By Noel Scott
Journalism Guild Writer
Leslie Van Houten, one of the Manson family members, was finally found suitable for parole after having been denied 19 times, reports Amy Taxin of The Associated Press.
The hearing took place at the California Institution for Women at Frontera on April 14, 2016. Van Houten, 66, had been incarcerated for 46 years. When Van Houten, a former homecoming queen, and her cohorts murdered the La Biancas she was only 19, the youngest of them all.
At the hearing there was much opposition from La Bianca family members and the Los Angeles District Attorneys office, reports the AP.
Van Houten told the commissioners, “I don’t let myself off the hook. I don’t find parts in any of this that make me feel the slightest bit of good about myself.”
After nearly five hours Commissioner Ali Zarrinnam said to Van Houten, “Your behavior speaks for itself. Forty-six years and not a single serious rule violation.” Van Houten also earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees, and facilitated self-help groups, reports the AP.
After the ruling Van Houten’s attorney Rich Pfeiffer told reporters that Van Houten said she felt “numb” and that “she’s been ready for this, for a long time…it really should have happened a long time ago.”
If the parole board’s legal team upholds the decision, Gov. Jerry Brown will then review.
Charles Manson, 81, and the rest of his followers still remain incarcerated, with the exception of Susan Atkins, who died in prison in 2009.