Leslie Van Houten, a former follower of mass murderer Charles Manson, has been granted parole in California and people are freaking out. Here’s everything need to know about the 68-year-old who killed for Manson.
1. Leslie Van Houten was the youngest of mass murderer Charles Manson’s followers. Leslie Van Houten, 68, was just 19 years old when she took part in a series of murders committed in the name of notorious serial killer Charles Manson, 82, during the summer of 1969 in Los Angeles. Click here to see pics of Charles.
2. She has been very open and honest about the time she spent with the “Manson Family.” The former Manson follower has confessed to murdering both LA grocer Leno La Bianca and his wife Rosemary, in their home in August 1969, during the summer she joined Manson’s cult. At a parole hearing in 2016 she revealed she helped hold the woman down while another cult member stabbed her over and over. Then Leslie stabbed Rosemary 12 times. However, Leslie was not with the cult when they famously murdered pregnant actress Sharon Tate, along with four other victims, in a massacre.
3. Leslie was the youngest woman ever sentenced to death in California during the main Charles Manson trial in 1971. Leslie was convicted in the initial Manson trial and sentenced to death, however all the executions in California were halted in 1972 after the California Supreme Court ruled that the death penalty was unconstitutional. Leslie was granted a new trial where her defense to first degree murder was diminished responsibility. In that trial the jury could not agree on a verdict. It was at a third trial that Leslie was convicted and sentenced to life in prison, with the possibility of parole — which she was granted today, Sept. 6.
4. Leslie has put her time in prison to good use. The convicted murderer has been incarcerated for more than 40 years and in that time has earned college degrees and has reportedly acted as a model prisoner at the California Institution for Women in Chino, according to Fox News.
5. Leslie endured severe trauma prior to joining Manson’s cult. The parolee was a former high school homecoming princess and a cheerleader, before she dropped out of school and joined the serial killer’s cult. Leslie has testified that she joined the cult after she began doing drugs to cope with the trauma of her parents’ divorce and her teen pregnancy, during which her mother forced her to have an “induced miscarriage.”
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