Former Charles Manson follower and convicted killer Leslie Van Houten has been denied parole for the 20th time since she was sentenced to life in prison for her role in the infamous Tate-LaBianca murders, among the most notorious crimes of the 20th century.
As USA Today reports, Van Houten, 63, spoke before the parole board at the California Institution of Women on Wednesday, describing in detail her role in the murders, as well as her rehabilitation efforts since her imprisonment.
"I know I did something that is unforgivable, but I can create a world where I make amends," Van Houten said. "I'm trying to be someone who lives a life for healing rather than destruction."
The panel also heard from relatives of the deceased, who opposed the parole.
According to MSN, Board of Parole Hearings Commissioner Jeffrey Ferguson felt that Van Houten had failed to adequately explain how somebody of her intelligence and background could have taken part in the “cruel and atrocious” murders of Leno and Rosemary LaBianca.
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"The crimes will always be a factor," Ferguson said. "The question is whether the good will ever outweigh the bad. It certainly didn't today."
In a written statement, Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey said, “Given the brutality of the murders of Leno and Rosemary LaBianca and Van Houten’s willing and active participation in this evil, pre-planned and violent crime, we are pleased with the parole board’s decision to continue to hold Van Houten accountable for her heinous actions.”
Van Houten will be eligible for parole considerationn again in five years.
The youngest member of the Manson "family," Van Houten was convicted of murder and conspiracy for her role in the killings of Leno and Rosemary LaBianca in Los Angeles on Aug. 10, 1969. The night before, Manson and his followers killed actress Sharon Tate, wife of film director Roman Polanski, and four others. Van Houten did not participate in those murders.
"Leslie committed a great sin, a great crime in 1969, and in that time (in prison) she has developed into the equal of a saint," said Michael Satris, her lawyer. "Everything she does is for humanity."
According to the New York Daily News, Manson, now 78, does not attend parole hearings anymore, preferring to remain in prison.