Leslie Van Houten, Youngest Charles Manson Follower, Released After 53 Years in Prison

Leslie Van Houten, the youngest member of Charles Manson’s “family,” has been released from prison after 53 years. The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation confirmed her release on July 11. Van Houten, now 73, will be under parole supervision for a maximum of three years, with a review after one year.

Van Houten was convicted, along with other members of the Manson “family,” of the brutal 1969 slayings of Los Angeles grocer Leno LaBianca and his wife Rosemary. Following her release, her attorney expressed relief, and Van Houten’s husband, Stephen Rodriguez, described her as a remarkable individual with unwavering strength and a love for life. He emphasized that her spirit lives on in all who knew her.

Van Houten’s daughter, Kylie, shared the immeasurable loss she feels and acknowledged her mother’s courageous battle with cancer. Despite the pain, she expressed gratitude for the support received and her mother’s invaluable lessons on resilience and finding joy in dark times.

California Governor Gavin Newsom, who had previously fought against granting Van Houten parole, decided not to pursue further action after a California appellate court’s decision. The Tate-LaBianca murders, carried out by Manson’s followers, including Van Houten, remain a haunting part of L.A. history.

Van Houten’s involvement in the crimes was rooted in her troubled past and association with Manson. She has expressed remorse and undergone rehabilitation during her time in prison, even assisting others in their educational pursuits. Despite facing challenges, Van Houten is optimistic about her future and is ready to reintegrate into society.

As Leslie Van Houten embarks on this new chapter, her release sparks debates about justice, rehabilitation, and the impact of Manson’s twisted ideology.

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