Leslie Van Houten Wiki – Leslie Van Houten Bio
Leslie Van Houten is an American convicted murderer and former member of the Manson Family. During her time with Manson’s group, she was known by various aliases such as Louella Alexandria, Leslie Marie Sankston, Linda Sue Owens and Lulu.
Van Houten was arrested and charged in connection with the 1969 killings of Leno and Rosemary LaBianca. She was convicted and sentenced to death. However, the California Supreme Court decision on People v. Anderson then ruled in 1972 that the death penalty was unconstitutional, resulting in her sentence of her being commuted to life in prison. Her conviction of her was then overturned in a 1976 appeal court decision which granted her a retrial. Her second trial of her ended with a deadlocked jury and a mistrial. At her third trial of her in 1978, she was convicted of two counts of murder and one count of conspiracy and sentenced to seven years to life in prison. She was paroled in 2023.
Van Houten was born on August 23, 1949, in the Los Angeles suburb of Altadena to Paul Van Houten and Jane. She is of Irish, English, Scottish, Dutch, and German descent. She grew up in a middle-class churchgoing family along with an older brother and two adopted siblings, a brother and a sister, who were Korean. Her mother and father of her divorced when she was 14. She began taking LSD and Benzedrine, and smoking hashish around age 15, running away for a time, but returning to complete high school. She said that later at age 17, she became pregnant and was ordered by her mother to undergo an abortion and to bury the aborted fetus in their backyard. Van Houten stated that after this event, she felt very removed from her mother and harbored intense anger toward her. She had a period of interest in yoga and took a year-long secretarial course, but became a hippie, living at a commune. Van Houten graduated from Monrovia High School in Monrovia, California, in 1967.
Leslie Van Houten is 73 years old.
Released From Prison After 53 Years
Leslie Van Houten, the youngest of Charles Manson’s former followers, was released from prison Tuesday after 53 years behind bars.
Van Houten was “released to parole supervision” on July 11, according to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.
According to the CDCR, Van Houten, 73, will “have a three-year maximum parole term with a parole discharge review occurring after one year.”
Van Houten was convicted, along with other members of the Manson “family,” of the brutal 1969 slayings of Los Angeles grocer Leno LaBianca and his wife Rosemary.
Van Houten had been serving her time at the California Institution for Women in Corona before her release of it.
“I feel relieved,” says Rich Pfeiffer, an attorney for Van Houten.
Van Houten was released Tuesday morning and taken to a confidential transitional facility.
Pfeiffer says she will probably not be at the facility for a long time because “she is so ready” to be out in the world, he tells PEOPLE. “She has some computer skills from the job she had in prison. She has got a “master’s degree. She is very bright. She has got a lot of support from family and friends. She will do just fine.”
“She has multiple options of where to go live,” he says. “People have offered her places de ella at their homes de ella. Ella she’s had job offers.”
Pfeiffer says Van Houten’s thesis was on sustained rehabilitation.
“Ella She is very good at helping people rehabilitate themselves,” he says. “Ella She was a tutor in prison and helped a lot of people get their college degree.”
Last week, California Gov. Gavin Newsom said he wouldn’t fight a California appellate court’s decision to grant her parole. Newsom had fought previous attempts to have her granted parole.
“Governor Newsom reversed Ms. Van Houten’s parole grant three times since taking office and defended against her challenges of those decisions in court,” Erin Mellon, spokesperson for the governor’s office, said in a statement obtained by PEOPLE. “The Governor is disappointed by the Court of Appeal’s decision to release Ms. Van Houten but he will not pursue further action as efforts to further appeal are unlikely to succeed.”
During a two-day spree in August 1969, Manson and his followers were responsible for the murders of seven people, including 26-year-old actress Sharon Tate.
The killings were part of a plot by Manson to start a race war, which he named “Helter Skelter” after the Beatles song. They were particularly coarse in nature: A pregnant Tate, the wife of director Roman Polanski, was found stabbed 16 times, with an “X” carved into her stomach inside her secluded Los Angeles home in the canyons above Hollywood and Beverly Hills.
Also murdered were coffee heiress Abigail Folger, writer Voytek Frykowski, hairstylist Jay Sebring, and 18-year-old delivery boy Steven Parent. Their bodies were discovered the following day.
Less than 48 hours later, grocery store owner LaBianca and his wife Rosemary were found dead in the Los Feliz district of L.A. The word “war” was carved into his stomach, from which an ivory-handled carving fork protruded. “Death to Pigs” was scrawled with their blood on the living room wall.
The bloody Tate-LaBianca murders came to define an era in L.A. history.
Manson and his followers were convicted in 1971 and ultimately given life sentences, being spared execution after California temporarily banned the death penalty.
Van Houten, who was 19 at the time of the murders, was found guilty of two counts of first-degree murder and one count of conspiracy to commit murder in the slayings of the LaBiancas.
At a previous parole hearing, the former homecoming princess said that her parents divorced when she was 14, after which she began hanging around a group of misfits and started doing marijuana and LSD.
She ran away with a boyfriend when she was 17, ended up in San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury District during the so-called “summer of love” and got pregnant, the AP reports.
Her attorney de ella said she was forced to have an abortion and they put the fetus in a coffee can and buried it in her backyard de ella.
Van Houten said she later met Manson through an acquaintance at Spahn Ranch, a hippie compound outside of Los Angeles.
Van Houten admitted she participated in the brutal slayings of the LaBiancas on Aug. 9, 1969. On that fateful night, she said she helped hold down Rosemary while Charles “Tex” Watson stabbed her. Watson then told her “Do something,” and he passed her a knife and she stabbed Rosemary in her back around 14 times.
She was found suitable for parole at her 22nd parole hearing in 2020, but the decision was reversed by Newsom.
Van Houten appealed the decision and it was overturned on May 30, 2023, by the California Second District Court of Appeal, according to the CDCR.
Van Houten was granted parole five times since 2016 but had been blocked each time by the governor’s office.
“She just wants to go to work and live a normal life like everybody else,” says Pfeiffer.