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Manson cult member wants to be freed..should she be able too?

Leslie Van Houten, one of Charles Manson's groupie killers, is up for parole -- for the 19th time. Should she be released?

Van Houten, 60, was just 19 when she joined other members of the Manson cult in the 1969 killings of Leno and Rosemary LaBianca, wealthy California grocers. The couple was stabbed to death the night after Manson's followers killed the pregnant actress Sharon Tate, celebrity hairdresser Jay Sebring, coffee heiress Abigail Folger, filmmaker Voytek Frykowski, and Steven Parent, a friend of the Tate estate's caretaker. Van Houten did not participate in the Tate killings.

But she went along "for the ride" the next night and admitted to joining other cult members in stabbing Rosemary LaBianca after she was dead. Van Houten was convicted of murder and conspiracy.


Asked by sweet-a-kins at 10:16 PM on Jul. 6, 2010 in Politics & Current Events

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Answers (16)
  • Nope. A life sentence should be just that.

    Answer by DEpley at 11:54 PM on Jul. 6, 2010

  • Here is my question... IF she had been involved in ANY other killings, would she have been released before this? Chances are she would have been out on the street a long time ago. The ONLY reason she is still in prison is because of the noteworthiness of the case... She did not actually kill anyone from what I remember of her case, she only stabbed the woman AFTER she was killed... Had this been any other case, she would have been out a long time ago.

    Answer by SabrinaMBowen at 10:22 PM on Jul. 6, 2010

  • No. She doesn't ever deserve to be free. She "went along" with something that ended the lives of a lot of innocent people. She has demonstrated a definite lack of any sort of respect for life - and I don't give a shit how old she is now or how long she has been in jail. She is there because she deserves to be there and she deserves to die there. That is how criminals get treated. She should have used her brain instead of just following along with a crazy person on a homicidal rampage. Now she continues to pay the price. Such is life.

    Answer by Allergic2Stupid at 10:20 PM on Jul. 6, 2010

  • no

    Answer by starestrada at 10:20 PM on Jul. 6, 2010

  • It is really hard to say. She has been incarcerated for so long - would she survive once released? I think she has served her time for her crime.

    Answer by beckie66 at 10:20 PM on Jul. 6, 2010

  • No! The crimes were so outrageously heinous, high profile or not. I can't believe they are wasting our tax dollars on a parole hearing.

    Answer by comfycouch at 10:28 PM on Jul. 6, 2010

  • If Rosemary was already dead, then how was it murder? How did she get the same sentence as say... Katie Krenwinkle who was at BOTH murder scenes and actually KILLED people? I think they should let her out and the only reason she's still in there is because of the name Manson attached to her case.


    Answer by IhartU at 10:32 PM on Jul. 6, 2010

  • She was sentenced to death. Her sentence was commuted to life in 1972. Life is exactly what she should serve. I don't care that she was 19, I don't care how much 'good" she has done in prison. You kill someone..ANYONE and you forfeit your. Whether by death penalty or life in prison. THAT is deterent. If the law read 'You kill someone and are convivted you forfeit your own" Hardass..yeah maybe...but I'm tired of seeing stories of offenders who just killed someone else after being released from prison.

    Answer by GrnEyedGrandma at 11:26 PM on Jul. 6, 2010

  • I agree with Sabrina...

    Answer by BradenIsMySon at 10:25 PM on Jul. 6, 2010

  • Here is my question... IF she had been involved in ANY other killings, would she have been released before this?

    Maybe, but the VIOLENT nature of what they did to Sharon tate....IDK,,thats special circumstanced


    Comment by sweet-a-kins (original poster) at 10:25 PM on Jul. 6, 2010