judged and punished based on this.

If one believes that justice and corrections should be rehabilitative in nature, listen to the "Ear Hustle" recording I have linked far above in these comments and view this parole situation through that lens. This Leslie is quite sober, quite connected with her reality, and she should continue to be judged based on this.

Is there really a right and a wrong here? Maybe. Do we lock everyone responsible for ending a life away for the rest of their lives? Maybe. That's really the question though, isn't it?

tobiasragg said...

Rich Pfeiffer has been participating in this same debate over on the Cielo site. While he has an obvious POV, he makes his points reasonably and dispassionately. Yesterday, among other things, he posted this:

"the only thing that matters (legally) is if the inmate is a current unreasonable risk to public safety. The gravity of the commitment offense does not matter (that was taken into consideration at the time of sentencing) unless you can connect the gravity of the crime to a current risk."

Assuming he is correct in this legal assessment, Leslie's fate should be clear. Even though some do not like the law as it stands. From a reasonable standpoint, I must ask this of St. C and the others standing vehemently against the idea of LVH walking free: if we are to disregard this law in making a decision on LVH, which other laws should we begin disregarding?

St. Circumstance said...

Tobias there is NO LAW THAT SAYS LELIE HAS TO BE SET FREE

The parole board are human beings and they make decisions on her suitability for parole based on a number of factors, and post incarceration record is only one of them. Showing understanding of the commitment crime and remorse are among the factors she has not met in my opinion based on the examples I gave in my last couple of comments.

Its not ignoring the law to feel a person sentenced to life in Prison with the possibility of parole has not earned that possible parole.

Again and finally, if she gets out- I was wrong and I'll move on with life. But I think on these blogs and with some of the people who come here- it is always important to remind people that Leslie is not owed anything and the real sympathy now and always should go to Rosemary who was a hell of a lot better a person and didn't deserve what she got from Leslie, and that is that. If she gets paroled- she gets paroled.

:)

brownrice said...

tobiasragg said
If one believes that justice should be punitive in nature, listen to the Marvin Part Leslie tapes and view this parole situation through that lens. That Leslie was completely nuts, she was disconnected from any sense of reality, and she should continue to be judged and punished based on this.

If one believes that justice and corrections should be rehabilitative in nature, listen to the "Ear Hustle" recording I have linked far above in these comments and view this parole situation through that lens. This Leslie is quite sober, quite connected with her reality, and she should continue to be judged based on this.


Yep... and therein lies the crux of the whole debate (IMO). Spot on, Tobias.

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

https://abcnews.go.com/US/video/archival-video-leslie-van-houten-recounts-role-manson-38430322

That link is to an interview Leslie did with Diane Sawyer. At about 2:40 she starts talking about hearing the sounds of the Labiancas Dying. Thinking for a minute that these are two people who love each other. Then, she said, Tex gave her the knife and told her to do something, so she stabbed Rosemary 16 times in the back. Not a tear is shed as she explains this.

Then Diane Sawyer asks her if she felt mercy for her and Leslie looked her right in the eye and said...

"No I had no Mercy for her".




While Van Houten and Krenwinkel went to find Rosemary, Watson stood over Leno. Leno LaBianca seemed to sense that Manson’s promise — that no one would be hurt — carried little weight. He began to struggle and Watson stabbed him in the neck with a bayonet.

“Don’t stab me anymore!” Leno cried. Then, in an eerie echo of Abigail Folger’s last words, he moaned, “I’m dead, I’m dead….”

In the bedroom, Rosemary LaBianca could clearly hear the struggle and her husband’s screams. She fought back against Krenwinkel and Van Houten. Angry, Van Houten went to the kitchen and brought back several utensils, including knives. Rosemary pleaded for her life, saying they could take anything and she wouldn’t call the police.“And it seemed like the more she said ‘police,’ the more panicked I got,” Van Houten testified. She held Rosemary down while Krenwinkel stabbed her in the neck. “We started stabbing and cutting up the lady,” Van Houten testified. But the knife bent. The girls screamed for Watson to help them, and he did. Van Houten recalled that Watson gave her a knife, and that “I stabbed Mrs. LaBianca in the lower torso…I knew I needed to do something.”
By the end of the awful struggle, Rosemary had been stabbed 41 times. Krenwinkel later recalled the moments after she helped murder Rosemary and turned her attention to Leno. “You won’t be sending your son off to war,” she thought, and “I guess I put WAR on the man’s chest. And then I guess I had a fork in my hands, and I put it in his stomach…and I went and wrote on the walls….”



Sigh I would say No Mercy about explains it.

tobiasragg said...

"Tobias there is NO LAW THAT SAYS LELIE HAS TO BE SET FREE"

No reason to yell, lol, and I haven't read anyone here or elsewhere suggesting that such a law exists. What the law DOES state is that there are a series of conditions, actions and behaviours that, once met, allow for offenders like Van Houten to be set free.

Five different collections of parole board members have decided that LVH meets and exceeds these conditions and they have decided that she has earned her freedom. All of those folks are not tasked with evaluating the "no mercy" criminal, their job is to assess the prisoner sitting before them. That's the way our system works.

St. Circumstance said...

Sorry. I thought it was Tobias who asked:

I must ask this of St. C and the others standing vehemently against the idea of LVH walking free: if we are to disregard this law in making a decision on LVH, which other laws should we begin disregarding?

I assumed that meant there was some Law that she HAD to be set free. There is not. But there is a system and you are right about the last paragraph 100%. There is a system.

So Again :) lol If she walks- she walks.

grimtraveller said...

tobiasragg said:

This back-and-forth has made for somewhat interesting reading

I'm glad about that. I was aware that St and I were somewhat hogging the action, and I didn't want people to feel bored with it or feel they couldn't get involved.

St. Circumstance said:

Leslie knew ahead of time that she was going to be asked to murder someone

Actually St, on reflection, this is debatable. The most we can say is that she wanted to kill for the cause, especially after Cielo. She sincerely hoped she'd be asked. But if you check out that Marvin Part interview from '69, the exact notion of what she knew her part would be and when, is a bit fiddly. There are things like, "So I was feeling kind of bad, because I didn’t get to go. I was sure hoping that if we did it again, I could go" and "I thought that if I could go out and kill someone that I would — you know — it’s not an easy thing to do it — and that I — in a sense I would be giving up totally to what I believed in." It's surprisingly couched within a couple of "ifs".
It's also important to note her logic: "And almost it was like it would make myself stronger to know that I could kill somebody, because at the moment I’m killing them I have to be that willing to die.
Not that it changes anything. But for me, nuance and context is important.

there is NO LAW THAT SAYS LESLIE HAS TO BE SET FREE

That's not the point Tobias was making.
But let me ask you this: You said "Showing understanding of the commitment crime and remorse are among the factors she has not met. Fair enough with the remorse, you've made your points exhaustively on that one. That's always going to be down to the individual making the judgement, as to whether she is remorseful. Yourself, Austin Anne and gina think she isn't.
But I'm actually a lot more interested in the people that think she has shown no understanding of her crime over the years, because the guv'nor hasn't batted back the recommendation for parole based on a lack of remorse. The parole grant has been nixed primarily, based on lack of insight {understanding}. I'd like to ask Gav the Guv what would it actually to take to satisfy him that she had the requisite insight. But I don't have him, I have you🫡 St. So how, in your mind, could she demonstrate that after 54 years, she finally understands her offence ? What would she actually have to do or say ?

St. Circumstance said...

St. So how, in your mind, could she demonstrate that after 54 years, she finally understands her offence ? What would she actually have to do or say ?


Ok I will give this one last shot. I pasted an interview in the last comment. That was almost 25 years after the crime, and still she says she had no mercy for Rosemary. Here is one with Larry King about 8 or 9 years after. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DZPuksTVZh0
Throughout this one she is smiling almost the entire time she is talking to him. I cant post every parole hearing transcript I can find people will just have to do some research themselves.

Its as much about what she has not said and done to me as it is what she has. Of course she gives perfectly written statements at her hearings. They are written by others. but in every chance Leslie has ever had to talk about it in her own terms- she has never once showed sadness, guilt, or real emotion. Not one time. Only about herself and her situation. In all these interviews you hear Charlie Charlie Charlie. In the parole hearings its Charlie Charlie Charlie. Friends of Leslie and Carlene Faith- Charlie Charlie Charlie. I was young it was the 60's we took acid, Charlie Charlie Charlie.

Here is what I would like to have heard very early and very often:

I made a very bad set of chides to get involved with a bad group of people. I was wrong. I knew what I was doing on 8/10 and for my own selfish reasons I went anyway. I did something that will haunt me forever and I apologize to everyone who I hurt and especially to the Labainca family. I understand the tragedy I caused and accept my punishment. I will spend the rest of my life working on my issues and trying to figure out how I could have done something so evil and hurtful to so many people.

Thats what I wanted to hear right out of the box day 1, and had she done that and then went away and did no interviews and stayed quiet and quit blaming others for 20-25 years- and had her prison record- then maybe I have a different view.

But we didn't get that out of the box, after 10 years, after 25 years, or maybe ever. we get a few sentences acknowledging her responsibility in her lawyer prepared statement, after he lawyer spends about 90 min making every excuse under the sun for Leslie- and of course primarily featuring Charlie Charlie Charlie.

St. Circumstance said...

But last time I checked lots of people got pregnant as teens in the 60's. Lots of people took acid in the 60's and lots of people came and went around Charlie. Not all of them tortured someone. Leslie Did. I would like to have heard more from her over the years as to why she thinks that is. that was show some self reflection. Some look inside. Which to me is a hallmark of understanding why you did something like that. Lelsie looks very hard for outward reasons to explain why she did what she did. That is more like denial to me- which means she is not fully understaind the scope of what she did, nor is she really remorseful. She hasn't really accepted that it was all her fault= how could she be?

At one point about 20- 25 years ago. Leslie got a small gift at a parole hearing. After a few hearings with longer denials- she got a 1 year denial. The head of the parole board literally told this was "Something to show you how good you have done" "You are getting close" Well the next year LULU had to be thinking this is finally it. Even I thought she was going to get the votes at her next hearing.

But Lulu did not get the votes, and then LULU got petulant. She started protesting and missed a hearing due to someone's presence. After that any semblance of remorse was over- it was fight fight fight. Layers, lawsuits, fiery speeches at hearings- and always LULU with the same bland statement at end with 2 or 3 sentences taking the perfunctory responsibility. Shameless in my opinion. The Labiancas became an afterthought to the fact that LULU is being held too long, or Leslie is being treated unfairly to so many people.

If Leslie is so sorry abut what she did, and really wants to take the opportunity to apologize directly to the Labiinaca family what's in the hell difference does it make if Deb Tate is there, I am there, you are there or whoever is there? Is that how remorseful she was to the Labinanca Family.

Leslie will apologize to you for torturing your parents today, and loved ones as long as we follow certain conditions and she approves of who else is in the room?

I guess that just doesn't do it for me....

St. Circumstance said...

What is more remorseful to you?

Leslie: I will not participate in this hearing because its not fair to me that X person is here.

OR

Leslie: I apologize to you as well X. Although I was not present at your loved one/family member's home the night they were killed, through my self examination of my own crimes I have come to terms with the great loss and pain I have caused so many, and I can understand why your feelings towards me are such as they are. I am very sorry for all of the suffering you have endured at the hands of my group of Friends. I cannot the pain we have caused and I am trying very hard to make ammends for what I have done. I work every day to do so in any way that I am able.


What does it say about Leslies honest sense of responsibility that she couldn't even bring herself to say something like that? Leslie passed on her chance to apologize directly to the Labiaca family at that hearing because her sense of what was fair to her was greater than her desire to have a chance to apologize to the victims family.

Again- True remorse?

St. Circumstance said...

Therein lies the true nature of Leslie Van Houten. When she had a chance to really impress the Board- She felt wronged and got angry instead. Whats fair for Leslie after all is always priority one- right? That led to her that justify making some kind of a statement instead of remembering the true purpose of the hearing

And I could go on and on. But...

Instead I'll rest my case. lol Nobody will change their mind over these posts either way and if she walks its all mashed potatoes anyway.

St. Circumstance said...

"I'm just so sorry, I'm so sorry, I was raised to be a decent human being but I became a monster and I've spent all those years going back to a decent human being and I just don't know what else to say."

Addressing the California Parole Board, 2004. Now we are at 30 years.


That really sounds like true remorse. I am so sorry so many of you just don't get this. consistent pattern over long period of time. No real emotion or feeling of self reflection of what she did. Just the same old tired line and amazement it hasn't worked.


Your Favorite Saint ;)

tobiasragg said...

St. Circumcised, even you must realize that you practice selective reading/quoting in this circumstance at least, while circumventing all LVH quotes and evidence that does not support your POV on this one. We get it - you're stuck in the 60s. So is Sandy. Yay. But damn dude, we kinda get the point by now I think.

I mean, I get it, but holy shit this is getting more tiresome than Manson was, and that's saying something!

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

I had suspected that the poster known as St. Circumstance was a little unhinged, and his tiresome stream of partisan posts seemed to confirm it. This recent invective of his (fuck off, when you're dead, etc.) seems to confirm my suspicions and we should perhaps be grateful if he himself follows his exhortation to 'fuck off and goodbye'.

This has recently become a civil and civilised forum (Tobias' post was quite measured) and I think most of us would like to keep it that way.

Proteus said...

For those who missed it, this was St. C's post (now deleted) - without it my post makes no sense.

Tobais (sic) not as tiring as trying to have a respectful discussion with people like you who get personal and resort to insults because your (sic) too stupid to have a responsible conversation

Your (sic) welcome not to read my comments if they aren't interesting to you.

But I guess you in all you (sic) wisdom have made a decision for everyone, because you get to speak for the entire community.

Goodbye. You and assholes like you are the reason I dont do this very often anymore. Its not for or interesting to trade insults with strangers to me (sic)

So Fuck off and Good bye ;)

Ill try again in 6 months when your (sic) dead or your mom had kicked you out of the basement and your gone either way.

Dan S said...

NOW it's getting interesting.....

Can you imagine if Sandy was as much action as she was words?

As per LVH, let the old bat out already! She is not a danger; i mean come on! It's ridiculous

St. Circumstance said...

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER DAVIS: But there were a lot of people during that period who used drugs, who were running around doing a variety of the two things, who lacked direction and all the other things that you've talked about who did not commit gruesome murders. What else was there?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Well, it was -- I believe it was my relationship with Manson. I think that I had absolutely no skill to know how to deal with what I got involved in and I identified with the group before it turned violent, and when it turned violent, I didn't have the ability to find my way out.


Now you can fuck off and Poteus you can go with him...

Proteus said...

Now you can fuck off and Poteus (sic) you can go with him...

Charmed, I'm sure. But what language .... your friends and family will be proud of you, slagging off complete strangers like that.

But I'm a tad confused. Weren't you the one who was going to fuck off? Can't speak for Tobias, but I'm not going anywhere.

Whatever, don't forget to take your meds.

St. Circumstance said...

Within a few minutes Leslie Van Houten and Patricia Krenwinkel entered the residence and were instructed by Tex to go to Rosemary's bedroom. Leno started screaming as Tex began stabbing. Rosemary screamed from the bedroom, "what are you doing to my husband?" She began flailing around the room still blinded by the pillowcase on her head. The girls called Tex for help; Rosemary was swinging the lamp still attached to the chord used to gag her. Tex lunged forward and stabbed her until she fell to the floor. By the time the stabbing ended, Watson, Krenwinkel, and Van Houten had stabbed Rosemary 41 times.

Rosemary Labianca was cremated on August 16


RIP


My parents are very proud when I tell strange people to fuck off and thats you :)

St. Circumstance said...

And Im taking my meds right now- Coors light and a fat dube and then I am going down to the beach because that's my life bud...

When mom wakes up and makes you breakfast you enjoy.

St. Circumstance said...

"After the murders, the family members remained at the house. Some ate food from the LaBianca's refrigerator, played with the couple's dogs and showered before hitchhiking back to the Spahn Ranch."


That to me is the scariest part. No nerves. No Panic. They did this like it was nothing.

St. Circumstance said...

MR. DIMARIA: Thank you, Commissioners. My name is Anthony DiMaria. I've been asked by John DiSantis, nephew of Leno and Rosemary La Bianca to speak as his representative and on behalf of the La Biancas families. As I read this statement, I will use the words we and our to reflect the collective perspectives of the La Bianca family and all the families of Leslie Van Houten's victims. To be clear, our families' involvement in these hearings has nothing to do with feelings of anger, revenge or hatred towards Leslie Van Houten. Rather, we come out of love to speak for those who are silenced in their graves. And even though these hearings and what is said in these hearings reopen old but very fresh wounds, we are grateful for the right to speak out for those who can't speak for themselves.

St. Circumstance said...

There has been an epic mass of sensationalism and mythology and distortion resulting from these murders. But when we acknowledge the cold hard facts of these crimes, it is civil and just to see things as they are. As you ponder parole for inmate Van Houten, we ask that you consider as much justice for her victims. I speak additionally of all Tate/La Bianca victims and their families. Just as Leslie Van Houten and the Manson Family clan shared -- excuse me -- shared unified motivations and killed collectively, so too the victims in our families share collective loss and suffering. Some would have you believe Ms. Van Houten's crimes occurred exclusively at the La Bianca residence. On the contrary, Ms. Van Houten shared the intentions and full knowledge of Manson Family criminal activity for many months leading up to the murders. At a recent Parole Hearing, Ms. Van Houten's attorney states, "We are talking about one night of horrible violence in her life when she was clearly not in her right mind." Mr. Satris echoes the same belief again today. This is a misstatement of gargantuan proportions. Evidence exhibits Leslie Van Houten to be a prime and lethal force in one of the most notorious killing clans in United States history.

St. Circumstance said...

There is not one of Leslie Van Houten's many crimes that occurred in a vacuum. We must acknowledge Steven Parent, Abigail Folger, Wojciech Frykowski, Jay Sebring, Sharon Tate, her son, and Donald Shea in these proceedings today. Because had Ms. Van Houten contacted authorities after Gary Hinman's murder on July 27th, 1969, we wouldn't be in this room today and nine people would have lived their lives fully. Instead, she passionately chose loyalty and dedication to a racist, terrorist ideology of the Manson syndicate, and ultimately proved herself a depraved weapon in the so-called Manson Family. In today's and previous Parole Hearings, there has been much discussion on influences of Ms. Van Houten before her crimes, accountability, whether Ms. Van Houten remains a threat to society, rehabilitation and suitability for parole. The La Bianca families would like to address these issues. Regarding drug and Manson influence, today attorney Satris and Ms. Van Houten submit to the Board that the inmate alone is responsible for her crimes.

St. Circumstance said...

But at a recent hearing, Ms. Van Houten's attorney, Christie Webb, asserted that her client was rendered mentally incapacitated from chronic LSD abuse and Manson control. Ms. Webb states, "Leslie was vulnerable and she was controlled by drugs and Manson's brainwashing." At the petitioner's last hearing, her then-attorney, Brandie Devall, says, "It is abundantly clear that Ms. Van Houten has never used drugs as a crutch or a reason to justify this life crime." But just a few years previously, Ms. Webb declares, "All that LSD changed the chemistry of her brain." These conflicting stances were made just a few years apart at recent Parole Hearings. And between the two proposals, one must imagine completely different realities. The stark discrepancies are borne out on the record. Long-time supporter and friend of Ms. Van Houten, filmmaker John Waters, quotes Ms. Van Houten in his article Leslie Van Houten, A Friendship. "I became saturated in acid and had no sense where those who were not part of the psychedelic reality came from. I had no perspective or sense that I was no longer in control of my mind." These contradictions, made in distant and close proximity of each other gives one pause to realize that genuine accountability gives way to tactical strategy. Regardless of position, please consider Dr. Barbara Fries, M.D., Senior Examiner Board for Neurology and Psychiatry. "It is not defensible to say Leslie Van Houten was influenced immediately or chronically changed by LSD. No drug has ever produced a sustained psychotic state to cause a person to carry out organized activity as in these murders with regard to the planning, the targeting, murdering, painting messages in blood, not to mention escaping capture and hiding from authorities. Psychedelic drugs do not make people do psychotic deeds."

St. Circumstance said...

On Manson, attorney Devall referred to Manson as a master manipulator who "had a knack for finding lost young people and manipulating them." For decades, our families are impacted as certain facets of media have fashioned a narrative on Manson and the so-called Family. But in light of the profound gravity of these crimes, it is imperative that we see things for what they are. The so-called Manson Family was not a cult. It was a group of people who chose to avoid work, have indiscriminate sex and get high. They thought they were manifesting a social revolution as many younger adults believed during the 60's. But there was a specific smaller sub-sect that truly desired cultural upheaval through murder and terror. Charles Manson is not a mastermind or a counterculture demigod with mystical powers to control. He is not the Devil himself or a guru, as Mr. Satris states today. He's an angry, frustrated man who lashed out at a society in which he was a complete failure. Leslie Van Houten is not a Charles Manson victim nor is she a follower. She too was an angry individual who identified with an organization bent on mayhem and destruction. Her choices and actions for nearly two years define her clearly as a cruel-hearted sociopath, a devoted killer. It must be acknowledged that there were many in Van Houten's group that did not kill. One of them sits with us in this room. Even Manson Family member Lynette Squeaky Fromme states, "To blame it on Manson is just silly. These women -- these women could come and go as they wished. This was a voluntary unity."

St. Circumstance said...

Read that again:

Even Manson Family member Lynette Squeaky Fromme states, "To blame it on Manson is just silly. These women -- these women could come and go as they wished. This was a voluntary unity."

St. Circumstance said...

Van Houten advocate and film director John Waters repeatedly uses Manson Family references such as free Tex Watson and murder gags in his films spanning decades. It is disgusting that Mr. Waters shows total callous disregard for the victims, yet he dedicated his film Pink Flamingos to Leslie Van Houten. Leslie Van Houten's crimes did not and do not occur in a vacuum.

jempud said...

Enough is enough, please ...

Methinks the gentleman doth protest too much

St. Circumstance said...

The threat of Leslie Van Houten and her crimes to society, direct, symbolic, repercussive, is current and lethal. On the nature and gravity of Ms. Van Houten's crimes, I must apologize to Tony, Leno's grandson and Lou, Leno's nephew for possible additional pain with the following statements. It has been asserted over and over that the commitment offenses alone are not grounds for denial. Then let us look at the severe and depraved nature of the petitioner's actions. Consider Leslie Van Houten's racist, terrorist intentions in the months leading to the Hinman murder mid-1969, the murders on the nights of August 8th and 10th, the taunting during her trial as she spit on the memory of her victims when she sang, giggled and performed for cameras, and then her defiance when she said after her conviction in 1971, "Your whole system is a game, you blind, stupid people." At a recent hearing, Leslie Van Houten stated that she accepted responsibility for what she termed "superficial postmortem wounds" to Rosemary La Bianca. This statement is shocking and alarming, especially when we consider that it was made years after reflection and rehabilitation. The first fatal blow occurred at the hands of Leslie Van Houten when she held Rosemary La Bianca hostage and prepared her for slaughter. The next fatal blow was dealt at the hands of Leslie Van Houten when she wrestled her victim to the ground as she attempted to escape the bedroom. The next fatal blow, when she called out for Watson and Krenwinkel to finish the job. The next fatal blow, when she restrained Rosemary's arms while she was stabbed 41 times. There is not one thing about this inmate's crimes that is superficial or postmortem.

St. Circumstance said...

It is imperative also that we acknowledge the zeal and pleasure in which Leslie Van Houten killed. In her own words, "The more I did it, the more fun it was." John Waters, in his piece, mentions how Leslie felt during the killings. She said she felt like "a primitive animal, a wildcat who just caught a deer." After all this, bodies strewn on the floor, Leslie raided the deceased couple's refrigerator, selected and adorned clothes from Rosemary La Bianca's closet, and then wiped the home free of prints. I'm reminded of something John Waters said in one of his interviews. He said he always found the Manson murders fascinating. He wanted to understand why these women killed as they did. Perhaps Mr. Waters and everyone in this room might try to understand how we should find ourselves strapped to a chair, our hands bound behind our back. Understand how it would feel to be defenseless and stabbed 26 times with a bayonet, a carving fork and a butcher knife. Understand how it would feel to hear the screams of your wife and know that she too will suffer the same unbearable fate. Understand what it would be like to be on the receiving end of Leslie Van Houten and her crew.

St. Circumstance said...

There. If I am too tiresome for you fucking losers- go read it from the family themselves...

If you have the heart?

St. Circumstance said...

I am strongly considering taking my laptop to the beach and posting these all day. There are lots of family impact statements.

And really this is kinda fun. Annoying assholes who support killers is just as good to me as scrolling facebook or texting about work.

Grim none of this has anything to do with you. Apologies this went South, its been a long time since I commented here until the last two weeks. But as always, people come along and no matter how polite I am- they gotta get in my business. Been happening for 14 years I come on these blogs...

I guess because I am honest, handsome, successful and have a nice life and righteous attitude, it causes some people envy...

brownrice said...

Geez... I dunno Saint (is that an ironic name or just pretentious?)... if you really were "honest, handsome, successful" and had such a "nice life and righteous attitude" why would you waste so much of your wonderful (and obviously valuable) time posting huge and endless diatribes about how truly evil Lesley is and then turn nasty and abusive (like a rabid, cornered dog) when a few people disagree with you and get a bit bored with your raves. You've kind of made your point, mate.... over and over and over again. Grim posts a lot of stuff too but he's unfailingly balanced and polite... and... oh yeah.... interesting. Obviously "Coors light and a fat dube" aren't working too well for you. :-)

tobiasragg said...

LOL, apologies! I meant the circumcised bit (followed by circumvent and circumstance, no less) as a bit of fun, not as an insult at all. The thing that motivated that "funny" attempt at a post from me is the fact that you'd become the only person participating in this conversation. Grim posted something and then the rest of the posts until mine (5-6 in total) were all from you and they were all the same thing, pulling ancient LVH quotes to illustrate your position that she shouldn't be sprung.

My intent wasn't to insult, rather to tease. My apologies.

Dan S said...

We live in a country of laws that depend on precedent to evolve and change with the times. According to all other similar crimes the perp would've been paroled LOOONG ago. I understand you're into this case but LVH is not up there with Karla or Cricket or Casey

Jay said...

some interesting commentary everyone. I only have a couple of things to add-
shouldn't the victim impact statement be a separate post, rather than a bunch of long comments?

regarding the victim impact statement: the LaBianca family has every right to make such statements, but I think having Sebring's nephew make the statement is an attempt to tie Van Houten to the Tate murders, which is not what she was convicted of. Totally separate crimes as far as Leslie's case goes. I'm sure there had to be a LaBianca family member capable of handling the statement, or perhaps even the prosecutor. Just my opinion, but the Sebring nephew handling it just doesn't seem right somehow.
and before anyone goes on a rant, yes, I feel for the victims, and yes, I know the murders are often tied together.

grimtraveller said...

St. Circumstance said:

Read that again:
Even Manson Family member Lynette Squeaky Fromme states, "To blame it on Manson is just silly. These women -- these women could come and go as they wished. This was a voluntary unity."


That's like saying Hitler is blameless for all the deaths incurred at the hands of German soldiers during WWII. After all, he didn't fire the bullets or drop the bombs, and those that did could have not done so or left at any point and run off to Holland or Belgium. After all, Rudolf Hess made it to Scotland without anyone knowing, and he was a big player in Nazi circles.

A couple of things on this.

Firstly, ironies seem to be surpassing themselves when you have Anthony DiMaria quoting Squeaky defending Charlie with words the women she's hitting against, haven't said. To make his point.
There is interesting form from some of the families of the victims {Doris Tate, for example} in completely playing down Charles Manson's part in these murders, when it is abundantly clear to anyone that approaches this case dispassionately, that none of the murderers would have done so had it not been for him.

But that is not the same as blaming him.

The paradoxes and nuance contained within this case never go away, and as long as they are approached in the black and white way that one can approach the overwhelming majority of murders since the dawn of humankind, there will continue to be the lack of understanding that causes people to make the kinds of "one-way" statements that so often come up.

It's interesting; Vince Bugliosi had no luvvy-duvvy view of the killers. He wanted them tried, convicted and put to death. And he viewed himself as a liberal. He thought the women, Susan in particular, were πŸ—―'king animals. Yet even he, in his summing-up speech at trial, happily conceded that pleasing Charlie by murdering at his behest was their motive, not sparking off HS, revenge against the establishment or lust for death, and that they killed because Charlie told them to. The importance of that is that he is the guy that prosecuted them ! I've long noted how people will distort or jettison the facts in order to prop up their own position. Anthony D and Debbie Tate have been doing that for a while. It does not become them, to use a well-worn olde English phrase.

grimtraveller said...

2/2
Secondly is Squeaky. Friendship and loyalty are generally fine qualities. I believe wholeheartedly in sticking with, and standing by, someone you love when they have erred, even grievously. We all need support.
But not at the expense of reality and not saturated in denial. Leslie, Tex and Pat's parents stuck by them resolutely, but they didn't sugar-coat what their children were or had done {not once the penalty phase was over !}, even though at times, it came hard.
Squeaky's book was an interesting read and is among a series of books that I regard as required reading. But just because I think it is required doesn't mean that I think it's flawless, balanced and honest. But in that book, even she has to come right out and admit that she didn't have any real insight or knowledge into the relationships that Charlie had with the other women. So she is in no position at all, to be making any kind of comments about what Charlie may or may not have been to blame for, when it came to Susan, Leslie and Pat. She does not know the intimate details of whether or not the women could come or go as they pleased. Susan told her lawyers in private in '69 that this was not the case, as did Stephanie Schram, the police. Pat and Leslie have since revealed they tried to leave and were stopped. If people could come and go as they pleased, why did Barbara Hoyt, Sherry Ann Cooper, Stephanie and Kitty have to run away and walk all those miles, barefoot in the desert, to escape ? Why did Charlie track Babs and Sherry down to Ballarat in an attempt to make them return and failing that {because there were people about}, order them to go to Spahn ? For someone that was supposedly there, Lynette seems to have known very little, so I, for one, do not count her as any kind of authority on what other people were thinking and feeling. In fact, I will go as far as to say that the mere fact that Clem and Hugh Rocky Todd were after Stephanie and Kitty with a shotgun when it was discovered they'd gone, tells me that Squeaky doesn't know hot shit about anything, so anyone using her as support for their point is pretty much declaring before the world that they are in pretty desperate straits.
And St, it's kind of ironic that you should quote her in support of your points, given so much of what you've said above.

grimtraveller said...

Manson Family member Lynette Squeaky Fromme

Quoting her is such poor form. This is the woman who was Charlie's messenger and go-between in "those halcyon days" of '69/70, the mouthpiece used to coerce Pat into returning to California and a death sentence, Leslie to dump her lawyer who had a concrete plan for her and end up with a death sentence {at the time of the trial}, Susan to recant {and end up with a death sentence}, Mary to start playing fast and loose with LE {and end up in jail}, and tried to intimidate Linda into getting another lawyer. Their lawyers at the time freely mention her and her shenanigans.
Before she was even charged with murder, Leslie told Mike McGann that she was afraid that her life was in danger if she talked {"If Zero was found playing Russian roulette, I also could be found playing Russian roulette"}. When she was interviewed by the Alabama psych Claude Brown, she told him she was afraid of Charlie finding her and killing her. Susan told Caballero and Caruso that Charlie and Tex threatened to kill her if she talked and went on to say that Charlie threatened her son's life which is why she recanted eventually. And was sentenced to death. All this in '69/early '70.
Squeaky also publicly declares her love for Charlie. And I mean love. I would sooner trust the KKK and the BNP in their pronouncements of love towards Black people {πŸ˜˜πŸ’πŸΏ‍♂️ πŸ™…πŸΏ‍♀️}, than Squeaky over Charlie and anything that makes him "look bad" being honestly explained.
You might say that I'm pegging her to a particular period, while being critical of those that do this with the killers; Actually, Squeaky is the one that chooses to focus on that period and candy-coat it. But rather like Tex and his fake mooted 3 reasons for the murders outlined in his first book, there are documented facts in evidence that blow the ship out of the waters, that have been obviously forgotten or which the person making the false statement is not aware of.

grimtraveller said...

When she was interviewed by the Alabama psych Claude Brown, she told him

Apologies folks, that should read "When she was interviewed by the Alabama psych Claude Brown, Pat told him....

St. Circumstance said...

MR. LOUIS SMALDINO: Uh, hello. Um, yeah, I'll try to make this brief. Um, uh, I originally addressed it good morning, but I guess it's this afternoon now. Um, I want to thank you for allowing me, uh, to speak before you, uh, today. Uh, I'm Lou Smaldino, and I'm the oldest nephew of Leno and, uh, Rosemary LaBianca. Uh, this is my 14th or 15th attendance at one of these hearings, uh, regarding, uh, Ms. Van Houten since the year 2000. Um, during these hearings, I've heard, uh, one misstatement or lie or whatever you want to call it after another about her -- her participation in these gruesome murders. Uh, almost always minimizing her role or mis -- uh, misconstruing it. Her claims for spousal abuse. Uh, her claim that Rosemary was dead, uh, when she stabbed her 17 times. I mean, this stuff just goes on. It's like today, you know, we were hearing that, you know, now it's the overpowering influence of, uh, Manson on her. I mean, many people walked away. She didn't. This is -- you know, she knew what she was doing. Um, I can tell you at 19 I was almost ready to get married and, uh, you can say, uh, de minimis mind, but, uh, you know, in retrospect, it was probably the best decision of my life to get married. So, you know, and I grew up very much in the same area that, uh, Ms. Van Houten did, uh, in the San Gabriel Valley there and, uh, uh, I can tell you that the, uh, the culture in that area was happy days. You can go and watch that program on TV even today or on Netflix or wherever you'd go to see it and, uh, that was truly. I mean, we had, uh, Bob's and Gwen's drive-in up on Colorado and, uh, we used to go there for malts and hamburgers and all that kind of stuff and she was off, uh, doing drugs, uh, having abortions, and, you know, involved in, uh, in murder.

St. Circumstance said...

So I -- I just -- you know, I can't even conceive of these coexisting in -- in the same, uh, community, but they did. Um, so I ask what kind of a person is Ms. Van Houten to abuse the parole process in this manner? Um, I have tried to put myself in her shoes and frankly, uh, it's almost impossible and difficult at best. However, if I had participated and conspired to kill all these innocent young people and even an unborn child, I could never ask for parole because I could never make up for the lives I was responsible for taking, you know, and the impact thereafter. I would consider incarceration as just punishment and serve my time. But that is not what you have here in front of you today. You have someone who things they deserve -- in their twisted mind that they deserve to be set free because they have served some time. Ms. Van Houten was already paroled when she was given a life sentence instead of the death penalty. That's my take on it. The impact, you know, uh, which is really why we're here today, on my family has been enormous. Uh, Leno and Rosemary's, um, five children, uh, are still paralyzed as adults and have sought refuge and anonymity and can't even bring themselves to stand in front of you and confront this person. Uh, I recently visited with Corey, uh, over the holidays and, you know, tried to convince her that she should, you know, at this time -- point in her life, you know, should address this Board and, uh, I mean, as a 60-yearold, uh, she just -- it's just too painful and frightening for her.

St. Circumstance said...

Personally, I'm disgusted with Ms. Van Houten. She feigns remorse, but is really calculating. She wants to beat the system. Her goal is to get released from prison because she thinks she has paid her dues. I am here to let her know and I'll continue to be here to let her know she can never pay in this life what she did to those I love and cherish. You will hear from others, uh, of our relatives in the future. I mean, uh, a couple of the grandkids are already talking about, uh, stepping up if it -- if the case comes to -- to that. Um, Leno and Rosemary were in their mid-40s. Uh, it's just hard to believe that when they -- when we lost them, uh, which means we lost half their lives. They'd be in their 80s today, early 90s. We lost their joy, spontaneity, wisdom, guidance, intelligence, and most of all, their love in our lives. Uh, I would like to drive -- dwell on the crime a bit. This was not a crime of passion or an accident, uh, or revenge or anything like that. This was a cold, deliberate, and premed -- and premeditated acts of murder. Ms. Van Houten's role was no accident or a forced act. She knew what she was -- going to happen that night and was a willing participant.

grimtraveller said...

St. Circumstance said:

I pasted an interview in the last comment. That was almost 25 years after the crime, and still she says she had no mercy for Rosemary

Well, that's because 25 years previously, she had no mercy. That never changes.
What would you have said if she, in that interview, had said she had had mercy ?
Does any murderer have mercy ?
The entire crux on which parole hinges, is that of change.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER DAVIS: But there were a lot of people during that period who used drugs, who were running around doing a variety of the two things, who lacked direction and all the other things that you've talked about who did not commit gruesome murders. What else was there?

INMATE VAN HOUTEN: Well, it was -- I believe it was my relationship with Manson


Could you put together a case that genuinely demonstrates that Leslie van Houten would have gone on, with her pre-Charlie history, to be a merciless killer ? This is the ongoing paradox, that something can be the motivating connection in a particular act, yet those that go on to perpetrate any acts that are connected, can't escape responsibility for their actions, nor blame that motivating connection.

grimtraveller said...

Jay said:

shouldn't the victim impact statement be a separate post, rather than a bunch of long comments?

Yes.
Flooding the comments section with them actually has a counter-productive effect in my opinion. Because they are entire threads without context. By all means, if one is making a point and one wants to quote from portions to help emphasize a point, that's cool. But that's not what's going on here.

regarding the victim impact statement: the LaBianca family has every right to make such statements

Yes they do. It makes sense that in a parole process, there will be people opposing the perp's parole. It is important that they are heard. It is also important that they stay on the side of right. In some of the hearings over the last few years, that has not always been the case.

and before anyone goes on a rant, yes, I feel for the victims

It doesn't irritate me, although it could, but it is a frequent tactic of a lot of people who say they stand for the victims {not referring to you, Jay !}, to imply or outrightly accuse/state [that] those who take a more nuanced and balanced view and aren't stating that the perps should die in jail or rot in hell, somehow don't really care about the victims or their families. It isn't true.
One can think that some of the victims' family members are or have been engaging in actions that are wrong, while still believing in their freedom to be involved in this process and supporting their right to do so. Multiple things are often true at the same time, even though some would like to present everything as either/or.

St. Circumstance said...

It is always a painful process for us to relive the moments and the horrors that Ms. Van Houten and her terrorist gang visited on our family. Leno and Rosemary were loving and devoted members of our family, in the prime of their lives; younger than we are here today. When this -- they were tortuously killed by this unholy gang, for no better reason than to start a race war and for thrill. Leno and Rosemary had five children, which is often left out of the record. And from my knowledge, many of the family members, numerous other family members, have never recovered from their grief or the horror of it. Some of them have even died from broken hearts. It was interesting to hear Cory's letter, recalling incidents of our childhood. And it seems like I just can't personally go back there. From the time this happened, (inaudible) had pretty well blocked out most memories, because of, you know, the (inaudible) of that -- of that place. Ms. Van Houten was sentenced to die for her crimes, but judicial folly gave her a reprieve of life in prison. Ms. Van Houten will not accept responsibility for her acts or her just punishment. She selfishly attempts to game the system, never showing genuine remorse. To this date, no family member has ever received any correspondence expressing remorse or guilt. Instead, she continues to say Rosemary was already dead when she stabbed her numerous times, which is total denial. I might bring to your attention to you today that how can she determine her remorse when she refuses to discuss it here today. You just can't. How do you believe her motivation when she just refuses to discuss it here today? You can't. The results of Ms. Van Houten and her comrades was to destroy a loving family, destroy a family business and set the precedent for unconscionable chaos throughout our society ending in pointless murder for no reason at all. No good reason at all. She truly deserves life in prison without parole, and if she were truly sorry, would accept it with dignity.

St. Circumstance said...

Key question in that one:


To this date, no family member has ever received any correspondence expressing remorse or guilt. Instead, she continues to say Rosemary was already dead when she stabbed her numerous times, which is total denial. I might bring to your attention to you today that how can she determine her remorse when she refuses to discuss it here today. You just can't. How do you believe her motivation when she just refuses to discuss it here today?


Really good question no?

St. Circumstance said...

OK... no more personal insults :)

Then Goodnight

St. Circumstance said...

Tomorrow I will post more of Leslies direct statements in her hearings after 30 0r 40 years. I already posted the ones she gave earlier. She went from telling the board she stabbed Rosemary and had no mercy (When she thought honest would work as to the matrix)- to many years later- telling them Rosemary was already dead when she did it (As she realized that the participation of the "commitment offense" was going to overcome the Matrix)

Leslie is a Goddamn liar who would say anything and do anything to get out.

St. Circumstance said...

But for now- I must blow you all off.

Its Vanderpump Rules night. Going out to drink and watch the Reunion. I have met Scheana and her mother a few times and I love that show. I go to Sur every time I am in LA.

Now before you start the jokes and insults. I have pics of my handsome ass to back it up.

AND

Did you now that before Sandoval had his most recent band "The Leftovers"- he made a video with another band. It was called Charles McMansion.

In the episode the cast all went out to celebrate his new video- they went to El Coyote...

I wonder if Lisa knows what they are referencing?

Dan S said...

You're just racist against horse faced people

St. Circumstance said...

Nahhh.. just horsed faced people who slaughter others.

Plus honestly, I always thought Leslie was kind of cute. I never got the Horse-face thing.

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

By the way...

Tonight episode of Vanderpump Rules will be one of most watched TV programs of year

I can confirm that Manson will be mentioned

See you in morning :)

Dan S said...

She's not dangerous and she's served her time. WTF?

tobiasragg said...

"Squeaky's book was an interesting read and is among a series of books that I regard as required reading . . . tells me that Squeaky doesn't know hot shit about anything"

Grim, simply out of curiosity, why do you label Squeaky's book "required reading" when you state that she doesn't know shit about many of these matters?

I was tempted to engage with this book despite what I'd read and knew of it, so I downloaded the Kindle sample content. I found the writing surprisingly evocative and almost poetic in places. I believe I was reading a chapter or two on the early, formative days of The Family. I was a bit surprised over how well-written it was, but knowing Squeaky as we all do, I decided to not pull the trigger and devote a portion of my days to this volume. Given what I know of Lynn and what I'd read about this work, I figured that she would disappoint when the narrative arrived at the events we all read Manson-related books to get to. I chose not to read Fromme for the same reason I've no interest in Stimson - both seem like fan fiction to me, so to speak.

So why the seeming disparate POVs on the Fromme book?

tobiasragg said...

"But for now- I must blow you all off."

Promises, promises - and none of them ever kept.

If you haven't the brains or the logic - or the sobriety - to argue your POV satisfactorily, there is little point in posting cut-and-pastes from ancient parole hearings that everyone has already read, anyway. This practice is not torture for anyone, because it is quite easy to simply scroll past anything that has your name posted above it.

I respect(ed) your point of view and parts of me even agreed with it, as I have shared above a couple of times. But since then you've revealed yourself to be as Lulu as Charlie Manson, complaining that "every time I try to communicate, people turn against me!" and then acting the ahole to demonstrate exactly why this seems to always happen to you.

I would share more, but I am on EST. It is time for me to retire to the basement for a good night's sleep, lest I miss Mom's breakfast in the morning! I was considering spending the afternoon fucking off and dying as you suggested, but I kinda wanna be around tomorrow to scroll past more of your bullshit postings, lol.

Enjoy your morning doob, dude.

grimtraveller said...

tobiasragg said:

Grim, simply out of curiosity, why do you label Squeaky's book "required reading" when you state that she doesn't know shit about many of these matters?...why the seeming disparate POVs on the Fromme book?

Good question.
I regard her book as required reading simply because she was a member of the Family and, as the second one to hit the Charlie trail, fairly high up on the food chain. And because, at least up until when the book was published,she was still on board, I think it's important to get a "positive" {for want of a better word} look into that world, if possible, because all the autobiogs and biogs have been from people that left the Manson Road. So they were coming from a particular point of view which was more or less "It was good, then it turned bad and turned bad because of Charlie." Susan {x2}, Tex {x2}, Paul Watkins, Leslie Van Houten, Dianne Lake, they all come from there. Squeaky is sort of approaching that angle, but obliquely and without anything negative ascribed to Charlie. So in order to get an understanding of who she is and her view, her book is worth its weight in precious metal {even tin is precious to someone scrimmaging in a rubbish dump}. I think she's a fantastic writer. She could easily have made a living as an author or maybe even a journalist and in my opinion, her book serves as almost tragic, though it be a good read.

Also, Her viewpoint and what she made of many of the various characters is fascinating. For example, I was fascinated that she was jealous of Ouisch. It was eye-opening that she had such an admiration of Tex, & she actually presents him as a person with a cool sense of humour. Not the first thing one usually associates with Charles Watson ! Just little things like that. We get certain things from her book that simply aren't found anywhere else.

But of course, she is the arch-defender of the faith, she's the last gun standing. And for all her talent as a writer, I found her swimming in Egyptian rivers. She peddles untruths that are undone by simple biological fact {such as Bobby being the dad of Linda's 2nd kid}. One might think, "Well, what's that got to do with anything ?" but it shows, with factual evidence, that she was, as the kids in Ladbroke Grove used to put it, gazing πŸ˜„ {trying to persuade one of things that can't be ie, talking crap}. She turns almost everything that the prosecution presented as dodgy, into unicorns and rainbows with no malice aforethought or any thought, and Charlie is the sweetest, wisest and most practical guy in Southern California. She includes writings from prior to the trial period of people like Pat, Sandy and Charlie and they're insightful if one wants a look into those people.
And she stops the book at a very interesting time ~ right prior to the point at which she starts to assume a greater function and can start to have many of her actions called into question. Her admission of not having insight into the intimate workings of Charlie's relationships with the other women, spoke volumes to me.

Like much in this case, there are steaming great chunks of the paradoxical, and she tends to present a picture that others vehemently contradict ~ that's partly why it is, in my mind, required reading. I like to get as complete and rounded a picture as I can from the mouths of the horses, even if part of the neighing is coated in delusion and denial.

JAB128 said...

Switching gears, have any of you heard of this guy (on You Tube. Name is Antidote to Poppycock Poison):

Leno & Rosemary LaBianca NATO M-7 Bayonet Murders

grimtraveller said...

JAB128 said:

Switching gears, have any of you heard of this guy (on You Tube. Name is Antidote to Poppycock Poison):

Leno & Rosemary LaBianca NATO M-7 Bayonet Murders


I've never heard of him, but when I need a pile of manure for my plants, I'll be sure to hit him up for his videos. Most plants will grow heartily in such soil....

JAB128 said...

Yeah, that doesn't make sense. Nikolas Schreck seems way more truthful and makes more sense than this guy.

Besides Antidote, there is a guy named Miles Mathis. He isn't a nutjob or anything, but he believes that a lot of serial killers are faked by the government. And, honestly, he may have a point. When I look at these cases (from Manson to Alcala to Richard Ramirez), military connections of some kind are always there. Here are Miles' most recent writings:

Miles Mathis: Updates

Also, here is his paper on the Tate Killings:

Miles Mathis: Tate Murders were a False Flag

Jay said...

Grim, I agree with your assessment of Squeaky's book. She is a helluva writer, and it is an interesting viewpoint she brings to the mix. At this point, with a lot of the principals dying, I think any memoirs that we can get are of value, whether by the true believers or otherwise. There may be little tidbits of info in them that help to illuminate something else. I know it is rumored that Gypsy either wrote one or was thinking of it. I'd love to read it if it ever gets published. Any new information or viewpoints at this stage of the game are welcome.
That being said, I wish Squeaky would write some more for us.

St. Circumstance said...

Squeaky is an idiot. She should be dead too - seriously.

Jay you are a jackasss. It doesn't take long to get that.

How much "Illumination" will you get from a woman who walked in front of the Secret Service and pulled out a gun on the President of the United States? Loaded or not- the fact that she survived that is the greatest miracle in the History of anyone involved with the case.

She and Sandy are the last two idiots who haven't figured out it is probably best to be quiet about Charlie and his absolute maniac beliefs.

Rock on guys with this very intelligent conversation based on really credible people and great thinkers. Squeaky. John Waters. Sandy.

Im taking my toys and going home. I don't want to play with you bitches any more.


The element hasn't gotten much better in here. Too bad. I always liked this place. Ill try again down the road- most of you will be dead or in jail. Grim will still be bisecting every sentence of every comment, and I can try again to find some reasonable people.

See ya lol :)

St. Circumstance said...

Jay- While I am gone you should look outside of the foam cup you must live in and understand that to do what Squeaky did might be the only thing crazier than what the Killers did at TLB.

The only thing we should be studying about Squeaky is in a white room with nothing she can hurt herself with trying to figure out if she is an acid casualty or just plain fucking crazy?

But if that is where you like to get your perspective on things that don't apply to "Tell me what you see in this picture please?" in a Psychiatry setting- I guess that says more about you than I ever could.

Now - I gotta get back to semi-retirement from this for awhile.

This subject and the way some of you act makes my ass itch

grimtraveller said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jay said...

geez, some people...πŸ™„

grimtraveller said...

JAB128 said:

Nikolas Schreck seems way more truthful and makes more sense than this guy

I didn't find that. His 900+ page book has so many holes in it, it could double as a sieve. For instance, his saying Bruce engaged in a drug robbery with Tex when it is documented fact that he was not even in the country at the time that robbery took place, is no better than Antidote saying that Leno LaBianca was stun-gunned or that it would have taken 4 teams of 3 military personnel to carry out the Cielo murders.
They all may wonder why there are loads of flies flying around their information....

there is a guy named Miles Mathis....here is his paper on the Tate Killings: Miles Mathis: Tate Murders were a False Flag

I'm afraid he is as bad as Antidote and Shreck, a Tom O'Neill clone before there was even Tom. I remember reading his False Flag piece and I wondered if it was a prank.
There have long been some very strange people around this case. I hope I don't turn out to be one of them ! πŸ€ͺ

Jay said:

it is rumored that Gypsy either wrote one or was thinking of it. I'd love to read it if it ever gets published

I'd read it in a flash. Or an aeroplane journey.

St. Circumstance said:

Jay you are a jackasss

Why is he a jackass ? For agreeing with you ?
That was unnecessarily harsh. Jay made some good points and provided some very interesting food for thought. And, unlike you and I, didn't take up half of cyberspace to do it.
This started off as a pretty interesting thread. I suspect in months to come, it will be remembered as "The Meltdown of St Circumstance,"πŸ˜‡πŸ€¬ which, even if I say so myself, would make a great name for a film.

the fact that she survived that is the greatest miracle in the History of anyone involved with the case

I'd ascribe that to Kitty Lutesinger, actually.

this very intelligent conversation

It was. Interestingly, once it was pointed out how reasonable it had been with classy and respectful intellectual duelling, it then went south. Almost like you couldn't handle the praise, St. 😳 πŸ₯΅ πŸ₯Ά 😱

Grim will still be bisecting every sentence of every comment

Knowing him, he probably will.

and I can try again to find some reasonable people

We'll see you again in a little while, St, on the next leg of your "never-ending retirement from Mansonblog" tour. 😏

SixtiesRockRules! said...

That "Antidote To Poppycock Poison" guy's whole scenario as regards TLB was pretty much completely plagiarized from the works of mae brussell, dave mcgowan, miles mathis and william weston. He, like several other "researchers" covering this subject, offered absolutely ZERO evidence to back up any of his wild assertions. It's almost funny to listen to fools like him, the way they present completely unsupported allegations as fact.

Kerouac said...

St C - as a long-time lurker… you were never my “favorite Saint” (as you often refer to yourself). I’ve always found your rigidity and pomposity distasteful. My opinion has changed somewhat. You are unhinged.

Cielodrive.com said...

How’s it goin St

JAB128 said...

I read the Miles Mathis paper, and he does a good job. He said that people accuse him of copying Mae Brussell's work, but he goes above and beyond that.

As for that Poppycock poison guy, he doesn't make sense. He basically indicated that the Tate residence was military property, and that they couldn't leave. He also said that they were killed because they were going to resign from the CIA or something.

shoegazer said...

Sweet Jesus...

Peter said...

I've always been inteigued by Saint's ability to project his own feelings and beliefs onto others and then treat as objective fact that those people would think or act as he would.

tobiasragg said...

"Squeaky is an idiot."

Squeaky IS an idiot, it is true. But she also writes beautifully and, as Grim points out, she has a rather unique POV on this whole mess. Hers is not a POV that I think I want to devote several evenings' time reading, but the writing is compelling enough that I just might one day.

"Im taking my toys and going home. I don't want to play with you bitches any more"

You keep saying that, and then you never leave. At this point for me, I'd say you've the credibility of a Lynne Fromme, hm . . .

"The element hasn't gotten much better in here."

Coming from the person who stated "Jay you are a jackass" in the same breath that he insults the community as a whole, I'm just going to enjoy a private giggle and click "publish" on this one. Always nice to hear from the Coors + doob set, always nice to see you again!

grimtraveller said...

St. Circumstance said:

"After the murders, the family members remained at the house. Some ate food from the LaBianca's refrigerator, played with the couple's dogs and showered before hitchhiking back to the Spahn Ranch."
That to me is the scariest part. No nerves. No Panic. They did this like it was nothing


Two things I'll note about that. Firstly, the very fact that Tex had to be called into the bedroom when Pat & Leslie couldn't do what they were assigned to do, denotes panic and nerves. And Pat was shitting herself for months until they were caught.
Secondly, it was after 2am in the morning. Hippies may have been in the habit of dropping in on people in the twee hours {in fact, possibly around the same time or slightly after, Linda, Susan and Clem were doing just that}, but there was zero chance of anyone dropping in on the LaBiancas. With no one in at the former True house, no one was going to be disturbing the death squad.

She got lucky as hell and was spared her life. That gave her the idea she could some day get out, so she played by the rules and did what she was supposed to do

You present these things as though it is somehow strange that she did these things. As if she {or any prisoner} is somehow at fault for doing what the law prescribed.
Of course she got the idea that one day she could get out of jail. That's what her sentence deemed ! A possibility of parole means that one day, you could get out of jail.
You seem to have a problem with the fact that she played by the rules and did what she was supposed to. Wasn't she meant to ? Isn't that what jail requires, if only for its smooth running ?
Your real problem is not with Leslie Van Houten. Your real problem is partly with the law of the land, but also partly with the reality that you would, like many human beings, like to wreak a worse havoc on an offender than what they wreaked in the first instance, perfectly encapsulated by the prospective juror back in the summer of 1970, that said murderers should get worse than the death penalty. It's precisely because of this, that lurks within many of us, that laws moved to the concept of "the punishment being in proportion to the crime."

grimtraveller said...

St. Circumstance said:

I thank you for his back and forth and hope I stayed respectful

Towards me, yeah {except the jibe about bisecting, which had an edge to it, but I can't deny it is likely true !}. But I think you've not done your reputation here any good at all and I've always had the impression that in general, it's long been a positive one, with a few exceptions.

I think Leslies prison record is really good, but I dont think it matters. Again- what were the options? Act a fool and make it worse for herself? She got an education. After 40 years with nothing but time is that really so impressive? When she had to have self discipline to make the grade she couldn't hack it. When she had almost nothing else to do- she picked up the books. Really is that so awesome?

I never argued it was awesome.
But I do think it is damned good. I refuse to criticize someone for making good when they earlier erred. I live in a country where adult education has been a big thing since the 1970s. What it has long said to me is that, if you mess up as a teenager, or for whatever reason do not complete your education, life isn't over. You can try again later when you're a bit more mature. I got my Teaching Assistant level 3 certificate at the age of 52. It may be no big deal to anyone else, but I was thrilled with it. I worked hard for it and showed a discipline that I hadn't shown educationally since 1980. So anyone in jail that gets that side of their life together is going to get props from me.


grimtraveller said...

OK, I apologize in advance for this. It's going to be long.

St. Circumstance said:

Here is what I would like to have heard very early

In cash or kind, she said those things early on. Read the '79 and '82 hearing transcripts, available on Cielo's site. Obviously it will not be word for word, but you can glean the meaning ~ if you want to.

and very often

She has been saying those things since at least the 1979 parole hearing. To the extent that it gets so repetitive and monotonous that you go on to criticize her for saying the same things over and over and adding that she never shows sadness or guilt or that they are just lawyer prepared statements.
You can't really have it both ways.
On top of that, she can only give answers to the questions she's asked.
By the way, a lawyer prepared statement {and actually, if you read them, they're clearly not, most of the time} simply means brevity. Whenever the perps have tried to go all over the place with their long and involved esoteric statements, they've always been roped in and told how they only have 10 minutes, or whatever.

I made a very bad set of chides to get involved with a bad group of people. I was wrong

I'm presuming that's 'choices'.
In any event, she has been saying that, or words to that effect, for so long, they're soon to be graded as "pre-historic."

I knew what I was doing on 8/10

She was looking after the children and whatever else she did during the day.
If you mean the 9th, when she got into the car, there has never been any dispute about this.

and for my own selfish reasons I went anyway

Fiddly.
At what point does a group activity become one's own private gig ? One of the charges was "Conspiracy to commit murder." That's a group thing, in their case.
So it is always going to be nuanced. Its paradoxical nature is very evident in her interview with Marvin Part. She states quite openly that she did not want to kill. But she was prepared to kill. So once the killing began, she wanted to kill.
If wanting to show loyalty to the group, and belief in the fulfilment of a divine mission, can be counted as part of an individual's selfish reasoning, then have at it.
But you're attempting to simplify something nuanced and complex.
However, she's said enough over the years to even cover that ! She pointed out to Marvin that part of it for her was a test, to see if she could be strong enough to believe in something to the extent that she'd go all the way and also be willing to be killed.

I did something that will haunt me forever

You've not heard her say words to this effect for 45 years and more ? Of course you have. Your answer to that is:
"Leslie is a Goddamn liar who would say anything and do anything to get out."

grimtraveller said...

St. Circumstance said:

and I apologize to everyone who I hurt and especially to the Labainca family

She's been saying that since early on. She says it at the end of the hearings she's spoken in {which is most of them}.
But here's a thing; the family members do not give a rat's arse about apologies. Doris Tate wasn't interested in apologies. Read her words on the subject. They have frequently used the lack of one as a tool with which to beat the perps senseless, in their various hearings. There's no acknowledgement of the apologies that have been forthcoming.
Why ?
Because, like most human beings that have a legitimate grievance, "Sorry" is, to quote Leslie herself, only a 5-letter word. It can't bring someone back or undo a wrong that has been done. And when it comes down to it, people want revenge, not apologies.
It is extremely significant that one of the LaBianca family members made a point in one of the hearings, of emphasizing that Suzan LaBerge, Rosemary's daughter, did not represent the LaBianca family when she forgave Charles Watson. It was her Mum that was murdered, but the ex-wife of Leno and other family members that hadn't gone to hearings for years, decided that Suzan did not represent the family. As was noted in one family letter to the parole board, "I even understand that she has been a model prisoner all these years. It doesn't matter." All understandable. But it also provides a context for when and whether a perp can apologize.
Susan, Leslie and Pat each made insensitive, horrific and frankly, stupid statements back in the day that came to haunt them big-time in the future. Susan's was the one about having no mercy. Pat's was the one about the trial being a play. And Leslie's was the one about 'sorry' only being a 5-letter word.
Be careful what you sign....

I understand the tragedy I caused and accept my punishment

But she has been doing and saying that since 1978. She has been in jail on a 7-to-life with the possibility of parole. You can see from her trial that it was touch and go that she received that sentence. The judge almost didn't give it {personally, I don't know why it was such a difficult decision, given that none of the facts had changed from 1971 to 1978}. And read what the denying parole boards say to her in those early hearings. The talk and tone is conciliatory. They speak openly about her being given projected dates. They say look, we're denying you for 3 or whatever years, because we want to observe you longer, we want you to work on these things, and then they'd outline what they want her to work on. Even Stephen Kay speaks like that ! She did everything that was asked of her and was knocked back 19 times over a 38-year period.

I will spend the rest of my life working on my issues

She, I presume, is doing that. Just like the rest of us that have issues, for many of us have them. In this context, there are essentially 3 kinds of people. Those that don't realize they have issues. Those that have had their issues outlined, but refuse to accept it and ∴ do nothing, and those that realize it and are working on them.

grimtraveller said...

St. Circumstance said:

and trying to figure out how I could have done something so evil and hurtful to so many people

But you don't allow her to do that. She's been telling people this before she even started having parole hearings. And hearers like yourself simply say, "I don't care." She knows how she could have done something so evil and hurtful. In the minds of some, there is nothing she can ever do. In the words of our own Austin Ann, "No matter how proper, sweet & *not a danger* this bag is, in my opinion, she needs to stay inside and live the rest of her life in an institution".


Thats what I wanted to hear right out of the box day 1

So that you could promptly ignore it.
She's given you most of what you've asked for.

had she done that and then went away and did no interviews

Actually, she did that. It's the press that seek her out for interviews. And why not ? It is a genuine public interest matter. "Prison and a stiff sentence is actually a good thing. It's helped me. Don't go down the road I did..."
In any case, in 45 years, how many interviews has she done ? 7 ? 8 ? I wonder how many people, or what percentage of the American population have heard of LVH, let alone are genuinely interested or knowledgable.
When Clem was paroled in '85, there was barely a squeak, let alone a fanfare. The perps don't draw attention to themselves. It's people like us that show an interest in them.

and stayed quiet

That's funny. When she elects not to talk at a hearing, you hold that against her and call her petulant.
She doesn't court the press. They court her, in much the same way that blogs such as this one didn't spring up at the behest of any of the killers. We decide to talk, write, read and have these long debates about them.

and quit blaming others for 20-25 years

I'm still waiting for evidence of her blaming anyone. Saying that Tex gave her a knife and said "Get to it !" is not blaming Tex. Mentioning her history {that she's constantly asked about} and outlining the roles people like Charlie played is not blaming. In fact, I'd say she would be an absolute blind idiot not to mention all of the things and people that were part of her past that contributed to her taking on the mindset she did by her reactions to them. And you know who else is constantly pushing her to mention those things and show her insight into their influence ? Gavin Newsome.
She clearly admitted she wanted to go and kill. That, alone, sinks any notion of blame.

and had her prison record- then maybe I have a different view

Your words point in a different direction, I'm afraid. You think her prison record is no great shakes because she had no choice but to follow the rules because all she wanted was to get out. You force a "damned if they do, damned if they don't" scenario, from which it is impossible to escape or satisfy and ultimately doesn't matter what the person does. Even death is no final solution. People that don't even believe in the afterlife nevertheless declare, "I hope they rot in Hell !"
When the righteous take on the "Heads I win, tails you lose" perspective, then one has to seriously question that very righteousness.

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

grimtraveller said...
With no one in at the former True house, no one was going to be disturbing the death squad.

But there WAS somebody there!

LADA files Box 22 vol9015 pg16of130 (Tex Watson trial)

Q: Incidentally, Sergeant(Galindo), did you make an investigation, either your or other officers under your supervison, make an investigation of the houses on either side of the LaBianca residence?
A: Yes, sir. ...
Q: Did you determine whether anybody had been living at the True residence within the very recent past?
A: Yes, sir.
Q: And what had you determined in that regard?
A: That the residence was populated. ...
Q: Did you determine whether anybody was at the True residence on the evening of August 9nth or the early morning hours of August 10th?
A: Yes, sir. I don't remember the times, but I can recall they had been there--somebody had been at the residence up past through the 9nth and into the 10th. I don't remember the times.

tobiasragg said...

"St. Circumsised: had she done that and then went away and did no interviews

Grim: Actually, she did that. It's the press that seek her out for interviews.'

This small point, rather lost in the lengthy series of Grim posts, is worth doing a slightly deeper dive, as Leslie has spoken on this a few different times that I am aware of. In all cases, Leslie is speaking of the ABC Diane Sawyer piece, which is probably the most prominent interview these people have granted over the decades. In fact, I struggle to think of many other interviews Leslie has sat for, though she did speak with Barbara Walters at the time of her retrial and she did the much more recent Ear Hustle podcast, which is so obscure many Manson murder followers didn't even know existed.

The public interest in Manson and these crimes, which has always ebbed and flowed, was "peak" at this time and 20/20 and/or Sawyer had determined they wanted to devote an episode to the phenomena. They approached all of the principles and they weren't getting very far. Tex declined. Susan declined. Pat and Leslie couldn't decide, but Leslie at least decided to also decline. Manson himself was very enthusiastic. According to Leslie, he apparently saw this 20/20 platform as a way to capitalize on this renewed attention to achieve - well, something - that part is unclear. Somehow or other, Charlie managed to have a letter outlining his vision smuggled through the prison system to Van Houten and she actually received it. This letter, which Leslie turned over to her lawyer, who then turned it over to the prison authorities, is what convinced her to participate. Presumably, Leslie also helped Pat decide to participate, as both women speak of their motivation for doing 20/20 with Sawyer. Guns & Roses and others were already doing their Charlie thing and, as Leslie explained to the Ear Hustle hosts, she saw the Sawyer interview as a chance to dissuade people from embracing Charlie Manson in a positive manner.

So yes, LVH did choose to sit for a very small number of media interviews. But her motivations for doing so seem to have been rather healthy in nature. Unless of course one chooses to believe nothing the woman says, in which case there's no point in even discussing the matter.

Medium Patty said...

This has been a fascinating thread to read. its so interesting to see first hand the different lenses people use to view the same case. Its helpful with such articulate people. Hopefully I can make my comment as clear.

It's helpful to consider risk analysis to gauge a level of danger and how cautious to be. All the examples used to justify continued incarceration are old. Leslie in her teenage years through her break with Manson was a wild and unpredictable person. Barring a few infractions and bad choices shortly after this period, she has not demonstrated the same erratic behavior. Even with the pressures of incarceration, she has been living a stable life for decades, including growth through therapy, work experiences and education. That is too long a time to keep a mask from slipping. That shows she is not the same person as when she was younger and is now a much lower risk of re-offending.

Its never OK to use beliefs and feelings to override the law against other people. Its not OK to murder to ignite Helter Skelter.* And its not OK for any governor to ignore evidence to deny earned parole to enhance his political career. That is the reason for the court overturning Newsom's uninformed decision.

*OK, that wasn't the sole cause of the murders but it played a part!



tobiasragg said...

"She doesn't court the press. They court her, in much the same way that blogs such as this one didn't spring up at the behest of any of the killers. We decide to talk, write, read and have these long debates about them."

Ah, but now you're playing the Russian nesting doll game and stopping before you've reached the core doll of it all.

Yes, the press continues to occasionally "court" LVH, and yes - we decide to discuss these things, still.

Why?

Because of the nature of these crimes.

You suggest it unfair that LVH is the subject of such continued attention, or rather that it is unfair to blame Van Houten for the attention she receives, but she bears full responsibility for this attention. The rotten, putrid doll that sits in the heart of this expansive mess is LVH' action and decision on 9/10 August 1969.

St. Circumstance said...

"The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men. Blessed is he who in the name of charity and good will shepherds the weak through the valley of darkness, for he is truly his brother's keeper and the finder of lost children.

If Jules could only shoot a few of you. ( Not you Grim- you would keep commenting even if you were dead)

Have an amazing weekend. Leslie has a lifelong record of being completely selfish and full of shit. If you look its there and if you don't you wont. If you Don't care then that's ok too- but you should stay out of it when people who do and who have really looked into it talk. My Grandfather told me long ago down on the banks of the "Mississip" when he took me back to his childhood home in Belzoni MS on summer vacations when I was a child:


"Jimmy you better learn fast the difference between Ignorant and Stupid. Everyone is ignorant about something and that's ok. I drove a train for 20 years and cant play the piano and your cousin Bobby's Piano teacher cant drive a train. But some people try to be the loudest voice in the room about things they are ignorant about. These people end up looking look stupid. Not everyone does that and that's not OK."

Buddy James was a much better guy than any of you so you should listen to him :)




grimtraveller said...

tobiasragg said:

Yes, the press continues to occasionally "court" LVH, and yes - we decide to discuss these things, still.
Why?
Because of the nature of these crimes


I agree.

she bears full responsibility for this attention. The rotten, putrid doll that sits in the heart of this expansive mess is LVH' action and decision on 9/10 August 1969
Well, I'd say that she's partly responsible for the overall interest created, {although, as you point out, the interest in all things TLB has ebbed and flowed}. In fact, it would odd to dispute that, given that the murders themselves are such a major part of the discussion and everything else orbits around them. I was responding to some of St's points, which I felt were slanted in one particular direction that amounted to LVH being responsible for their happening, as opposed to the more nuanced position of being partly responsible for the events that brought about the attention. It seemed almost implied that she was the one setting up the interviews.

starviego said:

But there WAS somebody there!
LADA files Box 22 vol9015 pg16of130 (Tex Watson trial)

Q: Incidentally, Sergeant(Galindo), did you make an investigation, either your or other officers under your supervison, make an investigation of the houses on either side of the LaBianca residence?
A: Yes, sir. ...


Interesting. From the Manson/Krenwinkel/Atkins/Van Houten trial in the same LADA boxes:

Bugliosi: Now, the home on the right in this photograph, do you recognize that as the house in which Harold True formerly resided ?

Frank Patchett: That's correct

Q: At any time did you go to this particular home ?

A: Yes, I went to that home the day after ~ this would have been Monday, after the LaBianca murder, in checking the crime scene at the LaBianca home, I then went next door to the house

Q: August 11 1969 ?

A: I believe that was Monday, yes

Q: You went to the former residence of Harold True ?

A: I did

Q: 3267 Waverly Drive ?

A: That's correct

Q: Was the home vacant at that time ?

A: Yes, it was

He doesn't say no one was in, he says it was vacant. Which means no one lived there.
In the "Roommate's Revenge" thread back in July 2018, David felt that a couple called the Berberians were living at the house; they claim to have seen a guy on the lawn between 4 and 5pm on the 10th. It's all very confused and I think Sgt Galindo is too.

tobiasragg said...

St. Circumcised:

"If Jules could only shoot a few of you."

Lovely. Amazing that you try to claim some moral high ground here, lol. P.S. Weren't you, like, going away or something? I swear I remember you claiming this a few times above!

"If you Don't care then that's ok too- but you should stay out of it when people who do and who have really looked into it talk."

Hm. An anti-social stoner dude wants to talk without being disagreed with. Stoner Van Houten wants those who don't agree with him to be shot - or worse. Sounds rather familiar to anyone familiar with this case. Sure, you've "looked into it" but you seemingly stopped paying attention after 1970.

GRIM:

" . . . which I felt were slanted in one particular direction that amounted to LVH being responsible for their happening, as opposed to the more nuanced position of being partly responsible for the events that brought about the attention."

But that's rather the point, is it not? LVH *IS* responsible for the events that brought about the attention. Your point is taken and I know what you are saying here, but this is not the way the law works, as I think we both know. In terms of LaBianca, Leslie stands convicted of the same three counts as Manson, Krenny and Watkins: two murder counts and one for the conspiracy. The law doesn't recognize the nuance that you describe. Hell, even LVH herself does not acknowledge this. She herself has accepted full blame for what happened that night and also for helping to "create" Manson by choosing to follow him. This level of responsibility is a key part of the counselling and insight training LVH has received in prison and, if she is capable of taking that on in a personal way - we should do the same.

I do understand what you are trying to say and I don't completely disagree with it. But hell, Leslie's fate is being decided within the confines of the current-day legal system and, feeling & opinion aside, that is how we should at least try to understand these things.

grimtraveller said...

tobiasragg said:

The law doesn't recognize the nuance that you describe. Hell, even LVH herself does not acknowledge this. She herself has accepted full blame for what happened that night and also for helping to "create" Manson by choosing to follow him. This level of responsibility is a key part of the counselling and insight training LVH has received in prison and, if she is capable of taking that on in a personal way - we should do the same

I don't disagree with any of what you said. Suffice it to say, my comments regarding interviews and the press came from that context only. As is my wont in my "Death by multi-quote" fashion, as St made a series of comments as a single block, I tried to give each small chunk its own context.
I'll tell you who I do partially disagree with, though. I partially disagree with Leslie when she says she helped create Manson by following him. OK, it's true in a nuanced way, as it is for them all. But real life doesn't work that way. Charlie was on his trajectory long before he ever came into contact with LVH and nothing she did, short of killing him {!} would have prevented that trajectory from continuing.
By the way, I like the Russian doll analogy. I'm going to use that sometime. Because, like all good eclectics, theft is not an alien concept to me !

tobiasragg said...

"I partially disagree with Leslie when she says she helped create Manson by following him."

This observation and admission comes from LVH herself, it is a product of her education behind bars and it is something that she has repeated in most every parole hearing since the early 90s. Indeed, "followership" is a theoretically sound component of leadership theory - college students pursuing a degree in leadership take a course on followership as part of their course of studies.

In terms of this situation, it is not that Manson wouldn't have happened had Leslie not joined the clan - that isn't the point. The point is that a leader cannot exist without followers and those followers bear equal responsibility for the actions or direction of the group as a whole.

grimtraveller said...

Granted. I see it wider than that, hence, I partially disagree with her.

tobiasragg said...

"I see it wider than that, hence, I partially disagree with her."

Sure. And not. Sure, the scope of the situation is much wider than just LVH herself. But as an individual who was/is a part of this mess, all LVH can do is to accept and admit her complicity and active participation in these crimes and the resulting attention. In other words, the fact that there is a wider picture does not negate or except LVH's responsibility. In that way, there's nothing to really disagree with there.

St. Circumstance said...

Tom Philip Sacramento:

In California, while a gruesome murder is forever, the punishment isn’t necessarily. That appears to be just the way we want it.

Our awkward wheels of justice normally churn away quietly behind the scenes, only to come to the forefront when someone like Leslie Van Houten comes along. Her case has received public attention because of the collective fascination with how a Southern California cheerleader ended up in a murderous cult. It’s the cases that don’t get such attention that seem most vulnerable to injustices.

Californians want justice for murder to be, in part, a political act. In 1988, a majority of voters passed a measure that gives the standing governor a role with any murder convict up for parole.

“The Governor may only affirm, modify or reverse the decision of the parole authority on the basis of the same factors which the parole authority is required to consider,” the measure reads.

St. Circumstance said...

The two big factors, in the Van Houten genre of cases, completely contradict one another.

Opinion

A factor against parole is whether “the commitment offense was committed in an especially heinous, atrocious or cruel manner.” It is hard to argue that Van Houten’s acts of violence one night in Los Angeles don’t fit this description.

On the other hand, a factor for parole is institutional behavior that “indicates an enhanced ability to function within the law upon release.” Her impeccable behavior in prison is not in dispute. Age is also on the 73-year-old Van Houten’s side.

All the system’s checks and balances have come into recent play.

There was first the “professional” stage of review, which happens within the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation’s Board of Parole. The board has been on Van Houten’s side five reviews in a row.

Second was the political stage of review, by the governor. He weighed the severity of the crime over all else.

St. Circumstance said...

“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,” Gov. Gavin Newsom wrote on March 29.

Third was the state Court of Appeals. Its second district evaluated Newsom’s reversal and came back on Van Houten’s side on May 30.

“We review the governor’s decision under the highly deferential ‘some evidence’ standard, in which even a modicum of evidence is sufficient to uphold the reversal,” two of the justices wrote. “Even so, we hold on this record, there is no evidence to support the governor’s conclusions.”

This, frankly, feels to be the weakest link in this system of checks and balances. To suggest that the governor had absolutely no evidence to reverse the parole board’s decision seems weak at best — even worthy of appeal.

This system is designed to come to different conclusions at different times. The older Van Houten gets, the less recidivism is of concern. The heinous nature of the crime should never change in the system’s judgment, and neither should consideration to the victims and their family members. Yet, if there wasn’t ever to be a periodic re-balancing for parole decisions, California would not have this elaborate system.

The release of Van Houten would be forever. All she would have to do is behave.

That would be justice, California style.

St. Circumstance said...

He is smarter than all off you too...

St. Circumstance said...

But not as smart as Buddy James was - just more well spoken.

St. Circumstance said...

If it weren't for the rebalancing of parole decisions Leslie would be dead.

Just like the people she killed and that would have been fitting for the insane and cruel beyond belief she did.

Enough about what Leslie deserves. She will never really get what she deserves. She helped take a life and she got to keep hers.

grimtraveller said...

tobiasragg said:

the fact that there is a wider picture does not negate or except LVH's responsibility. In that way, there's nothing to really disagree with there

And yet, fool that I may be, I do.

as an individual who was/is a part of this mess, all LVH can do is to accept and admit her complicity and active participation in these crimes

Not in any doubt. I've spent the greater part of these long posts covering quite a bit of ground, and underpinning everything I've said about Leslie, is that very thing, her complicity, active participation and responsibility in these crimes. Yes, yes, yes. 100%.
But that is not what I am talking about when I say I partially disagree with her. I am talking about her statement that she created Manson by following him. That kite does not fly in my opinion. It is only my opinion.
19-year-olds with little real life experience that have run away from the Hippie centre of the universe, who are in an internal tizz about their enforced abortion, who are looking for someone with answers, do not create Mansons, not when Manson, at 33-34, with his extensive life experience as a manipulative, raping, pimping, woman beating, psychedelic drugging mind-unhinging, underage-girl-screwing criminal are already in receipt of a group of very young people, devoted and dedicated to his direction and desires.
In both Nuel Emmon's and George Stimson's books, that's exactly the impression that Charlie gives; it was "the kids" that pretty much directed everything and he was the learner. They are the ones that projected everything onto him. Gosh, darn, ol' Charlie never done nothing. The murders were the girls' idea. HS was Sadie and Paul. It was "the kids" trying to stop the Vietnam war....
It is not even close to a denial of Leslie's complicity, participation and responsibility to do away with the notion that she helped create Charles Manson. Not when he was already actively in existence, doing much of what he went on to do in '69 and talking about the shit coming down.
There might have been something in the notion, had it been a relationship of equals.
It was never that. Charlie didn't have relationships of equals. Especially with n00bs. Bruce, Tex, Clem and Bobby were not his equals.
She also says that she felt responsible for the abortion she didn't want to have, but had anyway. I understand what she's saying, but she doesn't bear sole responsibility for that, either. Not at 17, in White American suburbia.

the fact that there is a wider picture does not negate or except LVH's responsibility

For the murderous activity, yeah. We stand together on that. But while nuance opens the door to many different things being true at the same time, paradox insists that seemingly opposing things can be true at the same time. I think she was trying to show, as far as she could, to the parole board, that she wasn't trying to duck responsibility, because there was always that subtle accusation flung in her direction from her detractors. There still is, as St has so ably shown.

tobiasragg said...

"If it weren't for the rebalancing of parole decisions Leslie would be dead."

This is incorrect, actually. Leslie appealed her original conviction and she won her case - her original guilty verdict & death sentence was thrown out. The first retrial ended in a hung jury, the second retrial yielded the 7-life sentence she has been serving ever since. Even if the death penalty was not briefly overturned, LVH would not have been executed.

grimtraveller said...

St. Circumstance said:

He is smarter than all off you too...

Whether he is or isn't, is not for me to say. But his piece was pretty interesting. I can see why you posted it.

grimtraveller said...

tobiasragg said:

This is incorrect

A lot of St's supporting statements have been incorrect or applied so far out of context, they may as well be in Canada. But far be it for him to let the truth or the correct application of facts get in the way of a good rant !

grimtraveller said...

😁

tobiasragg said...

"19-year-olds with little real life experience . . . do not create Mansons"

Sure they do. Of course they do. Without followers there ARE no Mansons, after all.

We're kind of not disagreeing here, as I don't find flaw with anything you're saying. But I do suggest that your rationale is flawed. It doesn't matter how manipulative and seasoned Manson was or how utterly misguided LVH and the others were. Those are conditional specifics, but they do not change the fact that without followers, Manson would have no one to manipulate.

As you suggest though, we are talking personal opinion here so yeah - most anything flies. It's all good.

St. Circumstance said...

This is brand new, from Sacramento B - Had to share :)


In California, parole for violent offenders has become increasingly focused on the concept of rehabilitation and the possibility that a violent offender may return to society and contribute in a positive way. Evidently, the law applies to everyone equally — at least in theory, no matter the severity of the crimes or the havoc wreaked on society, such as when followers of Charles Manson murdered nine people starting in 1969. The victims included my father Leno LaBianca and his wife Rosemary — my stepmother.

Surviving perpetrators of such crimes have a chance of parole regardless of the unspeakable details of their actions. At the end of May, for example, a California Appeals Court said that Leslie Van Houten - the Manson family follower who helped kill my father and stepmother - should be paroled. Their ruling overturned Gov. Gavin Newsom’s 2020 decision to deny parole for Van Houten, who was convicted of stabbing my stepmother 14 times. “Van Houten has shown extraordinary rehabilitative efforts, insight, remorse, realistic parole plans, support from family and friends, favorable institutional reports, and, at the time of the Governor’s decision, had received four successive grants of parole,” the judges wrote.

St. Circumstance said...

These words stand in stark contrast to the horrors endured by my father and stepmother in their final moments before death. “Mrs. LaBianca’s body, clad in a peignoir and bathrobe, was found on the floor of the master bedroom of her home in a wealthy neighborhood in the Los Feliz district of Los Angeles. A pillowcase was pulled over her head and tied loosely with an electric cord from a lamp,” wrote the New York Times in 1970. “The body of her 44‐year‐old husband, the owner of four Los Angeles supermarkets, was discovered on the floor beside a living room couch. He was wearing pajamas and his head had also been covered by a pillowcase held in place by a knotted lamp cord. He had been stabbed 12 times. A carving fork was stuck in his abdomen, a kitchen knife in his throat and the word ‘war’ had been cut on his abdomen. He also had 14 puncture wounds in his abdomen, apparently from having been stabbed seven times with the fork.”

St. Circumstance said...

It is difficult for me to try and understand the leniency as it currently has been interpreted by the law. Personally, the topic of the 73-year-old Van Houten’s bid for release has been very difficult. I was 13 years old at the time of the murders in 1969. Before too long, the names of my father and stepmother, and those of the other Manson family victims, became familiar news to many people around the globe, much to my chagrin as a young girl. How do I react to such news in 2023 that Van Houten may soon be released after 53 years? Should I speak out and share the personal side of what it means to be a survivor? Should I stay quiet like I always have and let the older members of the family deal with it? My cousin Louis Smaldino has been a pillar of strength for many years, so I have always felt confident and comfortable with his representation at parole hearings and other matters. I have certainly become accustomed to media barrages focused on the Manson cult.

Why should this time be any different? Yet somehow I feel that this time it is very different and becoming increasingly complex. As someone told me long ago, it might be helpful to keep telling yourself — that was then; this is now. I tried, but it isn’t working. Lately, I have felt like I am back in my childhood home, 14 again, and trying to finish my homework as my biological mother argues with television newscasters. She would say things like, “Why don’t they just lock all those murderers up and throw away the key? Leno didn’t deserve this fate. He was a good man.” Or “Why don’t they show Leno as the fine man he was — they don’t even mention our suffering.” No wonder I had nightmares for more than a year.

St. Circumstance said...

Not only had I lost my dad at a vulnerable age; the trial of the Manson family and the incessant questions from people added to my trauma. It is my fervent hope that Governor Newsom’s rejection of parole for Van Houten will be reviewed by the state Supreme Court. “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,” Newsom wrote in his 2019 decision to reject parole for Van Houten. “Ms. Van Houten was an eager participant in the killing of the LaBiancas and played a significant role.”

The topic is difficult for me to intellectualize. It is a personal feeling I have, an intuition, an uncertainty about the parole release of a Manson follower, even an ex-follower as one journalist recently reminded me. Although I continue to study the various aspects of the law in order to grasp the situation, doing so always brings back the painful memories of long ago in 1969. Yet the issue is important now — not only for me or my family but for others who are similarly distraught. The argument that was then, this is now does not apply.

tobiasragg said...

Grim, I have been reading the appellate court decision and they cite a LVH quote on the whole shared leader/follower responsibility matter that we were discussing above. This struck me last night as a great example of what I was trying to share above:

Asked if there were any other factors that led to
Van Houten “cooperating with such a delusional leader,” Van
Houten answered, “The main factors were that I was . . . a very
weak person that took advantage of someone that wanted to take
control of my life and I handed it over.”

This seems to me to be a very mature acknowledgement of the shared responsibility here: Leslie takes on full responsibility for the decisions she made while still acknowledging Manson's desire for control.

Jay said...

Tobias and Grim- great comments and analysis. I always enjoy reading your comments. thank you for being informative and civil.
I'm primarily here to read about all of the different theories and information that is now available. my main interests are in the 'pop culture' aspects of the case (hence the movie and book reviews I attempt- thanks to anyone who read them), and anything to do with the women. I always found their psychologies fascinating, and continue to do so.
While I can appreciate the thoughts and concern that this case may generate, personally, I do not feel the need to get emotional and combative when discussing a true crime event that may involve a person I have no personal connection to, who may or may not get parole for killing someone over fifty years ago, whom I do not have a personal connection to either.
I just want to looks at this subject dispassionately, but I will make a blanket statement that yes, I do think what happened was horrible, and in no way do I feel that the perpetrators should not have been punished.

St. Circumstance said...

Now the inmate has given numerous stories over the years with respect to her participation in the actual murders. She has at times defined herself as being a reluctant participant. She has said that when she stabbed Rosemary LaBianca 16 times, Ms. LaBianca was already dead. She was just stabbing a corpse. Yet she also tells a witness at the trial, Ms. Moorehouse, that the more she stabbed, the more fun it was. That's hard to reconcile sort of reluctantly stabbing someone as just kind of an afterthought as if it were something to just show that you're participating. And then yet describing that as a frenzy where you're deliberately stabbing someone 16 times. And that's part of the problem that this inmate presents to the Board is that there are these inconsistent statements. There are these instances of minimization of her role in this crime. And the inconsistencies are many. There are a couple of hearings in the '90s, for example, when she said she didn't watch what Tex and Katie Watson, excuse me, Patricia Krenwinkel were doing in the bedroom. In other words, she looked away at the crucial points where she claims Ms. LaBianca was killed by Tex Watson and Patricia Krenwinkel. And that's from the 1991 hearing. At that same hearing, she said that she believed that Ms. LaBianca was dead at this point after he stabbed her. She also claims that she was asked to mutilate the bodies but she couldn't do it. She says she doesn't remember putting the pillowcase over Ms. LaBianca's head, but she said she probably did. I think from the Appellate Decision it appears that the conclusion of the Appellate Court was that she did, in fact, put a pillowcase over Ms. LaBianca's head, but she goes back and forth with respect to the pillowcase. And then in 1996, at her hearing, she said that she was definitely certain that Tex had killed Ms. LaBianca before she stabbed Ms. LaBianca in the back. She also gives the familiar refrain that I've heard in other hearings with other Family members that Tex handed her the knife and said do something before she stabbed her. Again, these are all a way of minimizing one's responsibility for the crime by looking away, by not wanting to mutilate the bodies, by not wanting to write in the victim's blood the word war or Helter Skelter or death to pigs. But yet what do we know that she actually did? We do know that after the murders, she meticulously cleaned up the residence, wiped it completely clean of fingerprints. And then she and the others drank some chocolate milk, ate some cheese from the residence, changed clothes, because their clothes were bloody, left the residence, hitchhiked back to the Ranch, burned the clothes and took the money. All of these facts in and of itself show a willful, deliberate, premeditated murder. This was something that was planned and it was carried out.

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