Manson family member Leslie Van Houten granted parole in California

NPR reports that none of Charles Manson's "murderous followers in the Tate-LaBianca killings have been released from prison so far", But Van Houten told the parole panel she feels "absolutely horrible" about what she did, and has "spent most of [her] life trying to find ways to live with it".

Manson, also serving a life sentence, directed Van Houten and his other mostly young, female followers - known as the Manson Family - to murder seven people in August 1969.

The decision on Wednesday by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation starts a 150-day review process that will likely culminate in a final decision by California Governor Jerry Brown. Her application was over ruled by the Governor previous year too, because she had failed to explain how a first rate teenager from a fairly privileged family turned into a merciless killer, after she was granted parole by a similar panel at the California Institution for Women in Chino, California.

Van Houten was not involved in the Tate murders.

At her parole hearing a year ago, Van Houten said she helped hold down Rosemary La Bianca while another Manson follower stabbed her repeatedly.

In recent years, Van Houten's attorneys characterized her as a model inmate, earning bachelor's and master's degrees while running self-help groups for incarcerated women.

Susan Atkins  Patricia Krenwinkel and Leslie Van Houten were all members of the
Susan Atkins Patricia Krenwinkel and Leslie Van Houten were all members of the"Manson Family

On Wednesday, a year after her last parole denial, she was deemed suitable for release.

A convicted murderer and follower of Charles Manson is once again on the verge of walking free.

Sharon Tate's sister, Debra Tate, told the panel she believes parole should be granted to those who have been rehabilitated, but she doesn't think Van Houten has been.

Later, she stabbed Rosemary La Bianca over a dozen times in addition to holding a pillowcase over her head as others stabbed her. Van Houten's attorneys argued that Brown was bowing to political pressure. He could also send the matter to the full Board of Parole Hearings, or take no action, in which case the parole decision would stand.

Share ended her testimony by saying that she regretted encouraging Houten to join the cult.

Co-conspirators Patricia Krenwinkel and Charles "Tex" Watson have repeatedly been denied parole, and Manson himself, now 82, remains in prison, too.