Scroll down to access the Original post from September 5, 2009
I’m gluing Manson Family updates to the top of this post as they become available.
UPDATE: From November 29, 2020
Governor Newsom nixes parole for Charles Manson follower Leslie Van Houten
by: Associated Press
Posted: Nov 28, 2020 / 07:19 PM PST / Updated: Nov 28, 2020 / 07:21 PM PST
California Gov. Gavin Newson has reversed parole for Charles Manson follower Leslie Van Houten, marking the fourth time a governor has blocked her release.
A California panel recommended parole in July for Van Houten, who has spent nearly five decades in prison. Newsom reversed her release once previously and his predecessor, Jerry Brown, blocked it twice.
Van Houten’s attorney, Rich Pfeiffer, said they will appeal Newsom’s decision.
“This reversal will demonstrate to the courts that there is no way Newsom will let her out,” Pfeiffer said. “So they have to enforce the law or it will never be enforced.”
Van Houten is serving a life sentence for helping Manson and others kill Los Angeles grocer Leno LaBianca and his wife, Rosemary, in August 1969. Van Houten was 19 when she and other cult members fatally stabbed the LaBiancas and smeared the couple’s blood on the walls.
The day before, other Manson followers, not including Van Houten, killed pregnant actress Sharon Tate and four others.
Newsom said in his decision that “evidence shows that she currently poses an unreasonable danger to society if released from prison.”
Pfeiffer had unsuccessfully requested her release in May due to the coronavirus pandemic.
In 2017, at her parole hearing, Van Houten talked about her childhood, including being devastated by her parents’ divorce when she was 14, using drugs, and running away with a boyfriend at the age of 17. She met Manson while traveling along the coast.
Manson was living on the edge of Los Angeles with the “family” he recruited to survive a race war that he said he would spark with random, horrifying murders.
Manson died in 2017 of natural causes at a California hospital while serving a life sentence.
View the entire ktla.com post here.
UPDATE: From July 2, 2018
JUDGE UPHOLDS GOVERNOR’S DECISION TO REVERSE PAROLE FOR MANSON MURDERER LESLIE VAN HOUTEN
BY LOS FELIZ LEDGER ON JUNE 29, 2018
LOS ANGELES — A judge Friday denied a petition challenging Gov. Jerry Brown’s decision to reverse a state parole board’s recommendation of parole for former Charles Manson follower Leslie Van Houten, who was convicted of the 1969 murders of grocers Leno and Rosemary La Bianca at their Los Feliz home.
“While petitioner may someday be suitable for parole, when her commitment offense is no longer predictive of current dangerousness, it is not yet that day,” Superior Court Judge William C. Ryan wrote in a 16-page ruling, in which he called the crimes “among the most abominable committed in California in the second half of the 20th century.”
The judge wrote that he had concluded that there was “some evidence” to support the governor’s determination that petitioner poses an unreasonable risk of danger to society, and that all of petitioner’s due process rights were met and found that the petition challenging the governor’s reversal of parole “must be denied.”
Van Houten’s appellate attorney, Rich Pfeiffer, has vowed to continue to fight for Van Houten’s release. He said he plans to ask a panel from California’s 2nd District Court of Appeal to intervene.
Van Houten, now 68, was convicted of murder and conspiracy for participating with fellow Manson family members Charles “Tex” Watson and Patricia Krenwinkel in the Aug. 9, 1969, killings of Leno La Bianca, 44, and his 38-year-old wife, who were each stabbed multiple times.
The former Monrovia High School cheerleader and homecoming princess did not participate in the Manson family’s killings of pregnant actress Sharon Tate and four others in a Benedict Canyon mansion the night before.
A state parole board panel had initially recommended parole for Van Houten in April 2016 after she had been denied parole 19 times between 1979 and 2013. But the governor subsequently reversed that decision, finding in July 2016 that “the evidence shows that she currently poses an unreasonable danger to society if released from prison.”
At a hearing in a downtown Los Angeles courtroom last summer, a woman who once lived at a ranch with Manson testified that Van Houten was “extremely docile” before the killings and that she believed Van Houten would have done anything the cult leader asked. Catherine Share’s testimony came during an Aug. 31 hearing to present mitigating evidence now allowed under state law because Van Houten was 19 at the time of the killings.
Last September, a parole board panel again recommended that Van Houten be granted parole. But the governor reversed the recommendation, finding in January that she “has not wholly accepted responsibility for her role in the violent and brutal deaths” of the La Biancas.
Manson — who died last November — and many of his other former followers have repeatedly been denied parole.
From September 10, 2017
Sep 7th, 2017
By Associated Press
Leslie Van Houten, the youngest of Charles Manson’s murderous followers, was recommended for parole Wednesday by a state panel that concluded she has radically changed her life during the more than 40 years she has been in prison for two brutal murders she helped commit 48 years ago and is no longer a threat to society.
The two-member panel’s ruling must still be approved by the state Parole Board and Gov, Jerry Brown, who reversed another panel’s ruling last year.
In blocking her release then, Brown said Van Houten had failed to adequately explain to the panel how a model teenager from a privileged Southern California family who had once been a homecoming princess could have turned into a ruthless killer by age 19.
On Wednesday, the panel grilled her for two hours on how she could address those concerns.
“I’ve had a lot of therapy trying to answer that question myself,” she said.
“To tell you the truth, the older I get the harder it is to deal with all of this, to know what I did, how it happened,” added Van Houten, now a frail-looking 68-year-old who appeared before the panel on crutches, her gray hair pulled back in a bun.
She went on to say that she was devastated when her parents divorced when she was 14. Soon after, she said, she began hanging out with her school’s outcast crowd in the Los Angeles suburb of Monrovia. She started smoking marijuana and graduated to LSD at 15. When she was 17, she and her boyfriend ran away to San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury District during San Francisco’s summer of love.
When they returned, she said, she discovered she was pregnant. When her mother found out, she ordered her to have an abortion and bury her fetus in their backyard.
Soon after, she was traveling up and down the California coast, trying to find peace within herself when acquaintances led her to Manson, who was holed up at an old abandoned movie ranch on the outskirts of Los Angeles where he had recruited what he called a “family” to survive what he insisted would be a race war he would launch by committing a series of random, horrifying murders. His disaffected youthful followers became convinced that the small-time criminal and con man was actually a Christ-like figure and believed him.
As she did at her parole hearing last year, the soft-spoken Van Houten went on to candidly describe how she joined several other members of the “Manson Family” in killing Los Angeles grocer Leno La Bianca and his wife, Rosemary, in their home on Aug. 9, 1969, carving up La Bianca’s body and smearing the couple’s blood on the walls.
She was not with Manson followers the night before when they killed pregnant actress Sharon Tate and four others during a similar bloody rampage.
On the night of the second attack she said she held Rosemary La Bianca down with a pillowcase over her head as others stabbed her dozens of times. Then, ordered by Manson disciple Tex Watson to “do something,” she picked up a butcher knife and stabbed the woman more than a dozen times.
“I feel absolutely horrible about it, and I have spent most of my life trying to find ways to live with it,” she added quietly.
Relatives of the La Biancas didn’t believe her. They spoke emotionally as they pleaded with the commission to reject her parole bid.
“No member of the Manson family deserves parole, ever,” nephew Louis Smaldino said. “She is a total narcissist and only thinks of herself and not the damage she has done.”
The voice of the La Biancas’ oldest grandson, Tony LaMontagne, broke as he noted he’s about to turn 44, the same age his grandfather was when he was killed.
“Please see to it that this fight doesn’t have to happen every year for the rest of our lives,” he said of Van Houten’s nearly two dozen parole hearings.
Family members left before the panel announced its decision.
In reaching it, Parole Commissioner Brian Roberts and Deputy Commissioner Dale Pomantz said they took into account Van Houten’s entire time of incarceration. During those years she has earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in counseling, been certified as a counselor and headed numerous programs to help inmates.
“You’ve been a facilitator, you’ve been a tutor and you’ve been giving back for quite a number of years,” Roberts said.
Still, he warned her that if she is released that living in society again will not be easy. He noted parole officials have heard from “tens of thousands” of people who don’t want her released. But others, he added, including many who have known her since childhood, spoke up for her, saying they’ve seen her mature in prison and become a different person.
“So with that we’d like to wish you good luck,” he said.
“Thank you very much, I really appreciate it,” replied Van Houten, who attended on crutches because of a knee injury suffered in a recent fall. She said her health is otherwise fine.
Afterward, her attorney, Rich Pfeiffer, said he believes Van Houten addressed the concerns the governor had when he denied her parole last year.
“My hope is he’s going to follow the law and let his commissioners do their job,” he said.
He added his client was relieved by Wednesday’s ruling, adding he believes she will be released eventually.
“I’m getting her out of here. That’s not an issue. The question is when,” he said.
No one who took part in the Tate-La Bianca murders has been released from prison so far.
Van Houten has been in prison for more than 40 years for her role in two brutal murders committed by disciples of Charles Manson.
By Associated Press
<strong>Read more about The Manson Family here</strong>:
<a href=”http://LasVegasBuffetClub.com” target=”_blank”>LasVegasBuffetClub.Com</a>
From JAN 11 2017, 10:56 AM ET
Hell gets ready to welcome Charles Manson
JANUARY 10, 201711:40AM
CHARLES Manson is closing in on death’s door, a source familiar said on Monday.
[ NOT TRUE scroll down to LISTEN TO MANSON PHONE CALL FROM PRISON ]
[PLEASE BE ADVISED NAZI IMAGERY INCLUDES HITLER DOLL]
“I don’t think he’ll be around too much longer, but he is able to talk in his current condition,” the California Corrections Department source told the New York Post, referring to the infamous cult leader’s health crisis.
Last week, Manson, 82, was taken out of Corcoran State Prison in California’s Central Valley and rushed to a hospital in Bakersfield about 100km away for emergency surgery to stop his intestines from bleeding, sources told The Post.
But doctors decided not to perform the procedure because they believed that Manson was “too weak” and could potentially die while under the knife, TMZ reported.
Manson was then shuttled back to the prison, where he’s currently being held, sources said Read more…
BY NANCY DILLON
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Tuesday, January 10, 2017, 9:43 PM
Alleged friend of Charles Manson claims killer cult leader called to say he isn’t near death
LISTEN TO MANSON PHONE CALL FROM PRISON
[PLEASED BE ADVISED NAZI IMAGERY INCLUDES HITLER DOLL]
“Charles Manson is nowhere near death’s door, a friend of the murder mastermind told the Daily News Tuesday.”
“He’s not about to die,” Illinois-based pal Ben Gurecki said in a phone interview. “He is strong. He is healthy. I’ve talked to him every night since he got out of the hospital.”
“He claimed Manson phoned from Corcoran State Prison Friday night, just hours after guards shuttled him back from Mercy Hospital in Bakersfield, Calif.”
From JUL 23 2016, 10:56 AM ET
by THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
California Governor Denies Parole for Manson Ex-Follower Leslie Van Houten
California Gov. Jerry Brown denied parole Friday for Leslie Van Houten, the youngest follower of murderous cult leader Charles Manson who is serving a life sentence for killing a wealthy grocer and his wife more than 40 years ago read more
From October 19, 2012
12 unsolved murders have possible ties to Manson family, LAPD says
By By Samantha Tata and Robert Kovacik, NBC Los Angeles
LOS ANGELES – The LAPD on Thursday announced it has open investigations on a dozen unsolved homicides near known Manson Family hangouts around Los Angeles.
The revelation came amid a legal battle to obtain hours of audio tape recordings between former Charles Manson follower and convicted murderer Charles “Tex” Watson and his lawyer.
“We have an obligation to the families of these victims,” Cmdr. Andy Smith told NBC4. “Our detectives need to listen to these tapes. The tapes might help with solving these murders.”
News of the open investigation was first reported by the Los Angeles Times Thursday and confirmed to NBC4 by LAPD officials. Smith told the Times the 12 murders they are investigating “are similar to some of the Manson killings.” read more
From October 5, 2012
Former Charles Manson associate Bruce Davis, who was convicted of murdering two men, has been recommended for parole, KTLA.com reported.
By NBC News
The California Parole Board recommended parole for Bruce Davis, 69, at his 27th parole hearing, finding that during his 40 years in prison he had a record of good behavior and had earned a master’s degree in philosophy and religion through a correspondence course.
Davis was convicted alongside Manson for the 1969 killings of Gary Hinman, a musician, and Donald Shea, a stuntman who lived with the Manson crew who was nicknamed “Shorty.” Davis is serving two life sentences. His crimes were unrelated to the murders of pregnant actress Sharon Tate and six others. read more…
FROM April 6, 2012 | 1:24 pm
From the LA Times Blog: “Charles Manson may not attend parole hearing, but lawyer will”
Next week convicted killer Charles Manson is set for his 12th chance before the parole board, but so far the notorious inmate informed Corcoran State Prison officials that he is not planning to attend.
Corcoran State Prison spokeswoman Theresa Cisneros said so far Manson has said that he will not be showing up for his parole hearing but as is allowed he could have a last-minute change of heart. An attorney for Manson, however, is expected to attend, Cisneros said.
It could be his final chance at freedom as the state board under Marsy’s Law can now deny parole for up to 15 years. Manson is now 77.
Manson refused to participate in his last parole hearing, in 2007, describing himself as a “prisoner of the political system.” He also declined to participate in any psychological evaluations that were part of that process.
He and other members of his so-called family were convicted of killing actress Sharon Tate and six other people during a bloody rampage in the Los Angeles area during two August nights in 1969. He is housed in a special unit for inmates felt to be endangered by other inmates separated from the general prison population.
Twice in the last few years, guards at Corcoran State Prison said they found phones in the notorious killer’s possession. Manson called people in California, New Jersey and Florida with an LG flip phone found under his prison bunk in March 2009, The Times reported in 2011. A second cellphone was found a year later. Thirty days were added to his sentence for the first offense, officials said.
Earlier, a homemade weapon was found in his possession.
Despite the prospect that Manson will be absent, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office said it would vigorously oppose Manson’s release. “We consistently [opposed parole] and will continue to do so,” spokeswoman Sandi Gibbons said.
A new photo released by the California prison system shows Manson with long, gray hair and a beard. It was released at the request of CNN. read more…
UPDATE YAHOO NEWS Fri Jan 21, 7:03 pm ET By Vanessa Evans:
Manson Family Member Patricia Krenwinkel Denied Parole
“Although they made note of the progress she’s made in her life throughout the four decades that’s she been incarcerated in a California prison, on Thursday a parole board panel denied former Manson follower Patricia Krenwinkel’s request to be released. The two-person board was conducted by parole commissioner Susan Melanson and deputy commissioner Steven Hernandez, who received letters from around the globe requesting the Krenwinkel’s parole be denied.”
“In part it may have been those letters that convinced Melanson and Hernandez to deny her request. Melanson, speaking for the board, stated that she didn’t feel that Krenwinkel understood that her actions and those of the Manson followers in general had shaken people all over the world, and that they continue to have resonance even 40 years later. Krenwinkel tried to blame her actions on her love for Manson and search for his approval, but Melanson and Hernandez appeared unmoved by her attempts at justification.
Krenwinkel has been in prison longer than any other female prisoner in California, and like the other Manson followers, and indeed Manson himself, seems unlikely to ever be released on parole” read more…
UPDATE CNN September 3, 2009 “Former ‘Manson family’ member denied parole” Former “Manson Family” member Susan Atkins, who stabbed actress Sharon Tate to death more than 40 years ago and now is terminally ill, was denied parole Wednesday, prison officials said. [read more at the bottom of this post.]
(This post was originally published April 9, 2009)
Charlie Manson ’09 “Charles Manson was photographed by the California Department of Corrections in March 2009 at the age of 74. The convicted murderer, serving a life sentence at Corcoran State Prison, will be eligible for parole (for the twelfth time) in 2012.” [thesmokinggun.com]
“Michael Brunner. Son b. April 1, 1968 by Mary Brunner. His mother was the first member of the Family” [see below.]
………Michael Manson, son of Mary Brunner [booksonmars.blogspot.com]
More from laist.com:
“Manson was released from Terminal Island on March 21, 1967, and the raid on Death Valley took place October 12, 1969. I am going to assume that on average, any children would be born at the earliest 7 months into pregnancy and at most, at 9 months and 2 weeks after conception. Conception can sometimes occur up to a week after sexual relations due to a number of factors. Therefore, any Spahn-era biological children of Charles Manson would have to have been born between October 21, 1967 and August 7, 1970. This would make them between 37 and 39 years old today.” read more…
The following is a YouTube video (Part one of LA-TV2’s interview with Michael Brunner,) from around 1995. The video includes clips of Michael Brunner – Manson’s son with Mary Brunner.
[Quotation is from laist.com]
“Here is an indepth investigation, featuring Mary Brunner’s baby, whose April 15, 1968 birth was so vividly described in the first video. Valentine Michael, nicknamed “Sunstone Hawk” and “Pooh Bear” has dropped out of sight since this video was filmed around 1993.”
Part One of the Channel 2 report:
click images to enlarge
More from laist.com:
“Other Children of The Family, Paternity Uncertain:”
“Zezozose Zadfrack Glutz. Son b.October 7, 1968 to Susan Atkins. It is stated as fact that Manson was not the father, although it is unclear how anyone can be certain (Unless he didn’t have sex with her). She has said that the father was a short-term Family member by the name of Bruce Hall. She has had no contact with her son since her incarceration in 1969. Her son was adopted (Wikipedia) by a California couple and renamed Paul.”
“Phoenix Son b. January 5, 1971, to Catherine Share (Gypsy) about 6 months too late to be Manson’s. Although she will not officially confirm paternity, she has stated that fellow Family member Steven Grogan was the father (charliesfamily.tripod.com)”
“Ivan. Son b. September 16, 1969 to Sandra Good. Boyfriend Joel Pugh and Charles Manson have both been named as the father. Both seem doubtful candidates. Little is known about Good’s son Ivan, however, it has been reported that he went to College on a football scholarship. (www.cielodrive.com) I don’t know why they would be doubtful candidates. The dates line up (unless the child is biracial). One theory is that since she had the child in a hospital, which was against the Family way, it was doubtful it would have been Manson’s.”
“Angel. Son b. March 1970 to Linda Kasabian, father unknown. Reportedly given up for adoption (Although she kept her other children from her husband). In late June of 1969, she attempted a reconciliation with her husband. On July 4, she had sex with Tex. On July 5, she had sex with Manson. On August 10th, she told Manson she was pregnant. So it could have been any of the three. On August 13, she returned to her husband. On December 12, she was arrested in Concorde. She had brought one child, Tanya, into the family. She later regained custody of Tanya from the foster system.”
Depending on the source, Charles “Tex” Watson” is reportedly the father of 3 – 4, or more children.
“Where Watson is Today: Since 1993 he has been at the Mule Creek State Prison, and is the father to four children. He remains married and continues to fight for his parole. To date, he has been denied parole 13 times” read more…
Just a guess, but I’m thinking that there must be more 2nd and 3rd? generation extended family members “out there,” maybe someone reading this post…Imagine what it’s like, trying to live a life under the dark, black cloud which certainly must accompany that level of infamy. The “Manson Family’s” offspring surely are victims as well as those whose lives were destroyed by the original craziness: the murder victims and their extended families. Come to think of it, we’re all victims.
*If, for some reason, the reader is not familiar with “case-details,” the following links provide definitive information on eight of the slayings (CAUTION – very graphic, explicit police reports!) and limited information on the ninth:
Read the first homicide investigation report of August 9th, 1969 – 5 victims at 10500 Cielo Dr. in Los Angeles: ABIGAIL ANNE FOLGER, WOJCIECH FRYKOWSKI, STEVEN EARL PARENT, JAY SEBRING and SHARON MARIE TATE-POLANSKI.
Read the first homicide investigation report of August 10th, 1969 – 2 victims at 3301 Waverly Dr. in Los Angeles: ROSEMARY and LENO LABIANCA
Read the homicide investigation report of October 13th, 1969 -1 victim at 964 Old Topanga Canyon Road in Los Angeles: GARY HINNMAN
THE MURDER OF DONALD “SHORTY” SHEA (TateFamilyLegacy.com) – 1 victim, unknown location (probably on the Spahn Ranch.)
**”Manson himself has boasted of being responsible for more than 35 murders. Other members of the Manson Family agree that they killed between “35 to 40 people.” Source: Internet Accuracy Project…
POST UPDATES – September 1-3, 2009
FORT WORTH, Texas, Aug. 14, 2009 -AP
Manson Disciple “Squeaky” Fromme Set Free
“Lynette Fromme Released More Than 30 Years After 1975 Assassination Attempt on Gerald Ford”
“The Charles Manson follower convicted of trying to assassinate President Gerald Ford was released Friday from a Texas prison hospital after more than three decades behind bars.”
“Lynette “Squeaky” Fromme, 60, left the Federal Medical Center Carswell in Fort Worth at about 8 a.m. EDT Friday, spokeswoman Dr. Maria Douglas said. Though a few photographers had camped out since the night before outside the facility surrounded razor wire-topped fences, Fromme slipped by the group unnoticed in one of the many cars streaming in and out of the front gate Friday morning.”
“It was a far cry from her antics that captivated the United States’ attention 30 years ago: shaving her red hair and carving an “X” into her forehead after Manson was convicted for orchestrating a mass murder, wearing a red robe when she pulled a gun on Ford, being carried into her trial courtroom by marshals when she refused to walk.”
“In September 1975, Fromme pushed through a crowd, drew a semiautomatic .45-calibre pistol from a thigh holster and pointed it at Ford, who was shaking hands with well-wishers while walking to the California state capitol in Sacramento. But Secret Service agents grabbed her and the gun, and Ford was unhurt.”
“Fromme, who reportedly got her nickname while in Manson’s “family,” possibly because of her voice, had become its leader. She was never implicated in the 1969 murders of actress Sharon Tate and eight others, for which Manson is serving a life term in Corcoran State Prison in California.”
“During her trial, Fromme either refused to attend or had outbursts. Her attorney argued that she wanted to call attention to environmental issues and Manson’s case and never meant to kill Ford. A few bullets were in the gun but not in the chamber.” read the rest of the story from CBS News/AP
“Former ‘Manson family’ member denied parole”
UPDATE CNN September 3, 2009 “Former “Manson Family” member Susan Atkins, who stabbed actress Sharon Tate to death more than 40 years ago and now is terminally ill, was denied parole Wednesday, prison officials said.”
“The parole hearing was the 13th for Atkins, 61, who is battling terminal brain cancer. Held at the Central California Women’s Facility in Chowchilla, California, the hearing stretched to more than nine hours.”
“The panel set another hearing for Atkins in three years, said Michele Kane, spokeswoman for the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.”
“Atkins was 21 when she and other followers of Charles Manson participated in a two-night rampage that left seven people dead and terrorized the city of Los Angeles in August 1969. She and the others — Manson, Leslie Van Houten, Patricia Krenwinkel and Charles “Tex” Watson — were initially sentenced to death in the slayings of five people, including Tate, and two additional deaths the following night.” read the rest of the story from CNN