Thursday, April 28, 2016


Leslie Van Houten, Leslie Van Houten. Why does that name sound so familiar? Hmm. Oh, I know. Because she was one of the Charles Manson "Family" members convicted of murdering Leno and Rosemary La Bianco in Hollywood Hills CA in the summer of 1969.

As many of you may or may not recall, Charles Manson was the leader of what was basically a cult leader in California who wished to start a revolution in which blacks and whites would be pitted against each other in violent revolution. In his deranged scheme based on what he perceived as secret messages sent to him exclusively by The Beatles in the lyrics of their latest album titled The Beatles, more commonly known as The White Album, he believed that after the race war ended he would emerge as the supreme world leader. Yikes. The Beatles song Helter Skelter was interpreted as containing the contents or framework of the apocalyptic race revolution which would result with him reigning supreme. Coo coo, I know. Imagine how the Beatles themselves must have felt at the time.

Anyway, on the evening of August 9, 1969 Charles Manson ordered "Family members, Leslie Van Houten, Steve "Clem" Grogan and four other family members who on the previous night had murdered socialites Sharon Tate, Jay Sebring, Abigal Folger, and Wojciech, to go out and kill super market mogul Leno LaBianca and his wife Rosemary. Manson sent Van Houten and two others up to the house. Van Houten stabbed Rosemary LaBianca 41 times.

In a trial in Los Angelos, CA,  that began on June 15, 1970 Leslie Van Houten was charged with two counts of murder and one count of conspiracy.

This brings us to today. On April 15, 2016, Leslie Van Houten, age 66,  was recommended for parole after serving 46 years in prison. The decision was made at a hearing at the California Institution for Women according to the Los Angelos Times. What happens next is that there will be a review of the decision by a legal team and then it will all be up to California governor Jerry Brown who does have the ability to block the recommendation.

I remember reading the book Helter Skelter after it came out when I was in Junior high school in Flint in 1975. It was spooky creepy then, and its spooky creepy now. As for her possible release, I don't know. Many members of victims families continue to suffer the consequences of  the murders that took pace on the evenings of August 8 and 9 in 1969. Hopefully, the families of the victims will have some say in regard to the final decision regarding the parole of Leslie Van Houten, We shall see.

Jeff Brown
Editor in Chief
Purple Walrus Press
Leslie Van Houten far right with other Manson "Family" member during 1970 trial. Photo credit USAtoday.comAdd caption

1 comment: