August 15, 2016

Van Houten Denied Parole; On to Beausoleil and Watson

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 today
Beausoleil in 1969
From July 25-27, 1969, Bobby Beausoleil tortured music teacher Gary Hinman.  He forced Hinman to sign over his two vehicles to him before stabbing him to death on July 27, while Hinman, who knew Beausoleil, begged him for mercy.  It's this crime for which many Tate-LaBianca devotees believe led to the August 8-10, 1969 massacre that would make Manson infamous, as some believe the Family was trying to commit copycat murders to free Beausoleil.  In 1984 Beausoleil was caught drawing cartoons of naked toddlers being spanked by adults and selling them to known pedophiles.  He has told various parole boards different stories about Gary Hinman's murder and his participation in it and even goes so far as to claim today that he was never affiliated with Charles Manson and the Manson Family in any way - - a fact that is easily disputed.  He once said "you'd better hope I never get out."  I say we heed that advice and make sure he doesn't.

Watson today
Watson in 1969/1970
The most infamous killer, outside of Manson himself, and one who participated in each of the brutal murders August 8-10, 1969 is Charles "Tex" Watson.  Watson, who now claims he prefers to go by his given name of Charles versus his Family name of Tex, also claims to be a born again Christian (isn't everyone in prison?) and has been allowed to marry and father four children while a longtime guest of the state of California's penal system.  That's right - - the man who personally stabbed to death the very pregnant Sharon Tate was not only granted the privilege to father children himself but to place the burden of the cost of those children on the state's taxpayers.  Seems fair.  He's also presented himself as some sort of pastor to a prison church that his now ex-wife helped him run (thereby having free reign with the tithes and donations) and has written several books, the most recent of which is nothing more than a finger pointing exercise at Charles Manson while claiming he was just a poor puppet influenced by the evil Manson and he's so, so sowwy for what he's done.  Yeah, not buying it.  Let's also not forget that he told his victims on the night of August 8-9, 1969 "I'm the devil and I'm here to do the devil's business."   If this individual is eligible for parole in anyone's book, there is no justice.

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.

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