|Joyous Leslie then, serious Leslie now|
Delayed news but Governor Jerry Brown did the right thing and denied Leslie Van Houten parole, despite the parole board recommending that the 66 year old convicted killer and former Manson Family member be sprung. Thank you, Governor Brown.
Without getting too much into whether or not she's rehabilitated (which Governor Brown apparently didn't buy), let's realize for a moment that she has been incarcerated since late 1969. That's 47 years, more than double the time she had lived in 1969. To say that she's thoroughly and completely institutionalized is an understatement of the highest level. (Granted, she was on bond in 1977 during her retrial.) Things have changed since 1969 and even 1977. The world has changed. Van Houten herself is no longer a giggly nineteen year old singing songs on her way to and from jail. If she were considered rehabilitated and released, could she be a healthy and productive member of society? How? She needs to pay for her crime with her life. A life sentence should mean a life sentence. And be grateful that society has granted her more mercy than she granted to Rosemary LaBianca. Van Houten was allowed to live, more than four decades past Mrs. LaBianca, and was even able to obtain a college degree. On the California taxpayers' dime, no less.
In October, two more Manson killers come up for parole and two more petitions need your signature.
|Beausoleil in 1969|
|Watson in 1969/1970|
Van Houten's denial does not bode well for Beausoleil or Watson. It's unlikely that Watson will ever get out (nor should he) but Beausoleil, being less known and having one victim versus seven, has a better shot. Beausoleil has been incarcerated since July of 1969; I would think it's not likely that during his incarceration he's become a mellow tree-hugging lover of people.
Debra Tate, Sharon's younger sister, has been an advocate for many years. I encourage you to sign her petitions, asking the California parole board to keep both Bobby Beausoleil and Tex Watson behind bars.
You can find the petition to oppose Bobby Beausoleil's parole here.
You can find the petition to oppose Tex Watson's parole here.