SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — A convicted murderer and follower of Charles Manson is once again on the verge of walking free. Leslie Van Houten has been in this position before.
She’s been up for parole 21 times, and on Wednesday it was once again granted by the California Parole Board.
At 19, she was the youngest follower in Charles Manson’s cult. Van Houten and others were convicted of the 1969 murder of Leno and Rosemary La Bianca in Los Angeles.
On Wednesday, a year after her last parole denial, she was deemed suitable for release.
“There was nothing heartfelt in her testimony today,” said Deborah Tate, the sister of Sharon Tate who was one of the Manson clan victims from the summer of 1969. “It was the same business as usual that it always has been before.”
Tate has spent years pushing for Manson and his associates to stay behind bars. She urged the Gov. Jerry Brown to reject the board’s decisions in the past.
“The woman still makes very bad choices,” said Tate, “we can’t trust her in a free society.”
Brown agreed last year when he denied Van Houten’s parole.
The board approved Van Houten’s parole request again saying she has done everything she can to rehabilitate herself, earning a bachelor’s and master’s degree. She even teaches classes in prison.
They say 17 doctors wrote letters saying she’s no longer poses a danger to society.
But victim’s family members say the decades behind bars, don’t change the person inside, saying Van Houten is a narcissist, a danger, and incapable of handling rejection.
“That could drive them to kill again,” said Tate.
Brown has 120 days to approve, reject or do nothing with the board’s decision.