California Supreme Court denies Manson
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[December 22, 2016]
(Reuters) - The California Supreme
Court denied a request on Wednesday to hold a hearing in the parole case
of Leslie Van Houten who, as a follower of cult leader Charles Manson,
took part in one of the most notorious mass murders of the 20th century.
California Governor Jerry Brown overturned a California Board of Parole
recommendation to release Van Houten in July, saying she was an
"unreasonable danger to society," four decades after she was convicted
and sentenced to life for the murders of Leno and Rosemary LaBianca.
In a petition to the state's Supreme Court, her attorney Rich Pfeiffer
said Van Houten believed the governor did not have evidence that she
remained a risk to the public, the City News Service in Los Angeles
The Supreme Court denied the petition for review, according to an entry
on the court's online case database.
Pfeiffer was not immediately available for comment.
Manson, who is also serving a life sentence, directed Van Houten and his
other mostly young, female followers - known as the Manson Family - to
murder seven people in August 1969 in what prosecutors said was part of
a plan to incite a race war between whites and blacks.
Van Houten was found guilty of the LaBianca murders in 1971 and
sentenced to death, but that conviction and sentence were overturned on
appeal. She was retried, convicted and sentenced to life in prison in
The La Biancas were stabbed to death in their Los Angeles home on Aug.
10, 1969, after which the killers used their blood to write "Rise",
"Death to Pigs" and "Healter-Skelter", a misspelled reference to a
Beatles song, on the walls and a refrigerator door.
Among the victims of the Manson Family was actress Sharon Tate, the
pregnant wife of filmmaker Roman Polanski. She was stabbed 16 times by
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Leslie Van Houten listens during her parole hearing in Corona,
California, June 28, 2002. REUTERS/DamianDovarganes/POOL
Four other people were stabbed or shot to death at Tate's home on
Aug. 9, 1969, by Manson's followers, who scrawled the word "Pig" in
blood on the front door before leaving. Van Houten was not involved
in the Tate murders.
Manson is serving out his sentence at Corcoran State Prison in
California for the seven Tate-LaBianca killings and the murder of
another man, Gary Hinman, in July 1969.
(Reporting by Brendan O'Brien in Milwaukee; Editing by Paul Tait)
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