By Oisin Sweeney • 01 December 2020 • 8:27
CALIFORNIA’s Governor has blocked the release of Leslie Van Houten, one of the last surviving members of the infamous Manson Family cult who terrorised California in the late 1960s.
Leslie Van Houten was 19 years old when she and two other cult members savagely murdered a Los Angeles couple in 1969. She stabbed Rosemary LaBianca 16 times, and the killers scratched ‘War’ into the stomach of her husband Leo in reference to their leader Charles Manson’s bizarre race war theories. ‘Death to Pigs’ and ‘Rise’ were scrawled on the walls of the scene in the blood of the victims.
Now 71, Van Houten was approved for release by a parole board in July but this decision has now been overturned by California governor Gavin Newsom. He said that he does not believe ‘she has come to terms with the totality of the factors that led her to participate in the vicious Manson family killings’. This case marks the fourth time Van Houten’s release has been blocked by a California governor.
The grisly double murder of the LaBiancas occurred one night after the cult slaughtered Hollywood star Sharon Tate and four others in one of America’s most chilling crimes. Tate’s sister gathered 170,000 signatures on an online petition to block Van Houten’s release. Cult leader Charles Manson died in prison in 2017.
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Oisin is an Irish writer based in Seville, the sunny capital of Andalucia. After starting his working life as a bookseller, he moved into journalism and cut his teeth as a reporter at one of Ireland's biggest news websites. Since joining Euro Weekly News in November, he has enjoyed covering the latest stories from Seville, Spain and further afield - with special interests in crime, cybersecurity, and European politics. Anyone who can pronounce his name first try gets a free cerveza...
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