Van Houten, who was 19 when she killed for Manson in 1969, appeared before a parole panel for the 21st time Wednesday. That doesn't mean she's out, but it's a big step toward that. And because Van Houten's pardon came from a panel of state commissioners, Brown also has the option to "send the decision to the full Board of Parole". At her parole hearing past year, she said she helped hold Rosemary down while another Manson follower stabbed her repeatedly.
Van Houten was the youngest member of the "Manson Family", that terrorized California in the late 1960's.
Debra is a devout and vigilant opponent of Charles Manson and all of his convicted associates ever getting parole, going to great lengths to protest whenever any of them has a parole hearing. Many others, including the families of the victims, oppose her release. After a 120-day review process, California Gov. Leslie Van Houten has been in this position before.
Manson, 82, and others involved in the slayings are still behind bars.
Van Houten discussed her childhood with the two panelists: from her parents' divorce when she was 14 to her years as a high school outcast who experimented with LSD at age 15.
Van Houten was the youngest Manson follower to take part in the killings after joining the cult in the 1960s. She was pardoned for the first time past year but Brown refused to let her go, saying she was "an unreasonable danger to society if released from prison".
When the panel announced its decision, Van Houten smiled. She was part of the group that entered the LaBiancas' home, and she held Rosemary down while Charles "Tex" Watson stabbed Leno.
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From left, Manson followers Susan Atkins, Patricia Krenwinkel and Leslie Van Houten walk into a morning court session in 1970.
"I don't let myself off the hook".
Members of both the Tate and La Bianca families have argued against parole for Van Houten, or for any Manson follower. "Some people could not leave".
She was not with Manson followers the night before when they killed pregnant actress Sharon Tate and four others during a similar bloody rampage.
Share ended her testimony by saying that she regretted encouraging Houten to join the cult.
A member of cult leader Charles Manson's infamous "family" has been granted parole - and Sharon Tate's sister is already working to overturn it.