Charles Manson follower Leslie Van Houten has been recommended for parole by the state of California. But there is still another hurdle that she must overcome, which is for Governor Jerry Brown to approve the release.
That is something of a hot button topic, especially for the sister of Sharon Tate. For those who do not know, Sharon Tate was the famous movie actress who was brutally slain by the followers of Charles Manson back in 1969 during an era that Manson coined "Helter Skelter" and attempted to start a race war with the string of murders.
Beautiful soul #SharonTate #Noparoleformansonfamily.com pic.twitter.com/6YXxZSaUqR
— Robin Greene (@elderberryplace) June 18, 2016
The potential release of Leslie Van Houten back into society serves to undermine some of the anguish that families of the victims of Charles Manson and his psychotic two-day rampage have caused, as reported by the Los Angeles Times. As a result, the sister of Sharon Tate, Debra Tate, has taken to the people of the state and circulated a petition that has gained a lot of attention.
Sharon Tate's sister, Debra, calls Manson cult "original domestic terrorists," petitions against Van Houten release pic.twitter.com/LtuxHUTY5J
— John Myers (@johnmyers) June 20, 2016
Although the nature of the crimes by Charles Manson and his family of cult members was heinous, Leslie Van Houten was, in fact, not present at the slaying of Sharon Tate and her friends at the residence she shared with husband, Roman Polanski. Van Houten was part of the Manson family crew that went to the LaBianca's residence the following night and murdered that family.
But to either end, Debra Tate is advocating for all of the victims of the Charles Manson murder spree that took the lives of several people in 1969 and shook the entire region of Los Angeles, terrifying the people to the core until the perpetrators were caught.
Thinking of #SharonTate today, as everyday. We've got a lot of work to do in her memory. Thank you everyone! pic.twitter.com/qDoWHY1MpG
— Debra Tate (@debra_tate9) June 19, 2016
Debra Tate had hoped to meet with Governor Jerry Brown personally when she delivered the petition that had over 139,000 signatures on it. Tate wanted Brown to see firsthand how the murder spree that occurred over 46 years ago still affects the families of the victims to this day.
"Let him look into our eyes, feel our pain," Debra Tate told reporters outside the state capitol offices. "This is not a person (Leslie Van Houten) we want out."
Leslie Van Houten's imprisonment has been somewhat of a circus for the courts since she was first convicted back in 1970. Her conviction was later overturned, but she was retried and sentenced again to imprisonment. Van Houten has also been before a parole board on 19 different occasions but only recently have they recommended her for release.
In her original testimony in the case, Leslie Van Houten said that she only held down Rosemary LaBianca while her co-conspirator, Tex Watson, stabbed her. She later revealed that the knife was handed over to her and she stabbed LaBianca 14 more times, presumably to prove her complicity in the crime to the Manson family.
Both the LaBianca murders and the Tate murders were all brought forth by mastermind and chief manipulator Charles Manson, who is also serving a life sentence for his role in the crimes.
Leslie Van Houten has spent over 40 years in prison, and many have advocated for her release here recently, calling her a model inmate at the prison and saying that she is no longer a danger to society.
But Debra Tate sees Van Houten a little differently, citing that Van Houten and everyone else involved with the Charles Manson killing spree are still very much dangerous criminals.
"These (Manson followers) are serial killers," Debra Tate said as she approached the capitol building. "These are, as far as I know, the original domestic terrorists."
— Debra Tate (@debra_tate9) June 21, 2016
There has been no response from Governor Jerry Brown's office on what he intends to do in the Van Houten case. Although she has been recommended for parole, Charles Manson has never made the cut with the parole board.
[Photo by Keystone/Getty Images]