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 July 12, 2023

Charles Manson follower, Leslie Van Houten, paroled after 53 years

Leslie Van Houten, who was under the influence of the infamous Charles Manson, is released on parole after serving a 53-year sentence for her role in two high-profile murders.

In an unexpected turn of events, Leslie Van Houten, a one-time follower of the notorious Charles Manson, has been granted parole, as reported by Breitbart. Van Houten was sentenced in 1971 for her involvement in two horrific murders that sent shockwaves across the nation in 1969. After more than half a century, she walked out of a state prison in California this Tuesday.

Beginning a new journey

Nancy Tetreault, Van Houten's attorney, revealed that her client was relocated to a transitional living facility at an undisclosed location early Tuesday morning. Tetreault emphasized that Van Houten would require time to adapt to life outside the confines of prison after spending over five decades behind bars.

Van Houten's attorney, Nancy Tetreault, stated:

"She's going to have to learn to live in the world after 53 years in prison. So that's going to take some time."

The Manson cult and their unforgivable acts

Van Houten, at the tender age of 19, along with other members of the Manson cult, committed heinous murders.

They invaded the residence of affluent grocer Leno LaBianca and his wife, stabbing and killing them on August 10, 1969.

This terrifying incident happened just one night after five individuals were savagely murdered at the residence of film director Roman Polanski, including his pregnant wife, actress Sharon Tate.

These murders were executed under the orders of Charles Manson, one of the most infamous murderers of the 20th century, who passed away in 2017 at the age of 83.

The Manson Family were a quasi-commune that arose in California in the late 1960s, led by Charles Manson. They gained national notoriety after the murder of actress Sharon Tate and four others in her home in Los Angeles, followed by the murders of Leno and Rosemary LaBianca.

Inside the murders

Van Houten was in the company of fellow Manson Cult members Patricia Krenwinkel and Charles "Tex" Watson. Van Houten restrained Rosemary LaBianca while Krenwinkel stabbed her in the collar bone and Watson assaulted her with a bayonet. Subsequently, Van Houten stabbed Rosemary LaBianca in the back and buttocks. After the murder, Van Houten wiped the area clean of fingerprints, drank chocolate milk, and changed her clothes.

Furthermore, the LaBianca murders were particularly gruesome. The couple was stabbed multiple times, and the word "War" was carved into Leno LaBianca's stomach. The phrases "Death to pigs" and "Rise" were written in blood on the walls, and "Healter Skelter" [sic] was written in blood on the refrigerator door.

Parole decision previously reversed

In May, a California appeals court overturned Governor Gavin Newsom's decision to deny Van Houten parole.

However, despite her involvement in the gruesome murders, Van Houten, now 73, has reportedly been an exemplary prisoner. Her legal team has contended that she presents no threat to society.

The Los Angeles Times reported:

Judges for the appellate court in Los Angeles wrote that Newsom's rejection 'fails to account for the decades of therapy, self-help programming and reflection Van Houten has undergone in the past 50 years.'

Governor Newsom chose not to contest the court's decision, paving the way for Van Houten's release.


  • Leslie Van Houten has been released on parole after serving 53 years for her part in two infamous murders.
  • Nancy Tetreault, Van Houten's legal representative, stated that her client would require time to adapt to life beyond prison walls.
  • Van Houten was a member of the Manson cult, who committed heinous crimes under the orders of Charles Manson.
  • During the LaBianca murders, Van Houten restrained Rosemary LaBianca while other members of the Manson cult stabbed her multiple times.
  • A California appeals court overturned Governor Gavin Newsom's decision to deny Van Houten parole, leading to her release.

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Written By: Rampart Stonebridge

I'm Rampart Stonebridge, a curious and passionate writer who can't get enough of true crime. As a criminal investigative journalist, I put on my detective hat, delving deep into each case to reveal the hidden truths. My mission? To share engaging stories and shed light on the complexities of our mysterious world, all while satisfying your curiosity about the intriguing realm of true crime.
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