Manson Disciple Loses Bid for Freedom

Slasher Leslie Van Houten blows 19th try
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 7, 2010 1:20 AM CDT
Manson Disciple Loses Bid for Freedom
Leslie Van Houten makes a plea for her freedom at a 2002 parole hearing at the California Institution for Women in Corona, Calif.   (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes, File)

Charles Manson disciple Leslie Van Houten lost another bid for freedom yesterday after decades behind bars for her role in the notorious 1969 Manson "family" cult killings. Van Houten, 60, didn't take part in the murders of Roman Polanski's pregnant wife, Sharon Tate, and 4 others in the film director's home the first night of the killing spree that year. But the next night, she held down neighbor Rosemary LaBianca and fatally stabbed her some two dozen times in the back.

"I'm deeply ashamed of it," she told a parole board in 2002. "I take very seriously not just the murders but what made me make myself available to someone like Manson." A Los Angeles deputy district attorney vehemently argued at that time against any parole after such "vicious" acts by Van Houten, reports the Los Angeles Times. Sharon Tate's sister, Debra, and a nephew of murder victim Leno LaBianca spoke out against releasing Van Houten at the hearing yesterday at the California Institution for Women.
(Read more Sharon Tate stories.)

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